Kathy & I spent last week on our first cruise in nearly 2 years, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas out of Port Canaveral. It felt good to get back on the water and we had a great time.
There has been a lot of sensationalistic reporting in the media about cruising, with much hype around the occasional rare but real report of some kind of outbreak. Covid is only the latest hand-wringer. I’ve said for years that cruise ships have been among the cleanest places we’ve visited. They have always been very vigilant about cleaning in an effort to reduce the spread of all kinds of passenger-borne bugs. A report of an outbreak of any kind is fresh meat for a media looking for anything to wring their hands over. Yes, it happens. But relax. It was fun. Yes, we had to take a Covid test before we left home. Yes, we had to wear a mask on occasion. But we have to do that at home anyway, and it was a lot warmer in Cozumel than it is back here in NC! 😉
We paid a visit to Kennedy Space Center before the cruise. I took a few photos and will have more to share over the next few days.
“Three weeks ago, I found myself sitting on the banks of Hudson Bay, a stone’s throw from the Arctic circle, waiting for a polar bear to wake from his slumber. One can wait a long time for a polar bear to awaken. Several times, our group of photographers asked whether we should move on, and several times the answer was, “You don’t leave a bear to go look for a bear.””
Most followers of this blog are already familiar with David duChemin. He gets a little preachy sometimes, but more often than not his words of wisdom are quite wise. In his most recent blog post, For Stronger Photographs: More Time, he writes about the difficult but valuable need to be patient. To take the time for something to happen. To make the time to be in the right place for something to happen. Its a lesson for all of us, photographers and non-photographers alike.
I’ve said numerous times that the most valuable thing I have learned from photography is that it is nearly impossible to be in the perfect spot at the perfect time. For that to happen even once is unimaginable, but to expect it over and over again is foolish and unproductive. There is always a better sunset, a better wave, a better expression, somewhere. But we don’t know where or when, so the best we can do is be where we feel we need to be, or make the best of wherever we are.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not generally a patient person. But in waiting for a cloud to cover the sun, or for a wave to crash on a rock, or for shadow to spread evenly over a waterfall, there are times when patience is rewarded. Slow down, look around, and don’t leave a bear to go look for a bear.
Kathy and I joined several hundred of our closest friends this morning to be the first people in the US to see the sun. I took a bunch of photos and some of them turned out OK. But it was mostly about the experience of being there, and we were there. And yes, Kathy joined me in arising at 4am to make the trek to the top. She didn’t want to miss it any more than she wanted me to miss it. It was worth the effort, for sure! 😉
Reservations are required for sunrise, and they are limited. I managed to book mine months ago, and I was glad I did. In a perfect world I would have wished for a few clouds on the horizon. But it wasn’t too cold, it wasn’t raining, and we could actually see the sun. So it was as good as we might have hoped for!
I managed to haul my carcass out the door again this morning for the second time in a row. I’ve got a number of good results but will have to process them at a later date. So much to see and do here – no time to process photos. A good problem to have!
In order to show that I did, in fact, get my self out of bed at a photographically productive hour, here are a few photos from around town this morning. Sunrise was 6:23 and I was out the door about 6:10, uncharacteristically early for me without a good reason. Fortunately I got some pretty decent results!
And yes, I did take a photograph of Mystic Pizza, although we haven’t eaten there. 😉
I’ve just finished up processing my photos from our Southwest road trip and from our recent visit to Hilton Head Island, SC. Just in time for our next adventure – we shove off again on Saturday! This will be our annual “Friends and Family Tour” as Kathy likes to call it. Other than our kids, most of what remains of our families is in Ohio or will be there for the Fourth of July. I’ve got a childhood friend who lives in western Pennsylvania, and we have friends in Wisconsin. 😉 So off we go!
I mentioned earlier that I only got up early on two mornings at the beach, but I chose them well. I’ve been going to Hilton Head long enough to know when the tides and times coincide to provide the pools I love to use as foreground. An added bonus is when the clouds cooperate too, as they did for me on both occasions. Sweet!
I found it interesting that, even though the conditions were virtually identical both mornings, the overall color cast was radically different – red the first morning and blue the second. I did minimal (for me) processing on this photos and the colors are pretty faithful albeit a bit more saturated than what I saw. I’m sure the difference in color is due to some sort of atmospherical anomaly, but I only know that it made for some purdy pitchers.
Mornings are a lovely time on the beach. I could go out there without a camera, sit on one of the storage boxes the lifeguards use and watch the morning unfold. When the sunrise is early – around 6:15 – like it was in May and June, there are very few people out – just me, a few birds and sometimes a few dolphins. Most of the people are walking, so even if they walk through my frame, a slow shutter speed makes them blurry and sometimes invisible. There was one guy with a dog that had a light on its collar which was kind of annoying, but he thankfully stayed out of my view!
When I awoke this morning at 4:50am I knew I was in for another morning on the beach. Sucks, don’t it? 😉 I was greeted by some distant lightning that I wasn’t able to capture adequately, but did get a few more pools reflecting the morning light. A little different from yesterday, but that’s why we go more than once! No promises for tomorrow, but I do have a streak going now. 🙂
Today marks the third anniversary of our retirement. I think we’ve spent our time well and look forward to many more years. We celebrated last night at one of our favorite local restaurants and look forward to a few more days on the beach.
We’ve been at the beach for a week but I hadn’t managed to drag my sorry self out of bed for sunrise – until this morning. I was well rewarded. I’m kind of picky about when I’m willing to get up – tides, weather and sunrise time play a role. I looked at the weather forecast before heading to bed last night and decided it would likely be a good chance for photos. We’ve got some clouds rolling in today with a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon and overnight. Tomorrow might be a good morning too, we’ll have to see if I can motivate myself two mornings in a row. 😉
I like to photograph the moon on the night before the “full” moon because there is still enough light in the sky, and on the foreground if you have a foreground, to illuminate the landscape and provide some detail. Sometimes, like Tuesday night, the rising moon is actually more full than it will be on Wednesday night. Of course the part that gets all the press is the so-called “Supermoon.” (because now we have to name everything) which “officially” happened this morning, but the moon wasn’t visible here at that time.
According to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, the moon was at 99.65% at moonrise last night and will be at 99.49% at moonrise tonight. What does that get you? Add a couple of bucks and it gets you a cup of coffee.
Photographing the moon rising over the ocean can be kind of boring and usually works better with an interesting foreground. We have some nice trees in front of our rental condo here in Hilton Head, SC. So I was able to have my camera on the balcony while we were having dinner, and managed to take a few shots between bites and sips. 😉