Fleeting Glimpse of the Fleet Afoot…


This one’s not going to win any wildlife photography awards but it comes with an interesting story…

Early one morning in the wilds of Damaraland, near Palmwag, a group of intrepid Canadians (with one token Aussie and a Yank!) stealthily plied the backroads in search of wildlife to photograph.  Having had little success after more than an hour and a half on the road (other than some nice landscape scenes) they stopped to admire and photograph a pied crow perched mockingly on a dead tree near the road.  As we clicked a few images the crow cawed in our general direction causing us to focus our attentions on him even more.  After a short while someone called out in earnest “cheetah”.  This fellow had risen from the ground very near our truck and loped off into the woods probably angry that we had alerted his potential prey – purely speculation on my part.  I was lucky enough to swing my camera around and catch a few frames of the sleek feline before he was gone.  Looking back at the time stamps on the images, 5 seconds elapsed from the last image of the crow to when the cheetah disappeared from sight.  It happened so fast that I could only keep my fingers crossed that any of the images might be actually be in focus at 600mm!  At the time, I don’t think any of us were really worried about the images but we simply in awe with the encounter.




That’s wildlife photography at its best!

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Out of Canada (or Off to Africa)


As the song says: “Somewhere over the rainbow…”

Here’s hoping for blue skies.  And red sand.  And cold beer.  And nice light.

Not asking for much am I?  Lucky has been getting into the spirit of things already.  Sharing a meal at McDonalds in the Amsterdam airport and then a beer at the lounge.  A long layover on the way from Edmonton to Windhoek with an eight hour time difference from home.  It might be good to have the major time change over early but we’ll see how it plays out.  Have a couple of days in Namibia before the workshop begins so should get acclimated nicely.



As many of these trips start out, I have good intentions of keeping information flowing on this blog.  Most of the time I lose steam within a day or two – apologies.  Either run out of energy, time or internet connectivity.  We’ll have to see how things play out over here.

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2018 Calendar Cover

Well, actually it’s not unbearable, it’s unBearably 2018!  My new charity calendar has arrived just in time for the Christmas retail season and it’s selling for $20 with all profits going to charity.

As the cover suggests, it contains 12 of my photographic images (13 if you count the cover) of Canadian wildlife that are not bears that I hope people will find pleasing enough to hang on their wall to support charity.

This is a quick post so I will not include details.  I will update the Charity Calendar link above as soon as I get a chance.  If, however, you see this and do want some more information, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

More soon…

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“Spirit of the Ride”

The MS Bike Tours are annual fundraisers for the MS Society of Canada.  I participated in the Leduc to Camrose ride for the first time in 2014 as part of team Sus Scrofas.  We had a great ride and were very successful in our fundraising efforts for a very worthwhile cause. Last year we road again and had a better year fundraising.  So we’re going to do it all over again this year hopefully with even better results!  This is where I impose on everyone to consider making a donation to help make this possible.  I am once again making a photograph available to donors – details below – to sweeten the pot as it were.

Spirir of the Ride for web

Spirit of the Ride

For every donation of $100.00 (or more) the donor will receive a special edition print of one of my recent spirit bear photographs entitled Spirit of the Ride. The prints are signed 5” x 7” fine art prints matted to a finished size of 11” x 14” and are ready to frame. Make a donation of $200.00 (or more) and I will include a high quality black metal frame with antireflective glass fully assembled and ready to hang. If you have any questions email me at jbuchw@telus.net or call me at (780)723-2338.

For more information about MS, the Society, the fundraiser please go to the MS Society’s webpage.  To donate you can either follow the favoured link on the right of this page or click here.  If you want to take advantage of the offer above, the donation must be made to me as a participant.



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Steel Wool Light Painting

Here are a few images from the Edson Photography Club outing last Saturday to the MacLeod River near Peers…





It is always a lot of fun creating images like these.  On this occasion we were under a bridge which made for some interesting light traces as the sparks bounced from the concrete.

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Return From The Wilderness

A quick post from Dawson City, Yukon again.  Things quickly feel back to ‘normal’ after travelling.  I am sitting at a desk in a hotel room after a night in a comfy bed, indoor toilet facilities and a seemingly endless supply of hot running water.  We don’t always appreciate the routine things that we have in our day to day lives.  Yesterday, our little band of photographers flew out of the Yukon wilderness after spending 11 days photographing ‘Ice Grizzlies’.  The days are short in late October at the Arctic Circle so we had to make the best of our time there.  Here are the first two images from the collection to share, one of our favourite bear “Sophie” and one of the Northern Lights that we were treated to for four straight nights near the end of the trip.  I hope to add posts here with some stories and such but for now just a teaser with these images…



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Dawson City Traffic

We are on standby due to a weather delay.  It has been snowing here a little bit but we have a two hour helicopter ride to our final destination.  It’s been about 3 hours of uncertainty.  Hoping to get out today but there are logistics in play that we have no control over.  We are all itching to get to the Bear Cave Mountain camp and start looking for the Ice Grizzlies.  Killing time by updating my journal and taking photographs of the street out front of our hotel.  Here is Dawson City’s traffic…


The driver of the closest pickup actually had to wait a little over 3 seconds for the other one to pass before turning.  Real world problems.  But seriously, ’tis is the first snow of the year for Dawson.  The good news is that the skiff of snow should help keep the dust under control.  Hopefully we get some word soon or we will have to venture down the road to find lunch.  We’re all hoping to miss lunch because we are on the helicopter!  Ciaou for now.

