A new addition to my online gallery. This is PERFECT STORM photographed at Cape Reinga in New Zealand
Cape Reinga is the northernmost tip of New Zealand, reaching into the sea and marking the meeting of two oceans – the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. On this day a perfect storm of weather convergence zones created fierce winds that whipped the ocean into a froth. The Cape is a narrow spine of land stretching its finger out into the ocean, and the footing was precarious as the 60 mph winds threatened to topple both my tripod and myself.
Here’s one for the equestrian crowd! HIGH HEEL sepiais a new addition to my online gallery and the first square format photo I’ve posted.
It’s fun to hang out at ringside with a big lens, trying to capture the action and excitement of Grand Prix Showjumping up close and personal. Here the horse is in a bit of trouble over a really big oxer. He’s making a herculean effort to keep from hitting the rail, while his rider hangs on for the ride, releasing the reins to give her mount more freedom to solve the problem.
I love how the rider and horse are both showing the soles of their shoes!
The Best of Nature 2016 Photography Exhibition opens this coming weekend at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Since I’m off cruising in the Caribbean, I will miss the Opening Reception on April 30 from 11 AM to 2 PM. But if you’re in the area, the museum is a great place to visit. Stop by the Ordover Gallery on the 4th Floor to see my image WAVE RIDERS included in this exhibition of wonderful nature photography!
Pygmy Devil Rays are similar in appearance to their cousins, the manta rays, but much smaller. Both belong to a genus of ray called Mobula or, more casually, “flying rays” due to a propensity to breach (jump out of the water) in spectacular fashion. The pygmy rays are usually seen in schools near the surface of coastal waters. I have often seen them leaping repeatedly out of the water, making a noise like popcorn popping as they splash down again.
On this trip we were traveling south along Mexico’s Pacific coastline. We stopped over in Ixtapa, which possesses a beautiful curving sand beach well used by local walkers, joggers, children and more all traversing the golden sand in the morning hours. The surf rolled in, backlit by the early morning sun, and I was startled to see the rays gliding in the breaking waves. With the sun backlighting the clear aqua water, the rays appeared suspended as if behind the glass of an aquarium. Intrigued, I invested quite a bit of time trying to capture the shot. As usual in these circumstances, I was shooting hand-held, kicking up the shutter speed to freeze action.
The 29th Annual Fund-Raising Gala for Salpointe High School here in Tucson is scheduled for this Saturday, April 23, at the elegant Cross Creek Riding Club estate. I’m pleased to support them by donating a 24″ x 36″ canvas gallery wrap to the text-to-bid silent auction. FRINGING REEF #4 WAVELET is one of my more popular images – I hope it generates a nice contribution to a worthy cause!
FRINGING REEF #4 WAVELETis an artistic interpretation of dawn rising over the Pacific Ocean as it meets the fringing reef surrounding a South Pacific atoll, as a small wave breaks over the shallow coral.
In 2009 we were sailing our sailboat Raven from French Polynesia to Tonga, a distance of some 1300 miles. Mid voyage we laid over in the remote Cook Islands. It was a pleasure to pause and take respite in the quiet anchorage of uninhabited Suwarrow Atoll, protected from the open Pacific Ocean by the shallow circle of coral reef that surrounded the inner lagoon.
Early one morning I paddled my kayak to the reef to catch the sun as it rose. The corals of the reef were only submerged by a couple of feet, and their vibrant colors were visible beneath the clear water. I came back with so many stunning photos from that session, I can hardly choose which is my favorite.
FRINGING REEF #4 WAVELET is available for purchase HERE.
Nikon D700, 1/45 sec at f/4.8, ISO 200, 14mm (14.0-24.0mm f/2.8), hand held.
Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Please respect.
The International Masters Exhibition 2016 at the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art in Las Vegas will be closing this coming weekend after a three month run. I’m pleased to say that two of my images in the exhibition, ‘Reflected Sky‘ and ‘Sunrise Flight‘, have been added to the museum’s permanent collection!
One of my favorite things about being at sea is that the sky is totally uninterrupted by buildings, telephone wires, city lights, and all the other trappings of civilization. Cloud formations, sunrises and sunsets are visible in all their expansive glory above the backdrop of the ocean surface.
