travel photography
Rolf Hicker Photography
Animal * Nature * Travel Photography

Travel, Nature and Photography Blogs by Rolf Hicker

Welcome to my travel photography blogs (40) about our photographed locations like New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, Africa, USA, Alaska, Canada and other countries.

I'm Rolf Hicker, a full time professional freelance animal and travel photographer (and by now "professional traveler"). I'm specialized in animal, nature and travel photography, although I had a studio before I moved to Canada and really enjoyed the challange of photographing the human being in a studio.

With this blog I want to take the opportunity to communicate with my photography fans, friends and customers. I will write about some travel and photography tips, great travel destinations and also will share some experiences I made photographing some of my special photos.

Please let me know what you think about my blogs and pictures by leaving a comment.

Thank you very much for your interest in my photography I hope you enjoy looking at my pictures!

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Free HD First Snow Waterton Lakes Wallpaper Calendar

Free HD First Snow Waterton Lakes Wallpaper Calendar

First snow in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

Another free wallpaper calendar (computer background) for the month November 2011, available up to 1920x1080px. In the xxl version you will see a elk in the picture and it will give you a great size comparison to this beautiful area in Waterton Lakes National Park. My favorite part of the picture is the Elk and the reflections in the river.

You can go to the download area via this link:

Free HD wallpaper calendars for...

Free HD Wallpaper Computer Backgrounds November 2011

Free HD Wallpaper Computer Backgrounds November 2011

Moonrise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Busy days, lots happening.

I just updated and uploaded 3 new free HD wallpaper calendars (computer backgrounds) for large monitors up to 1920x1080px. They a free of charge but I included a donate button just in case that someone wants to donate a buck or two for the extra work. A +1 for Google, a like for Facebook or any share would also "count as a donation" of course and is very appreciated.

The new free HD wallpapers for...

Crazy days in life of a photographer

Crazy days in life of a photographer

Myra Falls, Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

Gosh, this must have been one of the darkest days we had for a very long time. Seems like "worst scenario" has hit us at to the very wrong time.

What happened?

As many of you know by now, we are expecting a baby in the next few days or couple weeks. Because we are living a bit remote on the northern part of Vancouver Island (heaven for a nature photographer to life) my wife had to move to Courtenay, which is...

Free HD Computer Background Calendar

Free HD Computer Background Calendar

While we are waiting for our baby, and I'm getting the feeling it is not taking much much longer, I'm trying to roll out as much news as I can.

After I already told you that we launched my completely redone website www.HickerPhoto.com I got two more news today.

1. We finally launched our new Fine Art Shop for Canvas Wraps and Fine Art Photo Prints .

2. I'm now able to offer you FREE HD computer background (wallpaper) calendars - you will be surprised how "sexy" they...

Turbulent Exciting Scary Times

Turbulent Exciting Scary Times

Panorama: Balance rock after early spring thunderstorm, Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Times are difficult and challenging, I guess many are in the same boat. Our live is set to become very turbulent very soon with some major events happening in our lives.

Let me share the biggest news first - we are expecting another baby which is due within the next 2-4 weeks. We are very happy and exicted about it but also very scared after our somehow very difficult times we had with...

Whats the fuzz about photo themes lists on Google+

Whats the fuzz about photo themes lists on Google+

Single tree in snowfield - Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wow and autsch, what a busy last week on Google+. It was a great week, exciting but on the other side also a little bit disapointing and bitter.

On one side I "met" so many great new people, got so many amazing nice comments, that it made me spending more time on G+ than I could or should afford right now. But it was worth it, it seemed like I touched a lot of people with my photos and shares and that is one of...

Fall Season Cascading Waterfall Fresh Snow

Fall Season Cascading Waterfall Fresh Snow

Cascading waterfall with colorful fall leaves covered in fresh snow, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

No secret here, fall is my favorite season to photograph but it is closely followed by winter. Even better if both seasons mix. I photographed this small but very beautiful waterfall last time we were in Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta, Canada. The park is mostly known for its amazing landscape and scenery of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I was...

