Susan Seubert Photography 2015: Year in Review

From Australia to Antarctica, Albany to Alaska, 2015 was filled with photographic adventures!

January 2015 began with the National Geographic annual photographers’ meeting in Washington, D.C.  This is always a fun event – an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, old and new.

The Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument glow in the evening light as seen from the Tidal Basin

The Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument, as seen from the Tidal Basin, glow in the evening light.

 

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.

Wilderness First Aid class taught outside of Portland, Oregon

Wilderness First Aid class taught outside of Portland, Oregon

February 2015

…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.

Humpback whales in the 'Au 'au Channel, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Humpback whales in the ‘Au ‘au Channel, Maui, Hawaii, USA

March 2015

…was dominated by working with the crew at Staples on a shoot in Los Angeles.

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!

 

Here is Susan framing up one of our shots on "Wisteria Lane."

Here is Susan framing up one of our shots on “Wisteria Lane.”

Our third location was on the Universal Studios Backlot. We shot on the same street where Desperate Housewives was filmed. I wonder how many selfies we all took? #wisterialane

Our third location was on the Universal Studios Backlot. We shot on the same street where Desperate Housewives was filmed. I wonder how many selfies we all took?

Happy client. Smiles all around.

Happy client. Smiles all around.

April 2015

…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.

"Entwined", 50x40", Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

“Entwined”, 50×40″, Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert's show, "The Fallacy of Hindsight"

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert’s show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

May 2015

…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!

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Holding a 1200mm prime on stage at the OPTIC 2015 Conference in New York City

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Speaking to a packed house with over 700 people in attendance – standing room only!

June 2015

… 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.

The Rocky Mountaineer passenger train as seen at dawn near Exshaw, Alberta, Canada, with Heart Mountain reflected in the Bow River

The Rocky Mountaineer passenger train as seen at dawn near Exshaw, Alberta, Canada, with Heart Mountain reflected in the Bow River

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On location at Peyto Lake in Banff, Canada

The Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay, Banff National Park, Canada. Via Ferrata (Italian for Iron Road) is a trail making method used in the mountains to make passage easier and more secure. It is done by a installing steel steps, handles, ladder rungs, and a steel cable in the places where the trail steepens. Travellers are secured to the rock by wearing a harness that is always attached to the steel cable. The Norquay VF is designed to accommodate beginners seeking a taste of the alpine, and to accommodate folks who already have a little alpine experience. The Norquay Via Ferrata is located on the cliffs above The Cliffhouse Bistro at the top of the North American Chairlift. In total there’s about 300m of Via Ferrata and about 1350m of trail.

The Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay, Banff National Park, Canada.

July 2015

… 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.

Man tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

Naturalist David Cothran tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Western Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Western Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, dated to be perhaps 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, dated to be perhaps 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, Kimberly Coast, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Crocodile, King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

Hugging a Boab tree for good luck at Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia. Photo by Cristiana Damiano

At the top of twin falls. King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

At the top of Twin Falls, King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

August/September 2015

…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.

Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada

The Eagle Dance, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA

A much larger cruise ship at Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA

Humpback Whales bubble net feeding south of Morris Reef, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

Humpback Whales bubble net feeding south of Morris Reef, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

The Fairweather Mountains as seen from a ship, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

The Fairweather Mountains at dawn as seen from a ship, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

Northern Lights as seen just at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

Northern Lights as seen just at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park, Inside Passage, Alaska, USA

October 2015

… 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!

The Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

Riding at sunset at the Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

The Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

The Spa at Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

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Joe Valdez, legendary cowboy, at Tanque Verde Ranch

 

The Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch located on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park in Tuscon, AZ

The Prickly Pear Margarita at Tanque Verde Ranch

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.

D-65 Lightroom Training Course in Florida

D-65 Lightroom Training Course in Florida

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.

Mobile studio!

Mobile studio!

Working on the classic Castagna burger.

Working on the classic Castagna burger.

Cucumber, Egg Yolk, nasturtium at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR, a clean-lined, minimalist restaurant serving fixed-price, high-end modernist Northwest dinners.

Cucumber, Egg Yolk, nasturtium at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR.

Nasturtium dish at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR, a clean-lined, minimalist restaurant serving fixed-price, high-end modernist Northwest dinners.

Nasturtium dish at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, OR.

November 2015

…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.

