Robert OToole Photography
  • Mar23

    Example

    Early bird sequence. NIKON D4S with Sigma sports 120-300 mm f/2.8 lens @ 220mm, ISO 800, 1/4000 s at f/5.6.

    Within minutes of arriving at our shooting location at first light this eagle flew directly at us and banked across our bow.

    Wildlife photography is challenging but sometimes everything falls into place and makes things really really easy.

    Will post lots more images and details on my 2015 eagle tour series soon!

    Example

    Unsharpened 100% magnification crop of the above sequence.

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2015 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Mar8

    Example
    Japanese red-crowned crane pair in a snow storm. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/30s, f/11, 150mm, ISO 64, EV + 1.3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    Japan really delivered this year with great conditions, superb opportunities for our tour and thanks to a really wonderful group of people the trip was a big success. Sitting in my office in Los Angeles with 87 degree weather outside I am wishing I was back in Japan right now!

    Example
    Japanese red-crowned cranes displaying in the snow. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/1250s, f/7.1, 550mm, ISO 64, EV + 1.3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    The Usual Subjects and Locations

    There are four main areas that are visited on my Japan tour. We started out in Tokyo and moved to the beautiful Nagano area, sometimes known as Japan’s Alps, on the first day to target snow monkeys at the famous monkey park. Then we traveled to the northern island of Hokkaido to target the rare Steller’s sea eagle, whooper and the ultra rare Japanese red-crowned crane for the next nine days. This amount of time almost guarantees that you will see excellent snow and ice conditions for eagles and cranes.

    The Weather

    When photographing cranes in Japan you hope for at least one day of snow, this year the weather delivered with a few days of snow storms and even a couple of blizzards to make things interesting. Thankfully at the crane park even in bad weather you are always few steps away from a heater, warm food and drinks.

    Out of the nine days on Hokkaido we had a great mix of all kinds of weather, snow, cloudy, and overcast with only two days of full sun. In Japan clear weather is not ideal since it means harsh light and usually lower temps.

    Example
    Japanese red-crowned cranes in Hokkaido. All Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810 and UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    Equipment

    I recommend telephoto zoom lenses for locations like a crane park where you are limited to a certain distance. The images above were made at focal lengths from 200 to 600mm all made without having to change lenses. When you don’t have to stop and change  the lenses, or switch  the bodies, you can relax and concentrate on expressing your creative vision. This strategy has proven to work very well for me over the years in Japan.

    Since I decided not to bring a big prime lens this year all of the images in this post were made with the new Sigma 150-600 sports lens in Nikon or Canon mount. How did this lens work over a 500 or 600 prime? I can tell you I didn’t miss flying, carrying or shooting with a prime lens for one second and I will not be bringing a long prime lens next year thats for sure.

    On this trip I carried a new (medium sized) F-stop photo backpack with not one but two Sigma 150-600 sports lenses, with hoods on, and a Sigma 24-105!

    Example
    Red-footed red-crowned crane bank top view at the Akan crane park. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/1600s, f/6.3, 600mm, ISO 640, EV + 1.3, Manual mode, Handheld.

    The Cranes

    The japanese red-crowned cranes have a more highly developed display and mating behavior than typical cranes like the sandhills. In one hour an entire large group of cranes will display over and over again. This is one of the reasons I never seem to get bored of shooting the JRC cranes.

    The japanese red-crowned cranes are the rarest on the planet with total numbers less than 3000. The non migratory population on Hokkaido number about 600-1000.

    Example
    Japanese red-crowned crane dropping in during a snow storm. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/1600s f/8, 600mm, ISO 1100, EV + 1.3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.
    We spent four full days targeting cranes at two main locations and a couple of backup spots to make sure we get the cranes in optimum conditions. This is my favorite photographic combination on Hokkaido, it just doesn’t get any better than 50+ cranes calling and displaying in falling snow, sometimes all at once!

    Snow Monkeys

    Example
    Snow monkey nit-picking in the sun at the monkey park. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/500s, f/11, 300mm, ISO 200, Manual mode with Auto-ISO. UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    Over the years I have spent lots and lots of time around the monkeys in Japan and it never gets boring. The young monkeys like to keep moving and seem to always be up to mischief and the adults are always seem to be doing something interesting.

    Example
    Napping in each others arms. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/500s, f/11, 380mm, ISO 560, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, +0.7 EV. UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    The monkey park can get crowded, this year was the busiest year ever at the park, but the wave of crowds eventually thin out leaving with some very good, sometimes excellent opportunities.

    Example
    Young snow monkey checking out my camera under the watchful eye of its older sister. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/500s, f/8, 380mm, ISO 560, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    Blizzard

    Example
    Japanese red-crowned cranes in a blizzard. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/30s, f/11, 150mm, ISO 64, EV + 1.3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    My group was lucky to see and photograph the cranes in blizzard conditions. It was amazing to see the cranes react to the blizzard conditions by forming a tight group and big gusts of wind triggered an alert posture of some kind, anyway the blizzard definitely got their attention, as you can see in the image above. It really seems like the cranes enjoy the snowy weather because as soon as the wind would die back down just a little they would spread out and start a frenzy of displaying even going into copulatory stances a few times.

    It might seem like a bad thing to check the weather and see extreme weather warnings highlighted in bright red for the area you will be shooting in all day. On the contrary bad weather often means great photo opportunities.

    Japan continues to still have plenty of snow, thankfully, something that has been the case in Alaska over the last couple of years.

    Example
    Japanese red-crowned crane pair in a snow storm. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/30s, f/11, 150mm, ISO 64, EV + 1.3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    The Steller’s Sea Eagle

    Hokkaido is still the best location on the planet to photograph the steller’s sea eagle and for anyone that loves to photograph eagles seeing the SSE on pack ice is something that you will never forget. We spent two days photographing the steller’s and next year I will be adding additional photo sessions.

    My group had perfect timing as the blizzard that gave us the awesome conditions for the cranes shut down the roads to the eagle peninsula and not only kept everyone from leaving town but also kept the eagle boats in the harbor for 3 days.

    If you have ever thought about photograph the steller’s sea eagles in Japan do it now.  The pack ice has been steadily declining over the years and due to the huge increases in gas and oil development in the region who knows how much longer this will be happening (for example a Russian oil rig was lost in Jan in the area). Also the world’s population of SSE is less than 5000 and is declining steadily every year.

    Example
    Steller’s sea eagle banking hard against a sea ice background. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 1/1600 s, f/7.1, 270mm ISO 640, Manual mode with Auto-ISO and +2/3 exposure compensation (yes EC in manual mode) handheld.

    Steller’s sea eagle hard bank image made with my new Canon 7D EOS Mark II. This lightweight combo with a 240mm to 960mm range and 10 fps is just about perfect for the eagles in flight. FYI, I am putting together a future post about my findings with this camera and lens combo right now.

    Example
    Steller’s sea eagles perched on sea ice in the Nemuro Straits. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/1250 s, f/6.3, 600mm ISO 7200, Manual mode with Auto-ISO and +0.7 EV , handheld.

    Example
    Steller’s sea eagle redirection against the Shiretoko Peninsula in morning light. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 1/2000 s, f/8, 240mm ISO 400, Manual mode with Auto-ISO and +2/3 exposure compensation (yes EC in manual mode) handheld.

    Being able to photograph the steller’s sea eagle in flight is definitely a highlight of this tour. They are easy to distinguish from the white-tailed eagles also found at the same spot by the  way they fly. Thankfully they are slower and the darker color, almost black, makes an easy target for your camera’s AF system.

    Example
    White-tailed eagle top view bank. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 1/2000 s, f/8, 534mm ISO 200, Manual mode with Auto-ISO , handheld.

    Another highlight for me was photographing the smaller white-tailed eagles. A close cousin to our bald eagle the WTE or white-tailed eagle can be found all over Asia and Europe but there is not another place on earth where they are so tame and easy to reach and photograph at close distances.

    As I sit in my office writing this blog in Southern California I cant help but think about what fantastic opportunities we will find next winter in Japan and I can hardly wait to make it back to Hokkaido to lead my 2016 tour! I hope you can join us.

    2016 Japan Winter Wildlife Tour
    Sunday February 21st – Saturday March 5th, 2016, 14 Days: $8200. Deposit $3000.
    Maximum 6 photographers + Leader Robert OToole and co-leader.

    Single western style single rooms, mini bus (van) transport, mobile Wi-Fi, small group size of six, english speaking guide and special afternoon eagle photo sessions.

    For more tour info follow this link: http://www.robertotoole.com/workshop/hokkaido-japan/

    Sunday February 21st – Saturday March 5th, 2016, 14 Days: $8200. Deposit $3000.
    Maximum 6 photographers + Leader Robert OToole and co-leader.

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2015 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Feb22

    Example

    Juvenile snow monkey with an early morning snack at the monkey park. NIKON D810 with Sigma sports 150.0-600.0 mm lens @ 400mm, Auto-ISO at 400, EV +.3, 1/500 at f/11

    My first week back in Japan has been great so far with great light, huge piles of snow everywhere and I am with the best group of people I have ever led in Japan. This was the year of the baby monkey with 75 young ones born at the park but this was also the busiest week ever at the monkey park with great weather and the chinese new year holiday creating the perfect storm of crowds but overall the conditions were still great.

    Next stop Hokkaido!

    Below is a 100% pixel crop of the above image to give you an idea of what image quality the 150-600 sports lens is capable of. This was my first trip to Japan without any prime lenses and my Sigma 150-600 and 120-300 lenses are working out great so far.


    Example

    100% actual pixel crop NIKON D810 with Sigma sports 150.0-600.0 mm lens. BTW this image was shot at f/11 which is not the lenses sharpest aperture.

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Jan15

    Example
    Two openings just became available for one of my Bald eagle tours. The tour is at one of the prime eagle photography locations on the planet. Here are the details:

    March 26th – Mar 30,  2015, 5 days $3900. Deposit $1950. 5 photographers maximum.
    2 openings.

    Tour leader: Robert OToole

    You will need to be in Alaska on March 25th at least.

    Here are more details on past tours:

    See the 2014 Eagle Tour Report part one: http://www.robertotoole.com/2014/03/19/eagle-tour-2014-part-one/

    and part two: http://www.robertotoole.com/2014/04/02/eagle-tour-2014-part-two/

    Let me know right away if you can join us, you wont regret it.

    Example
    Early morning touch down made at a 300mm focal length.

    Example
    Photographer working an immature bald eagle with a 70-200mm lens.

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Dec20

    Currently I am shooting with a new Sigma 150-600 Sports Lens, my new favorite lens by the way, and will be posting a review of the lens here soon. Until then I wanted to post some quick results of center sharpness at 600mm, wide open, the focal length and aperture that should be of interest to a lot of people. I will post lots of images of real life subjects and more map images at other apertures and focal lengths soon.

    150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens on Nikon D810, OS off. Live view focus, AF lock, Manual mode, 1/1250 s, f/6.3, Auto ISO, EV at 0.

    Jobu MK3 gimbal head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod

    Be sure to click on any image below if you would like to launch the viewer and see a larger version on the image.

    Example

    Full un-cropped test image

    Example

    Center 100% magnification view crop of the image above, remember no sharpening was applied

    The results here speak for themselves, sharp at the center wide open at 600mm. Stopped down 1/3rd – 2/3rd stop and at shorter focal lengths the sharpness improves pushing the results into prime lens territory. I think Sigma is going to have a hard time keeping up with sales of this lens!

    Interested in a complete lab test of the  150-600 sports lens? Check out lenstip’s test: http://www.lenstip.com/417.1-Lens_review-Sigma_S_150-600_mm_f_5-6.3_DG_OS_HSM.html

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Dec16

    After nine years of leading tours at Bosque I have seen more than my share of unforgettable moments that keep me coming back. This year the conditions were not all time but Bosque still delivered really great moments for all my tour participants.

    Be sure to click on any image below if you would like to launch the viewer and see a larger version on the image.

    Example
    Early morning crane display. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/1250 s, f/6.3, 600mm ISO 640, EV + .3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, Jobu MK3 gimbal head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    The weather at Bosque this year was different (this seems to be common theme with all of my tour reports this year). The weather was so warm we no snow and only a couple of mornings with temps below freezing. The upside to the warm temps were some unusual bird behavior. The cranes would display and dance in large groups in the mornings, not as much as other crane species but for sandhills it was pretty special. One afternoon my group watched a large group of cranes bath for about an our. This might not seem like anything special but in my nine years of spending lots and lots of time on the reserve I have seen a sandhill bathe there once before. Unfortunately the bathing was too far away to shoot but it was interesting to observe.

    Example
    Early Late evening fly in speed blur. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/20 s, f/6.3, 600mm ISO 72, EV + .7, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, Jobu MK3 gimbal head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    The cranes pools have always been reliable at Bosque and one of my favorite spots of all time. This year was different, the pools really were the place to be since they were the only reliable location to shoot on the reserve! My favorite spot, the north crane pool was overgrown this year, really limiting the spot’s opportunities but management has promised me the north crane pool will be trimmed and back to normal in 2015!

    All of the images in this post were made with the new Sigma 150-600 sports lens. This year I decided not to bring a big prime lens for the first time. How did the lens perform at Bosque? Superb, even wide open at 600mm. This trip to New Mexico was my first chance to shoot with this lens so I will post a field report on the lens performance once I am done my current trip in Hawaii. I am looking forward to sharing more images and my experiences on this new lens! Sigma really did an amazing job with the lens.

    Example
    Pintails bathing in morning light and mist at the flight deck pool. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/1250 s, f/6.3, 280mm ISO 900, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, Jobu MK3 gimbal head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    The main or flight deck pool is past its prime by the time my groups were there since it is flooded in October but still the pool was had lots to offer in December with ducks and great light most mornings like in the image above.

    Lots more coming in part two of this report coming as soon as I can finish up editing images.

    If you would like to join us next year my 2015 tour dates will be available really soon, you can email me anytime to be placed on the interested list.

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Aug21

    My annual brown bear tour visits some of the very best brown photo locations on the planet and the timing of the trips in late July and early August means we will have excellent photographic opportunities for brown bears, many with cubs, great weather, and good chances for bears fishing.

    Example
    © 2014 Robert OToole Photography

    If you would like to join me next year my 2015 tour dates are open for registration and have just started to fill so email me as soon as you can if you are interested in joining us. Through experience I can tell you that the timing of these tours offers the best balance great action and good weather having led past tours at the same locations from the months of June to September.

    For 2015 we will have the new updated accommodations and headquarters with plenty of room and space for the entire group.

    July 19-25, 2015. 7 Days, 6 nights: $6500. Deposit $1500.

    Maximum 12 photographers + leader: Robert O’Toole and co-leader.

    August 9-15, 2015. 7 Days, 6 nights: $6500. Deposit $1500.

    Maximum 4 photographers + leader Robert O’Toole and co-leader.

    August 15-21, 2015. 7 Days, 6 nights: $6500. Deposit $1500.

    Maximum 4 photographers + leader Robert O’Toole and co-leader.

    For more information see the tour info page: http://www.robertotoole.com/workshop/brown-bears/

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Aug4

    Coastal Brown Bear Paradise

    Over the last weeks the weather for my two back to back brown bear photo tours was just about perfect. Two weeks without a single rainy day is almost unheard of in coastal Alaska and our group took advantage of the great conditions spending as much time as possible in the field especially for the unbelievable evening light from about 7 to 10:30.

    Example
    Late evening in Hallo Bay, Katmai NP, Alaska. Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX lens and Nikon D4, 1/1000 s, f/4, 170mm ISO 900, EV + .7, Manual mode, Jobu MK3 gimbal head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    Good sized schools of fresh looking salmon greeted us at each location we visited. Although the overall bear numbers were down this year the combination of salmon and the superb conditions made up for the lack of bears giving us excellent photo opportunities at Hallo and Geographic every single day. On a few occasions the bears that did show up to fish got so burned out from fishing they sat watching fish go by just inches away! Can you imagine how frustrated that is for a photographer? A few times the bears were so stuffed with salmon they would create a cache of fish on the beach, burying them in the sand to eat later. Normally bears will do this with large prey they kill but they usually eat salmon on the spot.

    Example
    Perfect late evening light, Hallo Bay, Katmai NP Alaska. Sigma 300-800mm F5.6 EX lens and Nikon D700 (backup body), 1/1000 s, f/8, 800mm ISO 800, EV + 1, Manual mode, Jobu MK3 gimbal head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    The mild warm weather and lack of big male bears seemed to bring the mother bears and cubs to the meadows. At Hallo we had a mother with a yearling, two mothers with 2 spring cubs, and another mother with a single spring cub. Hallo has always been my favorite location for bears with cubs.

    Example
    Feeding frenzy bear lunge, Hallo Bay, Katmai NP Alaska. Sigma 50-500mm F5.6 EX lens and Nikon D4, 1/2000 s, f/8, 380mm ISO 1000, Manual mode, handheld.

    Although the weather was pleasant this July it possible to have too much sun in Alaska.  This year the intense sunny conditions and dry weather did cause some problems by kicking salmon berries into overdrive way too early this year. Normally the berries peak in late summer/autumn giving the bears something to gorge on before winter sets in. This year was way different.

    Instead of finding bears waiting patiently for salmon lots of bears didn’t bother to show up at all for the salmon. It seems the bears took advantage of the available berries and stayed away from the streams, creeks and river mouths. So instead of the 12-15 bears you can see when the salmon are running in a normal year we would see 5 or 6 in a single area.

