Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Changing Of The Weather From Calm To Monsoon!

Hello and welcome to my Blog!

So glad you have found your way here. Perhaps its by way of the cards I hand out. Maybe you are a passenger I have had on board or possibly I have tagged you in a picture that I posted to facebook! Well no matter how you found your way here I happy you've found the time to check out some of the images I captured while touring the Maldives.

My wife and I are both photographers who own and operate a Studio in Victoria BC, Canada.SophiePhoto ! We are both passionate about the work we do and I think it shows!

Another week as come and gone. In my last post I wrote about my walk to work and how I felt it a bit surreal as I walk along listening to a great Canadian band "The Tragically Hip". This week I have tell you how surreal it felt to be listening to the Vancouver Canucks on CFAX as I went to work on the "fiver". Its a shame they lost though! Game 7 tomorrow!

Anyway enough of that its on to the images.

As the title of this post suggests the weather is a changing!The Western Monsoon is taking over the calm seas that we have enjoyed over the past month or so! The first of my images this week are from the remaining calm while the last ones are of the mighty Twin Otter at its best!

It's amazing to me how these Atolls are so symmetrically shaped on the defining edges . Here is the Faavu Atoll as I look to the North.

I am sure if you looked them from high above it would appear as if a knife cut a long them in a precise and decisive manner.

As you can see from this shot of the South Male Atoll there is a ring of coral reefs and Islands that surround a smattering of other reefs. It seems that all of the Atolls have this in common. A definitive edge surrounding a random grouping of islands and ringed coral reefs. Truly a spectacle I feel lucky to have seen!

The water so calm and inviting with little hint of what is to come. Soon the Western Monsoon will invade this tranquil setting and remind us all what power the Indian Ocean can bring.

Diverging slightly now to bring an image of the capital city Male'. A mosaic of colours and shapes. Like a crazy looking jigsaw puzzle randomly put together.

The airport in Male'. Ah yes a hint of the Western Monsoon as the storm clouds pass from West to East just North of the airfield.

I love this picture! The Dhoni reflected in the glassy Indian Ocean.

Catamarans all done for the day!

Wish you were here darling! Soon I will be swinging on a hammock back home and I would argue with just as good a view. None the less a great way to watch the sunset at Soneva!

So this is what it looks like when its calm!

And this is what its like when its not!

A true testimony to the engineers at De Havalind all those many years ago! Not to mention Pratt and Whitney and Wipline. I would also have to say the specialist' who fly them as well!

Skimming the tops or as we like to say tickling the tops just prior to stopping in a distance that I think even helicopter pilots would be impressed with, right Dad?!

The wind is as much fun for us as it is for these guys!

I think it is hard for anyone to look away from this pretty bird settling on the water, even if you have seen it so many times before!

Well that's it for this week! Hope you enjoyed it!

Till the next time so long from the Maldives.

One of the barefoot pilots!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cast In A Golden Light

"maybe then we'll talk
or sit silently
and listen to our thoughts
with illusions of someday
casting as golden light
no dress rehearsal,
this is our life"

..... From the song "Ahead By A Century" written and preformed by the best band on the planet "The Tragically Hip"

Often times I find myself walking to the morning "Dhoni", more often known as the "fiver" , listening to my favorite band. Something feels a little surreal in these moments as I wind my way through the narrow streets of Male'.

The call to prayer echoes as some hurry to the many Mosques in Male while others walk to the harbour to hitch a ride over to the airport.

There are the little old ladies who are doing there best to sweep the streets clean.Hunched over and determined. I can't help but to wonder, as I pass them by, what motivates them to be so diligent at this time of the day.

As my walk continues I will inevitably pass by a few security guards struggling to stay awake while sitting in, what appears to me, incredibly uncomfortable plastic chairs.

All the while I am loaded down with my backpack, my camera gear and clutching my travel mug full of black coffee.Such is my morning journey to work.

On some mornings I am called in on the "fiver" in order to be on standby until a later scheduled flight. Not always my favorite thing to do, I mean who doesn't like to get a little extra sleep. In any case on some days it is worth getting out of bed early as I hope the first of the images in this post will prove!

Predawn light is fleeting, gone in an instant as the sun rises above the Eastern Horizon. Turn your head at the wrong moment and you may miss something special. For those of you who turned your head I dedicate this shot to you!

The calm water of the lagoon, where the Twin Otters rest, reflects not only the planes themselves but the clouds that invite them to join them in their lofty heights.

I love the symmetry of this shot. Rows of propellers back-lit by the suns morning glow.

Before the engines roar to life and propellers disturb the still air of this glorious morning the passengers must be helped aboard. In this shot one our first officers Larrisa helps them safely board.

They head out on their way for the first trip of the day. No doubt the first of many!

Not to be out out done one of the aircraft from TMA is the next one to leave for the Atolls that make up the the many islands of Maldives.

Love that these guys called me over to take their photo. Something about the people of this country, photogenic and confident in who they are.I think this really translates to the images that I capture.

Thanks for the pose boys! You make it easy to take your picture!

The rain is starting to move in, slowly for now,just the odd shower here and there. As a result the air is much clearer and the visibility has greatly improved. I love the way these islands line up. It as if they were just planted there with purpose in mind.

It is an amazing time to record the Maldives. The transition between the Eastern and Western Monsoon brings clear sky's and because the seas have been calm for some time now the water is amazingly clear and blue.

A tremendous view indeed. I am sure few would disagree!

Time on one of the floating platforms provides a photo op! Here is Farish getting his picture taken, the floating platform reflected in the lens if his sunglasses.

