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

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.





Beyond 90 Seconds blog Commentary DSLR Snohomish Snohomish River video Washington

September’s Symmetry: “Humpy Run” (Pink Salmon) on the Snohomish River

Post updated on July 14, 2013.

It’s an odd-numbered year, so watch-out!  Large numbers of pink salmon (nicknamed “humpies”) are about to return to Puget Sound.

Want to whet your appetite for the upcoming humpy run?  Check-out the video below.  It features a full-helping of beautiful scenery on the Snohomish River captured during the 2011 pink salmon season.

The shots were taken over the course of a few weeks during early mornings, middle of days, and evenings, too.

So, go ahead and click the video’s play button.  Cast off.  And slowly  reel-in this beautiful fish story.


Beyond 90 Seconds DSLR Snohomish Snohomish River video Washington wildlife youtube

VIDEO: Silver salmon jumping on Snohomish River

I couldn’t yet see the Snohomish River, but after getting out of my SUV and taking a brief walk, I could hear the familiar sound of salmon “having a splash.”

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Fisherman lands King Salmon from Edmonds pier

NW Life

salmon_1(Edmonds, Washington)  Okay, perhaps I should have been in “reporter” mode, but on the early evening of Sunday, August 2, I was on a simple family stroll along the beach in Edmonds, Washington.  As we approached a popular pier, a sudden cheer cracked the air.  I immediately set my sights upon the furthest reach of the pier, just in time to see the silhouette of a sizable fish dangling against the rich, blue sky.

A throng of people, large and small, immediately closed-in on the lowering fish as if drawn by an equally shared pull of some magnetic force.

It didn’t take long for me to quicken my gate towards the excitement, pulling camera out of case along the way.

Although I grew-up in this area and spent many a summer day on a dock like this one, I found myself acting like a tourist.  Taking LOTS  of pictures of the hefty fish.

Such is the excitement when someone lands a King Salmon.  Especially from a pier.

As a teenager and younger man, I’d heard tales of people catching Kings on the Edmond’s pier.  Now, at age 45, I was seeing it happen the instant I’d returned after many years away.

salmon_2The man who caught the fish quietly honored requests to pose with his King as strangers clicked-away on their cameras and cell phones.  He’d never caught a King Salmon, he shared.

No one produced a scale, but estimates of the salmon’s weight ranged from 16 to 20 pounds.

An apparent stranger eerily entertained the all-ages crowd as he gutted and cleaned the King.

“It’s customary that when a person catches his first King, he cuts the heart in two and eats both pieces,” the man said as he busily went about the task very much at hand.

Ewwww….Ooooh,” came the collective response from some nearby young girls, then adults, too.

“I heard it was the person cleaning the fish who was supposed to eat the heart,” another man quipped after the ewwwws and oooohs subsided.

I decided to keep my “tourist” hat on, but never asked for a pose.  The man who caught the fish seemed eager to move toward the peace and quiet he’d known only minutes earlier.

salmon_3I decided not to further pierce the moment by asking for his name or that of the man who cleaned the salmon.  Let the moment ebb, much like the waves I’d watched upon the sand near my feet earlier that evening.

I will report, though, that no one ate the fish’s heart. I knew some would wonder.

And now, because the fun of that evening has stayed fresh in my mind an evening later, I’ve decided to blog about it here.

Long live the King.