I have so much fun geotagging my pictures and then, from Lightroom, placing the locations on the Google map. I use a Nikon GP-1 that attaches to my Nikon D3 (or D300). As we travel it is interesting to note our longitude and latitude as well as the altitude. Sometime at sea level it registers as a minus elevation!
The GP-1 also elicits much interest from other travelers, as they wonder what is that little unit on the camera accessory shoe? The unit can also be mounted on the camera strap with the included strap adapter mount. A cable from the unit connects to the camera through the 10 pin terminal. GPS data will be recorded when the GP-1 is able to detect three or more satellites. The data is recorded in the metadata of each photograph, and can be seen on the camera display immediately.
I wish I had had the unit for trips taken years ago so my map would be more complete!
No matter what kind of camera you have this is a great addition.
Have you ever visited Barcelona? A very interesting side trip is to the Mountain–The serrated mountain- Montserrat. The Monastery is sheltered and almost hidden in the rocks.
Santa Maria de Montserrat is a Benedictine abbey located on the mountain of Montserrat, in Monistrol de Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain.The Virgin of Montserrat is a statue of the Virgin Mary and infant Christ venerated at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia. It is one of the black Madonnas of Europe, hence its familiar Catalan name, la Moreneta (“The little dark-skinned one”). Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the Church, it is more likely a Romanesque sculpture in wood from the late 12th century.
The monastery is Catalonia’s most important religious retreat and groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat.
Legend has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it. The statue’s sanctuary is located at the rear of the chapel, where an altar of gold surrounds the icon, and is now a site of pilgrimage.
Upon his recovery from battle wounds, Ignatius of Loyola visited the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat (March 25, 1522), where he laid down his military accouterments before the image. Then he led a period of asceticism before later founding the Society of Jesus.
On September 11, 1844, Pope Leo XIII declared the virgin of Montserrat patroness of Catalonia (Saint George is another patron saint.) Santa Maria de Montserrat
Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park is designed to give visitors an unforgettable up-close experience with over 1,500 ducks, geese, swans, and other exotic birds from around the world.
Open to the public since October 2006, the 18-acre facility features large, walk- through aviaries displaying birds from South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Tranquil gardens and lush natural areas enhance the beauty of the birds on exhibit.
Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center in Scotland Neck NC is dedicated to educating people about the importance of conservation and research, focusing on waterfowl and wetland habitats.
The opening of Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in 2006 emerged from the legacy of one man—Mike Lubbock, affectionately known to many as the Waterfowl Man.
The moniker is well deserved. Mike Lubbock is considered by many avian biologists to be the most intuitive and prolific waterfowl aviculturalist in the world. From his early work in England at the Wildfowl Trust to his permanent move to America, where he founded Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Center in 1989, Milke Lubbock was single-minded in his mission to unlock the mysteries of breeding birds.
His landmark work resulted in 17 World First Breeding Awards, plus 15 awards for first breedings in North America—an unsurpassed accomplishment. Most importantly, his primary focus in breeding waterfowl is to assure the survival of those species that are disappearing in the wild, and those in peril even in managed collections around the world. Several prominent naturalists claim that without the dedicated efforts of Mike Lubbock and the staff at Sylvan Heights, a number of waterfowl species would already be extinct today. A few of those are shown here today. It is a wonderful place to visit, but next time I visit it will not be in July!
Here is something for all you Revolutionary War Buffs that I discovered on this trip to NC and if I ever knew it in school I have forgotten.
The Halifax Resolves, so-named because the North Carolina Provincial Congress met in the town of Halifax, were part of a movement in the colonies in which advocates of separation from Great Britain sought to mobilize public support for a declaration of independence. The primary impediment to declaring independence was that many delegates to the Second Continental Congress were not authorized by their home governments to take any action that would lead to independence. Advocates of independence therefore sought to revise the instructions of each congressional delegation and remove any restrictions regarding a declaration of independence.
The Halifax Resolves empowered North Carolina’s delegates to the Second Continental Congress—Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, and John Penn—to join with those from other colonies to declare independence from British rule. The 83 delegates present at the Fourth Provincial Congress unanimously adopted the resolves, which also encouraged delegates from all the colonies to the Continental Congress to declare independence. North Carolina became the first colony to explicitly permit their delegates to vote in favor of independence.
Although the Halifax Resolves permitted the North Carolina delegation to join in a declaration of independence, they stopped short of instructing North Carolina’s delegates to introduce a resolution of independence in Congress. This step was taken by the colony of Virginia the following month, with the adoption of the Lee resolution by the Virginia Convention. Two months later, the Second Continental Congress issued the United States Declaration of Independence.
Every year, on April 12, the Historic Halifax State Historic Site celebrates Halifax Day. Interpreters in period costumes guide tours of historic buildings, and demonstrate historic crafts and other colonial activities. Occasionally, reenactors portray Revolutionary era soldiers and demonstrate use of historic weapons during the Halifax Day events.
