Post Trip Musings)
One whole year on the
we left on June 9,
2007 and returned home on May 31, 2008 (ok, it was actually 9
days short of a year - but it was a Leap year, and we did have the night of
April 10th twice due to the International Date Line, so that counts for
something, doesn't it? :-) ).
Now, 45 days after
returning, it almost feels like I was never gone. I guess that's not too
surprising as we get back into our routine here, but it is funny to think that a year-long experience can seem so
far away so quickly. What we do have, though, are the many memories and
images of a truly wonderful experience and the realization of how very fortunate
we were to have been able to make such a trip. Now that we're almost
unpacked (from the trip and restoring our household) the real fun
can begin - sorting through the thousands of photos we took and trying to
distill our trip down to a manageable "handful." In
case you are not familiar
with our trip and our website: we captured our whole trip on our web log as we
traveled. It has our itinerary, personal journals and musings, our "world schooling"
plan for the girls and narrative photo albums of each of our stops (narrated by
Newenka and photo illustrated by yours truly - click
here if you would like to learn more
about our trip.
As we traveled, Newenka
and I each tried to keep a folder of our favorite photos from each destination -
we figured that it would help create a final summary and help us identify
pictures we'd like to print and hang on our walls. We have recently
found that going through the complete set of photos long after having been to a
place results in some new images being selected as well as more being deleted.
So, we're going to make a complete pass one more time. But in the
meantime, I wanted to share some of my truly favorite photos and start the
process of figuring out how to organize the few hundred images that will
summarize our year of traveling around the world.
Below are 26 of my
favorite photos. Descriptions and links to more background (and/or photos)
are provided after each one. I hope you enjoy them, and, as always, all
feedback is welcome.
Red Crested Pochard - Saints Maries de la Mer, Parc Ornithologique du Pont-du-Gau,
I just loved this guy's colors
and the water reflections.
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 on
Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/2500 at f/6.3. ISO 400
"Crazy guy and his bull" :-) - Saints-Maries-de-la-Mer,
Wonder what this guy is doing with his hand on the head of a charging bull?
(Don't worry, neither was hurt.)
We spent an
interesting afternoon watching the "bull games" in Saint-Maries-de-la-Mer.
information on these "bull games" and more photos, click
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 on Canon 1Ds Mark II -
1/3200 at f/6.3. ISO 400
Eiffel Tower at night - Paris,
In the evenings, this
city was one of the prettiest that we visited. As we select more city
scenes, we'll link to them from here.
and I really like this image so we enlarged it to 20" x 30" for hanging
somewhere in the house.)
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on
Canon 1Ds Mark II tripod mounted - 0.5 sec at f/8. ISO 800.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
We had the opportunity to watch a
pride of lions chase 4 buffalo and bring down 2 of them. The
experience was absolutely amazing and we managed to get a few ok images to
hang on our wall as a souvenir. Click
if you'd like to see the whole sequence of events from how it came about
to how it played out.
300mm f/2.8 with 2X TC II on Canon 1Ds Mark II handheld - 1/1600 at f/5.6.
ISO 640. Manual Focus
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
What really captivated me in
Vietnam was the sheer number of motorcycles. As we crossed this
street, I just had to try and capture this image. I converted it to
black & white to try and reduce the digital noise - but I kind of like it this way.
More Vietnam motorcycle photos can be found by clicking
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II handheld overhead - 1/50 at f/4.
"Pushed" to approx. ISO 4000 in Photoshop and converted to HDR image.
Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Siem Reap,
This large complex is
impressive. (A day of touring in the heat of the jungle
doesn't quite do it justice.)
Canon 24-105mm on
Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/320 at f/4. ISO 200
Barbary Macaques - Gibraltar
I thought it was very nice of
this mother and child to pose for a portrait on the stone wall along the
24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/250 at f/4. ISO 200
Blonay, Geneve Area,
As luck would have it, it was
Steam Train weekend while we were there. Converting to black and white
made the image feel (to me at least) more appropriate for the era.
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/640 at f/8.
The Flamingoes of southern France
Saints Maries de la Mer, Parc Ornithologique du Pont-du-Gau, France
This was one of the few places in
Europe that you could find Flamingos in the wild. It was fun spending
a couple of days with them (though a little frustrating
driving around trying to figure out where they hung out and getting to a
good lighting angle on them). The image above was
taken well after sunset while waiting for a group to finally take off and
head "home." Fortunately, I was able to pan with them and get an
Canon 300mm f/2.8 on Canon 1Ds Mark II
- 1/20 at f/2.8. ISO 1250.
Saints Maries de la Mer, France
Canon 300mm f/2.8 with 2X
TC II on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/3200 at f/6.3. ISO 400.
While I have really come to
enjoy photographing animals, most of our travels revolved
Fortunately, zoos were also a great place to check out the locals, so we regularly
visited the city zoos. Some were more productive than others, but they
were all fun and culturally interesting.
