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Winter is an amazing season. Snow piled high, crisp cold air, blowing snow and the Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani Yaen-Koen did not disappoint. Jigokudani is located in a mountainous area in Central Japan in Nagano. Jigokudani Yaen-Koen literally means hell's valley. It is a magical, spectacular, and wonderful environment for the monkeys and they have a great life there. This is my "happy place", with my camera in hand.

Like clockwork, at 9am, Snow Monkeys descend from the protection of the forests and steep cliffs to begin their day. They return to their home in the forest at 4pm.
During the harsh environment in February, 2012 & 2013, I captured intimate images of snow monkeys. They groomed one another, foraged for food, and the social interaction between them was amazing, I couldn't believe how human-like they appeared, especially while preening. Their little fingers were perfect!
The Monkeys chased each other in and out of the hot springs, tossing one another in the snow and chillin out, huddling together for warmth and comfort. They loved to play and swim in the onsen. Typically, in the wild, they feed on seeds, buds, fruits, berries, leaves and bark, sleeping in trees.

Little Snow Monkey's, I will be returning in January, 2015! I can't wait to see your snowy faces again.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY HORSE SHOOT, THE HIDEOUT RANCH, 2015
Join Carien Schippers and I for an amazing Winter workshop. This is a great opportunity to build your stock photos photographing horses in the snow. Imagine horses stampeding through the snow on a spralling ranch wth snow-covered mountains and spectacular red cliffs as a backdrop.
The Hideout Ranch is on 30,000 acres in Shell, Wyoming, located at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. The main lodge is surrounded by guest cabins.

Spend five days, with two shoots each day, in snowy conditions, with cowboys working the horses in groups and individually. There will be a variety of horses; paints, appaloosas, palominos, duns, sorrels, roans, grays and mustangs. Opportunities will be provided to photograph model released cowboys in a variety of conditions and the tack and saddle room will be available for a variety of detail work.

You will be treated to the best food cooked by an amazing chief, the food does not disappoint! Each evening relax in your cozy cabin decorated with a touch of the west, on your cabin porch, play a game of pool and/or sit next to the fire and share images with one another.

This is a unique opportunity to photograph horses in a range of situations with a very small group of photographers - a maximum of 10 participants will be allowed at this workshop. This workshop will be cancelled and money refunded if our minimums are not met.
Dates: Sunday, February 8th - Saturday, February 14th, 2015
Fee: $3.295 with a deposit of $750.00 will hold your spot, the balance is due December 1st. A refund of full payment, less $150 handling fee if you need to cancel and your space is filled. Single supplement is $250
Workshop fee includes workshop/lodging/food/transport to and from Cody airport.
Learn more about the ranch: http://www.thehideout.com
For more information and to register: http://events.equinephotographers.net/howy15/


Brown Bear Photography Tour, A dream comes true
Silver Salmon Creek Lodge - June 22nd - 27th, 2015
Your heart is pounding...pulse is racing, before you stands a huge brown bear and two cubs. Come capture bear and bear behaviors with Judi Hagen and Phyllis Burchett on this unforgettable photographic journey, a life-changing experience.
http://phyllisburchettphoto.net/alaska-tour-2015/

Tucked away, on 160 acres in Lake Clark National Park, established in 1980 and located in southwestern Alaska is an amazing opportunity to photograph brown (grizzly bears. Silver Salmon Creek Lodge is considered to have one of the finest bear viewing areas in Alaska. The only way to access SSCL is to fly in by small aircraft, landing on the beach. Watching these bears in their natural habitat; cubs at play, nursing or playing in the meadow, bears digging for clams in the rich mud, bears eating sedge grass, is a once in a lifetime photographic opportunity.

Join us for an all-inclusive six days, five nights at SSCL. http://www.silversalmoncreek.com on the western shores of Cooks' Inlet. With a maximum of 6 participants, including the trip leaders, you will have the best opportunity to work in a small group, capturing those amazing images. Late June there are typically more bears, especially spring cubs. Although Silver Salmon Creek is known as ahaven for juveniles and moms with cubs, June and early Luly offers great photo opportunities for the larger boars, when they frequent the area during the mating and courtship season. During this time of the year the bears in the Lupine are spectacular, grasses will be short enough to capture those first glimpses of newborn cubs. We'll visit the beaches, rivers and meadown, where we'll find bears.

Arrive in Anchorage and let the adventure begin. Hop aboard a small bush plane from Anchorage and fly with us down the coast reaching Lake Clark National Park. We land on the beach and often, for the get go, we see bears. What a thrill as you feel your heart pounding with excitement. Imprinted in the sand are bear tracks.

Fees: $4800 Six days and five nights, price is based on double occupancy
Deposit: $500 non-refundable deposit

To Register: Call Judi Hagen at 425.442.8408 or e-mail at judihagen@hotmail.com

Judi Hagen is a wildlife photographer living in the Pacific Northwest. Her love of wildlife, patience and skill combined has captured the interaction of animals, creating stunning images.

Contact Judi at paawprints@hotmail.com, 425.442.8408.

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Judi Hagen, Photographer, www.paawprints.com