It has been a long time since the last blog post. A lot has transpired photographically since then. I have committed almost exclusively to Sony gear. With the release of the A9 and the 400mm f/2.0 lens, a credible kit for wildlife can be assembled. I still maintain an Olympus kit, but mostly because I already have the lenses. If weight is the main concern, micro 4/3rd is a great alternative to full frame. Because the sensor is small the lenses are a fraction of the size and weight as full frame lenses.
So, 2018 has come and gone. It was a busy year for travel and photography.
First up, with two great friends, I joined a Shoot the Light workshop in Yellowstone NP in February. In addition to the serenity of Yellowstone in Winter, the stunning landscapes and a great group, we were fortunate to spend time with a large pack of wolves. While, perhaps, not the best photo ops, they were an incredible experience to witness. The drama of watching a pair of buffalo parents around an injured calf, while the wolf pack just waited was palpable.
Then, a highlight of my life and big check off the bucket list, was a family trip to Africa. I have been wanting to take my children and grandchildren to Africa for a long time. It just seemed like the right time as I just turned 72. We visited Rwanda for three gorilla treks, Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side and then were joined by my wife and the grandkids for 5 nights at Makanyi Lodge in South Africa. Everyone had a camera and I spent the entire time with a warm fuzzy feeling inside as I watched their love for the wild grow.
Then, a river cruise in France in July. We joined Viking Cruises in Paris for a trip along the Seine river to the Normandy beaches. We were with two other couples with whom we have traveled all over the world. It had been a few years since the "six pack" had been on an adventure and it was great to travel together again, share old times and experience some of the incredible experiences of France. The World War II D day beaches were a humbling and somber experience and I was glad to get to see them.
Finally, if those three adventures weren't enough for a year, my wife and I went on an expedition to Antarctica. Our goal was to visit the Emperor Penguin colony on Snow Hill island, located in the Weddell Sea. Thirteen days on a Russian icebreaker chartered by Quark Expeditions, the Kapitan Khlebnikov, provided a unique journey to this remote place and three days of experiencing these amazing birds. The last time Quark ran the trip was 2010!
Rounding out the photo experiences were our usual visits to places around Florida to photograph birds and this year, I spent some time learning about focus stacking using my orchid garden as a subject. Finally, the grandkids and I had some fun with a "green screen" making some music videos to share with their friends.