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Photographing Alaska--Homer and Kachemak Bay

You reach 40-mile-long Katchemak Bay by driving to the end of Alaska Highway 1 in Homer and onto the Homer Spit which divides the bay into upper and lower portions. The spit also contains the small boat harbor and multiple tour operators that vie for the opportunity to show you the bay. Rather than take one of the commercial tours, I signed up with Glenn Seaman and Seaman Ecotour Adventures based on his marine biology background and 16-year residence in Homer. It was a fortunate choice as Glenn made an excellent guide and proved to have an understanding of photography that aided me in making some very nice images. Amiable and knowledgeable we spent a very pleasant 7+ hours exploring Katchemak Bay and photographing its wildlife. Our first stop was an island known for its nesting population of bald eagles. In a short period of time I had enough eagle images to satisfy me for a few days.

Bald Eagle in FlightKachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

We then motored to a number of nearby islands and photographed Harbor Seals, Puffins, Kittiwakes, Pelagic Cormorants and the very photogenic Sea Otters.

Sea Otter Look

Locally famous Gull Island is covered in birds of several species and is a regular stop on all bay tours. The highlight of the day was an encounter with a Humpback Whale that was a showoff and performed a series of breaches and flipper waves and slaps to my delight.

Humpback Whale Landscape
Whale of a Tail

My DSLR’s did their 10 fps tune and I made some photos that I was very happy with. The tour ended all too quickly, but left me with a big smile on my face and a CF card full of images.

The small boat harbor is home to wildlife tours of another sort sponsored by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. Our guide demonstrated extensive knowledge of the creatures attached to the dock including Sea Stars, Sea Urchins and Sea Anemones among other things. This Sea Star was the most photogenic when flipped over to view its ventral surface.

Sea Star CloseupKachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

Other activities in Homer include tide pool tours of Bishop’s Beach by naturalists from the Oceans and Islands Visitors Center on Highway 1 in Homer.

Homer is legendary for its eagle population especially in winter. There has been an active eagle nest right off Highway 1 across from the post office for many years and eagles can be seen soaring above Bishop’s Beach or resting in its trees on a daily basis.

Bald Eagle Chick

This is a brief introduction to the wildlife found in Homer and its environs. If you're looking for more, please visit my website at or listen to my podcast with Glenn Seaman

Next time Katmai National Park. Thanks as always for looking and commenting.