BearHead Photography New Photos
BearHead Photography has many images to showcase his expansive portfolio on mammals of North America, and these are his newest images.
It is hard to describe just how awesome a large tidewater glacier is! In Glacier Bay National Park there are a number of really large glaciers that come all the way down to the water from high in the mountains. This particular glacier has carved out a massive area that has in the last few hundred years filled in with sea water. The expansiveness of the area and the grandeur of the glacier and mountains was quite the site to see!
This bay in Glacier Bay National Park is large and impressive. The John Hopkins glacier comes down for miles from the mountains to reach the bay. As our earth warms and glaciers retreat, we are left to only pictures and our imagination to how even more grand this scene once was with glaciers coming down from all sides of the mountains to reach the bay.
It's not often you get to see a glacier at the sea, and see where it started from in the mountains. They often curve down the mountains and make only half or less of the glacier visible. Being able to see over 10 miles back into the mountains to where the ice I was looking at started hundreds of years ago made me realize just how amazing glaciers really are.
Until this night, most of my northern lights experiences had been one streak of light in the sky. I had seen some nice lights and very dramatic lights, but none that filled the whole sky. Just standing and being able to look up and see the entire sky alive and dancing was an experience I would like to have again.
Alaska is an incredible state to see from car, train, boat, and even plane. Seeing glaciers from above gives you a much large appreciation for their size and power. Flying directly up this glacier let me really see exactly how powerful these ice waterfalls are in carving out the mountains.
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Finding the Sea
Glaciers start high in the mountains at the highest peaks. As they gather snow, they add wait and start to move downward. As they move, they carve out the landscape and can move very large boulders. Seeing the paths they take to wind through the mountains to the sea is neat.
Alaska has hundred of mountains and glaciers that are impressive. When you see many of them in one view it is just incredible. And seeing all the jagged peaks that have never been underneath a glacier and smoothed over made me realize just how tall these mountains are.
The northern lights is a phenomenon most people want to see in their lives, but many people don't get to. They only occur in the northern most latitudes, and you have to stay up late most of the time to see them. They come in many different colors, and can move very quickly across the sky. This wave of lights was impressive in how fast it changed shape and danced. Trying to place an object in the foreground with northern lights can be tricky because of how much they move.
When the fireweed grow later in the summer in Alaska it turns the entire state into a much prettier state! There can be field after field of fireweed, and they really liven everything up. When I saw Denali clearing, I knew I wanted to frame the mountain with fireweed and found some along the edge of this pond.
Road to Peace
Most people like a nice straight road in life without any bumps or curves in the way. For me, life is full of adventure, very unscripted, and can take a sharp turn at any moment. When I saw this image, I knew I had to capture it. Many people can look into this image in many different ways, but for me I saw a road that led to never ending and untold adventures.
In the backcountry of Denali is a magnificent lake called Wonder Lake. The area around the lake often has animals and the view of Denali is best in the park from Wonder Lake. When the lake is calm and the mountain is out, it makes you wonder why you would want to leave such a beautiful place.
Reaching to the Sea
Seeing a glacier is what most people want to see on a trip to Alaska. Alaska still has some very large glaciers that come all the way to the sea from the mountains. Margerie Glacier sticks out from the mountains and tries to connect with other glaciers coming in from the right, but both have recently retreated and no longer touch. Even though they are retreating, they are still impressive.
Never Ending Glaciers
At the end of this bay, glaciers fill the rest of the area and go for miles and miles back up to the mountains. Flying over this area would be really neat to see just how long the glaciers go. The scene was so large and impressive and there aren't many places left where you can see glaciers like this.
I love seeing glaciers, because everyone is so different that the next. Some glaciers aren't very blue, others are hundreds of feet deep, some are so covered in rock sediment you can't hardly see the glacier, and others look super smooth. I loved how blue this glacier was, in Glacier Bay National Park, and how defined the different layers of the glacier were.
A quick glance at this photo and you will see a large glacier and it's blue ice. You would think the ice looks large, but you wouldn't know for sure. A deeper look at the photo and you will see a harbor seal on an ice berg, and then the ice would feel massively larger that what you originally thought. This glacier rises hundreds of feet above the water and makes the seal look like an ant.
