Wildlife Photographic Magazine -article and cover shot-congrats Jim Fennessy

My longtime friend and new client Jim Fennessy won an honorable mention award from the National Wildlife Federation with the bear image (on the right below). He also has a different bear image (on the left below) featured as the cover photo for Wildlife Photographic, his article about his bear experience has also been published in that article. Huge congrats and so proud of my friend!!! Below in Jim’s words are how to access a free copy of his article ( I copied it from his Facebook page). To see more of his work, check out his new website.

Several of my other clients have won awards in this competition and other competitions, if you would like me to share your image and story and you were on one of my workshops when you captured the shot-I would be very pleased to share with my readers.

And now from Jim…

My Brown Bear image is the cover of this month's Wildlife Photographic Magazine ("WP"). My article on Coastal Brown Bear photography is also included, starting on page 14. This bear workshop was my introduction to real wildlife photography, and the workshop was as good as it gets. There is a link at the end of the article to this bear workshop, and other great workshops, from my workshop leaderDenise Ippolito
WP is published for viewing on an IPAD or Android tablet. Unfortunately, it only works on tablets, and cannot be downloaded to a PC. It will work on a mobile phone, but the articles read much better on a tablet. WP was generous enough to allow me to share my publication, and 3 months free membership to WP, with my friends. The publication is great, and I highly recommend it. To view my article and get this 3 month free subscription to WP for your IPAD or tablet, just follow these directions:
Download Wildlife Photographic from the Apple App Store http://bit.ly/1aKP3qR or on Google Playhttp://bit.ly/1JOhMcW on your mobile device or tablet.

Tap 'Subscribe' on our app home page

Tap 'Current Subscribers' from the drop down menu

Enter code: wp3mth3004

Norway Trip Report

I am finishing up with my group in Norway. Our trip was based around aurora and snow covered mountains. We had only 2 shooting sessions with the aurora as weather would have it. Even though the trip was not filled with aurora skies, we did have some gorgeous landscapes and photo opportunities. We may have one more chance tonight…fingers crossed!

Our accomodations were small red cabins that had a central living room/kitchen combo with fireplace. Each bedroom had an ensuite bath. We had two drivers/guides with us at all times, and we travelled in two large vans. The roads here were icy and snowy and you had better be a good driver to attempt driving here as the roads are also very curvy and narrow.

We didn’t have a lot of dinner options as many of the restaurants close early due to lack of business. However, our lunches/brunches rocked; each one being unique and flavorful. We also did our share of shopping as most of the stores had beautiful woolen goods.

The temperatures here in Norway were always cold but most times they were bearable; with the exception of a few outings where we had bone chilling cold.

On our first morning we went to Hamnoy, Lofoten Islands to photograph in the pre-dawn so that we could capture the play on the blue tones and warm lights emitted from the small red houses in the iconic fishing village. We revisited it in hopes of a great sunrise.

We also photographed ice trimmed fjords and beaches as well as other small fishing villages. Our group was truly great, everyone got along beautifully and that made the trip even more fun. Below is a sampling of what we photographed during the tour.; for most of them I showed two versions from each location. I have many more images to sort through—just no time.

Japan Trip Report

My Japan workshop has just finished up and I am back in Jersey, but only for a few days as I fly to Norway for my first Northern Lights-Norway workshop in Lofoten. Paul and I had a very nice group of talented photographers. They all seemed to get along well and I look forward to seeing them all again. Our guides were on point once again, making sure that every one of our needs were met. In addition to the outstanding photo opportunities we ate some fantastic food!

