Posts Tagged With: panoramic

Best of Antarctica

A person enjoying the view and Luigi Peak from Booth Island at Port Charcot in Antarctica.

A person enjoying the view and Luigi Peak from Booth Island at Port Charcot in Antarctica.

Antarctica is the land of superlatives; the coldest, windiest and driest place on earth. Exceptional beauty and abundant wildlife are other ways to describe this amazing continent. Tourist go to Antarctica to experience the iconic penguins but return for the magnificent ice; gigantic glaciers, tabular icebergs and frozen sea ice.

Ushuaia, Capital de las Malvinas at the southern tip of Argentina.

Ushuaia, Capital de las Malvinas at the southern tip of Argentina.

This lifetime expedition usually begins with a cultural stopover in Buenos Aires, Argentina where one can sample outstanding Malbec wines and their famous “carne” cuisine. This is also the last stop to feel the warm southern hemisphere summer and to soak up the colorful Argentinean flora. After a three-hour flight south over the Southern Andes, you arrive in Ushuaia. Located on the southern tip of Terra del Fuego Island, this resort town is accessible by air and sea. The majority of tourist access Antarctica through this scenic community perched between the mountains and the sea.

 

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Chinstrap penguins, Pygoscellis antarcticus at Baily Head on Deception Island in Antarctica.

Now the real adventure begins once we embarked on the National Geographic Explorer and headed down the calm Beagle Channel entering the notorious Drakes Passage. Up to 40,000 tourists visit Antarctica each summer season and the majority departs from Ushuaia by ship for a two-day 700-mile journey crossing the Drakes Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula. Each passage is a different experience depending on the wind and swell however the one constant is the open ocean with birds, lots of them. Cape petrels flying in harmonious formation, Wilson Storm-petrels bouncing off the surface feeding and of course the magnificent albatrosses; Black-browed, Grey-headed and Wandering.

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Glacial and sea ice in on the Graham Coast from Grandidier Channel in Antarctica.

Outside the dead of winter when the sea ice embraces the continent for up to 9 months, I have been lucky enough to see Antarctica in three seasons and get a greater appreciation of how resilient the endemic wildlife is to survive in these insane conditions. The weather also confirms why there are no indigenous people or local government. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 is the legal framework signed by 43 countries that has uniquely spared much of the continent for any type of development, military activity or resource extraction. In addition, the voluntary organization IAATO(International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) sets rules limiting number of guests at landing sights and environmental procedures to further protect the wildlife and to avoid introducing any invasive species.

Sunset on the Graham Coast from the Grandidier Channel in Antarctica.

Sunset on the Graham Coast from the Grandidier Channel in Antarctica.

Sometime during the early morning of the second day crossing the Drakes Passage, one of our guests enthusiastically shouts “iceberg” in the normally quite bridge. The first sighting of anything gets lots of attention and ice is no exception. Huge tabular icebergs calve off of gigantic Antarctic ice shelves and migrate large distances at the mercy of the wind and currents. Beautiful, blue and timeless, this ice is like nowhere else on earth. We have now crossed the Antarctic Convergence, the invisible line in the ocean where the air and water temperature drops to freezing and waters merge to create a strong current that brings rich nutrients to the surface. “Whale” was shouted next on the list of many first sightings. Blue, Humpback and Minke whales feeding is this productive zone.

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Leopard Seal, Hydrurga leptonyx on sea ice in Cierva Cove on on the Antarctic Peninsula in Antarctica.

First impressions certainly last a lifetime and making our first landing at Baily Head on Deception Island was quite impressive. Mother Nature limits this landing sight with dangerous waves on a steep beach but conditions were perfect for us on this particular day. The main prize on this stark black and white landscape was the colony of chinstrap penguins that spanned as far as the eyes could see. The first of the three brush-tailed penguins, the chinstrap fly out of the surf in numbers landing on the pebbly beach and start their long march back to their hilltop nests. Bellies filled with krill, this amazing creature commutes long distances on three-inch legs to feed their two chicks and relieving their partner from nesting duties that include fending off the aggressive Brown Skua trying to snag a chick. The sight, smell and sound of 100,000 nesting pair of chinstrap penguins are forever ingrained in my memory.