Seeing Denali is always a treat. Less than 35% of all people who go to the park get to actually see Denali. When it does come out, I always get excited and immediately start looking for anything to take with the mountain. Fireweed are beautiful and always a great object to put in the foreground in front of Denali.
Being alone in the backcountry of Denali is an experience everyone should have. It's truly a place where you can get off the grid and not worry about the worlds problems for as long as you are there. When Denali comes out, it's hard to describe just how magnificent the mountain is unless you are there. The beauty of Denali is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
In Alaska there are so many great mountains and glaciers. These two glaciers are both large and many hundreds feet deep. When they meet on the other side of the mountain, they both have to squeeze into the valley and start moving down the mountain and carving it out to fit together in the valley.
The coastal areas of Alaska are pristine. I love how much of the coastline is still mostly untouched and natural as it always has been. The waters are also very healthy and full of wildlife. There aren't many places left in America to see such unspoiled beauty.
Birds Eye View
One of the best places in North America to see glaciers is in Alaska. Many people will see them from a boat or their car, but not as many will take a plane to see them. On a clear day when all the glaciers and mountains are showing in their glory is worth any price to see. It isn't a sight that can be seen elsewhere, and a birds eye view of a glacier is a memory no one forgets.
Large River Valley
Everything in Alaska is bigger and badder. When you're on the ground you realize just how large everything is when it takes 3-4 times longer than you expected to get where you were hiking. Seeing this valley from the air showed how long and wide most of the river valley's are in Alaska.
One of the beautiful things about nature is that it is unpredictable. This rain storm wasn't on top of me yet, but it was covering the mountains. I was trying to find wildlife before the rain came, and then all of a sudden a beautiful rainbow appeared. It got brighter and brighter and was one of the most vibrant rainbows I have ever seen.
I love being in the mountains because at any given time the weather can change dramatically. On my side of the mountains it was a beautiful clear day. But on the other side it was storming, and slowly the storm crept over the mountains and created this dramatic scene with the clouds taking over the mountains.
The mountains around southeast Alaska receive feet and feet of snow in the winter. It can take the mountains until almost the end of summer before they have lost all the snow from the previous winter. These mountains near Skagway were beginning to thaw out and created a nice reflection on a calm morning.
The waters around Glacier Bay National Park are so beautiful. Around every corner it seems as if there is another mountain and another glacier. It is often raining in Glacier Bay, so seeing the tops of the mountains was a real treat on this day.
Glaciers can be very hard to tell just how large they are without something to give them perspective. This glacier was at least 250 feet out of the water, and towered over our boat. It is so impressive to be up close to the edge of a tidewater glacier.
When flying over this glacier I was intrigued by the blue lakes on the surface. This glacier is hundreds of feet thick, and when the ice melts in the summer it normally creates rivers inside of the glacier. Some melting water was trapped and couldn't make it through the ice, so these lakes were formed. From above the ice had a very abstract look to it, and these lakes created a sharp contrast to the ice.
One of the hardest times to photograph is at dawn and dusk. Not only is it darker and tests the extremes of your camera setting, but the light is ever changing and makes getting exposures correct very hard. Short-eared owls are a small owl and you have to be close to get a good shot of them. Tracking this owl as it flew over the tundra in almost darkness and trying to focus on the owl was incredibly difficult. But getting this one shot of the owl stalking at first light made all the effort well worth it.
Northern hawk owls are not a very large owl. When they sit on a branch they are only 8-10 inches tall. Finding this owl in thick woods on a low branch and being there for a few minutes before it flew was one of the best owl experiences I have ever had.
Northern haw owls are a spectacular owl. All owls are cool, but the look of the northern haw owl I really like. Normally they are far away and it's hard to see any detail from a distance on them. Getting to be so up close for over five minutes and really enjoy this owl as he bobbed his head and curiously studied me made my trip.