Grey Crowned Crane - Hamburg Zoo,
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/160 at f/4. ISO
Ostrich - Dusit Zoo; Bangkok,
100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/800 at f/6.3. ISO
Popular Panda with "fans" - Beijing Zoo; Beijing,
It was interesting to
see how popular the pandas were in Beijing. Even when a
panda was at the other end of its enclosure with its back
turned, there was a small crowd looking at it and taking photos
of its backside.
24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/13 at f/4. ISO 1000.
Elephant Feeding (You can feed the elephants in Hamburg) - Hamburg Zoo,
I thought this was
kind of a fun angle on the whole thing :-)
24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/1000 at f/4. ISO 200.
Botanic Gardens; Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon),
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/100 at f/20. ISO 200
"Bird's eye view" - Gull near le Mont Saint Michele,
I was trying to capture what it
might look like if we were flying in formation with this gull - he's our
photo was taken from on top of le Mont Saint Michele.)
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/8000 at f/4. ISO 400.
Moai watching a horse eat - Ahu Tongariki,
Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile
Our only nice day on Rapa Nui - fortunately
we rented a car and checked out some of the main Moai. It then rained
on and off for the next 3 days that we were there :-)
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/1600 at f/8. ISO 400.
Kyoto Central Train Station; Kyoto,
Coming up the escalator, this
silhouetted scene caught my eye.
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on
Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/400 at f/4. ISO 400.
"Dancing Eyeballs" -
We were walking to the subway
when we ran across this interesting ad campaign. A bunch of dancing
"eyeballs" - and that pink guy in the back is a tongue. :-) So I
just had to get into the middle of the action to take some photos.
f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/160 at f/10. ISO 640.
Machu Picchu Llama - Machu Picchu,
Kind of a "stereotypical" shot,
but fun nonetheless - the setting for Machu Picchu is simply stunning.
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/200 at f/8.
Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
You have to love
the unpredictability of nature.
Here we are in the middle of the desert in Australia. The moon is to
be completely full in 48 hours and I'm hoping that it might be pretty rising
next to the rock. So, I scout the area and plan where I'll need to be
in a couple of nights. I noted driving distances and landmarks - and
even took a panoramic sequence (above) just for fun. Of course on the
"big night," the sky was completely overcast! So much for the best
laid plans...maybe next time ;-) At least I have a panoramic image
that I can enlarge to 5 feet x 1 foot. Now if I can only find a place
to hang it :-)
4 frame panoramic - Canon 24-105mm f/4 on
Canon 1Ds Mark II. Manual exposure and focusing - 1/800 at f/7.1.
Firewood and flowers - Murren,
We did a lot of hiking in
Switzerland and noticed many firewood piles (it obviously gets a little
chilly in the winter there). In typical Swiss fashion, however, all
the wood piles were orderly and decent looking. Some were downright
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/80
at f/6.3. ISO 200.
Female Jabiru (Black necked Stork); Kakadu National Park; Northern Territory,
As we were driving from our hotel
to the boat dock for our boat ride, we almost hit a low flying Jabiru that
flew right across the road at about rooftop level. It startled us, but
also piqued my desire to capture one of these birds in flight. So, I
went out the next morning looking for Jabiru to photograph (for those of you
unfamiliar with Kakadu, it's a rather large park). After driving
around for a while I was starting to wonder if I was going to see any Jabiru
at all. In the road ahead was a juvenile crocodile so I stopped.
It ran off into the bushes along the road before I could get any photos of
it. But while I was stopped (and now out of the car) I saw this Jabiru
over a field and
flying my way - and she wasn't backlit...hurray! (Special thanks,
also, to my
little crocodile friend who came out to stop me :-) )
Canon 300mm f/2.8 with 2X TC II on Canon 1Ds Mark II handheld - 1/3200 at
f/6.3. ISO 400.
Pacific Baza; Territory Wildlife Park; Berry Springs, Northern Territory,
An injured bird that is now
retired and helping educate visitors to this park. I thought its
expression was interesting - almost thoughtful.
100-400mm on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/640 at f/6.3. ISO 640.
Blue-footed Booby, Espanola
Island, Galapagos Islands,
I had some trepidations about
visiting the Galapagos...let's see: Equatorial heat and living on a boat
when I am susceptible to seasickness - yeah, that should be fun! But I had
an absolutely wonderful time and would love to go back again. The
islands, the plants and the animals are just magical. Of all the
animals we saw, I think I was most captivated by the blue-footed Boobies
(though I really fell in love with pretty much all of the unique wildlife
there). Their courtship ritual is fun, their fishing is amazing, and
their landings are so cute. The Galapagos Gallery can be found
Canon 300mm f/2.8
on Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II - 1/1250 sec f/4.5. ISO 200
"That's enough pictures, daddy" - Xi'an (Xian), China.
A common refrain :-).
Nevertheless, my favorite family travel
pictures coming soon....
Canon 24-105mm f/4 on Canon 1Ds Mark II - 1/400 at f/4. ISO 400.