KNOT WHAT YOU THINK – ode to trees

REID FAMILY

REID FAMILY

My family likes trees and recently we explored the twisted ancient pine forests in California’s Eastern Sierra Mountains. During our day-hikes to some of the Mammoth Lakes and then camping in the steep canyons of Whitney Portal, we found some magnificent trees that are worthy of sharing. What made our adventurous hikes entertaining was the discovery theme of “knot what you think.”  In photographic terms; juxtaposition perception having fun with our iPhone cameras with the craziest trees we could find. Knot What You Think…ode to trees. The Reid Family.

P.S. no trees were injuring during the filming of this event ; )

 

 

KNOT WHAT YOU THINK.

KNOT WHAT YOU THINK. Juxtiposition in a tree circle at Mammoth Lakes.

KNOT WHAT YOU THINK. Juxtaposition in a tree circle at Mammoth Lakes.

KNOT REAL.                                                                                                               KNOT RIGHT.

KNOT REAL. Juxtiposition in a tree circle at Mammoth Lakes.

KNOT REAL. Juxtaposition in a tree circle at Mammoth Lakes.

KNOT RIGHT. Hanging from a giant stump in Mammoth Lakes, California.

KNOT RIGHT. Hanging from a giant stump in Mammoth Lakes, California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 DREAD KNOTS

DREAD KNOTS. Root system at McCloud Lake at Mammoth Lakes, California.

DREAD KNOTS. Root system at McCloud Lake at Mammoth Lakes, California.

 

WHY KNOTS.                                                                               SQUARE KNOT.

WHY KNOTS. Y shaped trees at Whitney Portal Campground near Lone Pine, California.

WHY KNOTS. Y shaped trees at Whitney Portal Campground near Lone Pine, California.

SQUARE KNOT. Crazy extended tree at Lake Mary in Mammoth Lakes, California.

SQUARE KNOT. Crazy extended tree at Lake Mary in Mammoth Lakes, California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KNOT SAFE.

KNOT SAFE. Walking the log at McCloud Lake at Mammoth Lakes, California.

KNOT SAFE. Walking the log at McCloud Lake at Mammoth Lakes, California.

 DO KNOT DISTURB

DO KNOT DISTURB. Camping at Coldwater Creek at Mammoth Lakes, California.

DO KNOT DISTURB. Camping at Coldwater Creek at Mammoth Lakes, California.

 

KNOT ONE OF US.                                                                                             KNOT MARRIED.

KNOT ONE OF US. Pinecone wedge in a pine tree at Mammoth Lakes, California.

KNOT ONE OF US. Pine cone wedge in a pine tree at Mammoth Lakes, California.

KNOT MARRIED. Twisted logs at McCloud Lake in Mammoth Lakes, California.

KNOT MARRIED. Twisted logs at McCloud Lake in Mammoth Lakes, California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 KNOT FOR SALE

KNOT FOR SALE.  Juxiposed stuffie big bear at Mammoth Lakes, California.

KNOT FOR SALE. Juxtaposed stuffed big bear at Mammoth Lakes, California.

and finally to the crazy July weather and rain optimism…..

HAIL YES

HAIL YES. Hail at the Whitney Portal Campground in July.

HAIL YES. Hail at the Whitney Portal Campground in July.

 

Categories: Adventure, iPhone, Natural World, Panorama, Photography Techniques, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside Passage of British Columbia and Alaska

Video of Southeast Alaska from the summer of 2014.

Traversing the Inside Passage is like stepping back in time not only with nature but the fascinating cultures that inhabit the coastline of British Columbia and Alaska. Totem poles that have withstood the test of time stand tall with pride in the temperate rainforest representing spirits from the past. A pod of killer whales glide alongside our ship in placid waters of Johnstone Strait and a brown bear feeding in the inner tidal zone in Glacier Bay National Park. A breaching whale, calving glacier, aromatic wildflowers, towering mountains and lush green forests are some of the things the Inside Passage has in store for us.

In a few weeks, I will join enthusiastic guests on the Seattle Docks and then embarking on a journey northward to Sitka, Alaska. An adventure with new friends.

