Friday, February 28, 2014

2014, Day 59 - Salted earth

When my traveling companions and I went out in search of the salt fields we didn't have much luck initially.  They only work them after the rice harvest which was not quite ready but we were able to explore the fields they fill with saltwater from which the salt is harvested.  The summer sun bakes the earth and when the water evaporates the salt is harvested and stored is massive shed that are filled to the ceiling.  All the farmers work the salt flats once the harvest is in.  Soon this dead shrub will be covered in the thickening brine waiting for the salt to be harvested again.

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f2.8, 1/1250 sec @ 100 ISO

Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014, Day 58 - Pocked

At one time East Mebon was on an artificial island surrounded by East Baray, the water supply for the surrounding community.  It was designed by the only known Khmer architect of this period Kavindrarimathana and it was dedicated to its patron god in 953.  If you look closely at the towers you can see the holes that were drilled to support the stucco that once covered them; they have since been denuded of their finish and we can only imagine what further details and grandeur were lost due to a combination of neglect and exposure to the elements.  I can still vividly remember the afternoon that we visited this site as it was scorching hot and we were exhausted but we didn't want to miss any opportunities and made only a brief stop before seeking out food and shade.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f11, merged layers of 1/500, 1/250, and 1/125 sec @ 100 ISO

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014, Day 57 - Entombed

This was once the temple city of Pre Khan and at its peak perhaps one hundred thousand people lived here to serve the needs of the temple and its rulers.  Now it is a ruin, the jungle has returned and that which it cannot tear down it encapsulates.  Where once there was a thriving city the sound of the drone of the cicadas and the song of the birds is broken only be the wind rattling the leaves and chirping of bats that now roost in the remaining structures.  It is beautiful place that reeks of adventure; I can still remember the excitement of my visit and the awe I felt at this amazing place.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f8, merged layers of 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, and 1/4 sec @ 100 ISO

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014, Day 56 - Elephant's eye

This photo was taken from the Elephant Terrance at Angkor Thom attached to the palace of Phimeanakas.  It was from this vantage point that King Jayavarman VII watched his armies assemble, held court, and conducted public ceremonies.  Named for the elephant carvings along the east side, we watched the sun rise over the jungle as a lone tuk-tuk proceeded at a leisurely pace along the road that parallels the terrace.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
20mm, f4, merged layers of 1/800 and 1/400 sec @ 100 ISO

Monday, February 24, 2014

2014, Day 55 - Splatter

This is a happy face.  Frankie went to racing practice over the weekend and with the recent rain the field was still a little soggy.  When you're not in the front you get a face full of mud but that's nothing compared to how much they kick into their beautiful feathered tail.  His happiness at racing was transformed into annoyance when we got home because he had to have a bath but now Frankie is beautiful, soft, and he smells good too!

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II with Canon EF Extender 1.4x Mark III
280mm, f5.6, 1/1250 sec @ 1250 ISO

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014, Day 54 - Decisions

I will never forget our first glimpse of Angkor Thom.  We took a taxi from Battambang to Siem Reap where we dropped our bags off at the hotel, met up with the rest of our travel buddies, and headed out for our first look at the temples of Angkor.  It was afternoon and even though the sun was getting low we were eager to see one of the fabled temples so we stopped at Angkor Thom where the smiling faces carved into the stone greeted us.  It was beautiful and as we wound our way through the temple I stopped to take just one more photograph from a different angle.  There are so many amazing vantage points it is hard to decide which you like best.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f4, merged layers 1/100, 1/50, 1/25, and 1/13 sec @ 320 ISO

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2014, Day 53 - Reveling

We had sun today!  Normally I like the clouds but it has been a bit chilly this winter and I am enjoying the feel of the sun on my face.  It came and went as clouds moved in and out over the day but it was unmistakeable and refreshing.  In a couple months I will long for the clouds to return and take the edge off the summer heat but until then it is a little pleasure.

Fuji X-E2, Fujinon 60/f2.4R
60mm, f4, 1/640 sec @ 200 ISO

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014, Day 52 - Nestled

In amongst the green pushing through the cold damp earth I found this single crocus in full bloom.  They hide when there is no sun but when its rays fall on their petal they open in worshipful adoration of the light and warmth.  It gives me hope that we will have a little more sun before the rain returns.

