Alaska Walkabouts

The adventures of an Alaska Wildlife and Nature Photographer.

Moonlight Aurora Borealis

Photographed by Ted Raynor

My Best Friend Bryn

Photographed by Ted Raynor

Mischievous Lynx

Photographed by Ted Raynor

Smiling Harbor Seals

Photographed by Ted Raynor

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

If at First You Don't Succeed....

Although it will most likely end up as yet another place where my images go to rot and die, I built one last website this winter at 500px. I've been there before and made $1 on something called a digital download. Why I'm trying again is beyond me. But at least it's cheap and pretty. I will give it one last try for a year or two before hitting the "Delete Account" button.

Places I have tried and considered worthless for marketing my pics: Pinterest, Wanelo, Flickr, Photoshelter, CafĂ© Press, Facebook Fan Pages, Google+ and their Fan Pages, and Stumble Upon. So many passwords and so much time and effort gone!

Places I am still trying and don't consider worthless: Zazzle, Red Bubble, and the two stock agencies I am in- in Germany and Accent Alaska (which is now based in Idaho) and finally the place I have put so much time and energy into; Fine Art America. I find it almost impossible to sell anything on FAA though. If not for the massive amount of effort I put into it I would happily delete it. But at least it's cheap!

So far these two images have sold the best. Guess I should stick with otters and hoarfrost crystals.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Let it Snow

Finally we had a real winter! Although it came late, we have not had this much snow since the winter of 2011/12.There was a lot of photography I wanted to go do this year but two things happened to me that prevented much of it. One was that I needed knee surgery which I did on March 1. Second was that my shoulder gave out and is in need of replacement which I will have done next October. Until then physical therapy is holding it together (I hope) until this summer's charter season is done. I picked a bad time to have shoulder issues as I had no choice but to shovel tons of snow. So all I did this winter was walk Storm all over the place. After my knee was worked on we did a lot less walking of course. I often carried my camera and had a lot of fun photographing Storm in the deep snow. Here are some of the shots I got. You can see how much fun Storm had!

Early winter night at Campbell Creek

When the lakes froze

Sundi Lake in early winter

Campbell Creek

My friend Brande's dog Rusty

Poor Storm had to swim in the snow much of the time!

One of the best action shots of Storm this year. A really hard shot to get!

Storm in the mountains above McHugh Creek

This was the shot I was looking for but I chopped his head off with the telephoto. He really moves fast!

Where's Storm?

Aurora Chasing 2016 Round 2

The second time the coronal hole came around was at Thanksgiving. This time Dave and I went north to the Talkeetna region. We spent the first night at the Chulitna River overlook. We saw some aurora that night but nothing special but the sunrise on the Alaska Range was awesome. We spent the day cruising around the small town of Talkeetna then waited for darkness on the banks of the rapidly-freezing Big Susitna River. The aurora was spectacular at times but the best of it did not strike until around 4 in the morning Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately that was the last time I did any serious photography this winter. Here are some of the best shots from the trip:

Mts. Denali on the right and Hunter

Probably the best shot I got this year. The Alaska Range from Talkeetna. From the right are Mts. Denali, Hunter, and Foraker.

Mr. Storm with Mt. Denali behind.

The aurora over Main Street in Talkeetna

The Chulitna River and the Alaska Range

The Big Susitna River and the aurora highlighting Mts. Denali, Hunter, and Foraker

Friday, March 31, 2017

Aurora Chasing 2016 Round 1

This winter wasn't the best for aurora photography. Not in our area anyway. The farther north you go the better. The sun is a couple years past solar maximum now and the sun spots that spawn so many auroras are mostly gone. We are living off recurring coronal holes that come around the sun every 25 days or so. And a couple of them were good to us. I did not do a lot of shooting this year due to weather and other personal things going on but I did catch two stunning displays; one near Glenallen in late October and the other near Talkeetna at Thanksgiving. My friend and aurora guru Dave Parkhurst was there with me and Storm too of course.

For the first shoot we drove north to the town of Glenallen and stayed for 2 nights. Nearby is an overlook that has one of the nicest views in the state at least as far as the road system is concerned. The pullout there plunges about 1,000 feet down to the Copper River and looks east to the dormant volcanos,16,000 foot Mt. Sanford, 12,010 foot Mt. Drum, and 17,402 foot Mt. Wrangell in the Wrangell Saint-Elias National Park. It was a cold night at -12 F but the aurora put on a magical show. Here are some of the best shots from the first night:

Two meteorites streak above mounts Sanford, Drum, and Wrangell

Dave watches the moon rise behind Mt. Drum

Dave in his element

Dave and some incredible skies

The following day we drove all over the region looking for another good viewpoint. Surprisingly we failed. But we drove to the tiny community of Chitina, about 50 miles down the Copper River, which I had not been to for 30 years, so it was fun to do. The second night found us back at the Glenallen overlook where the aurora display continued. The following day we headed home. Here are some shots from near Chitina and from the second night back at Glenallen:

Storm and Dave