Owl typically hunt in the night and at dawn and dusk. Finding an owl in the darkness is not an easy task. We found this owl close to the road, somehow, as we were just starting to make out the tundra. We followed it with out lenses the best we could, and when the short-eared owl went above the ridge, we were able to capture a silhouetted picture of the owl against the sky.
Getting to see an owl is always a special treat. Being fortunate enough to be there and ready for when they go on the hunt is very exciting. Northern hawk owls move so fast and make no noise as they approach their target.
A Northern Post
When scanning the vast tundra of Denali, small birds are very hard to find. I often look over them and didn't even realize it. Northern hawk owls blend in so well and often look like the top of a tree from a distance. The initial excitement of finding an owl is amazing, and then stalking to get close enough to get pictures in always a rush.
The seas and bays around Alaska are so huge. When you are on a boat, an island that looked only 5 minutes away can take over 30 minutes sometimes. I honestly don't know how far away this whale was when it poked its head above the water, but it made for a nice perspective with the very distant mountains.
There are only a few places where you can go and see humpback whales bubble feeding. Less than 10% of all humpback whales know how to bubble feed, so it really is a rare treat to see. When this group of whales came up close to feed, seeing how wide their mouths were and the underside of their mouth as they swallowed little herring fish was a real treat.
There are places and views in Alaska that just can't be captured in other places. There are sea otters along most of the west coast, but only in a couple areas can you photograph a sea otter with a beautiful glacier behind it.
Large pieces of ice that fall off glaciers make for great resting and birthing places for harbor seals. The seals actually depend on this ice to have their babies. This seal looked so small and almost unnoticeable in from of the large John Hopkins Glacier.
Sea lions will gather in large numbers to rest. In the ocean there aren't that many places that appeal to sea lions to rest, because they all appear to want to rest in the same place. This rock in Glacier Bay National Park is where I would want to rest and have a great view if I were a sea lion.
Baby sea otters are very small when born. A mother sea otter is very protective of their baby and don't let them get out of sight. Mother sea otters will hold their baby on their stomach as they rest to make sure the baby is safe.
The amount of time I search for animals in Denali, as compared to how much I find and get to photograph animals, is dramatically different. So when I find an animal in an amazing place, it is that much more exciting. Watching these three moose move together in the lake while the Alaskan range was out was 9 years of waiting. I've looked and looked for moose here, and I just knew one day they would be there. I didn't expect three, but getting to be there and capture them in the lake was incredible.
There are places in nature I go to repeatedly hoping to one day find an animal in that place. This is one of those areas that I went for 9 years since I last saw a moose here. The excitement when I saw not only one moose, but three moose was off the charts. These three moose continued to hang out together and created a perfect setting in the backcountry of Denali.
Light is a beautiful thing of nature. Some days we have too much light, and others none at all. When a surprising beam of light shines through the clouds and onto the subject, it makes the scene come to life. This female moose was in the right spot at the right time and the light made the scene much more dramatic than just a few seconds prior.
It is very difficult to find moose in Denali. The brush is often taller than the moose, and you have to wait for them to come into a clearing to see them. At first I saw only one moose, but then another came out, and a long time later a third even came out. When these two decided to go to the pond together, I knew the wait was worth it. Capturing two male moose reflected with the backdrop of an old glacier and snow capped mountains was very thrilling.
Moose are very large and in charge. Moose have short tempers and don't like people or other animals being in their space. I was well over 75 yards from this moose, but he let me know it was time to back up, and I listened and moved quickly.
Male moose will hang out together sometimes before they lose their velvet. Once they lose their velvet they become more aggressive toward each other as mating season approaches. These two large moose noticed me across the ravine and both stared to let me know that they were kings of the area.
When I saw this moose from a distance I didn't think anything other than he was big and I wanted to get pictures. When I got close and he turned his head the right way, I saw something I had never seen before. His antler on the one side didn't form together and it looked as if he had two antlers on that side. This was unique and exciting because I may never find another moose like this again.
