Thursday, June 12, 2008

So, what did you do on YOUR weekend?

Me? I spent my weekend seeing stuff like this:

(And to think, some people actually have to ask why I came down here)

Remember that thing I said about the sunrises and sunsets lasting all day long? (Best viewed at full res) I'd like to mention that the above shot is not post-processed AT ALL. That image is directly off the camera, that's exactly what the sky looks like here. It really is that intense, as the air is fantastically clear so you don't get any atmospheric haze diluting the colors. (That and my camera kicks ass. And I actually read the manual and know how to use it. Sort of)

Anyway, last weekend, we took an overnight trip to Vernadsky, the Ukrainian station that's about 90 miles south of us. We left Palmer Station at around 4pm on Saturday, and got to Vernadsky at around 11:30am Sunday (Icebreakers aren't exactly built for speed) . The scenery on the way there was . . . something else entirely.

Yeah, that little black dot in the foreground? That's a whale. They were ALL OVER the place, eventually the ship slowed to a crawl to avoid accidentally hitting them or something.

Sadly, I had my camera's settings completely wrong when I took the above photo, it took a fair bit of post-processing to get it looking good, but it did leave it looking a little . . . grainy or blasted out, sort of.

And of course, the best for last . . .


Gentoo penguins, specifically. When we were zodiacing back from Vernadsky to the R/V Gould, this flock was running parallel to our zodiac for quite a ways, they seemed both curious and freaked out. I did what had to be the fastest lens change I've ever done (taking off my 17-85 and throwing on my 70-200) while sitting on the bow of the zodiac, trying not to fall overboard as we were bouncing all over the place at almost full throttle, following these guys as they were porpoising along.

Out of the hundred or so shots I took following these guys, those two shots above are the best, IMO. My camera's settings wern't QUITE right for the situation, as this was really one of those OMFG GET THE LENS ON AND POINT IT AT THEM AND PRESS THE BUTTON I DON'T HAVE TIME TO MESS WITH SETTINGS!!!!! Fortunetly, I wasn't that far off, although the ISO was higher then I would have liked and I was on the wrong focus mode.

I think these below are pretty cool, although not print-worthy.

Alright, sorry for the deluge of pictures, but hey, it's better then a rant. That's it for tonight, in the next couple days I'll get up pictures of the actual station itself, instead of all the neat stuff we saw going to and coming from the station.

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