Monday, November 24, 2014

Mendenhall Glacier - Juneau, Alaska

My first time photographing a glacier!  Seeing Mendenhall Glacier was an awesome experience.  Even though the glacier has receded a lot in recent years, it is still incredible to see especially if you've never seen one up close before.  The colors, patterns and textures in the ice are beautiful.  It certainly whets my appetite to see more glaciers!  This was the first of several glaciers that we saw on our trip, although this is the only one we were able to get relatively close to.  The rest were seen either from the Alaska State Ferry or from across Chilkat Inlet on our hike in Chilkat State Park, Haines. 

Nugget Falls - Juneau, Alaska

I've been so focused on eagles with my Alaska posts that I sort of forgot about all these other cool images I have to share with you as well!  Such as this photo of Nugget Falls in Juneau.  This waterfall is right near Mendenhall Glacier and is AMAZING!  It makes for a great shot with a telephoto lens as well as up close and personal with a wide angle lens.  I made this photo with my Tamron 150-600mm lens from near the visitor center, about a half mile away from the waterfall.  We had seen this mountain biker come around the bend, riding along the shoreline of the lake below the glacier.  I waited, hoping he would ride in front of the waterfall and sure enough, he did!  It made for a great shot as well giving a good sense of scale to the size of the waterfall.  The waterfall is quite tall (according to sources online it drops 377 feet in two tiers of 99 feet and 278 feet); this photograph shows less than half of its total height. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Attempted Robbery

I've decided to share another action sequence of the eagles with you today!  This is what happens when one eagle is snacking on a dead salmon and another eagle comes in and tries to take it.  Sometimes the intruding eagle is successful and makes off with what remains of the fish.  Other times the intruding eagle goes away empty handed, as seen here.  It looks like the eagle is going to get away with the fish in this instance, but for some reason he lets go and flies off without it. Sorry I didn't get the full sequence of him flying away empty handed.  My finger must have let up on the shutter because I got this series of 3 images of him flying in to try and take it, and the 4th image shows him flying away already halfway out of the frame.  Whether the attempted robberies are successful or not, one thing is for certain: the interactions are always a lot of fun to watch!   I love how the eagle in the background is just sort of standing there, innocently watching the interaction between the two eagles in the foreground :-)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Foggy Evening in the Chilkoot River Valley

Here is another image of an eagle and its surrounding environment taken along the Chilkoot River in Haines, Alaska.  This valley was one of the unexpected highlights of our trip.  We knew it would be beautiful, but we had no idea just how beautiful it was going to be!  We ended up going back to this valley on two more occasions and each time we found things that were were well worth the trip, like this eagle perched in the fog.  Alaska has surprises around every corner :-)

Chilkoot Eagle in Spruce Tree

As much as I enjoy photographing the action of eagles interacting with each other (and don't worry, there are more of those images to come!), I also enjoy looking for scenes of single eagles within their surrounding environment.  The other day we came across one such environmental scene, where this solitary eagle was perched in a spruce tree and the tree was absolutely LOADED with cones!  I thought it made for a fascinating image.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bald Eagle's Morning Reflection

The past week in Alaska has provided for countless opportunities for creative images of bald eagles.  This photo was taken yesterday morning as the sun was starting to poke through the thick fog that was dominating the valley.  The soft, warm sunlight filtering through the fog made for some nice accent lighting on the eagle.  This is one of my favorites eagle images so far from this trip :-)

Dawn over the Chilkat Mountains

Here's a little taste of the stunning scenery that we've been enjoying for the past week.  Taken on our way to watch the eagles for the day along the Chilkat River just outside of Haines, Alaska.  The Haines Highway offers countless stunning views of the river and the mountains as you make your way out to the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.  On the morning this photo was made we stopped at a location where the mountains were reflecting beautifully in the river.  The clouds and colors that morning were superb.  It's going to be hard to leave all this beautiful mountain scenery when we head back home!