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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Eighty-six: An American safari -- wildlife photography in southeast Alaska’s wilderness tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Eighty-six: An American safari -- wildlife photography in southeast Alaska’s wilderness

Most travelers to Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage come for the spectacular mountain scenery, the colorful tourist towns, and the lavish comforts of large cruise ships. Spotting wildlife at a distance is an extra treat. For my own purposes as a photographer, the wilderness areas within Alaska’s Inside Passage offer probably the greatest concentration of wild animals in the US. I spent 11 intensive days (and nights) telling their story with my cameras in the summer of 2013.

I spent the first seven days of this truly American safari cruising through the wilderness of southeastern Alaska's Inside Passage on the Safari Explorer, a small 36 passenger expedition ship operated by Un-Cruise Adventures (, traveling from Juneau to Juneau and anchoring each night in the bays and coves along the way. Using its small skiffs and its highly skilled crew, I was able to access wildlife subject matter much more closely and frequently than I would have been able to do if I was aboard a larger cruise ship.

Following this cruise, I stayed on in Southeast Alaska for an additional four days at the very small Pybus Point Lodge (http:// It is a remote fishing camp, accessible only by float plane, located on Pybus Bay at the bottom of Admiralty Island. I am not a fisherman, however the owners of this lodge graciously offered me private use of the camp’s equipment and guides so that I could spend my days and evenings there photographing bald eagles, sea lions, and brown bears, often at very close range. I made about 7,000 images on this 11- day safari, and discuss 73 of them here.

These photographs reflect my own interpretation of what I saw, felt, and imagined. I use my camera here to tell the story of these creatures, as well as the environment in which they struggle for survival.

As always, I will often point out the conditions under which I made my images, and explain what I did in order to make the best out of what often confronted me in terms of photographic conditions.

I offer this gallery in blog style. A large thumbnail is displayed for each image, along with a caption explaining how I intended to express my ideas. If you click on the large thumbnail, you can see the image in full size, as well as leave comments and read the comments of others. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions and will be delighted to respond.