News from Robert Faucher

6/3/17: Cave Creek Canyon

Cave Creek Canyon

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Cave Creek Canyon" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP contests. There is a link embedded in the adjacent image to the OP Blog where you can view the announcement. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

4/18/17: Alien World

Alien World

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Alien World" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP contests. There is a link embedded in the adjacent image to the OP Blog where you can view the announcement. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

12/20/16: The Snow King

The Snow King

The editors of Outdoor Photographer magazine (OP) have placed my image, "The Snow King", on the Home page of their website for the "Behind The Shot" feature. There is a link to the feature on OP's blog, including text explaining how I chose the location, time of capture and some apps I used to make those choices embedded in the adjacent photo.

11/23/16: Stickwan Creek

Stickwan Creek

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Stickwan Creek" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP contests. There is a link embedded in the adjacent image to the OP Blog where you can view the announcement. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

10/1/16: Foggy Dawn

Foggy Dawn

The October issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine (OP) includes my photo “Foggy Dawn” in the Behind the Shot feature. The spread, covering facing pages, contains the image and text explaining the motivation, capture and meaning of the image. A link to OP's blog is embedded in the adjacent photo.

8/31/16: Fox Creek

Fox Creek

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Fox Creek" as the Shades of Green Assignment winner. Assignment winners are featured on the OP website homepage and several images from the Assignment Winners Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine. A link to OP's blog with the image and text explaining the images is embedded in the adjacent photo.

7/17/16: Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage and several images from the Assignment Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine.

6/29/16: Castle Crags

Castle Crags

Heading home, up I-5 in northern California, I just have to stop and make an image of the 6000-feet granite spires in the Castle Crags Wilderness. I had passed by this area numerous times. Of course one cannot simply stop alongside a busy freeway to make a photograph so it was necessary to find an appropriate viewpoint. It took some time off-road driving, hiking and clambering to find this vista. I was ultimately blessed when, late in the afternoon when I made this shot, clouds developed in the previously-bald sky. 

12/2/15: Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Catch Me If You Can" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage and several images from the Assignment Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine.

11/23/15: Muskeg: Tundra And Taiga

Muskeg: Tundra And Taiga

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Muskeg: Tundra and Taiga" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage and several images from the Assignment Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine.

9/8/15: Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier

The Cassiar Highway knives through mountain-river-lake-glacier country. My journey home from Alaska included this side trip to visit the neighboring towns of Stewart, BC and Hyder, Alaska, reached by a 65 km/40mile highway which opens up some of the North's most spectacular glacier and mountain scenery. The Salmon Glacier is located ~25 km north of Hyder, just on the Canadian side of the border, in the Boundary Range via one of the steepest, narrowest, roughest dirt roads I traveled. But the scenery was well worth the effort.

9/6/15: St. Elias Range & Aspens

St. Elias Range & Aspens

Headed home on the Alaskan Highway out of Tok. Saw this scene early this morning. Early morning light bathes the St Elias Range and some aspens towering over the Black Spruce forest.

8/30/15: Denali Morning

Denali Morning

Last Saturday my grandson met me in Anchorage. We immediately drove to Talkeetna, where I had arranged a flightseeing tour of Denali for the next day. Sunday morning greeted us with generally clear skies and the mountain bathed with faint alpenglow. We spent the majority of the day flying all around the mountain. Monday we explored within and outside the Park boundaries. Tuesday we took a bus tour of the interior of the Park, going as far as we were allowed. We got some very nice photos of the wilderness and wildlife before he returned home on Wednesday.

8/26/15: Caribou in Black Spruce

Caribou in Black Spruce

It was barely light enough to shoot. Winds were about 25 mph. It was raining. Perfect. I spent about an hour and one-half with him. He was not too receptive to my directions so I didn't get any photos without at least one tree in the foreground superimposed over his body nor any full frontal shots with him coming straight toward me. He couldn't decide which was his best side so I got mostly back side. He spent most of the time eating, but like all animals, occasionally he looked up to see if there were any predators, beyond me, lurking about. He was fully aware I was there. The giant eye of my camera lens is very distressing to wildlife and he only briefly would make eye contact. Sometime it was so brief I didn't capture it. I did manage to get a few frames with eye contact. Enough whining. As my friend John Shaw says "The quality of a photograph is not proportional to the effort required to make it."

8/19/15: Watchful Mom

Watchful Mom

This photo was made near the end of a day of bear watching along Moraine Creek in Katmai NP. We were watching this mother brown (grizzly) bear (Ursus Arctos), and her two little cubs working along the river. She was catching salmon and giving them to the cubs. After a short time the cubs became rambunctious, climbed up the cliff bank and began cavorting around up there. Ultimately mom climbed up also and took up this post near them. 

