It’s hard to believe that it’s already February in this new year! I’m currently on Maui, marooned on shore because of a quick moving storm that’s brought strong winds and locally heavy showers to the area, putting a damper on my humpback whale photography. However, the inclement weather gives me an opportunity to share my latest story about the island of Maui, photographed for Virgin Australia’s inflight magazine, Voyeur. The story is online in the January 2017 issue and features an insider’s take on our favorite Hawaiian Island. The story proves once again that there is always something new to discover from a wonderful taco truck to the classic Hana Highway. Take a quick break from your winter and enjoy a stroll on the island of Maui. Mahalo for visiting and a hui ho!
It’s been a whirlwind of travel for the last few years. Now, I’m officially bipolar, meaning that I have visited both extremes of the earth, both by virtue of traveling with National Geographic Expeditions. The first trip was towards the North Pole in Svalbard, exploring the Norwegian archipelago by icebreaker. Then, most recently, down to the Southern Ocean to the Antarctic Peninsula and the islands of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.
South Georgia is one of the most incredible, and remote, places on the planet. During the turn of the last century, South Georgia was home to numerous natural resource extraction operations. Animals were harvested to the point where a number of species, including whales, fur seals and penguins, were hunted to near extinction. Since these operations were shut down during the 1960’s, a number of species have now recovered. Since South Georgia has a tiny human population, the animals are completely perplexed but not frightened by human presence. For wildlife photography, it’s difficult to find a more interesting and beautiful place.
One of my images from South Georgia at a landing called Gold Harbour was used on one of the expedition program guide’s covers. I’ll never forget this morning. We had gotten up before daybreak to catch the morning light and although we only had it for a few moments, we were able to capture a number of gorgeous images of the King penguins in the golden hour of dawn.
While visiting the island of South Georgia, I slipped in a slurry of penguin poo and mud which resulted in a very painful sprained ankle. This left me unable to walk well when we pulled into Stanley. Instead of exploring the city I went with my fellow shipmates to a beautiful farm about an hour’s drive outside of the capital city. One of the highlights of travel is the ability to peer into the life of the locals, which is precisely what we were able to do when we visited Long Island Farms. The Watson family welcomed us in to their home with a beautiful spread of hand made cakes. They also gave us a tour of their property where they keep sheep, horses and chickens. This morning was just one small bit of a much larger expedition to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia with National Geographic. I’m heading back to this area in February 2017 and hope that you’ll join us! Below are some photos from our farm visit, and tune in later for more images from this most incredible journey.
I just returned from an amazing photography expedition in Panama and Costa Rica where I served as the Photography Expert for National Geographic on board the small ship, the National Geographic Sea Lion.
Our journey started in Panama City where we spent a morning strolling through Caso Viejo before paying a visit to the Biomuseo, a museum designed by Frank Gehry and dedicated to Panama’s biodiversity.
We transferred to Colón, located on Panama’s Atlantic Coast, where we boarded the ship and started our transit through the Panama Canal.
Our first land stop was at Barro Colorado, an island in the man-made Lake Gatun, located in the middle of the canal.
The island is the site of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute which is dedicated to studying tropical forest ecosystems. It is here where we saw Tent-making bats, birds like the Rufous motmot as well as Mantled howler monkeys.
After we passed through the third and final lock, we headed up the Pacific Coast of Panama and Costa Rica, stopping at beautiful parks where we swam, hiked and enjoyed the tropical beauty of the area.
What a great way to begin 2016!
National Geographic Creative maintains a blog of what pictures they like, and for January 1, 2016, they featured my photograph of a chinstrap penguin. This image was made on Half Moon Island in Antarctica and the blissful bird appears to be dancing its way across the snow.
I love this image because the penguin is seemingly so happy, and joy is something that I strive to express in many of my photographs.
Aperture Priority f7.1, ISO 400, shutter speed 1/4000s.
From Australia to Antarctica, Albany to Alaska, 2015 was filled with photographic adventures!
I trained for back country emergency medicine with courses through REI and NOLS, rounding it out with CPR certification. It was an enlightening experience. The course is taught outdoors, and the weather was nice enough that it was actually fun to work through all sorts of emergency scenarios. I now am prepared to help first-responders in the event of an emergency, should one arise while I’m on assignment in a remote area.
…took me whale watching in Maui.
One of the best times to visit Maui is February when the population of Alaska Humpbacks migrates to the ‘Au ‘Au Channel to mate and give birth, right outside our back door. It’s amazing to sit on the beach and watch these gigantic animals frolic in relatively shallow water. If you stick your head underwater, you can hear the males singing. It’s truly magical! I took several whale watching trips and have settled on my favorite – the VIP Ultimate Whale Watch out of Lahaina. We will be returning February 2016 to go and see these majestic creatures.