Gigapano Toronto Skyline Stunning

Gigapano Toronto Skyline Stunning

Giga panorama of the Toronto skyline in Ontario, Canada

I love the photo themes on google+. I already started "NatureMonday" and "FlowingWaterFriday". Today I want to add another new photo theme to G+ : "TravelPanoWednesday". The idea is simple, show your stunning panoramas, use # TravelPanoWednesday  in the description and then your picture will be shown - hopefully we get a great collection of stunning panoramas together - you can find them all here .

My contribution...

Snowshoes Mountain Scenery Banff National Park

Snowshoes Mountain Scenery Banff National Park

HDR - Red snowshoes in winter scenery, Banff National Park, Alberta

I'm just going through my archive to find something for #TonemapHDRTuesday on Google+ and to write my blog about it. I had a very long day, very busy but I want to make sure I have my blog ready for you tomorrow morning.

I took this image a couple years ago on a short winter trip to the Canadian Rockies. We (my wife Michelle & I) only had about a week and part of it was assignment so we didn't really...

Google Plus Photo Themes

Google Plus Photo Themes

Getting lost in all those great photo themes on Google+? Not anymore!

When I started out doing my own photo themes on G+ I thought there was only one list on Google Plus with photo themes. BUT I needed to ask for permission to start a photo theme, and I got denied, no matter which theme I suggested. I heard the same problem from other curators and decided to start this list with ALL photo themes on Google Plus .

This list is unbiased, free and uncontrolled in a...

Spiritual Maori Place Cape Reinga Coastline

Spiritual Maori Place Cape Reinga Coastline

Coastline seascape along Cape Reinga, North Island of New Zealand (Canon 1Ds Mark2, 2.5 sec @ f14, ISO100)

Cape Reinga in New Zealand, mostly known for the meeting of the two seas, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, has a deep connection in the Maori mythology. The saga says that the spirits of the dead travel to Cape Reinga to jump off for the afterlife. Well, I guess, that would be a full and very interesting story by itself.

Cape Reinga is also well known for its...

Flowing River Forest Fall Photo

Flowing River Forest Fall Photo

Fall forest at Macintosh Brook, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

For the new kickoff of my "#FlowingWaterFriday" on Google+ I just scanned one of my very favorite fall photos on our X5 scanner. It shows the flowing Macintosh Brook river in the deciduous yellow forest of Cape Breton Highlands National Park in northern Nova Scotia.

From now on, every Friday, I will add a new image for "#FlowingWaterFriday" - if you are on google+ please join me, all you have to...

Updating Whale Portfolio

Updating Whale Portfolio

Large killer whale male (Orcinus orca) spouting close to Sointula Island, British Columbia, Canada

It is strange how life goes sometimes. When I started out as a professional photographer I got hooked on marine mammals very early, especially whales. In my early days as a professional photographer I spent much of my time along the west coast of North America. One day I had my first experience with killer whales from a kayak in Johnstone Strait and since then I'm fanatic about...

Nature Seascape Landscape Monday

Nature Seascape Landscape Monday

Finally I can update my fans, followers, friends and new G+ circler's on whats going on with us.

First of all I started a new "thing" today on my Google+ Profile - "#NatureMonday". What it means is quit simple, every Monday I will tag a new relaxing nature image with NatureMonday and hope that other photographers join. After a while I hope we will have a great list of relaxing nature images which all will be found here: NatureMonday .

Just a little over a week I started my...

Big Changes Tough Decisions Photography out of Focus

Big Changes Tough Decisions Photography out of Focus

As you've probably noticed, I have not been very active communicating lately, no matter if you follow my websites, blog, on Facebook, flickr or twitter or even if you are a close friend. It is NOT that I suddenly fell off the planet or that I've got no interest being social with my fans and friends, but big decisions need to be well thought through, especially if my family will feel the impact of those decisions.

So I needed some time, without any distractions, to try and find...

