Archive for the ‘Seascapes’ Category

Alaska Trip (Part 3) — Glaciers and Orcas   6 comments

Okay, so we’re on “Part 3” and still on the first day.  Sorry about that.  I’ll try to streamline it when we hit Denali.

Anyway, back on the boat . . .

(Above)  Aialik Glacier from . . . a long way off.  The scale in Alaska is so mammoth that I really had a difficult time judging distances.  The trees along the shoreline give you an indication however.

(Above)  Aialik Glacier as our ship closed in.  Still difficult to judge the distance and size.

(Above)  How about adding a boat for some size perspective?  Yep.  That’s a 400 foot high wall of ice, and we were probably still a quarter-mile away from it.

Oh yeah, it sometimes does this (random but pretty cool YouTube video).

(Above)  Some friendly (they’re waving to us) and intrepid kayakers making their way through the floating ice.

(Above)  The blue color of the ice was amazing.  And the ice in the water “fizzed” as oxygen trapped in it for thousands of years was released.

(Above)  As a photographer I really appreciated the subtle lighting and colors, but ice cracked like thunder from time to time.  Enough to make me jump and snap me out of concentrating on photography a few times.

(Above)  Almost all of Alaska’s glaciers are receding as the earth’s climate warms.  We have to solve this fossil fuel thing.  We simply have to.  There’s no other choice.

(Above)  One more shot as we departed for the trip back to Seward.  Even two-level boats look tiny in comparison to Aialik.

(Above)  On the way back we came across a family of Orcas.  I believe the large dorsal fin on this one indicates that this is the primary male of the pod.

(Above)  I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get a bit closer to them, but the captain was (rightfully) cautious of intruding.  I see a 400mm or 500mm lens in my future.  Anyone have a couple thousand dollars to loan me?  :o)

(Above)  I can’t remember the name of these birds.  We had a real birding expert in our group — Paul Brubaker.  I’m sure he could tell us off the top of his head!

(Above)  One more sea lion photo.  This one was obviously looking for attention.  You could hear him/her hundreds of yards away over the noise from the boat engine.

(Above)  About a half hour outside of Seward — as we started our journey to Denali — we stopped off at Exit Glacier.  Here’s your obligatory tourist photo of Bruce and Melanie.

(Above)  People from our group stand near the glacier and give some perspective as to size.  All along the trail up to the glacier were signs showing were the glacier had extended to in past decades.  Again, what is happening to our climate needs to be reversed.

(Above)  Dirty, blue, and beautiful.  No saturation added to the photo.  That’s the actual color my camera captured.

Peace out.

Posted August 23, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Landscapes, Seascapes, Travel Photography, Uncategorized

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Alaska Trip (Part 2) — Coastal Beauty   5 comments

Probably the most “touristy” thing that we did in Alaska was our day cruise from Resurrection Bay along the Kenai Peninsula.  I’m a sucker for coastal landscape photography, so I burned through about 500 photos during the day (eventually deleting 200 of them).  Oh how I wish I had a 400mm or 500mm lens!  But I’m pretty happy with the shots that I got.

I suspect there will be a sizable number of photos on this blog post.  You’ve been warned!

(Above)  Obligatory tourist type photo as we waited to board our boat, the Glacier Explorer.  Hey, if I have a camera in my hand I have to shoot something.

(Above)  A pair of sea otters in Resurrection Bay.

(Above)  Glaciers and spruce-covered mountains drop to the sea.  Not exactly the Jersey shore that we east-coasters are used to.

(Above)  Somewhat harsh early morning light created very contrasty conditions.  Still, this was much better than the alternative of clouds and rain which is typical of Alaska in August.

(Above)  Now we’re talking.  A cooperative humpback whale dives for food close to shoreline.  The particular whale was doing “bubble net feeding”, which is not commonly observed.

(Above)  Plenty of sea lion activity along the coast.  In my next life I want to be a sea lion and hang out on the rocks, sunbathing.  Except, you know, for that Orca problem.

(Above)  Thank goodness for digital.  If this was film I’d probably have run out already.

(Above)  One of my favorites from Day 1.  I like the depth-of-field and the painterly effect.

Not even half way through our day’s cruise to the glacier.  That will be the subject for the next post.  If you’ve made it this far, thanks for checking out the photos!

Posted August 22, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes, Travel Photography

Cool Blue   Leave a comment

I took this photo almost ten years ago but I don’t think I’ve ever published it.  It is a shot of the Olympic Mountains and a fishing boat coming into Victoria, B.C.

Blue water, blue mountains, and blue sky.  A cool blue photo on a hot, hot, hot Memorial Day!

