2019 Aurora Borealis Calendar

Hello friends. While the aurora-viewing season is drawing to a close, I am happy to announce that I landed a photo in the 2019 Aurora Borealis Calendar from Todd Communications of Anchorage. I have them available for purchase here: http://www.colintyler.com/online-store/2019-aurora-borealis-calendar 

My image, taken at the Eagle River Nature Center (Alaska), is on the month of March, which I will sign for you. If you are purchasing as a gift, I am happy to include a birthday or holiday greeting on a specific date for the recipient, just send me an email with the details. For the record, the photo was actually taken on Mother's Day, May 8, 2016.$20 includes shipping. 

Cheers!

Colin

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Swan in April Snow Shower

Trumpeter swan in April snow shower. I was happy to see the snowfall yesterday and a bit disappointed that more didn't accumulate. I went looking for the swans again this morning but did not find them. Maybe they were just out of sight someplace or it is possible that they have already continued their migrational journey north. If the latter is true, then it was a short stay this year.

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Spring Bull Moose

 Another sure sign of spring - bull moose are sprouting new antlers. Look closely in front of the ears and you will see the start of a new rack. During summer months, bull moose focus their energy on antler development, which can grow up to an inch per day. A fully developed set of antlers can end up weighing more than 50 pounds and span 6 feet in width. Photo taken recently at the Eagle River Nature Center. 

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Snowshoe Hare

Now I don’t want to split hares here but technically speaking, Lepus Americanus is actually not a rabbit. With larger bodies and longer hind legs than rabbits, snowshoe hares also have unique behavioral characteristics and their fur changes color throughout the year, being brown or grey in summer and morphing into white for camouflage in wintertime. Snowshoe hares go through a population boom and bust cycle that lasts from 8 to 11 years and they are currently nearing their peak in Southcentral Alaska, which explains the recent increase in lynx sightings, as they (lynx) are dependent on snowshoe hares for their primary food source.

Taken yesterday at the Eagle River Nature Center.

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Aurora Photography Class, March 2018

Last night's aurora photography class was a success! Thank you to everyone who attended. We had the best night of auroras this valley has seen in months, proving once again that timing is everything. I didn't get too many images since I was assisting people and making sure my attendees were capturing the display but I did take a few of everybody in action. We even witnessed the auroral arc that, for some reason, the Canadian scientific community has dubbed "Steve." I do not have another class scheduled for this season but I am always available for individual and group instruction.

Cheers!

Colin

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Return of the Trumpeters, 2018

Timing is everything. I’ve said this on several occasions and today certainly won’t be my last. Often it’s a matter of coincidentally being in the right place at the right time while in other instances, it is far greater than simple fortune. It is a matter of connecting with an energy that resides in every one of us - call it divine, if you will. By calming the ego and believing in one’s purpose,magic can and will reveal itself. 

After an especially powerful yoga session this morning, I set out to create something beautiful to share. The sun was shining bright and the air was still. As I passed a friend on the trail we stopped to chat and I remarked that the pair of trumpeter swans that returns to the valley each spring should be arriving soon. I’d barely finished my sentence when we heard the telltale call of the swans and looked up to see them directly above us on their approach to the creek. They circled a few times, giving me a brief opportunity to get my camera & lens out of the pack, adjust my settings (I shoot strictly in manual mode), and capture a few frames before they landed. 

I always cherish my time with the swans on their migrational journey northward and this year, for the first time, I was able to greet them as they arrived. Once again, I look forward to the moments we will share. 

Colin

PS - If you have not already done so, please view my galleries of swans photos from the previous three years:
2015
2016
2017

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Ethereality is my Reality

"Ethereality is my reality."

Here are two more photos from Monday's ski trek in Portage Valley. I'd wanted to hike up to Byron Glacier to explore the ice caves but with the recent snow slides on either side of the valley and all the wind-packed snow, avalanche danger was too high to risk going up there. Better to be safe than sorry, as they say, and live to create another day!

Colin

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Happy Vernal Equinox, 2018!

Happy Vernal Equinox! Today marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and we just passed 12 hours of daylight here in South Central Alaska. I decided to leave my home turf yesterday and explore Portage Valley, south of Girdwood. A friend and I skied up toward Byron Glacier. The skies were clear and the wind was ripping, which made for some interesting scenic images with my telephoto lens. At 400mm, I could isolate the top of Bard Peak and focus on the lines & textures. Black & white always brings an ethereal mood to a wind-blown landscape.

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Bay of Pigs and Trinidad, Cuba

Bay of Pigs and Trinidad, Cuba.

These are from days 2 & 3 of my recent adventure to Cuba. I'd packed an underwater housing in anticipation of taking some shots while snorkeling near the Bay of Pigs. Additionally, we all brought soccer balls to give out to children in the countryside. We frequently encountered groups of kids playing soccer with a tattered ball, so we would stop with a new ball and kick it around with them for a bit before leaving on our way.

Trinidad is Cuba's third oldest city and steeped in cultural history. We spent two nights there before driving back to Havana. The rooftop photo is from the casa where I stayed. If all goes well, I will be leading a photo tour to Cuba next winter. Again, I will post the details as they develop. Thank you for following along.