Iceberg Ocean Kayaking Adventure Newfoundland Canada

Iceberg Ocean Kayaking Adventure Newfoundland Canada

Today, my old "kayaking friend" Conan from the Great Northern Peninsula in Western Newfoundland, Canada , contacted me via my facebook fan group. What a surprise, we lost contact for many years, the last time I saw him was in his Pub, the  "The Peter Easton Pub"  in St. John's.

Ocean kayaking adventure - Conan almost touches the iceberg with his kayak.

A few years ago (actually a few few years ago) while I was photographing in Newfoundland we met via another...

Free Wallpapers

Free Wallpapers

I'm very happy to be able to announce that my photos are now also available as 1024x768 FREE wallpapers or in other words as background photos for your desktop computer.

I also plan to offer soon larger wallpaper sizes like 1280x1024 and for very large screens in the size 1920x1080. This additional wallpaper option should be available by March/April 2011.

You can find the free wallpaper option underneath every photo which is available as a free wallpaper...

Free Photos Blogs Private Websites

Free Photos Blogs Private Websites

I am proud to be one of the first professional photographers offering free high quality photos for use on private websites and non-commercial blogs in return for a valid html link to my website.

As a professional photographer I have spent my life traveling all over the world to capture the essence of a setting, sometimes spending weeks and, in the case of wildlife, years setting up for a photo shoot. A lot of time and money is invested in just one photo, so offering my...

Winter Impressions Winter Picture Slideshow YouTube

Winter Impressions Winter Picture Slideshow YouTube

I'm very happy today to announce that I just uploaded my first online slide-show to YouTube. We called it "Winter Impressions" and it is a 3.30 minute slide-show with some of my winter pictures from several countries. "Winter Impressions" is the first slide-show with many more to come. I'm already working on the next 5 slide-shows at this stage. I want to point out that Daniel Kitzig composed the music especially for this slide-show. Daniel is a young, talented composer and...

Cute Christmas Santa Baby Pictures

Cute Christmas Santa Baby Pictures

Christmas is without any question the busiest time for most photographers with a photo studios. After being on the road on Christmas time and photographing many years for other families, we decided this year to "hire" our studio and photographer (me) for ourselves to take some cute pictures of our baby.

Honestly, I never had the "joy" of photographing a child under the age of 1 and I must admit it was a challenge. We packed him into a cute Santa baby costume, set up the "stage" and ......

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

This is is the time of the year to slow down, to re-think AND to say:

THANK YOU!

We want to thank all our FRIENDS, FANS and HELPERS for helping us on production, visiting our photography website, leaving comments, writing us nice emails, looking at our pictures and...and...and...

We also want to thank our CUSTOMERS for using our pictures, photography is much more than just our passion. Our pictures are our daily bread and butter on the table (and some new diapers for Daniel as...

Transient Killer Whale Breaching British Columbia Coast Mountains Sequence

Transient Killer Whale Breaching British Columbia Coast Mountains Sequence

I'm so fascinated with this sequence of the breaching (jumping) transient killer whale (Orca whale, Orcinus orca) that I need to share it with you. The amazing parts are all in the detail, the way the water runs off and of course the detail of the pectoral fin (see the screenshot below). When you click on a picture it will open up - under the pic is a link to "enlarge picture", that is giving you a xl version of the picture.

It is fairly rare to capture a jumping orca whale, especially in...

Whale Watching Photographing Transients Orca Whales

Whale Watching Photographing Transients Orca Whales

Transient orca whale (killer whale, Orcinus orca) breaching in front of the British Columbia Coast Mountains

It has been a while that I made it onto the pacific ocean off the northern part of Vancouver Island. I have been out a few times this year, but more for scenery pictures and not for real whale photography . In fact I hardly photographed whales for quit some time now. Life in general took me away from photographing orca whales for many years. We were too busy...

Scenic Winter Landscape Mountains Waterfalls & Wildlife

Scenic Winter Landscape Mountains Waterfalls & Wildlife

Fall colors in winter landscape at Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta

After the last 2 days of non stop driving (previous blog: roadtrip to Central Kootenay ) we were happy that we could stay put in Waterton Lakes National Park at least till early afternoon, not that it is a lot of time but we had to think about returning home very soon as we ran out of time. Today was "pay off day" for a very stressful and exhausting week, starting with the assignment in the...

