Wildlife

Snacktime

Yesterday, at the bequest of my daughter, we went for a walk at Statter Harbor. Not to be one to miss an opportunity, I took a camera along and was rewarded with a peaceful Great Blue Heron, eating at shoreside. Take a look:


Moose

A little over a week ago, work sent me to Anchorage for a couple of days. Given some solo time in a new place, I took the chance to bring some camera gear along. I had initially planned to look for and photograph Sheep or Mountain Goat along the Seward Highway, but I was met with bare rock (and no animals). Fortunately, not being one to give up hope, I took a bit more of a scenic route on my return and came across a couple of moose! Enjoy!

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moose-3

moose-2

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Lawn Wildlife

Wildlife on the lawn as I was headed to work yesterday.

Wildlife on the lawn as I was headed to work yesterday.


Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

While we were in the Anchorage area, we stopped by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. None of us had been before, and I was like a kid in a candy store.

I’m enthusiastic about animal portraits. Something in me is wildly fascinated with the sentient look in the eyes of a wild creature. This time, I was able to get some images of some wildlife in captivity.

20140906_BearConservation


Solstice Outing

Not a bad capture for a solstice dawn outing... #alaskawildlife #grayheron #600mm #handheld

Not a bad capture for a solstice dawn outing… #alaskawildlife #grayheron #600mm #handheld


#egret #portraiture

#egret #portraiture

#egret #portraiture


Bear-y Cute Portrait!

Getting a portrait of an animal in the wild isn’t the easiest thing. I’ve done it before, but basically it’s a once-a-year type experience. It’s a matter of enough light, the right path, anticipation of their path, quickness behind the camera to get the appropriate focal point & composition, and then on top of all of that, it requires the animal to cooperate with it’s expression.

But, every once in a while, you get a break and all those things come together…

This is from a few weeks ago, take a look:

See more wildlife and fine-art images from 2012 here: http://photos.codyjbennett.com/fine-art/2012/


A Youngster

As I was driving along the road, in the distance I saw what looked like a cat just sitting and relaxing in my lane. As I came closer I realized it was a baby porcupine ambling for the woods. The sun had just set, but there was still enough warm light in the sky to capture some images of him… Take a look:

Check out other wildlife/fine-art photos here.


Douglas Morning

I’m slowly catching up.

Heather’s mom is back in Nevada. Weddings have slowed a bit (though I have another this weekend!) Travel has subsided, and Juneau weather has been poor. The perfect storm of catching up with my personal photo backlog!

These are from an early-morning outing to North Douglas. I think I was out the door at around 4:15, so the first few shots of the deer were still a bit on the dusky side of things (thank goodness for high ISO options). It was a good morning for variety. I don’t think I’ve ever captured bunnies/rabbits/hares/whatever-they’re-called before…

I heard one story of a photographer’s wife receiving a phone call early in the morning because a police officer had found her car parked in the median of the highway with the driver nowhere to be seen. It turned out he had gone for a walk when he saw the perfect light, and eventually returned to find police company. Go figure. Maybe we’re a bit absent minded when it comes to those sort of details?

I call this “A Photographer’s Car”… For obvious reasons… 🙂

As I’m driving around and see something I like to photograph, I often park the car and hop out. This photo was me realizing that I left it running, door open, in the middle of the road for nearly 20 minutes while I wandered down an unmarked path.

And my favorite shot from the day? It was one of the first ones I captured… I had gone out in search for some deer, and whatdya know, there they were:


Learning the Ropes

Technology is amazing. I’ve been playing with my new D4 for the past week and have been really excited about the potential it holds.

To start with, here are a few portraits at the office (cause I couldn’t wait to get home with it). I’ve run them through a bit of light post-processing. A couple black and white conversions, some noise reduction, and a smidgen of clarity and contrast adjustments.

Joel. ISO 12800, 200mm f5

This is Joel. And he’s strongly recommending that you attend his art show in July. See Harbors2012.com for more info!

