I just recently returned from 16 days on a Dory trip down the entire length of the Grand Canyon. The trip was remarkable with changing scenes and moods around every bend in the circuitous meandering of the river. I’ve chosen the photo above as an example of one of those fleeting scenes. The sun just peeking over the canyon, the clouds providing some change overhead, and the quickly advancing rays of the sun greeting the canyon and a dry wash littered with rocks – all of these added to this quick flash in time – never to be seen again in this exact form. I was glad I was able to capture it and keep that morning alive in my (and hopefully your) mind.
Last October as I was driving home from a little time in the desert and the Sierras, I stopped along highway 395 and took this morning shot of the Sierras near Lone Pine, California. The cars were whizzing by me as I framed the shot so I didn’t spend a lot of time to get it right. The lava rock and a few scraggly sage bushes were the only foreground I could use but I still liked this photograph because of the mix of the rocks, the face of the mountain range, and the dramatic clouds above. To me it is a simple photo but one that catches the essence of “Earth”.
Just did a quick search to find a photo for this week’s challenge. While this may not be the best fit, this guy seems to be enjoying his green surroundings…… I took this in the very early morning at one of the stops on a European River Cruise a few years back. I found this statue on a wall just off the empty main square of a beautiful little town (can’t remember the name right now). I loved the look on his face, the natural flora, and even the bikes parked nearby. I still find this photo relaxing and a nice reminder of that solitary morning.
I’m a little late on my photo for the week as I wanted to finish my political thoughts before I looked at the challenge. While this photo may not scream Against the Odds to you, it sure does for me. Back in October my friend Ross and I were out in Rainbow Canyon (near Death Valley) taking photos of military aircraft who often fly through that canyon. The photographic process for such an endeavour is a lot like fishing – hours of quiet boredom punctuated by moments of frenzy when an aircraft enters the canyon at high speed. While we were just sitting there waiting for the aircraft to cooperate we amused ourselves with trying to catch a photo of a kangaroo rat running in and out of the rocks that formed our perch on the canyon edge. The fact that the animals were very quick and very small combined with the reality that they can appear from anywhere to make this a very difficult photo shoot. After a plethora of failed attempts, we finally resorted with trying to bait the little fella out of the rocks. While that sounds like cheating, it still did not make for an easy shot – our “model” would still vary his approach direction and timing and also make all of his attempts with a very quick in and out run. We finally did get some pretty decent shots of the little guy but I though I’d post this one showing him on his way in to the Cheeto lunch table that we had prepared for him….
To me there is no better example of ambiance than a sunset – especially along the coast or up in the mountains somewhere. Combined with reflections off the water (in this case, a very low tide) there is nothing better to set a beautiful and colorful mood. This photo is taken of the crystal pier in Pacific Beach just as the sun sets right on the horizon. Hope you enjoy the calm and peaceful feeling of this photo on a sure to be tumultuous week…..
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 chose a simple photo of something that is completely natural and expected but is still something that is just plain Magic. My friend Ross (from Scotland) and I were up in Yosemite National Park a week or so ago (with thousands of our fellow gawkers) and did a quick run around the sights as he had never been there before. We managed to find a parking space in the valley in the afternoon and did a quick walk around a pasture looking up at the massive rock faces as the sun started to go down. I just snapped this photo of a tree in its full fall colors with the sun sifting through the leaves and with the cliffs in the background. While this short lived transformation and explosion of colors happens every year at this time, it is still magic if you take the time to think about it.
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…..
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….
This week’s challenge is to find a unique “frame” within a photo that focuses on the subject. I chose this photo which was taken on a main road near the Chambal wildlife preserve in India very early on a foggy morning. This tractor was coming toward us within a natural tunnel formed by the trees lining the road on both sides. The effect looked exactly like a frame around the tractor and the enormous load it was hauling…
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.
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.
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 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…..