Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview on CBC's 'The National' Tonight

Hey there everyone, this is John's wife Jenn. John is away on a photo tour right now, so I get to do all his work at home -- bet you can guess who's having more fun ;-)

CBC's producers just let me know that they are airing John's interview about the grizzly bear deaths caused by trains in Banff National Park tonight on 'The National' nationwide. Please tune in tonight as it airs in your local time zone to catch the interview and story.

A Banff grizzly faces an oncoming Canadian Pacific train as it feeds on grain between the tracks.

For more information, check out:
http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/about/tonight.html

In-Depth & Analysis
Deadly Bear Tracks
With correspondent Reg Sherren

There's something very unnatural happening in the middle of one of Canada's most beautiful parks. Grizzlies in Banff are being killed - not by poachers or hunters, but by trains. Why is it happening? And can anything be done about it?

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Please visit this page and leave your ideas on how you think the bears of Banff National Park can be saved.
http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/indepthanalysis/story/2011/09/28/national-grizzlydeaths.html

You can also view John's original story about the female grizzly bear killed by a train in Banff this past spring.

Cheers,

Jenn

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Photo of the Day - Spirit Bear

I'm excited to show off my first of many images from last week's spirit bear photography adventures in the Great Bear Rainforest. We had an amazing week in the rainforest, topped off by sightings of two different white kermode bears.

This male kermode bear cruised up and down the creek in front of us four times one day

It was a thrilling week with a great group of like-minded photographers from across Canada and the United States, and I'm already looking forward to going back next year and trying my luck at the end of October.  That's right, the 2012 Spirit Bear Photography Tour has now been finalized for October 10th-17th in 2012, so watch for details on the trip on October 15th when I'm back from my Grizzly Bear Photography Tours in B.C. that begin on  Sunday!

I'm also excited to have two new tours beginning next year: an adventure to the Queen Charlotte Islands from July 1-8, 2012 and a photo trip of a lifetime to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary (the only grizzly bear sanctuary in Canada!) from May 9-16, 2012.  Watch for full details on my Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours website in mid-October!

Note that as always, prior clients will get first dibs on the 2012 trips, tours, and workshops on a first-come first-serve basis.

Happy shooting!

John

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Photo of the Day - Breaching Humpback Whale

Long, long ago in ancient times, I used to post Photo of the Day entries on a semi-regular basis. Alas, being an outdoor nature photographer, I tend to enjoy spending my time outside rather than in, so some things get left to gather dust from time to time.

However, today, as I promised yesterday, I bring you the first of many glimpses at my recent travels in British Columbia in search of whales, sea otters, and spirit bears.

Today's photo(s) is from two weeks ago in the middle of Blackfish Sound off the coast of Malcolm Island. My group and I were watching orcas a few hundred metres off our bow when we noticed a humpback whale breach (jump out of the water) way, way off in the distance to our port side. Now normally this would bring about a sigh and a collective "geez, wish we were over there" from the group, but this time was different. Within seconds, the whale was once again flying out of the water, landing so heavily that we could hear the thunderous clap from more than two kilometers away. Then again, and then again!!

By the time the whale headed for the sky the fifth time, we had left the orcas behind us and were under full steam, heading straight for it with the faint hope of catching the tail end (pun intended) of this glorious show.

As we got within a kilometer, the whale was still surging out of the water at regular intervals. We lined up at the front of the boat, big lenses ready, and sure enough, the humpy pounded up out of the water furiously once again, providing our first chance at images.  This first shot was taken from 800 meters away, handheld with my 500mm lens on the Canon 1D IV body at 1/3200th of a second, f8, and ISO 1000.

The first image I took of the breaching humpback whale near Johnstone Strait in British Columbia

As we got closer and closer, we could tell that the frequency of the jumps was beginning to wane, so it became harder and harder to predict where the whale was going to jump.  Thankfully, on one of its' final breaches, I was able to get an image that I was happy with!

Humpback whale breaching: photographed handheld with a 500mm lens

And a closer view of the breach:

The final cropped image of the breaching humpback

This image was also shot handheld with the 500mm at ISO 1000, 1/2000th of a second at f9.

If you're interested in getting on the waiting list for future orca and humpback whale photography trips with me, then please let me know.

Happy shooting!

John

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 Spots for October Workshop in Jasper

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, from photographing whales on the west coast to standing less than ten feet from a spirit bear in the Great Bear Rainforest.  But alas, like most good things, you're going to have to wait one more day before I start posting a few of those images.

In the meantime, one thing you won't have to wait on any longer is a chance to sign up for my Jasper Wildlife Photography Workshop in October this fall.  It had been sold out for months, but a last minute cancellation has left two spots open on this great five-day workshop in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Two bighorn rams duel in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.  This image was taken during our
October 2010 Jasper Wildlife Photography Workshop with a Canon 5D II and a 70-200mm lens.

If you're wondering what kinds of opportunities you can come across during this workshop, check out the amazing photos from last year's participants!  So what's in store this year?  Wolves?  Bears?  More dueling bighorn?  You'll have to sign up and show up to find out!  Note that this workshop does include nightly critiques and two hours of classroom instruction to go along with four full days in the field.

For the full details, check out my Jasper Wildlife Photography Workshop page over on my Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours website.

Happy shooting!

John

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