Wildlife Photography Classes

Wild Turkeys in California

I’m excited to be teaching two new “Wildlife Photography” classes, and one more “Mastering Your SLR”. Hope some of you can make it out!

The Wildlife Photography classes are at the Edmonton Valley Zoo and are on January 7th and April 1st. You can register for them by going to the City of Edmonton’s site at ereg.edmonton.ca (course codes 571161 and 588946) or by calling 311 in Edmonton.

Mastering Your SLR is in St. Albert on January 8th. You can register at stalbertphotoclasses.com/wp/mastering-your-slr/.

Happy Thanksgiving! I thought I’d celebrate with some live wild turkeys. The photo is taken in Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve near Palo Alto, California.
150mm, f4, 1/640 of a second


Alpine Lakes in the Cline Pass

The October 16th Mastering Your SLR class is filling up fast, but there are still a few spots left!

For those of you wondering what I’ve been up to: the last couple of months I’ve been honing my leadership, teaching, and outdoor skills. It’s been a challenging and interesting journey that’s taken me down a few rivers, up into the mountains, and even inside a classroom. It has filled up most of my days, and I’ve missed time for focusing on my photography and posting updates here. I hope I get a chance to write down some of the stories and share some of the photos here soon.

Photo taken in the White Goat Wilderness Area
12mm, f10, 1/400 of a second

Solo Backpacking

Cataract Creek Camp

Before I jump off into my next adventure, I wanted to share at least one glimpse of my last one. I went through three mountain passes in two national parks, camping in a wilderness area in between. It was absolutely beautiful and very quiet besides the soft clucking of a white tailed ptarmigan near my campsite.

For anyone trying to reach me in the next month, I will be out of cell range for the entire month so my next chance to get back to you will be in September.

Taken in the White Goat Wilderness Area.
24mm, f11, 5 seconds

Absence of a Crowd

Tropical Beach at Night

It’s strange to me how much the presence or absence of people changes my experience of a place. In the daytime this beach is bustling with activity, which many people seem to enjoy so much. For me, it’s too much going on. I feel like I have to keep track of it all and I can’t, and that gets stressful. With a dedicated effort of willpower I can start to ignore everything that’s going on. But walking out here at night it is entirely deserted. Then the quiet lapping of the water on the sand and the twinkle of the stars are able to fill the void left by all the people.

Taken in Cuba
24mm, f1.4, 15 seconds

A Land Filled with Meaning

Bright Colors in the Belly Buttes

Being in the Belly Buttes was an interesting experience. They are on land owned by the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta, and I had to get special permission to hike here. On the one hand I felt at home – it felt open and free and the chance of running into random people was small. The only trails were deer and cow trails. On the other hand, I definitely felt I was travelling on someone else’s land, through someone else’s past, which holds a significance that I can only begin to understand. I wonder if this isn’t a feeling that should be more familiar to me – the sense of past and future people living with and on the land, the sense of the land meaning more than just a place to hike.

Evening Hikes

California Evening near Grey Whale Cove

I tend to go for a lot of evening hikes, walks, and runs. They require a different sort of planning than mid-day outings. They require an being aware of the terrain you’ve traveled over and knowing the directions to get back to your starting point in the dark. They require a headlamp and extra batteries in your pack. But if you’re prepared, an evening walk is a stress-free adventure. Often, right before sunset and at sunset is when animals are most active – having a final evening snack and finding a place to settle down for the night. Watching the sun set and the stars finally getting their chance to shine, watching the world slowly slip in darkness and stillness – it’s a peaceful, beautiful and exciting time.

Taken near Grey Whale Cove State Beach, California
12mm, f9, 1/125 of a second

A Different Life

A Different Life in the Cuban Countryside

I’m not sure if it’s growing up on a farm and now living in a city, or if it’s a symptom of a hectic life, or if it’s just another “grass is greener” kind of thought, but living here looks like a beautiful life to me. I’m sure it comes with its own struggles and frustrations. I wonder if the owners would be surprised to know that I sometimes dream of living there.

Taken in central Cuba.
40mm, f2.8, 1/4000 of a second.

Early Mornings

Still Pool on the Cline River

I’m not normally a morning person, but early mornings while camping are different. The stillness and peacefulness are too sweet to miss.

Taken by the Cline River, AB
12mm, f7.1, 1/320 of a second

Little Flashes of Light

Fireflies in a Manitoba Meadow

These fireflies seemed to like the swampy areas, but as the night went on they spread out to fly through the trees and around the meadows.

Taken in central Manitoba.
21mm, f5, 13 seconds

A Month of Camping

Camp site Overlooking the Cline River

This last month has been full of trips for me – a couple weeks of backpacking near Abraham Lake and a canoe trip down the North Saskatchewan. They’ve been unusual trips for me though. Instead of the normal peaceful quiet of nature I was in the middle of roaring stoves, surrounded by laughing, yelling, talking, and singing students.

Despite the dramatic departure from my usual outdoor experiences, I really enjoyed these trips and the people who made them what they were. The few nights where I had the energy left to stay up into the night were my little oasis of quiet in these busy and fun-filled trips. Thanks to all my fellow leaders and travelers who made these trips memorable!