Winter Wonderland Waterton Lakes National Park

Winter Wonderland Waterton Lakes National Park

Winter wonderland with fall colors and reflections during sunset in Waterton Lakes National Park

As mentioned in my previous two blogs ( Okanagan vineyards I Road trip Kootenay )we were coming from a assignment in the Okanagan Valley, spent the night at Slocan Lake in Central Kootenay and continued our long journey towards the Canadian Rockies in southern Alberta.

If everything would have worked out as we planned it, we should have had a few days of autumn colors...

Road Trip Okanagan Monashee Central Kootenay

Road Trip Okanagan Monashee Central Kootenay

Thundering scenic Rainbow Falls waterfall in Monashee Provincial Park, British Columbia

We were able to finish our assignment in the Okanagan Valley a day earlier then planned. After the weather turned rainy again we decided to leave Okanagan Lake. Our new destination were the Rocky Mountains in southern Alberta, especially Waterton Lakes National Park where we were aiming for more fall pictures.

After looking at a map we decided to take the "scenic route" with a side...

Vineyards Wineries & Pumpkins Okanagan Valley BC

Vineyards Wineries & Pumpkins Okanagan Valley BC

Colorful sunset above a vineyard and grapevines near Naramata at Okanagan Lake, British Columbia

We were on assignment in the Okanagan Valley (Okanagan Country) in British Columbia, our main focus were pictures for tourism, from vineyards and winery around Okanagan Lake, Skaha Lake, Vaseux Lake and Osoyoos Lake to some generic travel photos. Fortunately we had enough time for this trip, we needed to take it a little bit easier than usual because my wife was pregnant in...

Photographing Celebrity Auntie Vie

Photographing Celebrity Auntie Vie

Auntie Vie is the fairy godmother of spunk, sass, fun, fashion and cooking; she is the guru of aging with joy and a shining star.

Auntie Vie's was first brought into the spotlight when her great niece, Pamela Anderson, debuted as one of the celebrity stars in ABC's television program "Dancing with the Stars."

In front of  24 million people Pamela dedicated her dancing to her Auntie Vie , who loves to dance. The media were intrigued and almost immediately she was featured...

Coastal Rock Formations Scenic Sunset Kaikoura

Coastal Rock Formations Scenic Sunset Kaikoura

Long exposure picture of rock formations in the Pacific Ocean and a colorful sunset above the scenic Kaikoura Range Mountains (view large photo: Mountain Range Coastal Seascape Scenery Picture )

No matter to which countries we travel, if there are locations to see whales or scenic nature we will not miss them. I shot this scenic coastal picture on the Kaikoura Peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand . The town of Kaikoura is well known around the world as a ecotourism...

Re-editing office scanner storage solution backup

Re-editing office scanner storage solution backup

NAS Servers, high end scanners and finding space for all of it.

Time to "re-edit" my messy office. After being on the road for years we found a place a little time ago we can finally can call a "base" and home. I never really had the time to set up my office since or even work on new pictures. We had too much to do with paperwork that we hardly done any efficient work for a long time. It is unbelievable how much paperwork is involved, especially in our case, we immigrated to Canada...

Exploring Vancouver Island Mountain Scenery Wooden Bridge

Exploring Vancouver Island Mountain Scenery Wooden Bridge

On our last trip to the west coast of southern Vancouver Island, to Tofino and Ucluelet, we decided to do some serious exploring along the many wilderness logging roads around Clayoquot Sound. We were mainly looking for beautiful waterfalls along the scenic mountains as well as some ocean scenery for a new scenic calendar. We spend all day on pretty bad gravel roads, hiked a lot, found beautiful waterfalls like the Virgin Falls (will talk about it in another post), lots of...

Whale Watching Orca Whales British Columbia

Whale Watching Orca Whales British Columbia

The orca whale-watching season on northern Vancouver Island is a time that I look forward to every year.

