Jul 082012

If you have a 3 hour drive to make in Iceland it’s probably a good idea to assume that you’ll take 7-8 hours to get where you’re going. Not because of traffic or the roads. There’s very little traffic, and although the roads do get a bit rough from time to time you can generally keep your pace up. The problem is that Iceland is incredible. You’re guaranteed to find lots of places to stop that you had no idea existed. This is what happened in the case of today’s photo. We had already pushed our check-in to the apartment we had in Reykjavik back by 3 hours and were just going to make it on time. Then we entered a field of flowers. We drove through them arguing over whether the big rock rising out of them was an island just off shore or on land. It was on land (I was right :-)).  I knew that we were pressed for time but I couldn’t resist pulling down the dirt road to catch some photos of this giant field of flowers. Following taking a few photos, and shooting a time lapse we climbed up on top of the jeep and just sat there for a while. Then we called the owner of the apartment and told him we were going to be even later. We didn’t drive all the way down the dirt road. I like to imagine there’s a campground at the end because when I go back next June I want to spend a couple of nights here.

Field of purple flowers, lupines, with a large moss covered rock behind in Iceland.

Feb 082012

I’ve said before that everywhere you look in Rwanda seems to present a photo opportunity. Here’s more evidence. This was taken on the way up to the national park to visit the mountain gorillas. It was our first water break. I extended it by taking my time setting up for this photo. It was a tough walk.

Countryside in Rwanda, green fields and mountains under a beautiful sky.

Jan 272012

We didn’t have much of an issue with insects while in Africa, except for one member of our group with an odd fear of moths, and the men’s bathroom in Lusaka airport. It was like a horror movie. Lights flickering, bugs flying around and making the floor squirm along with the shuffling of an individual sweeping live bugs to the corners. Horrifying, but an experience none the less.

The reason I’m going on about bugs is that the flowers in this photo are farmed in Rwanda and used to make a natural insect repellent. I took this photo on our way up to see the mountain gorillas in the volcanoes national park. I’ve mentioned before that it was a tough walk. Pausing to set up for a photo is a great way of taking a rest without admitting that you need one. This is made easier by the fact that wherever you look in the Rwandan countryside you’re confronted with a beautiful view.

I’m pretty sure this is also the hillside where I left my Black Rapid camera strap. If you haven’t heard of these camera straps you should check them out. They let the camera hang comfortably at your hip or lower back and the connection system prevents the strap from twisting and getting in the way when you raise the camera to your eye. Going without it in Prague made life a little more difficult for me, I’ll be ordering a new one this weekend.

This photo is comprised of 7 images ranging from -3 to +3. I had to open up the aperture to get the flowers sharp enough. Unfortunately, I’ve traded off depth of field and the background gets a bit blurry. I’ve started experimenting with blending photos at different apertures to capture moving subjects while maintaining the depth of field only achievable with a smaller aperture. As soon as I find some success with this I’ll post an example.

View of mountains, clouds, green landscape, and white flowers farmed in Rwanda and used to make a natural insect repellent.