Thursday, September 19, 2013

Clouds Pulled Like Taffy

I stood on the edge of the ship as we weaved in and out of the great Alaskan fjords. This is my first time ever sailing through fjords like this (other than just one fjord in New Zealand), so it was really cool to see not only the landscape, but how the steep mountains moved and pulled the clouds into different shapes.

Amazing Auckland

Wow I had a great time in Auckland! I did not have a car and was booked pretty much solid with meetings or speaking engagements, so I did not get to shoot as much as I wanted. But, I did get a chance to take this photo one evening during one of the NZIPP parties. I excused myself (I was the only one at the party carrying a tripod and huge camera!) — so then I went out to get the shot… listen to music… then dropped off my camera then came back!

Over the Top

I’ve taken a few different helicopter rides, but this one below was with Choppy from Over the Top. She’s a super-cool lady and she jams serious music through the speakers while you are flying around. She even landed on top of another mountain and brought out golf balls for us to hit off the edge… fun!

The Valleys on the Way to Milford Sound

It’s hard for me to picture this before erosion filled in this valley and made it a flat floodplain. I know the geological history and what it theoretically looked like, but it’s so hard to picture things on a geological scale. I think people that can do that must have interesting brains! I used to have a double-major in geophysics, so I’ve always been interested in geology, but just not very good at imagining the time aspect of it…
There are approximately 4,000 places to stop on the drive from Te Anau to Milford, and this is one of them. It’s kind of a must-stop! The scene is crazy-powerful, and it changes throughout the day. I’ve noticed sometimes in the morning it is foggy and hard to see, but it’s still interesting even then. When planning car-trips in New Zealand, it’s best just to add a few extra hours into the experience!

The Tracy Arm Glacier in Alaska

After going through countless bends and turns through the fjords, we finally got to see the amazing glacier. We hung out there for a few hours, and as we drifted through the icebergs, I found a spot for a good photo. And yes, this is all with the Sony NEX system ! Speaking of the auto-align system in Photomatix, I was so excited to see how well it worked since this was a totally handheld shot! Something about the auto-align feels like it somehow made the photo even sharper, but I don’t know how that could have been possible — however I’m not complaining!

And on the way to Paradise…

On the way to Paradise, New Zealand is Glenorchy. Be sure to stop here and take a walk around their new boardwalks that go out through the wetlands. You better set aside 2-4 hours, like all the “little” walks around here! Some days have the water at a pretty high level, and you can sometimes see nice shapes like this one here.

Deeper into Milford Sound

Milford Sound has lots of interesting mountains besides the main ones that everyone shoots. The main corridor of dramatic mountains and sea is so alluring that it pulls your eye over there every time. The only way I can ignore it is to actually look through my camera at other areas. I think that’s the only way I spotted this!