Alaska

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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 : )

 

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

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

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

Music:
Stamp’n Go –  iStockphoto®, ©Sporeboy
Flamingo Bay – iStockphoto®, ©bononiasound
Powerful Trailer Music –  iStockphoto®, ©-MUX-

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

Top 10 iPhone Panoramas

Top 10 iPhone Panoramas of 2013

The following are my top ten iPhone panorama photos from this year and a few lessons learned after 6,000 plus attempts….

• A steady hand and smooth panning will achieve the best results.
Great light is everything when your dealing with a fixed 4mm f/2.4 lens.
Composition includes anchoring your sides and looking for symmetry.
Double Exposed works best when your subject is about 10 feet away.
• Set your focus and exposure on a neutral tone somewhere in the center.

Special thanks to National Geographic Expeditions for assigning me to these incredible locations. Image are from the Galapagos, Hawaii, Washington, California and Alaska. Enjoy. Rich Reid Photography

Panorama of the Santa Barbara from the Courthouse Observation Tower in Santa Barbara, California.

Panorama of Santa Barbara from the Courthouse Observation Tower in Santa Barbara, California.

Panorama of Rock Creek Lake in the Eastern Sierras, California.

Panorama of Rock Creek Lake in the Eastern Sierras, California.

Panorama of fishing pangas moored in Puerto Ayora harbor on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Panorama of fishing pangas moored in Puerto Ayora harbor on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Panorama of the Santa Barbara Harbor from a fishing boat in Santa Barbara, California.

Panorama of the Santa Barbara Harbor from a fishing boat in Santa Barbara, California.

Panorama of Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador.

Panorama of Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador.

Panorama of the palm-lined Kalapaki Beach in Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai, Hawaii.

Panorama of the palm-lined Kalapaki Beach in Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai, Hawaii.

Panorama of the 198-foot Palouse Falls and river in Palouse Falls State Park, Washington.

Panorama of the 198-foot Palouse Falls and river in Palouse Falls State Park, Washington.

Panorama of Gardner Bay beach on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

Panorama of Gardner Bay beach on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

Panorama from the National Geographic Sea Lion bow and the Fairweather Range in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Panorama of the National Geographic Sea Lion bow and Fairweather Range in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Panorama of sunset over the Asilomar Coastal Trail in Pacific Grove, California.

Panorama of sunset over the Asilomar Coastal Trail in Pacific Grove, California.

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

Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness – September 2013

The Inside Passage of Alaska and British Columbia is life changing for anyone who dares to visit this exceptional area. John Muir summarizes it best from his 1915 Travels in Alaska, ” To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”

What an honor to work for National Geographic Expeditions in one of the most beautiful places on earth with some of the best naturalists in the world. One role as a Photographer on board Lindblad Expedition ships is “provide enriching and immersive experiences that inspire participants to care about the planet and solidify their support of the Geographic by enhancing our travelers’ appreciation of the destinations they visit and giving them an opportunity to get to know a representative of the Society.” What a dream occupation to be able to share exciting experiences with inspiring guests in unique places with the common language of photography.

Expedition craft dwarfed by South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm - Ford Terror Wilderness, Alaska.

Expedition craft dwarfed by South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm – Ford Terror Wilderness, Alaska.

This fall I spent three wonderful weeks aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion for two Inside Passage Photo Expeditions. The late season voyages provided abundant wildlife sightings and visits to glaciers that are usually inaccessible due to ice or wildlife protection. The highlight was a “colossal calving” of ice from the rapidly retreating South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm – Fords Terror Wilderness. A series of smaller calves from the face triggered an enormous “city block sized” blue iceberg to “shoot” several hundred feet above the face before imploding under the laws of gravity. The sound was indescribable as the ice crashed, growled and snapped around our small expedition craft.

Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae cooperatively bubble net feeding in Iyoukeen Inlet off of Chichagof Island, Alaska.

Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae cooperatively bubble net feeding in Iyoukeen Inlet off of Chichagof Island, Alaska.

Wildlife highlights were certainly the rarely seen Humpback Whales “bubble-net feeding” off of Chichagof Island. This behavior requires all the members of this cooperative feeding group to “fluke” in unison then blow a ring of bubbles around their small prey before the pod erupts out of the water with mouths agape. We watched this event for a few hours and sometimes as close as 50 feet from the ship. Throughout our adventure we also observed salmon-eating pods of “resident” Orcas playing with humpback whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins.

Time exposure the National Geographic Sea Lion ship's bow entering Candian waters in the Inside Passage, Alaska.

Time exposure the National Geographic Sea Lion ship’s bow entering Candian waters in the Inside Passage, Alaska.

While our ship was transferring south to warmer waters, this offered the guests a biannual exploration of coastal British Columbia. Visiting Alert Bay just off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island was the cultural apex of our trip that included the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation people invitation to their Gukwdzi or Big House for a presentation by the T’sasala Cultural Group. What an honor for our guests to experience a traditional dance in a real Big House around a cedar fire, concluding with smoked salmon and fry bread.

Namgis Burial totem poles in the fog at Alert Bay in British Columbia, Canada.

Namgis Burial totem poles in the fog at Alert Bay in British Columbia, Canada.

I would like to close with an appropriate Alaskan quote from Henry Gannet, National Geographic Society President and 1899 Alaska Harriman Expedition member; “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.” 

Please join me for my next Photo Expeditions

Special thanks to National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.

Perfect light and male killer whale, Orcinus orca in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Perfect light and male killer whale, Orcinus orca in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Alaska Photo Portfolio

Categories: Adventure, Alaska, National Geographic, Natural World, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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