<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Evanescent Light : New Work - 2016

: fleeting, transitory
evanescent wave: a nearfield standing wave, employed for total internal reflection microscopy

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New Work - 2017

Chrismas at the Holiday Inn in Fresno, where Anne was doing a locum at the Childrens' Hospital

I drove to Yosemite on Christmas Eve. The weather was very grey and not suited to epic landscapes, so I concentrated on 'small things'.
And a visit to San Luis Wildlife Refuge on the way home. Not much bird activity, but a beutiful and peaceful place to spend a few hours.


Thanksgiving Weekend 2017. From the sub-antarctic to the California Desert

Playing with a new 11mm superwide Irix lens at Cyclops Arch



We camped for the night at our usual site by the entrance to Dedekera Canyon, and I drove down to the Eureka Dunes for some evening and dawn photography.


And then on over Steele Pass for our annual visit to repopulate the Marble Bath with new rubber ducks.

A Return to South Georgia; September 22nd-October 22nd

Click the map to download high-res 75MB image file

Click HERE for a slideshow of our voyage to South Georgia by Juliette Henequin

Anne and I had a bipolar couple of months during September and October, visiting locations some 8000 miles and 120 degrees of latitude apart. Our crazy travel schedule began flying home to California from Iceland, then onward to the Falkland Islands via Santiago, and finally a four-day small boat crossing of the Southern Ocean to South Georgia. We joined a group of photographers and wildlife experts on a non-commercial charter organized by Chris Fallows, a South African photographe and leading authority on great white sharks. This opportunity came up at the last minute, and we had jumped at the chance to return to one of the top wildlife destinations on the planet, aboard our favorite boat, the Hans Hansson, crewed by Dion Poncet and Juliette Hennequin,

Chris had sheduled the trip very early in the season; early spring in the Southern Hemisphere. At this time huge numbers of elephant seals are hauled out on the beaches and fighting for their right to dominate the beach; albatross are present in good numbers; and penguins are everywhere. And, we were on the island well before any cruise ships begin to visit. Apart from the dozen or so scientists and staff overwintering at the King Edward Point research station our little group of 15 had South Georgia to ourselves, with complete freedom for all-day explorations from our landing beaches. It was wonderful to be completely off-the-grid for a month, with hundreds of thousands of penguins for company. Returning to South Georgia really did feel like returning home.

Click HERE to read a trip report by Monique and Chris Fallows
Click HERE for a video slideshow by Juliette Hennequin of our voyage aboard the Hans Hansson
Click HERE for a video slideshow by Juliette Hennequin of our previous voyage aboard the Hans Hansson in 2015

Group photo by the cave at Maiviken.
Chris, Paige, Monique, Drew, Tami, Mike, Patrick, Ian

Birds of the Southern Ocean from the deck of the Hans Hansson; October 19

During the four day crossing of the Southern Ocean back to the Falkland Islands from South Georgia we hit the roughest seas I have ever encountered; indeed, Dion and Juliette rated the most unpleasantly prolonged crossing they have ever made. The first day was the worst, and I stayed in my bunk for fear of injury if I tried to stand upright as the Hans Hansson pitched and rolled alarmingly. Anne and several in our group remained bunk-bound for the entire crossing, while others emerged for meals in a slighly hallucinatory state from overdosing on sea sickness medications. The the seas did quieten a little toward the end of the crossing and I was able to get out - securely wedged into a corner, and with waves breaking over the deck and above the top of my boots - to photograph the birds following the boat.


Our last landing on South Georgia - Elsehul; October 15


Back to Right Whale Bay; October 14

Leopard seals weres wimming up and down the beach, making the penguins very cautious about entering the water.



A wonderful sunrise next day at Saint Andrews Bay; October 14

After the blizzard conditions the previous afternoon, the pre-dawn sky was clear and still the next morning. We made an early landing and were in position for beautiful light at sunrise.







Return to Saint Andrews Bay - in a blizzard; October 13th

Chris,our leader, had scheduled our volage to South Georgia early in the season, in the hope that we would encounter some dramatic, photogenic weather, with lots of snow, This afternoon return visit to Saint Andrews Bay was the only time we encountered such conditions.


The king penguin chicks (oakum boys) huddle together in crèches for protection from the fierce wind and blowing snow. But it is now springtime, and they must have experienced much worse conditions during the long winter months alone on the beach without any shelter.




