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Bert’s Beauty Shots: Explosions of Color

If ever offered the opportunity to spend a summer criss-crossing the quaint coastal towns of Southeast Alaska, take it. But be forewarned, your senses will be overwhelmed by the beauty of blooming flowers, disturbingly enormous foliage in the temperate rain forest, wild animals in the flesh, and the aroma of honeysuckle in the air. The phrase “Heaven on Earth” will have true meaning. The Alaska landscape comes alive in May when the snow high on the mountaintops begins to melt.

The snow transforms into majestic waterfalls that make their way to the valleys below to nourish the ground where the flowers lay still in slumber patiently waiting to be awakened. Like Sleeping Beauty the earth craves that first kiss of the sun’s rays to welcome the endless days of summer.

In June and July, there is a true explosion of colors as the flowers are blooming; vibrant as the flowers itself are the insects that are using the flowers to pollinate. In particular the daisy, livingston, fireweed, padulosum and the ‘Blue Bedder’ are perfect targets because of their vibrant colors.

For these kind of photos, you need a good macro lens. Forget bringing a tripod. Insects are moving so fast that a tripod is no longer considered a handy tool, but more a stand-in-the-way. Good cameras and lenses are provided with an amazing way to get clear images when shooting handheld.

Image stabilizer (IS) for Canon or Vibration Reduction (VR) from Nikon are the way to go IS and VR use motion sensors to detect motion before, and then during the exposure of the photograph. They then use various devices to shift the optical image (or move the image sensor) to counteract this motion. They ensure the image stays more stable during exposure.

Bert van Mackelenbergh, Statendam’s hotel manager, wrote this post with Assistant Shore Excursion Manger Jenn.

  • Denise P

    Are the pink flowers shown Fireweed? I ask this because when we disembarked in Seattle from a cruise on the Westerdam May 2009 we went to Pikes Place market before flying home to the UK. Whilst there we bought a pot of Fireweed Honey (our luggage allowance meant we could only bring one small pot home). It was absolutely delicious but sadly all gone now. I tried to find out what Fireweed looked like but no success. I don’t think we have it in the UK. Hope someone can help please. Many thanks

  • Suzanne

    Georgus images, I am a photographer as well, and these images have convinced me of two things…firstly, to finally get that macro lens, secondly to serious start looking at booking and planning an Alaska cruise…nice work here..

  • Julie

    Yes, Denise, the pink flowers are fireweed, also known as Epilobium augustifolium. Bert sent me a message to confirm.

  • Denise P

    Many thanks for the information Julie. I Googled Fireweed and no it doesn’t grow in the UK, so no more of that honey until we get back to the US. Good excuse for another cruise (as if we needed one).

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