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ExpeditionPhotographyScienceTravel

Adventure Science – Musandam Peninsula, Oman

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I had the pleasure of accompanying a group to the Musandam Peninsula of Oman in late April to help document a 55km traverse of this unique and remote terrain jutting into the Straight of Hormuz.

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The project’s goal was to find, GPS mark and document the long-abandoned villages and settlements present in this inhospitable area. The stone buildings in various states of disrepair, the pottery (intact and in fragments), the open dusty fields once used for growing crops, numerous cisterns and cemeteries provide a glimpse of the life that occurred in these remote villages.

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The local population has long retreated to small coastal towns and to seasonal fishing camps.

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An interesting contrast now exists between the activity on the water (fishing boats, snorkeling tours, huge oil tankers and the modern ferry direct to Muscat) and the history in these mountains.

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We visited one such camp where the men graciously shared their supply of fresh water and a much-appreciated meal of rice, dates and recently caught tuna.

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Many individuals we spoke with are aware that village ruins exist up in the mountains but most cannot say where. Even the Omani government hasn’t properly documented the location of many of the sites we visited.  Along with our main goal of cataloging the various archaeological sites, we had a secondary objective to record any signs of the endangered Arabian Leopard.

For more information on the expedition and the individuals involved, please see the Adventure Science project page.

A huge thank you to our amazing expedition sponsors: Farm to Feet, Merrell, Stoked Oats & Canadian Satellite.

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AdventurePaddlingPhotographySUP

Boundless

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On a late summer assignment, I had the opportunity to accompany the Boundless television crew while they filmed part of an episode. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the show, it follows two adventure junkies Simon Donato & Paul Trebilcock (aka Turbo) on their endurance quests around the globe. Together they have competed in desert ultra marathons, expedition biking events, triathlons, an adventure race and stand up paddleboarding competitions. This particular challenge would see them and their friend Nick Falbo cross Lake Ontario on stand paddle boards or “SUP”, as the sporting activity is often referred to as. Starting at a marina in Niagara-on-the-Lake and finishing at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the group attempted to complete the full 50 km in one go. The footage captured by the crew was included in a recent episode of television show and the crossing was also in benefit of the Toronto Humane Society. This expedition must have been great conditioning since the duo went on to tackle an 11-day SUP competition in Holland.

The paddle provided plenty of action to shoot and it presented some interesting behind the scenes moments to capture. All-and-all, it was a great day on the water.

FeaturePhotographyTravel

The Wide View

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Sure a panorama setting on a prosumer or professional camera can be viewed as a gimmick but I couldn’t help but try it out. I have to admit, I’m impressed with Fuji’s implementation on the X-T1 after evaluating the feature while traveling in Europe and Ecuador this past year. I even attempted to recreate the in-camera magic by combining 3 panned photos, taken on my D800E, in Photoshop CS6 using the Photomerge feature. Unfortunately for the purist deep inside me, I found the method implemented by Fuji to be much quicker by comparison and still very accurate.

Here are a few examples taken with the Fuji X-T1: followed by an image produced by combining 3 photos taken with the D800E Photoshop’s Photomerge feature:

Lisbon’s Baixa, Chiado & Bairro Alto districts – Taken from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.
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Alfama district – Taken from the Largo das Portas do Sol.
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Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve, Ecuador
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…And this last image composed of three photos, taken on the D800E, combined using Photoshop CS6’s “Photomerge” feature:

Beach Resort in Mompiche, Ecuador
Finish Pano

FilmPhotography

Queue the Comeback!!

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I’ve been rediscovering my photo roots with my Hasselblad 500c & expired but refrigerated Fuji Provia 100F recently. Slowing down and anticipating photos is a great change of pace. The 6×6 format also provides a creative challenge which I thoroughly enjoy. I took it with me on an assignment in Ecuador this past November but haven’t developed the film yet – E6 processing in the Toronto area is very limited – but I’ll post some of that content soon. For now, here are a few shots taken during a warm September cottage weekend in Muskoka.

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…And here is the actual Hasselblad setup I used to capture these photos:

• BODY – A Hasselblad 500c made in 1972 (Internally it’s a 500cm labeled as a 500c – The new CM model was released that year but a few C’s (like mine) did not receive the new labeling.
• LENS – Hasselblad CF 80mm T* with CF Quick Focus Handle 1 #40735/51700 and lens hood
• FILM BACKS – Two A12 film backs
• FILM – Fujifilm Provia 100f & 400 (Expired but refrigerated)
• Gossen Digisix Light Meter

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EquipmentGearPhotography

In the water with Fuji

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During an adventure race last fall, the Wilderness Traverse, I decided to try some in-water shots with my Fuji X-T1 to accentuate the paddling action during the canoeing section. I had experimented with a Dicapac WP-H10 waterproof bag with my Panasonic GH1 so I thought I’d try it out with my Fuji X-T1 and lens. The Fuji 27mm f2.8 pancake lens was the only one in my possession that fit perfectly and the photos below illustrate what I managed to capture with this combination. A wide angle would have been ideal but Fuji doesn’t produce one small enough to fit this particular bag. I’ll be experimenting with the Dicapac WP-S3 with either the Fuji 14mm f2.8 or 18mm f2 lens next.

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