Kevin Oke Photography
Kevin Oke Photography
Kevin Oke Photography
Kevin Oke Photography
Kevin Oke Photography

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New photos of the Amazon basin

One of the joys of photo editing is reliving adventures after the photography is done. I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days editing images that I shot last year while we were staying at La Selva Jungle Eco Lodge on the Rio Napo in Ecuador. What an amazing place that I’m sure I’ll return to.

The Amazon was everything I expected with dramatic lighting, very cool bugs and critters and an amazing variety of vegetation. The sound was incredible as well, something that still photographs can’t do justice to. Perhaps I’ll shoot some video on the next trip.

Something I did find a little disturbing (and I think most people as well) is the amount of oil exploration happening right next to the park areas. On the river most of the boat traffic was catering to the exploration while it wasn’t uncommon to hear helicopters drowning out what was once a very noisy but quiet place.

The selection of Amazon images is located on my new stock photography site at Ecuadorian Amazon

Oil exploration barge carrying a gas tanker truck, Rio Napo, Orellana, Ecuador

Oil exploration barge carrying a gas tanker truck, Rio Napo, Orellana, Ecuador

Kichwa women cooking over an open fire, community of Sani Isla in the Ecuadorean Amazon

Kichwa women cooking over an open fire, community of Sani Isla in the Ecuadorean Amazon

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin) on a branch over Lake Garzacocha, La Selva Jungle Eco Lodge, Amazon Basin, Ecuador

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin) on a branch over Lake Garzacocha, La Selva Jungle Eco Lodge, Amazon Basin, Ecuador

Canoeing on Lake Garzacocha, Black and White, La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, Orellana, Ecuador

Canoeing on Lake Garzacocha, Black and White, La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, Orellana, Ecuador

Jungle insect, La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, Orellana, Ecuador

Jungle insect, La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, Orellana, Ecuador

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There’s more to Jasper than a dark sky

I’m presently in Jasper, Alberta attending the Jasper Dark Sky Festival. For those that don’t know what his festival is all about, here’s a briefing.

Jasper is located in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies. What this means is that it’s dark unlike our modern cities with way too much light pollution. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada officially designated Jasper National Park a Dark Sky Preserve in 2011 and since then a festival has been held every year to celebrate and educate around this special area.

Solar eclipse in Jasper, Alberta 23 October, 2014

Solar eclipse in Jasper, Alberta 23 October, 2014

This year Col Chris Hadfield our hugely popular Canadian astronaut is making a wildly popular appearance, a night photographer from Banff, Paul Zizka is doing workshops and numerous astronomers form the Royal Astronomical Society are giving talks as well as Cree native storyteller, Wilfred Buck. All in all great fun and a fantastic learning experience. Excellent food is served up in the evenings as well but that’s another story.

But there’s more to Jasper than dark skies and that’s what this short post is about. Jasper is a stunning area and many of us are trying to squeeze as much as possible into our festival experiences.

On Thursday we had a rare solar eclipse and the Royal Astronomical Society crew had numerous telescopes set up for our viewing pleasure. Being set up on the school grounds was a real plus as many of the children came out to view the phenomenon, something they will remember for years. The kids sure looked good with the ultra cool sunglasses on that are used for looking at the sun. The sun was ultra cool looking as the photo shows, the sun spot visible the largest in over 2 decades.

Medicine Lake, Jasper, Alberta

Medicine Lake, Jasper, Alberta

A happy moose cow

A happy moose cow


SunDog
the local bus and tour company took us out today for a wildlife and scenery tour of the Maligne Lake area. We certainly were not disappointed with our cool guide Brian Nesbbit having arranged for numerous moose and elk to make appearances. Wolves and grizzlies were a no show however, maybe next time. The lighting on the drive up was fantastic and new snow from the night before added a beautiful touch to the scenes.

The Jasper Brewing Company has been serving up excellent food and of course…. beer. Actually quite good beer. Overall not a bad day in the Canadian Rockies and the sky hasn’t even darkened yet.

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If God meant for us to have fiberglass boats he would have planted fiberglass trees

If God meant for us to have fiberglass boats he would have planted fiberglass trees

If God meant for us to have fiberglass boats he would have planted fiberglass trees

I’ve spent the past few hours digging through the archives of a long neglected collection of photographs, the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival 2010. This festival happened almost 4 years ago, this years festival is next weekend.

As a wooden boat owner I got a kick out of this sign.

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Islands Folk Festival, 30 Years

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Islands Folk Festival at Providence Farm, Duncan, British Columbia. I may be a little biased here but after being at the past 9 festivals I will say that the Islands Folk Festival is likely the best of the smaller festivals in Western Canada. How does that sound?

Spirit of the West performing at the 30th Annual Islands Folk Festival

Spirit of the West performing at the 30th Annual Islands Folk Festival


I photographed the festival again, 5,000+ images in 3 days of music, good food, a few beers and a lack of any really decent sleep. A new challenge this year was LED lighting on the main stage. I’m not sure if I really like the look, it seems very harsh and the out of focus lights don’t have a nice wrap around feel. As well, the lights were messing with the Nikon D800 sensor with underexposure of often 1.7 required to keep the coloured highlights from blowing out although this is true of the normal lighting as well, especially with reds and yellows.

I’ll post more as I sort through them, here’s a sampling:

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Carrie Furnaces in Black and White, Rankin, Pennsylvania

The Carrie Furnaces were built in 1884 and operated until 1982 as pat of the Homestead Steel Works. Located in the town of Rankin, Pennsylvania, these derelict blast furnace are one of those run down areas that any visitor to the Pittsburgh area with an interest in history should visit. During the peak production period, the Carrie site produced 1000 to 1250 tons of iron per day. All that remains today are furnaces #6 and #7, which operated from 1907 – 1978 and the hot metal bridge used to transport the molten iron across the Monongahela River.

Blast furnace, Carrie Furnaces, Rankin, Pennsylvania

Blast furnace, Carrie Furnaces, Rankin, Pennsylvania

In recent years the Carrie Furnaces have served as a grand canvas for graffiti, starred in numerous videos, hosted musical performances and of course have become an exciting subject for photographers. The property is presently under the control of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area who are campaigning to create the Homestead Works National Park.

This type of subject is well suited to black and white photography although the colours of the dilapidated buildings and the contents are beautifully mellowed and look great as well. Here are some Carrie Furnace B&W images, I’ll post some colour images a little later.

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