I chose a local photo from our neighbourhood for this week’s challenge shadow. I took this about a month ago when my wife pointed out this kitten sitting on a doorstep across the street. I thought the very prominent shadow being cast against the bright wall made for an interesting photo – I’ll let you be the judge….
As someone who spends a fair amount of time photographing wildlife it would be easy to talk about the excitement and expectation of capturing a great image of a wild and unpredictable subject. Instead, I wanted to share a photo that is not uncommon but often overlooked – that look of anticipation and wonder on the faces of the wildlife we encounter – concerned about whether we are predators or just wondering what the heck we are doing in their domain. I chose this photo from a walking safari we did in Nepal – if that is not a look of anticipation, then I’ve never seen one…..
There’s nothing that signifies a new beginning or horizon to me better than the sunrise of a brand new day. It gets even more exhilarating and significant when that new horizon happens to be looking to the sea with the sun rising in the east. I took this photo in Poipu beach, Hawaii last year. The colors of the sky were in stark contrast to the black lava rock that rims the coastline. A worthy sight and memory to begin any day or any endeavor.
When I saw the subject of this week’s challenge, I thought of many photos but ended up choosing this one from a 2012 trip to Alaska. We had just landed and set up camp for a week with the Brown Bears in the Katmai. We took a short walk from our camp and watched as some of the bears grazed in the field. We eventually followed this bear as he made his way to the stream, plopped down, and immediately dozed off. He didn’t seem to mind at all that the 5 of us were nearby clicking away with our cameras – He was much too relaxed to care…
I’m in the process of backing up my thousands of photos and combining some of my Libraries. As I transferred some files from one our Alaska trips I started to look through some of the pics. Couldn’t resist sharing this one with you before the holidays – hope you all have a great holiday season!!
I took a photo earlier this week that fits the challenge “Tiny” perfectly. While leaving the house I noticed some hummingbirds feeding on a bird of paradise next to my front porch. I quickly got my camera and got a few decent shots of this tiny, agile flyer. The colors of the hummer and the bird of paradise blended pretty nicely…..
I decided that my recent trip to the Eastern Sierras would provide good material for this week’s challenge “transmogrify”. I chose this photo from the Trona Pinnacles for the challenge because of two factors. The first is that the pinnacles are a drastic and out of this world change from the unappealing town nearby. That is one of the reasons that it has been chosen for many hollywood films, from sci-fi features to “Top Gun”. The second reason is that the pinnacles become even more impressive during changes in lighting such as sunrise and sunset. This photo was taken just at sunset before the stars and the milky way made their appearance. The transition of colors in the sky and the shadows of the pinnacles was rapid and dramatic. Well worth the stopover……
It took me a long time to get to the last photo challenge but here is my interpretation of H2O – in 3 physical states. I took this photo early on our trip to Svalbard, Norway. This area was one of the first glaciers we came across after our first night on the good boat Polaris. It was a gloomy morning until the sun started to burn off some of the clouds and the mist near the glacier. I caught this scene just as the fog (gaseous H2O) was lifting over the Glaciers (solid) and the Fjord (liquid). It was quite a spectacular sight – the photo does not do it justice but it was a great first morning on our Arctic journey…..
When thinking about photo opportunities I often think about what the most challenging aspect of a shot may be. That was especially on my mind yesterday as I was trying out a new camera (the Fuji XT-2) in the challenging environment of the USMC airshow at Miramar in San Diego. The contributing factors were that this camera has a brand new (improved?) autofocusing system, I hadn’t had the chance to practice with it much, and I would be trying to capture very quickly moving aircraft. I especially thought about one of the most difficult shots that I knew I would encounter (based on being at this airshow before). The Navy’s aviation demonstration team, the Blue Angels, would be performing and one of their featured demonstrations is for their two solo aircraft to approach each other from opposite ends of the runway and pass VERY close together at midfield – with a closing speed of over 800 mph!. As you might guess, that situation stresses the camera, the autofocus system and the photographer – that was my quest. Long story short, I waited for the moment of that maneuver and prepared for the shot. As the aircraft approached the centre of the show, each flying at over 400mph, I tracked one aircraft and tried to guess the moment they would pass. I fired off a quick sequence of shots but I didn’t know whether I had caught both aircraft as I had to quickly prepare for the next pass of “the Blues”. I didn’t actually look at my photos until I got home and did a quick review of my photos. I was greatly relieved to find this shot (the one that I had imagined in my mind) in the collection. My small quest had been a success……!
