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Using Burst Mode to Recreate the Motion

Jeff Smallwood

On a trip last November I took several burst series of photos as the ocean waves crashed on the cliffs in the Bahamas. The photos were all taken around midnight and used the full moon for illumination. I decided to use burst mode for the same reason I usually use it…I was trying to perfectly time a huge splash and was looking for a single shot. I recently went back to that series of photos and decided to try something different. I wanted to see if I could put the shots together and recreate the motion of the scene.

Read about the process I used and view the final results here.


New York City on 10 Miles a Day

Jeff Smallwood

As someone who’s first and favorite photographic subject is the natural world, I absolutely love living in the Southern Maryland area and being especially close to the Chesapeake Bay. However, I’ve been pushing myself to find opportunities to expand into other subjects and city, street, and urban photography are top on my list. I recently had an opportunity to put it to practice on a 3 day trip to New York City. My wife and I covered over 30 miles on foot through Manhattan and the Bronx and I blogged about the results of day one. It was a very rewarding trip. Read the article here.


Seascapes Under The Full Moon

Jeff Smallwood

The rise of the “supermoon” in May seemed to have generated an increase in awareness of when and where full moon will be. I was lucky enough to be in a tropical location for the arrival of the supermoon and shot more seascapes under the light of night. With our club having such close access to the Chesapeake Bay, rivers, and other water areas, I wanted to share some photos and a few tips and techniques for getting the most out of what the full moon has to offer.

Read the blog entry.


On the Rio Negro and the Amazon

Teddie Watts

The final segment of my time in Brazil was exploring the Amazon Basin by riverboat and small launches off the riverboat.  We embarked in Manaus, where the Rio Negro joins with the Amazon.  Manaus is primarily a product of the rubber boom in the late 1800s.  The state governor at that time, Eduardo Ribeiro, transformed Manaus into a city with an opera house, brad Parisian-styles avenues, and Italian-style piazzas.  Rubber barons built fabulous mansions there and lived lavish life styles; one of the ?barons? even sent his laundry to England to have his shirts done properly.  The city?s heyday lasted only 30 years - by 1914 the rubber market was collapsing fast.  Today?s prosperity in Manaus is largely due to the creation of a Free Trade Zone in 1966 bringing many new industries and increasing the population to over 3 million people.

This is the mansion of one of the barons.

Photo by Teddie Watts


This is the piazza in front of the opera house.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
We toured the opera house (the Teatros Amazonas) and sat in on a rehearsal of their symphony orchestra.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
The interior was all gilt and velvet.

Photo by Teddie Watts
Photo by Teddie Watts

 
Our group toured the main marketplace in Manaus, the Municipal Market Adolpho, and we saw many unusual things?both animal and vegetable, pharmaceutical to frivolous.

This is what Brazil nuts look like in their pod.  Locals put fences around the trees to avoid getting hit on the head with a veritable cannon ball!

Photo by Teddie Watts


I had never seen so many bananas in one place.

Photo by Teddie Watts
Photo by Teddie Watts


There were piranhas for sale in the fish market section.  Later I will show you me catching some.

Photo by Teddie Watts


Arowanas were also for sale.  These fish can reach 6 feet.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
The Manaus waterfront was exciting.  A group of us took an optional trip to visit a village of indigenous people about 2 hours from Manaus.  This is our boat.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
Here we are being greeted by some of the villagers.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
This is the chief?s son in their native dress.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
We climbed to their ceremonial house and joined them in dancing and singing.  The chief is in the blue headdress.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
The boat ride back to Manaus was uneventful.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
Late in the afternoon, we boarded our riverboat and started up the Rio Negro.  We spent 4 days each on the two rivers. The boat was very comfortable; each stateroom had a balcony.

There is an open common area on the top deck with food and drink under a large canopy to keep the daily rain off. You can see the small boats on the fantail with the boom to lower them into the river for the daily excursions.

Photo by Teddie Watts


The food was quite good and the service was spectacular.  A special dinner layout illustrates the eating part of the trip.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
You can see where the Rio Negro and the Amazon meet.  The Rio Negro is almost black in color and translucent.  The color comes from rotting vegetation.  The Amazon is cloudy and beige from the sandy bottom.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
Here?s a group taking off for piranha fishing.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
Winding through the vegetation, we had to push logs and stuff out of the way.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
Success!  We caught about 30 fish, but threw them all back.  We used chunks of beef for bait.