Ocean Harbour; October 12th

Return to Gold Harbour; October 10, 11th


Twitcher Glacier and a look at Cape Disappointment;
October 9, 10th

Twitcher Glacier (54°43′S 35°56′W) is a glacier, 4 miles (6 km) long, which flows east from the Salvesen Range to the east coast of South Georgia, immediately south of Herz Glacier and Iris Bay. The glacier was surveyed in 1951-52 by the SGS. Named by the United Kingdom Antarctic Place-Names Committee for John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, 1771–82, who was popularly known as "Jemmy Twitcher." [Wikipedia] The glacier showed a slow retreat up until 1988, but the retreat has since accelerated rapidly, likely as a result of Global warming. Dion took us in the Hans Hansson up the fjord close to the present glacier face. According to the satellite image on the computer screen, we sailed about 2 km up the glacier itself! The red trace on the screen plots our GPS positions.

After sheltering at anchor in Larsen Harbour for the night, we continued our voyage south to Cape Disappointment at the very tip of South Georgia, hoping for a look around the corner to the wild north-west side of the island. But, as with our previous visit in 2015 that was not to be. The ocean conditions were rough and the visibility so low there was nothing to see. We did find a nice rainbow though.




Gold Harbour; October 7, 8th

A third morning at Saint Andrew's Bay; October 7th

A dark, overcast morning, so I played with long-exposure penguin blurs.

Second day at Saint Andrew's Bay; October 6th










First day at Saint Andrew's Bay; October 5th







Nordenskjöld Glacier: October 4th.

Global warming in action.

The images show the Admiralty Chart and a satellite photo of Nordenskjöld glacier descending into Cumberland East Bay, with the track of the Hans Hansson overlaid in red. We did not sail onto the glacier (!), but approached only within a few hundred yards of the present location of the glacier face.

Maiviken and Grytviken; 3,4 October

October 3rd. Several of the more energetic of our party were dropped off at Maiviken cove, and hiked over the mountains to join the Hans Hansson at Grytviken.


By morning the snow had turned to rain, with a heavy overcast sky. The rain accentuated the colors on the rusty machinery, and made for some nice reflections in puddles and steel sheets lying on the ground.


Line of rusty tanks; Grytviken, South Georgia


Salisbury Plain; 1st and 2nd October



Right Whale Bay; 29 and 30 September







Stranded in Iceland; September 3-13

Anne and I were booked on a trip to Greenland, and had flown out to Iceland a few days in advance before joining the onward charter connecting flight. However, in our hotel room in Reykjavik we received an e-mail notifying us that the boat we were to join had mechanical problems, and that the Greenland trip was cancelled. So, we were stranded in Iceland! But that is not at all a bad place to be stuck, and with the wonders of the Internet and trip advisor we were quickly able to rebook our vacation. While visiting Iceland earlier in the year we had been dismayed by how the popular sites around the Golden Circle and south coast had become overrun with tourists, and this time determined to head out in search of solitude. Our destination was the Westfjords; a remote region to the northwest of Iceland connected only by a thin neck of land, far distant from Reyjavk, and traversed by largely unpaved roads twisting around fjords and over high mountain passes. Although lacking in the sort of iconic waterfalls and galciers popular in the rest of Iceland, the Westfords have a haunting, sparse beauty, and we found them mercifully free of tour busses and excursion superjeeps. Our favorite stay among the fjords was at Patreksfjordur, in part because of our meals at Stukuhsid restaurant, which served the best salmon and rhubarb tart that Anne had ever eaten.


Auroral displays: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, 11 September

Little things... Snaefellsnes Peninsula



Memorial to the Icelandic pastor, Björn Halldórsson (1724-1794).who first cultivated potatos in Sauðlauksdalur


The Garðar

Our favorite stay among the Westfjords was at Patreksfjordur, in part because of our meals at Stukuhsid restaurant, which served the best salmon and rhubarb tart that Anne had ever eaten. After dinner each night we walked back to our guesthouse Stekkaból (also highly recommended) and looked up the aurora forcast from the Icelandic met office. On our second night the forecast looked good, with activity 4 on a 0-9 point scale and a clearing sky after midnight. When photographing the aurora I like to incorporate some terrestrial feature, and the head of Patreksfjord offered an attractive subject in the form of a beached ship, the Garðar. Originally known as the Globe IV, this large ship was built in Norway in 1912 as a state-of-the-art whaling vessel. She found an Icelandic owner following World War II and, once whaling restrictions became more widespread, the Garðar (a name she finally received in 1963) was used for fishing herring in the waters off of Iceland. After decades in faithful service the Garðar BA 64 was finally deemed unsafe in 1981. At that time most disused ships were scuttled, but instead the Garðar was run aground in Skápadalur Valley, where she now lies stranded and rusting on the beach.

