Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best of 2010

Well we have made it through another year, and looking through my Lightroom database I see a huge variety of images made in 2010. Nature, landscape, macro, birds, wildlife it's all there. And looking through them makes me appreciate what a great year our family had. Here is a small sample of my 2010...


From a photo hide in Norway

April evening in Copenhagen
May Macro
May - A goldeneye duckling
June - My son Johan and I made our second trip to Iceland in June. See this post
June - Woodpeckers
July was the 10 year anniversary of the opening of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark
Sunset over Smögen
Sunset in Malmö
September - Another sunset in Copenhagen
And a little red church I just happened to pass by in Denmark
October - A migrating six gram kinglet crashes into the Turno Torso skyscraper
December in Florida

All the best for 2011!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Road to London Goes Via Reykjavik

Admission to the London Natural History Museum is always free

but even dinner with a dinosaur is free if you are there as parent of a contest winner in the Veolia & LNHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Johan (3rd from the left facing us) placed third in the 15-17 year category for this image taken on Iceland in 2009
Johan enjoying dinner in Isafjordur in one of the best restaurants in Iceland
The free dinner only cost us $3000 in travel and hotel costs, but whose counting...

Johan Gehrisch with his work at the Naturfotofestival in Hässleholm
For some more images from the trip see my posts on Iceland or

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Three Hour Sunset...

The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, but for once the weather on Iceland was not cooperating. After spending 14 hours photographing around Lake Myvatn, my son Johan and I were done. 10:00 PM, thick cloud cover, and the light was failing. We were tired and ready for bed, so we drove the forty kilometers back to our house outside of Husavik, made some dinner and got ready for bed. At 11:30PM Johan said "look at the sun" which was now between the low cloud cover and the horizon. We grabbed our cameras and went to photograph the sunset.
Three hours and 274 images later the sun still hadn't gone down, nor was it going to; it was on it's way back up again, but we had enjoyed a 3 hour sunset on the longest day of the year, and drove along the Northern coast of Iceland taking sunset pictures all along the way...

It started here at 11:56PM

20 kilometers later at 1:00AM  

1:41AM as sparsely populated as Iceland is, we were not alone.

Back to Husavik harbor at 2:03 AM

And finally at 2:12 AM...

2:30AM and we were back at our house, hungry and tired. 

 After a late dinner/early breakfast we collapsed into our beds until 9:00 in the morning, when our pursuit of the light began once more...
For more Iceland images see the post from our first trip to Iceland

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gambia Birds; One in the Hand and Two in the Bush

During this long, cold and snowy Swedish winter I have been digging in my photo archives. That's what winter is for. If we had great weather year round like in my home town of San Diego I might never have time to go back and process my images. So this week we travel from the summer snows of arctic Svalbard to the winter heat of Gambia
In my previous post from our Christmas trip to Gambia I shared a few images taken on or around the hotel grounds. Those birds make wonderful subjects. They are used to humans and provide many great photo opportunities that most of us can just dream about.
But there are even more birds in the bush, countless birds just waiting to be photographed. The only problem is they are far less cooperative AND the light in Gambia gets to be too bright after about 9:00AM.m and it also gets too hot. For birders this is not such a big deal, but for photographers, it's all about the light. So we arranged with our guide that we would leave before sunrise and head out to his favorite birding areas while the light was still good. And Dawd Barry our guide delivered. He took us to several different habitats during the week where we were able to get close enough and with great backgrounds.

All shots taken with the Canon 7D and the 500/4 in most cases with the 1.4X or 2X extender.

A pied kingfisher hunting in the irrigation canals of nearby farming lands.

Little bee-eaters are everywhere, but they are still beautiful.

A pair of wire-tailed swallows mating at the end of December.

And in the bush a striped kingfisher spies after lizards and insects.

An amazing tail on the glossy starlings

The blue-cheeked bee-eater required a trip off the beaten path, but it also brought us out to the mangroves.

And I have to re-post the African pygmy kingfisher just because the colors are so amazing.

There are a number of reasonably priced hotel in Gambia and the local bird guides are generally very good. Bird photography a couple of hours in the morning and evenings  when the light is good and then lots of time to spend with the family for other activities. Who could ask for more.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Golden Eagles in Winter

Winter is tough time for bird photography when you live in a cold climate. Like a lot of places in the Northern hemisphere, Sweden is covered with snow and the migrant birds are all enjoying a well deserved rest in Southern Europe or Africa. Bird photographers on the other hand spend their winters chasing the birds in the South or sorting through the tens of thousands of pictures they took during the year, hoping to find a jewel they hadn't noticed earlier, or more likely deleting pictures that just didn't make the cut.
But there are a few special opportunities during the winter that you won't get during the rest of the year; golden eagles will accept a meal that they would snub their noses at the rest of the year.
200km North of Trondheim Norway, Ole Martin Dahle one of the pioneers in Scandinavian hide photography has created an environment that allows viewing and photographing the eagles in their natural habitat, but there are no guarantees. Getting to the hides means entering about an hour before the first light, to avoid being seen by the eagles. And once inside the lights are extinguished, conversations are held at a whisper, and camera lenses stuck through the wall of the hide are not to be removed until leaving the hide. Thankfully a Primus heater keeps the temperature closer to 0C than the -15C outside, but after 10 hours of sitting still, it can still feel pretty chilly. Five days in a hide can yield from 0 to 5,000 images, and the lower the number, the colder it feels and the slower time passes.
As luck would have it the eagles were being cooperative this year and Johan (17) and I got about 2,000 photographs each. Most taken with either the Canon 1DmkIV + 500/4IS or the Canon 7D + 300/2.8IS
Taken during an earlier visit (2007) to the the same hide

And if Scandinavia is too far away, there are also some great opportunities in Alaska during the winter. For more of my eagle images see: