Quick Squamish Trip (Connor Stefanison)

Last weekend, my dad, Jess Findlay, and myself went up to the Squamish River to do some fishing and photography. Our main target for the day was to get some shots of American Dippers. The Dippers were overall pretty skittish, yet we managed to get some shots. We also found some Black Bear, Cougar, and Grizzly tracks, which are common to see on the river shore during the salmon runs. The Grizzly tracks are especially rare in Squamish, as they’ve only been reported in the area for a few years now. The last time I saw some grizz tracks up there was 2 years ago. Overall we caught a lots of Chum Salmon and had a pretty decent day of photography.

This weekend, I’m off to the sunshine coast in search of Roosevelt Elk, and to do some Coho Fishing. Updates soon.


Canopy Walkway

Tree Fern Photographed from Canopy Walkway

Bromeliad seen from Canopy Walkway

I’m stranded in Cusco for at least one extra day and possibly two because of some major landslides on the road I need to travel on to reach my next sites (Villa Carmen and the Queros-Wachiperi Community). I ran around for the past two days trying to prepare for the trip by purchasing tons of granola bars and peanut butter and catching up on email. For now, here are some images of the canopy walkway at Wayqecha – I believe it is the first ever cloud forest canopy walkway.

Canopy Walkway

Bill Campbell on Canopy Walkway

Orchids: Slideshow! (Gabby)

Music for this video is by Sayanka Inka.

Birds of Wayqecha

Baby hummingbird and egg

Great Thrush

Hummingbird in rain

Female Swallow-tailed Nightjar

Machu Picchu (Gabby)


First Rays on Machu Picchu

Alpaca in front of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Even if you’ve never been to Peru, you’ve probably heard of Machu Picchu. It was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, in 1911. His journal of discovery is recounted in his book “Lost City of the Incas,” which I would highly recommend as both a historical guide and amusing personal history. Machu Picchu is a few hours outside of Cusco by train and is next to the town Aguas Calientes – a town that I belive has only sprung up as a result of tourism.

My good friend and colleague Bill Campbell is currently visiting me in Peru, so I decided to make the trek out to Machu Picchu again. We took the IncaRail train out to Aguas Calientes for a stay of two nights. Despite the fact that Machu Picchu is the only attraction, it is necessary to stay overnight to get the fully experience by hiking Wayna Picchu. Wayna Picchu is a peak adjacent to Machu Picchu that gives you the full view from a few hundred meters above the ancient city. Wayna Picchu is also home to a few ruins and causes one to marvel at the sheer physical strength of the Incas in carrying rocks straight up a mountain for a good 1000 feet.  In any case, only 400 people per day get to climb Wayna Picchu because of the small stone staircase that leads to the top. In order to be one of the lucky few, you have to get up at around 3:30am and stand at the bus stop until the first bus departs at 5:30am. I heard more than one Peruvian mutter “crazy gringos” under their breath as they sold us overpriced coffee.

The long wait and early hours are certainly worthwhile because climbing off the first or second bus gets you sweet light and views of the ruins without hoardes of tourists. After taking some of the shots below, we hiked Wayna Picchu at 7am and huffed and puffed our way up the 100 flight staircase until we reached the top. Sitting on the ancient ruins at the top gives you an almost 360 degree view of the surrounding peaks. It made me think that spending a whole life tucked away in the remote mountains wouldn’t be that bad.


TrekNature is an online community of nature photographers from around the world. Users can post their photos to the galleries (organized by continent, then country) and receive feedback. There are also forums where users can exchange tips and techniques, and members can post photos for comments and critique before uploading to the gallery. TrekNature is a truly global internet community; it has 15,567 members from 159 countries according to its “Members” page. If the ads and layout on TrekNature bother you, check out TrekEarth, its parent website which has a slightly neater layout and photographs that capture world cultures as well as natural life.

“In Divine Trance” by Franco Joseph, taken in Chennai, India



NBPS Flickr Contest (Image by Bertie Gregory)

Awesome picture Bertie!

The upward angle was a great decision here because you were able to clean up the background of the photo. Be careful when using your flash though; you want to make it seem as if you weren’t using one. Try to diffuse the light next time, I like to keep an index card with me for just such occasions.

Keep up the great work!

- Adrianne

NBPS Flickr Contest (Image by Ben Fisher)


IMG_7246, originally uploaded by BenLFisher.

Nice capture Ben!
love the close up of this bird. the sharp focus in the eye is great, and the depth of field is used really well here too, the viewer just focuses on the face of the bird.
The only pointer I would try and give you is to try and more yourself enough so we don’t see the background at all; so its just the in focus face and the our of focus body (no background). That would have made this picture perfect!

Keep up the great work Ben! & keep posting everyone!

-Emma Canfield

Summer 2010 Slideshow (Connor Stefanison)

Sorry about the quality, I made this in imovie.


Needle Peak Ptarmigan Search (Connor Stefanison)

This past September, Jess Findlay and I got an invite by Russel Cannings to  search for Ptarmigan. This was not just any Ptarmigan search, this was one of the remaining species Russel needed to see in order to claim the British Columbia record for most bird species seen in one year. To be exact, we were searching for White-tailed Ptarmigan. We had run into Russel a few times earlier in the year during his bird search, but now the heat was on, considering he was already over 350 species at this point. 

Russel and his friend Devin picked us up early in the morning, and we set out on the two hour drive to Needle Peak. To find the Ptarmigan, we essentially had to hike as high as we could, on a peak that is located at the very top of the Coquialla highway. The majority of the hike was spent walking on granite, which was pretty cool. We saw tons of birds, and hiked all over the area. It wasn’t until the end of the day when we tried a different mountain side that we found a group of Ptarmigan. Jess was the lucky spotter in this situation, taking all the pressure of the day off our shoulders. Being a photographer, I decided to pack some gear (36lbs) in order to get some shots of a new species. The birds were fairly tame, and allowed us to get pretty close. Since it was the end of the day, we didn’t have much time to shoot them, but it was worth if overall. 

As of two days ago, Russel Broke the BC record of 364 species, and now sits at 366. You can check out his blog which features his progress and stories of his trips here: http://bcbigyear.blogspot.com/

Here is a link to Russel’s post about the Ptarmigan trip: http://bcbigyear.blogspot.com/2010/09/operation-ptarmigan-needle-peak-style.html

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