Galapagos Day 8

Hi Everyone

Last night we had a fabulous farewell dinner on the sun deck. We had arrived at the island of San Cristobal and dropped anchor. You saw lights on the island in the distance. People and civilization. How different. The chef made filet minion and lobster tails. I had two huge lobster tails and we all talked the night away. 

Our wake up call was for 6 AM. I was so tired that I immediately fell asleep after dinner. I have always said that a photography trip is hard work. No rest. We all met for our daily coffee and then boarded our Pangas for our last Panga ride. How glorious it was. Saw beautiful frigate birds flying and sea lions playing in the water. How I will remember everything about this trip. 

After one hour, it was back to the yacht for breakfast and a quick shower. Our luggage was taken away and put on the Pangas for the airport and we then boarded them when they returned. We debarked in a small town named San Cristobal. Not much doing here. Some restaurants, bars and local stores. We first went to the airport to check in for our flight to Guayaquil. 

We were then driven back into town to explore this sleepy sort of fishing village. I wandered around and bought some funny t-shirts and we all met at a local restaurant at noon. It was back to the airport and our flight to Guayaquil. Of course, as soon as I boarded and sat down i fell asleep. This seems to be a habit of mine. Arrived in Guayaquil at 4 PM. Don’t forget, Ecuador is one hour a head of the Galapagos and checked into the hotel we had started from. 

Had dinner with some people from the trip and now need to get some sleep since I am leaving for the airport at 6 AM.

Now to sum up this adventure. First lets start with Quito. What an enchanting and old city. Cobblestone narrow streets and old buildings. Locals selling food and the hotel we stayed in was so beautiful and majestic.
Then the long windy road to Mashpi Lodge and the cloud forest. Seeing something that will probably not exist in the near future. Being challenged with my photography skills. Taking pictures at night in the rain and mud. Seeing little creatures that you had to find. The hummingbirds. They were so beautiful. I wish my pictures do them justice.

Now onto the Galapagos. I think the saying “When was the last time you saw something for the first time” is so appropriate. Knowing that you could never see these amazing creatures in zoos. They only exist in the Galapagos. How can I describe seeing the marine iguanas and their prehistoric look and beauty? I fell in love with them. Knowing that they only exist in the Galapagos. Seeing the blue footed boobies was so different. How beautiful these birds were. Seeing albatrosses going through their mating rituals and sitting on their nests. Seeing the giant tortoises in their natural environment. Snorkeling as sea lions were swimming around me. Seeing them dance as they bobbed their way around. Seeing sea turtles swimming as they ate below me. Finally, the cormorants that do not fly. Knowing that there are only nine hundred of them left in the world and they are all in the Galapagos. How fragile this environment is. What about the Galapagos penguins? Penguins on the equator. Only in the Galapagos. These are the memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope that my pictures tell the story. 

Now for some photography facts and thoughts. I took all my pictures in the Galapagos only using one camera and lens. I used my Sony 7riii and 100-400 lens all. the time. My camera is as 43 megapixel camera and I wanted to have some more room for cropping. Furthermore, there were very few times that the subject matter was moving fast so no need for the Sony
A9. When I was in Africa last year, I used the Sony A9 almost all the time. My photography skills were challenged. Shooting during the night in the cloud forest was something I had never done before. I used manual mode most of the time. Would use auto ISO and pump up the shutter speed for hummingbirds and other faster moving subjects. Another way would have been to manually adjust the ISO and I used that sometimes. Exposure compensation was constantly being adjusted. Taking pictures in bright sunlight and in the darkness required the adjustments. Lava rocks also needed exposure compensation to bring out the true colors. You want to try to make as many adjustments with the camera and not do those adjustments in editing. The camera captures data and editing does not. This is all technical, but as you know, photography is about the “eye”. Taking unique images, telling a story and seeing what others don’t see or pass over.

My next adventure starts in the beginning of August. I am going to Kamchatka. Where is Kamchatka? Kamchatka is a peninsula on the east coast of Russia north of Japan. It is one of the most remote places in the world. I have always wanted to go there. Will be camping out most of the days. Cant wait to see what I find there.

Talk to everyone soon