Here I am revisiting old vacation pictures that I've never shared with you before. The common theme is the ocean and sky, which come together in unique ways both in the tropics of Costa Rica, and the amazing waterways of Alaska. Actually, I have been practicing for my upcoming trip to the Canadian Rockies. Hope that you find some enjoyment in these. I know I have.
I think, whenever I'm walking through a rainforest type of environment, that looking up often provides a distinctively different experience. Case in point - this sequence of shots from the jungle in Costa Rica. The first two need no explanation. The third and fourth pictures, were taken from our forest canopy trip, and despite all the interesting things below, looking up also gave us some spectacular photo opportunities. The fifth one was of a magnificent iguana, sunning himself right above our heads. The sixth one is of a majestic giant almond tree - one of the larger trees in the rainforest. And the last one is looking straight up at an equally great old tree, of some three hundred years of age.
OK, so this is not your usual travelogue, with the usual tourist shots (all right, one exception - the snake charmer). They are shots from our trip to India again. The first is about as typical a shot from the streets of Old Delhi as you can get, it's just very atmospheric. The second shot is from the Raj Ghat, where you can see the stone slab, where Ghandi, Nehru, Indira Ghandi and other dignitaries' bodies were cremated, the place is somewhat eerie, somewhat awe-inspiring. The third and fourth are street scenes in New Delhi, just typical, ordinary, every-day kind of scenes. The fifth and sixth are symbolic of the quiet, peaceful scenes that are hidden within the chaos of the city. The snake charmer, well, what can you really say, other than you won't see him anywhere else. And the last is one that I particularly like - just an ordinary day, in the lives of ordinary people.
Why should you spend money on a "fancy" camera, when you can take just as good pictures with a cheap camera? Well, I hope to answer that question. The first picture really sums it all up, for there is no way I could have gotten that shot with just any camera. Then let me back up a little. When my wife and I first ventured to Alaska, I still had my film camera, and she had just gotten a new digital camera, which I played with as well. The second and third pictures were taken with her little digital camera, which took admittedly nice pictures, but there was something missing - the quality was just not there. Later, when we went to Costa Rica, we had a couple of fine cameras, including my new digital SLR, and the quality difference was readily apparent (see the next four shots, not only the photographic quality, but the ability to take pictures in differing lighting conditions). When we went back to Alaska last year, we had two wonderful digital cameras, including a new non SLR, which took some really great shots, including the last one. So, at least to me, it was worth it.
OK, I guess it's time for another travelogue, this was from 2004, and was our first starry-eyed trip to Alaska. The first picture is, of course, Mt. Rainier, in Washington state, and it set the tone for our trip. The next two are from the town of Ketchikan, Alaska, the first being a shot of arriving in the early morning, before the town was even awake. The next is of the tourist traps along the main drag, but taken from the bridge coming into town. The next two are from the environs of Juneau, Alaska, near where we had a fabulous salmon bake (unlike anything else). We had to walk a little ways, to get to the falls, but it was definitely worth it. And the final two are from Butchert Gardens, near Victoria, Canada, or what can you do with an old, abandoned strip mine, with the final picture from a concert of Celtic music, which we enjoyed, before heading back. Really, just a bunch of great memories.
Often, after a trip, when looking through photos taken, there are certain ones that stick in my my mind, not because of their artistic merit, per se, but because there's something little about them which makes them speak to me. These are examples of such pictures. Now the first one is expressive in ways that are hard to explain, but the loneliness of the fishing boat out at sea, in the evening just speak to me of that quiet Alaska. The second one is of an orchid plant in Costa Rica, and the whole photograph is of an area no bigger than my thumb, really amazing. The third picture is of one of the forgotten animals of the rainforest, just some old lizard among the branches. The next one is of our guide, pointing out to one fascinated youngster the little suckers, by which the sea star moves about. And the last is of my granddaughter, just beaming aboard the ship, getting to play pirate. It's just the little things.
OK, so it's hot, dry and generally boring weather now in Oklahoma, and I think it's time for a walk through the Rainforest. The rainforest is so amazing, for its diversity of plantlife, but it's really amazing both from the big picture, and for the small things that you have to stop and look carefully to see. So, I've brought you some of each.
Now, for this little show, I've selected wildlife from two separate continents. The first few are from Costa Rica, where the wildlife is truly that - it is wild, and for the last two, I've chosen two shots of wild life from India, where we were much more civilized tourists, and (in this case the monkeys) had adapted quite well to our intrusions, still quite wild, but very much the tamer. And the last is, of course, some elephants, which are quite tame, in the hands of their mahouts.