REMEMBERING 2018

Yes, I’m a little bit behind but that’s the way life is these days.  For several years I’ve posted a gallery at year’s end to showcase what I thought was my best or most interesting work of the year.  That was usually done by the first quarter, certainly by spring …. yeah, Labor Day’s a little late but, they can still be looked at.

An annual feature is then to dig through them and pick out a few as the best of the best.  Here’s the first.

I was setting up to photograph a sunset on Sanibel Island when this caught my eye, an OMG spontaneous capture.  The actual sunset was well off to the right, far enough to provide a key light on the cloud which, in turn, reflected it to the water’s surface.  This image first appeared on page 38 of my eBook, Shooting For Better Images, (see BetterPix.net).  I wished in the book that the Pelican could have been positioned over the reflection;  well, just letting a few months go by resulted in the Pelican doing just that. 

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Sanibel Island has always been a good source of pixels.  Here’s the bird that welcomed us on our first morning walk on the beach.

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Also from Sanibel’s Ding Darling Wild Life Refuge is this morning gathering.  There are several varieties scrunching together as the tide takes their sand bar away.   The two on the left, probably also white pelicans, have obviously committed some social error.

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This one came home from the Philadelphia Flower Show.  My camera’s eye was caught by the jumble of glass pieces, the reflections from the many overhead lights, and the spots of color.  Creative arranging.

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Here’s one to ponder in the heat of summer slipping away.  This was made in early March at the East Point Lighthouse where the Maurice River edges into Delaware Bay.  Yes, such days lie ahead for us.

This, too, is seen in my eBook as an example of back lighting and specular reflections.  I hope his day worked out for him.

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This image was made as we forged our way down the Columbia River, headed west to Portland and the great Pacific Ocean.  A windblown morning.

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There was winter last year.  This image was one of my Ice In The Pines studies in which I enjoyed the early morning sun attacking the ice crystals.

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A summer highlight was the Night In Venice boat parade at Ocean City, NJ.  Here we enjoyed a wave from Miss Night In Venice as she passed by.

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The squalls of summer don’t make for great beach days but they often add drama.

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Christmas ended the year, brightened by this craft work from Wheaton Arts.

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These were all selected from my best of 2018.  The rest of them can be seen in a gallery by clicking here.  Thanks for taking a look at my work.

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CRUISING WITH LEWIS AND CLARK

Last spring Barbara and I joined our friends, Nancy and Bob D., on a delightful cruise on the Snake and Columbia Rivers in the Pacific Northwest.  After the usual difficult experiences in getting anywhere the last leg was a bus ride through the Palouse and I now appreciate its importance to photographers.  At Clarkston, Washington the bus brought us (Palouse hills in the background) to our home for the cruise, American Cruise Lines’ American Pride.  Can you hear the banjos and tambourines?

The ship and its crew were first class.  Can you imagine being smiley and nice to old people week after week?  They do it well.  (Come to think of it, so do the folks at Medford Leas where I live most of the year, and they’re not even a cruise ship.)

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The cruise began down the Snake River which flows into the Columbia River and we followed that to Astoria, Oregon beyond which is the Columbia Bar and the Great Pacific Ocean, over 400 miles from our boarding.  The weather tends to be cloudy and showery in that part of the world but the scenery en route was magnificent.

Along the Snake River, west of the Palouse.

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The Columbia River is a cargo river (to Portland, Or.) for cargo to-and-from the far east, and the railroad tracks that border it are carriers of grain and goods further to and from the continental U.S..

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There is also exciting scenery in the eight locks through which we descended the 735′ from Clarkston to sea level at Astoria.  Here’s a typical scene as we edged out of a lock after the descent.  The Mate (second to the Captain) was piloting from the port wing control station and, Yes! we were that close to the lock walls.  It took me back to piloting our rented 40′ houseboat through locks on the Rideau waterway on the way to Ottawa.  Yes, scary.

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The above lock was at the Dalles (said to be from the French dalle meaning a sluice or rapids).  As we exited the lock we looked back at the Dalles bridge (on U.S. 297) over the river, and the spillway from the dam which controls water flow and also generates electricity.  Its generators can produce roughly enough power for almost two million homes.  We later toured the generator room at Bonneville Dam and the aura of those machines, able to produce about a billion watts, made this old electrical engineer’s heart beat a little faster.

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You remember Lewis and Clark, don’t you?  We read in school about their exploration of the northwest as commissioned by President Jefferson after his Louisiana purchase.  Well, that’s about as much as I knew, too, but this trip changed that.  Jefferson believed that from the headwaters of the Missouri one could easily transit to the headwaters of the Columbia and thus achieve a northwest passage down the Columbia.  It took Lewis and Clark over two years from and back to St. Louis, an unprecedented expedition during which they lived off of the land, encountered hundreds of native American villages and peoples, wintered four miles from the Pacific beach (1805-1806), and lost only one man (to a ruptured appendix).  I hadn’t realized but learned that the Columbia had first been entered by Captain Robert Gray in 1792, who named the river after his ship.  So, Jefferson wanted to connect the dots.

We learned this and much, much more in our splendid morning briefings by a guide named Todd Weber who has made a career of historical guiding and does it wonderfully.

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When not listening to an entertaining lecture, reading a good book, napping, adjusting attitudes, dining and after-dinner entertainments we enjoyed shore trips.  One memorable visit was to Multnomah Falls, named from the Multnomah tribe of Native Americans.  The falls are in two segments for a total of 620′.  They are fed from underground streams from Larch Mountain, and are said to be some 15,000 years old which was older even than anybody aboard.

Click on the image to see a somewhat larger view.

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Days and nights along the river were pleasant and frequently beautiful.

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Eventually we reached Astoria which overlooks the infamous Columbia Bar.  Strong current, shoal waters and heavy swells from the Pacific can create storm waves of up to 60′.  The Coast Guard uses these situations regularly to train its rescue crews.  Here we also see the all too typical fog rolling in from the mysterious Pacific.

Click on the image for a larger view.

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Then our return to Portland followed by a farewell view of Mount Hood.

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A gallery of titled images from the trip can be viewed by clicking here.

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