Exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage

. . . aboard the National Geographic Venture

The National Geographic Venture

It was one of those rare white-knuckle experiences as our plane suddenly pulled up from what felt like a normal landing. It was our final approach into Sitka, Alaska where we were to embark on a “bucket list” adventure. Fog and cloud cover prevented a line-of-sight landing on our Captain’s first attempt, but he informed us he had fuel enough for a couple more tries. I can’t say that comforted my wife and me any or increased the blood flow in our knuckles as we held tight to our armrests. . . We also wondered if fog and cloud cover would follow us during our Alaska adventure over the course of next week.

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Death Valley National Park. . .

. . . A remarkably diverse landscape to explore

Death Valley National Park

Driving into Death Valley National Park along California Highway 190, you certainly understand how Death Valley got its name. The brown barren desert landscape is all you can see for miles around. We were headed for “The Ranch at Death Valley”, a self-described casual hotel that would be our home base for the next 6 days. The Ranch turned out to be a convenient centrally located lodge to access the Valley’s most remarkable places to visit. We were excited to finally explore one of the few major National Parks we have never experienced, but we were not at all prepared for the landscape vistas and diversity we were about to encounter.

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My Favorite 2021 Images and the Stories behind them. . .

It is my tradition to pick my favorite images of the year and tell the stories behind them. Reviewing all my photos from the year is always fun. The exercise provides insight on where I have been, the people I have met, and gives me some ideas for resolutions in the new year. I get to relive the experiences and special moments all over again, and I learn a lot. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys photography. You will find the difficult part is selecting only 10 favorites. I spent almost another full year socially distanced at home but managed to enjoy some travel to National Parks at year end. Several of my favorite photos came from these travels, and a few from right around my hometown.

So once again, here are my top ten favorite images of 2021 and the stories behind them.

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A Day in the Life of the Space Coast

United Launch Alliance Atlas V - Port Canaveral, FL

United Launch Alliance Atlas V – Port Canaveral, FL

Inspired by A Day in the Life series of books co-created by Rick Smolan, a former Time, LIFE, and National Geographic photographer, and publisher David Elliot Cohen,  I set out to capture little snippets of life here on the Space Coast of Florida. How do you capture the essence of the lifestyle where we live and work in just a few photographs? I didn’t know exactly where to start, but I set a goal to capture the essence the Space Coast in just 30 days.    Continue reading

Choosing your subject for a remarkable photograph.

Who is it? - Eguisheim, France

Who is it? – Eguisheim, France

Why do we shoot what we shoot?  Our personal preferences and interests most likely defines what images we capture. We probably saw something that caught our eye and our interest. But do our viewers have the same interest? Maybe, maybe not. We can’t please everyone, but our goal for remarkable photographs is for a majority of our viewers to find our images interesting to look at. So how do we pick a subject that pleases most of our viewers?    Continue reading

Discovering remarkable pictures where you live

Rockledge Gardens - Rockledge, FL

Rockledge Gardens – Rockledge, FL

In her book, Extraordinary Everyday Photography,  Brenda Tharp challenges photographers to develop a “fresh approach and vision” by going someplace where you have been before but try to see it differently. Her point is that you can find interesting things to photograph anywhere if you develop a new approach to seeing with new vision. Even in those places we have been many times before.    Continue reading

Amelia Island – A beautiful escape. . . over and over again

Amelia Island Sunrise

Amelia Island Sunrise

I have traveled to many places all over the world, but there are only a few I like to return to over and over again. I am not sure how to describe these places. They just feel right. You never get tired of them. They are most interesting, filled with many things to do, yet uncrowded and relaxing. One of these favorite places is Amelia Island, Florida.   Continue reading

Pack your shot list along with your underwear

Fishing Boats - Lake Bled, Slovenia

Fishing Boats – Lake Bled, Slovenia

Let’s see, what am I forgetting?  Packing is not my favorite thing to do in the whole world, but traveling may be. Of course camera gear is the second priority right after underwear and socks. I love photographing almost everything, but travel photography is probably the most enjoyable, especially when it’s a new destination.  So I tolerate the packing chore to make sure I am ready to explore a new world.   Continue reading