When I saw the subject of this week’s challenge, I thought of many photos but ended up choosing this one from a 2012 trip to Alaska. We had just landed and set up camp for a week with the Brown Bears in the Katmai. We took a short walk from our camp and watched as some of the bears grazed in the field. We eventually followed this bear as he made his way to the stream, plopped down, and immediately dozed off. He didn’t seem to mind at all that the 5 of us were nearby clicking away with our cameras – He was much too relaxed to care…
I’m in the process of backing up my thousands of photos and combining some of my Libraries. As I transferred some files from one our Alaska trips I started to look through some of the pics. Couldn’t resist sharing this one with you before the holidays – hope you all have a great holiday season!!
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge “ROY G. BIV”, I took this photo yesterday as we were flying into Anchorage Alaska. We were approaching the landing and flying low over a series of ponds and creeks with the sun coming directly across the water. Between the water’s reflections and the polarizer on my lens, it produced these beautiful effects on the water – a nice fit for this week’s challenge.
I’ve posted a few photos from our 2013 trip to Alaska but haven’t used my first picture taken at dawn at Silver Salmon Creek. I think this fits the theme “Early Bird” perfectly. The sun was just coming up across the inlet with the sky and mountains on the other side showing their colors. The Bear that was out on the tidal flats was still just a silhouette but I love the mood of this photo. Every time I look at this one, it brings me back to that early, but perfect, morning.
Here’s my response to this week’s challenge “Blur.” Photographers frequently use a narrow depth of field to isolate the subject from the surroundings. Its a great technique unless you happen to get the focus point just slightly wrong and catch perfect focus on another portion of the photo while the subject is just a shadow. This is one of my favorite examples of that happening. I was trying to take a photo of a tufted puffin in Alaska who was taking off directly away from the boat we were in. The puffin was my intended focal point but I missed and got some of the “spray” from his hopping take-off instead. I still like the photo as it catches the action as well as a crystal clear image of where the puffin used to be…..
Its been a while since I’ve posted any bear photos. I’ve been thinking a lot about our bear trips lately as we’ve had to cancel for this year because our guide has been fighting a lengthy illness. We are already planning our trip for next year but I’m really missing our time with these incredible animals. With that in mind, I’ve been looking at some of the shots from last year and reprocessing some of them to improve the images. This was another that we took at Silver Salmon Creek in Alaska. This bear was the only persistant fisher while we were there but he wasn’t very skilled so we never did see him catch a salmon. That didn’t diminish the thrill and enjoyment of watching him charge after the fish while only a few yards away from my friend Ross (the Scot) and I. My wife Dee was often just a few feet away and she always has a great time watching the wild photographers watch and photograph the Bears. Here’s a good example of what we are missing this year but also preparing for next year.
I should also mention that I watched the movie “Ted” last night and even that made me miss our bear adventures…… 🙂
I thought I’d post a photo in honor of the opening of the Disney movie “Bears” in theaters this weekend. If you haven’t seen the trailers for the movie it looks like another amazing Disney animal movie which follows a Brown Bear family in Alaska. Having spent several weeks with the Bears in Alaska, I can’t wait to go see this one – Today! Hope that this photo motivates you to go see more of these wonderful animals at the movie – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!!
This photo was taken at Silver Salmon Creek in Alaska during an early morning clamming session. The cubs were “learning the trade’ and also trying to beat the gulls to any leftovers from what mom found……
As soon as I saw this challenge subject I thought of this photo that I took a few years back. I’d say this Brown Bear was either at, or just past, the threshold as he jumps into the stream after a salmon breakfast……
I also love to take photos of old abandon structures. I chose this one of an old house in the town of Ninilchik, Alaska. There were a number of these types of old abandoned houses and boats. I liked this one because of the see-through window and the flowers surrounding it. I chose to make it a black and white and then just added a little color back into the flowers but left them unsaturated…. happy Friday!
Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words…..
