Monday, January 30, 2017


Successful wildlife images require a healthy dose of timing and luck. Plus a bit of knowledge and experience. This image of two sparring male moose, taken in DENALI NATIONAL PARK, was a combination of both. When photographing in Denali, it helps to know prime wildlife locations, and the best time of day to find animals where you hope they will be.

Moose, caribou, and other mammals engage in dominance battles each fall in order to claim breeding rights. While these battles sometimes are fierce, more often they are like a slow dance of butting antlers and careful footwork. It is exciting to watch this behavior in action. We were fortunate that this particular battle took place close to the road and was relatively easy to photograph. 

On my annual photo tour to Denali, we always travel with an experienced naturalist driver. Naturalists know the area like their own backyards, and have extensive knowledge of where animals are likely to be and when. I trust them to help us find the best shots possible, and most of the time that pays off with great images. It was our naturalist who helped get us in position to capture this dominance display.

It is best to travel to Denali in the autumn when the animals look their best, and the fall colors are at peak. The great colors provide strong backgrounds for wildlife photography.

So I am excited to be taking a group once again to DENALI NATIONAL PARK this fall. The trip is September 2 - 8, and has 2 spaces left. Group size is kept to 10 so that everyone can get individual attention and personalized guidance.

On this trip you will learn how to best photograph wildlife, sweeping scenery, macro, and more. We are out everyday from morning 'til evening shooting, sharing, and learning. And after a full day of capturing exciting images, we return to our comfortable lodge for a chef-prepared dinner, image reviews, Q and A sessions, and great conversation.

Alaska is truly the Last Frontier, and now is the time to explore it with me and a small group of like-minded photographers. Reserve one of the last remaining spaces while you still can. Call me with questions at 757-773-0194. Details here

1/400 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1600. Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens set to 200mm on Canon 5D Mark III body.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Never stop exploring. With Mother Nature by your side, the possibilities are endless."  --Cheryl Aguiar

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Going, Going, Almost Gone

The Denali photo trip, coming up September 2 - 8, is going fast. Only 2 spaces left. If you have been thinking about an Alaska photo trip, now's the time to snag one of these last 2 spots.

Why do I lead trips to Denali each year? Because it is a stupendous, spectacular, exciting, unique place to be and to photograph. I absolutely LOVE Alaska. I lead three different trips to Alaska each year, and one of those is always to Denali.

This scene is one of my favorites. On calm days Denali (formerly called Mt. McKinley) and the beautiful sweep of the Alaska Range reflect in the appropriately named Reflection Pond. Autumn is the best time to be in Denali, when the colors of the tundra and trees rival those of New England. Rich reds, yellows, oranges, and golds are everywhere across the expansive landscape. It is also the best time to photograph the wildlife since they sport their full winter coats and mature antlers.

This was shot just before sunrise. The cool mist was rising from the water, rich warm fall colors lined the pond, and the cool blues of the snow-capped mountains combined to create a spectacular scene.

This is a scene that very few photographers ever get to experience. Located only a few minutes drive from our lodge deep inside Denali National Park, we will pass this location several times during our stay and will have the unique opportunity to photograph it at different times of day and in different types of light.

Of course we will also have many other photographic opportunities including grizzly bear, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, and much more.

Each day you will capture wonderful images of wildlife, scenery, and macro of tundra and other plants.  So if Alaska interests you, if you have always wanted to go, or even if you have been before, this trip is truly the Trip of a Lifetime. Call or email me with questions. I would be happy to fill you in on the details. Read more about the trip HERE 

1/60 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400.  Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens set at 24mm, on Canon 5D Mark III.  Gitzo tripod with ballhead.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere, the dew is never all dried at once. Eternal sunrise ... each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."  --John Muir

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Expreience The Grandeur and Adventure of Denali National Park

Join me for a rare opportunity to photograph deep inside Denali National Park in autumn. Autumn comes early to Alaska, and we will be there September 2 - 8 to catch the best of the wildlife, the fall colors, and the snow-capped Alaska Range. And of course we will see Denali, the highest mountain in North America.

The tundra spreads out before us for miles in shades of red, gold, and orange, and the wildlife are easy to find. We will have our own vehicle with a naturalist driver and will roam each day in search of moose, caribou, grizzly bear, and Dall sheep like this one resting on the tundra.

We will also photograph the sweeping landscapes and mountains from viewpoints that very few people ever have the opportunity to see.

Each evening we return to our well-appointed lodge for a chef-prepared dinner, photographic education, and image critiques.

We'll be in the best locations in all of Denali National Park, and will be there for several days. It doesn't get any better than this.

Even if you have been to Alaska before, you have never experienced it like this. So take advantage of this rare opportunity to really BE in Denali, truly our last frontier.  More details here

A deposit of $1595 will hold your space. To protect your security, all reservations are taken by phone. So please call 757-773-0194 with questions or to register.

1/1250 sec at f/6.3, ISO 800. Canon 5D Mark III body with Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them."  --William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Smokies Sunrise

Springtime in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spectacular sunrises are made even more photogenic with mist in the valleys. It's what the Smokies were named for - the famous and beautiful "smoky" look of these mountains in the early morning. When conditions are right, with warm days and cool nights, the mist hangs in the valleys and provides us with inspiring images.

These conditions are generally present in the spring and fall, and the upcoming spring trip, April 17 - 22, is timed to take advantage of this opportunity.

In addition, the wildflowers are in bloom everywhere, including rare lady slippers, dwarf crested iris, trillium, and so much more. And the flowing streams give us great opportunities for soft moving water shots.

To sweeten the pot, there is a $300 Early Bird discount if you register before February 1.

So if you love the mountains, wildflowers, fast moving streams, and a fun group to travel with, this is the trip for you! Details here, or contact me for more information.  

1/100 sec. at f/4, ISO 100. Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens set at 70mm on Canon 5D Mark III body. Gitzo tripod with ballhead.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Be thankful for every mountain, because it's the mountain top that will give you the best view of the world."  --Gugu Mona

Friday, January 13, 2017

Special Early Bird Discount Extended!!

Join me in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park April 17 - 22 for a spectacular wildflower display. And register NOW to take advantage of the special Early Bird discount which has been extended. Register before February 1 and take $300 off the workshop fee! 

The Wildflowers and Wildwater trip to the Smokies has great opportunities to photograph some of the most beautiful wildflowers anywhere. We'll also photograph the fast-running streams and waterfalls that the Smokies are known for, plus lovely mountain scenery. We'll photograph in some well-known spots, plus several tucked away secret places known only to a few. Top that off with spectacular sunrises and you have the perfect photo trip!

The workshop includes personalized instruction, educational information on macro, moving water, and more, plus creative techniques, image critiques, and some Lightroom instruction. And every day we will have a great deal of fun!

For details, see the Awake The Light website, or call me at 757-773-0194 for more information. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

Today's image is of the delicate bluebells that bloom in the Smokies for a short period of time in only a small handful of places. When fully open they are their famous blue color. They are small and require a few special techniques that I will teach you so you can get the best shots. We will also photograph trillium, dwarf iris, and dozens of other flower species that are great for macro.

So take advantage of the $300 discount while there is still time. Contact me soon with questions or to register.

1/320 sec. at f/3.5, ISO 400.  Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro lens on Canon 7D Mark II body.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light."  --Theodore Roethke