Colin

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Browsing Around Anchorage

“Can I help you?”

“No thanks, I’m just browsing.”

Taken during a heavy snowfall in Anchorage yesterday. Moose are common in residential and urban areas throughout Alaska, where they are often observed feeding, resting, sometimes even birthing calves. They are also famous for consistently ignoring traffic signs, so “Give them a brake” as the saying goes and if you don’t like the way they roam, then stay off the sidewalks.

Colin

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March Snow!

No matter where I roam, it's always good to come home to Alaska. I was reminded of this today when I woke early to fresh snow. After a quick breakfast and yoga session, I grabbed my camera pack, stepped into my skis and hit the trails, laying down the first tracks of the day. This is Darren's Bridge on the Albert Loop Trail, Eagle River Nature Center. Have a great weekend out there and, if possible, get out & play in the snow!

Colin

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Havana Tribute

Happy Hump Day, friends! I’m finally over the hump of editing the photos from my trip to Cuba. I spent much of yesterday organizing images and creating this video, a tribute to Havana with music by the lovely Camila Cabello. With the exception of the night shots and a few others, nearly all were taken my first afternoon. Shortly after arriving from an overnight flight and dropping my bags at la casa, I hit the streets to experience Havana - exploring, wandering, getting lost and soaking up the Cuban vibe. By the end of the week it was apparent how I could walk the streets and navigate traffic more easily and with greater confidence, and communicate with people more effectively; expanding my Spanish vocabulary in the short time I was there. In all honesty, I have not been this inspired and immersed in a foreign culture since I traveled to India more than four years ago.

Let me know how you like the video. I felt this made for a more heartfelt salutation than a photo album. From the classic cars to the people and street scenes, los perros y gatos (the dogs & cats) and even a few selfies and group pics, this is my compilation, my tribute to the city of Havana and its wonderful people who welcomed me with open arms.

Finally, many thanks to KB Cuba Tours and our guide Gelin for this incredible journey. I have every intention of returning and leading a group of photo enthusiasts, so please stay tuned for details on that if you or someone you know might be interested. Until then Cuba, mucho amor y hasta pronto!

Muchas gracias,

Colin

 

 

Vegas Grandes

Vegas Grandes - Tope de Collantes, Cuba. Just two weeks ago I was swimming right here, underneath Cuba's tallest waterfall (160 meters). I'm still organizing photos and looking forward to giving a presentation on my trip. I'll post the details as they come along. Viva Cuba!

Cheers,

Colin

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My first day in Cuba

My first day in Cuba; so many truly unforgettable moments. So much happened during my short time in country that this feels long ago, though little more than a week has passed since I took these. After our guide Gelin led us around for an hour or so to show us some major landmarks, I took off on my own to explore the city and soak up the vibe of Havana. I was excited to see a new part of the world, a place that, generally speaking, few Americans have been able to visit. At heart I am a nature photographer and while I looked forward to creating images of a different landscape and possibly some new species of wildlife, it was the culture and the people of Cuba that I felt most inspired to meet and photograph.

I spent hours walking the streets of Havana by myself that first day, taking advantage of the limited time I would have for solo ventures in the city. To me, there is no greater source of inspiration than to step outside my comfort zone, immerse myself in a foreign culture and interact with the locals as best I can despite the language barrier. Actions and expressions often speak louder than words and through mutual understanding, I was able to communicate with my limited Spanish vocabulary, so much that this lovely little girl, Stefany, approached me to have her picture taken. She was a great model and after several poses and smiles, her mother and grandmother were eager to have me over for dinner the following evening, an offer I had to decline since we had a full itinerary the rest of the week. I will email the photos to her mother and when I return to Havana, I hope to take her up on that offer.

Colin

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Havana Nights

I spent my last evening in Cuba walking the streets of Havana, taking in the vibrant nightlife on a solo venture. My first stop was Floridita, Ernest Hemingway's favorite watering hole. You can still find him there as he is eternally honored in the form of a statue at his corner of the bar. The others were taken near the capitol with some of the historic hotels in the background. 

I'm still editing photos and catching up after returning to Alaska yesterday morning, so please stay tuned for more. Once again, many thanks to KB Cuba for this wonderful opportunity to explore and photograph Cuba!

Colin

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Trinidad Sunset Time-Lapse

Happy Presidents Day! I’ve been back in the states since Saturday night, still organizing my images as well as my thoughts from the entire Cuba experience. I’ve got more to share yet as I saw so much in just one week, from the culture to the scenery and everything in between. 

I would like to give a big shout-out to KB Cuba for arranging such a grand adventure. Traveling to Cuba and navigating your way around can be complicated, so I am grateful to have had everything arranged and run so smoothly so that I could focus on my tasks at hand – exploring, creating, and sharing my experiences. Please check out their page if you are interested in visiting Cuba or visit their other page, KB Tambo Travel, to see the trips they offer around the world. I am also communicating with them about leading a group of photographers to Cuba next year, so please stay tuned for that! 
Here is a time-lapse video I created of the sunset on the beach near Trinidad last Thursday - 700 still images and 40 minutes condensed into 30 seconds. I will be back with more  soon.

Cheers,

Colin