8/15/15: Portage Glacier

Portage Glacier

From a tiny trailhead in Whittier--really just a dead-end road--an old gravel road ascends about 800 feet in less than a mile, cresting at Portage Pass. On a clear day you can see the glacier from there, gleaming blue in the distance, with striking views over Prince William Sound’s Passage Canal behind you. That was not the case on this rainy day. From the pass, it’s an easy 650 foot, 1.5-mile descent on a tidy U.S. Forest Service trail, offering near-constant views of the glacier as you wind down to the broad, flat lakeshore. Icebergs, calved from the darkest blue section of the face and driven by the constant wind, congregated on the left side of the lake. Some recent bergs are seen on the lake's surface immediately below the calving section.

In this photograph a tour boat is visible along the face of the glacier, in front of the moraine rocks at the terminus. The boat is at least three levels high, plus its freeboard above the waterline. A convenient way to get a sense of scale of the wall of ice and the bergs in the water in front of it.

8/13/15: Weed Lake Swans

Weed Lake Swans

This pair of trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) was spotted on Weed Lake, one of a number of lakes along the Swanson River Road near Sterling. They moved gracefully, preening, displaying and generally enjoying each other's company. Swans pair with mates for life, usually as 2-year-olds, but delay breeding until their third, fourth, or even fifth year. 

The census of 1990 indicated over 13,000 trumpeters in Alaska (over 80 percent of the world's population) and a continuing increase over the past 20 years. Alaska's trumpeter swans winter near coastal waters from Cordova south to the Columbia River in Washington. A large concentration of trumpeters winters on Vancouver Island. 

8/12/15: Morning Alpenglow, Mt. Redoubt

Morning Alpenglow, Mt. Redoubt

Alpenglow is the rosy light of the setting or rising sun seen on high mountains. Here, first light of morning catches the top of Mt. Redoubt, casting its warm glow on the snow and glaciers, while the earth's shadow is prominent in the background sky. The grassy wetland in the forefround borders the meandering Kenai River and is a wildlife refuge. Waterfowl, caribou and moose are often seen here in the early morning and late evening.

The form of Mt. Redoubt, and its dominance over the landscape, is reminiscent of Mt. Rainier to this resident of Seattle.

8/10/15: Sunset, Chigmit Mountains

Sunset, Chigmit Mountains

The Chigmit Mountains are a subrange of the Aleutian Range. The Chigmits abut the continuation of the Aleutian Range into the Alaska Peninsula. They are located at the northeastern end of the Aleutian range, on the west side of Cook Inlet. The closest major towns to the range are Kenai and Homer, across Cook Inlet on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula. This photo was made from Kasilov Beach, about 20 miles from where I am staying in Soldotna, near Kenai.

The Chigmits, along with most of the Aleutian Range, are volcanic, and include two prominent stratovolcanoes—Redoubt Volcano, shown here (10,197 feet/3,108 m), the high point of the Aleutian Range, and Iliamna Volcano (10,016 feet/3,052 m).

The foreground is a vast mudflat due to a low tide. The puddles in the mud reflect the highlights in the sky.

8/6/15: Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier

I spent a couple of nights camped at this spot while I explored the Seward area during the days. Each night I waited for sunset to warm up the sky and hoping that maybe a few clouds might form. By Alaska summer standards, this one occurred early—9:08. When I was setting up there were no clouds and no color. The clouds drifted in from the right, taking about 30 minutes to completely traverse the open sky between the mountains bordering the glacier. Although I waited for the entire "Golden Hour" cycle, the sky never got more color than this.

8/2/15: Grewingk Glacier Lake

Grewingk Glacier Lake

This glacier does not terminate at the ocean nor into a river, but rather into a lake formed behind the moraine laid down at the leading edge of the glacier in the ancient past. With the retreat of the glacier the water pooled in to the now-vacant valley to form the lake. It is about a four mile hike in to the glacier over the moraine. Not too strenuous, but the rocks move with every step and make travel slow. The route out was definitely more arduous, going over the ridge to the right of the photo. It was a steep ascent, but an even more steep descent, terminating with a 75 foot staircase leading to the boulder-strewn shore of Halibut Bay.

8/1/15: Moonrise, Kachemak Bay

Moonrise, Kachemak Bay

The Blue Moon is anything but blue. Here it is rising over the Kenai Mountains with the top of the Dixon Glacier immediately below it and the Kachemak Bay in the foreground. This photo was made from alongside the East End Road out of Homer. For the purists, the date on the capture is the date after the Blue Moon. However, that is because it was after midnight when this photo was made.

7/31/15: Clam Gulch Sunset

Clam Gulch Sunset

The shallow slope of the floor of Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch makes it a popular place to dig clams. Low tide exposes these huge rocks and the sand surrounding them, up to one-quarter mile out from the base of the bluffs. The coincidental setting sun is framed between the rocks, flooding the rivulets of the receding sea water with its warm glow as they wend their way back to the sea.

7/29/15: Katmai Bears

Katmai Bears

Katmai National Park is home to the largest population of brown (grizzly) bears (Ursus Arctos) in North America. Mature male bears in Katmai may weigh up to 900 pounds. In summer they gather at streams to feast on salmon, build weight from this wealth of protein and fat, and prepare for the coming long winter.

