Alaska Cruise – 2012 – Part II – Ketchikan

Before continuing with the account of our Alaska Cruise, 2012, I should mention I edited the last post to add a couple of videos shot as we were leaving Seattle.  They show the view from inside the mini-suite and from the balcony while under sail.  The videos can be seen by clicking on the following links.  Sailing I, and Sailing II, or go to the actual post.

Right!  On with the narrative.

Ketchikan - arrival

Ketchikan – arrival

Aft view from the forward top deck.

Aft view from the forward top deck.

Can’t see much, but through the magic of shooting RAW, Lightroom post-processing, and my ability to move a couple of sliders . . .

Alaska Cruise 2012

Alaska Cruise 2012

Alaska Cruise 2012

You just waited until it got lighter!!

Ah, Grasshopper, you give me more credit than I deserve.  Here’s one shot after the ones above.

As it looked . . .

As it looked . . .

. . . adjusted to show more.

. . . adjusted to show more.

That is the power of RAW . . . You see, Grasshopper, you can either be a good photographer, or fake it.  I’ll let you in on a secret; faking it is a tad more work, but you don’t have to learn all that photography techno-babble-mumbo-jumbo.”  

Proper exposure . . . bah! Who needs it, when you can shoot RAW!

There are a few more photos of the early morning Ketchikan in the 219 photos gallery at SmugMug (HERE).  Probably few will go there, but for some of the photos (I will link which ones), you will want to go there.  Then again, few ever listen, and 219 can sound daunting.  But remember, you don’t have to examine each and every one.

We had booked one excursion for the cruise, and it was here, in Ketchikan.  We booked a flight tour with Island Wings Air Service.  A tour of Revillagigedo Island, where Ketchikan sits.

We would be flying in a de Havilland Beaver, the Lady Esther, piloted by Michelle Masden.  I could say stuff about the place, the plane, the pilot, but those interested should click on the links.  More info than I can adequately present here without straining the attention span of the majority of readers.

We ate breakfast, and left the ship.  Our quest was the fabled “Rain Gauge”, for that is where we would meet to go to the plane.

The Rain Gauge, or, as more appropriately known, The Liquid Sunshine Gauge.

The Rain Gauge, or, as more appropriately known, The Liquid Sunshine Gauge.

 As it turns out, the weather had us socked in, and the tour would be delayed an hour or so.  An hour to shoot pictures of the surrounding area.  As clouds broke and regathered, light conditions changed, but that just added to the fun.  Here we go . . .

The ship . . . I'm still impressed by these things.  They be BIG . . .

The ship . . . I’m still impressed by these things. They be BIG . . .

Some be smaller, and perhaps quainter.

Some be smaller, and perhaps quainter.

There are a number of shots of the ships in SmugMug.  It sort-of dominated the scene.

There are a number of shots of the ships in SmugMug.
It sort-of dominated the scene.

I walked around, photographing interesting things.

I walked around, photographing interesting things.

It was still relatively dark . . .

It was still relatively dark . . .

. . . with the sun just beginning to peak over the surrounding hills.

. . . with the sun just beginning to peak over the surrounding hills.

Perfect for trying some HDR shots.  For them not familiar, multiple shots of varying exposures combined to show both highlights and shadows details.

For comparison, this is a single shot I adjusted to show what I could without blowing the highlights.

For comparison, this is a single shot I adjusted to show what I could without blowing the highlights.

A multiple shot merging into a single HDR photo.Some people really go overboard on HDR shots, but this was as far as I went before finding it too unrealistic.

A multiple shot merging into a single HDR photo.
Some people really go overboard on HDR shots, but this was as far as I went before finding it too unrealistic.

There were float planes coming and going, and I Photographed some.  We were still waiting because our inland destination was still socked-in.

It looked to me as those birds were pretty close.  Probably not.

It looked to me as those birds were pretty close. Probably not.

Side note . . . planes have numbers on them.  N-numbers.  You can go to this link, enter the number, and it tells you who owns and operates it.  The N-number of the above plane is N1108Q.  Neat, eh?  OK, maybe not so neat, but I like it.

That's the same plane, and what looks like a small cruise boat.  Might be a ferry, but it looks more like a cruise boat.

That’s the same plane, and what looks like a small cruise boat. Might be a ferry, but it looks more like a cruise boat.

Hey, look at that!  There's a cruise ship docked at the peer!

Hey, look at that! There’s a cruise ship docked at the pier!

But back to planes . . . there was a lot of activity with planes.  Some were probably other flight tours, and some might be running errands.  I understand they are pretty popular up here.

But back to planes . . . there was a lot of activity with planes. Some were probably other flight tours, and some might be running errands. I understand they are pretty popular up here.

The big strip on the back is the runway of the airport.  Below is an Alaska Airline flight coming in.

