The End: Galapagos Day 15/July 20, Morning, Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz

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This image of a Brown Noddy waiting to scoop up any wriggling baitfish that might escape from the adult pelican’s pouch was created with the hand held Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 320. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/4. It seems as if I clicked my ISO setting one to far to the left as the light levels were low at 6:21 am and I am completely comfortable working at ISO 400.

The End: Galapagos Day 15/July 20, Morning, Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz

A short panga ride in Black Turtle Cove is a great way to end a Galapagos cruise. We were out on the water very early (as usual) as we needed to be back on the Beagle by 8am to finish packing and get to the airport in time for our flight to Quito. As always the pelicans were feeding and the noddies were landing on their heads looking for an almost free meal. In addition to the action images, we had some excellent chances with single birds perched on the rocks. We had a developing Blue-footed Booby feeding spree that never fully developed. The large flock moved quickly and over a wide area but never came into the cove. Despite the uncooperative group of boobies the morning panga ride was a fitting end to a truly wondrous trip.

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Ditto the opening image above only this time ISO 400 and this time the pelican was a juvenile.

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This Blue-footed Booby image was created with the hand held Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/4.5. It takes teamwork between the guide, in this case the gifted Juan Salcedo, the panga driver, and the photography guide–that would be me, to perfectly position the Zodiac so that everyone has a good chance to make a great image.

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This image of a perched Brown Noddy was again created with the hand held Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/4.5. If it seems as if I am guessing at the exposures and you are wondering how in the world I get them all right all the time (not to worry, I do screw up on rare occasion :)), check out Exposure Simplified in ABP II (916 pages on CD only). It includes everything that I learned about digital nature photography from 1998 until late 2006.

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This backlit image of a developing Blue-footed Booby feeding spree that never really materialized (with the Beagle in the background) was created with the Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS lens hand held at 154mm and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops: 1/640 sec. at f/5.6.

The image above was one of the very last images that I made on the trip and am glad that it included our wonderful vessel. I can’t wait to get back next summer. There is still a single opening on that trip; if you are seriously interested in joining us please e-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net. All in all it was a wonderful trip. We flew uneventfully back to Quito later that morning and enjoyed a great fine-dining farewell dinner that evening. The next day everyone flew home safely.

It has been a pleasure sharing my Galapagos journal here with you for the past ten weeks or so :) Thanks for your comments and for stopping by.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is the gear that I used on our last morning’s panga ride:

Canon 70-200mm f/4 l IS lens
Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

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