Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grizzly Bear Tour Photos - Part II

More from my clients on the September-October 2010 Grizzly Bear Photography Tours in British Columbia. As you can see, some absolutely phenomenal stuff again, thanks to Bill Cubitt, Hendrik Boesch, Garry Revesz, Catherine Fox, and Robert Carleton.

Stay tuned for some beauts from my Jasper Wildlife Workshop two weeks ago, as well as for that promised Remember this Name feature on Calgary photographer Wayne Simpson.

The Stare.  Photo © Garry Revesz

Bald Eagle in flight.  Photo © Hendrik Boesch

Grizzly racing through the water.  Photo © Bill Cubitt

Salmon flinging - a favourite pasttime.  Photo © Catherine Fox

A beautiful female grizzly along the shore.  Photo © Robert Carleton

Grizzly bear in fall colours.  Photo © Hendrik Boesch

Grizzly portrait.  Photo © Robert Carleton

Wading in.  Photo © Bill Cubitt

Little grizzly, big catch!  Photo © Bill Cubitt

A grizzly cub chomping on a tree.  Photo © Garry Revesz

Catching a sockeye.  Photo © Bill Cubitt

So which are your favourites from this post and the first set of grizzly bear photos?  Let me know!

Happy shooting everyone, and Happy Halloween!

John

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outdoor Photography Canada Column!

Big news from out east this afternoon as the editor of Outdoor Photography Canada messaged me to let me know that I have been named the first wildlife photography columnist for the growing national magazine

My Spring 2010 cover for Outdoor Photography Canada

My first column will be featured in the next issue which is due out at the end of November.  I'm extremely thrilled to be joining friends like Mike Grandmaison, Scott Linstead, Dale Wilson, Mark Degner, Kelly Funk, Paul Burwell, and Darwin Wiggett as a columnist and can't wait to get going on it.

If you have any ideas for future columns on 'How-To' issues or other topics for the column, please let me know here in the Comments section.  Fellow wildlife photographers, what do you want to get better at?  What gear do you have questions about? Do you want to see columns on wildlife photography ethics?  Hotspots?  Anything you can think of will be a big help, so write your suggestions below and hopefully I'll be able to cover a few of the topics in future columns.

Happy Shooting!

John

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grizzly Bear Tour Photos - Part I

Hi everyone, the time has finally come to show off some of the photographs from my tour participants on this year's 2010 Grizzly Bear Photography Tour in B.C. The two tours went fantastically well and we had a plethora of great opportunities in a variety of weather. This is the first of two posts (view the second gallery of grizzly photos here), enjoy!

A beautiful female grizzly resting along the shore.  Photo © Robert Carleton

A grizzly bear playing with a salmon.  Photo © Garry Revesz

Grizzly mother and cub.  Photo © Catherine Fox

Grizzly cubs playfighting.  Photo © Bill Cubitt

Chomping on salmon.  Photo © Garry Revesz

A grizzly cub coming out of the forest.  Photo © Bill Cubitt

A grizzly bear playing with a salmon.  Photo © Garry Revesz

Bald Eagle in flight.  Photo © Robert Carleton

A panorama of The Lagoon.  Photo © Robert Carleton

As you can see, it's a great assortment of images from the participants.  Robert and Garry were using 500mm lenses, while Bill and Catherine were both using 70-200mm lenses with teleconverters.  Watch later this week for more images from the participants, and for the first batch of images from my Jasper Wildlife Photography workshop.  Tomorrow I'll be featuring my next Remember this Name photographer: Wayne Simpson.

View Part II of the 2010 Grizzly Bear Photography Tour Photos

I'll be setting my 2011 grizzly bear tour dates next week, so stay tuned for details.

Cheers,

John

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Photo of the Day - Grizzly Caviar

Since I didn't quite get around to putting together the first post of photos from my clients on the grizzly bear photography tour three weeks ago, I've instead resorted to showing you one last grizzly photo (for now) of my own from the trip: this beautiful female grizzly dining on salmon eggs -- grizzly caviar if you will!

grizzly bear photography
A grizzly bear eating sockeye salmon eggs

She ate these much like we might eat caviar, little by little, gently placing them on the top of her paw and eating them slowly as if she was savouring each egg (which she probably was!).  This is one of my favourite grizzly bear photos from the trip, not so much for the photo itself, but for the memories it evokes.

Happy shooting!

John

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photo of the Day - Abandoned House

This old farm house on the prairies caught my eye immediately on my first drive by.  It had a beautiful row of hedges on either side framing the big entrance-way and some glorious puffy clouds up above it.

An abandoned farm house on the Canadian Prairies
This image is a part of my Mastering Compositional Techniques talk that I'll be giving at Baker Creek Chalets this weekend as part of our latest SNAP! Nature Photography Series of Workshops and Seminars.  It's my final workshop of the season and will bring to a close a hectic last few months of travel and instruction.

As of Monday, I'll be free as a bird to watch Canucks games, drink a few pops, and edit the two years of images that I'm behind on...ULP, ah well, there goes the bubble bursting :-(

Have a great weekend everyone!