I went on the Daily Post looking for the photo challenge but there didn’t appear to be one – instead it featured a challenge for “here and now”. Since I had just returned from La Jolla Cove where I was trying out a new camera I thought I’d post some photos of that particular here and now (from a couple of hours ago). I went to the cove with the intention of catching birds in flight but there wasn’t much going on so I just took what interested me. Here are some of the here and now photos ….that I took…..then.
The sun was out at first but there wasn’t much moving so I walked over to where the sea lions normally bask by the water and found this little guy enjoying the sun and the surf.
When the sun was still low in the sky there were numerous cormorants nesting in a tree above the cove. I managed to catch this silhouette of one of them coming in to its perch.
The light got pretty flat after a while and there still wasn’t much flying so I caught this shot of the cormorants also enjoying the crashing surf. As here and nows go, this was a pretty nice one.
If you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon you probably know that many people get vertigo if they get too close to the edge – it can be a very disconcerting feeling. I’ve been there with several folks who couldn’t get within 20 feet of the edge. It never really bothered me too much and it definitely didn’t effect this young lady who perched herself on a small pinnacle on one of the trails into the canyon. It was a hazy hot day with muted colors so I liked the effect better in B&W – hope you enjoy…..
We had plenty of opportunities for this “mirror” challenge while in the Arctic region of Svalbard, Norway. I chose to use this photo from a glacier bay that was being fed by 5 different glaciers. The bay contained uncountable chunks of ice floating around – ranging from small icebergs that had calved off the glaciers to much smaller pieces of ice that the glacier had ejected. This “mini-berg” had been inhabited by many kittiwakes who were preening themselves in the mirror-like reflections in the bay. A beautiful late afternoon Arctic scene….
One of the things we always look for while travelling is the amazing street art which always seems to reflect great senses of humour. It is also great fun when you run across a seeming interaction between the art and the real life that is going on around it. This was a scene we stumbled across while roaming the streets of Bergen, Norway. To me it looked like the young lady on the wall was not only supervising the workers below but actually controlling them with her joystick…….Fun!
What better way to meet this week’s challenge than with a place actually called “the Narrows”. This is a very popular hike within the Zion National Park in Utah. The hike is actually in the water of a slot canyon that cuts through the incredible geography of the area. At one point in the hike, where the canyon walls close in to only a few yards across, it is an incredible sight – especially in the morning light. I took this photo of my wife Dee and our friend Sarah standing in the Narrows a few years back. Hope you enjoy the scene as much as we did during our perfect hike.
Sorry for the delay in posting for this challenge – I’m still busy going through all my images from our trip to Svalbard and Norway. After ten days cruising the Arctic on a small boat taking wildlife and scenic photos, we returned to “mainland” Norway and did a car trip through some incredibly beautiful towns and scenery. We spent our last night in the incredible town of Alesund – a beautiful harbor town with an art nouveau theme. At just before midnight, I wandered out in town as it looked like there might be a nice sunset (one of the things that we missed in Svalbard as the sun never really went down). I took this photo over the classic ships in the harbor and the small lighthouse at the end of the pier – a beautiful view and a great way to complete our trip.
We’re just recently back from a photography trip to Svalbard, Norway – up above the Arctic circle and in search of Polar Bears (and other creatures of the North). We had great experiences with some of the Bears including one that spent several hours in our vicinity. Of course we all took bunches of images of the great bear as she went through her daily activities. In editing one of the photos, I started looking at an extreme close up and liked the detailed effect of her face against the white of the snowy background . Its pretty unusual to get that intimate a view of a major predator but I’m glad to share this one with you.
