My 2010 was a year dominated by the power of water, from ocean waves to salt evaporation ponds, tidal zones to ice bergs and even the break down of my kitchen facet. You never really think about water until you are missing it. Today, 70.9% of the earth's surface is covered in water yet there are many areas in the world where people still struggle to find safe, clean drinking water. Would you like to help? http://www.charitywater.org/ Go ahead, visit the site & see what you can do... this blog will be here when you get back.
All done? Feels good to help out someone in need doesn't it? Well then, without further ado... My top 2010 photo picks.
Wandering Albatross, (Diomedea exulans)
Kaikoura, New Zealand
It might be the fault of the movie "The Rescuers" or the poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" but the Albatross has held a long lived fascination for me. I've been lucky enough to meet many albatross from Black-brows to Laysan, Shy to Black-footed and in January 2010 I met the king: The Wandering Albatross. With a wingspan of 8.5-12 feet, the Wanderer holds the record for largest wingspan of any living bird.
Josh Loya, 3rd heat
Mavericks Surf Competition, Half Moon Bay, CA
Waves up to 50 feet feet dominated the competition. Even though my boat was outside the break zone we bobbed around like a cork which made photography challenging to say the least but worth every minute out there.
Humpback Whale, (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
A safe place to raise a baby whale. I was amazed at how tender these incredible creatures were with their young. At one point I watched as a female cradled her calf in his flippers as any human might hug her child.
Death Valley National Park, CA
At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is at the lowest elevation in North America. With an average of 1.58 inches of precipitation a year you would think water doesn't play a large role in Death Valley, an you'd be wrong. Any rain that falls dissolves the salt in the lowest point of the valley. As the water evaporates, the salt crystals reform. Without this constant rebuilding, the salt flats at Badwater would eventually turn dark and weathered as they are at the Devil's Golf Course.
First Day Out
American Avocet, (Recurvirostra americana)
Palo Alto Baylands, CA
It might have been the first day out for this little guy and he explored his home in the tidal flats and pickleweed of the San Francisco Bay but really, this was my first day out with my new Nikon gear. After frustration with my Canon gear I finally made the switch to Nikon and this adorable little puff ball was the subject of my first day out.
Tufted Puffin, (Fratercula cirrhata)
St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska
I had been hoping to get images of Puffin bringing fish to their burrow but the entire trip we saw none... until the very last day. I spent 3 hours glued to one burrow, waiting for mom & dad to bring home the bacon... errrrr fish and my patience was rewarded by a mouthful!
Beauty at the Beach
Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA
Another first for me... my first location shoot. Lucky for me I had a patient model willing to get her feet wet, a beautiful location, gorgeous weather and perhaps most importantly.... amazing assistants! I couldn't have done it without the help of Leonard Brzezinski and Jon & Victoria Bonney. Many hands make light (and a hell of a lot of fun) work! Thanks guys!
Cathedral at the End of the World
Lemaire Channel, Antarctica
The sheer grandeur of the landscape of Antarctica was overwhelming. Looking at a huge ice berg like this one and knowing that what we saw above the water was a mere 10% of what lurked below was humbling.
Out for a Stroll
Gentoo Penguin, (Pygoscelis papua ellsworthii)
I love all of the close images I was able to capture; the nests, the pebbles, the eggs, the fights, the cuddles, the thefts and the gifts but to me... this lone penguin marching across a sea of endless white snow epitomizes the isolation and starkness of this amazing continent.