Glacier Bay, Alaska

Mount Fairweather, Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay, July 14-20, 2011 Photo Tour with Don Paulson

Our trip started in Hoonah, a small native fishing town a short flight from Juneau.  Within minutes of leaving the harbor we spotted our first humpback whale, with several more sightings on our way to Glacier Bay National Park.  One large whale swam under the boat, its huge tail visible under the water.
But with avid birders and bird photographers aboard, our main focus turned to the abundant population of sea birds.  Captain Ronn identified each species for us while keeping the boat in good position for photography.  Large flocks of red-necked phalaropes took to the air in beautifully choreographed motion.  We drifted by limestone cliffs with black-legged kittiwakes nesting on every available ledge.  I was lucky enough to photograph a tufted puffin with several fish in its bill.
The following day we negotiated our way through a maze of ice bergs in the Zodiac to get a close-up view of a tidal glacier, its shear face towing above the saltwater.  Being able to photograph the amazing shapes and colors of the ice bergs from the Zodiac was a big bonus.
Captain Ronn led us on a walk through a muskeg bog with carnivorous plants, drifts of orchids and contorted pines that would honor any bonsai garden.  We paddled kayaks through a shallow bay to a seldom visited meadow filled with wildflowers.  That evening’s desert was topped with wild strawberries.
Our visit to the Margarie Glacier required that I be stationed on the bow with a long pole to push away chunks of ice as we slowly worked our way toward the glacier.  As I was pushing a piece of ice away from the bow of the boat, a large orca whale surfaced with a loud exhaling of breath.  It was so close I could have touched it with the pole.
We spotted a lone wolf and a few brown bears from the boat.  Sea otters were quite numerous but hard to photograph up close because they quickly shy away.   Sea lions weren’t the least bit shy.  In fact dozens frolicked and played alongside the boat while we took photos.
Our memorable trip came to a close with a breaching whale that came completely out of the water and a serene sunset with shafts of light streaming through a golden mist.
Dolphin Charters in Glacier Bay
Tufted Puffin
Humpback Whale Tail
Muskeg, Glacier Bay National Park
Sealions, Inian Islands, near Elifin Cove

Off to Alaska!

The M/V Delphinus in Glacier Bay

Kathy and I will be flying to Juneau tomorrow and then to Hoonah where we meet the Delphinus and the other guests.  Our first week will be exploring and photographing in Glacier Bay National Park.  Kathy will return home after our first week and I will stay for a second nine-day photo tour.   Our second tour will concentrate on photographing wildlife, primarily whales and bears.  The tour ends in Wrangell with a jet boat ride up the Stikine River.  I’ll be staying in Wrangell for a couple extra days of photography and will fly home August 2nd.

Happy 4th of July!

Poulsbo Fireworks display

I took a few photos of the Poulsbo, WA fireworks display last night (July 3rd) experimenting with different camera settings.


Here’s the settings I used on this image:

F18 at 20 seconds, ISO 125, 75mm lens, Canon 5D MKII in AV mode. RAW file processed in Adobe Camera Raw.  Several of my shots were set at F16 at 30 seconds, ISO 200 with good results.  This photo was taken during the grand finale.  With more fireworks happening at once I lowered the ISO to 125 and raised the aperture to F18.  In AV mode the proper exposure was made in 20 seconds.

Old Growth Forest







When it comes to favorite places, the old growth forests of the Olympic Mountains ranks right up there.  Recently I spent the day photographing in the pristine forest along the South Fork Skokomish River. Being in the company of towering Douglas fir trees over 800 years old is an awe-inspiring and humbling experience especially in early summer  when the “Green Machine” is at its peak performance with conifer boughs tipped with lime green and understory plants in heated competition for scarce sunlight.  The shades of green, earthy smells and stillness of the forest is the perfect recipe for creativity and my day in the forest passed in bliss.

Agnes Gorge Waterfall

Waterfall at the end of the Agnes Gorge Trail

Here’s a photo of a waterfall at the end of the Agnes Gorge Trail (accessed from Stehekin).  Normally a small trickle, the spring snow melt turned it into a beautiful cascade tumbling over terraces of granite.  The sun streaming through the trees and a rainbow glowing in the mist made an interesting scene.

From Stehekin, Washington

Kathy and I are enjoying our stay in Stehekin,  a small community at the head of Lake Chelan (a scenic 50 mile boat ride from Chelan).   Yesterday we walked up to the old Stehekin school house and then to the Historic Buckner Orchard and Homestead.  I had a great time photographing all the old farm implements while Kathy concentrated mainly on the grounds and buildings.  So much water was raging down Rainbow Falls that we couldn’t get our cameras close enough to photograph it.  Today we are going to take the shuttle bus to the end of the road and hike the Agnes Gorge trail.


Welcome to my ALL-NEW website!  Take a look around and let me know what you think.  I’ve tested everything on my computer, but I would appreciate hearing from you if you find something that’s not working right on your computer. 

Special thanks to Anne Plummer from IvyCat Website Services!  Anne guided me through the design process and did all the heavy lifting for putting the website together. IvyCat took care of all the behind the scenes work so that my website will function smoothly and be properly recognized by search engines.  Anne even came to my house and trained me on how to use Word Press to add all the content. 

So check back again soon, I plan to add more photos from recent trips as well as updates on this blog.