2018 visit to Canada and Alaska

Another long trip. Again visiting family and seeing sights. This time driving was kept to a minimum (Jasper to Banff, Toronto to Quebec, and a bit around Moncton). We did have a plane flight from Vancouver to Anchorage but other than that we were 3 days on Rocky Mountaineer (Vancouver to Jasper via Whistler and Quesnel), 3 nights on Via Rail from Jasper to Toronto, and a further one night Via Rail from Quebec to Halifax via Moncton.

All colour images on this page were shot on a Nikon Digital SLR D5300. I have two Tamron lenses for this camera, one is 16 to 300mm telephoto and the other is 150 to 600mm. Most of the images have been taken of fully automatic exposure settings but for some of the wildlife photos I did manipulate the ISO settings.

  • On arriving on 28th July in Vancouver we were taken up to Burnaby Mountain and this view is from the Centennial Rose Garden looking out towards Port Moody (ish). We had arrived in fire season so there was amount of haze due to forest fires. This is a subject I will return to later.
    This image was exposed at ISO 200 for 1/320 sec with a focal length of 50mm.
  • On the 29th August we flew from Vancouver to Anchorage arriving late afternoon. We had hoped to catch a bit of time in Anchorage and had a little walk around the weekend market. For a variety of reasons we saw little else of the town. However late at night (somewhere around 11pm to 11:30pm) I saw this scene from the hotel window. It was worth a pop. The image was taken through glass so there may be some reflection but overall the ability to take this photo at this time of night unaided is remarkable.
    It may surprise some to note that this image was takan with an ISO of 200 for 1/1000 sec with a 250mm focal length.
  • On July 31st we were on a visit into the Denali National Park. The day was fine and sunny. We were lucky, we were able to see Mount McKinley (Mount Denali) in clear sunshine. A day earlier or a day later and we would not have seen the top of the mountain. So make the most of this image.
    Exposed at ISO rating of 500 for 1/800 sec and a focal length of 44mm
  • The 2nd August saw us on the train from Anchorage to Seward to catch the cruise terminal and our cruise to the Alaskan fjords. The clear weather of the previous days had disappeared however that did offer some images of a different type. This one of a glacier close to the railway I find quite interesting. The appearance of what could be taken for a road of some sort, the curvature of the glacier, the trees in the foreground. Taken through the window of a moving train, I don’t think it turned out too badly.
    Exposed at an ISO rating of 450 for 1/1000 sec and a focal length of 140mm.
  • The 3rd August saw us on a day at sea along the Alaskan coast. Not a good day, I had suffered a problem with my foot and not being able to get Voltarol gel without prescription in the US I was laid up and did not move from the cabin. There was a heavy sea and progress was slow. I suffered an unusual bout of Mal de Mer and was generally feeling sorry for myself. However as night drew in some interesting coastline appeared. I can assure all doubters that this photo has not been photo edited, the colours are recorded as they appeared to the unfiltered camera.
    Exposed at an ISO rating of 1600 for 1/10 sec and focal length of 44mm.
  • Three for the price of one. The 4th August found us in Juneau where we partook of some whale watching, a walk to the base of a glacier (I skipped this bit due to foot problems) and a while at a salmon spot.

    On the left is the picture of a humpback whale diving. The next shot of this animal did show the flukes but is not such an interesting image as this one. Exposed at ISO of 2000 for 1/2000 sec at 150mm focal length.
    In the middle a picture of some sockeye salmon spawning in the river. Fascinating to watch and this image made me realise I really do need to get a polarising filter for this camera. You can see the reflection from the surface of the water which was maybe 6 to 9 inches deep at this point. Exposed at 2000 ISO for 1/100 sec with 110mm focal length.
    Finally the image on the right you should be able to identify as a black bear. This is mum. She sent the cub up a nearby tree and went fishing. She splashed around making herself obvious to the salmon who maintained a low profile. They are not daft. I took several pictures but this is the best of the lot. Exposed at ISO 1800 for 1/125 sec and focal length of 135mm.

  • 5th August saw us in and around Skagway. These two pictures are shown together to indicate how quickly the weather and scenery can change in this area. The pictures were taken 1 minute and 13 seconds apart. Other than this the scenes are pretty much the same. Exposure details do differ a little. The image on the left is exposed at 200 ISO for 1/800 sec with focal length of 86mm. The one on the right is again ISO 200 for 1/800 sec but the focal length here is 135mm.
  • In the afternoon of the 5th we went rafting on the Chilkat River. Madness must have taken hold! The next two images are taken from a moving raft on a fast flowing river – it is a surprise they were taken at all. On the left just some of the scenery. Exposed at ISO 200 for 1/400 sec with focal length 22mm. The image on the right is of a prima donna bald eagle. I took about 10 shots of this bird and in this one he seems to looking at us. Exposed at ISO 400 for 1/2000 sec with focal length 300mm.
  • The site of the signing of the sale of Alaska to the United States. This is where we were on the 6th August. The cathedral (St Michael’s Cathedral is an Orthodox Church and shows the Russian influence in style. There was not a single plane of the church which did not have scaffolding of some sort against it. I am not against maintenance but it does not lead to iconic photography. The leftmost image is the side with the least scaffolding. Exposed at ISO 200 for 1/500 sec at focal length 16mm. On the right a picture of the tower only. Exposed at ISO 200 for 1/400 sec with focal length 22mm.
    I do have a black and white of this church which might find its way onto this page.
  • In the afternoon of the 6th we were once again on water. Chasing after sea life. The two images presented are montages of sea life. On the left a number of humpback whales diving for food. These would dive and reappear about 7 minutes later. OK, I know you can only see the tail flukes but they were complete whales. On the right a montage of some sea otters. I could name each corner from top left “Do not disturb”, “Who are you looking at”, “Speeding”, “Just relaxin'”. Quoting exposure settings for these would not be useful.
  • By now the days were streaming into each other and time lost its effect, however this was on 7th August. We were in Ketchikan. The morning had no time limits so we wondered around and found Creek Street. The infamous Creek Street. Infamous for what? Look up Dolly’s House Ketchikan in Google. I have included a couple of shots along Creek Street. View 1 exposed at ISO 1600 for 1/1000 sec and focal length 44mm. View 2 upstream along the creek. Exposed at 100 ISO 1/10 sec at 44mm focal length.
  • Afternoon of the 7th took us to the Ketchikan Bald Eagle Preserve and guess what I have some photos of Bald Eagles. On the left a montage of eagles soaring in the air. On the right some grounded Eagles (or at least one of them is, the other is up a tree). No exposure setting for these as it would be meaningless.
  • The 8th August we were all at sea (or at least that is what the brochure said). In fact during the daylight we were travelling along the Georgia Strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. On the left is a shot of the mainland. The low bank of cloud was with us almost down as far as Vancouver itself. Exposed at ISO 1600 for 1/4000 sec with focal length 210mm. On the way down the strait we found a pod of Orcas. The image is in fact a montage of one group of the pod. I created the montage to show the spume of a whale exhaling (left half of image) and to show that this was a family group. On the right the young whale can be seen behind a parent. the originals for this montage both had the same exposure settings: ISO 1600 for 1/4000 sec with focal length of 300mm.