The 2011 ACA Open Canoe Slalom Nationals & North American Championships that were to be held on July 6-8, 2011 at the Clear Creek Whitewater Park in Golden, CO, were canceled due to the anticipation of very high water at the race site on the schedule race weekend! The 2011 ACA Open Canoe Slalom Nationals and North American Championships were moved to Salida, CO, about 165 miles southwest of Denver. The dates remained the same, July 8-10, 2011 with practice prior to the event.
The Salida site is approximately 2.5 hours from Denver and features two large play waves and large shoreline eddies. A walking path goes along the length of the course. The Salida site annually hosts the Fibark slalom and downriver race. This year the event includes USA Wildwater Nationals and USACK Slalom Age Group Nationals. Kent Ford, the course designer, set a good open boat course at the high water levels. The course snaked down the side of the river, avoiding the center of the 2 large play structures using the numerous eddies along the sides of the river that are available at all water levels. The downriver was conducted on Friday morning on an appropriate section of the river dependent on water levels. This is a high water year in Colorado, so all were advised to come prepared for cold water from snow melt and high volumes. Salida also hosted an annual Beer Festival on the same weekend as the race.
See the event web site at: http://OCS.Whitewater-Slalom.us/oc-2011n.htm
Venice is such an interesting city and there is a picture with a story around every corner, and over every canal:
The original site of the ancient Olympics is an area well worth visiting. According to the accepted date the first Olympic Games were hels in 776 BC and continued until AD393. An institution with incredible longevity spanning 1,169 years, and 293 Olympiads
The Greco-Roman city of Corinth has some of the original Greek structures still visible, as well as the Roman influence including a “paved” road. The poppies in Corinth are a special vibrant red.
Pisa– what a collection of Beautiful buildings including the “leaning” Tower, now stabilized.
Lucca interesting city with a Huge earthen Wall surrounding the City
This bridge was built between 1588 and 1591 to span the Grand Canal and remained the only way to cross the canal by foot until 1854 with the addition of the Academia Bridge! The Rialta Bridge has three walkways one of which was designed to allow passage of galleys.
It is especially pretty at Sunset
A recent picture of my hubby just before we took a Gondola ride in Venice! Many more pictures to follow so stay tuned!
I uploaded a few new photos on Flickr
Venice (Italian: Venezia [veˈnɛttsja] is a city in northern Italy known both for tourism and for industry, and is the capital of the region Veneto.
The name is derived from the ancient people of Veneti that inhabited the region as of 10th century B.C. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Luigi Barzini, writing in The New York Times, described it as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities.
The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni of Mestre and Marghera; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon. There is a recent concern that Venice will be come a living museum with no Venetians living in Venice, just tourists!
The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain and spice trade) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi, and the place that Richard Wagner died.
There is an article reviewing the Top HDR Software in the April issue of Outdoor Photographer.
But the latest HDR news!
HDR is the latest craze in Photography and now it will even be on the ipad!
The newest how-to app for the iPad is now available: Rick Sammon’s HDR Portfolio (soon to be renamed – Rick Sammpn’s iHDR). This app is packed with HDR photos (his latest), info and movies. A great way to learn and experience HDR. Same great content, but when the new version is release, it will feature a Favorites section, which is very cool.
When one takes photos to be used for HDR a tripod in a necessary item. What about a tripod on a moving ship? That is how I took this picture, on a sail-away from the Island of Moorea on a cruise in the South Pacific, but I thought it turned out to be an interesting picture! What do you think?
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Colorful Crocea Clams plus other beauties of Pacific Ocean
One of my favorite things to do is Scuba Dive. This trip I was unable to dive, so snorkeled instead. Here are some pictures from underwater Bora Bora in a beautiful area called The Coral Garden.
Bora Bora, located about 160 miles northwest of Tahiti and approximately 2,600 miles south of Hawaii, was discovered in 1722, and is arguably the most beautiful island on the planet. Colorful Crocea Clams Plus other Beauties of the Pacific Ocean are just some of the things seen under water
Its ancient name of Vava’u suggests that the original inhabitants of this seven-million-year-old island arrived from Tonga.
And interestingly, in the local Tahitian language there is no “B,” so its actual name is then Pora Pora, meaning “first born.”
Bora Bora’s fabled blue lagoon is, according to novelist James A. Michener, “so stunning, that there are really no adequate words to describe it.”
Volcanic in origin, Bora Bora’s rugged main island, and a few smaller islands, are completely surrounded by coral reefs.
Made famous by books, movies, and its stunning beauty, the island is now besieged by tourism and overcrowding. Regardless, if you must visit a South Pacific island (and you should), Bora Bora would be an excellent choice.
