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

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Saturna Island aerial photographs

Spring flying in the Canadian Gulf Islands is always a visual feast with the lush greens of new growth and the generally clear waters. I took the opportunity to photograph a number of new areas as well as update some of the islands I haven’t visited for a few years. The first update is aerial photos of Saturna Island, specifically Narvaez Bay, East Point and the Winter Cove area. The full gallery of images is located at Saturna Island Aerial Photographs. As always, if you don’t find what you are looking for please contact us.

 

East Point Light station with Tumbo Island in the background, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada, Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada.

East Point Light station with Tumbo Island in the background, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada, Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Boat Passage, Winter Cove, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada, Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Boat Passage, Winter Cove, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada, Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada.

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Walks with Hawks: a piece of nature in Cheltenham

Birds are among the most difficult creatures to take pictures of. Not only do they hang out at really high places but they immediately flee when they sense humans are nearby.

Thankfully, there’s a place in Cheltenham that offers educational birds tours. “Walks with Hawks” is a Cheltenham-based haven for nature lovers that allows guests to interact with some of the most amazing birds of prey. Cameras are allowed inside the premises so photographers can take lots of great pictures to their heart’s content.
Lulu-the-Bengal-eagle-owl-Walks-With-Hawks-England
Within the location, guests can encounter not only hawks but owls as well. The management allows guests to handle and fly the birds so people can take close up shots of the majestic creatures. The place is located in a stunning rural setting but the management can take the birds to a different location upon the request of guests. This setup is perfect for photographers who want to take pictures of the birds using a different backdrop.

Cheltenham is widely known for its horse racing festival, with hundreds of thousands of people going to the town annually just to attend races like, The Gold Cup. However, thanks to tours like Walks with Hawks and the city’s many punting tours, the city gets recognition for more than just the aforementioned Gold Cup. If you want stunning pictures of two of the most amazing birds of prey, you should definitely visit Walks with Hawks.

walks-with-hawksThere are three types of tours that you can get here: The Hunting Trip, Hawk Walks, and Owl Encounters.

The Hunting Trip allows guests to experience watching bird predators feed. This isn’t some sort of a sick tour where guests applaud whenever an animal gets devoured. The tour’s intention is to show guests what nature has intended for these birds of prey to do. If you want to capture images of birds showing off their remarkable hunting abilities, this tour is for you.

Walk with Hawks, on the other hand, is an introduction to the Ancient Art of Falconry. The hawks in the field will soar over the guests as they walk through the countryside. Whenever a guest’s hand is raised, a hawk will glide and land exactly on his or her arm. This tour is the best way for photographers to capture photos of hawks at a close range.

walks-with-hawks-2Owl Encounters is a tour for those who want to fly different types of owls and learn about their behavior and habitat. They’re truly majestic features that love the camera so much they don’t move when they’re photos are being taken.

If you want to visit Walk with Hawks, you can make a reservation here.

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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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