Best of 2012

The best of 2012? well I am not sure about the best, but the best for me is not loads of likes or shares on Facebook, or on various other social media websites, but the ones that mean the most to me for what ever reason that maybe.

Below is a selection of that. I hope you enjoy the photos. To view the photos in large just click on it. Atacames

The coast of Ecuador is long and there are plenty of places to spend a few days relaxing on the beach but the local Quiteños favourite beach is probably Atacames. A long walk along the beach before I was able to get this photo one of my favourites. Such a stunning sunset. You might ask where are all people, well there are some times of the year and certain days when the beach is less populated, not empty but at less poeple at least and thats the times we like to visit.

The llama and the railroad

The Boliche National Park on the road from Quito to Latacunga is a great place for am overnight stay, bbq or simply a walk in the woods. It has a wide area covered with pines introduced many years ago. The newly recovered train travels along the Panamerican Highway and there is a station at the Boliche NP. The park is adjacent to the Cotopaxi NP although there is no joining route. There are various families of alpacas living freely here and this one decided he/wanted to view the train.

Tiara

Oh this was a fun shoot, we were asked to visit a ranch in Morona Santiago province as they have just had a notable birth: the first jaguar born in captivity in Ecuador, her name is Tiara. We had the best time and she is the cutest little jaguar I have ever meet, no I have not met many jaguars at all, so I am a little biased.

Orange

My hubby is one of my best models and a most patient one at that, I was sitting at my desk and he was eating an orange, the light was coming through the window and it was beautiful, I wouldn´t allow him to eat the segment of orange until I was happy with the photo.

Screech

I took this on a trip to Otavalo, there is a superb bird park close by, where the photography is excellent and you can get some great close ups, this is my favourite of the lot. I wonder if  I am being yelled at to stop taking photos or  to attract my attention to take more. Anyhow it was a great day to remember.

Atillo

Ah what a beautiful sight, this is the Atillo Lake on the highest part of the journey from Riobamba to Macas, what a stunning journey, with a newly paved road (ok the last or the first 30 kms are still to be finished) and there is some of the best views of the páramo to be seen in the whole of Ecuador. Just remember to wrap up warm as it is a bit chilly up there.

Fox

Wildlife in Ecuador is plentiful, this fox was taken a high altitude on the Chimborazo Volcano, and allowed us to get close, well sort of close, at least close enough to get some beautiful photos, and he/she was quite unfazed by our presence, well, I imagine there are plenty of hikers so it must be used to it.

Climbing the Chimborazo

Just a photo of the Chimborazo snow, each year there is less and less snow, but it is still one of the best places to reach it. I would imagine that the person in the photo is going for the summit, I wonder it he made it.

Pain

Ecuador is a religous country, although not as much as it used to be, but still, each year there is a parade in Quito, (the capital) to walk through the streets with no shoes, carrying crosses,  even with barbed wire attached to the body. For most it can be barbaric but for these people it is a way to pay for their sins. You can even see children alongside the adults. The walk is quite long, and with the added extra of discomfort it is not something I will be doing in the near future or the far future. These are the things that make Ecuador the country it is.

Ecuadorian Railways

One of the many achievements of the President Correa is to rebuild the railroad, a huge undertaking, but after a couple of years there is now 500kms from north to south and they all have some stunning views. They are restoring a couple of the old steam engines with plans to restore around 5 more in the near future. How cool is that. One of the hardest routes to build was the Nariz del Diablo from Alausi to Sibambi an unique zig-zag route built over 100 years ago to join the highlands with the coast.

Tungurahua

One of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador, the Tungurahua Volcano, at 5,023 masl it is very active, and offers a quite a spectacle. As it is over 2 hours drive from us we don´t often rush there when it is active, but on this occasion we happen to be staying at friends and managed to get these stunning photos in the early hours of the morning.  Not long after we had taken these the cloud covered the crater and that was the end of the photos.

Paramo

One of the many views of the highlands in Ecuador,  wet is not so frequent but it does happen, any trip to the highlands require adecuate clothing as it is cold, very cold, and these local people live from the land and their animals and it make you glad of what you have. Taken from the warmth of the car as we drove along. Even though it is cold the highlands have some of the stunning views any country can offer and are well worth a visit, even better if you can get off of the beaten track as we like to do frequently.

