Thursday, January 29, 2015

Magellanic Penguin

Magellanic Penguin - Nikon D810, 80-400 @ 370mm, f/8, 1/1250s, ISO 200
I did manage to see lots of Penguins today even though we still haven't been able to depart for Antarctica.  We went on an afternoon trip to the nearby island of Magdalena, which has a large colony of nesting Magellanic Penguins.  Fingers crossed that we get to fly out tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

So Many Crosses

So many crosses!  Our afternoon excursion was to the Cemetery of Punta Arenas.  It may seem strange that a Cemetery was a location for us to visit, but this particular one has been acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the world and is a national monument of Chile.  I spent most of the time trying to make near abstract images and images with many layers (like this one).  Kudos if you can count all the crosses.

Brick and Pipe

Brick and Pipe - Leica S, 30-90 @ 50mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 200
Our landing site is still covered in fog and we still have no scheduled flight, so Vincent and I went out for a little photography this morning around our hotel.  Partly inspired by Art Wolfe's talk (which are always inspiring) we spent some time on unconventional subjects.


It seems we've hit a snag in our flight to Antarctica.  The place is socked in under fog and since landings are done visually, we can't fly there until it lifts.  So we are chillin' in our hotel in Punta Arenas, waiting for a window to open.

I took this image on a day trip to Valparaiso on Monday.  Valparaiso is an interesting place to do street photography and +Vincent Mo did a lot more of that than I did.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I won't have internet access for the next 10 or so days so until then here's an iceberg, there should be plenty more when I get back :)

Friday, January 23, 2015


Another photo from my last visit to Santiago a couple of years ago, this time a small cathedral in the city.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


In less than two days I leave for Santiago on the way to Antarctica.  Its been almost 2 1/2 years since the last time I was there which is when I made this panoramic of the city.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Door and Frame

Door and Frame - Alpa STC, IQ 180, 32 HR, ~f/13, 4s, ISO 35
I don't often enjoy processing images, but this one was the exception.  I don't remember which lens I used when composing the image, but I am about 98% sure it was the Rodenstock 32mm (giving a 21mm equivalent field of view, my favorite for landscape photography).  When I composed the scene, there were two things I found interesting.  First the color palette, I like the layers of color with the green paint in the back, then the blue paint and finally the orange of the door.  Second, I liked the variety of texture from the peeling paint to the wood grain on the door.  However, even stopped down and a wide lens, the depth of field wouldn't be sufficient to capture the detail and grain of the door and the detail in the green wall.  Tilt wouldn't help here either since the resulting wedge of focus would render the top of the door (and probably the near wall) out of focus.  The only thing that could be done was focus stacking.  Fortunately, only two exposures were needed, one for the door and one for everything else.  It took about an hour to carefully make sure the two exposures were blended properly and once done, the resulting image is richly detailed from edge to edge, near to far.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Blobs - 1DX, 65 MP-E, f/16, 5s, ISO 6400
Black & White Challenge Day 5/5.  For the last day of the challenge I decided to go looking for interesting patterns in the very small.  After a lot of experimentation, the most interesting thing I found were these blobs which is an extreme close up of the surface of a ripe banana.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Blossoms - iPhone 6+
Black & White Challenge Day 4/5.  I went for a walk through the Japanese Friendship Garden after lunch today and some of the Cherry trees have just started blossoming, should be even prettier in a few weeks.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Cyclist - Leica M Monochrom, 50mm, f/8, 1/1500s, ISO 320
Black & White Challenge Day 3/5, a cyclist at dawn.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Black & White Challenge Day 2

untitled - Leica M Monochrom, 50mm, f/16, 1/2000s, ISO 320
I try and do my one on one meetings as walks, it gets me out to get fresh air and gives me a little exercise.  In a hope to get an image or two to use for this challenge I took a camera with me on my first one this morning.  Sure enough, there was some pretty cool light to be captured.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Plover - 1D4, 500mm, f/4, 1/250s, ISO 400
My friend +Michael Anttila nominated me for the Black & White Photo Challenge on Facebook and this is my image for day 1.  Now, to fulfill the challenge one must only use images taken after the challenge is issued.  I am going to thoroughly ignore that as I have zero time during weekdays to take any kind of photo.  However, to keep things interesting I will find images that I haven't processed before and work on them during this time and maybe take the opportunity to try Black & White for subjects that I haven't really done B&W with before.  In that thought, here is my first image that of a Plover on a beach in Santa Barbara.  Avians don't tend to be a subject that one see's in black & white images but in this case, its the patterns on the plumage and B&W helps to bring it out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rocky Shore, Lake Tahoe

Rocky Shore, Lake Tahoe - Alpa STC, IQ 180, 32 HR, 60s, ISO 35.
One of the things that makes Lake Tahoe so appealing for photography is its irregular and rocky shoreline which stopping at various places gives you the ability to make a wide variety of different images with different compositions.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Black-browed Albatross Portrait