Our first stop was at the monkey park before heading to Hokkaido. In Hokkaido, we photographed Red-crowned crane, Whooper Swan and Steller’s sea eagles in Rausu. Our guides took us to photograph 2 of the most adorable Ural Owls, a single gorgeous Eso Red Fox and much more. In addition to our regular schedule we scouted a couple of new photography spots during our trip. They both worked out quite well so they will be added to our main itinerary for our 2020 Japan in Winter Photo Tour. If you’d like to join me, you can find out more about the workshop here. One of the locations was a secret beach, it was much better than the Jewelry Ice Beach that we visited last year. There were lots and lots of larger chunks of ice on the beach. Also, we shot at a new spot for fighting eagles on a frozen lake that turned out to be a lot of fun.

This year I worked on some tighter shots as I brought along my Canon 600mm II lens with my Canon 1.4 and 2x teleconverters and got in extremely close for some nice high-key images. I also concentrated on more landscapes instead of just birds in flight since I have so many already.

We didn’t have white out conditions this year but we did have a snow day at the monkey park and it snowed twice for the cranes. Our early morning Lake Kussharo visits were fun and we also had a chance to do some evening shots with the swans; the entire group loved that—including me.

It’s funny how on my very first visit to Japan I felt a bit homesick while I was there. Now, each time I leave, I can’t wait for my return visit.  Below are some of my favorite shots from the trip. You can see my entire Japan photo gallery HERE.

Greetings From Greece!

My Dalmatian Pelican Photo Workshop is coming to a close. I had the very best group of talented, hard working photographers ever and we were blessed with excellent conditions. Our guides were fantastic-as always! We had many different photographic situations, as well as lighting conditons that allowed us to create a nice variety of work. On one of our days we took a trip to Bulgaria and had a beautiful lunch at a very nice, quaint restaurant; BTW, the cappucino was delish and I had two cups!

We spent time at Lake Kerkini, photographing from both the shore and from small fishing boats. We worked on pleasing blurs, fisheye images, flight shots, portraits and so much more--it was sheer overload. On our only rainy afternoon we spent time doing image review, Photoshop, texturing, slide programs and a processing jam session.

Below are a few of my faves from the trip. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed captruing them. Click on the images for more info and to see a larger version. I’ll be sharing more as time permits.

And the Winner is...Mai Tong!

Mai Tong is the “Best in Show” winner of the Longwood Gardens Themed Images, below in her own words is a small glimpse into her world, thank you Mai, your words and images are both sensitive and beautiful. Please click on the individual images to see a larger view.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved everything that speaks in a quiet tone:  a single object on a vast canvas,  a face lost in a crowd, a bird wandering off her flock, a lone tree on a deserted meadow,  a wilting flower, the boundary of the blueness between the sky and the sea, the ghost note between the musical notes, a muted percussion ... and most of all: the silence of a sunset.   A love for anything that defies articulation and offers a sense of peace.

I was born and grew up in the shadow of a war that ripped our country in two. Peace was a concept uncertain and distant in an ancient city that was hung over and disturbed by the sound of cannon mixed with the sound of temple bells at night. War was so close to home. That was Hue, the Imperial City in Central Vietnam where childhood memories turned into immense graveyards, haunted by gruesome images of mass graves of thousands of innocents died in fierce battles.  Peace then existed only in prayers at night.  

Many years after the war had ended, I started to pick up camera and started taking photos when I was still a refugee in the U.S.  I have loved to photograph anything that gives a sense of peacefulness since then, when you can hush the thoughts in your mind, be with the moment and one with the subject you are photographing.  I love the setting sun, it gives me that sense of complete stillness and silence.  I chase after sunsets wherever I travel.  I own thousands of images of sunsets from many places I've been to.  It's a saddening feeling for something fading away, yet it offers the hope of a new dawn. 

I also love to photograph children, little Buddhist monks, especially those in remote regions of Vietnam, poor and removed from modern civilization.  I could follow them tirelessly just to be able to catch a smile on their faces.  Sometimes, I made trips after trips back home just to look for them, for the ones that I had met in previous trips.  I often saw them in my sleep, these sad, voiceless faces. 