 

Three species of brush-tailed penguins; Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adélie

The other two penguins in the brush-tailed family are the Adelie and Gentoo penguins. Both have their quirky antics waddling large flightless bodies on land and their extraordinary hydrodynamic agility porpoising in the water to feed on krill and avoid predators. Watching these remarkable birds gains your respect for their perpetual rock stealing from their neighbor’s nests and their resilience protecting their chicks from a constant barrage of aerial predators. One of my most amazing wildlife encounters to date was witnessing a pod of small type B Killer Whales hunting Gentoo penguins in Gerlache Strait. Under the ship’s bow, five Killer Whales pursued an agile penguin that could turn much quicker successively getting away this time, albeit exhausted.

 

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Gerlache Killer Whales small type B chasing a Gentoo penguin in Gerlache Strait in Antarctica.

Other Antarctic highlights including motoring through the towering icy walls of the scenic Lemaire Channel that narrows to less than a mile wide. Experiencing the sea in Crystal Sound and Grandidier Channel starting to freeze into “grease” ice during the glowing 11pm sunset as the full moon raised over water also tops the list. Antarctica never fails to deliver a lifetime experience every day. Standing in gale force freezing wind in blizzard conditions really puts life into the epic adventures that the early explorers felt like Sir Ernest Shackleton, Roland Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. They made history and brought back real life stories from the place of superlatives; coldest, windiest and driest place on earth.

 

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National Geographic Explorer cruising through the Lemaire Channel in Antarctica.

My role on these expeditions as the National Geographic Expert is pretty straight forward; “to enhance the travelers’ appreciation and understanding of the destination.” I am honored to work with exceptional staff that I constantly learn valuable life lessons from shared experiences. Even though photography is an integral aspect of this “appreciation,” sometime silently observing wildlife with guests is just as rewarding. The National Geographic Global Guest Perspective Speaker also enhances everyone’s experience and are the most inspiring people I have ever met including Peter Hillary, Dr. Joe Macinnis, Eric Larsen, Wade Davis, Andrew Clarke and Eva Aariak. These exceptional people have added so much to the places we visit and to my life.

 

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Zodiac with tourists enjoying the icebergs near Booth Island at Port Charcot in Antarctica.

I want to thank all of the Lindblad Staff that I have been so fortunate to work with in some of the finest destination on earth. Your knowledge and patience are unsurpassed. A special thank you to National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions for providing me with such an incredible lifetime opportunity.

 

Sunset on the Graham Coast from the Grandidier Channel in Antarctica.

Sunset on the Graham Coast from the Grandidier Channel in Antarctica.

Safe travels. Rich Reid.

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Gentoo penguin on Booth Island off the northwest coast of Kiev Peninsula in Graham Land, Antarctica

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

COLUMBIA AND SNAKE RIVERS JOURNEY

COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS: HARVESTS, HISTORY & LANDSCAPES

Palouse_River

The National Geographic Sea Bird anchored in the Palouse River, Washington.

The Columbia and Snake Rivers are seeped in Native American history, Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition over two centuries ago and exceptional landscapes from the stark Palouse Plains on the Snake River to the vibrant rainforest that embraces the Columbia River are pristine and worth the visit.

For two weeks on the National Geographic Sea Bird, I spent long days with our guests photographing extreme geology, quintessential Pacific Northwest landscapes and the gamut of seasonal colors and harvests. This trip provided something for everyone; educational geology by Stewart Aitchison, detailed and humorous history by Don Popejoy and great wildlife sightings by Lee Moll including dozens of birds and even a Mountain Goat.

542-foot Multnomah Falls near Troutdale, Oregon.

542-foot Multnomah Falls near Troutdale, Oregon.

Some of the most memorable aspects of our journey were the extreme landscapes from the 198-foot Palouse Waterfall in a desert environment to Oregon’s tallest waterfall, the spectacular 542-foot Multnomah Falls in a rainforest. Experiencing the engineering marvels of the 8 lock and dam systems that we traveled through during  400 plus miles on these rivers is something not to be missed. Overall we climbed (or descended) over 700-feet from the mouth of the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon to the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in Clarkston, Washington.