I guess I am wandering from subject to subject in this post. I guess it is safe to say that when I have my camera in hand I find so many things that much more interesting.

I shot these images while walking the seawall at one of the resorts in the BAA atoll.

Thirty minutes before the sunset and the moon is high in the blue sky. I am so happy with the way this turned out!

Now this fellow appeared in this last weeks post and he sure to return in following posts. He was an amazing subject with so many "cheeky" expressions!

To end this week I leave you a shot of the main base in Male'. Most of our planes were there at this moment.

So happy you joined me here in the blogosphere. It is my pleasure to have presented these images and I hope you enjoy them as much as I!

All the best till next week.

One of the barefootpilots!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thumbs Up from The Maldives!

Hi there and welcome to the blog! I am so happy you have taken the time to visit my ongoing photo journal dedicated to the Maldives.
I have just "tweaked" my site a little! Now when you click on any of the photos in my posting a "light box" opens to display it. I think this is very cool just give them a click and enjoy!

There is no doubt in my mind that I find myself in a rather unique position as photographer who is also a seaplane pilot or is that a seaplane pilot who is also a photographer! To be honest I really don't want to pin myself down by just one or two categories. I think that throughout my life I have just followed paths that intrigued me most. Sometimes stumbling along and at other times with a dedicated purpose in mind. Now this is not all of the decisions I have made have necessarily been wise ones ! None the less they have made me who I am today and influence how I see the world around me which in turn influences my photographic style.

Speaking of influences I would like to diverge from my Maldives theme and start with a few shots my two amazing sons have captured. My wife and I try hard to influence them with what we consider to be the appropriate perspectives to guide them on their life's journey. You can't help but to feel a certain sense of pride when they take on something that you also love to do. Both of them have picked up the photography bug and I am so pleased to see the talent they already have.

So the first four pictures, although not of the Maldives, are from my son's!

Ben's photograph of a boardwalk! Love the perspective Ben!

A bit of self portrait with a butterfly, taken at the butterfly gardens in Victoria. Pretty tricky shot because Ben is actually using one our DSLR's!

Gabriel got this one with a Canon point and shoot! I have no idea how he managed to get so close! This is not cropped either! Amazing composition Gabriel!

Not to be out done by his older brother Gabriel also manages to get a very cool self portrait with a butterfly in hand!

So proud of both you guys!!!!

As I return to my photo's I start off with a sunrise at the seaplane base here in Male'. I always love it when my schedule allows me to get a few pictures of the rising sun!

Because my flight wasn't until 06:30 an amazing opportunity presents itself . We are still enjoying the calm water and clear sky's that dominate the period between the Monsoons. Though by the end of my week we had a little taste of what lies ahead and as I write this post the sky's darken with an approaching thunderstorm!

Often when I have a small break between flights I will go to the end of one our Jetty's and sit there with my zoom lens. Most everyone who see's me there gets into it and helps me with the shot! This one and the next are of my colleagues in blue shorts( TMA, the company uniform is blue shorts, and of course barefoot!)

Thanks for the big smile Captain!

Nice one with the cabin attendant standing outside as he prepares the ropes for docking while the tower controllers look on.

As we join the traffic pattern for a south bound left waterway landing I was able to capture this one of the twin otter taking off the north bound left waterway. No wind means you can easily takeoff in the opposite direction that you land in. Again another unique opportunity I was able to capitalize on !

Glassy water landing! People who don't fly seaplanes more often than not think that it is all to easy to land on calm water. Well I have to say there is a bit of trick to it and can be quite disastrous if not done correctly. Landing on a mirror like surface gives very little reference to how high you are as you enter the landing flare. You most definitely do not want land nose low! In this one Captain Laidman does it with style!

I was hanging around for an hour at Kanuhura Resort so I couldn't resist taking a few as we waited. I love it when I can get this perspective.

Back at the airport. I really like this one. such a unique looking airport!

Of course not everyone arrives by airplane. There are great many ships of all shapes and sizes that move in and out of the harbour here. To be sure some are more comfortable than others, this one looks to be very comfortable indeed!

Now how about some reefs to look at! I just love the view my office has on days like this! This one I got as we left the Lhaviyani Atoll heading south to Male.

Simply amazing! Need I say more!

This and the preceding shot are from the Ari Atoll! Photographers dream!

Love this little grouping of islands in the Baa Atoll.

My last photo of these two fellows, Arrish and Muez, got such a response I had to post another with a slightly different pose!

This one I simply adore. I was walking back to my apartment yesterday and as I passed by a school that was just letting out I scrambled to get my equipment together to capture the hoards of people that filled the street. As I was snapping away this fellow tapped me on the shoulder. We could really communicate through words because my Divehi is quite limited as was his English. But as I have mentioned before a smile goes a long way and he wanted me to take his picture as well! I was so happy to do it. So much character and joy in his face. I love that photography gives me these opportunities to really sample and savour the environment around me!

As I laid down on the beach to get this one I could hear one of my friends voices is my head. He describe the flight crew as hermit crabs! This is because we are often seen walking around the docks with backpacks, much like the hermit crab, carrying our stuff everywhere we go!

Seems once again appropriate to me to end with a sunset picture! A kayaker enjoying the last glimmers of the sun as it sets over the warm Indian Ocean. This shot taken at Filitheyo Resort in the Faafu Atoll

I am so glad you stopped by for a little visit.

Until the next post, so long from the Maldives!

One of the barefoot pilots!