Kaikoura Billboard

Kaikoura Billboard

One of my underwater humpback whale images appears on billboards in New Zealand this month. (Anyone in NZ able to send me a picture?) When I first set out to make a living as a professional photographer, I initially found success selling fine-art prints through galleries & art shows. That business model ceased being effective with the down-turn in the economy, so I turned my focus to my website. Many of my modest sales now come from having good SEO. This sale is a perfect example. A design firm contacted me a few weeks ago after searching the web, offered me a reasonable usage rate, I emailed them the file, and they wire-transferred the money to me. How easy was that?

Alaska Airlines February 2010 Cover

Alaska Airlines February 2010 Cover

I am pleased to announce that my image is featured on the cover of the February 2010 issue of Alaska Airlines magazine! Be sure to check it out if you are on an Alaska Airlines flight this month. Also, the opening double page image to the humpback whale article was photographed by my friend Brandon Cole during a previous trip that we took together. I have the exact same image, since we were next to each other in the water when we both almost got run over by a humpback whale mother & calf. Photographing whales above or below water is my favorite kind of photography. It also helps that I am comfortable swimming in the open ocean in 10,000 feet of water and enjoy staring down into the blue depths underneath my fins.

This is a great blog post to transition from my dramatic landscape photography to more of my new wildlife images from the last year. I’ve been tightly editing my image archives the last few weeks and have come across a few keepers that are worth sharing in the days ahead. If you are like me and admire these creatures, check out my gallery of available humpback whale photos.

Humpback Whale 1

My Top 10 Favorite Photos of 2008, #4

It is pretty pathetic outside in Seattle today. I have been home all day listening to NPR while working on several submissions and doing a printing project for a client. Both I-5 and I-90 are closed due to extensive flooding throughout the state. We even made the national news for how miserable it is. I’ve only been back from Panama for 1 week, but I am already vowing to not be here at all next winter from my daughters Christmas break through January. I really get bummed out and depressed in this weather so that is why I started traveling and working for myself 8 years ago. I am really looking forward to my diving trip next week. The weather forecast is starting to look very promising, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I am also looking forward to going back to Patagonia for a backpacking and photography trip in 2 weeks.

My February trip to Hawai’i was my best trip that I have ever had for humpback whale photos. I talked Paul Souders into joining me for 2 weeks on the water and we had a great time together. (Paul is also going to Hornby Island with me and Ken next week.) I created this image using my Canon 5D digital SLR and 20mm lens in my Ikelite underwater camera housing at f2.8 and 1/250 second.

Humpback Whale 3

My Top 10 Favorite Photos of 2008, #10

I just got back from a very relaxing family holiday in Bocas del Toro, Panama. We missed all of the bad winter weather in Seattle while working on our sun tans and drinking too many pina coladas. I lost a lot of my motivation to do anything other than sit around in a hammock. My kids are now going to bed at 7 pm and waking up at 4:30 am, since there is a 3 hour time difference between Panama (EST) and Seattle (PST). With all my free time early in the morning, I’ve been thinking about a new blog entry and came across an idea on an acquaintances website for posting my Top 10 Favorite Images of 2008. That sounds like the right amount of effort to ease me back into reality. So, over the course of the next 10 days, I will endeavor to add a new image and story each day for you my visitors.

This image of “Humpback Whales Underwater” was taken in March in Hawai’i. It takes weeks of patience on the water in order to have the opportunity to get this close to a whale, let alone photograph it. I have always said that if I could do only one thing photographically, it would be to follow whales everyday of the year, but it is also the most difficult and expensive thing that I do. This image is of 2 enormous males that were pursuing a female and her calf during what is called a “heat run”. I created it using my Canon 5D digital SLR and 20mm lens in my Ikelite underwater camera housing at f2.8 and 1/200 second. You can enjoy many more spectacular photos of humpback whales in the multiple galleries on my site.

Humpback Whales Bubble Feeding 59

2008 International Conservation Photography Awards

One of my most spectacular images of humpback whales bubble-feeding in Southeast Alaska is included in the 2008 International Conservation Photography Awards exhibit at the MOHAI in Seattle, WA. The exhibit has gone by several different names over the years but it’s main sponsor has always been Art Wolfe. I’m friends with Art and talked to him the night of the exhibit about the direction the ICPA was taking in the years ahead. The next competition will not be until 2010, and it will go on display at the Burke Museum at the UW in Seattle. It is getting harder to get an image into the exhibit as the competition is getting much tougher. I still feel proud that I was able to be part of it. Please visit more of my humpback whale photography.

Humpback Whale 2

Alaska Airlines Magazine September 2008

If you happen to be on an Alaska Airlines flight this month, take a look at the in-flight magazine and the feature on Hawaii. This recent image from an encounter with a humpback whale is featured in the article. This large male came incredibly close to me, with his pectoral fin coming within a foot of my camera moments after this images was taken! Please visit more of my Humpback Whale Photography.