Travel with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions

Please share. Rich : )

 

Categories: Adventure, Alaska, Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic, Natural World, Time-lapse Techniques, Travel, Videos, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

Remnant ice split from the massive b-17b tabular iceberg grounded off South Georgia in "Iceberg Alley."

Remnant ice split from the massive b-17b tabular iceberg grounded off South Georgia in “Iceberg Alley.”

On Assignment with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions with Rich Reid.

Black-browed albatross taking off from the Beagle Channel between Chile and Argentina.

Black-browed albatross, Thalassarche Melanophris taking off from the Beagle Channel between Chile and Argentina.

Like the albatross, our ship plied through the Southern Ocean guided by wind and currents. Certainly not as graceful as these magnificent birds but making forward progress through the icy waters. Everyday something exceptional happened whether we were surrounded by endless views of king penguins or whale watching crossing the Drakes Passage.

Big waves and high winds in the Scotia Sea offshore from South Georgia.

Big waves and high winds in the Scotia Sea offshore from South Georgia.

What really made my endless summer so special was experiencing the contrast of Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands twice this past winter in two seasons in opposite directions on two different ships. The weather extremes were noteworthy with a cold southern spring and a stormy autumn plus the record heat and drought that I experienced this winter in California. A fascinating history tidbit was retracing Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic open-boat journey on the centennial and gaining a whole new respect for his courage and tenacity.

Gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua at Neko Harbor on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua at Neko Harbor on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Antarctica is the definition of remote and quintessentially beautiful. Every shade of blue and white filled the landscape that’s palette and silence is broken by colonies of Gentoo penguins and calving ice. The ancient tabular icebergs are the most spectacular designs found in nature forming gravity-defying arches and translucent blue faces. An abundance of micro marinelife in these frigid waters support an entire ecosystem from whales to penguins that gather in large numbers in the Southern Ocean.

Antarctic fur seals and the National Geographic Orion at Godthul Bay on South Georgia.

Antarctic fur seals, Arctocephalus gazella and the National Geographic Orion at Godthul Bay on South Georgia.

Both the National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion are excellent ships and perfect platforms for exploring such remote locations. Both ships handled the two-day ocean crossings well and we accessed land in our Zodiacs for daily adventures of hiking and wildlife viewing. Perfect home away from homes with so many new friendships developed on these expeditions.

Bull southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina at Saint Andrews Bay on South Georgia.

Bull southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina at Saint Andrews Bay on South Georgia.

Antarctica provided the ice-extravaganza while South Georgia just plain overwhelms you with wildlife. Spring offered the thrill of aggressive male Antarctica sea lions and enormous southern elephant seals battling for beach master ranking while the king penguins gathered in unimaginable numbers performing comical acts like court jesters. The fall wildlife consisted of tens to hundreds of thousands of rambunctious penguin chicks getting ready to fledge and the feisty sea lion pups snarl while practicing their jousting. Adding to the allure of this magical island are the backdrops behind these expansive beaches of towering peaks and active glaciers that Sir Shackleton and two of his men heroically crossed in 1916 to save his stranded crew back in Antarctica.

King penguin colony at Gold Harbor on South Georgia.

King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus colony at Gold Harbor on South Georgia.

The Falkland Islands are conveniently located about halfway between South Georgia and Ushuaia, Argentina. This group of islands has an interesting modern history of conflict with its nearest neighbor and the recent exploration for resources. Nevertheless, the islands are beautiful and the critical breeding grounds for so many sea birds including the rockhopper and Magellanic penguins plus several species of albatross.

Pair of Black-browed albatross preening on New Island in the Falkland Islands.

Pair of Black-browed albatross, Thalassarche melanophris preening on New Island in the Falkland Islands.

As we entered into the shallower waters near South America on our return trip to Ushuaia, the ocean teemed with wildlife as large flocks of birds fed on bait fish and the Peale’s dolphins played in our ship’s bow wake. Having seen the southern ocean twice this past “summer” has been an absolute privilege and looking forward to my return to Antarctica for two trips with National Geographic Expeditions in January 2016. Please consider joining me on one of these incredible Photo Expeditions to my favorite place on earth.

