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Thursday, January 1, 2004

The Inside Passage

Southeastern Alaska offers intrepid photographers unparalleled opportunities. An expert gives some insight on how to get the shots.

Glacier Bay also is known for exciting wildlife sightings. Among the possibilities are brown and black bears, moose, mountain goats, stellar sea lions, whales, and noisy seabird colonies where both tufted and horned puffins can be found.

And on this trip, on a far distant shore in a bay too shallow for the ship to navigate, we spied a pair of wolves frolicking with their two pups. We let our cameras lie idle as we enjoyed this sighting through spotting scopes and binoculars. I had heard about the wolves in Glacier Bay for years, but never before was I lucky enough to see them. We didn't consider this experience a missed photo opportunity, only a good reason to come back.

Southeastern Alaska can be a bonanza for photographers prepared for spontaneous wildlife encounters and the "artistic mist" along the rainforest coast. And "cruisin' for composition" is the best way to go!

Ralph Lee Hopkins travels to the world's wild and scenic places leading photo expeditions with Lindblad Expeditions and workshops for Arizona Highways, National Geographic Expeditions and Santa Fe Workshops. His most recent book is Hiking The Southwest's Geology (The Mountaineers Books, 2002). To view more of his work, visit www.wilderlandimages.com.



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