Wow, been almost a year since I posted something. I use my Facebook Fanpage much more for updates so I invite you over there. Anyways, I did want to let anyone who visits this page to know that I am now selling 3 packs of Computer Desktop Backgrounds for $5.99. Some examples are Alligators and Mangroves.They are all sized to 1600px wide. Thanks for looking and I hope to start posting with a little more regularity.
Dry Tortugas National Park is composed of 7 islands approximately 70 miles west of Key West. It also contains and protects about 101 square miles of marine habitat. The most notable landmark of Dry Tortugas, however, is Fort Jefferson. It was thought a good idea to have the fort to help protect the straits connecting the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Construction began in 1847 and continued on through the Civil War, but was never fully finished. It served as a prison during the Civil War and its most famous inhabitant was Samuel Mudd, an American physician who was convicted and imprisoned for aiding and conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the 1865 assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
I had been wanting to get to the Tortugas for years and finally planned a trip this past December. I timed it for the full moon, so I could try some night photography. I booked a two night camping trip and got all my gear ready.
The trip started with 25 mph winds and made for a rough boat ride. I took the Yankee Freedom over, from Key West. I paid to have a kayak ferried with me, which never was launched do to wind. It also clouded over and I spent 2 days waiting for the wind to subside and the sun to come out. Snorkeling is supposed to be great down there, but with all the wind, visibility was pitiful. Just at sunset on the second day, the clouds began to break and I made sure to take advantage of it.
The clouds also stayed sparse enough for me to get something including the moon, or at least the light from it.
I went to sleep a little less nervous about a failed trip and awoke for sunrise. It didn’t amount to much but I knew what I wanted to do with the warm early light.
Although this image is iconic of Ft. Jefferson, I felt this light was pretty rare to capture. Most photographers are day-trippers and are never on the island when the light is this good. I camped for 2 nights and finally got this on the third day. Lucky me!
At the end of September I was extremely fortunate to go to Iceland. I was extremely excited for the possibility of seeing Aurora Borealis, something that had been on my bucket list.
It was a relatively quick flight for somewhere that seemed so exotic and detached. Just 5.5hrs from JFK airport. We landed at sunrise and made the trek east, after getting the rental vehicles and some food. It was quite cloudy and eventually the rains came, and stayed for several days. We had breaks where it was only windy, but it made for photographing anything a little more difficult. For a Florida boy, 40 degree weather, rain, and 40 mph winds don’t make for the most favorable conditions. So, we searched for things we could use the conditions with. Things that didn’t move. We found a big mossy area, which I was to learn is the old lava fields from Laki, one of the largest volcano eruptions in Iceland, happening over 7 months in 1783 and 84 and killing 25% of the population. Moss doesn’t move much, but I was determined to get some shots of the small bushes dotting the landscape in full fall colors. This took a lot of patience but I got several images over the next couple days that I really liked.
The boulders of lava went on for miles, covered in 6 inches or so of moss. It made for treacherous foot travel and I took a fun little tumble. Luckily, it is like landing on a tempurpedic bed! We encountered this area west of Vik on the way to Klauster.
Another amazing area is Jokulsarlon. There is nothing like it and it is oft photographed by travelers to Iceland. Icebergs calve from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and float out to sea, where some are washed back onto the black sand beach. This makes for a dramatic contrast and a scene unlike anything else.
This was also a tough shoot because the icebergs move. With each wave you either have to dodge them coming back in, or chase them back out, always recomposing your shot. In the second image, my iceberg actually broke in half and floated away just 3 waves after the image I got.
After 2 shooting sessions at Jokulsarlon, we made our way back west to trek into the highlands. Along the way we stopped at several waterfalls along the road(no shortage of them) and I took this image at one we nicknames Paul’s Falls because I had wanted to check it out for several days. I loved the recessed nature of it and how it had carved its way back into the rock.
Somewhere along the road, we also got a touch of sunshine and I was sure to capitalize on it. Whooper Swans were the only native wildlife we saw(lots of sheep) and I timed this image as a flock flew through the image.
Once into the highlands, we encountered a scene that seemed unreal. A nondescript canyon from afar, nestled among all the lifeless volcanic rock harbored at least 40 waterfalls, all leaking from the porous rock. At the bottom was an amazingly blue river and on the third shoot at this location, a freezing sunrise, we got some sun!
The last image was taken at Haifoss, meaning High Falls. It didn’t have that many compositional opportunities, but at 400 feet tall, and the accompanying canyon, still a great view.
Iceland was a land of amazing scenery, the weather sure made it challenging, but I am happy with what I got and hope to return in the future.To purchase an image go to my Iceland gallery: Iceland
Here is an image of a foggy morning in the Everglades that you can download as a desktop background. Please respect my copyright and restrict this to personal use and sharing with friends. Just click on the link below the thumbnail for a 1600×1200 pixel version.Enjoy!
Seems a bit of a contradiction but a telephoto can be a very effective lens for compelling landscape images. I started out shooting landscapes with the ultra-wide angle, which can be utilized to create depth in an image through an in-your-face foreground pulling the viewer in. Long lenses of maybe 200mm plus can be great for isolation or compression of elements to show repeating lines and patterns. I have been slowly adding images when they present themselves, but on my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I got 2 I was happy with and figured I would dig up some of the others.