Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Packing for Tahiti Trip

Shortly we  will be flying to Papeete, Tahiti for our two week trip around French Polynesia.  Our trip includes spending a few days before and after our cruise at the Intercontinental Hotel in Papeete.  That is one of the hotels that features exotic  bungalows over the water.  They are we opted to just spend one night in that type of accommodation and the remainder in more reasonable rooms.  This is a trip that Lynn has wanted to do for at least 5 years.  And something (usually Africa!) always has gotten in the way.  Not this time though!  We heard about the trip and within 30 minutes we were booked.  Our ship is the Paul Gauguin...a small ship (Only 300+ passengers).  Highlights of the trip are snorkeling opportunities and 4 wheel drive trips on the islands.   I will be spending one day  with a local professional photographer, Renaud Sayada.  I assume that we will be taking landscape and nature photos.

We are packing light.  For camera gear this time I am abandoning my heavy Nikon DSLRs for a lighter micro 4/3 package.  I recently bought the Olympus OM-D EM-5 with two lenses a 12-50mm and a 50-150mm lens,  I think that this should be sufficient.  I also purchased the Olympus TGH point and shoot, waterproof camera for underwater shots.  I have never photographed underwater before so this will be a new and I hope fun experience.  I also will be taking my Canon G1X camera for general shooting.  I have included a photo  that I took last year in a dimly lit restaurant in New York City with the G1X in low light at ISO 3200 with this camera.  The resolution that this camera delivers is amazing.  I only wish that Canon would either upgrade the camera or come up with new firmware for this camera.  It suffers when used for macro photography..

More later...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ferry Boats and Savannah River Skyline

 This is a little bit dramatic for me, but I like this HDR that I shot a couple of weeks ago. I am not usually too successful in getting great skies like this.  I also  like the hands of tourists at the right pointing toward the river scene.  I thought about cloning those out, but decided to leave them in. (Nik HDR Efex Pro)  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This week has been for the Birds!

This past week has really been interesting.  It really has been a week for the birds!  On three separate occasions I was able to photograph birds on nests, birds on eggs and recently hatched birds.  This is such an incredible time of the year as new life springs forward in Florida!  Last Thursday before sunrise a friend and I  drove to Gatorland in Kissimmee, just about 2 hours from home to photograph..not gators, but birds.  The rookeries at Gatorland were loaded with birds, eggs and chicks.  My favorite photos from that trip are of the Tri Colored Heron chicks.  On Saturday, I took a 3 hour cruise up the Peace River from Punta Gorda with my car club.  This was a really relaxing wildlife cruise during which we saw hundreds of prehistoric appearing Wood Storks, Cattle Egrets and an occasional alligator.  My favorite image on that trip was of a female Wood Stork watching over the nest with 2 chicks.  Then, today I drove to Sarasota with a photographer friend to photograph a Pileated Woodpecker with 2 chicks.  What a bonanza.  It was fun dusting off  my big lens today (Nikon 200-400mm) and attaching my 1.7 time teleconverter to get the Woodpecker shots.  Here are a couple of my shots from Gatorland and the Peace River.

Tri Color Heron chicks..  I think that the one on the left is actually coming out of the egg.  What do you think?

Wood Stork with 2 chicks.  What do these chicks get to look forward to...that prehistoric old age look shortly after they leave the nest?

Woodpecker shots will be forthcoming. More later....

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dining and touring Savana, Georgia

Lynn and I are returning from spending 3 days in Savannah. We drove here on Friday. The trip is about 6 hours from Tampa Bay. We stayed in a wonderful Westin hotel along the Savannah River on Hutchinson Island. The hotel is directly across the river from historic Savannah. There is a large free water ferry that transports you quickly to two hotel destinations along the riverfront. Dining in Savannah is a highlight. We had seafood and souther fried chicken at The Pirates House, The Old Pink House, Boars Head, Churchill's Pub and The River House.  All are 4 star or above and highly recommended. Last night we took a Ghost and Gravestone Tour that was pretty hokey and won't be on our recommended list.

More later...