I am playing with production of video and still shows using Animoto, http://animoto.com/
“Award-winning Animoto Pro lets you instantly combine your photos and video clips into sharp, sexy, HD videos.
At the heart of Animoto is our patent-pending Cinematic Artificial Intelligence that thinks like an actual director and editor. It analyzes and combines user-selected images, video clips and music with the same sophisticated post-production skills and techniques that are used in television & film. No two videos are ever the same.”
Can’t decide if I like the software or not.
The Rose video was made using all still photos taken after a rain storm in Tucson–Except for the last photo, which was from a Tournament of Roses Parade.
On a recent Cruise on Holland America Line we traveled from San Diego to Hilo Hawaii– our first siting of land! The trip map is featured on the first picture in the gallery
The coastal town of Hilo is the largest settlement on the island of Hawaii and overlooks Hilo Bay. Mauna Loa, considered an active volcano, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, are located nearby. Hilo’s location on the eastern side of the island makes it the wettest city in the United States and one of the wettest cities in the world with an average yearly rainfall of 127.77 inches. Some areas of Hilo have been known to receive more than 200 inches of rainfall!
The Wailuku River rushes through old lava rocks and lava tubes creating a “boiling” effect. The Kaumana Caves are reached by climbing down an almost vertical staircase. These caves were formed by the 1881 eruption of Mauna Loa.
A trek through white sand lagoons filled with a mixture of salt water and artesian well water from below the surface and surrounded by unique lava formations, leads one to a beautiful sheltered lagoon in which to swim.
Snorkeling with Sharks and Manta Rays
We snorkeled with Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) in Bora Bora. It is easily identified by the prominent black tips on its fins (especially on the first dorsal fin and the caudal fin). Among the most abundant sharks inhabiting the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this species prefers shallow, inshore waters and its exposed first dorsal fin is a common sight in the region. Most blacktip reef sharks are found over reef ledges and sandy flats, though they have also been known to enter brackish and freshwater environments. This species typically attains a length of 1.6 m (5.2 ft).
Blacktip reef sharks have extremely small home ranges and exhibit strong site fidelity, remaining within same local area for up to several years at a time. They are active predators of small bony fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans, and have also been known to feed on sea snakes and seabirds. Accounts of the blacktip reef shark’s life history have been variable and sometimes contradictory, in part reflecting geographical differences within the species. Like other members of its family, this shark is viviparous with females giving birth to 2–5 young on a biennial, annual, or possibly biannual cycle. Reports of the gestation period range from 7–9, to 10–11, to possibly 16 months. Mating is preceded by the male following closely behind the female, likely attracted by her chemical signals. Newborn sharks are found further inshore and in shallower water than adults, frequently roaming in large groups over areas flooded by high tide.
Timid and skittish, the blacktip reef shark is difficult to approach and seldom poses a danger to humans unless roused by food. However, people wading through shallow water are at risk of having their legs mistakenly bitten. This shark is used for its meat, fins, and liver oil but is not considered to be a commercially significant species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed the blacktip reef shark as Near Threatened. Although the species as a whole remains widespread and relatively common, overfishing of this slow-reproducing shark has led to its decline at a number of locales.
During that time we also saw a Lemon shark ( Negaprion brevirostris), a shark that belongs to the family Carcharhinidae that can grow 10 feet (3.0 m) long. It is known as the lemon shark because at certain depths, the light interaction with the local seawater can make this shark have a tanned and yellow pitted appearance, much like the surface of a lemon.
The Manta Rays are also plentiful in the area, are used to humans, and swam all around over and under us and feel like velvet. What the giant manta rays do with humans is unique in this world. A totally wild animal, that can be twice the mass of a horse, seeks out and revels in human physical contact. Manta rays are the largest rays and are closely related to sharks. These harmless rays have a short tail and no stinging spine. They are very acrobatic; they can even leap from the water. Remoras (Echeneida) are frequently seen with mantas, staying near the manta’s mouth (even inside the gill cavities). The remoras probably feed on parasites on the manta’s body and eat bits of the manta’s food. These graceful swimmers are up to 29.5 ft (9 m) wide, but average about 22 ft (6.7 m) wide. The largest weigh about 3,000 pounds (1350 kg).
Mantas are dark brown to black on top with paler margins; they are mostly white underneath. Mantas eat microscopic plankton, small fish, and tiny crustaceans. They funnel the food into their mouth while they swim, using two large, flap-like cephalic lobes which extend forward from the eyes. Mantas have no teeth; they sieve their food.
Did you know that you can’t see the North Pole star after you cross the equator, midsouthern latitudes (15-45 degrees south), but the southern sky is brighter, and there are more stars to see!