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Dawson City, October 16, 2016

Some shit you just can’t make up…


Sorry about that one, just couldn’t resist.  Help me for I have punned.  Again.

It’s early morning in Dawson City and the last couple of hours before heading off to photograph the grizzlies north of the circle here in the Yukon.  We arrived here yesterday after spending a day in Whitehorse – see last post about the wildlife photography there.  Spent the better part of the day wandering around Dawson (the locals seem to drop the City routinely) which seems like a bit of a ghost town at this time of year.  Most of the businesses are boarded up for the winter and shops/restaurants are closed up making the streets very quiet in comparison to the summer when boat loads of cruise boaters come through.  I like it this way more I think.  Winter is starting to show itself.  Not much snow about but ice is forming on the Yukon River, some of the boats are already out of the water and today they are taking the ferry out.  This means that if you live on the other side of the river you can’t get to town too easily until the river freezes up enough to drive across.  This may take a few weeks.  If you have to get across, it’s a helicopter ride.

I have only spent a few hours here and without the ability to drive around and see the surrounding countryside but it is already easy to see how people get ‘hooked’ on the north. I have spoken to many people who have come to the Canadian Arctic never left – choosing to call it home.  The peacefulness, solitude and beauty is unmistakable even in such a short visit.  Dawson certainly has made a great first impression for me.  I haven’t left and already looking forward to returning and spending more time here.  I can only imagine how this feeling would increase if one had a chance to explore some more.  Alas, not for me at this time.  I leave you with one last view from yesterday and bid farewell ’til we return in a week and a half to the land of global communication…


Well okay, one more just for the heck of it…



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Prelude to Ice Grizzlies?

First day in the Yukon – October 15th, 2016.  The Ice Grizzly trip is a wildlife photography adventure so what better way to spend a day than doing wildlife photography.  But, not grizzly bears.  What else calls the sub-arctic regions of Canada home?  Well, deer and sheep for two…



These little fellas (or could be a gal in the case of the deer I guess) were spotted very close to Whitehorse as we spent a day in the city waiting for the rest of our group to assemble in preparation for the trip to Dawson City and points north of the Arctic Circle tomorrow.  Also seen were muskoxen and mountain goats but I haven’t got to those images yet.  We’ll see how things go tomorrow but after that we will be in ‘electronic silence’ for at least 10 days.  Here’s hoping for some great bear encounters and images to follow.


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Celestial Happenings


I am a firm believer in serendipity and happenstance.  Especially when it comes to photography.  Sure, you have to plan and take every step in the hopes that good things will happen.  And we are definitely largely masters of our own destinies.  But I can’t count the number of times that good things just happen.  Sometimes they involve images that I make and other times they just add to life’s rich pageant.  Last Monday was one of the former.  As I packed up my gear after a Edson Photography Club meeting I received a text from a member saying it looked like the Northern Lights were going to put on a show.  I was tired (exhausted actually) after a long day of errands and meeting preparations and was oh so closed to ignoring the text and heading for bed.  Reflecting back that I had missed some great Northern Lights just the previous week and seeing that the sky was essentially cloudless, I changed my mind and drove less than a kilometre from town just to have a look.  Only camera gear with me was body and 50mm lens (and tripod) so it was not going to be more that a quick look.  It’s a spot that I wouldn’t pick for photographing the lights but it does give one a good idea if they are worth chasing.  Sure enough, they were looking good.  Watched the greens glows dancing silently across the northern skies for a bit, captivated as always by these magnificent phenomena.  Making the decision to head home a get camera gear (and see if Jayne and Michelle) wanted to join me I left – not sure if the lights would continue or if I would return to a blank canvas as often happens.


We traipsed around the countryside watch the lights, which had lost some of their intensity and were having a hard time finding a spot we liked (well, that I liked).  Finally, fearing total loss of the Aurora, we stopped at the end of a lease road and decided what the heck let’s just watch for a bit.  So, we did.  Mother nature rewarded us with a fairly nice display that went on for about an hour before finally fading away.  The showed ebbed and flowed some, but kept us enthralled visually and our shutter fingers flexed.  The images above are a sample of those acquired and the animation below is a first crack at a Northern Lights animation.  Certainly not the most amazing images of the Northern Lights but decent considering I was just minutes from letting my head hit the pillow!


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