The Adventure Continues…

Pair of humpback whale flukes in Gerlache Strait, Antarctica.

Pair of humpback whales,  Megaptera novaeangliae fluking in Gerlache Strait, Antarctica.

Southern giant petrel eying gentoo penguin chicks at Gold Harbor on South Georgia.

Southern giant petrel, Macronectes giganteus eying gentoo penguin chicks, Pygoscelis papua at Gold Harbor on South Georgia.

Antarctic fur seal pups at Stromness Whaling Station on South Georgia.

Antarctic fur seal pups, Arctocephalus gazella at Stromness Whaling Station on South Georgia.

Giant Leopard Seal in the waters around Prion Island in South Georgia.

Giant leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx  in the waters around Prion Island in South Georgia.

King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus portrait at Saint Andrews Bay on South Georgia.

King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus portrait at Saint Andrews Bay on South Georgia.

Categories: Adventure, Antarctica, Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic, Natural World, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Surf Art Photos

Grandstand and crowd at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

Grandstand and crowd at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

The final day of the Rincon Classic surf competition was greeted with perfect waves on a balmy January day with plenty of tanned skin exposed to the Southern California sun. It was a hot afternoon while talented surfers worked their magic on clear blue waves.

 

Pro Semi Final at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

Pro Semi Final at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

Bright backlit mid day sun reflecting off the ocean is one of the more challenging lighting for photography. One solution is turning your “classic” stop action scene into a “Surf Art Photo.” Using a combination of filters and a tripod can create magic time exposure images with the right equipment.

King of the Queen Final at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

King of the Queen Final at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

First is a sturdy tripod placed on a rock well about high tide and the steady stream of spectators. Next are two stacked filters; 4 stop neutral density and a circular polarizer mounted on my 80-400mm Nikon lens. I set my ISO to 100 and varied my shutter speed from between 1/160 second to .6 (or 3/5) second. The best exposure mode was aperture priority which I varied from f/5.6 to f/40 and relied on continuous auto focus for sharpness. Most of the 900 images where shot at 400mm.

Gremlin Finals at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

Gremlin Finals at the Rincon Classic surf competition in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

Panning the camera to follow the surfer at slow shutter speed requires lots of luck blended with a tai chi motion. About a dozen serendipitous moments happened on Sunday when everything came together to create that magical image. The selected aperture creates the correct exposure while panning the camera on a talented surfer on a uncrowded perfect wave. The bright sun created the specular highlights on the backlit water and made the waves a transparent blue.

Longboard Final at the Rincon Classic in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

Longboard Final at the Rincon Classic in Carpinteria, California on January 25, 2015.

What a magical day in Southern California at the Rincon Classic.

January 25, 2015

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Top Ten 2014 iPhone Panorama – tips and techniques

In October, I upgraded my iPhone from a 4s to a 6 and proceeded to snap 5,500 images in its first month. My $99 iPhone 4s has captured over 11,000 assets in its two loyal years and now has been proudly handed down to my daughter. These phones have survived punishing weather while traveling the globe entertaining guests while working on assignment for National Geographic aboard Lindblad Expedition ships. I think of the paradigm shifts in the photography industry in my last 30 years and have to admit that the smartphone has been the greatest advancement, even more than film to digital.

The following top ten panorama photos were taken on my iPhones during 2014 and each image is accompanied with a photography tip and technique. The smartphone has changed the way we process our visuals as we share countless photos uploaded to social media. It has also changed the way we teach photography which is evident by the responses I have received from satisfied guests. Being able to do a live iPhone photo demonstration in front of 100 guests is evolutionary and certainly a wonderful device for connecting people across all photographic abilities.

Panorama of sand dunes and the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California.

Panorama of sand dunes and the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California.

#10 Pacific Coast Highway Sand Dune
10/18/14, 1:15pm
Panorama of person climbing a 400 foot sand dune above the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California.

Symmetry and Simplicity – Look for a simple composition with equal proportions on either side of the image.