The Lewis and Clark history is visible at every town along the river. The museums included a thorough Native American display at Maryhill Museum to the Coast Guard Museum in Astoria. The weather really cooperated during the harvest season which allowed us pleasant farm visits and wine tasting under clear skies. The spectacular backdrop of Mount Hood and Mount Adams in their glory covered in early snow and clear days at Cape Disappointment were enjoyed by all.

This is a highly recommended expedition during the fall season and a wonderful way to experience the Pacific Northwest in comfort and in great company of National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.

Please join me for my next Photo Expeditions

Special thanks to National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.

Columbia & Snake River Gallery

Palouse_Falls

The 198-foot Palouse Falls in Washington.

 

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Galapagos Photo Expedition – June 2013

Its been two months since my Galapagos adventure aboard the National Geographic Endeavour and tomorrow I am off to Alaska with National Geographic Expeditions experiencing a much different wildlife among its amazing islands with wonderful guests and crew.

The Galapagos Islands are a land like no other and my two weeks spent with an incredible photo team and knowledgeable guides were truly memorable.   On land the animals are all perfect specimens of evolution and in the water the wildlife approach humans with no fear. This place is magical.

Each week was a well planned itinerary maximizing out time visiting different islands and observing a gamut of wildlife. Some of the more remarkable underwater encounters included  swimming with the green sea turtle at Punta Vicente Roca on Fernandina Island and the playful Galapagos sea lions at most of our snorkeling destinations.

Galapagos land iguana, Conolophus subsristatus introduced on North Seymour Island in the Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador. Reintroduced back to an extinct population on neighboring Baltra Island.

Galapagos land iguana, Conolophus subsristatus introduced on North Seymour Island in the Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador. Reintroduced back to an extinct population on neighboring Baltra Island.

The iconic land animals include the large colorful Land Iguanas and the highlight of spending time with the Santa Cruz Galapagos tortoise in their natural setting in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.

Please join me for the next Galapagos Photo Expedition on October 25 and November 1, 2013.

Special thanks to National Geographic and Lindbland Expeditions.

Galapagos Photo Portfolio

iPhone Panorama Portfolio – Seeing Double

Categories: Adventure, iPhone, National Geographic, Natural World, Time-lapse Techniques, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seeing DOUBLE – Galapagos

Photographer on Bartolome Island panorama in Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

Photographer on Bartolome Island panorama in Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

This past two weeks I spent working for National Geographic and Lindblad onboard the Endeavour in the Galapagos Islands enhancing our guests photo expedition. The wildlife encounters were epic and our local Ecuadorean guides were fantastic. I was warned before the trip on the excessive amount of footage I would capture but had no idea of the volume.

Puerto Ayora panorama on Santa Cruz Island on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Puerto Ayora panorama on Santa Cruz Island on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Up at 5am most mornings and onshore by 6am due to darkness and National Park rules. On land, we stepped into a world like no other;  animals without fear that have evolved into endemic species, stark landscapes that were formed by lava eons ago and incredible guides that truly know and love this place.

Champagne toast on the bow of the National Geographic Endeavour panorama in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Champagne toast on the bow of the National Geographic Endeavour panorama in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Of course I brought my quiver of multimedia tools to capture this environment; two DSLRs for still images, video and time-lapse and a GoPro for underwater footage and quirky time-lapses. Even with the gamut of tools; I found it frustrating not being able to capture the true sense of this place due to the vast landscapes. The solution…… my iPhone.

Cerro Brujo panorama on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

Cerro Brujo panorama on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

The panorama feature under Camera options was the best tool for the job and added a whole new level of creativity and FUN. The results were instantaneous and often hilarious.

A couple on Bartolome Island panorama in Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

A couple on Bartolome Island panorama in Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

It’s quite simple, you find a landscape that requires you to swivel your head 180˚ and then select the panorama feature under Camera Options on your iPhone (4s & 5). Find some willing guests to anchor the sides of your panorama while you slowly pan vertically left or right. About midway, you have the guests run to the other side and anchor that side of the photo for a “double exposures” panorama. Wa La…..it appears instantly as a jpg in your Photos and everyone gets a good laugh. Repeat again and again for continual laughter.

Photographer on Genovesa Island panorama in Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

Photographer on Genovesa Island panorama in Galapagos National Park, Ecuador.