Black-browed Albatross Portrait - 5D3, 400 f/2.8 + 1.4x TC, f/6.3, 1/800s, ISO 200.
A close up portrait of the magnificent Black-browed Albatross sitting on its nest on New Island, Falklands.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Wandering Line

Wandering Line - Alpa STC, SK 60 XL, ~f/13, 0.5s, ISO 35
The ridge of a sand dune lit from the side by day's last light is a lot like a line meandering its a way through the desert.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Branch, Window & Light

Branch, Window & Light - Alpa STC, 32 HR, ~f/11, 0.5s, ISO 35
Earlier this week, friend and photographer +Andy Biggs posted his capture of this scene from our trip to Namibia last spring.  I liked his black & white treatment but also remembered that I had taken a different approach to the composition.  For me, I was intrigued by the light fixture and wanted to include it in the frame.  I also ended up keeping the color though I'm not happy about where the light from the window is here which is why I've refrained from posting this image.  One of the things I love about photography is how a group of people can visit the same site, but each photographer still come away with their own somewhat unique creation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Sunrise Blastoff

Sunrise Blastoff - Leica S, 30-90 @ 30mm, f/3.5, 1/45s, ISO 200
I got up at 4:45 yesterday morning, packed up, checked out and went out to Bosque with friends.  I was hoping the Snow Geese would blast off early so that I could then leave earlier with the goal of making it back home by midnight.  The Geese granted my wish and ended up blasting off before the sun had even come up.  There is no video or photo that can capture the experience as these thousands of Geese all simultaneously take off, its a cool thing.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Snow Geese over Mountains

Snow Geese over Mountains - 1DX, 200-400 @ 200mm, f/9, 1/2000s, ISO 400.
Lots of Snow Geese this afternoon, though not as many Sandhill Cranes.  The second from the left one looks like a mutant only because there is another Goose that just happened to be behind it.

VLA in Snow

VLA in Snow - Leica S, 30-90 @ 51mm, f/8, 1/350s, ISO 100
Every time I've visited Bosque, I've made a trip out to the Very Large Array visitor center and this time was no different.  I had a few hours between morning and afternoon shoots and so drove up.  One thing slightly different this time was the amount of snow everywhere because of the recent storm.  Even though the photography isn't very interesting (at least not after you've done it a couple times in the middle of the day), I still like coming up here.  Something about the sight of this large, configurable array of radio telescopes inspires me.

Sleeping in the Fog

Sleeping in the Fog - D810, 70-200 @ 200mm, f/5, 1/500s, ISO 64
We went out early this morning in the hopes of a nice Snow Geese blastoff at sunrise.  We did get one (pictures later) but I found the Sandhill Cranes still asleep with the rising fog just as the sun was coming up to be more interesting.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

No Luck Once More

Landing Snow Goose - 1DX, 200-400 @ 560mm, f/6.3, 1/1600s, ISO 400.
Seems I can't catch a lucky break today.  I set up at the crane pools waiting for the Sandhill Cranes to come back from feeding for a sunset shoot.  I've done this many times in previous visits and it always been a great place to photograph them.  As a bonus, there is often a spectacular sunset.  This evening, I got neither.  Not a single Crane and not a single cloud in the sky, so no pretty sunset.  Fortunately, just before heading there I did a quick loop in the refuge and took a few minutes to practice some flight photography.  Its been years since I've done any Avian flight photography and so I thought I could use the practice.  Unfortunately the wind direction was wrong (so the Snow Geese would land backs to the road) and the light direction wasn't that great as the bulk of them would be side lit.  I managed to grab an image of this one Snow Goose who went against the others and came in for a landing in a good direction and faced the light right.  Other than that, the evening was a photographic bust.

Skunked Again

Storm Approaching - Leica S, 30-90 @ 90mm, f/8, 1/125s, ISO 100
The same storm that ended my afternoon shoot early skunked me for the morning.  The weather was actually fine with the skies clearing and the remnant bits of clouds getting lit up nicely, the color was beautiful too.  The highways only had about an inch or two of snow but White Sands was closed, no doubt for safety reasons.  Still, its hard not be disappointed as the conditions (snow, nice sky & light) were ideal for great photography.  Instead here's another image from yesterday afternoon of the storm approaching.

Friday, January 02, 2015

White Sand and Storm

White Sand and Storm - Leica S, 30-90 @ 31mm, f/8, 1/4000s, ISO 100
The afternoon at White Sands started off with promise.  I knew there was a storm moving through the area but it was skirting the edges and at times even casting down some pretty dramatic light.  However in an hour the whole place got socked in and heavy rain started, so no chance for a pretty sunset.  Now my fingers are crossed for a clearer sunrise tomorrow morning.