Panorama of the London Undergroud train at an empty station in London, England.

Panorama of the London Underground train at an empty station in London, England.

#9 London Underground
10/22/14, 4:20pm
Panorama of a train in the London Underground or Tube at an empty station in London, England.

Distortion – Take advantage of the known barrel distortion to give your image a spherical look. Much like a cropped fisheye lens where the magnification decreases with distance from the optical center.

 

Panorama of the shipwrecked sealing vessel, the Protector III In front of the Barnard House on New Island in the Falkland Islands.

Panorama of the shipwrecked sealing vessel, the Protector III In front of the Barnard House on New Island in the Falkland Islands.

#8 New Island
11/12/14, 8:35am
Panorama of the shipwrecked sealing vessel, the Protector III in front of the Barnard House on New Island in the Falkland Islands.

Landscapes – Selecting the correct proportion and creating visual anchors are important.  Establish your height/width ratio and beginning/end of your image by doing a test pan. The camera crops approximately 10 percent from all sides so give yourself some additional room.

Vertical panorama of Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.

Vertical panorama of Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.

#7 Multnomah Falls
10/14/14, 3:06pm
Vertical panorama of the Multnomah Falls, combined 620-foot waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.

Vertical – Turning your camera horizontally in your hand and panning vertically can benefit certain subjects like waterfalls and forests. The camera will not realign when turned so ignore the arrow which is designed only for horizontal photos.

Panorama of the sunset on Mondos Beach near Ventura, California.

Panorama of the sunset on Mondos Beach near Ventura, California.

#6 Mondos Beach
1/2/14, 4:44pm
Panorama of the sun reflecting of a beach house at low tide on Mondos Beach near Ventura, California.

Reflections – Double your visual assets with reflections from windows or water. By relocating your camera left or right ever so slightly, you can capture reflections during key lighting situations.

Panorama of 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' art installation of red ceramic roses at the Tower of London, England.

Panorama of ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ art installation of red ceramic roses at the Tower of London, England.

#5 Tower of London
10/24/14, 3:08pm
Panorama of ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ art installation of red ceramic roses at the Tower of London, England.

Right to left panning can save your image. Your camera defaults to left to right panning motion but by selecting the right side of your image, you can pan from right to left. With this image, I started from the right and panned slowly left while waiting for people to move out of the frame.

Panorama of the National Geographic Sea Bird bow in Gut Bay on South Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska.

Panorama of the National Geographic Sea Bird bow in Gut Bay on South Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska.

#4 Gut Bay
6/11/14, 6:29am
Panorama of the National Geographic Sea Bird bow in Gut Bay on South Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska.

Asymmetry – Offsetting your subject to the left or right side of the frame leads the viewers eyes into visual thirds or rules of thirds. Dividing your subjects into vertical thirds also helps create a compelling composition.

Panorama of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square in London, England.

Panorama of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square in London, England.

#3 National Gallery
10/20/14, 12:26pm
Panorama of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery facade in London, England.

Motion – If you include people, its advised to inspect all faces and appendages before posting online or end up on “panos gone wrong.”  For crowds look for distant people while panning quickly and for close ups pan slowly and have your subject still. See double exposure for another fun trick.

Panorama of a king penguin colony and the Allardyce Range at Saint Andrews Bay, South Georgia Island.

Panorama of a king penguin colony and the Allardyce Range at Saint Andrews Bay, South Georgia Island.

#2 Saint Andrews Bay
11/19/14, 5:20am
Panorama of a king penguin colony and the Allardyce Range at Saint Andrews Bay on South Georgia Island.

Wildlife – Many variable to consider when working close up with wildlife. Foremost is not disturbing the animals so be patient. When an opportunity arises, use your subject as a visual anchor and include the background for impact.

Stunning panoramic sunset in the Lemaire Channel, Antarctica.

Stunning panoramic sunset in the Lemaire Channel, Antarctica.

#1 Lemaire Channel
11/25/14, 10:59pm
Panoramic sunset in the Lemaire Channel, Antarctica.

