Thursday, October 3, 2013

Alaska! Summer 2013

Jill and I accepted Ernest and Kathleen's invitation to join them on their Alaska Marine Highway System adventure last July.  We celebrated Kathleen's 60th birthday and all of us were quite the active seniors.  E&K drove their well-stocked Sportsmobile to Seattle, Washington and picked us up at SeaTac.  We added our camping gear to the 4x4 van and hopped on the ferry at Bellingham.  Two nights and many whale, orca, and dolphin sightings later, we were docking in Ketchikan.  We drove off the ferry and camped several nights in the Ketchikan area, then got back on the ferry and did the same thing in Wrangell, and finally Petersburg. We had great camp sites, exciting tours, fantastic food and drink, and many hours of light to enjoy it all. It was a great adventure indeed, as you'll see below. I hope you enjoy the photos...

 Agile Black Bear
       Approaching Shakes Lake  
         Mama Grizzly & Cub
     Beautiful Inside Passage Sunset
    Smooth Landing
    Blue Ice & LeConte Glacier
    Forlorn Bear After Dropping Fish
    Young Grizzly Enjoying the Bounty
    The Sweetest Campsite Ever near Wrangell
   Angular Iceberg
    Nature Produces Some Beauties
   Swiss Cheese Iceberg
    Juvenile Bald Eagle
    Inside Passage
    Disrespectful Youth
     Early Morning Arrival in Ketchikan
    LeConte Glacier
    Momma Griz & Her Cubs
    Summertime and the Livin' is Easy
    Glacier at the End of Shakes Lake
    Hanging Out
     Stuffed Old Black Bear
     View from Petersburg at Dusk
 If you made it this far, to the end of someone else's vacation photos, thanks! You can see I did not take the time and effort to tell you every camera setting and focal length this time.  I haven't posted in quite a while, so I am happy just to  get these up and share with you.  If you want to see a great video of a bear feeding on salmon at the Anan Bear Observatory outside of Wrangell, please go to my YouTube site:


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Death Valley National Park, March 2013

We headed out early Friday afternoon for a Spring Break 4-Wheel Camping adventure and made it to the Panamint Dunes road.  We bounced the 7 miles of washboard to the end of the road and made camp.  The next day we hiked the 2+ miles to the dunes with our dog, Hazel.  It got so windy, Hazel turned into a little sanddog and Jill ended up putting her in her backpack for the return trip to the camper.  That was the last of Hazel's major hikes; she was sandburned, sunburned, and had some tender dogs of her own the next day.  Our Death Valley adventure continued that day and we headed into Stovepipe Wells to pay fees.  We wanted to make a camp close to Titus Canyon and made it up to a remote canyon off of Daylight Pass Road/Hwy 374, a short distance over the Nevada border.  The next day Jill drove the exciting and beautiful Titus Canyon road and it surely is the most beautiful auto tour road in the park.  We've been on nearly every one, including the Butte Valley Road which heads out of the south end of the park over Mengel Pass.  After we toured Titus Canyon, we saw that there was/is no gas available at Scotty's Castle, so we had to circle back to Stovepipe Wells, filled it up, and then headed north to Ubehebe Crater.  We walked down into the crater, trudged back up, and then circumnavigated the rim.  What a view!  Onward to Teakettle Junction, the Racetrack, and some very crowded camping.  The next day I got some real nice shots of the Racetrack with my early birthday present, a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ultra wide angle lens.  Finally, we made it to the incredible Eureka Dunes on the north end of the park via Big Pine Death Valley Road past Crankshaft Junction.  It was quite windy next to the dunes, so we waited until the next morning to summit the 700' dunes.  And what a calm, beautiful morning it was.  The dunes are the tallest in California and it felt like ascending Muir Pass in the Sierra (with a little more oxygen).  Again, it was a landscape photographer's dream come true.

The pictures below are as follows:  Jill on Panamint Dunes with Hazel; an old rusted out car on Panamint Dunes road; overlook from pass on Titus Canyon Road; Ubehebe Crater; Mike on the Racetrack (nice shot Jill); a mysterious Traveling Rock on the Racetrack; Eureka Dunes; and from the top of Eureka Dunes.

68mm, f/5.6, 1/640 second, ISO 50

24mm, f/9, 1/160 second, ISO 100

24mm, f/8, 1/500 second, ISO 100

24mm, f/8, 1/500 second, ISO 100

16mm, f/10/ 1/250 second, ISO 100

16mm, f/10, 1/4000 second, ISO800

27mm, f/9, 1/250 second, ISO 50


35mm, f/8, 1/1600 second, ISO 200


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Apricot Flowers and Bees

I have appreciated and enjoyed the results of my macro work with the 7D and my favorite lens, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L macro lens.  However, I was really excited to try the lens on the 6D and sure enough, the images are stunning compared to anything I've done before.  I am now able to achieve what I've always wanted to in close up photography.  I did have to crop all these shots, most 100%, because of the bees!  But, that shows even more how clearly and resolutely the 6D and 100mm work in tandem.  Even cropped, the images are sharp.

From Top to Bottom: 100mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 500; f/3.5, 1/60, ISO 50; f/11, 1/1000, ISO 1250


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Florida Christmas 2012

I once again put some retirement money into my photography habit.  I upped the ante, went full-frame and sprung for the new Canon 6D.  I purchased the kit and lucky ole Allison received the EF 24-105mmL for an incredible deal.  I was jealous, but I don't need the lens since I still have my trusty 24-70mmL.  When Jill and I went to see Mom, Jim and Faith in Florida for Christmas, it was a great opportunity to combine the new camera with my "travel light" 70-300mm.  The 70-300 may not be L, but I tell you, it locks on to a subject and doesn't like to let go. All of the shots below were taken with that combo.  I was able to use my 100-400mmL in Morro Bay before vacation with the 6D and the results were great.  I love the 7D and I will not sell it, but even though it's all in all a better camera than the 6D, it does have a cropped sensor.  The 6D might not be able to take 8 f/p/s, only 4.5, or have nearly as many focus points as the 7D, but so far I've found that the sensor size alone more than makes up for any lack of speed or cross type focus points. 100% crops with the 6D are sharp, period. I also think it will be fun to log my shots with the internal GPS and use a smart phone or tablet to wirelessly control the camera and share pictures.  I'll put it to a good test this summer when we go to Alaska with Ernest and Kathleen.

Florida Yellow-Bellied Turtle ~ 300mm, f/6.5, 1/250 second, ISO 400
Heron's Glen Osprey ~ 300mm, f/8, 1/1600 second, ISO 400
Communal Yellow-Bellieds ~ 300mm, f/6.3, 1/200 second, ISO 400

Great Blue Heron ~ 300mm, f/8, 1/2000 second, ISO 800