Today I would like to recognize Doug Perrine, one of the worlds most accomplished and respected marine wildlife photographers. Last night, his amazing photograph of a feeding Bryde’s whale was awarded highly commended at the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in London. Honestly, I cannot imagine why this image did not actually win the underwater category. It is one of the finest underwater whale photos ever achieved. I have spent a lot of time in the water with whales, and pursing photographic subjects in the open ocean, and I cannot over-emphasize how spectacular Doug Perrine’s photograph is. For those of you who do not take your cameras underwater, it may look like a simple portrait. In truth this whale was speeding by Doug, who captured the image breathhold diving, at the perfect moment when the whale’s body was aligned gracefully and fully visible, and while its throat was fully engorged from a feeding strike just a moment earlier. This behavior occurs in the open ocean, which is nothing like your casual vacation SCUBA dive. The open ocean can be disorienting, and having enormous creatures swimming by at high speed and at very close range, silently and from any direction including directly below, is intimidating. As he mentions in his caption to the photo, Perrine was nearly engulfed in one of the earlier feeding passes. Given these circumstances, capturing a once-in-a-lifetime image like this is a testament to his professionalism and composure. As I said, I consider Doug Perrine’s Bryde’s whale feeding pass image one of the best underwater photos I have ever seen and really congratulate Doug on his achievement.
This WPOTY award is on the heels of Perrine’s Bryde’s whales photos appearing in National Geographic Magazine.
It should be noted that Doug Perrine won the overall Wildlife Photographer of the Year championship in 2004 with some amazing photos from South Africa’s sardine run, so you know he is no stranger to top ranks of the competition! He is a really nice guy too, and has helped myself and many other photographers in myriad ways over the years. Doug Perrine founded the marine photo stock agency Innerspace Visions in Florida in the 80s. Now known as Seapics.com, and since sold although Doug still maintains a close connection, the agency is a premiere source for worldwide marine imagery by virtue of having most of the worlds best marine photographers as contributers (and me too). I may see Doug on a trip in a few weeks, where I will congratulate him on his wonderful photo and award. I am certain he will reply in his usual modest way: “Oh, we just got lucky.”
Note: why don’t I show a copy of Doug Perrine’s amazing image? It would be easy to do, but out of respect for Mr. Perrine’s work, not to mention copyright law, I instead just link to those places where his work is displayed properly. I’m sure his photo will be copied and pasted around the internet, by kids and bloggers and people who just don’t respect a photographer’s right to control where his work appears. But you won’t see it done here. Please go check the links I mention above to see Doug’s work, you’ll be glad you did.
Today’s post is a recommendation for Michael Frye’s guide book for photographers, The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite. I’ve owned this book for years. While I know Yosemite National Park quite well, having made frequent visits to the park my entire life (now that’s saying something!), I now carry Michael Frye’s book with me when I am in the park and routinely flip through it to make sure I haven’t forgotten any of the park’s iconic shots or to seek inspiration for a hike to a new spot. The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite is one of only a handful of photography guide books that I routinely recommend to others. In the last 24 hours I’ve had the occasion to recommend it on Twitter several times, so I figure it’s time to say something on my blog too. If you are a photographer and plan to visit Yosemite National Park, buy it beforehand and study it, you won’t be sorry. It will help you make the most of your photography time in Yosemite National Park, especially the Valley which is so rich in photographic potential, and it will ensure that you are in the right spot at the right time for many iconic views.
Disclaimer: I do not have any arrangement with Mr. Frye or the book’s publisher, other than I am an admirer of his photography and love his book.
Curious what I have been able to shoot in YNP? Here are my Yosemite photos. Most of these are drop dead easy to make and The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite will help you as it has me.
I’ve known Brandon Cole by reputation since about 1992 (I think), having seen his wonderful marine life images appearing in publication frequently both editorially and in advertising, and I have been fortunate to know him personally since we had the pleasure of getting out on the water some years ago when I had a boat. Brandon is considered one of the most skilled and professional marine life photographers in the world. He works hard and his standards are quite high. He often shares what he has learned through his efforts with other photographers (including me) and in this way he is a real asset to the community of underwater shooters. There is no better time to tip my hat to Brandon Cole than now since he, along with Doug Perrine and Marc Montocchio with whom he was shooting, has some awesome photos of Bryde’s whales featured in the latest issue of National Geographic Magazine. You really should check out his website, the depth of his stock portfolio is just amazing.
I spoke with photographer friend Jon Cornforth yesterday about some of his photography plans and his recent trip to Canada to shoot Stellar sea lions. After getting off the phone with him and checking out his website to see some of his new images, I realized I have not highlighted another photographer on my blog in a long time — thus this post. Jon has, in a relatively short span of years, amassed some amazing images and his future plans will generate more to be sure. Jon uses a mix of digital and film to great affect. In particular, his landscapes shot on film are spectacular, and often appear in calendars, wall art and in the form of fine art prints for his clients. I’m always inspired when I see his images. The home page of his web site www.CornforthImages.com is stunning, and he maintains a blog which he updates frequently with new work. Check it out!