Exposure – Locking the exposure and focus is the most useful feature on the camera. Panorama often cover a wide range of exposure to the sun so find an average within your composition, many times in the center. Hold your finger on your screen over this average exposure until a yellow box plus AE/AF LOCK appears. Return to your original left or right position and pan with the exposure and focus locked on your selected spot. Works amazing!

Categories: Adventure, Alaska, England, iPhone, Lindblad Expeditions, London, National Geographic, Panorama, Photography Techniques, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

London, A Panorama Paradise

London, A Panorama Paradise

Pano of the Waterhouse Building at the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

Panorama of the Waterhouse Building at the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

Attending the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards was our main objective for visiting London however, so much more was discovered and explored with my family. The award ceremony was held at the Natural History Museum, a world famous architectural gem. London is a panorama photographer paradise with subject on each corner.

Pano of the Darwin Center and courtyard at the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

Panorama of the Darwin Center and courtyard at the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

Public transportation is one of the most fascinating aspect of the bustling metropolis of over 8 million inhabitants and just as many tourist. Just to think you walk down a set of underground steps, jump on a train and pop up in another culturally diverse parts of this cosmopolitan city all for a pound thirty.

Panorama of The Underground in London, UK.

Panorama of The Underground in London, UK.

Panorama of Camden High Street at Camden Town in London, UK.

Panorama of Camden High Street at Camden Town in London, UK.

The art scene is outstanding and would take a lifetime to soak it in properly. The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, 888,246 ceramic poppies art installation was very moving representing the British military fatalities during World War 1. The National Gallery was equally impressive with its grand halls and huge installations.

Panorama of red ceramic rose art installation in the moat of The Tower of London, UK.

Panorama of red ceramic rose art installation in the moat of The Tower of London, UK.

Panorama of the Interior of the National Gallery in London, UK.

Panorama of the Interior of the National Gallery in London, UK.

People, people and more people. If you like people watching, London is it! So many different cultures and languages visiting the museums, watching street performers or riding one of the many forms of transportation. London is constantly on the move. The front seat of a double-decker bus felt like an urban zipline, while conversely I found myself ducking under each bridge from the upper ferry deck on the Thames.

Panorama from a double decker bus of the Parliment on Great George Street in London, UK.

Panorama from a double decker bus of the Parliament on Great George Street in London, UK.

Panorama from a river boat on the Thames of the Big Ben and Parliment in London, UK.

Panorama from a river boat on the Thames of the Big Ben and Parliament in London, UK.

Around each corner or under each bridge, another fantastic panoramic photograph opportunity arises. All just for a brief glimpses before your bus rockets off or some moving object “photobombs” your masterpiece. Sometime its a split second and proper panning techniques and exposure are critical.

Panorama of Contortionist Yogi Laser performing for a crowd in Trafalgar Square in London, UK.

Panorama of Contortionist Yogi Laser performing for a crowd in Trafalgar Square in London, UK.

Panorama of Vespe seats at an eatery in Camden Lock in London, UK.

Panorama of Vespe seats at an eatery in Camden Lock in London, UK.

Connecting with good friends and exploring new places halfway around the world is always a bonding experience. And meeting so many great photographers and complete strangers made London a memorable journey.

Double exposure of world traveler, Richard Villa at Hyde Park in London, UK.

Double exposure of world traveler, Richard Villa at Hyde Park in London, UK.

My many iPhone Panorama photo tips would be:  patience. Wait between cars and  people moving too close. Switch panning directions from right to left if the timing makes more sense. Symmetry and side subjects to anchor your composition seems to work best given the camera’s natural distortion to bend the sides and bow the center. Lock focus and exposure on the center of your frame and pan smoothly. Have fun!

Panorama of Nelson's Column and the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square in London, UK.

Panorama of Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square in London, UK.

Panorama from a boat on the Thames River of the Tower Bridge and Shard in London, UK.

Panorama from a boat on the Thames River of the Tower Bridge and Shard in London, UK.

