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Alaska DSLR Dutch Harbor film interviews Photography reporting video weather youtube

Dutch Harbor travel makes for wondrous bald eagle photography adventure

Photographer Jack Molan, aka “Captain Jack,” moments after arriving in Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Moments after arriving in Dutch Harbor, photographer Christian Sasse captured this dramatic moment featuring two bald eagles beneath the moon and a mostly blue sky. (still frame taken from video)
Photographer Christian Sasse speaking live to Beyond 90 Seconds on YouTube.

 

Armed with several cameras, lenses and a myriad of other accessories, photographers Christian Sasse and Jack Molan arrived in Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Saturday to embark on a unique bald eagle photography adventure.

Sasse’s pack includes a camera that shoots a thousand frames per second, allowing for a super slow-motion look at bald eagles, including the intricate  movements of feathers during takeoffs and landings.

Molan, a longtime fishing boat captain who’s spent three decades fishing out of “Dutch,” developed his passion for bald eagle photography while out at sea. The raptors would gather on his ship’s railings as the catch was collected, making for a unique outdoor photography studio floating upon the open ocean.

On Sunday, Sasse and Molan were interviewed live by Beyond 90 Seconds on YouTube

Speaking from Dutch Harbor, the men shared their excitement about their trip, as well as specific details about Dutch Harbor travel, photography, and exactly what makes Dutch Harbor a unique and challenging destination for bald eagle photography.

 

Additional info

Christian Sasse is also physicist with a PhD in optics. This is why this dynamic duo is sometimes referred to as, “The Fisherman & the Physicist.”

This trip to “Dutch” is a follow-up adventure to the duo’s first joint-photo trip to the same location in March 2014.

Listen to a fantastic interview featuring guest Jack Molan on the Galley Stories podcast, hosted by Mark Caylor.  I learned a lot from this interview, and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Christian Sasse photography: https://goo.gl/BzEzmL
Christian Sasse YouTube: https://goo.gl/QjRMJg
Christian Sasse Facebook: https://goo.gl/Gtyscu
Jack Molan book: https://goo.gl/RuuVEs
Jack Molan YouTube: https://goo.gl/AXGMiW
Jack Molan Facebook: https://goo.gl/uUXS1g

Categories
British Columbia Canada Vancouver Island wildlife

Podcast: Photographer Christian Sasse discusses hawk chick raised by bald eagles

Listen

An adult bald eagle with eaglet and hawklet in a nest located on Vancouver Island, Canada.

[box]NOTE: Photographer Christian Sasse hopes to broadcast live from the nest location on Vancouver Island today. His live streams are on YouTube and Periscope (links at the end of this post). [/box]

On Vancouver Island, a familiar bald eagle nest is suddenly home to a most unfamiliar scene.  

The eagle parents are not only busy feeding three eaglets in that nest.  They’re also feeding a baby red tailed hawk!

How it all came to be remains a mystery.

But there’s no doubt about who’s been capturing some spectacular, intimate moments on video.

In today’s podcast, Photographer Christian Sasse of Surrey, British Columbia shares some insights into this compelling story.

He shoots with an 800mm lens, allowing him to get extreme close-ups of the nest, while standing a great distance away.

The interview featured in today’s podcast took place the night before another ferry ride to Vancouver Island, where Sasse will return to the nest location with longtime bald eagle researcher David Hancock at his side.

VIDEO PLAYLIST: Christian Sasse videos featuring hawk chick being raised by bald eagles

 

RELATED LINKS:

Christian Sasse on YouTube

Christian Sasse on Periscope

Hancock Wildlife Foundation

Professor David Bird

Categories
British Columbia video Washington wildlife

Oh, Silvana! Where Bald Eagles delight

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A Bald Eagle in the rain on Sunday, February 23, 2014. Photo taken in Silvana, WA.

(Silvana, WA) Passing through the Silvana area on a rain-soaked day in late February may not sound exciting; but even a wet, winter day gets my adrenaline going in Silvana.

That’s because the Bald Eagles always seem to be perched in trees along the Stillaguamish River.

Lots of Eagles.

I often simply open my sunroof (yes, even letting the drizzle in) and simply point my camera straight up to photograph an eagle perched on a limb directly over the road.

Yes, I’ve made trips to the more distant Rockport to scratch my Bald Eagle itch.

But the Silvana area’s relative closeness coupled with its abundance of nearby eagles can be just as thrilling as the more talked about mountain destination.

My trip through the Silvana area’s eagle country today was brief, lasting only about 30-minutes.

And while I didn’t do a precise count, I estimate that I saw more than 20 Bald Eagles as I drove along about a 3-mile stretch of rural road near the “Stilly.”

The photo above featuring an eagle flying in the rain is probably my favorite from today’s shoot.

Meantime, viewing the eagles  brought back memories of a wonderful video I had the pleasure of producing with Christian Sasse last year.

Sasse has an extraordinary talent for photographing Bald Eagles.

Below, you can watch the video we produced featuring his fantastic images taken in Port Hardy, British Columbia.

 

 

Categories
British Columbia Canada video wildlife youtube

Record-setting amateur astronomer now a rising star in Bald Eagle photography

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Christian Sasse (right) assists Bald Eagle researcher David Hancock while attending to a juvenile eagle. (photo courtesy Christian Sasse)

Christian Sasse loves pushing the limits.

He shattered a world-record when he imaged the most distant object from earth ever captured by an amateur-sized telescope.

Now, he’s taking aim at producing some magnificent wildlife photography.