Ron Niebrugge is a Alaska-based full-time professional stock and assignment photographer who shoots top notch travel and wildlife images. He maintains a cool blog (www.my-photo-blog.com) with material he has been creating lately, and I find all of it interesting and a good read. I check out his blog every few weeks just to get travel ideas. His photos of San Diego are better than most San Diego-based photographers and pop up really high in Google to boot. Ron’s stock photography can be searched at his website www.wildnatureimages.com. Be sure to check out his deep coverage of Alaskan subjects, particularly Kenai Fjords National Park which is pretty much his backyard.
Last night I returned from an extended trip in AK and the first email that caught my eye when I started in my office this morning was of the passing of Jim Watt.
Jim was, and is, hugely respected in the marine photography community. Being primarily an underwater and marine life photographer, his name may not be familiar to many “terrestrial photographers” but I would wager that his stunning photography has been seen by a large majority, if not virtually everyone, that stops by here. Jim’s photographs of whales and sharks are unsurpassed and appear in commercial and editorial use daily. He was instrumental in the production efforts of some important natural history films, serving as a peerless resource for field knowledge, especially concerning Hawaiian marine life. And most importantly, Jim was genuinely liked as a friendly, humble and adventurous person by divers and photographers the world over. I have had nothing but admiration for Jim and his wonderful photographs, which have served as inspiration for my own photo efforts over the years, and will miss seeing further new images from Jim.
Jim’s career is briefly profiled on one of his websites:
and a fitting tribute to Jim can be seen here:
The photography and dive communities have really lost a treasure in Jim Watt.
Kawika Chetron was a highly skilled and adventurous photographer. I say “was” as he disappeared in March while diving the rugged “lost coast” of California near Euraka, miles from land and from anyone else. Following Kawika’s disappearance, a friend of mine directed me to his website and I was amazed by his photos. The marine community has lost a fine photographer and, from the comments I have read about him, a wonderful person. I wonder what incredible images he would have amassed during his diving career, exploring the challenging and rich coast of California. Take a look at Kawika Chetron’s “favorite 15 photos” and I think you will agree he was a gifted lensman.
EJ Peiker is a superb photographer. He is co-founder and senior technical editor of NatureScapes.net, one of the web’s premier nature photography websites, where he posts expert commentary on an amazing variety of photography topics, from technique to post processing, travel and location advice to computer support. I’ve sought his advice on a number of matters and have been surprised at how quickly and generously he has answered my questions. Peiker is quite well-travelled and excels at all manner of terrestrial photography; I am constantly impressed with the wildlife and landscape images he presents. Check out his website, you won’t be disappointed.
Wow. Chris Burkard of San Luis Obispo is one artistic, incredible photographer. Check out his website! He recently was awarded the inaugural Follow the Light Foundation grant in memory of Larry “Flame” Moore. While the award is intended to encourage emerging, talented and aspiring surf photographers, Chris Burkard has a ton of talent already as his photography demonstrates — refering to him as “emerging” is something of a backward compliment.
As of this writing, his website (BurkardPhoto.com) is not yet operational. However, Surfline has a great profile of him along with 23 remarkable examples of his imagery. Surfing Mag online also has a selection of his images, some different ones, in their profile of him. Please check both galleries out, you won’t be sorry , in fact you’ll wonder when his web site will be launched so you can see more of his work.
Paul Sutherland’s photography is inspiring. If you find my images enjoyable, you’ll really be impressed by Paul’s work. He maintains two websites, SutherlandImages.com and SutherlandStock.com. Both are worth checking out. Also, see his list of recent clients, it is a testiment to the quality of his photography.
Why do I mention Paul? Well, I got out of the water this morning, cold and somewhat disappointed at the lack of sun and tiny waves, and was pleased to find my email box topped off with a pair of emails, one from Paul stating that he was referring a client to me, and another from his client. Paul reminded me of the fact that, while naturally competitive with subject matter they have in their files, photographers tend to go out of their way to help their peers make a sale when the subject is not one they have shot before. Thanks Paul, I will return the gesture when I can!
While shooting the 2006 Mavericks Surf Contest I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Cozad, the man behind NewportSurfShots.com. I first saw him in September 2005 when I returned to the Wedge, a break I enjoyed as a teenager and in my early 20’s, to shoot some September swell that was happening. Tom was running up and down the beach, at the edge of the waterline, photographing the bodyboarders from the lowest angle he could get rather than from the angle atop the sand bluff where everyone else was at. He had his NewportSurfShots.com t-shirt on so that we all could dial in his website that night and check out his snaps. Smart. A few months later I noticed that he got some fine shots of a huge January swell that hit Todos Santos big time, these are seriously impressive images, you should check out his site and see for yourself. Not only is Tom a skilled surf photographer both in and out of the water, he is also a nice guy who just happened to grow up just on the other side of Newport Harbor from me, so we compared notes on the peninusula and high school friends we knew. If you are looking for photo coverage of Newport surf, Tom Cozad’s NewportSurfShots.com is the first site to check.