I Just got back from Switzerland including the Matterhorn, Jungfrau, and Eiger peaks.We were based in Zermatt and Murren, surrounded by peaks over 11,000 ft to 14,000 ft and lots of alpine wildflowers. Although there were a few birds at the higher elevations I left my long lens at home and used entirely a 17- 40 f4 lens with Canon 5D mark IV and concentrated on landscape and flowers.
We photographed around Jackson Hole, Wyoming in Teton National Park the last week in Sept. It rained, snowed, was partly cloudy, and warmed up to 60 one day but that didn’t stop us. Temps ranged from 25 to 60 over a week. The Moose and Bears are out rain or shine but of course the sunrises and sunsets aren’t too good when it is totally overcast. Some of the best landscapes came right after the rain or snow cleared, which it did. I used my new Canon 5d mark IV with a 17-40mm wide angle lens for landscapes and a Canon 1dxII for wildlife with a 300 mm f2.8 and 1.4 extender.
After photographing the Bald Eagles we went up to Mt Rainier National Park to the Paradise area at around 5400 ft, which still had quite a lot of snow on June 25th. Reflection Lake is only a short distance from Paradise Inn and Visitor Center. It was partially thawed but still covered with ice and snow, but enough of the water to get a good reflection of Mt Rainier. I found that the best time was at sunrise for an hour or 2 as the water is more still, and you get a better reflection. Also the mountain was better lit with the rising sun and also better clouds than the previous night. You can see the difference in the 3rd photo with no clouds(sunset) and the sunrise images are all the rest. I shot with a 17 to 40 mm Canon Lens with the Canon 1dx mark ii and used varying focal lengths. Also I did multiple panoramas which I have not processed yet but will use 4- 5 exposure to stich together in Photoshop. The Flickers were done near the Paradise Inn with an equivalent of 420 mm lens.
More images from our Alaska trip with a few landscapes. The landscapes were on the Kenai Peninsula while the Bears were at Lake Clark across the Cooke inlet. We were able to get fairly close to the Bears with an experienced guide, which is essential, not only to find the bears but to be able to read their behavior and know how far to position ourselves safely. The welfare of the bears is the highest priority and our time was limited so as not to alter their behavior or interfere with their daily routines. The fact that we were in a coastal grassland habitat made it easier for us to spot bears at a distance and for them to see us well in advance. The problem is that if you surprise them in a forest on a trail with no visibility then they can get defensive or aggressive, especially with cubs. Also if you are in a group of 3 or more people they seldom attack if you stay close together and use common “bear sense”.
Black Bear Cub
” Why Don’t We Do It In The Road ?” The Beatles
Black Bear Cub Cinnamon
We spent 12 days in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton near Jackson Hole, Wy. Most of the wildlife was shot in the Lamar Valley in the NE section of Yellowstone east of Mammoth Hot Springs. We were there the middle of May until the 22 and it snowed once or twice with some rain. Temperature ranged from 29 to 45 at night and mostly in the 50’s to 60 days. This is a good time to go before the large influx of tourists although there already were plenty clogging the roads every time a bear appeared on the side of the road. Most of the wildlife was shot with a 300 mm f2.8 Canon lens with either a 1.4 or 2 x extender and a Canon 7d mark ii or the new Canon 1DX mark ii body The landscape was with a 17-40 mm wide angle mostly on the full frame body. There are more photos which I will post later.
We traveled to Banff, Alberta and north about 80 miles on the Icefields Parkway, one of the most spectacular drives in North America. The trip was mid Oct and late Fall with many of the Aspen leaves already dropped but not too cold yet. The temps were mostly in the low 50’s for a high and mid to low 30’s at night. It is just one jagged mountain after another and lots of lakes close to the road with good reflections at sunrise and sunset. You really need to get out there about 30 min before sunrise to get set up and wait for the first light on the mountains. The unknown is how many clouds are there and whether the pinks and reds color the reflections and sky. We saw no bears or Moose and only one elk. Birds were scarce with only 3 Bald Eagles, Gray Jays everywhere, and Magpies. Probably Summer and Spring are better, as this late in Fall most had migrated South already. Actually I was really going more for Landscape this time. There were 3 wolves but too far away for good photographs. The Bighorn sheep were just outside of Banff near the Norquay Lookout, but all females. We did not see one big male anywhere. The one lone elk was in downtown Banff !
Mostly I did all the landscapes with a Canon 5D mark III and
Canon 17-40 f4 lens and the wildlife a 400mm f 5.6 lens and Canon 7d. The female Bighorn by the Lake was also a wild angle lens.
We just got back last week from a trip to Glacier National Park in Montana with spectacular clouds and landscape views and some wildlife, but not very many birds. The Great Grey Owl and Northern Hawk Owl were hoped for but with no luck. The late winter and Spring are better for those but it was a great trip overall with temps ranging from 32 at night to about 68 for the highest. It snowed one day at the higher elevations above 7500 feet. Will post some more photos later.
From St Mary River, Glacier Nat Pk sunrise
A Bald Eagle flew over my head as the sun was rising and a Kingfisher was fishing in the stream but the landscape this time was the highest priority and I couldn’t change lenses.