A confession if I may about the photographers I admire:  I've hardly had time to contemplate other people's work, but I've followed the work of Steve McCurry and Denise Ippolito the past two years when I started to take photography seriously.  I found that Denise's is built on a precept of simplicity, elegance and grace, a sweetness almost like a lullaby; and McCurry's compelling imagery is a loud and clear sense of human compassion.  

Dear Denise, I'm sorry for these fragmentary pieces from my mind today.  It's hard to write about oneself and I could not put the pieces together as coherently as I would like.  I'm sending images I took mostly from Vietnam and Myanmar.  I kept coming back to Vietnam even though there are many spectacular places in the world that are the dream of photographers,  but I am only happy and feel connected when I am in my homeland, speaking the same language with the people and with the scenery there.  It was the closest and most emotional photographic experience I got through the camera lens.  The innocent faces of the children in the highlands, the toothless smiles of old ladies, even the sound of temple bells in the evening sun can be captured by using just light and color.  Those are the images I could never find anywhere else in the other parts of the world.

Mai Tong 

My blog, where I keep my writings, travel memoirs, photography, poetry, music and film reviews:


No Model Release Needed!

Everywhere I go I see some of the most bizarro things. The image below captured at Zabriski Point in Death Valley NP, I am calling it “Blind Faith”, is it art? or are you kidding me? you decide. Please share your thoughts below in the comment line rather than email me separately, thanks.


When my group and I got out to the mudflats we saw this couple flying around in this aerochute . Though, the image depicts them flying over what looks like some dirt and brush they were mostly flying over Panamint Springs Mud Flats, landing every so often. Their tire tracks are now embedded in the mudflats for many years to come. Fun or careless? you decide?


I didn’t bother to process these images, aside from a crop and signature. For results of the Longwoods Garden Contest check out my comment in the previous post!

Longwood Gardens Theme Assignments

During my Longwood Gardens Christmas Seminar/Workshop, participants were given three themes to work on during their time at Longwood Gardens. The themes included: Interaction, Bold Contrast and Asian Flair. So everyone had their work cut out for them. They needed to share an image that portrays “interaction”. Share an image that shows bold/contrast or geometric shapes and finally an image that showed an asian flair to it.

I am attaching everyone’s (that sent images in) themed images and hope that you can help me choose a clear winner for each of the three themed categories. Who did the best with each theme??? Please vote in the comment section below for the image that you feel best portray’s each theme. One vote per person for each theme. Plus a Best in Show winner. So technically 4 votes! Make sure that you specify the theme and name of the maker as well as the Best in Show vote! Each Theme winner will recieve my newest eBook “The Creative Art of Photography”.

EXAMPLE VOTE: Name/ Interaction, Name/Bold Contrast, Name/Asian Flair, Name/Best in Show

Best in Show winner will recieve a full write up on my blog about their photography and will be able to share more of their work in that post with a link to their website or FaceBook page. They will also recieve a $200.00 credit towards any one of my workshops. I sure hope you will be able to take a moment and vote - thank you so much!!


PS- Click on the images to see the actual images as shot not cropped for blog format.

Death Valley Group II

I am getting packed up to leave Death Valley NP after back to back workshops here. It has been a unique visit with all of the government shut downs and road closures. My friend Michael and I were forced to scout new “photo areas” during the afternoon between shoots. I say “photo areas” because while some places are beautiful to look at or are nice to see they may not make a great photo or even be a place to bring a group, there are lots of things to consider… As the days went on, more and more closures were happening and we needed to fill in our regular schedule with new areas that would work for either a sunset or sunrise shoot or even to fill in between. I am delighted to say that these road closures forced us to dig deeper to find new spots to get the group to. These images below reflect some of the new areas that will be added to next year’s trip and some of the photos that I captured during our regular program photo shoots.

When I get home I will need to start packing for my Greece trip. I am extremely excited to see old friends and photograph the beautiful Dalmatian Pelicans at Lake Kerkini!