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Speaking for National Geographic Seminars at the New York State Museum

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.

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On location at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

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Working my magic back in Portland to finish up the project with Smithsonian Magazine

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.

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Photographing Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt, in Netarts, Oregon

Jacobsen Salt Company in Netarts, Oregon, USA. The salt is harvested from sea water pumped from Netarts Bay in to their facility located on the shore of the bay. Jacobsen Salt was founded in 2011 by owner Ben Jacobsen. Their main products are flake and kosher sea salts available for sale in their store in Portland, Oregon. Contact Ben Jacobson sales@jacobsensalt.com or 503-473-3952. Pictured here is the salt being harvested from the evaporation pans using specially adapted shovels by facilities manager Tom Gibson

A shovel full of sea salt at Jacobsen Salt Company in Netarts, Oregon, USA. The salt is harvested from sea water pumped from Netarts Bay in to their facility located on the shore of the bay.

December 2015

…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.

Fast Ice, Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Our fearless Expedition Leader, Lisa Kelley, on the bridge as we pass tabular icebergs around midnight.

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A “weaner” elephant seal trying to suckle at my knee in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Photo by a very nice passenger.

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Icebergs, Antarctica

Icebergs, Antarctica

Chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands, Southern Ocean, Antarctica

Chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands, Southern Ocean, Antarctica

Juggling snowballs at the top of the trail at Orne Harbour, Antarctica

Juggling snowballs at the top of the trail at Orne Harbour, Antarctica. Photograph by guest Courtney Thompson.

An Emperor Penguin with Adelie Penguins on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

An Emperor Penguin with Adelie Penguins on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Adelie penguins and a Weddell Seal on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Adelie penguins and a Weddell Seal on an iceberg in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thank you for visiting my blog!  Please remember that these images are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and may not be used in any form without prior written permission from Susan Seubert.

National Geographic Expedition in Alaska with photographer Susan Seubert

Being on board any National Geographic Expedition ship is a magnificent experience for myriad reasons, not the least of which is the incredible staff of naturalists.  It’s wonderful to be having a nice cup of tea and listening to a talk about whales, then glancing out the window and seeing the very animal being discussed in its natural habitat, just off to the side of the ship.  This type of expedition travel also happens to be fantastic for photography.  The captain and the expedition leader make it a priority to take us to the most beautiful places. Their keen local knowledge all but guarantees an enormous amount of wildlife sighting, which makes for fantastic picture-taking opportunities.

Last August, I was invited to be the National Geographic Photography Expert on board the National Geographic Sea Bird for the expedition to Alaska’s Inside Passage.  Every day was packed with great opportunities to see wildlife, such as humpback whales and bears, experience unbelievable landscapes and, using their fleet of zodiacs, get up close and personal to calving glaciers. Here are a few pictures from our first full day on board.  I hope this gives a flavor of what it’s like to travel with National Geographic and I encourage you to join us for one of our many adventures throughout the world.

The National Geographic Sea Bird docked in Juneau

The National Geographic Sea Bird docked in Juneau –  Canon 5D Mark III + 24-105mm

Our first glacier!  This is the South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord.  Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark III + 70-200mm

Our first glacier! This is the South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord. Photographed with a – Canon 5D Mark III + 70-200mm

The glacial ice is incredibly blue.  We were here on an overcast day and the colors were just amazing.  Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark III 70-200mm lens

The glacial ice is incredibly blue. We were here on an overcast day and the colors were just amazing – Canon 5D Mark III + 70-200mm lens

Along the steep walls of the Tracy Arm Fjord, we were treated with a small herd of Mountain Goats with their yearlings, grazing just few hundred yards from our zodiac  Photographed with a Canon 7D and a 70-300mm lens

Along the steep walls of the Tracy Arm Fjord, we were treated to a small herd of Mountain Goats with their yearlings, grazing just few hundred yards from our zodiac – Canon 7D + 70-300mm lens

I can't think of any place else that will deliver hot chocolate to your zodiac in water filled with icebergs. Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 24-105mm lens

I can’t think of any place else that will deliver hot chocolate to your zodiac while waiting to witness calving glaciers – Canon 5D Mark III + a 24-105mm lens

As we were transiting out of Tracy Arm Fjord, we came across this black bear, foraging for food along the water's edge.  The colors of the water and foliage really stand out against the black fur of this animal. Photographed with a Canon 7D 70-300mm lens