    A park ranger/biologist told me that the bear numbers were about 40% of last year, which were already down from the previous year.

    Example
    Chum Salmon breakfast, Hallo Bay, Katmai NP Alaska. Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX lens and Nikon D4, 1/1250 s, f/4, 420mm ISO 1400, EV + .7, Manual mode, Jobu MK3 gimbal head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

    Late July early August is my favorite time of the year in Katmai for bears with cubs and bears fishing. Year after year this time frame has proven to be very good with minimal rain compared to late summer or early spring. For photographers this means you can get used to ISO levels of 400 up to 3200, later in the season you have to get used to a minimum ISO level of 1600 or higher.

    Example
    Mother and cubs on alert, Hallo Bay, Katmai NP Alaska. Sigma 50-500mm F5.6 EX lens and Nikon D4, 1/2000 s, f/8, 380mm ISO 1000, Auto-ISO, EV + .3, Manual mode, handheld.

    Even though the conditions this year were a little different than previous years everyone on the tour had plenty of excellent opportunities to put both long and short lenses to good use.

    If you would like to join us next year my 2015 tour dates are available already and the tours have started to fill so email me as soon as you can if you are interested in joining us.

    Any questions or comments? Leave a question below or send me an email.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Jul13

    Recently I was asked for help identifying a mysterious spring mounted tab on a Nikon lens mount that was protruding on one body, present but not protruding on a second body and missing entirely on third body. So what does this mystery tab do exactly?

    Example

    The small spring-loaded tab is a mechanical AF drive coupling for old AF Nikkor and non Nikon mount lenses that do not have a built-in AF motor. On the left side we can see the AF drive coupling protruding with the body AF/MF switch in AF mode and on the right side we can see the coupling retracted with the AF/MF switch in MF mode.

    Unlike modern lenses with built-in AF motors the focus ring on older AF lenses should not be turned manually without first disengaging the AF drive coupling via the AF/MF switch on the body. With the AF drive coupling retracted you can safely manually focus an early generation AF lens without any worries about damaging the lens or AF linkage.

    If the AF drive linkage is missing from the mount, not just retracted in the mount, the body will not able to drive the autofocus on older F-Mount AF lenses Nikon or non Nikon (you can of course use the lens in manual focus). This means here are lots of early generation autofocus F-mount lenses, Nikon or independent manufacturer lenses on the used market that will work great on a current Nikon body.

    Example

    This is the female or lens side AF drive coupling on an old AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens. In addition to old Nikkor AF lenses I also own a few older Sigma lenses without built-in AF motors that have the same type of female mechanical AF coupling. These older AF and AF-D marked lenses cannot be used on some of the consumer type Nikon bodies like the D60, D3000,D3100, D5000, D5100 since they do not have this AF coupling for the older type AF lenses. Newer AF-I and AF-S Nikon mount lenses all have built-in AF motors and do not need a mechanical AF drive coupling.

    The backward compatibility of the Nikon F-mount on most Nikon DSLR bodies means you can pick up older AF or MF lenses for a steal and still enjoy auto-aperture, AF and great image quality even on a modern body like the D800.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.

  • Jul11

    Example

    Check out the July Alaska magazine on stands now until August.  A few of my images were chosen for the cover and an article on Katmai. The cover was made at Geographic Harbor in 2012 but seems like it was made yesterday. The experience was something I won’t forget. Right after this image was made the bear made a burst right at us, actually at a salmon thankfully, and stopped a few feet away in a explosion of spray. Everyone was so shocked only one of the group was able to grab a short zoom and get any close up images of the bear with a salmon in its jaws. It might sound dangerous but it was really one of the moments that keeps me coming back to Alaska.

    This experience is also one reason that you need to know what you are doing, or hire an experienced guide that does, when working with brown bears. Although its tempting to wade into a shallow stream when shooting bears to get a particular angle of view you need to realize that a salmon only needs a couple of inches of water to swim very fast and a bear or bears wont stop at anything to get the fish. To make this cover image I was set up on a dry gravel bar but if we were in a few inches of water I think we would have gotten a much more extreme close up look at this bear!

    Its always nice to see one of your images on a cover but as always its never about compensation since this cover and two other images would have covered about 3% of the expenses for the trip. In years past images like this would have paid something like 10% of the total expenses but times have changed.

    If you cant find the magazine at the newsstand near you, it also available in electronic formate or let me know as I might be able to help.

    All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2014 Robert OToole.  All rights reserved.