We just had a beautiful christmas day here in San Diego but I went back to my Alaska files and pulled out this quiet and serene scene from Halibut Cove, Alaska for this post. It was a wonderful, quiet area where all the residents know each other and enjoy their isolation from the larger community of Homer across the bay. Peaceful….
While in Alaska this summer we were waiting for a bear to come across the field toward us when we saw this small dark animal moving about 100 yards away. We decided to go investigate and we found this very nice porcupine wandering through the high grass. I had never seen one before in the wild. He was kind of hard to get a photo of as he kept ducking into the grass and facing in all the wrong directions. I finally did get one decent shot of him with his face toward me and with his claws exposed. Hope you enjoy this rare sighting (at least for me).
Earlier in the week I posted a composite photo called “Spirit Bear” which is also posted below. I also wanted to share the original photos that I used for that composite as I thought they were pretty good Brown Bear photos in their own right. The first one is a close-up of a bear we called the fishing bear as he seemed to be the most interested in a fish diet as opposed to just grazing in the sedge fields. He was actually standing in the middle of a salmon stream when this photo was taken.
To make the background of the composite photo, I applied an oil painting filter to the photo, converted it to a textured sepia tone and then applied a white vignette to give it more of a drawing look. The second photo I used was a photo of the same bear charging after a fish (he didn’t get it). I just overlaid that photo on the portrait in photoshop, resized it into the lower right corner and then masked out the parts of the photo that I didn’t want.
In case you forgot, here is the composite….
Its time for another Photoshop experiment. I am still enjoying exploring what you can do with this program without spending alot of time in trying to come up with perfect versions of my experiments. I thought it would be fun to combine a couple of shots of the same animal into a single photo. I took one of my close up views of a beautiful brown bear from Alaska this summer and used one of the creative filters to make it look like an oil painting to give it kind of surreal look. I turned it into a sepia toned portrait and added a vignette around the subject to fade out the details around the edges. I then superimposed an action photo of the same bear into the corner and masked out the extraneous details. While it is by no means perfect, I like the overall effect of the result. Hope you enjoy also…….
I was just going through some of my photos from Alaska and came across another nice example of a dominant “hue” – the yellow tones of this early morning view of the Homer, Alaska harbor. It was a beautiful morning there with great colors all around. We were waiting for our morning coffee when I spotted this planter on a porch railing. It fit right in with the other overall tones of the morning but added a few more tones and colors from the flowers. I can still feel the morning sun when I look back on this photo. Hope you enjoy this to start your week….
In approaching this challenge I just looked at how we approached the color palette for our remodeled master bedroom. The room has numerous french doors and windows looking out at our backyard which backs up on Balboa Park in San Diego. As you can imagine, green is the dominant color and then it is accented by some amazing built-in wood furniture that we had custom made for the room. Although it is a small room in has the feel of the great outdoors. Looking around the rest of the house, the theme is the same, greens and browns accentuated by wood accents – all very natural feeling. So I started to look for a photo also reflecting that theme and it became very easy as I had one of my favorite photos from our recent trip to Alaska on my desktop. The out-of-the camera version of this photo had very vivid greens from the sedge field that I wanted to tone down a little. To do that, I surrounded the adorable subjects of the photo with a white vignette. Interestingly, it very closely matches the colors in the room I am sitting in as I write this….
Well, it looks like our artificial political crisis is about to end. There has been billions of dollars of damage to our economy, much hardship to all of the people affected by the government shutdown, a needless hit to our reputation as a credible world economic leader, and a large amount of angst worldwide. All of this resulting in a very short-term agreement and one that was essentially approved by the senate (with the president’s support) over a month ago. Throw in the fact that most of this was driven by representatives of a very small percentage of the American people and this becomes even more concerning. Congress really needs to re-evaluate how the process is meant to work versus how it was allowed to collapse this time in order to avoid the next crisis – already scheduled for just a few months from now.
