The Pacific Whale Foundation

We went whale watching with the Pacific Whale Foundation. This is a wonderful organization. All profits support Pacific Whale Foundation’s research, education and conservation programs to save whales, dolphins and our oceans. Every trip is led by certified Marine Naturalists who provide a truly unique, educational and fun adventure at sea. It was a spectacular adventure! We were there right in the peak of whale season. Whales in every direction. It was an amazing experience that we'd do again and again. 

I have learned over the years not to let my cameras spoil the experience. I am not the kind of photographer who spends the whole day looking through their camera. It's fine if you do that, it's just not my style. As a result I miss getting images of some things. By that I mean I miss catching it on camera. I'm OK with that when I have experienced it with my own eyes. I prefer that to constantly waiting for the perfect shot while missing the total experience. We did see the iconic whale breeches. Several of them. I'm glad I didn't miss seeing them because I was waiting for them to breech exactly when my camera was aimed. Someday I'll go back and approach it differently now that I've experienced it. Maybe I'll get lucky and catch a breech with my toys. 

PS: Why the moon with the whales? We left the dock before sunrise. We arrived early. I grabbed a shot of the moon while were waiting.

The Great American Eclipse of 2017

The eclipse is history. I had a long, hot, hot day out on a beautiful farm in Christian County, Western Kentucky. I was well prepared so it was all good. I met and spoke with interesting people. Made some new friends. Several with just their iPhones asked if I'd send them a few images. Absolutely. Happy to. In fact, that's already done.

The long wait was over. It started. Spectacular! Awesome! Breathtaking! Magnificent! Wondrous! A phenomenon-extravaganza like nothing else in nature! And then it was over.

Then began the arduous task of getting out into the incredible traffic, being patient, kind to other drivers. Several of us who kept creeping along together began conversations through our car windows. Thunderstorms brought that to an end. That's probably a good thing. Texting is probably only slightly more dangerous. After about four hours and only having gone about 20 miles, I began to wonder if it had been worth it. The traffic was epic! And by epic, I mean a seemingly endless, bumper-to-bumper mass of men and machines. I AM WELL AWARE THAT THERE WERE LADIES AND KIDS TOO SO DON'T GO ALL CRAZY ON ME! It was a common site to see a man and his sons facing away from the traffic taking care of necessary, normal functions. Other amazing men were seen shrouding their girlfriends, wives and daughters with blankets as they accomplished similar tasks. There weren't any options. It must be awful to be a lady in those situations.

When I finally got home a few hours ago and began going through my images it became obvious. Absolutely worth it! ABSOLUTELY! I'm working on more but these tell the story of the Great American Eclipse of 2017...the way I saw it. Actually the way my Fujifilm X-T2 saw it. "How do I love the, Fuji. Let me count the ways!"

I decided to use a more traditional astro-filter (orange) before totality and then switched to a less common, white-light filter after totality. You'll see the full sun (orange) before the big show started and end with the full sun (white) after it was all over.  I've been doing photography many decades but never this. I knew getting partial eclipse images would not be a problem because I've been practicing shooting the sun for several weeks. What I was intent on trying to get (OK, I was stressed. I wasn't sweating because of the heat...OK, that too.) was Bailey's Beads (just before totality) the corona and sun-flares during totality and the Diamond Ring at the very end of totality. I don't generally pat myself on the back but I was way more successful than I had imagined. I am thrilled with the results. I freaking nailed it! Hope you enjoy.

Eclipse Practice

Even though I've been using a camera for 5 decades, this eclipse thing has me really tied in knots. I've never tried my hand at anything like this. It's not simple to have a redo so I'm practicing. Not too worried about the partial eclipse shots. I want the "holy grail" shots. Intend to be ready! A little overcast on the last one but still pretty cool.