David Cothran | Blog


December 07, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Welcome dance on the lagoon beach at Pukapuka. New POLYNESIA gallery is up over on the Portfolio page.  In a significant departure from all earlier galleries, and from my work in general, this one is all images of people.  The people of Polynesian are warm and friendly, welcoming, fascinating and beautiful.  This gallery is a tribute to them and a thank-you for all the kindness we were shown on our voyages through this amazing part of the Pacific.


August 23, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Polar bear with cub kill This image is not very pretty, perhaps even a bit shocking, but it records an incredible sighting from this morning off the east coast of Baffin Island.  Shortly after breakfast we came upon a young female polar bear with her cub walking slowly across a large piece of pack ice.  Apparently unknown to her, an adult male was resting on the same floe, ahead of her in the direction she was wandering.  When the female became aware of the male she turned and fled, but after a couple of dramatic chases he was able to overtake her and kill her cub.  Male polar bears are known to kill and eat cubs of their species, possibly to gain access to the female and to reduce competition for resources in the area where they are hunting.  It was a sad and shocking event  but also a thrilling, rare behavior to witness, something I never thought I'd see even after many years working here in the beautiful polar wilderness of the Arctic.



July 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Sometimes the perfect light arrives suddenly and unexpectedly.  Several of these Tawny Nurse Sharks had been hanging around the National Geographic Orion all day, probably feeding on small fish sheltering in the ship's shadow.  They are very beautiful animals, but shooting them down through the water's surface in the Kimberley's hot mid-day sunlight wasn't working at all and we can't get into the water around here because there are much bigger nastier things lurking nearby (saltwater crocodiles!).  But just as the sunset was fading I happened to pass by the aft deck and there it was: the perfect moment.


February 15, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

checkerspot butterfly on thyme dorsalcheckerspot butterfly on thyme dorsal I'm heading south today, for a month's work in the Antarctic on the National Geographic Explorer.  It's always really hard to leave Lisa and our beautiful home in the Siskiyous, so here's a shot from there from a couple of summers ago.  When Lisa's thyme garden is in bloom it is always full of bees and butterflies!


February 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I love to shoot panoramas, with my DSLRs and my iPhone - it's a great way to capture the feeling of a big landscape.  This is one of my recent favorites, a view of the Errara Channel, on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, from the summit of Danco Island.  The little bump in the far right is Cuverville Island.


Canon 7D   EF17-40   f11   1/500   Three horizontal frames stitched in PS6


February 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Summer 2014 when the smoke from the Beaver Complex fires was filling the western sky. My plan for this blog is to post both new shots from current trips and older ones that I like and want to share.  Occasionally I'll write more about where the image was taken and what was going on, or shooting tips and other things that are on my mind.  If you'd like to know more, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you.

I shot this from our deck in September 2014, when the smoke from the Beaver Complex fires in northern California was filling the skies to the west.


Canon 7D   EF100-400   1/1250   f8

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