When the evening light gets perfect, finding an animal becomes very important. I don't even know how far we searched and how long we searched to find an animal because we knew the light was going to be good. Caribou are skittish animals, so we had to be careful to not spook it as well. We did everything right and this caribou went around the hill and posed in front of the beautiful distant mountains with the clouds rolling over them.
I love capturing the beauty of natural light. The best light can come and go so fast, and having an animal in the right spot when the light is good is rare. It's those moments that we spend all the time in the wild looking for animals. This caribou decided to walk the ridge, which was where the sun was lighting while the mountains were covered in a dark cloud. The contrast was awesome and created a very moody scene.
In the backcountry of Denali, there are a lot of animals, but the space is so expansive you don't always see animals. Caribou can look like little dots moving on the tundra because the area is so large. We were going after a moose, when this large caribou came over the ridge unexpectedly. He was unsure of us, but stopped and looked at us on the ridge a couple of minutes before moving on.
A mother bear with young spring cubs has to be very careful. Other bears will try to get her cubs if they can to try and re-mate with her. Any bear, though, poses a threat to the safety of her cubs. When this mother bear saw a bear coming closer, she stood to get a better look and her cubs wanted to see what scared her as well.
Watching young bear cubs play never gets old. They have the protection of mother, and act as if there is nothing in the world that could bother them. They have such a great time and really play when they are young. These two cubs were usually really close to each other and enjoyed tugging on the other at all times.
Adolescent bears are at the bottom of the totem pole in a bears world. Bears don't like being chased or harassed, so when they see another younger bear they try to be dominate over that bear because they are tired of getting pushed around. Neither of these bears were giving up ground, and growled and fought back against the other.
Seeing brown bears for the first time is always exciting! Each spring we wait in anticipation to see if any new spring cubs will arrive. When they first do it is very exciting because they are so small and playful. This moment was only five minutes after I found this mother bear for the first time, and her cub stayed close for comfort.
It took me years and years to find a bear sleeping on a log, and then in the past couple of years I have been fortunate to get to see it a few times. Watching this bear family as they moved and re-situated to get comfy on the log was quite the site. But once they found there spot the fell asleep and looked comfortable.
When bears are younger, they give off a lot of energy playing and fighting with their sibling. When they stop playing, they look pretty tired and sometimes immediately take a nap. This bear wasted no time and went up on the log, found a comfy spot, and went to sleep.
Where better in nature to take a nap than on a log. This bear family was obviously tired, and they all decided this log looked like the perfect place for a nap. The year prior, I had actually gotten this exact family on this log sleeping together, except they were all right beside each other. It was very neat seeing them a year later sleeping on the exact same log.
In many years of watching bears, I haven't come across three cubs that often. When I do get to photograph three cubs, it normally is two out of the three playing, and rarely all three together. When these cubs began running my way and all three were playing chase, it made for an exciting and rare moment.
In Alaska, the tides come and go twice daily up to over 25 feet. Alaska has the 2nd largest tides in the world, and when the tide is out bears can go out in certain areas and dig for clams. This family decided to go dig for clams on a perfect evening in Alaska.
It is hard to describe just how expansive Denali is unless you have seen it. The landscape is very deceptive in how large it is. This bear family was feeding on the carcass in the evening and blended in so well to the landscape as the sun set.
One of the best defences a black bear cub has when it comes to safety is climbing a tree. If they feel scared in any way they will climb a tree because it is safer in the tree than on the ground. This bear cub had gotten spooked by a branch moving and wanted to make sure it wasn't something else.
Black bear cubs enjoy climbing trees when they are young. Maybe it is just being young, but maybe it is just so much fun to climb a tree and play tag with your sibling. These two cubs were heading down the tree because their mother had given them the signal to come down.
Seeing a family of mountain goats together is pretty common. But seeing a family of mountain goats down by the sea's edge is rare. Because of how steep the rock is immediately up from the sea, it gave these goats comfort to be low and be able to rest right down by the waters edge without threat from a predator.
Seeing a family of mountain goats together is pretty common. But seeing a family of mountain goats down by the sea's edge is rare. Because of how steep the rock is immediately up from the sea gave these goats comfort to be low and not high in the mountains.