a teatray in the sky

mid-week lull

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Defrag, Ecuador, Galapagos, Photography by firthefirst on October 6, 2011

in the middle of a long week … still some backlog to post up, including some Solar Decathlon action (go Maryland!), but not quite enough time to really hunker down and work on it.  so here’s another boobie photo from Galapagos.  I felt like the other boobie shots from the Day 9 post were a little over-saturated, especially in the yellow range, so I toned it down a bit for this one.  and now … back to work.

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Ecuador day 9: North Seymour

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Galapagos, Photography by firthefirst on September 20, 2011

this was our last day in the Galapagos Islands and I was a little concerned that we hadn’t yet gotten the chance to see the iconic blue-footed boobies.  well, as with pretty much everything on this trip, I needn’t have worried.  our last stop was at North Seymour Island, a place whose trees and soil happen to be extremely enticing to both frigatebirds and boobies for use as nesting sites. (more…)

b+w monday

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Galapagos, Photography by firthefirst on September 19, 2011

thought I’d post an oversized square format photo today.  this is one of the shots from the trip that I didn’t realize I’d gotten until I came back and downloaded everything onto the computer.  I’m still excited every time I bring up Silver Efex Pro because it does an incredibly good job of capturing the feel of b+w film using your digital shots.  it will never be exactly the same, but it’s a more-than-good-enough compromise.

in case you’re wondering, there’s no post-processing applied here to get the hazed-out effect on the adult male frigatebird mid-descent.  I’m not entirely sure what it is at all that caused the look, but it makes the image far more intriguing.  the wary look of the frigatebird below is also captivating to me.

wings

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Defrag, Photography by firthefirst on September 18, 2011

it’s things like having to go in to work on Sunday (and missing potentially huge gamedays for your NFL teams) that make you wish you had wings.

Ecuador day 8: South Plaza and Santa Fe

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Galapagos, Photography by firthefirst on September 15, 2011

our time in the Galapagos was almost up, but our last full day at sea would have fooled you.  it felt more like we were winding up rather than winding down.  definitely the snorkel on this day was the most exciting yet, with sea lions swirling around us, sea turtles kissing, and all sorts of other excitement.  I’ll have to ask Tina for the snorkel photos so I can post them on the blog.  but that’s later.  for now, birds and iguanas and more…

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finding time

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Defrag, Ecuador, Galapagos, Photography by firthefirst on September 13, 2011

… gets pretty hard pretty often.  but you have to get to the point where you realize the promises you make to yourself are just as important as the promises you make to others.  this fit little fella will be my motivation today, to keep thinking about movement … and hit the gym.

Ecuador day 6: Cerro Dragon and Rabida

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Galapagos, Photography by firthefirst on September 8, 2011

our first night aboard was spent yo-yo-ing up and down while our boat traveled through some choppy water en route to the opposite side of Santa Cruz.  we awoke in the morning to surprising tranquility, water softly lapping against the catamaran hull, and birds calling outside the window.  it was one of those moments when you took a look at your surroundings and tried very hard to remember how exactly it was that you came to be in such a place.

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Ecuador day 4: Refugio Paz de las Aves and back to Quito

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Photography by firthefirst on September 6, 2011

our last day in the Mindo area would prove to be our most exciting.  Miguel loaded up the trusty Land Cruiser well before 5 am and before we were fully awake we were barrelling through dark cornfields to get to Angel de la Paz’s wildlife refuge to see the morning mating ritual of the cock-of-the-rock.  we hiked down wet slopes in the pitch black while bees ranged around us and waited for the show to begin.

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Ecuador day 3: Cloud forest and Los Bancos

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Photography by firthefirst on September 5, 2011

the best thing about being your own tour group is you get to choose exactly what you want to do and how much of it.  we spent a bit of the morning birding and left as soon as it started to slow down.  for a serious birder it would probably be considered a slow day, but for us we had a great time spotting feathered fellows, listening for calls, and trying to nab good photos of everything we saw.  (more…)

Ecuador day 2: Yanacocha Reserve

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Photography by firthefirst on September 2, 2011

we’re up dark and early on day two expecting to get driven out to the cloud forest, where we’ll get lumped together with other folks to go hiking and birding in the forest for the rest of the day.  not so.  instead, we apparently get our own guide (Galo) and driver (Miguel) who will be hanging out with us for all three days, and who comprise the entire rest of our group.  we get to make our own schedule and it’s as flexible as we want it to be.  now that’s traveling in style. (more…)