Monthly Archives: July 2015

Saxman Village tour.

Our first shore excursion in Ketchikan took us to the Saxman native village life of the West Coast First Peoples’ that include the Tlingit and Tsimshian clans. We walked among the many totems and experienced life in a clan house of these Native Americans of Alaska and Canada. Their ceremonial dances were beautiful and show the deep connection to Mother Earth they have. This particular tour is very good in that it helps these people keep their culture alive.

Native american dancer

Saxman Village Dancer with Baby.

Shooting inside the clan house requires a flash to freeze the action, whether it’s capturing the dancer spinning or the mischievous little girl who knows just what she can get away with. The one thing I would suggest is to try to be one of the first ones in to the clan house to get a good vantage point to shoot from.

 

Native girl stealing Saxman Village show.

Mischievous Little Girl Steals the Show.

And don’t forget to bring along a polarizing filter, it will deepen the skies and make colors richer.

Totem of a soaring eagle with planes

Native totem of an Eagle soaring with two float planes.

 

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First stop Ketchikan.

After a full day at sea it was good to get off the ship and explore the picturesque city of Ketchikan. The ship provided an excellent vantage point to shoot from (without a tripod, which I would have preferred to use but didn’t take with me on this trip.) and capture these nice shots of this quaint port town that caters to the cruise ship industry. Located on Revillagigedo Island, Ketchikan has a population of just over 8,000 but, you wouldn’t know it for all us tourists, the streets were busy with shoppers and sightseers.

Ketchikan waterfront with the foggy mountains in the background.

Ketchikan waterfront

Ketchikan from the deck of the Ruby Princess.

Ketchikan from the deck of the Ruby Princess.

The Tongass Narrows of Ketchikan, Alaska.

The Tongass Narrows of Ketchikan, Alaska.

Using the ship to shoot from maybe a no brainer but, picking the right composition, view and if available to you, time of day; can take your photographs from ordinary snap shots to memorable photographs as I would like to think these three photos do. Always go for unique and your photos will tell the story themselves.

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Overnight in Seattle

After a long cramped flight from Detroit we arrived a day early (Saturday) for our cruise in Seattle to insure we made our cruise, avoiding concerns of possible flight delays or over booking. Once checked in to our hotel room, we caught a bus heading downtown with the idea of exploring the famous Pike’s Market and the surrounding areas. The Seattle people on the bus were both friendly and helpful making sure we didn’t miss our stop and gave us some safety tips too.

For the next five hours we walked though the market’s many tightly packed shops, and nearby areas, enjoyed photographing the sites, some interesting people then had a very nice seafood dinner before taking the bus back to the hotel . .  after that long flight and spending the day exploring of the Market area we had no trouble sleeping that night in Seattle.

 

A busy Saturday afternoon at Pike's Market under the Pike's Market Pig.

A busy Saturday afternoon at Pike’s Market under the Pike’s Market Pig.

Just wandering Pike’s Market, shooting the people enjoying the day is so much easier with the flexibility of digital. The shot above was taken on a bright overcast day and the one below of the woman tending to her flowers was indoors. Moving between these two different scenes was almost too easy and makes shooting like this fun.

A woman tending her flower in Pike's Market.

A woman tending to her flowers in Pike’s Market.

 

As the Ruby Princess leaves Seattle, I found a steady place at the stern to brace myself against, as shooting with a tripod on a moving ship doesn’t away make sense, and captured the Seattle skyline. The key here is to get a good balance of shutter speed and f-stop so you have a crisp image with depth.

The Seattle skyline from the Cruise ship and it leaves port.

The Seattle skyline from the Cruise ship as it leaves port.

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