Five tips for shooting iPhone panoramas:

• Anchor the sides with a subject either people or an object.
• Portraits work best approximately fifteen feet away.
• Pan horizontally smooth and slow with the daylight at your back.
• You can stop the panorama at anytime by touching the camera button.
• Try shorter panoramas to change the height and width perspective.

Categories: Adventure, iPhone, National Geographic, Natural World, Photography Techniques, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tour of California – Bike Race Coverage

The Amgen Tour of California is one of America’s greatest bike races and has been hosted in the state’s most popular cities and over the most iconic places in the past 8 years. Each year, the course gets more challenging and summons the best riders in the world to compete in this 8 day, 750 mile brutal test of endurance.

Fans gather at the summit of at category 4, 12% climb up  Balcom Canyon during stage 6 of the 2007 Tour of California.

Fans gather at the summit of at category 4, 12% climb up Balcom Canyon during stage 6 of the 2007 Tour of California.

Since the tours inception, I have been covering the race from the inaugural prologue when Levi Leipheimer reached the top of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco in record time to yesterday’s sprint through downtown Ojai. The first few years, I covered the event for Getty Images and now I photograph the race simply for inspiration.

Five image composite of Levi Leipheimer riding to his victory during the prologue stage of the 2006 Tour of California in San Francisco, California.

Five image composite of Levi Leipheimer riding to his victory during the prologue of the 2006 Tour of California in San Francisco, California.

Covering a professional road race is not easy, in fact its down right difficult. My general approach is to scout my spots using Google Earth looking for topographical features and classic viewpoints on a hill climb and the finish. Half of the entertainment is the crowd, however they pose challenges like kicking your tripod or obstructing your view. I arrive a few hours before the forecast appearance and stake my claim on a high vantage point. Even then, you can never predict the kid that’s uses your tripod as a climbing handhold or a brawl in the crowd.

Levi Leipheimer cycling to his victory up Lombard Street during the prologue stage of the 2006 Tour of California in San Francisco, California.

Levi Leipheimer cycling to his victory up Lombard Street during the prologue of the 2006 Tour of California in San Francisco.

My objectives are always the same; get great still images and a dynamic time-lapse with only one chance in a “very” short time window. The still images are pretty straight forward but you need the subject with background and the right lens. Wide stitched panoramas incorporating the scenery to tight panning telephoto shot of a time trail are techniques I employed to add value to a static still image.

George Hincapie wins stage 5 of the 2006 Amgen Tour of California in Santa Barbara, California.

George Hincapie wins stage 5 of the 2006  Tour of California in Santa Barbara, California.

The time-lapses require a much more methodical approach and luck….yes luck. When you are trying to predict something in the future, it doesn’t always happen as planned. In most cases, I set my intervals to 3 seconds at least 15 to 20 minutes before the riders appear and then change to a 1 second interval while the peloton passes and then back to 3 seconds. Sometime, I will set my motor drive on multiple images and fire at least a dozen images while they are passing. The above technique will create a “ramped” time-lapse that starts fast, slows in the middle and finishes fast. This can also be done in post, however its much better to have the data (images) when the action happens. I refer to this technique as “stop-time-lapse” and the results can be pleasantly unpredictable.

To learn more about time-lapse photography, please visit my website for the next available workshop.

Here are a few favorite still images from the race…..

The peloton during stage 3 of the 2013 Tour of California bike race passing through Ojai, California.

The peloton during stage 3 of the 2013 Tour of California bike race passing through Ojai, California.

Ivan Basso riding the time trial during stage 5 of the 2007 Tour of California in Solvang, California.

Ivan Basso riding the time trial during stage 5 of the 2007 Tour of California in Solvang, California.

Thomas Danielson,  Levi Leipheimer,  Floyd Landis and George Hincapie during stage 6 of the Tour of California in Ojai, California.

Thomas Danielson, Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis & George Hincapie during stage 6 of the Tour of California in Ojai, California.

Paolo Bettini, Gerald Ciolek and Juan Jose Haedo sprinting across the finish line of stage 5 of the 2007 Tour of California in San Luis Obispo, California.

Paolo Bettini, Gerald Ciolek and Juan Jose Haedo sprinting across the finish line of stage 5 of the 2007 Tour of California in San Luis Obispo, California.

Categories: Adventure, Photography Techniques, Time-lapse Techniques, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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