My lovely wife. ISO 100, 85mm, f1.4

And of course, this is Heather. She is amazing. Nuf’ said!

Me! ISO 100, 85mm, f1.4

And me, in the comfy environs of my office. (Thanks Joel for capturing this image!)

And then, on my way to the car en route to an appointment I had to stop to notice the wildlife in the parking lot:

 

And lastly, I took it out for a morning with the birds, and found it to be quite the performer for it’s 11 frames per second… I joked with Heather earlier that it’s more likely that I’ll lose interest in the subject before the camera runs out of buffer to shoot! Here’s a (fairly rough) composite that I worked on this evening. 16 frames into one:

Needless to say, I’m excited about the camera and it’s potential in future weddings and other outings.

I’ve put up lots more from the bird and bug explorations. Take a look: http://photos.codyjbennett.com/fine-art/2012/

Stay tuned for more!

-cb


Steampunk Wedding & Bear, Oh My!

I thought I’d take a moment to post a couple pictures from a wedding I had the chance to attend last weekend. My friend Rhys had a themed wedding, and invited Heather & I to celebrate! It’s a rare occasion that I get to attend a wedding without a role in documenting it, so I was excited to see photos pop up online afterwards. The only time I took my camera out was to take a picture of Heather & I before we left the house, and then a few shots of a bear on the way home!

These 4 photos from the wedding were taken by Anna Miller on her iphone – I really like the instagr.am treatments she applied!

And then of course a keeper bear photo of my own. Nevermind that frumpy rump – it looks like it’s just losing the winter coat now that it’s looking a bit more like summer!


Impromptu Whale Watching

Tuesday at around 11:30 I got a call from Jayleen with an invitation to join her on her boat to take in the local sights for a whale-watch adventure. Not one to turn down a chance to get out on the water and spend some quality time with good people, I made it work with my office and sped out the door to run home for a camera before heading to Auke Bay.

The whales were fairly active but often elusive and scatter, but I had the most fun watching the sea lions anyhow. They always seemed intrigued with the boats and would at times pop up fairly close to take a look. Here are a few keepers from the day – you can see the rest here:
http://photos.codyjbennett.com/fine-art/2012/

This is what a 300mm with a 2x telextender on a DX body looks like... CLOSE!


3rd Annual Calendar

For the past couple of years, I have taken on the task of creating a photo calendar featuring some of my work from the past year. It’s a fun project for me to look back and find 12 of my favorite images, and of course my mom loves it because she can now brag about the artist, but still get’s her annual calendar from her son!  🙂

In reflection of my 2011 images, I didn’t think I had a strong enough collection in one particular vein to have strictly a Macro, Wildlife, Scenic, or other theme. But with Heather’s help, we were able to get it done. You can call this particular grouping, “photos that made the cut”! Ha!

For printing this year, I decided to go with one of our partners, Kodak Gallery. In the past I had used iPhoto, chosen for their fairly simple process to get a large, quality calendar. So many places offer calendars but at some minuscule size (like 8.5×11) which, to me, communicates mass-market cheapness. I’m a big fan of quality over price.

After receiving the calendars last week, I can say that I like the product. The size is more than adequate –14.25″x10.9″– (larger than the iPhoto calendar –13″x10.4″– that I’ve had previously), and the print quality gets a 7/10 ranking because while the quality of the print & paper was mostly amazing (9-10/10), the downside was that their printer obviously had some issues as there were color bands across many of the images (5/10). I haven’t decided if I’m going to chase down their quality control offices and demand a refund (reprinting is too late in the game for Christmas Gifting.) They may be expensive to make, but it’s fun to share, and most people can actually use it throughout the year!

If you don’t get one from me by new years and you REALLY, REALLY have to have one, let me know. I’m happy to order more, but you’ll cover the costs. 🙂

Here are the images (in order of how they appear in the calendar). Click for a larger view.