This latest chapter in Sasse’s adventurous life began to unfold shortly after he moved to British Columbia in 2011.  That same year, he visited the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, thus igniting a passion for both the welfare (he volunteers at the Hancock Wildlife Foundation) and imagery of the majestic raptor.

And that is when Sasse decided to take-up photography. Yes, just two years ago.

Enthusiastic, rave reviews of Sasse’s photos continue to pour-in from around the world on his Facebook page. As of this writing, his page has 15.8 thousand “likes.”

Sasse regularly updates his Facebook page with fresh images, usually several times per week.

The photos intimately showcase Bald Eagles at various stages of life, from the recently hatched to the mighty, full-grown adult.

Classic Bald Eagle behaviors are also captured by Sasse’s lens(es); and we’re not only talking about the familiar “money shot” that features a flying eagle’s talons plucking a salmon from the water mere centimeters below.

For example, how many of us have witnessed a Bald Eagle standing in the muddy waters of a low-tide and patiently hunting for a midshipman (fish) that’s mostly hidden in the muck?

To top it all off, it turns-out Sasse is also quite gracious; something I learned firsthand.

Several weeks ago, I reached-out to Sasse via Facebook and asked for permission to use two of his photos in a project.  He kindly obliged.

It was while working on that project that I came across a piece of up-tempo music and thought, Christian Sasse’s photography would go great with this tune!

The rest, as they say, is history.

The music and Sasse’s photos are featured in the video below.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Beyond 90 Seconds Mark Horner News video Washington wildlife

A special place

VIDEO

For starters, please allow me to say, “Hello.”  After taking a new job that involves a lot of time on the road, I’ve become a bit of a stranger to those of you who had regularly read this blog.  Sorry for the absence, but there hasn’t been much free time.  And I’ve resisted the temptation to “blog just for the sake of blogging.” I’ve always aimed to put meat on the table, not just garnish.

So, I’m back today with another original offering.  No crime news today.  We’ll ease back into a reasonable blogging groove with a simple video featuring one of my favorite places; a stretch of shore without a sandy beach.  Hardly ideal for the simplest of walks as you may sooner find yourself sinking in mud than moving forward.  Such is the effect of the rivers that end here, the clay of the land and the daily tugging and pushing of a tide that repeatedly fills and empties the bay.

This video was shot along a ting stretch of shore on Camano Island in Washington state.  It stars a family of bald eagles.  The supporting cast includes two ultralights and shorebirds.  The unrehearsed performance all unfolds upon a majestic stage.

Do you have a special outdoor place?  Whether it’s in the mountains, on the water or, perhaps, your back yard, feel free to tell us about it here!

Categories
Beyond 90 Seconds Washington wildlife

Wintering bald eagles of Rockport at center of majestic mountain beauty

VIDEO

Bald Eagles along Skagit River in Rockport, WA (2009) from Mark Horner on Vimeo.

 

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When I recently returned to my home state, I vowed I’d get to know Washington better than ever; that I’d attack it with the same curiosity and sense of exploration that I’d applied to southeastern Arizona, Door County Wisconsin and much of New Mexico.

It’s easy to take a lot of things for granted in life, isn’t it?  Time spent with our parents, for example.

Treasures only a short drive from our front door can be under appreciated, too.

The first time I moved to Tucson, in 1991, I’d been surprised to meet a few natives who’d never been to Sabino Canyon, let alone the Grander fissure to the north.

So, here I am.  Now living only a few miles from the neighborhoods that helped shape me. Familiar, yet unfamiliar, as much has changed here since I left for college, and then (after a brief stint managing a Skipper’s fish-and chips restaurant) onto a TV reporting job in 1987.

The video featured in this post is not the typical fare for this blog.  No crime, no cults, no floating feet.

sunrise_pic_2Instead, today’s video features pretty pictures of bald eagles, snow-capped mountains, river banks, a blue heron, a logging truck and photographers delighting in all of it.

It’s been more than 20-years since my only prior visit to Rockport to see the eagles that winter along the Skagit River. Back in the late 80’s, I’d made the trip with a friend and never left the roadside.

Last Thursday, I drove to Rockport with my brother, Jeff.  We did leave the road.  And often hiked through crusted snow to see what was around the next bend in the river.

During the winter, this stretch of the Skagit River attracts hundreds of bald eagles from Canada and Alaska.  Why?  Easy pickins.  Or, as a Seattle Times reporter put it a few years ago:

…to feast on salmon carcasses that wash up on the river’s gravel bars, the equivalent of a Las Vegas buffet for snowbirds: cheap, plentiful and, OK, maybe a little stale.

Jeff primarily shot still pictures, but used the same camera to shoot a bit of video, too.  I shot lots of video.

The first few scenes in this video were actually shot while we were still en route to Rockport.  The sun was rising as we were driving on a stretch of Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington.  What words to reach for as I attempt to describe the unveiling of that new day?  Magical?  Mystical? Let’s just say, spectacular.

After the shoot, I used the GarageBand application on my Mac to create a piece of music for this video.  When I imported it into iTunes (so that I could access it with GarageBand), I felt compelled to give the song a name, Where Spirits Soar.

The 22nd annual Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival takes place this weekend, January 24th & 25th.  To learn more, please click here.

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UPDATE (January 23):  Tonight, KING-TV’s (Seattle) Evening Magazine is featuring a segment titled, Eagles at home on Skagit River. You can watch that story here:  KING5 VIDEO

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If you liked this video, you might also enjoy watching Snohomish River rising quickly.

(View Wintering bald eagles of Rockport at center of majestic mountain beauty on Vimeo HD)