Natural Wonders

A selection of photographs by Michio Hoshino portray the grandeur of Alaska’s landscape and reveal intimate moments of wildlife.

Michio Hoshino»(September 27, 1952 - August 8, 1996) was a Japanese-born nature photographer. Hoshino specialized in photographing Alaskan wildlife until he was killed by a brown bear while on assignment on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern»Russia in 1996.

According to publisher Houghton Mifflin, Hoshino did not regard animals as only photographic subjects. He considered himself a photographer of the natural world, which to him included people interacting with their own environments. He wasn't strictly a wildlife photographer. His work was very much cultural as well.

Throughout a productive career, Hoshino trekked through wild places in every season and in all kinds of weather, looking for the perfect shot. Usually he got it. Once he spent a month on a glacier trying to photograph the aurora borealis. The aurora appeared on only one night — but Hoshino was there to capture it on film. Such tireless enthusiasm led him to attain Japan's highest award for photography in 1990.

Hoshino's book ''Moose'' was praised by Forbes magazine for its ''startling shots of bulls in battle for their own breeding territory.'' The Chicago Tribune called his 1987 book, ''Grizzly'' a ''bold and beautiful saga'' in which he followed a family of Alaskan grizzlies meandering through the seasons.

He was also the author of a work for children, ''The Grizzly Bear Family Book."

He is survived by his wife, Naoko, and a son, Shoma, both of Fairbanks.