As we were transiting out of Tracy Arm Fjord, we came across this black bear, foraging for food along the water’s edge. The colors of the water and foliage really stand out against the black fur of this animal. Canon 7D + 70-300mm lens

Later that afternoon, we did a wet landing at Williams Cove to walk through the pristine rain forest and these colorful mushrooms were everywhere.  Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark III 24-105mm lens

Later that afternoon, a wet landing at Williams Cove took us to the pristine rain forest.  These colorful mushrooms were everywhere – Canon 5D Mark III + 24-105mm lens

In a couple of weeks, I am heading next to Central America with National Geographic Expeditions, where we’ll be in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, then on board the National Geographic Sea Lion which will take us down the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and Panama to explore the parks that are filled with wildlife, and, for the grand finale, a transit through the Panama Canal.  See you on board!

National Geographic Expeditions Photographer Susan Seubert in Alaska

Greetings!  I had the wonderful privilege of being the on-board Photography Expert for the week of May 22 on the National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska’s Inside Passage.  The week was packed with wildlife sightings, hiking, zodiac tours and kayaking – I can’t believe how fast the 8 day journey went!  We explored a lot of territory in a short amount of time, and being on board a small ship we were able to go places that larger vessels cannot.  I arrived with a large portion of the guests on a flight from Seattle to Juneau, from which we were whisked to a wonderful lunch.  Afterwords, we had an hour or so to peruse the Alaska State Museum, then we were off to Mendenhall Glacier, just 12 miles outside of the city center.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw 3 stand-up paddle-boarders in full wetsuits making their way through the icebergs towards the glacier.  The visitor’s center is quite nice, but I relished the time outdoors.  Later that afternoon we boarded the Sea Bird and were treated, as usual, to a delightful dinner.  Later that evening we set sail for the remainder of our adventure, which culminated with a brief tour of Sitka, its Russian Orthodox Church and the Alaska Raptor Center, which rehabilitates injured birds of prey.  More on this expedition in future posts but in the mean time, here are a few snapshots from the first 24 hours of our adventure.  You can see a web gallery of images from Alaska here.  Enjoy!

A Stand-Up Paddle-boarder (SUP) paddling through the icebergs at Mendenhall Glacier outside of Juneau

National Geographic Sea Bird anchored in Endicott Arm near Dawes Glacier

Zodiac excursions to see Dawes Glacier up close and personal

tasting the icebergs!

Multimedia Photographer Susan Seubert with National Geographic Expeditions in Alaska

Last week I spent aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird where we traversed Alaska’s Inside Passage.  The weather was constantly changing but it rained very little, much to my surprise and delight!  I will be writing more about this National Geographic Expedition in the next few days, but I was so excited about this footage that I felt that the blogsphere would be a better place if I could share the joy of watching a pair of Dall’s porpoises bow riding on the last day of our journey.  I was preparing for a slideshow presentation when I suddenly heard hoots of excitement coming from the front of the ship.  A group of these cetaceans had decided to join us and bow ride for a good deal of time.  For a while, there were as many as 5 in front of our ship, much to the delight of everyone on board.  People took turns looking over the bow as the animals jumped and played in the water.  I was fortunate enough to get some video footage of these amazing marine mammals.  Their distinguishing marks were made visible as they turned on their sides and it was wonderful to witness their agility as they frolicked in front of the ship.  I hope that the movie below transports you to Southeast Alaska for a moment and affords you a glimpse into what it’s like to be on board with National Geographic.

This video was made with a Canon 5D Mark II fitted with a 24-105 IS USM lens and processed in iMovie.

National Geographic Expeditions Photographer Susan Seubert heading to Alaska

Greetings!  After a month of surfing and shooting in Maui, I’ll be headed to Alaska’s Inside Passage for an expedition with National Geographic and Lindblad aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird from May 22-29, 2010.  Last night we saw at least six humpback whales off Ka’anapali Beach here on Maui and I’m looking forward to seeing more of these large cetaceans in Alaska where they migrate to their feeding grounds.  Here in the Hawaiian Islands, the whales mate and give birth, but they don’t eat, so they’ll be mighty hungry when they return to the colder waters of Alaska. If you’d like to join us on this expedition, please sign up here.  See you there!

National Geographic Expeditions "Alaska's Inside Passage"