All images take on an iPhone 4s in London, England.
© Rich Reid Photography

Categories: England, iPhone, London, Panorama, Photography Techniques, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Southeast Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness

Feeding The Soul is the only way to summarize my summer in Southeast Alaska; whales breaching, bears feeding, glaciers calving and eagles soaring all set in the most stunning wilderness imaginable.

Time exposure of a Coastal Brown Bear sitting in a salmon river at Pavlof Harbor on Chichagof Island, Southeast Alaska.

Time exposure of a Coastal Brown Bear sitting in a salmon river at Pavlof Harbor on Chichagof Island, Southeast Alaska.

Each day provided a different experience in my eight out of eleven weeks spent exploring between Juneau and Sitka. My first contract was two weeks and then a pair of three week stints aboard both the National Geographic Sea Lion and Sea Bird with Lindbland Expeditions and National Geographic.

Bubble net feeding Humpback Whales at Morris Reef in Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska

Bubble net feeding Humpback Whales at Morris Reef in Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska

A typical day as a Photo Instructor / Naturalist in Alaska would go something like this….

0600 Coffee and binoculars on the bow spotting wildlife
0730 Meeting, breakfast and gear up
0900 Zodiacs depart for two 1.5 hour rounds to the glacier
1230 Lunch during repositioning of the ship
1400 Start of two kayaking rounds of 1.5 hours
1830 Recap presentations for 30 minutes
1900 Dinner
2030 Whale watching at sunset on the bow
2200 Dreaming of the next day

Calving ice from South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm - Fords Terror Wilderness, Southeast Alaska.

Calving ice from South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm – Fords Terror Wilderness, Southeast Alaska.

Our Daily Expedition Reports are written and photographed each day by one of the staff and posted on Expeditions.com for guests to share. Below are a few of my Daily Expedition Reports from some of my favorite places.

George Island and the Inian Islands

Pavlof Harbor, Chichagof Island

Glacier Bay National Park

Inian Islands & Fox Creek

Cascade Creek and Petersburg

Endicott Arm

Killer whale bull spouting at Point Adolphus in Icy Strait in Southeast Alaska.

Killer whale bull spouting at Point Adolphus in Icy Strait in Southeast Alaska.

Photography has been such an integral aspect of communication and such a simple way to enjoy our travels. Whether I am with guests on an iPhone walk of Petersburg taking panorama or setting up underwater GoPro time-lapse of the tide, it has been a privilege to be able to share my passion for photography with such dynamic people in places that are truly special. Hopefully these photos can convey some of my appreciate for the people that I work with and everyone who has been such a part of this dream.

Thank you Lindblad Expeditions / National Geographic for such a stellar summer in Southeast Alaska.

 

Steller sea lion eating a skate at the Inian Islands in Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

Steller sea lion eating a skate at the Inian Islands in Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

My 2015 schedule looks very promising to Antarctica, Svalbard, Greenland and Galapagos Islands

 

Blue glacial ice and rainbow in Stephens Passage in Southeast Alaska.

Blue glacial ice and rainbow in Stephens Passage in Southeast Alaska.

Categories: Adventure, Alaska, Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic, Natural World, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Southeast Alaska Photo Expeditions

National Geographic Sea Lion in Tracy Arm near South Sawyer Glacier in Southeast Alaska.

National Geographic Sea Lion in Tracy Arm near South Sawyer Glacier in Southeast Alaska.

Southeast Alaska is a land of superlatives; immense, iconic and impressive. These past two weeks spent on the National Geographic Sea Lion with Lindblad Expedtions was all of these and more. Two action packed weeklong “photo departures” with many of the guests fulfilling their lifelong “bucket lists” and bringing home incredible photos. The talented photo team included National Geographic Photographer, Jay Dickman and three Lindblad Photo Instructors; Rich Kirchner, Emily Mount and myself.

Humpback whale breaching near the Inian Islands in Southeast Alaska.

Humpback whale breaching near the Inian Islands in Southeast Alaska.