Orchid

Ecuador is a delight for orchid lovers. The Orchid is a flower so beautiful and varied that it is renowned and treasured across the globe. Ecuador is generally considered to have the highest biodiversity of plant and animal species in the world and about 4000 species of orchid have been found here.  Thanks  for the quote Robin

This photo was taken handheld with extension tubes, with very good light I was able to get this photo, one of my overall favourites.  Taken at the Hosteria Las Orquideas  where they have a small but well stocked garden. Waterfall

This is the Agoyan Waterfall very close to the Agoyan Dam 7 kms from Baños de Agua Santa, Tunguahua province, many water photos are taken with slow shutter speed to show the dreamy water, but I decided to take this photo on a fast shutter speed to show the force of the water, it is impressive. The waterfall is at the beginning of the Route of the Waterfalls with takes you around 30kms towards Puyo, the capital of the Pastaza province. It is one of many waterfalls along with many places to enjoy adrenaline adventures like canyoning, white water rafting, cable cars crossing the river and many other activities.

Vicuñas

The vicuñas are of the same family as the llama & alpaca, but smaller and more delicate producing a fine wool that is made into jumpers, scarfs, gloves, etc, and costs a pretty penny also.  The vicuñas have been introduced to Ecuador. (they are native to Peru) and these live on the Nature Reserve of Chimborazo They live at around  an altitude of 3,200 to 4,800 metres. They are a little skittish but this group was taken from the car window with a long lens (It was too cold to get out of the car).

Arch

Ambato has a wonderful history and this arch is part of the Juan Leon Mera´s Quinta located in the city. It is part of the botanical gardens and only cost .50 cents to enter so it is also a cheap day out for the family.

On the Farm

A day on the Farm, in Ecuador there are still plenty of people living from the land, we get to see this loads of times on our travels, the above photo for the bright colours and representation of people living in the highlands of Ecuador.

White DaisyA simple white daisy, taken with studio lights, close up lens and loads of patience. converted to Black and White. If you can view this is large you can appreciate the detail on the delicate petals.

Volcano

This is the crater of the Pululahua Volcano, to the north of Quito taken as sunrise, this is the only inhabited volcano crater in Ecuador (I think, please don´t quote me on this though) it is a dormant volcano and there is some interesting history here and here.  It is pretty amazing to look down on a volcano crater.
(I have no connection the the hostel in the link, I just though they had the best info on the website.)

Solitario George – Lonesome George – Santa Cruz – Galapagos – Ecuador

Haber conocido al Solitario George, haber podido tomarle unas fotos, saber que fue el último de una subespecie de las tortugas gigantes de las Islas Galápagos, en definitiva haber asistido a la desaparición del último individuo de su familia, tener la conciencia que nunca más caminarán sobre Las Galápagos en completa libertad los ?Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni, me deja una sensación de vacío e impotencia, aunque ninguno de nosotros seamos directamente responsables, sí lo somos como especie. Ojalá nuestra conciencia colectiva entienda la responsabilidad histórica de nuestra generación, un solo individuo no hace el cambio que nos afecta a todos pero sí puede provocarlo, aprendamos a entender que todos somos parte del cosmos y todo lo que hacemos afecta a otros, conocerte fue un privilegio, adiós George.

Having met Lonesome George, and being able take some pictures, knowing that was the last of a subspecies of giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands, ultimately attending the disappearance of the last member of his family, knowing that they will never walk on the Galapagos at liberty those  Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni ? leaves me feeling empty and powerless, though none of us are directly responsible, yes we are as a species. May our collective consciousness to understand the historical responsibility of our generation, a single individual does not change that affects us all but it can provoke, learn to understand that we are all part of the cosmos and everything we do affects others, was to meet privilege, bye George.