           


World Wide Photo Walk

Each year Scott Kelby coordinates an International Photowalk where thousands of photography enthusiasts come out of the woodwork to enjoy an outing with their cameras. Because of the world wide reach of Kelby’s influence, there are also some major names who come forward to sponsor the event and each participant has the chance to submit an image for consideration of impressive prizes.

Anyhow, today we had approximately 10 folks join in the Juneau fun. It was great weather, good company, and we even had the occasion of multiple forms of local wildlife.

Sadly, I don’t get the chance to submit a photo to be in the running for the grand prize, but I’m pretty sure I get to submit an image to be in the running for the Leaders competition.

These are my 5 top images from the day – enjoy!

 

 See these and more at my 2011 Fine Arts Gallery.

 


Garbage Bears

I love wildlife and I love people.

I hate it when one side of that duo become so familiar with its surroundings that it creates dangerous situation for the other.

Lately, on the UAS campus, there has been a bear who shows up to peruse the Mourant Building area looking for morsels. It’s a real bummer because now that the bear has visited on multiple occasions this week, the next step will likely be some intervention by some agency. (I presume darting or live capturing the bear to take it to some far-away area.) The bear is simply looking for a food source, and fortunately he didn’t find any on this trip, even after knocking over the bear-proof garbage can and getting up into the box recycling. The bear ambled away without much human interaction (save for my photo-taking)

This isn’t particularly a striking set of photography, but I believe that it is important to share when these things happen so that people can be more aware of the impact of their actions…

And I just noticed that this is a tagged bear (the top image, he has a blue mark near his ear). I don’t think that bodes well for our furry friend… 🙁

 


Early Mornings

In Juneau, during the summertime, we are blessed with more than 18 hours of daylight at the June solstice. Even now in late July, we get around 17 hours of daylight. I love these summer months for the bright early morning outings to spend time with wildlife. There’s something magical about sharing a look of curiosity with a purely wild creature. And, in the early, early hours of the day, you don’t have to fret as much about the most unpredictable species: humans. I am grateful for my quiet time in the wilderness before most people would even consider being awake.

This morning was another outing for me. There were a couple bears near the glacier this morning. I sat and watched one of them for nearly two hours; here are a few keepers…

 

And, I’ve been learning to appreciate fences too…

Oh, and there was a visiting eagle too. Man I love Alaska.


Recent Wild Things

It’s the summertime again, and so subsequently I’ve been out in the mornings and whenever I can taking more photos of the nearby wildlife. It amazes me to think that I can sit on a rock just 10 feet away from massive American Bald Eagles and they’re as ‘common’ as the crows down the beach. Living here certainly has it’s perks. 🙂


Juneau to Haines to Skagway to Juneau or Bust

Heather and I went on a great mini-roadtrip this last weekend. It was three nights away from town and I thoroughly enjoyed the time away from phones and email and other distractions to be able to sit and chat and giggle with my wife. It was our two year anniversary on Monday, and it’s a good reminder that we’re in love, not just the business of living together. Anyhow, I took my camera along for the drive too, expecting the weather to cooperate a bit. Here are my top selections from the images I brought back…

 

 

 

 

 


Morning Wildlife

Cinnamon (Black) Bear

This morning I was up by 3:15 and before the sun was up I had some breakfast and 30 minutes of reading under my belt (appropriately from Wild at Heart). Getting out the door at around 4:15, I headed out to catch up with my friend Bill for some bear searching near the Peterson Creek Meadows. On the way there, I saw four deer and a bear. Here’s a picture of one of the deer.

Sitka Black Tail Deer

After my brief stop, we made it out to the meadows and wandered about through the woods hoping for bear, but there wasn’t much more than a single pile of scat. It’s was a beautiful morning, but woefully slim on wildlife save for birds chirping incessantly. Of course, on the way back, there was more wildlife right along the highway… This time, it was two different bears…

Cinnamon (Black) Bear

You can see more images from the day at http://photos.codyjbennett.com/Other/2011/