Bald eagle capturing a fish at Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

Bald eagle capturing a fish at Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

The extra long days included early morning wakeup calls and greeted with iconic scenes like a mirrored images of Gut Bay and early morning orcas in Glacier Bay. The breaching humpback whales, feeding Stellar sea lions and eagles snatching fish around us at Cross Sound on a 16-foot incoming tide was also a life experience. Each day the “WOW factor” was greater and greater. Our visit to South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm – Fords Terror Wilderness was also one of those unforgettable memories with a colossal calving from this tidewater glacier and then a twenty story cobalt blue shooter erupted from under the water.

Stellar sea lion eating a fish at Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

Stellar sea lion eating a fish at Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

 

 

 

Inflatable boat near a recently calved iceberg from South Sawyer Glacier in Southeast Alaska.

Inflatable boat near a recently calved iceberg from South Sawyer Glacier in Southeast Alaska.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each day new friends were made and memories forged into our minds from this iconic destination. One is continually surprised what Mother Nature can provide regardless of how many times you visit Southeast Alaska.  National Geographic Society President in 1910 and Member of the 1899 Harriman Expedition to Alaska, Henry Gannett summarized his Alaska experience best;
“There is one word of advice and caution to be given those intending to visit Alaska for pleasure. If you are old, go by all means. But if you are young, wait. The scenery of Alaska is much grander than anything else of the kind in the world and it is not well to dull one’s capacity for enjoyment by seeing the finest first.”

Mom and pup sea otter at Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

Mom and pup sea otter at Cross Sound in Southeast Alaska.

I am looking forward to another six weeks of pure natural bliss in Southeast Alaska this summer.

 

 

Categories: Adventure, Alaska, iPhone, National Geographic, Natural World, Panorama, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2013 Showreel featuring Columbia River, Southeast Alaska and Galapagos Islands with Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic

 

Video and time-lapse featuring Columbia River, Southeast Alaska and Galapagos Islands aboard Lindblad ExpeditionsNational Geographic ships in 2013.

Originally I planned to create showreels for each destination until I juxtaposed the beautiful underwater Galapagos world with the majestic Alaska glaciers and bears. Somewhat my life metaphor of going from one destination to the next teaching photography to incredible people in the most scenic places in the world working with National Geographic Expeditions.

The Columbia and Snake River Journey is a land of extreme landscapes of canyons, mountains and waterfalls steeped in the rich history of Lewis and Clark and Native American folklore. This Pacific Northwest destination is a series of modern engineering feat including bridges, locks and dams that allow us to transition 425 miles upriver and climb 725 feet above sea level from Astoria, Oregon to Lewiston, Idaho. The jet boat adventure up the Snake River rapids is another highlight filled with spectacular scenery.

Southeast Alaska is one of earth’s gems that contains some of the richest marine life, spectacular fjords and calving tidewater glaciers. This place will continually amaze you regardless of your time spent in this part of the world; feeding brown bears, humpback whales bubble-net feeding and glaciers defining the landscapes. John Muir summarizes it best in his Travels in Alaska,1915, “To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”

The Galapagos Islands are another gem on this earth that will leave you speechless. Everyday, you experience another creature that defines evolution and environmental adaptability. Tameness is a word often used but nothing can prepare  you for this extraordinary land and sea adventure. Animals approach you without fear and often times indifferent to your presence. From Giant Galapagos Tortoises in the morning to a playful Galapagos Sea Lion in the afternoon. I cannot wait to return to this magical place.

Special thanks to Lindblad ExpeditionsNational Geographic for enabling me to visit these wonderful places with such entertaining guests. I am really looking forward to returning to Southeast Alaska this summer, the Columbia River in the fall, Antarctica over winter and to Arctic next summer. I pinch myself everyday to see if this is a dream.

Humbled by Nature,
Rich Reid

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Categories: Adventure, Alaska, National Geographic, Natural World, Time-lapse Techniques, Travel, Videos, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top 10 iPhone Photos of 2013

I LOVE in the beach sand in Pacific Grove, California.

#10 I LOVE in the beach sand in Pacific Grove, California.

The iPhone has been a game changer in the ways we share our photography. Not only have these smart phones improved teaching photography during my photo expeditions but it also has created hours of entertainment with minimal processing time. Although the optical options are limited, the simple filters and unlimited sharing has more than made up for the quality limitations.