Among the exciting celestial treasures that await the traveler who ventures deeper south is the Milky Way–well you say I can see it anywhere, but in the Southern sky it is brighter, especially in our summer, their winter. The Magellanic Clouds, though, can only be seen in the southern hemisphere. Never heard of the Magellanic Clouds?–
From the southern hemisphere the brightest galaxy to be seen is the Large Magellanic Cloud, a smaller galaxy than Andromeda (which we can see in the northern hemisphere), but 14 times brighter. With the naked eye the Large Magellanic Cloud looks like a gray patch in the sky, and the Small Magellanic Cloud nearby looks like a smaller gray patch.
In the 16th century , Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the first to note the position and appearance of these two patches, remarking on their uniqueness in the heavens. Today we know they are satellite galaxies of our Milky Way, with the Large Magellanic Cloud about 5 percent of the mass of the Milky Way, and the Small Magellanic Cloud 1 percent of the mass of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Reference: Night Watch
A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe by Terence Dickinson 4 Edition
On a recent trip across the equator I saw the Large Magellanic Cloud, but the most impressive celestial sight to me was my first sighting of the Southern Cross. Maybe it was impressive because I was also able to get pictures of it! Laying on a deck chair on the Sky Deck of a Cruise ship at 4 or 5 am is amazingly wonderful! You say you aren’t a morning person, well neither am I but I still marveled at the beauty of the sky at those hours, and got up without the aid of an alarm clock! I do have a great lady to Thank for opening my eyes to the southern sky; Famous HAL lecturer, Star Lady Donna. Check her out www.stargazing.ca
Another site to check Skyandtelescope.com for interesting articles, Sky at a glance, Interactive Sky Chart, etc. You can also get Sky Calender on Twitter http://twitter.com.skymaps, then buy yourself a Planisphere for your Latitude and go out and look at the stars!
Vigur Island— A birdwatchers paradise, the pearl of the Westfjords are words that can and have been used to describe this small island in the far northwest of Iceland.
It is the second largest island of the Isafjordur Bay or the Djup. It is about 2 km long and 400 m wide sits in the ocean and is surrounded by fjords. One family lives on the island all year. Their livelihood is based on farming, the collection of eggs and eiderdown, bird catch and tourism. The island is home to about 80,000 Atlantic puffins, a large number of eider ducks, arctic terns, guillemots and many other types of birds can be found on the island. Most of the houses are from late 19th century or early 20th. Seals often can be seen on the shore line as well as whales and dolphins further out in the sea.
The only surviving windmill in Iceland is situated in Vigur, owned by the National Museum of Iceland but maintained at the island. It was mainly used to grain corn.
Eider Ducks furnish the eiderdown for the famous pillows and quilts, and a living for the farmer. The ducks are wild, but develop a symbiotic relationship with the farmer and don’t seem to mind when he collects the down. He also builds shelters for them to use for their nests, and feeds the ducklings.
On the thirty minute boat trip from Isafjordur to Vigur Island there were many puffins flying and many more in the water all around us. Iceland is the breeding home of perhaps 60 percent of the world’s Atlantic Puffins. Parts of Vigur Island is covered with Puffin nests which are burrows in the ground.
So there my husband and I were in Thailand…(Click on images for larger views!)
The Theravada Buddhist temple is located in the Saiyok district of Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province, not far from the border with Myanmar, some 38 km north-west of Kanchanaburi along the 323 highway. It was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for numerous wild animals. In 1995 it received the Golden Jubilee Buddha Image, made of 80 kilograms of gold.
According to the abbot and others associated with the temple, in 1999, the temple received the first tiger cub, it had been found by villagers and died soon after. The story goes that several tiger cubs were later given to the temple over time, typically when the mothers had been killed by poachers, others who wanted to get rid of their tiger “pets” or those were under pressure to do so as laws and policies surrounding the keeping of protected species became more strict. As of 2007, over 21 cubs have been born at the temple and the total number of tigers is about 12 adult tigers and 4 cubs. As of late December 2009, the total number of tigers living at the temple has risen to almost 50.
The subspecies of these tigers is unknown as none of them have been DNA tested, but it is thought that they are Indochinese Tigers, except Mek (a Bengal Tiger). There is also a possibility that there may be some of the newly discovered Malayan Tigers and it is likely that many are cross breeds or hybrids.
Hello World; Welcome to Doris Ford Photography;
Ford’s Fotos Blog and Photo Gallery; https://fordsfotos.net and Gallery on FordsFotos.com in Adobe Profile, I also have a Smugmug site; http://FordsFotos.smugmug.com, and can be found on Viewbug, 500px, Twitter,and Instagram. Travel photography is my focus and I plan to show you award winning photos from all 7 Continents. Sometimes the photos will just be in a travel log vein, or reflect a current project on which I am interested. I want to tell you a story in pictures! All photos are for sale so Please view them and I hope you enjoy the photos and the text to further explain the pictures.