As some of you know I moved from Germany to Canada a few years back. Many people ask me why we have chosen northern Vancouver Island as our home in Canada. “Why not Victoria or Vancouver,” I’m asked, “Isn't it better from a business perspective to be in a large city environment?” My short answer is that this was not a business decision. We moved to...

Animal Nature Travel AND Baby Pictures

Animal Nature Travel AND Baby Pictures

I know, that is a pretty odd headline for a photographer. Big SEO approach? Keyword stuffing? Gone loopy??

NO - none of the above. Some of you who know me from back in my Germany days know that I also used to have a studio. Yes, a photo studio. Not that I could ever spend a lot of time photographing people but I actually always enjoyed it. I know it is hard to imagine that I was also pointing my camera at people, for sooo many years I've been for all my nature, animal and...

Animal Elk Hidden In Winter Mountain Scenery

Animal Elk Hidden In Winter Mountain Scenery

Check out the extra large version of this picture.

Today we received a gallery wrap print which we bought for ourselves of one of my favourite animal/scenery pictures - the hidden elk in Waterton Lakes National Park (also known as Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park ) in southern Alberta, Canada. I was almost speechless when we unpacked the big box - stunned by how beautiful it looks on a 20x30 inch canvas wrap.

When you mostly look at your own pictures on a computer,...

Freelance animal nature and travel photographer

Freelance animal nature and travel photographer

Uhhh, I just figured out that I started writing picture blogs but did not even introduce myself first. No worries, I will try to keep it short.

Well, I'm Rolf Hicker. I was born and raised in a mid size town named Freising in the heart of Germany. I became a full time professional photographer as soon as it was legal - which was when I turned 18 years of age. Although I started with some adventure tours I decided early that it is not the extreme adventure I was seeking - no - it was...

Fall Denali National Park Alaska

Fall Denali National Park Alaska

view xl version of Denali in Fall

Probably the most photographed National Park in Alaska is Denali National Park with the highest Mountain in North America - Mount McKinley. No matter when I visited Denali, I always was very fascinated by the whole park with its stunning scenery, huge mountain ranges and of course the wildlife. I have been to Denali National Park many times but my favourite time by far is fall season. The autumn fall season is a tricky one to hit right, I had...

New Function Photos from Collection

New Function Photos from Collection

Well, I figured I better tell you a bit about the new functions on my new website, even before we digg a little deeper into photography related or travel related blogs.

Today I introduce you to my almost very most favourite new feature: "Photos from collection"

Lets say you come into my website and you want to check out all pictures I currently have online, then you decide to have a closer look at the Toronto skyline picture, you click on it and our new detail view comes up with our...

Twilight Toronto City Skyline

Twilight Toronto City Skyline

view xl version (free wallpaper) of Toronto Twilight Skyline

First of all...I'm not the biggest city or skyline friend at all but being a travel photographer it is a part of my work. To photograph the impressive Toronto skyline at twilight is one of those city duties I don't mind. For those which may not be that familiar with Toronto, it is the biggest city in Canada and is located on Lake Ontario in the Province of Ontario. The big tower you see is the CN Tower, the owner...

New Function Extra Large Image Files

New Function Extra Large Image Files

One thing which bugged me over many years about the Internet was speed. Because of speed we had to compress our files so badly that it was impossible to judge a good quality picture online as well as it was nearly imposible to show pictures larger then 500 pixels. Well, times changed and many of my visitors have a fast dsl internet line today.

Let me introduce to you my new large view of images, the size is 1200 pixels on the longest side.  This will give you a extra large view of a...

Beginning of a new digital photography blog

Beginning of a new digital photography blog

(check out the xl version of sun ray waterfall picture)

Today I made the decision that it is time to start my new photography blog AND my new photography website. It is a very exciting day for me as I was holding back a lot of beautiful pictures and ideas for a long time. Why? Because I wanted to do something new, better then what we used to from the internet when it comes to photograhy websites.

Over the last 3!!! years we developed with some professional software...

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