Brief History of Photography

My three-year old niece enjoyed playing in the park, the light was great and her mother did not hesitate to take some pictures with her cell phone, chose some and shared on her Facebook, 150 km. away.  I could take a few minutes to see her grow, almost in real-time. It was not always so. The first of my nieces, now a mother, when she wants to see her childhood photos she must go to the old family albums, preserved with care and with the photographs losing colour over the years.

The word “photography” comes from the Greek photo (light) and graph (writing). We may conclude that photography is writing LIGHT.
A more precise definition is: Photography is the science and art of capturing images using various techniques LIGHT SENSITIVE AND PRESERVATION IN VARIOUS MATERIALS OR ELECTRONICALLY.

For thousands of years humans tried to capture images that remain in time as a need for assistance to the collective memory. In 1839, with the worldwide dissemination of the first photographic process, the daguerreotype begins the history of photography.

An important background of the photograph, are the camera obscura and research on the blackening of silver salts. Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) (965-1040) conducted several experiments on the camera obscura and pinhole camera.

In 1685 according to treaties published by Zahn, the camera was ready for photography, but still could not fix images. If a box will allow the passage of external light only through a small hole in the center of one wall, the external image is projected upside down on the wall opposite the hole.

In 1826, the French scientist Nicephore Niepce obtained the first photographic images, unpublished, that could not be permanently fixed. Some materials are more sensitive to light than others, we can notice when for example some objects have been left for some time
on metal or paper and on removal the silhouette remains with a different color tone.

The oldest photograph that remains is a reproduction of the image known as  The View from the Window at Le Gras, obtained in 1826 with the use of a camera obscura and supports through a chemical emulsion of silver salts.

In 1839, Louis Daguerre made ​​public its process for obtaining photographs onto a polished silver surface, which he called daguerreotype. This solved some technical problems of the initial Niepce and reduced exposure times required. Almost at the same time Hercules Florence, Hippoly the Bayard and William Fox Talbot developed alternative methods. The one created   by Fox Talbot by negative on a paper, and from these negatives reproduced positive prints, also on paper. The negative-positive process called calotype of Talbot.

In 1855 the wet collodion negative triumphed, which allowed many paper copies positive to albumin, with great clarity and tonal range. These copies of albumin were the type most commonly used photo paper in the second half of the nineteenth century. All these systems were very traditional.

The first color photograph was taken by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1861, making three successive photographs with a different filter each time: red, green and blue.

After 1880 it was possible to purchase the new plates to dry gelatin-bromide, which were no longer craft, but were manufactured industrially.
In 1880 the technique of halftone printing was invented, which is the predecessor of the current offset and color photography process.

In 1888, Kodak brought to market a camera that used roll of film, rather than flat plates.
The first true color photographic plate chrome-Auto-Lumière did not arrive on the market until 1907. These plates were chrome auto glass slides.

In 1913 comes the first Leica and  in 1936 the first 35 mm SLR., The Kine-Exacta.
The first modern color film, Koda Chrome was first used in 1935.

Pictorialism
The first initiative of artistic photography comes in 1890 in Europe. A group of photographers make manipulation techniques in making and positivism, and suggests that resulting from its use is a work of photographic art.

1950 a new industrial processes make it possible to increase greatly the speed and light sensitivity of films in color and black and white. The latter rate was increased from a maximum of ISO 100 to ISO 5000, while the color is multiplied by ten.


1960  the first VTR (Video Tape Recorder, that in 1951  were already able to capture TV images, turning them into an electrical signal and store them on magnetic media) are used by NASA to capture the first electronic pictures of Mars.

The appearance of the first digital camera in 1990 is the basis for the immediate creation of images.
Since its invention, photography credibility as a witness had full unquestionable reality due to the operation of the capture device. Subsequently, the means of recording reality has been considered an ideological position, which has nothing to do with the neutral and objective function.
New digital technologies have the ability to convert the real and intervene on the record of the image, to the extent to manipulate and distort images without losing the photographic realism with which they were captured.
From the daguerreotype in 1839 to the digital camera in 1990, evolution of photography has changed the way we communicate, it is notable also that the definition photography won as lost credibility, but never ceases to amaze us as technique  or art it affects us emotionally and awakens our memories and feelings.

It is quite true that a simple picture is worth a thousand words.