Rising from our bed at 2:00 am there were streaks of green in the sky, clearly visible even though the moon was near full. We drove down to the Garðar and I set up my tripod to explore the use of my new, superwide 11 mm Irix lens for capturing vast swathes of the sky. For two hours the auroral displays flickered over the Garðar, alternating between one side and the other, so I found mysef dashing around with the camera mounted on my tripod to get good compositions. The moonlight was bright enough to give a good exposure of the land and the ship, and sometimes I supplemented this with lightpainting. Most of the time I stayed on the beach immediately next to the ship (things start to look very small with an 11mm lens when you move only a short distance away!), but then I thought to walk around a small lagoon in the hope of getting reflections of the aurora in the still water.




August 17-23; A long road trip to view the total solar eclipse in Oregon, with stops at Mono Lake and Steens Mountain



The air was heavy with wildfire smoke the two nights we camped on Steens Mountain, so my photos were mostly of trees and colorful rocks against a smoky background of the great glacial gorges carved into the mountainside.

August 6: Sunday morning back at Bolsa Chica





July 23: Sunday morning with the terns at Bolsa Chica


July 9-15: England and Scotland

We traveled to England for our younger son's graduation from medical school in Manchester, then drove him and his posessions up to his first job as a junior doctor in Aberdeen. I did not have much chance for photography on this trip, but got some shots in the beautiful gardens of Pittodrie House Hotel where we stayed for two nights.


Flower photographs taken in the walled garden

June 18-23: Gordon Conference on Calcium Signaling, Tuscany



May 14, 21: Two mornings at Bolsa Chica


April 23: Carrizo Plain with fading flowers

April 18: Evanescent Light Photo Exhibit and Reception,

Viewpoint Gallery, University of California, Irvine


April 4: Carrizo Plain Superbloom


March 23-27: A one thousand mile circuit around Southern California looking for wildflowers


March 18-19: Carrizo Plain wildflowers
After an exceptionally rainy winter it is looking like a very good wildflower season in Southern California. We took a first trip out to Carrizo Plain, and will be touring around Anza Borrego, Joshua Tree and the Mojave Desert this coming weekend.

The most prolific displays of color at Carrizo Plain were vast carpets of yellow hillside daisy, mostly at higher elevations in the Caliente and Temblor ranges.


Some macro photos taken with my 100-400 lens.




February 26-22: Bolsa Chica


February 16-22: Iceland

A long layover at Denver airport before our Iceland Air flight to Keflavik gave an opportunity to visit Tom Mangelsen's gallery, and wander around with camera in hand looking for interesting reflections.

On our first few days in Iceland we encountered grey skies, rain and way too many tourists.

A little sunshine the next day when we visited the charmingly named Gluggafoss waterfall



We left Reykjavik for two nights sleeping in the back of our rented SUV for a trip along the southern ring road as far as Jökulsárlón





Our penultimate night in Iceland finally brought clear night skies, with a forecast for moderate (2/3) auroral activity. Leaving our hotel at 2:00 am we drove to Þingvellir to find some interesting foregrounds against which to photograph the lights. Finally, an opportunity to escape all the tourists; I had Þingvellir entirely to myself until snowploughs started clearing the paths at first light of dawn.



Some semi-abstract shots of modern buildings in Reykjavik: The Perlan and the Harpa Concert Hall


Newton's prism: Harpa, Reykjavik

Light shafts: Harpa, Reykjavik

Figures on shadows: Harpa, Reykjavik


Reykjavic under construction: Reflection in windows of the Harpa
[For several years following the financial crash in 2008 the Harpa concert Hall, funded by the government, was the only active construction project in Iceland. The cranes reflected here in the windows of the Harpa symbolize a new economic boom, as hotels are built to cater to a massive influx of tourists.]


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