Monday, May 21, 2018

Battle in the sky: Bald eagle and fox

Bald Eagle and Red Fox Tussling Over Rabbit, San Juan Island National Historical Park, Washington

There is no question that bald eagles are skilled hunters. They can spot a fish from a mile away and fly to it in under a minute.

But they’re also masters of something scientists call kleptoparasitism: the art of stealing food from others. In my book The Year of the Eagle, I documented bald eagles stealing food from crows, great blue herons and even other eagles.

A couple of days ago, however, I captured an especially dramatic act of thievery. I saw a bald eagle steal a rabbit from a young red fox. Even more impressive: at times, this battle played out more than 20 feet in the air.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The wind blows again

Erosion in Progress, Rucker Hill, Everett, Washington

As I wrote last month, wind can seem like an impossible concept to capture in a still image. But just a few days after posting about my experience in the wind in Pinnacles National Park, I found yet another opportunity close to home.

My latest wind image came on a day when I had set out to photograph nesting kingfishers. The birds weren’t cooperative, but because I had just written about the wind, the image at the top of this post practically jumped out at me.

For me, the image illustrates more than the wind. It also shows how assigning yourself ongoing projects can help you to break through creative logjams.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

What does the wind look like?

Sunset on High Peaks, Pinnacles National Park, California

You often hear of artists talking about their careers in terms of personal growth. Over the nearly 20 years I’ve been photographing nature, my vision has certainly grown.

In the beginning, I was satisfied with images that made nature look as pretty as possible. Today, I try to make images that are pretty but also communicate how I felt when I pressed the shutter button. And in Pinnacles National Park, California, last month, that meant I had to find a way to photograph the wind.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Behind the scenes: The horses of Assateague

Assateague Horse, Chincoteague Pony, Assateague Island, Virginia

There is just something magical about wild horses. I’ve photographed wildlife for nearly two decades now, blessed with incredible experiences with everything from bald eagles to penguins. But wild horses are truly in a category of their own.

I think it’s because while horses are not rare, wild horses are. There are only a half-dozen places in North America to even see wild horses. I recently got a chance to spend time with the horses in one of them: Assateague Island on the coast of Virginia and Maryland.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The legend of the troll rocks

Rainbow and Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks, Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

Iceland is a great place to be a troll. There are trolls all over the country, but you never see them — at least not in the flesh. Trolls must forever remain in the dark. Sunlight turns their skin to stone.

So they spend their days in mountain caves or under sea arches, venturing out only in the black of night. And in the rugged landscape of Iceland, there are plenty of places for trolls to hide from the sun.