I’ve chosen this photo of an American symbol, the bald eagle, for todays post. My selection was guided by two intents:
1) to remind my countrymen and their representatives that we are all Americans and should be joined by our values, our heritage, and our place in the world to work together to solve the hard but soluble problems that confront us as a nation, and
2) this particular eagle did not appear to be in a very good mood but I think it reflects the feelings of the vast majority of Americans that we are disgusted with some of our elected “leaders”. While the eagle has the option of flying out, killing something, and eating it…..we only have the option to exercise our right to vote – and I, for one, will.
I hadn’t posted a landscape for a while (I’m always intimidated by my friend Jeff Sinon’s photos) but I thought I’d post this one of a beautiful evening in Homer Alaska. We had finished with our wildlife searches for the day and just went down to wander around by the Homer Spit (a thin peninsula and harbor) to take some sunset pics. We kept getting buzzed by a guy in a powered para-glider so I thought I’d try and capture him in a sunset photo looking across to the mountains on the other side of Kachemak Bay.
This one was pretty easy. Besides getting my morning coffee as discussed in the post announcing this challenge, I often grab a camera and try to capture something during the morning “golden hour”. When we were at Silver Salmon Creek in Alaska, we had a very lucky morning with the convergence of good morning weather at sunrise, low tide, and some bears out for an early meal of clams. We got up about 5 am, grabbed some quick coffee, then headed out for the tidal flats. Here is part of greeting committee with a hearty “good morning”!
Here’s a shot that I took in the early morning at Silver Salmon Creek. It was on a beautiful morning out on the tidal flats. Mom was teaching the cubs how to clam. She once again showed her comfort with bringing the cubs near to us humans. Don’t ask me why I thought this might be a decent candidate for a B&W treatment. I kinda like it….what do you think?
The first day we arrived in Homer, Alaska my wife and I went for a short hike in a nearby park to see if we could find a moose in the swampland. After about an hour, I heard some branches crackle to my right and turned to get this view of a Moose. I quickly scanned the area to see if there were any calves around but I didn’t see any. I called to my wife who was behind me on the trail and told her she was about to get a visitor. A few seconds later the moose calmly walked by her and proceeded toward the swamp. It was a nice way to begin the wildlife part of our trip and it turned out to one of only a few moose that we saw during our trip. It was an unexpectedly close encounter in a densely wooded area but one that stayed calm and quiet as we all went our own way…..
We had some great opportunities for close encounters with a couple of bear cubs at Silver Salmon Creek, Alaska. This was actually taken during one of our first “sessions” with the Momma bear and cubs. This little guy wandered up very close to us (much closer than her mom) as he was grazing and then looked up and almost looked surprised that we were that close. I really liked the grass hanging out of its mouth – kinda makes it really look like a country bear cub.
Once again this challenge relates to some of my recent posts – of Puffins in Alaska. I have to admit this photo is not only an unusual POV – it is actually a mistake! I was trying to get a sea-level view of a tufted puffin take off run where they skip across the water before flying. Everything went fine except that with the boat rocking and the inaccuracies of the photographer (me), the focus point ended up being on one of the “hop” splashes instead of the bird. On the positive side, as soon as I downloaded this photo, I really like the effect of the focused splash with the bird ghosted going away from the camera. Since this Challenge is part of the ongoing Photography 101 series, the other camera settings that contribute to this shot were a fast shutter speed to freeze the action (1/1000 sec) and a relatively wide aperture for a narrow depth of field (f 5.6). I hope you enjoy my mistake!
Just thought I’d post a photo from the beautiful little harbor on the Homer “spit”. On nice days like this one, the harbor always provides some spectacular landscapes. This photo features the totally still water of the harbor reflecting a picteresque cloud cover in the morning.
We were most privileged to share this wonderful morning with our friends Jay and Adele who live in Homer in the summers and were nice enough to take us out on their boat for a tour of the bay .