John

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Photo of the Day - Sockeye Salmon II

In case you missed last week's tribute to and photograph of the incredible sockeye salmon run up the Adams River near Salmon Arm in British Columbia, here's another of my favourite images from my many visits to the river over the past 40 years (yeah, I'm officially that old now, scary!!).

Sockeye salmon carcasses along the Adams River near Shuswap Lake in British Columbia, Canada

A few people have asked me how I go about getting images of salmon and I've included a few tips in the Comments section of last week's sockeye post.

I grew up in Salmon Arm and have been visiting the Adams River and Scotch Creek salmon runs for as long as I can remember.  And contrary to popular opinion, I think the best years to visit are in the 'off'' years, when there are hardly any people around and still several hundred thousands salmon plying their way up the main river and the various side channels.

The giant run this year actually caused a bit of anxiety on my part on my grizzly bear tours in B.C. because the bears didn't have to work nearly as hard for their meals, meaning that they could pop down to the river/lake, grab a quick fish, then depart, all without having to deal with a group of curious photographers in boats.  Thankfully, we still averaged 7-10 grizzlies a day and I was able to sleep at night.  Ha-ha!

The sockeye salmon photo above was taken with a Canon 5D, and a 70-200 mm lens set at 80 mm. The exposure was 5 seconds at f22 at ISO 50.  I used a warming polarizer and a manual flash (on-camera with flash compensation set to 0) to help illuminate the fish and make the colours vibrant.

Happy shooting!

John

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jasper Wildlife Photography Tour Update

Who knew that Jasper could be so backwoods?  While I can readily update my blog from the Dempster, from Baffin Island, and even from Govenlock, Saskatchewan (population 0), I've had nothing but trouble trying to update you all on my adventures in Jasper this week with my wildlife photography workshop group. 

I finally gave up trying to find a normal wireless connection and have resorted to using a library computer.  Sad, but true.

Anyways, the trip has been a big success so far, with a first day that included two giant bull elk, two herds of bighorn sheep, a coyote, and the biggest bull moose I've ever seen in the Canadian Rockies.  Today wasn't quite as exciting, as we had to settle for a massive whitetail buck, several more herds of bighorn, and a pile of pikas (the infamous rock rabbits of Jasper).

Bighorn rams in a light snowfall in October in Jasper National Park

Tomorrow we're off in search of the big rams of Wilcox Pass near the Columbia Icefields.  It's supposed to snow 5 cm tonight, so it could be a glorious winter wonderland up there by the time we hike up tomorrow.  Wish us luck!

John

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Photo of the Day - Sockeye Salmon

Today's photo of a sockeye salmon fighting its way up the Adams River is in celebration of one of the largest sockeye salmon runs in recorded history in British Columbia, with an estimated 35 million salmon returning to spawn in B.C.'s rivers and lakes, including more than 15 million in the Adams.

A sockeye salmon going up a shallow side channel of the Adams River near Salmon Arm, BC

Happy shooting!

John

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Photo of the Day - Thanksgiving Grizzly

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!  Here is the first of many grizzly bear shots from my recent trip to British Columbia.  Like all of us here in Canada giving thanks for turkeys and brussel sprouts (hey, I love 'em, what can I say!) and pumpkin pie, I think the bears across BC were giving thanks this fall for the incredible sockeye salmon run.

A grizzly bear with a freshly-caught male sockeye salmon

I hope you all have a great holiday with friends and family.

Cheers,

John

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Photo of the Day - Bald Eagle

Today's 'Photo of the Day' comes from my long drive home Wednesday night from eleven days in the British Columbia wilds photographing grizzly bears, eagles, and salmon.  While on the drive I came across this gorgeous eagle perched high atop a spruce tree laden with cones.

A bald eagle sits precariously on top of a spruce tree

Stay tuned in the next few weeks for a lot more images from the bear tours, including the best of the tour participants' photographs.

Happy shooting!

John

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Photo of the Day - Moose Calf

A photo of a frost-covered moose calf from last week in Kananaskis Country.

Moose calf in Kananaskis Country

Happy shooting!

John

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Photo of the Day - Swift Fox Pups

I spent almost four weeks on the Canadian Prairies this summer in search of all sorts of good things: burrowing owls, badgers, black-footed ferrets, pronghorn antelope, and the endangered swift fox.

A 'melt your heart' kinda shot.  Two tiny swift fox pups on the Canadian Prairies

Fewer than 1,000 swift fox live in Canada and they are far from easy to find.  In the entire four weeks on the prairies, I was only able to find three dens.

I photographed this den for three hours one morning from a blind that I carried in with me.  I set up in the pre-dawn light while the foxes were down in the den (and while Dad was off hunting), then departed as soon as the foxes went back down after their morning play session.  The foxes were definitely aware that 'something' was there with them, but other than the odd look, they completely ignored me.

I was very careful not to photograph at any one den more than a few times for fear of disturbing the fox families at this very sensitive time of year in the rearing of the young pups.

Happy shooting!

John

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