Category Archives: wildlife

Up Close And Personal with Polar Bears…. thanks to technology

So you’ve always wanted to take a trip to Churchill, Manitoba – polar bear capital of the world – to see those massive white bears, up close and personal? For some people that trip becomes reality, but not for everyone. If it’s your dream to get up there to see polar bears up close, but haven’t been able to do it, don’t fret. Here’s the next best thing.

The non-profit conservation group, Polar Bear International and its two partners, Frontier North Adventures and explore.org, have provided a way to see polar bears, up close and personal, from the comfort of your recliner at home. Introducing…. The Polar Bear Cam.

 A look at the Polar Bear Cam in action… quiet at the moment, but it's late in the day, dusk is setting in….

A look at the Polar Bear Cam in action… quiet at the moment, but it’s late in the day, dusk is setting in….

This joint venture was created to let people around the world  have a window into the lives of the roughly 900 polar bears who call the Churchill area, home. There are four live polar bear cams running, scanning the area for polar bears on the move. You can tune in to whichever camera you want and take a screen shot of the image to share online. But the cameras are just for the entertainment and eduction of the public. The images are used for scientific research, contributing to our understanding of polar bear biology. For example, the images allow scientists to see weather bears are travelling alone or in family groups. If it’s a mother and her cubs, how many cubs are there? The images can also tell researchers what their physical health is like – do the bears look nice and plump or really thin, suggesting they aren’t getting enough food?

The project is funded largely by the Annenberg Foundation. Charlie Annenberg is the founder of explore.org, the organization hosting the polar bear cams.

To sit back and watch polar bears being polar bears, click on HERE to go to the explore.org website. For more information about the project, click HERE to read the CBC news article.

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Ever seen the inside of a Grizzly Bear’s mouth?

Check this out! Video footage of the inside of a grizzly’s mouth. A Go Pro camera was set up on the ground and two grizzlies wandered by. Apparently one thought the GoPro was pretty interesting and tried to eat it. And so, there’s some great footage, up close and personal, of the inside of a grizzly’s mouth. My what yellow teeth you have….

Now you know what it would be like to be a grizzly’s dinner and what the ‘view’ would be on the way down…. 😉

I think this would be a great advertisement for GoPro. Can’t say their cameras aren’t durable!

Have a look and let me know what you think. Oh, and warning…. considerable saliva/goob involved – not for the faint of heart. 🙂

Grizzly ate GoPro

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Filed under Digital Photography, equipment, nature photography, photography, technology, wildlife

Wildphotomag – my image portfolio and interview

Recently, I was very kindly invited by Andre of wildphotomag to be interviewed and to submit a portfolio of images for his wonderful online nature and wildlife magazine. If you haven’t seen wildphotomag, check it out. There are fantastic articles and images in there, by a lot of talented photographers.

The May issue is out and my portfolio is in there. Have a look and let me know what you think.

Wildphotomag_Portfolio

Not only was it nice to be able to have a selection of my images in the magazine, but it was great to be able to share some of my thoughts about photography. I am truly passionate about conservation photography. I think it’s an amazing tool for creating awareness and understanding of conservation and environmental issues and hopefully, for fostering concern and caring for our planet and all of its species.

Wildphotomag is loaded with great articles. Check out this month’s issue. You won’t be disappointed.

wildphotomag_MayJune2013

 

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Filed under conservation, Conservation & Environment, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Featured Wildlife Photographer, Nature, nature photography, Opinion, photography, Vision, wildlife, Wildlife Photography

The Warblers Return – Photo of the Week

I’m late with the Photo of the Week – sorry! Spring is my busiest time of year. The warblers are back, the wildflowers are starting to bloom. Oh, so much to get out and photograph!

But here is this week’s Photo of the Week from 44th Parallel Photography – better late, than never. 🙂 This week’s photo is of one of our beautiful little warblers that pass by on their way up to the boreal forest. I love this time of year and in late winter every year, look forward to seeing the return of these beautiful little birds.

Click on the thumbnail below to view 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week

27 April 2013

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Filed under Birds, Digital Photography, Migration, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, wildlife, Wildlife Photography

Returning – Photo of the Week

It’s been a busy time lately, but I finally got out with my camera. It was a great day to be out – the first time this year that it’s actually felt like spring. It lifted my spirits and I so enjoyed photographing the Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles that have returned to the cattail marshes to duke it out for the best territories. Spring has returned. 🙂

Click on the thumbnail below to view and read about 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.