Fuji X-E2, Fujinon 60/f2.4R
60mm, f4, 1/320 sec @ 200 ISO

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014, Day 51 - Potatoes

Today I got to visit Frankie's new nieces and nephews.  They're still little white potatoes but already I see so much potential in the grubs.  Sky, their mother, is so attentive and devoted to her babies even though she would rather be with her people and the other big dogs.  It won't be long before their eyes open and they really start exploring their surroundings and then they will grow noses and legs and eventually they will be beautiful pointy dogs.  Until then I will enjoy this pile of sweetness.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
70mm, f4, 1/125 sec @ 8000 ISO

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014, Day 50 - Harken

It seems like spring is fighting to wrest our part of the world out of winter's grip.  I am not sure that it is winning the battle but I appreciate the effort.  Spring rains seem to be here and while they're not as frequent as they sometimes are it makes up for the brevity with ferocity.  But the flowers are opening in defiance on winter, like little soldiers, they are taking up the cause.  I am ready to welcome spring with open arms!

Fuji X-E2, Fujinon 60/f2.4R
60mm, f5.6, 1/180 sec @ 200 ISO

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014, Day 49 - Competition

There is nothing like a little competition between siblings.  These two brothers are the best of friends and they love to wrestle.  When they play the growl so much it will overwhelm all sound in the room but it is all in good fun.  Together they are a riot and I am constantly entertained by these two dopey boys.

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II with EF Extender 1.4x Mark III
280mm, f4, 1/1250 sec @ 160 ISO

Monday, February 17, 2014

2014, Day 48 - Longing

With the whipping wind and the heavy rain I am longing for fluffy snow.  It might have been cold but it was dry and lots of fun!

Fuji X-E2, Fujinon 60/f2.4R
60mm, f4, 1/60 sec @ 250 ISO

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014, Day 47 - Web of gold

The fall leaves still carpet the ground but with the recent snow melt and rain they are decomposing quickly.  But in the meantime their skeletal forms are delicate and beautiful.  With the winds picking up and the rain coming I enjoy their warm golden hue.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/125 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2014, Day 46 - Evening commute

Our second evening in Suchitoto and after a long day of exploring the countryside we decided to go for a walk and get some dinner.  Given that it is pouring rain and there are high winds I can't help but remember the warmth of the sun waning in the afternoon as we walked in long shadows and the slight breeze from the lake that seemed like a blessing as we walked sweating down the cobbled street.  Everyone was finishing their day's work and this woman was walking home with her basket empty of all the warm fresh breads that she was selling earlier in the day.  Soon the sounds of children playing and neighbors chatting in doorways will fill the air as evening approaches.  It is one of my lasting impressions of this small down, the feeling of community that was everywhere.

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f4, 1/250 sec @ 100 ISO

Friday, February 14, 2014

2014, Day 45 - True love

Today my boy Frankie became an uncle again and that makes it a wonderful Valentine's Day!  Just after midnight she delivered her first of seven beautiful healthy babies.  Like their uncle and Grandma Chiana most are almost completely white which is extremely unusual but there are signs of faint color here and there.  Sky delivered all without incident and all are doing well.  Below is a picture of a very pregnant Sky taken in last week's snow storm.  Even laden with seven little ones she still looks amazing!

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II with Canon EF Extender 1.4x Mark III
280mm, f4, 1/1000 sec @ 125 ISO

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014, Day 44 - Survivors

Despite the snowfall and the ice storm that followed the snowdrops have survived.  In fact they're thriving and making a prolific showing all over my neighborhood.  If permitted snowdrops will slowly take over and create a carpet of delicate white flowers.  They are the one of the first flowers to bloom and I expect the winter crocus will soon follow suit as well as the hellebores but right now I am getting hints of spring and I am excited.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/125 sec @ 640 ISO

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014, Day 43 - Forest of stone

This is the Templo de los Guerreros, the Temple of the Warriors, at Chichen Itza.  The central pyramid is surrounded by stone columns carved to resemble warriors.  It was a stormy morning but we stayed ahead of the rain for most of the day and were rewarded with some beautiful dramatic clouds.  We had arrived early and, like the rain, we managed to stay ahead of most of the big groups of tourists.  At times it was like we had our own sections of the archeological site to ourselves, it was very pleasant.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
17mm, f4, merged layers of 1/1600 and 1/400 sec @ 100 ISO

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2014, Day 42 - Conquered

Today I decided to return to Cambodia and the awesome temple that is Beng Mealea.  There is something magical about this place, the jungle has returned and reduced a large portion of this once beautiful site to rubble.  But somehow it still manages to be enchanting.  Out of the ruins of the temple are giant trees with extensive root systems that have torn apart the heavy stone blocks.  I love this return to nature and today I wouldn't mind the balmy warmth of the jungle either.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
22mm, f2.8, merged layers of 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, and 1/30 sec @ 100 ISO

Monday, February 10, 2014

2014, Day 41 - Lunging

Eddie is my buddy and he looks beautiful surging through the snow playing with the other dogs.  It would be great if he had the confidence to race because Eddie has a beautiful stride but unfortunately he tends to be a worrier.  If it is new it is a bit overwhelming and the same goes with people; he isn't afraid of them but he would prefer the company of people he already knows.  But Eddie enjoys my company and less than an hour after I took this picture he is curdled up half in my lap and snoozing contentedly.  It's hard not to fall in love with that kind of affection :)

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II with Canon EF Extender 1.4x Mark III
150mm, f4, 1/1000 sec @ 160 ISO

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014, Day 40 - Encapsulated

Late yesterday the snow changed to freezing rain.  This morning much of the visible flora was covered in ice so after walking the dogs on the slippery ground I grabbed my camera and headed back out the door.  These are the remains of my beach daisies, topped with little globes of ice.  Fortunately the melt is underway and soon I think the snow and ice will be gone.

