As we were sailing out of Skagway the Star Princess remained parallel to ours for about thirty minutes. The straight is not that wide and the sight of two massive ships in the light of dusk silently passing through must have been quite the thing. Only these areas are uninhabited save for the wildlife, so we were unnoticed save for the eagles sitting on treetops.
There were four or five cruise ships in Skagway that day, I believe this is the same one I posted a picture of earlier. It’s hard to tell because in that picture I was standing next to it on the dock and it’s hard to get the full perspective up close.
The low light capabilities of the Sony A7RII allowed me to capture this at ISO4000. These kind of shots still amaze me when I think that just a few years when this type of shot was impossible. My preference is to shoot in low light, I prefer the moodiness of it.
My ship was Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas. I wonder if there was someone on the Princess ship watching our ship and taking a similar shot. If you’re out there somewhere let’s swap photos so we can see our own boat, eh?
I took this about a week ago during dusk at Bradenton Beach. This is a one minute exposure which makes the waves of the look smooth. It was actually a little darker when I took this but the long exposure makes it appear a brighter.
Along the right are the lights of the restaurants as they cast their glow on the overhead clouds. These restaurants attract both locals and visitors here at night. The Beachhouse Resturant is on the right, a reliable favorite of ours.
Straight up the beach about a mile is Holmes Beach, its more popular than Bradenton Beach so this is a little less crowded. This whole area is known as Anna Maria Island. It’s basically a key linked to the mainland by two bridges, surrounded by beaches and dotted with little villages, piers and restaurants. This is the laid back section of Florida.
I love coming here at sunset and night to take photos, there is always something interesting. We love the area so much we are planning to rent a beach house here soon and do a stay-cation. Why travel when you have all this in your own backyard?
I was driving and stopped to capture these low clouds in Sarasota as they blew over the buildings. Because it was also sunrise the combination of clouds and sun created a dramatic effect. The clouds just sort of popped up out of nowhere. I had been walking not far from here a few minutes before and they were nowhere to be seen. I suppose the rising sun created the right conditions.
The weather can change on a dime here. Sometimes it’s subtle, like the wind picking up over the water across the bay. Other times it can be more dramatic, like a thunderstorm seemingly out of nowhere. Because we spend so much time outdoors it’s a good idea to pay attention to these things. I’ve been out taking pictures of the sunset at a beach oblivious to a thunderstorm creeping up behind me. When that happens its best to get shelter right away.
I talk about the weather a lot when wring about my photos. I’m laughing at myself because that’s what you do when you meet someone and you don’t know what to say, you talk about the weather. I think that’s funny because half the time I don’t know what to say about my photos so I suppose I talk about the weather. I’ll try to think of something else to say next time.
I’m always amazed by the numbers of people staying late at Holmes Beach. I should be used to it, but each time it surprises me just a little. I live about twenty minutes away and I’ll come here to watch the sunset and take a few pictures. On the drive I figure the place will have emptied out. About the only time I’ve seen it empty is during a rare storm or heavy fog.
Holmes Beach is right at the end of a main thoroughfare so it’s the most convenient to get to. Once in a while I come here during the day but mostly I’m here at sunset. If I walk up to the water I can see people lining the beach for at least a mile in each direction.
A few days ago we came here during the day to take a walk and relax. At the end of it we sat in an outdoor restaurant next to the lifeguard stand. As we watched the scene I had the idea of taking a shot with the people lining the shore. When I came back a few days later that’s what I did, however this was not exactly the same shot I had in my mind, but close enough for now. I’ll just have to come back to get that other shot I was thinking about. I have such a hard job sometimes.
This is a rendering of the midnight sun in the Alaskan summer. I took this from the balcony of a cruise ship late one evening as we sailed towards Seward. From my perspective on the ship there were hundreds of miles of mountains as far as you can see. The size of Alaska is so big that much of it is untouched by humans. I don’t know that for a fact but given the size, terrain and remoteness it is all but impossible to fully explore. Perhaps Alaska is one of the last remaining frontiers on earth.
We live on an amazing planet and often I find myself without adequate words to describe what I’m seeing. Sometimes a photo will do but I may take liberties to express a feeling beyond what eyes can see. Of course, it’s all a matter of interpretation but I do my best. So when I see and experience the vastness of Alaska I am at a loss for words. That’s when I turn to art to convey something just beyond description.
Of course none of this is unusual. Case in point is the peoples of the original nations. Their art is prolific and profound and is shaped by the landscape, seasons and spirit of the region. Isn’t it interesting how artist seem to congregate in places where beauty is abundant? Obviously there’s something to it.
Back in the days of the gold-rush this was the red light district of the town of Ketchikan. Those days are long gone but naturally there are recreated saloons and bordellos along with souvenir shops.
There’s a lot of history in towns like this. All I know for sure is that the early settlers of Alaska had to be heart when you consider the hardships required to get here and then make it though a winter. It’s no wonder many spent their money here.
I was here in the summer at the peak of tourist season, but I’d be curious to see what it looks like in winter. I imagine most of the shops are shuttered with only a few open for residents. Most of the people that work in the shops are from the lower forty-eight, almost everyone I talked to was from somewhere else. I suppose Alaska and Florida have that in common.
Anyway, these buildings on stilts are typical of the area. I took this as I walked around the town on a rainy day.
I could post pictures of herons every day of the week, but then I’d have to rename the blog, Another Day Another Heron. This is such a common sight here in central Florida that I almost take it for granted; almost, but not quite. I used to live in Ontario Canada and I would travel into the back country. Up there the heron sightings were rare and it was a big deal when you saw one. Not so much here, they basically own the place. You see them along any stretch of water all up and down the coast. And they are territorial so you typically see them alone. I’ve noticed that other seabirds tend to give herons a wide berth.
The few I saw in Ontario were shy of humans, basically they would move away if you got within a hundred meters. Again, not so here, it seems they’ve grown accustom to us humans. They’ll even take an interested in us if we happen to be fishing. If you have bait or scraps they come right up to you. For me it’s quite an experience. It reminds me of feeding Flamingos in a petting zoo, they are even more amazing up close.
Herons fish in the shallow waters snatching fish with their pointy beaks. If you watch them for any length of time you’ll note they are extremely patient. They’ll remain perfectly still while a fish swims up and then they’ll strike like lightning. The prey never even saw it coming. It reminds me of martial arts, quick, precise, lethal.
This is Brockton Point Lighthouse from inside Stanley Park in Vancouver. The last time I was there I took a walk into the park and ended going a lot further than I planned. That happens a lot when I’m taking pictures. One thing leads to another. This is from a spot that looks across the bay towards the city of North Vancouver which is distinct from Vancouver proper.
It was the middle of summer so even though it was around nine in the evening it was still light. I love how long the nights are in summer, especially in northern latitudes. Of course it’s just the opposite in winter, long nights and short days.
To get here I walked past a collection of totem poles that are on display. Original nations art and artifacts are on display all over Vancouver. There is also a reservation across the bay and as I walked here I could hear the drums of a powwow. I walked over to the lighthouse, around the bend and back to Vancouver. But I made at least a dozen more stops before arriving back at the hotel sometime after midnight. It was just enough time to pack up, grab a quick nap and head to the airport for an early flight back home.