Alaskan Cruise April 2018

pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooterwestern IndianaPosts: 14,282Super Moderators moderator
edited May 16, 2018 in Wildlife

My spouse and I just finished our third trip to Alaska with Muench Workshops on the MV Northern Song. We were hoping for whales, birds, orcas and maybe if we got lucky a couple bears. We did not faire well on humpbacks, but we did see eagles galore, and several bears along Tracy Arm on the way to Sawyers Glacier.

We spent a weekend in Sitka before the workshop began with Dan Evans, an old friend of mine who we hired to take us out boating locally around Sitka. Dan is a wildlife photographer and he really knows how to position his boat for lighting and framing of a subject.

We shot several frames of this bald eagle before he lofted, and continued to capture him as he flew off across the mountains in the background

1DX Mk II and Tamron 150-600 at 400mm ISO 400 1/1600th f8

We did see a few grey whales in Sitka Sound with their typical double spout/spray

70D Tamron 16-300 zoom at 24mm 1/320th f8 ISO 125 cropped a fair bit as it was shot in landscape orientation

We spent a few hours at the Raptor Center in Sitka Saturday afternoon - this rough shinned Hawk was captured inside a large cage shooting through fine dark nylon netting so it is not the best image, but I rather like it considering I had to photograph through the netting of the enclosure...

Canon 5D Mk IV and a Canon 100-400 v2 at 400mm 1/500th ISO 500 f5.6

We saw several colonies/groups of sea lions along the steep sides of Tracy or Endicott Arm

1DX Mk II and Tamron 150-600 at 309mm ISO 6400 1/1600th f8

And of course we saw a few eagles, and several young juvenile eagles as well

1Dx Mk II Canon 100-400 v2 at 312 mm ISO 800 1/1600th f5.6

I have more images here - https://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Travel/Alaska-2018-Sitka-Petersburg-Inland-Waterway-on-the-Northern/

I heartily encourage comments, suggestions and criticisms of each and every image.

Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin

Comments

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 11,922Super Moderators moderator

    There are some wonderful shots in your gallery. I think I need to look through them a few more times to pick my favorites.

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,236Administrators moderator

    From your gallery, if you don't mind. Looks like the same rock as your first shot in this thread. I Love this.

    As I've gotten older for some reason I tend to gravitate towards shots with more, "sense of place" like this.

    Loooove the bear shots in your gallery too. Looks like you had a great trip.

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 11,922Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 2, 2018

    Here are a few from your gallery that really stand out to me.

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,282Super Moderators moderator

    Thanks for your comments Joel and Denise.

    We really had flat mirror water only a very limited time despite, being in Alaska on the water for 12 days. We did have some great reflections back in the depths of Tracy Arm since the canyon walls were so high, which is the second image you posted Denise. And we had maybe 20 minutes of that blue mirror in the image of the eagle near the end of the trip - but we had real difficulty getting any birds to join our efforts. That was the only eagle in that nice blue mirror I think.

    I'm glad you liked my bear portraits Joel - several of them were captured at the Fortess of the Bear which is a facility in Sitka that Les Kinnear operates, as a labor of love for the bears for 20+ years. We got very close to a large grizzly there - seperated by 3 inch steel bars - its head was almost 2 feet across. Massive. Yet it would follows Les commands, like a puppy dog.

    The black bears on the grey rock were captured in Tracy Arm I think, and were wild.

    We spent two days on the water before the workshop with Dan Evans on his boat out of Sitka, and I must say he really has a good eye to put one so that you can capture wildlife with a great background behind it - like the eagle shot you liked Joel. I have a whole series of images from that scene - I may work up some more of them.

    Whale tail images really don't do a lot for me usually, but I do like this one with the background

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,282Super Moderators moderator

    Funny thing, Denise, otter pictures are usually just a ball of wet fur - but the nice colors in the water really sets that one off I think. I may have to give Dan Evans credit for that one too.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 11,922Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 3, 2018

    @pathfinder said:
    Funny thing, Denise, otter pictures are usually just a ball of wet fur - but the nice colors in the water really sets that one off I think. I may have to give Dan Evans credit for that one too.

    I liked both the colors and what I read as contentment on the otter's face (I know, my imagination...).

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,265Registered Users Major grins

    Epic! Wow!

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 19,746Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 3, 2018

    Wonderful captures of dramatic vistas through intimate animal portraits! (Genuine envy.)

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,282Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 5, 2018

    Thanks for commenting guys, and gals. I am fortunate to have a spouse who has really developed a love of wildlife photography - she's getting pretty good at it too, as you can see at nightingale.smugmug.com

    So I get to accompany her as we wend our way through the remaining years of our time here on this beautiful planet. I am very fortunate.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Major grins MauiPosts: 672Registered Users Major grins

    These are freaking remarkable!! I'm so grateful that you took the time to share these beautiful images with the rest of us. Huge Mahalo to you!!

  • jayegirljayegirl Major grins DFW, TXPosts: 244Registered Users Major grins

    Stunning.

    Jaye
    My smugmug: https://jayegirl.com
  • jerryrjerryr Smugmug Customization Posts: 498Registered Users Major grins
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,282Super Moderators moderator

    Thanks JB, Jaye, and jerry - Alaska is a fantastic place to experience, I recommend it highly.

    Here is an image of humpback whales bubble net feeding, shot from the Northern Song on our first trip back in 2012, demonstrating what we were hoping to see again, but did not get to see in 2018

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,236Administrators moderator

    ^^ Great shot, Jim. It reminds me of one that my daughter shot when we were out on my friend's boat. https://www.desertilluminations.com/Animals/California-Wildlife/i-THn5wKD/X2

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,282Super Moderators moderator

    Cool series of shots, Joel!

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandPosts: 11,996Administrators moderator

    I must have missed this thread when it was posted. Jim, these are spectacular. And I do like the whale tale image - a lot. Now I need to go look at the entire gallery.

    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
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