In 2012 we were cruising aboard our boat AVATAR in the Solomon Islands, a remote South Pacific island country, where calm weather and seas created a multitude of opportunities to photograph reflections in the glassy water. We anchored overnight in Mbaeroko Lagoon, where this sight greeted me early in the morning as we pulled up anchor and prepared to depart.
Nikon D800, 1/125 sec at f/9.0, 2/3 EV, ISO 100, 14mm (14-24mm f/2.8), hand-held.
THE total lunar eclipse of September 27, 2015, was a lazy photographer’s dream. For starters, totality was visible from my own home town of Tucson. No need to drive or fly to a distant destination to observe – bonus point #1. Bonus point #2 – not only was this a total eclipse of the moon, but it was a Super Moon as well! And best of all, here in Tucson, the eclipse took place during prime time! Totality commenced at 7:11 p.m. local time and ended at 8:24 p.m. No need to set alarm clocks – instead I was able to set up my tripod, camera and lens during the sunset hours while I could still read the settings on my camera without a flashlight.
Husband Mike came along with a bottle of wine and two glasses and set himself up on the nearby patio furniture, and when the time was right I just clicked away. The wispy clouds added some individual character to my shot, which otherwise was a scene photographed by the thousands (tens of thousands?) around the world.
Nikon D4 .5 sec at f/4.0, ISO 200, 400mm (200.0-400.0 mm f/4..0), tripod. Composite of two photos.
AVATAR is now in Canadian waters and Mike and I are cruising alone, just the two of us, while Rod and May have gone home to the other side of the world for a much delayed vacation! We’re suffering the challenges of making repairs on the fly in a foreign country, but even a refrigerator breakdown offered a silver lining. Because we needed to find a refrigeration technician, we cruised in to Campbell River’s Discovery Harbour Marina and happened to arrive on July 1 which is Canada Day! So we beat you Americans in regards to holiday celebrations – as soon as it turned dark (10:30 pm here in the northern latitudes) I was able to set up my tripod and camera on AVATAR’s upper deck to photograph the fireworks display across the water.
It took a couple of days to round up a technician who could fit us into his busy summer schedule, so I signed up for a wildlife tour and spent yesterday on the water with Eagle Eye Adventures in a big powerful Zodiac. Orcas were first and foremost on everybody’s mind. As soon as we were all bundled up in our survival suits, reminiscent of the snowsuit I wore as a preschooler during Illinois winters, we zoomed off into the Strait of Georgia looking for whales. Fortunately the wildlife tour operators share sightings via radio, so our guide Jos already knew there were Orcas and in which direction. It was a bit of a gray day and the water was pretty rough in the strait. We pounded through the waves at high speed, although not up to the Zodiac’s full capability of 50 knots, and found a pod of transient (as opposed to resident) Orcas in the process of feeding.
At first the Orcas were milling about casually with some tail-slapping as they fed, but once their bellies were full they turned exuberant and soon we were treated to an awesome exhibition of multiple breaches. Even Jos, who goes out Orca hunting seven days a week, was pumped by the extreme athleticism these whales were displaying. My lucky shot of the day came when a whale breached right off the starboard stern of another tour boat, completely soaking the occupants, followed 8 seconds later (per the EXIF data on my photo files) by a second amazing full body breach off their port bow. I’ve shared the photo with the parties involved and it is already taking life on the internet and I’ve had a request to have it published in the local newspaper. At first glance it looks totally fake but I assure you that the only Photoshop applied was to crop, straighten and color correct. Other than that, the image documents exactly what we all saw – except for the folks on the other boat who were still peering off their stern!
When the Orca action died down, Jos took us into nearby aptly named Calm Channel in search of other wildlife. Bald eagles especially are in abundance. This slightly scruffy looking matriarch has a broken beak, but still heads up an entire flock of eagles all perched in the treetops surrounding her vantage point. In the forest canopy the bright white heads stand out like golf balls on a putting green and I counted at least eight in one go. Bald eagles are a dime a dozen in this neck of the woods. Two of them are hanging out here in the marina, stationed on signposts along the breakwater, to the consternation of the local seagulls.
After the Orcas, the other big game we all hoped to see were bears. Again shared information steered us to a black bear at the water’s edge, feasting on the mussels exposed at low tide. She was totally unconcerned with her floating audience and we were able to drift in for a good close up view.
The gallery below contains the blog photos and some additions, playable as a slideshow.
PS – The refrigerator is working again and we’re headed north for more adventures, and hopefully more Orcas!