Photo by Teddie Watts
Photo by Teddie Watts


Another trip was to a small village of indigenous people.  That is the chief in the blue headdress.

Photo by Teddie Watts


Our guide showed us how to open a Brazil nut pod.

Photo by Teddie Watts


We stopped to see monkeys on the way.

Photo by Teddie Watts


And also caught sight of a sloth in a tree.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
A highlight of trip up the Rio Negro was visiting the pink dolphins.  Apparently the dolphins are pink because they live in fresh water.  They were also very tame.  The darkness of the water also shows up on this shot.

Photo by Teddie Watts
Photo by Teddie Watts


On the Amazon:  As we motored up the Amazon River, we saw several local houses.  They were located far up the banks, as the river varies in height 30-40 feet with the rainy season. It was about halfway to full flood level while we were there.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
A young girl was washing things in the river as we passed.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
We stopped at another local house to see a fellow who had caught an Anaconda.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
His family found us amusing.

Photo by Teddie Watts


The sunset was spectacular on the Amazon as we returned to the riverboat.

Photo by Teddie Watts

 
I will end my Brazil journey here and I hope to see you soon on my next trip.


From Rio to the Rainforest - Third Stop: Brazilia

Teddie Watts

The city was planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. President Juscelino Kubitschek ordered the construction of Brasília, fulfilling an article of the country’s constitution dating back to 1891 stating that the capital should be moved from Rio de Janeiro to a place close to the center of the country to help populate that area. The city was built in only four years.  On April 22 of 1960, it formally became Brazil’s national capital. The public sector is by far the largest employer, accounting for around 40% of the city jobs. Government jobs include all levels, from the federal police to diplomacy, from the transportation bureau to the armed forces.  Salaries in Brazilia far outpace those of Rio. The Federal District has the largest GDP per capita income of Brazil.

The city is full of modernist architecture, much of it the work of Niemeyer.  He designed buildings, furniture, cathedrals, and works of art.  I thought his chairs were interesting, but we had trouble getting out of them without tipping them over.

Teddie Watts Photography

Niemeyer?s Justice department building is suspended from the star-shaped structure on top.

Teddie Watts Photography

Citizens live in forested areas in what are called superquadras, huge blocks of apartments flanked by small commercial areas, bookstores and cafes.  The apartments are quite large and there aren?t many single-family homes in Brazilia.  There is an element of ?sameness? in the residential areas, as all the Blocos look pretty much alike.


Teddie Watts Photography

Teddie Watts Photography

The entry levels are elegant.
 
But the exteriors are pretty ordinary.

Teddie Watts Photography

The Juscelino Kubitschek bridge, also known as the ‘JK Bridge’, was spectacular.  It crosses Lake Paranoá.  It won the Gustav Lindenthal Medal due to “...outstanding achievement demonstrating harmony with the environment, aesthetic merit and successful community participation”.

Teddie Watts Photography

The Cathedral of Brazilia was also designed by Oscar Niemeyer. It is a concrete-framed structure with its glass roof reaching up, open, to the heavens.

Teddie Watts Photography

Teddie Watts Photography

An angel ?flies? through the interior of the cathedral.

Churches in Brazilia were very different from what one usually sees on a trip abroad.  Because the climate is mild, many use extensive swaths of stained glass.  The Dom Brosco Sanctuary is a good example.  The interior is composed almost entirely of individual openable, blue-glass jalousie windows.

Teddie Watts Photography

Teddie Watts Photography

We had the opportunity to tour another of the federal buildings.  It had a fantastic interior staircase, a garden on the ground level, and a roof-top garden.

Teddie Watts Photography

Teddie Watts Photography

Teddie Watts Photography

Teddie Watts Photography

Teddie Watts Photography


Teddie Watts Photography

Brazilia was interesting, but Washington D.C. has more character.  Having been built all at once over a four-year period has resulted in everything seeming a bit out-dated and static.  Perhaps, as Brazil continues its economic growth, Brazilia will grow as well and its character will become more varied and complex.

Our next stop on our journey is Manaus.  Colonial rubber capital of Brazil and the gateway to the Amazon.

Teddie Watts Photography


 
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