It was so fun to work on a back lot at Universal Studios plus it’s always nice to go to sunny climates for work. It was great to make new friends and I look forward to working with Staples in 2016!
…opened my show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight,” at the Froelick Gallery. I was pleased with the response, and it was covered well by the press. The opening also overlapped with the highly regarded Portland photography event, Photolucida.
…and we were back to our island home in Maui for a couple of weeks to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Mid-trip I headed to New York City to give a talk with Ralph Lee Hopkins, Dan Westergren, Bob Krist, and Art Wolfe for a very well-attended OPTIC 2015 conference. I was one of the 5 keynote speakers on the first day of the OPTIC event. Working with National Geographic, Lindblad, and B&H was a very satisfying experience. I look forward to OPTIC 2016!
… on the train from Seattle to the Jasper/Banff areas to photograph a story about the Rocky Mountaineer for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. This was a technically challenging shoot, but good planning helped me get “the shot” of the train at sunrise. It was also the first time I worked on the side of a mountain – the Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay – where I had to photograph while rock climbing. It was exhilarating and I would do it again in a heartbeat! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the people were fantastic, and the landscape was breathtaking.
… found me trekking across the globe to Broome, Australia, where I met the National Geographic Orion for an adventure with National Geographic Expeditions on the Kimberley Coast of Australia. The geology is some of the most unique in the world and there is an abundance of wildlife. Sea snakes, crocodiles, sharks, dolphins, wallabies, and a myriad of bird species made this trip spectacular.
…exploring the inside passage of Alaska, one of the most unspoiled places on earth, is best visited by small ship. This expedition is one of my favorites. On this expedition we explored small fjords and remote islands, then transited into British Columbia where several First Nations tribes reside, including the Haida people. This area includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of SGaang Gwaii. While anchored outside of Glacier National Park, we were treated to a display the Northern Lights. Among the amazing wildlife sightings were the rare displays of cooperative bubblenet feeding by humpback whales, the very same population that I had seen earlier in the year in Maui.
… I headed to Tucson, Arizona for a shoot with the Tanque Verde Ranch and J Public Relations. I love riding horses. It was great fun riding through the desert landscape and quite a contrast to the lush green of my Pacific Northwest. There were also the unforgettable prickly pear margaritas!
As a digital photographer, I must keep current with the software I use to process those thousands of files. In my experience, the finest training is the D-65 course taught by Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer, offered only in their home in Florida. The side benefit of the class is the great wine and food! If you are looking to take your digital workflow to the next level, I recommend this course.
Castagna Restaurant has been a long-time commercial client. This year I photographed a gallery refresh for their cafe and restaurant, two of my favorite places to eat in Portland. We had a great time making images for their photography needs. This award winning restaurant is not to be missed whether you are a native to the city or an out of town guest looking to sample some of the finest Pacific Northwest cuisine.
…and I’m flying from coast to coast twice in one week! I enjoyed sharing speakers’ duties with Ralph Lee Hopkins, this time at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY for National Geographic Seminars. We had a great day with good attendance. What a pleasure it is to work with personable and talented colleagues.
As soon as I touched down in Portland, it was back to the East Coast to do a shoot for Smithsonian Magazine in Washington, D.C. Keep your eyes peeled for the April 2016 issue of Smithsonian Magazine. Here are some behind-the-scenes shots to give you a taste of what’s to come.
Having returned from DC, I headed straight to Netarts, Oregon, where I was on assignment for National Geographic Traveler to photograph a story about salt for their upcoming issue which will feature water as a theme. Keep your eyes peeled for that one, too! Here are a few BTS to whet your appetite.
…headed all the way south, down to Ushuaia, Argentina, where I boarded the ship, the National Geographic Explorer, for 3 weeks of exploring the Antarctic peninsula with National Geographic Expeditions. Penguins, whales, seals, and ice were the dominating subjects of this adventure. Our amazing Expedition Leader, Lisa Kelley, along with the captain, worked hard to make sure that we did not miss a thing. We hiked in waist high snow, we sat and watched Elephant Seal pups, we watched Humpback Whales feeding, and then there was the ice. Blue is the dominant color, and in Antarctica we saw miles of it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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I just returned home from just over three weeks in Antarctica on board the National Geographic Explorer, an ice class expedition ship, where I served as the National Geographic Photography Expert. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. Words cannot begin to express the vastness of the continent. Here is a link to a gallery of images from the two expeditions that I attended. I hope you enjoy the images of the three brush-tailed penguin species, the Weddell seals, the incredible ice formations and the most elusive of creatures, the mighty Emperor Penguin. More to come about this adventure in later posts. Thank you and season’s greetings!
Here is a time-lapse from Cuverville Island, where people and gentoo penguins go about their day. Enjoy!