Fuji X-E2, Fujinon 60/f2.4R
60mm, f4, 1/70 sec @ 200 ISO

2014, Day 39 - Touch of warmth

All that beautiful snow we've been having still coats the ground but unfortunately freezing rain has put a slippery crust over the top making it treacherous and uncomfortable.  The dogs hate it and they made it clear that once they peed they wanted back in the house and I can't honestly blame them so I hope they can hold it until morning.  Sadly I don't think we're going to get up to find any real improvement but I am still going to keep my fingers crossed.  Until then I am thinking back on warmer times with flower and sidewalks that don't try to kill us.

Fuji X-Pro1, Fujinon 60/f2.4R
60mm, f4, 1/2700 sec @ 400 ISO

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014, Day 38 - Downward dog

Oh how we love the snow!  It started yesterday and continued through much of the day today and it is really accumulating.  I went out to my friend Karen's house to play in the snow with her dogs.  They have a great time showing off and tearing through the snow.  Below Eddie is watching avidly as the other dogs play and is plotting his ambush.

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II with Canon EF Extender 1.4x Mark III
280mm, f4, 1/1250 sec @ 250 ISO

Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014, Day 37 - Frolick

It is bitterly cold, with the windchill it six degrees below and the greyhounds aren't enjoying it.  They go out, do their business, and run back inside.  Frankie, on the other hand, seems to be the least affected.  He is playing and bouncing on our walks and while I know he is getting chilled he doesn't look anywhere as miserable as the greyhounds.  If fact, once we completed our afternoon walk, I took Frankie up to Mount Tabor so he could play in the snow and he had a great time racing around.  I just have to be careful that I don't lose him in that field of white!

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
70mm, f4, 1/1000 sec @ 4000 ISO

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014, Day 36 - Pantaloons

Damn it is cold!  When I walked the dogs this evening it was twenty degrees with high winds so with the wind chill it was supposedly two below.  I was bundled up in so many layers I could hardly move; two jackets, long underwear, wool socks, wool cap, heavy gloves, two t-shirts, heavy pants, and for good measure I pulled up the hood over my cap.  It wasn't exactly warm but I survived.  Tomorrow the forecast it calling for up to five inches of snow.  Needless to say, I'm thrilled and I hope that they're right about that because we've had freezing weather a lot this winter but not much in the way of snow.  Until then I am seriously considering some heavy fur leggings like this bee is wearing.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/500 sec @ 640 ISO

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2014, Day 35 - Pillow of purple

I am getting over a pretty terrible head cold.  Every time I get sick I vow never to take breathing through both nostrils for granted again.  Admittedly I have renewed my vow but it is amazing how quickly we learn to take that simple pleasure for granted.  I can't even stop to smell the mostly non-existent flowers.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/320 sec @ 400 ISO

Monday, February 3, 2014

2014, Day 34 - Heart of gold

With more winter weather on the way I admit that I am longing for spring.  It hasn't been especially wet this winter so far, in fact it has been pretty sunny if cold.  But I can't wait for the flowers to bloom.  The crocus are starting to come up and the hellebores are flowering but it is just the start.  Soon though we will be inundated with a barrage of color thanks to the local flora.

Fuji X-E1, Fujinon 60/f2.4R
60mm, f4, 1/750 sec @ 400 ISO

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2014, Day 33 - Polka dots

Ladybugs always make me smile.  I think it is because we think of them as playful, they brightly colored and largely benign.  Under that happy exterior is a ravenous carnivore that will decimate an aphid colony in short order.  They're voracious eaters and are great for natural pest control.

Canon 1D X, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f11, 1/200 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2014, Day 32 - Fortuitous flare

Sometimes things don't go as you expect but instead of getting upset or throwing away the results you should consider the results.  This is two photos that I took of Vista House and, during one of my first exposures, a car came around the bend and I ended up with half of the structure gone in headlights and some amazing colorful flare in the sky.  So shot the picture a few more times and I took Vista House from another exposure but the sky from the first and combined the two.

Canon 1D X, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, merged layers of 10 and 13 sec @ 320 ISO