This young bear in the foreground, probably three years old, spends his time observing the older males, like the one in the background, learning their fishing techniques and scavenging scraps as they float downstream. That mature male, one of 14 at the falls that day, sat in the same spot, focused on the water immediately in front of him, and caught fish unwary enough to venture into his kill zone. Optimum efficiency on his part. A good day of fishing is considered to be ten fish in a day.

The falls immediately behind the larger bear are six feet tall and will give you a frame of reference for the size of these bears. 

7/26/15: Skookum Lake Beaver

Skookum Lake Beaver

Alaska is home to a huge population of large mammals that garner the majority of the attention of visitors, including yours truly. However, smaller species play critical roles in any ecosystem. This is particularly true in a wetland, where beavers (Castor canadensis) are often the reason some wetlands exist as they do. Because beavers are shy and often work at night they are not easily seen, and even more challenging to photograph. When we arrived at the edge of the lake, this individual patrolled the yellow pond lillies along the shoreline slapping his tail on the surface to alert his family of intruders. Only after making about six passes did he turn to cross the lake, heading for his lodge.

7/23/15: Ms. Moose

Ms. Moose

Moose (Alces alces), the largest member of the deer family, are prevalent in Alaska. Despite their size they literally disappear into the forest, often hiding only a few steps behind a tree line, and likely thinking "You can't see me, but I can see you." They may suddenly appear from the woods, like this comely young cow did, and step into the limelight. Wary and dangerous, they will evaluate you to determine your threat. If no threat is perceived they will proceed with whatever they were doing before your chance encounter—feeding usually. If a threat is perceived—signaled by a lowering of the head, tipping the ears back, and raising the hair on the back of their neck—it is time to make a hasty retreat, behind a large tree if possible.

7/22/15: Kenai River Sunrise

Kenai River Sunrise

The Kenai River is the major route for salmon returning to the Kenai Peninsula to spawn. The fish often number in the hundreds of thousands, as recorded by sonar devices, passing any one point on the river daily. That means thousands of fishermen are also on the river. Only by restricting the hours in any one day when fishing can be done is there much chance for the fish to make it to their spawning grounds.

Summer in Alaska is the home of the Midnight Sun. The time between sunset and sunrise can be very brief. To capture either event means changing one's shooting schedule. Some photographers have taken to sleeping all day so that they can take advantage of the extended "Golden Hour(s)" which merge over this short time period. 

This photo was made in the wee hours of morning before the river was inundated with fishermen. Heavy cloud cover obliterated the actual sunrise, but a fortunate break allowed the sun to peek through just above the eastern horizon.

7/5/15: Mt. Boyle

Mt. Boyle

Mt. Boyle is the terminus of the Blackstone Range in the Ogilvie Mountains of northern Yukon. It is seen here at morning, with the sun lighting its flanks and a couple of tarns in the foreground. This photo was made from along the Dempster Highway en route to Inuvik. This road and the Dalton Highway in Alaska are considered some of the most challenging roads in North America. True, but not impassable. Amazing landscape though, when the weather cooperates, which is not often. My truck put on about 2 inches of mud traversing this road, and that was in July!

7/2/15: Five Finger Rapids

Five Finger Rapids

The Five Finger Rapids are located on the Yukon River, Yukon, Canada. Four islands divide the river into five narrow channels of which only the eastern is passable. The Five Finger Rapids is mentioned in Jack London's novel The Call of the Wild.

On this late, rainy afternoon, a brief break in the cloud cover allowed the sun to illuminate the river and the bluffs on the opposite side of the river from my vantage point.

6/25/15: Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats

Frisky little critters! Mountain goat and kid. Members of a small herd that come to this steep hillside in the early morning to consume clay, supplementing their diet with nutrients and minerals.

6/25/15: Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Two days in Banff/Jasper National Parks, an overwhelming place! 

One could spend a great deal more time here. Found some seriously cute Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) and a kid, as well as Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) and lambs. Moms are shedding their winter coats so they appear thoroughly disheveled.

9/24/14: Olympic Mountain Alpenglow

Olympic Mountain Alpenglow

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Olympic Mountain Alpenglow" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage and several images from the Assignment Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine.

4/29/14: Morning Glow

Morning Glow

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Morning Glow" as the Sunrise Assignment winner. Several images from the Assignment Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine. This image was published in the June 2014 issue of OP along with three other photographer's images from different Assignments. A link to OP's blog with the image and a description is embedded into the adjacent photo.

10/22/13: White Mountain Delight

White Mountain Delight

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "White Mountain Delight" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage and several images from the Assignment Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine.

8/1/12: Second Beach Sea Stack

Second Beach Sea Stack

The editors of Outdoor Photographer Magazine (OP) chose my photo "Second Beach Sea Stack" as today's Photo Of The Day (POTD). POTD is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage and several images from the Assignment Gallery are featured in the Best of Assignments section of the print magazine.

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