13 April 2013

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Filed under Birds, Digital Photography, Migration, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, wildlife, Wildlife Photography

Signs of Spring – Photo of the Week

Finally, I’m back! Enjoying blog posts, social media posts and just generally do things photographic. Between getting over the flu, doing my InDesign II course, and a whole host of other things, it’s good to be back. I don’t like missing my regular blog posting. I feel disconnected. So I’m happy to post that I have a new Photo of the Week. This one is again on the theme of lamenting the lack of spring weather, but with a more optimistic tone. 🙂 This week’s post is about robins. Those tough little birds that usher in the change of the season, from winter to spring.

Click on the thumbnail below to read about 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.

6 April 2013

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Filed under Birds, Digital Photography, Migration, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, wildlife, Wildlife Photography

Midway – a documentary everyone should see

All of us have impacts on the earth’s environment. Simply by living our everyday lives, we leave our footprint on the earth. Some footprints are bigger than others. And even if you want your footprint to be small and take actions to reduce it, it’s still there. But  smaller is better and that’s the key.

Salvin's Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Salvin’s Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Each one of us should strive to reduce our environmental footprint. In our household, we do things to try to reduce it.  I’m not happy with the footprint of my commute to work 3 days a week. But it’s better than 5 days a week. And I drive the most economical car I can afford. It’s one step away from a go-cart and with my commute, I can’t really go any smaller. I wish I could afford a hybrid. One day. But I hope I help to make up for my commute, at least in part, by the other things I do to try to lessen my impact on our environment. I’m not criticizing anyone for their environmental footprint. We all have one. I just hope we can all do things to reduce ours individually because if each of us does, collectively, it had a big effect, in a good way.

I think many people, perhaps all of us, to some greater or lesser degree, don’t realize the impacts we have on our planet because we don’t see them in our daily lives. I think this is why changing our behaviour and habits to reduce our impacts on the environment is often difficult. As humans, we are visual creatures and we need to see what our impacts are, in order to believe they exist.

This is why documentaries that actually show us the impacts of the way we live and the daily choices we make, on the earth’s environment is so fundamentally important. I recently wrote about Jim Balog’s documentary, Chasing Ice, that shows how the world’s glaciers are crumbling at alarming rates due to global climate change. Balog’s extreme dedication to the project was because he wanted to show the world that climate change is real.

There’s another documentary coming out this year that shows us the consequences of our actions (and inactions) –  the consequences of our modern lifestyles in developed nations. I’ve seen the trailer for this one and I think it’s a great example of showing us environmental impacts that we didn’t even think we had. You know, the out of sight, out of mind thing we humans are so good at.  Chris Jordan’s film, Midway, brings an important issue into focus.

His documentary is about Midway Island in the Pacific. Yes, the Midway Island, where a famous WW II battle took place. But Jordan’s film has little to do with Midway’s historical significance. Instead, here’s what his film is about:

“The Journey

Midway Atoll, one of the most remote islands on earth, is a kaleidoscope of geography, culture, human history, and natural wonder. It also serves as a lens into one of the most profound and symbolic environmental tragedies of our time: the deaths by starvation of thousands of albatrosses who mistake floating plastic trash for food.

The images are iconic. The horror, absolute. Our goal, however, is to look beyond the grief and the tragedy. It is here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that we have the opportunity to see our world in context. On Midway, we can not deny the impact we have on the planet. Yet at the same time, we are struck by beauty of the land and the soundscape of wildlife around us, and it is here that we can see the miracle that is life on this earth. So it is with the knowledge of our impact here that we must find a way forward.” (taken from Chris Jordan’s Midway website).

Midway

There’s a trailer for the film on Chris Jordan’s website. I strongly encourage you to watch it. Warning – it’ll probably leave a lump in your throat. But that’s a good thing. A lump in your throat can provide the motivation to change your behaviour, for all of us to change our behaviour, so that this awful situation is remedied.

SLB-0010_Salvin's Mollymawk

Salvin’s Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Photo taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

You don’t have to be an environmentalist, biologist, or nature-lover to understand the significance of this issue. It should affect us all, deeply enough that we change the situation. I’m not sure what the answer is. But I want to find out. I had read about the impacts of plastic and other materials on marine life. But seeing the Midway trailer really floored me. Actually, the word disgusting was what really came to mind.

Buller's Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Buller’s Mollymawk, a species of Albatross. Taken near Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Click on the thumbnail below to view the trailer on the Midway website.

Midway trailer

I don’t know when the film is scheduled for release. Sometime in 2013. When I find out, I’ll post it here as well as any links to where it will be showing. I want to see it. I hope you want to see it too.

SLB-9756_Albatross

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Filed under Birds, conservation, Conservation & Environment, Digital Photography, Nature, nature photography, Opinion, Philosophy, photography, wildlife