Alaska - Winter

Alaska - Fall

Oregon 2006

Oregon 2007

Garth Brooks 2007

Flint Hills Rodeo




Utah/Arizona 2006

Utah/Arizona 2007

Yellowstone & Grand Teton NP Animals

Yellowstone & Grand Teton NP Landscapes

Olympic & Mt Rainier National Parks 2008




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I can't believe it's been just over a year since my first tour with Lightchase Photography.  It has definitely been the best year of my life.  Last August, on my first Lightchase Photography tour, Mark mentioned that he was planning a trip to Alaska for September 2007.  I immediately signed up, even before all the details were in.  I had always wanted to go to Alaska and here was my chance.  Little did I know, at that time, that it would be my second trip to Alaska.   Alaska, regardless of the season, is incredible.   My first trip was in March and the landscape was covered with snow.  We visited several of the same locations that we had been to in March, however, it was as if I was seeing it for the first time.  You definitely didn’t need to ask, “What season is it?”   It was FALL.  Alaska was blanketed with the colors of fall.  The trees were a beautiful gold, mixed with the evergreen trees.  Above the tree line, the mountains in the background were a mix of red and gold.  It was hard to pick just one location to shoot, because everywhere I looked was incredible.  I knew there was no way for me to capture the true beauty, but I was going to do my best.   Our first full day in Alaska started at 6 a.m. in the lobby of our hotel.  This was the first time I had met most of the people I would be traveling with on this trip.    Once the introductions were made, we headed for Turnagain Arm for our sunrise shoot.    Unfortunately, my tripod froze up and I found myself fighting to get my camera into position.  After fighting for some time, I realized my memory of my first morning was turning into a bad one.  I took the camera and tripod back to the car and then returned to the water’s edge and just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful Alaska sunrise.  I was in Alaska!  

Our next major stop was Denali National Park.  On the way to Denali, the weather was beautiful.  We stopped several times to shoot the fall color on the landscape. 

 It was at this time, along the way, I spotted our first moose of the trip.  It was a bull moose traveling along a distant ridge, surrounded in fall color.  It was only a passing glance, however, I will always remember how beautiful it was to see.   Our group was fortunate enough to have won 6 road lottery passes.  2 passes for the 3 days.  This worked out perfect, since we had 2 vehicles.    Our first day in the park, it was raining, and we were told the park road was closed at mile 30, due to snowfall at the higher elevations.  We saw a few moose, wolves, ptarmigan, and some arctic hares.   


However, the highlight of the day came that evening when we returned to the park.  Snow was beginning to fall and we found a bull moose with 5 cows.  The snow continued to fall on the fall foliage and the moose.   The bull traveled close along the road, allowing us to continue photographing as we moved with him. 

Our second day in Denali, it was still raining and the road was closed again, due to additional snow.  We made the best of the day looking for wildlife and taking advantage of the beautiful fall foliage for a few photographs.  


We found out that the road had opened to mile 50 so we headed out to try to find our first bear.   We soon found a bear jam (group of cars stopped along the side of the road).  It was a grizzly bear, quite a distance below us, but that didn’t matter, it was our first bear.  After the bear moved on, we continued on our journey.   The rangers turned us around before we were able to get to mile 50, due to additional falling snow.

 They say third time’s a charm, and it definitely was for us.  Our third morning started off without rain.  The sun came out and we knew the road should be open, or opening soon.  This day, we made it all the way back to Wonder Lake.   Along the way, we watched for wildlife, hoping for a close-up encounter with a grizzly bear.    We couldn’t resist stopping to take a few shots of the incredible landscape.  We found a group of caribou quite a distance below us, in the gravel beds.  A ranger was nearby and asked if we saw the grizzly bears watching them.  She pointed them out.  There were 4 grizzly bears along the side. We watched them until they moved on and then we continued on our way toward Wonder Lake.    We had another bear encounter here.  A mother with 2 cubs.   She was also quite a distance away.  While watching them, we noticed a slight movement to our left and realized it was an arctic fox, just beginning to change color for the winter.    We continued on our way.  


It was a beautiful day to be in the park and Denali (Mt McKinley) was in perfect form.  We were able to see to the top of the mountain.   Snow covered the landscape ahead. 

It was at this time we finally had a close-up encounter with a bear.  I couldn’t wait to radio our second car, to let them know there was a bear close to the road…. (page 2)