May 20, 2015 Valdez, Alaska

Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds

Head in the Clouds and Water, Falling

In actuality, technically, my head was above the clouds!

Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds

When I awoke this morning, around 3:30 AM, there was a solid gray cloud cover over the area, with just a ray of light shining through here and there.  So, nothing to shoot here below the cloud cover, let’s climb back up Thompson Pass and see what’s happening there, if nothing else, I can do waterfalls with the soft diffused light from the cloud cover.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version, and many of these shots do deserve that you do so.

Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds

As I climbed the grade up Thompson Pass, I actually entered the clouds I had been viewing from below, soon a solid dense fog bank, all but obscurring the road. So much for any dramatic shots from Thompson Pass, I thought as I continued my climb to the top.

Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds

But I persevered onward, and upward, and there suddenly appeared a little shimmering of light from above, and then I emerged from the cloud cover, was at the top of Thompson Pass, and, boy, was I ever wrong about no dramatic shots from up here this morning!

Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds

Here, at the top of the pass, it was as if you were in a plane doing a flyover of the mountains, high above the clouds, yet I was able to set the tripod up on terra firma.

Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds

Just a magical morning at the top of Thompson Pass, gray and gloomy below, simply spectacular above. As I mentioned in my last post, catching the “Golden Hours” here in Alaska is going to require some severe self discipline, seeing as they occur at some very early, and very late times. Getting out before 4 AM this particular morning, I was well rewarded for the effort.

Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail

Keystone Canyon Waterfalls

Keystone Canyon on the road to Valdez
Keystone Canyon on the road to Valdez

On the road to Valdez, after descending from Thompson Pass, you enter the very dramatic Keystone Canyon, where suddenly, the road is swallowed by immense rock walls, towering over you to all but unimagineable heights. And as you round the first bend in the canyon, you are greeted by a pair of incredibly tall waterfalls.

Keystone Canyon Waterfalls
Keystone Canyon Waterfalls
Keystone Canyon Waterfall
Keystone Canyon Waterfall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning, since the falls were still completely in the shade, I decided to stop and spend a little time ( ended up being well over an hour ), searching out details of rock and spray, looking for that ideal composition of water flowing over rock.

Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail
Bridal Falls Detail
Bridal Falls Detail
Bridal Falls Detail
Bridal Falls Detail
Bridal Falls Detail
Bridal Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail

Extensive playing around with various ISO’s, DOF, and shutter speed settings produces a wide, and sometimes wild, variety of images of the very same portion of a waterfall. One of the things I enjoy about photography is being able to capture images that your eye actually doesn’t see.

Horsetail Falls Detail
Horsetail Falls Detail
Trumpeter Swan on Her nest
Trumpeter Swan on Her nest

On this same road I noticed this Trumpeter Swan dutifully sitting on her clutch of eggs. I will have to keep an eye on her over the next few days here, just in case I am lucky enough to catch some newly hatched signets.

Yet More Watercolor Subjects

Valdez Drydock
Valdez Drydock

And lastly, back in the village of Valdez, I found three more potential watercolor subjects sitting in dry dock. Though I know I’ll never get the brushes out this summer while here in Alaska, I swear this winter I will resume my painting career.

Valdez Drydock
Valdez Drydock
Valdez Drydock
Valdez Drydock

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June 25, 2014 Salt Creek Rec Area, Washington

3HarlequinsWatersEdge

Another Visit to the Ediz Spit

Awoke to heavy fog, can’t even see the water this morning, so I worked on the last of the deer images from Port Townsend. Around noon, the fog lifted and I decided to venture back in to Port Angeles for supplies and to see if I could order my replacement tire tie downs at the local NAPA store.

Gull on driftwood
Gull on driftwood

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Harlequin ducks
Harlequin ducks

Since the sun was poking through the fog every now and then, I drove out to the Ediz Spit for a second time to see if the Harlequin ducks I found there last time were just a one time fluke or if they hung around that area. Sure enough, they were here this time also, as was a cooperative gull posing on some of the driftwood along the beach.

An old relic in dry dock
An old relic in dry dock

I spotted this old relic of a fishing vessel in the marina on the way out to the Ediz Spit. I would have to say that there is a very good chance of this becoming the subject of a future watercolor.

Colorful boats
Colorful boats
Tugboat at dock
The ” Brian S “

The marina and waterfront here in Port Angeles probably deserve a little more exploring while I am in the area.

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June 16, 2014 Port Townsend, Washington

Topaz version of green boat in dry dock
Topaz version of green boat in dry dock

The weather finally broke some this afternoon, so I ventured up the road to walk around Port Townsend a little and get some information on what might be there for whale watching trips.

Blue hull
Jackson Pollack?

Port Townsend has a lot of nicely restored Victorian homes and the downtown area has several historical buildings. In addition, there are a couple of boatyards and marinas also in the downtown area where I poked around a little today and took a few shots.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Dry dock
Dry dock
In dry dock
In dry dock
Boatyard colors
Boatyard colors

I then traveled out to Fort Worden State Park to check out the campground. Nice campground with paved sites with water and electric with decent separation between sites. Mostly backin with a few pull through sites in the loop with no water views. Most sites are in the open so satellite and Verizon are probably good. However, at $42/night, and no weekends available, it is somewhat the typical Washington State park, overpriced and unavailable without long range planning.

Point Wilson Light
Point Wilson Light

While there, I also checked out the Wilson Point Lighthouse, a rather rundown structure, to be kind, with rundown buildings surrounding it.

So I am kind of leaning on hanging around here a few more days for boat, building, and deer shooting opportunities, as well as perhaps going out on a whale watching boat. I checked out the Jefferson County Fairground camping area, and, for $17/night with water and electric, and not many other campers, I probably will move up there tomorrow and extend my stay here another week.

Green boat in dry dock
Green boat in dry dock
Blue hull
Blue hull

 

 

 

 

 

Blue hull
Blue hull

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February 9, 2014 Grand Isle, Louisiana

 

Birds and Boats

Black crowned night heron
Black crowned night heron

Ventured out early this AM in search of birds but didn’t have a lot of luck so far as quantity goes. This night heron was waiting for me roadside at the entrance of the state park.

Irritated osprey
Irritated osprey

And I did get one very nice shot of an osprey that I apparently upset by my presence. I was actually trying to get closer to some spoonbills and didn’t notice him until the last minute. From his glaring expression, I sense that I must have irritated him.

King rail
King rail

I also came upon a first for me, a King Rail.

Fourchon fishing fleet
Fourchon fishing fleet
Double D boat reflections
Double D reflections

I then drove around Port Fourchon again and did some boat shots, I liked the ripple reflections on the side of the ” Double D “.

Reflections

even did some artistic shots!

MarineAbstract

Then back home to work on image processing.