The Dawn on the Amazon Photo Album at Flickr

by Captain Bill

The Dawn on the Amazon Photo Album at Flickr

I have created an online photo album of 300 photos, culled from thousands, of my boats and the upper Amazon rainforest of Peru. If you are interested enough to have come to my Captain’s Blog, I think you will enjoy visiting the link below. The photos there tell part of my story. You can see them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dawnontheamazon/.

Baby Pygmy Marmoset, the smallest monkeyWhat I am most proud of about the photo album is it shows I have experienced a lot these last two years. Sometimes it seems I spend all of my time at the computer.

The first camera I owned was a Canon SLR 35 mm with the standard 50 mm lens. I bought it used from a fellow Marine whose tour of duty in Vietnam was ending. My tour was not ending any time soon. I carried that heavy camera around through two monsoons and the 1967-68 Tet offensive. A lot happened. Few cameras ever got wetter, muddier, or banged around more than that Canon. As my tour of duty wound down, I gave it to another Marine. The few rolls of film that survived amazed me.

Stateside, I remembered how that Canon survived the monsoons and the war, and it never entered my mind to get anything but another Canon. The second Canon still worked 20 years later. I switched to one of the first Canon Elphs to travel light through Mexico, island hop the South Pacific, backpack central Africa, go down under, and on my first visit to the Amazon Jungle. The photos I took of the Mayan ruins at Palenque and Uxmal, the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, and when I was too close to the mountain gorillas in Uganda, are great, but the Elph could not reach out and capture the leopard up the tree with the antelope carcass, the cheetah cubs nursing, or the flock of macaws squawking overhead.

For three years I over-obsessed on shooting video with a couple of Sony camcorders. My buddy Mark and I adventured the Amazon watershed and rainforest ruining more video than most people ever shot. I eventually distilled over 60 hours of tape into three, one-hour DVDs. They would have been better as two. A single one hour DVD would have been even better. If it is hand held, zoomed, or shot from a boat or while walking, edit it out, and edit out most everything else. My rule of thumb for every one hour of unedited video is to keep three minutes to show your family, two minutes to show your best friends, and one minute of high quality video to be proud of.

When I started a web site, http://www.dawnontheamazon.com/, I reconfirmed what I already knew, that still images taken from video are not high enough quality. I needed to get back to high resolution photography. My first digital still camera was a Nikon D-70. I was never happy with the results, and it self-destructed on the 367th day. Now I have come full circle back to a Canon 30-D and a digital Elph. I am enjoying photography again.

The Dawn on the Amazon Photo Album at Flickr

Bill Grimes, Welcome to Iquitos Peru, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises

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