Aerial of clouds over the Everglades in Florida.

#9 Aerial of clouds over the Everglades in Florida.

Reluctantly last year, I signed a two year contract for a new (albeit old model) iPhone 4s so I could fulfill my obligatory texting duty with other parents. Reluctant, because I was already feeling overwhelmed with media dealing with video and time-lapse photography. Quickly I realized that the iPhone was more of a practical camera than a fancy phone and it fulfilled that “instant gratification” of sharing my photography. However, the iPhone will never replace that “perfection” that DSLR cameras produce to appease my professional clientele.

Shadows in Ojai Meadow Preserve, Ojai.

#8 Shadows in Ojai Meadow Preserve, Ojai.

Seven thousand plus clicks later, I have found the iPhone an indispensable piece of my professional camera equipment. Not only does it work as a social gadget with Facebook and Instagram but it also serves as one of my more practical devices that will predict sunrises, entertain you kid in a pinch or shut out the world with headphones. It also checks email, displays breaking news, finds your way home and even makes calls.

Vintage look of a girl decorating a Christmas tree.

#7 Vintage look of a girl decorating a Christmas tree.

My top 10 images were selected for the subjects being really close and lit with well balanced natural light. The camera is a simple fixed 4mm f/2.4 lens on the iPhone 4s and the image quality seriously degrades if you digitally zoom or use in low light. The HDR feature is really cool and works well in contrasty conditions. Panorama and Square features added to the iOS7 operating system were great improvements and created lots of fun double exposures. The new “square” option has been practical for social media.

#6 Heart shaped rock on Espanola Island in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

#6 Heart shaped rock on Espanola Island in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Perhaps the most useful applications for managing iPhone media is “Image Capture” which is included under Applications in the Mac OSX . A simple software that allows you to select the destination of your media being imported from your phone to your computer. It also allows you to batch delete unlimited amount of media from your phone. (CAUTION: You can inadvertently delete all you media with the wrong check box.)

#5 Lindblad Expeditions's Chief Mate at the helm with Johns Hopkins Glacier reflecting in the window in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

#5 Lindblad Expedition’s Chief Mate at the helm with Johns Hopkins Glacier reflecting in the window in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Other practical “Apps for That” I regularly use:

The Photographers Ephemeris (TPE) is one of the most useful photography tools with a GPS locator and a moon/sun calculator. Great for scouting locations months in advance and hundreds of miles away.

Miniatures is a silly but simple tilt-shift time-lapse app that creates cartoonish miniature time-lapses.

Snapseed allows you to add filters, spot focus, crop and frame your images.

Squaready simplifies cropping your images square for Instagram.

#4 Galapagos Sea Lion sleeping on Gardner Beach on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

#4 Galapagos Sea Lion sleeping on Gardner Beach on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

Enjoy my favorite ten iPhone photos from 2013 which were selects out of 5,000 still images that covered the gamut of subjects and locations. I am very thankful to National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions for assigning me to teach photography in wonderful worldwide destinations. The iPhone has been an integral part of sharing media during our Photo Expeditions and great entertainment for the guests.

#3 Fourth of July patriotic girl in the Push and Pull Parade in Ventura, California.

#3 Fourth of July patriotic girl in the Push and Pull Parade in Ventura, California.

Please join me on one of my future National Geographic Photos Expeditions.

#2 Galapagos hawk flying at Playa Espumilla on Santiago Island in the Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador.

#2 Galapagos hawk flying at Playa Espumilla on Santiago Island in the Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador.

Below is my favorite iPhone image of the year and was taken at sunrise on Easter Sunday on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. The perfect light was reflecting off of the building and water as a couple strolled down an empty palm-lined beach. Visually it all came together but what really made this special was I was on vacation with my two favorite ladies in paradise. Happy New Years and may 2014 be a wonderful year.

#1 Easter Sunday sunrise service on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.

#1 Easter Sunday sunrise service on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Categories: iPhone, National Geographic, Natural World, Photography Techniques, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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