Curves are everywhere so I thought I’d choose some that are hard to see with the naked eye and are better captured with a photograph. While we can all see the patterns that moving lights make at night, our eyes are much too quick to trace those patterns across time – the camera can do a much better job of that using slow shutter speeds to record the movements. This is a local picture of an intersection in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. The long exposures turned the lights into beautiful, flowing curves – making a mundane photo into a light painting with interest. Hope you enjoy…..
One of the most extraordinary experiences of my life was spending time with the mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. The entire process of starting early in the morning, hiking to their habitat in the mountains, fighting our way through the dense vegetation, and then being with these serene animals was amazing. I can’t adequately describe the feeling of catching our first glimpse of the gorillas and then sitting feet away from them as they went about their daily routine. There was something just incredibly peaceful about them and a feeling that we were sharing the morning with a friend or relative – at their place. It was at once both quiet and exhilarating – a moment of a lifetime. Pure.
I could only immediately think of one photograph for this week’s challenge. This was taken on the main island in Fiji as we were headed back to the airport after a scuba diving trip. A candid shot of a “coffee- break” for the workers but with prominent prices on the market in the background. Not sure why I like this photo but I do……
Its easy to think of Jubilant as a uniquely human feeling or emotion. In doing a quick scan through some old photos I quickly found some other images that I think capture the spirit of Jubilation through another species that we are all familiar with – our own canine companions. Who can dispute that a dog chasing a ball in the surf at the beach is feeling that joy and exhilaration – especially with their human friends engaged by their sides……
When traveling, I always try to capture the nature of a place by the people who live there. India provided one of the richest and most diverse populations to explore, admire, and try to capture. I’ve shared several of those photos on this blog in the past but I don’t think I ever posted one of my favorite faces. This young girl was sitting with her brother on a small square outside a park building in a small town near Varanasi. I thought she had a tremendously peaceful look and I tried to catch it with my camera – this is a candid photo I revisit frequently when I want to remember our times in fabulous India……
When I think of the Earth, I immediately think of the myriads of living creatures that depend on what it provides. With that in mind I stopped by a local lake to see if I could capture a couple of quick images to remind us of those inhabitants. I think they are also a reminder that all those other creatures have no ability to change how we treat Mother Earth – only we humans have that ability/responsibility.
I imagine this “other mother” chiding us all to protect our earth for the sake of her (and our) children.
I imagine these little guys telling us to take the time to get close to the earth and understand what we are doing to it. It is the most important factor in all of our lives and we treat it like a given vs the gift that it is…..
Photography is an amazing hobby as it lets you explore so many things and reimagine scenes and images from the ultra realistic to the abstract. I took this photo along a stream that runs through the center of Kyoto. It was in the evening so the lights were on. I wanted to catch some of the few blossoms that were blooming while we were there against the blurred lights of the city. I added a little painterly processing and ended up with this image. I think I like the tone and color more than anything else. It was an experiment from the time I took it but I think it came out interesting…..
I saw the subject of this week’s challenge and thought that I would post what is considered an “iconic” landscape shot. This photo is taken through the Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, Utah at dawn. I arrived at the scene well before sunrise and there was already a crowd of photographers there. They were also not the most courteous of photographers who would let you in to be able to “get the shot”. In the end, there was one kind fellow who allowed me to duck in under his tripod so I could share the view. Not the best angle or framing but I took what I could get.
In fact, I took a couple of quick shots there to get the scene that everyone takes and then bailed out to take less crowded shots from around the arch rather than through it. When I look back at these photos I much prefer the ones that I took from “around the corner” because they remind me of a relaxed, quiet experience rather than stressing to find a place among some fairly self-absorbed people.
These days if I run into that kind of photographer “gaggle” I often just wander off nearby and take a different angle away from the crowd. It saves the aggravation and lets me enjoy the experience rather than fighting for that “perfect” shot.