Posted May 28, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

Mount Desert Rock Lighthouse, Maine   Leave a comment

The only way to photograph Mount Desert Rock Lighthouse is to sail 26 miles out into the Atlantic from the nearest harbor in Maine.  The lighthouse and dwelling first commenced operations in 1830, and the rock on which the lighthouse sits is about 200 yards wide and 600 yards long.  Think about that — living in the Atlantic beyond the sight of land on a tiny rock devoid of any vegetation.  Boring in nice weather and absolutely terrifying during storms.  And yet that is exactly what dozens of keepers did from 1830 to 1977.  The longest-lasting documented keeper was there for 6 years.  Most resigned in two years or less despite the extra pay that the government offered to keepers willing to take on the risk and boredom.

Today, Mount Desert Rock serves as a whale watching station for the College of the Atlantic.  We sailed a complete circle around the tiny island on The Heritage wooden schooner, and yes we saw several whales while we were out there.  It is a humbling and somewhat unnerving experience to be on a 90 ft. long wooden ship beyond the sight of land, but at least we knew we would sleep securely in a coastal harbor that evening.  I simply can’t imagine living on a small rock far into the Atlantic, particularly after the sun sets.  It took a level of courage that is hard to comprehend.

Posted September 8, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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Bleak Morning on the Oregon Coast   Leave a comment

Another monochrome image on a bleak morning along the Oregon coast.  October 2010.

Posted August 16, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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Buoy Shack   Leave a comment

A shot that I’ve kept around for years but never published.  I was not happy with it until now — thanks to Adobe Lightroom 3 and Topaz software.  It now looks how I envisioned when I captured the image.

Posted August 4, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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The Lewis R. French   Leave a comment

The Lewis R. French is America’s oldest windjammer, and a National Historic Landmark.

She was launched in April 1871 and still looks sleek and beautiful under full sail.

Posted July 24, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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A Glimpse At The Past   Leave a comment

I tried to give this photo the look of an old grainy and hand-colored print.

Posted July 23, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Seascapes

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Deer Island Thorofare Lighthouse   Leave a comment

Deer Island Thorofare Lighthouse (also called Mark Island Lighthouse) is in East Penobscot Bay, approximately one-mile off the Maine coast.  It was first lighted on New Years Day in 1858.  The best view of this light is from shipboard, and we were fortunate that Captain Doug Lee (captain of The Heritage) sailed a loop around the six-acre island so that we could get a good long look (and plenty of photos).

An especially unique feature of this lighthouse is that although square on the outside, the tower is round on the inside.  In the late 1950’s the attached keepers house was badly damaged by fire, and at that point the light was automated and everything other than what you see here was torn down.

Posted July 21, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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Maine Wooden Schooner   Leave a comment

A two-masted schooner under full sail — a beautiful sight to behold.

Posted July 19, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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Lismore Lighthouse   2 comments

I’ve seen a few lighthouses in my life (boy, have I) thanks to my wife’s passion for them.  The most beautiful by far is Lismore Lighthouse on the western coast of Scotland.  Besides being visually stunning Lismore has an interesting heritage, having been built in 1833 by Robert Stevenson — grandfather of Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).

The official location of Lismore Lighthouse (which only a Scot could possibly understand) is “on Eilean Musdile in the Firth of Lorne at the entrance to Loch Linnhe”.  I could come up with a pretty good drinking game involving reciting that really fast while sipping single malt Scotch.  Not that anyone in Scotland needs an excuse to drink, at least based on what I observed on my trips there.  Like when we shared a train ride from London to Edinburgh with the Scottish national rugby team . . . a story for another post.

In any case, the best way to capture a good view of Lismore is to take the ferry from Oban toward Mull and Iona.  We had a particularly cold ferry ride even though it was June, but that is what you can expect in Scotland, especially on the water.  One other photographer and I left the warmth of the cabin and went out on deck to take photos.  I was able to take about two dozen shots as we passed by.  Thanks to strong winds and the vibrations of the ferry’s engines only three or four turned out acceptably sharp.  I was looking forward to another chance on the return trip but the ferry return route was far removed from the lighthouse.

The fare to ride the ferry is pretty steep but well worth the cost of seeing this magnificent lighthouse.  Throw in the chance to see Iona Abbey, Fingal’s Cave, and the rugged Scottish coast, and I would part with double the fare.  Highly recommended for photographers and non-photographers alike.

Posted June 15, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Europe, Seascapes, Travel Photography

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Schooners at Sunrise   Leave a comment

Just after sunrise on a September morning in Maine.  Warm light, cool temperatures, calm waters and a beautiful reflection.  Just what the photographer ordered.

Posted June 2, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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Sail Boat on the Maine Coast   2 comments

The Maine coast is beautiful to hike or drive, but viewed from the water it is downright spectacular.  This photo was taken from aboard the Schooner Heritage during a 2003 week-long sailing trip, just after we had set anchor for the evening.  I came across this photo over the Memorial Day weekend.  I’m not sure why I never worked on it or published it before, but here it is — nearly 8 years later.

Posted May 31, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Seascapes

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