Saturday, September 15, 2012

Keep that camera clean

So am back from Alaska. Great trip, still need to post some photos. I did put a number up on Facebook. Will have to post a link to those as a start.

What was the biggest bummer photo wise on this trip? Well, other than wanting a stronger lens to catch the humpbacks that did a bit of breaching - but a LONG way off; it would have to be the bit of dust or dirt that made its way onto the sensor of my Canon 60D.

This little bugger left bout 87% of my photos with a little fuzzy dot in the upper left corner of all my photos... not good. Well, it could have been worse, it was pretty small - but it looked huge to me of course.

I decided to be good and not try to blow off the sensor myself while traveling. Especially since I wasn't good about carrying any lens cleaning supplies or compressed air or anything. Our nieces new husband had a similar issue, and he cleaned his - while also knowing & admitting that he probably shouldn't have done it...

So the result of that decision was hundreds of photos of Mt. McKinley and wildlife in Denali National Park with the little fuzz spot. Crap.
But I felt safe in knowing that I didn't damage the sensor - which would have been even more upsetting (and costly!).

I have been able to crop it out, or use a little digital cleanup. And in many shots it really isn't noticed.

Last week I finally had a chance to swing by Calumet Photographic in Escondido (this is their "San Diego" location). I didn't have the camera with me, but wanted to talk with them about cleaning options. They said to bring it in and they can try to blow it clean at no cost, and if not, then I could get a $60 cleaning.

So I brought it in today, they were very helpful. Got a few tools, blew it off a few times. Good to go. He said he could see one little spot still on there, but I hadn't even known it was there. I am good with that!

Walked out 10 minutes later after looking at all the goodies I can't afford right now... Ready to shoot again.

So, keep the cameras clean. Carry some cleaning supplies in your bag. And be careful you don't mess up the sensor. But most of all, have a good quality camera shop to work with. The folks at Calumet have always been great to work with.

Can't wait till the next trip!

Oh ya, I had better get some photos posted...

I am way behind on travel posts.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

First Caribou of the day - Denali

This fine animal was about 40 feet from the bus. Started off further away, but walked towards us, eating here and there, and then crossed the road behind the bus. Amazing animal.

The deal on the bus was that we make as little noise as possible and do NOT make sounds to try to get the animals to look at us, etc. The driver, Clay Walker, would turn off the bus and get the animal in his 100x video camera, which we could see on TV screens in the bus (and later, of course, choose to purchase as a DVD).

This was early in the day, about 90 minutes in, and was really close. We were all very excited!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mt McKinley or Denali - it's big

So Mt McKinley (or Denali as many like to call it) is most often covered in clouds and doesn't often make an appearance.

Well, here I am, two days later, and viewing Mt McKinley from the other side, and once again getting a great view with very little cloud cover! Fantastic!!

She's a BIG mountain, that's for sure. Tallest in the world from base to top.

Mt McKinley, Alaska

Mt McKinley, Alaska by Tim Craig
Mt McKinley, Alaska, a photo by Tim Craig on Flickr.

I heard before leaving on the cruise that we would be lucky to see Mt McKinley. That it is normally covered by clouds.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I awoke to see the mountain almost totally visible!

Quickly grabbed the camera and joined a lot of other happy photographers on the back deck at the Princess Mt McKinley Lodge - 40 miles from the mountain.

Rusty Beauty

Rusty Beauty by Tim Craig
Rusty Beauty, a photo by Tim Craig on Flickr.

Softness against the rough. On cruise docks in Ketchikan, AK.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TSA Complaint App

I'm not exactly sure what I think about this app. In many ways I think it is good. But I hesitate to get behind anything that doesn't allow both sides of the story - in this case, why not also allow for positive comments on how the TSA is doing their job?

Here's a Fox News story on the app:
And from CNN:

Interesting that the CNN report has it under "Religion" and not "Travel". Then again, Fox has it under "Politics".

Here is the Sikh Coalition site:
And they actually have a site just for this app:

And here's the app for Android:

And for iPhone:

What do YOU think about this app?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Long, Cold Days Are Coming

Well, it looks like it is going to happen!!

We are planning another family vacation!
To Alaska!!

Land of the cold and the days of 20 hours of sun.

We took our first ever cruise back in June/July of 2008. This was an anniversary vacation for mom & dad with the entire family! Yes, 13 members of the family from mom & dad (grandma & grandpa to others), to their kids and their families.

This was actually the first time cruising from everyone (if you don't count dad's cruise to pacific islands during WW2). This original vacation was also the last time the ENTIRE family was able to travel together. Out of six cruises this was also the only time we have traveled Princess.

So I find it really interesting that as we return to Alaska we will once again be traveling Princess (on the Sapphire Princess), and we will all be together again. In fact we will ever be +1 as Rachel got married and her new husband Nate (we hope!) will be able to join us.

Wow - I still owe this blog posts from that original trip (and others) - but check out my posts on Alaska (more to come as mobile posts during this next trip): 

So much enjoyed that first trip to Alaska, and totally looking forward to being back there again! 
Most of the family - Ketchikan, Alaska 2008

Please feel free to comment with tips or ideas for any of the stops we will be visiting.

A new twist for us. We will be doing a "cruisetour" - 1/2 cruise, 1/2 land tour.

So just where are we making stops??

Leaving out of Vancouver, BC for the cruise
Skagway (Dad's specific request as he traveled her by car many, many years ago)
Glacier Bay
College Fjord
Then a glass-covered train to Mt. McKinley to begin the land tour.
2-days at Denali
2-days at Fairbanks
Back home to San Diego

Would love to get ideas of things to visit at any of these stops. Thanks!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Travel Memories

Sitting having breakfast with my in-laws, who are 85 & 86 we had just gotten a brochure from Oceania that we were looking over.

Never had I ever thought that I would open up a brochure like this and be able to say we have been to five of the six places shown in the fantastic photos! What fun! We have been so lucky to visit all these fantastic places!

From this 2012 voyages brochure we have been to Rhodes, Greece; Athens, Greece; Luxor, Egypt; Cairo, Egypt and Jerusalem. The last photo was of Dubrovnik, Greece.

Hopefully we will be blessed enough to continue travels to fun, interesting and historic places around the globe.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

British Isles - July 2011 - Overview Slideshow

This was a fantastic cruise on the Oceania Marina - 14 days. London to London. Took us from London (Dover) over the North Sea (MUCH smoother than an earlier crossing of the North Sea back in July 2009 that did most of us in), to Scotland, Shetland Islands, Norway, Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales and back to Dover.

Way overdue with posts & photos about the trip, but thought I'd put up this slideshow for now...

Hope to get back to this part of the world someday. So much to see and do!