Justin Hofman@justinhofman

Expedition leader for @eyosexpeditions
Photographer with @sea_legacy
Ocean lover. World traveller


The male Harlequin duck is one of the most striking birds in North America. They use their wild colors and patterns to advertise their fitness to female ducks and are one of the few animals of the Alaskan fjord system that can compete with the floating gems of blue glacier ice.

#alaska #harlequin #duck #ice #glacier #berg #wildlife #birds


Glaciers are slow moving rivers of ice, grinding and carving the landscape as they travel downhill from the ice field of their birth. Although they seem static, each glacier holds within it power beyond our comprehension. When rocks become incorporated into the glacier's slow procession, they can be deposited great distances from their origin, at which point they are known as glacial erratics. This small boulder is on its way to parts unknown as it becomes part of the geologically confusing landscape of Southeast Alaska.

#alaska #glacier #climatechange #erratic #albation #river #blue #colors #rock #roll


Stranded on the low tide, an iceberg serves as a landing pad for glaucous gulls young and old. The lack of circulation in their feet keeps the frozen block from cooling their core temperature, a nice adaptation found in most sea birds, especially those in the cold latitudes. The vibrant blue color emanating from within this berg is due to its density and purity, both a consequence of being formed by a glacier. As the tide continues to fall and water drains from the micro-cracks in this berg, it will lose some of the blue in exchange for a muted hazy white much like the ice at its extreme edges.
#ice #glacier #alaska


Layered among wispy early morning fog, the bay was quiet save for the occasional crackle of an iceberg or exhale from a curious harbor seal. We cruised in and out of the shallow inlets searching for wildlife but it was the scenery that really held our attention.
#alaska #ice #fog #


Underwater scenery is almost never tidy, but it can be beautiful beyond description. There are worlds within this one rocky ledge that could be explored for dozens of dives if you have the patience and knowledge to sit and sift through the layers of encrusting life. Fish-eating anemones dominate the scene and their density is a sign of currents and surge which bring these sessile animals all the food they need (which isn't much). The presence of colorful sponges show that the urchins have not yet taken over the reef, which is always a pleasant surprise as many spots on the temperate coast are experiencing overgrazing by a hoard of urchins. A complex color palette is not only pleasing to look at, but it's also a sign of a healthy system.
#kelp #forest #reef #colors #rainbow #scuba #california #anemone


There are many ideas about why whales breach, but I don't think "doing an impression of a walrus" is one of them. Until now. Mysterious creatures. So full of secrets. What beauty.

#humpback #whale #breach #lookatme #playtime #cantnotseeit #alaska


Tag your squad. Watching a northern sea lion colony never fails to entertain. There is always so much squabbling going on that it's a wonder how anyone gets any rest at all. Content, hangry, fat-and-happy, scared, they show the full range of emotion. Northern (or Steller's sea lions) are the largest of all sea lions and a truly formidable predator, but competition with fisheries and declining fish stocks are pushing some local populations into tough times. Be smart about the fish you choose to buy and consider the impact it might have on these wonderful predators trying to scratch out an existence in some of the toughest waters on Earth. All the while trying (and generally failing) to take a nap.
#sealion #hangry #squadgoals #jabba #alaska


Northern lights in June at this latitude are not a common occurrence, but tell that to the sky. While often associated with dark winter nights, peak solar activity occurs during summer months, it's generally too bright out to see any of the excited ions glowing high in the atmosphere. While some commit to freezing in the far north of Fairbanks or Lapland to witness the aurora borealis, we are occasionally lucky enough to see them at lower latitudes during warmer months. Brief surprises like this make a long season worthwhile and fill my mental palette of colors for years to come. We cashed in all of our lucky stars that night.
#auroraborealis #northernlights #alaska #travel #expedition


Swaying in the surge channel as raw energy spills in from the Gulf of Alaska, bull kelp is bathed in cold, nutrient-rich water during its annual growth cycle. With a bladder filled with buoyant gas, the fronds of the kelp stay close to the bright surface waters which power its growth. Releasing a precious byproduct along the way, the oxygen dissolves into the water and mixes with the surf-strewn foam and wave wash, breathing life into the sea. Every other breath we take is derived from ocean-going organisms like phytoplankton, algae, and plants. Keeping our seas clean and healthy is not only the right thing to do, it's our only path.
#algae #cleanseas #oxygen #air #health #cheers #prost #salut


Observation is just as valid as recording the situation. I will often keep my camera at my side to just take in the experience and to gain a better understanding of this world. If I don’t see a photo lining up in front of me, I don’t try to force one to exist. I’d much rather observe than tinker with settings or composition. Other times, like this particular Alaskan sunset, the stars align with beautiful light and captivating subject so I’ll allow myself to shoot like crazy. When it’s good, it’s worth focusing all your attention on trying to find the photo which represents the situation. That, to me, is the difference between being a photographer and being a hobbyist. Each of us takes a different path on this journey and it’s important to do what works for you. Seek out the whale in the sunset.
#alaska #phototips #whale #sunset #beauty #picoftheday #humpback #adventure #expedition #ship #love #haters


Copper rockfish in a protected marine reserve on the Central California coast show no fear towards me or my camera. With patience and slow movements, the fish will allow you to briefly enter their slow-paced world amidst the kelp forests. These fish can live for nearly 100 years, so they are often not in a rush to do anything. Honestly, I have very rarely seen gopher rockfish eating, which I'm guessing consists of invertebrates and smaller fish. Most of the time they are hiding in crevices or slowly cruising the rocky reef. I'd love to follow one of these fish for an entire day just to see what they get up to when we're not around.
#rockfish #wildlife #watch #kelp #california #scuba


Staring up at the sunbeams breaking through waving fronds of giant kelp, it's hard to think of anything else. There are few places I'd rather be than in a kelp forest on a clear day.

#kelp #california #harp #sun #beauty


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