Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Revisiting Antelope Canyon

Sand Falls, Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation, Arizona

“Kevin, you have two minutes… starting now!”

The guide’s words echoed throughout the narrow sandstone canyon. I’m sure everyone — at least 50 people — heard. Those words were a notice to other guides to keep their tour groups back and out of the scene I was photographing. They also put me on notice that I had to work fast.

Antelope Canyon had certainly changed since the last time I photographed it more than 17 years ago.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The white deer

Piebald Deer

White deer are almost mythical beings. Almost every culture has a legend about them.

One Native American legend states that when two white deer come together, all the indigenous people will unite. In Japan, another story goes, 800 years ago an entire herd of white deer appeared to celebrate the opening of a temple. European stories either talk about the misfortune suffered by hunters who killed one or the fruitless attempts to take one by people like King Arthur.

After having the chance to spend time with a deer that was mostly white, I understand how they have achieved that status.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

When fog is more than fog

Morning Fog, Sparks Lake, Oregon

One of the biggest challenges a visual artist faces is capturing people’s attention — and then keeping it. Compelling art captivates people. It inspires them to look around and appreciate every inch. Most pictures, however, are lucky to get more than a few seconds of anyone’s time.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Exploring the moon from here

Half Moon

I’ve used the moon as a prominent feature in my landscape photography for almost as long as I’ve been a photographer. One of my goals is to show that our world is alive — that it’s different from one moment to the next. The moon plays more of a role in that than most people realize.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Eagle, fox, rabbit: One year later

Bald Eagle and Fox Fighting Over Rabbit in Midair, San Juan Island, Washington

It was just over a year ago that I caught the sequence of a bald eagle and young red fox struggling over a rabbit in midair. Since then, the image has run in newspapers from Moscow to Sydney, on network television and been honored by the National Audubon Society.

It was quite a ride — and not just for the fox. Given the new attention the work is receiving, I thought I would share some thoughts on the past year as well as a few images from that encounter that I haven’t previously shared.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The modern cliff dwellers

Great Horned Owl Nest, Montezuma Well, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona

The Montezuma Castle wasn’t built for the Aztec leader. It isn’t even a castle. But it and the other cliff dwellings in central Arizona are still supporting life to this day, even though people haven’t lived in them for 600 years.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Art and Instagram

Burrowing Owls Cuddling, Zanjero Park, Gilbert, Arizona

I’ll be honest with you. I’m sharing this image because I know it will do well on Instagram.

Even though I consider myself a nature photographer — I photograph wildlife and wilderness! — on social media, my wildlife images take priority. It’s the animals that get the digital hearts from my followers.

This image should hit all the right buttons. Owls are always cute. Burrowing owls are among the cutest. Two burrowing owls cuddling should be off the charts.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

First light on balsamroot

First Light on Balsamroot, Fawn Peak, Washington

Balsamroot is a member of the sunflower family, so it seemed only appropriate to photograph a hillside of the golden flowers in the first light of day. I also wanted to photograph the wildflowers in a way that illustrated how they can absolutely dominate the landscape for a couple of weeks in the early spring.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The stray dogs of Puerto Rico

Stray Dogs on Beach, Vieques, Puerto Rico

These dogs don’t look happy — and they’re not. While they’re on one of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches on the island of Vieques, they’re among the 200,000 dogs in Puerto Rico that were abandoned or abused and left to fend for themselves.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Vieques National Wildlife Refuge is full of life

Gulf Fritiallary Butterflies, Vieques, Puerto Rico

I like to use contrast in images. Often that contrast comes from light and dark. Other times it's from opposite colors.

In Puerto Rico, I had an opportunity to capture contrast in two butterflies — and the contrast was essentially the element of time.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The “new” thing for better photography

Winter Sun Through Snowy Forest

Photographers are conditioned to always need something new.

Often it’s equipment. We’re bombarded with ads for new cameras and lenses that somehow will immediately make our art better.

For nature and wildlife photographers, it’s also locations. There’s always some hot new location that promises incredible opportunities that are like none we’ve ever seen before.

But there’s one new thing that will make an even bigger difference in your photography. It’s attitude.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Remembering the monarchs

Cluster of Monarch Butterflies at Dawn, Pacific Grove, California

It was the spring of 1980 and one of our final kindergarten projects involved watching a pair of caterpillars transform into monarch butterflies. For weeks, we watched them feed on milkweed leaves and then disappear into their chrysalises. When they finally emerged as butterflies, we took them outside to the playground and set them free.

That experience in the classroom near Seattle, Washington, was one of my favorites in school and helped give me an even greater appreciation for nature. It took nearly 25 years, but I finally got a chance to photograph monarchs in their wintering grounds in Pacific Grove, California — butterflies that were perhaps 100 generations removed from the ones we helped raise.

That winter in California, I found clusters of monarchs so dense they somewhat resembled leaves. Since then, the numbers of butterflies have plummeted, each year reaching a new record low.