This shot is out of sequence, but, damn it! . . . I'm doing a narrative here!  I needs me creative, poetic, and whatever license I can get.

This shot is out of sequence, but, damn it! . . . I’m doing a narrative here!
I needs me creative, poetic, and whatever license I can get.

This is Ketchikan

This is Ketchikan

And this is The Rock

And this is The Rock

The Rock sits on the pier, and commemorates people associated with the history of the area.  I could not find much about it aside what you can learn HERE.

There's a pissed off chief . . .

There’s a surly chief . . .

. . . what I presume to be The Logger . . .

. . . what I presume to be The Logger . . .

. . . The Aviator . . .

. . . The Aviator . . .

. . . and The Miner.

. . . and The Miner . . .

. . . and the Refined Lady.

. . . and the Elegant Lady.

There is an Elder Native Woman, but I did not take a close-up of her (lighting, shadows, crappy photographer, etc.).  I meant to do it when the sun hit her, but we got called for the tour.

Of all those, I was most taken by The Miner.  He looked like a poor bastard carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

I can't claim such burdens, but . . .

I can’t claim such burdens, but . . .

. . . I empathized.  I know that look.

. . . I empathized.  Everything is relative, and I know that look.

Of all the figures, he was the only one looking as if paying the heavy toll of life.

I also tried my hand at “artistic” shots . . .

Alaska Cruise 2012

. . . more boats photos . . .

Alaska Cruise 2012

. . . more plane photos (N87597).

Alaska Cruise 2012

Food places (the name sounded good . . . but it was a bar) . . .

Alaska Cruise 2012

I even tried to capture the drama and promise of shopping . . .

Alaska Cruise 2012

But, finally, we were called for the tour.  It turned out the plane was the one visible in the first photos from the ship.  Here; I’ll refresh your memory . . .

There . . . bottom center.We could have walked there in under three minutes.

There . . . bottom center.
We could have walked there in under three minutes.

Here's the ground view.

Here’s the ground view.

And there she is, the Lady Esther (N1117F)

And there she is, the Lady Esther (N1117F)

She was manufactured in 1958 . . . a tad shy of my own ripe age.  I appreciated the spirit of Alaska . . . the engine was running, the propeller near invisible, and nary a barrier between us and the certainty of being sliced and diced.  My kind of people; if you’re too stupid to keep away from the prop, you probably should be eliminated from the gene pool . . . of course, it might hurt the prop.  Were it me, I might have put a cone there; props are expensive.   Not to mention having to clean brains and guts from the floating dock . . . well . . . guts, at least.

Yup, it's spinning.

Yup, it’s spinning.

Preparations were made . .  .

Alaska Cruise 2012

. . . and I took the opportunity to shoot under the permanent dock.  It was low tide, so a lot of stuff was exposed.

Alaska Cruise 2012

It was poorly lit, and I did the best I could with slow speeds, a moving floating dock, and the uncertainty of life weighing heavy on my mind.

It was poorly lit, and I did the best I could with slow speeds, a moving floating dock, and the uncertainty of life weighing heavy on my mind.

Soon after the plane was fueled, we were ready to board.

Alaska Cruise 2012

Ms. Masden, our pilot, asked if anyone wanted to sit in the back.  She mentioned, eying the equipment I was lugging, that it was cramped, but offered the best opportunity to photograph stuff, as one could slide from side to side.  The weight requirement was 180 pounds or less (has to do with balancing the plane).   As no one stepped forward, I offered my 175 pound body up for sacrifice.

Then I remembered . . . I carry 25 pounds of gear.  I stopped, and explained about the gear.  My big puppy eyes must have softened her heart because she said “It’s OK, get in there.”  The woman is a saint.

Me snapping a photo as people piled into the plane.

Me snapping a photo as people piled into the plane.

Let me tell you . . . I’m a small guy, and I was cramped.  Not width-wise; I had a foot of clearance on either side, but my knees were at the same height as my chest, and it was difficult to move, even to reach down to my camera bag, which had to be secured.  Still, I did have a great view.

Ready to depart . . .

Ready to depart . . .

And here we go!

I’m going to stop this post here because I’ve already exceeded the attention span of most people.  The next post will cover the flight tour and the rest of the Ketchikan visit, but for now, thanks for visiting, and for them who be interested, the SmugMug Album (HERE) covers the photos for both this post, and the next.  You might want to read the next post before going there. 

. . . or not, because the pictures do look amazing on SmugMug.

Purrfect

Purrfect

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Alaska 2012, Machines, Photography Stuff, Travel Stuff, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Alaska Cruise – 2012 – Part II – Ketchikan

  1. Emily Heath says:

    Remarkable what you can do with the RAW images. I will ask my clever techy fiancee to tell me more about this and whether my camera can do it.

    Like

  2. seekraz says:

    Boats and planes and statuary…all wonderful…and the “adjusted” images were very nice, too…enjoyed the revealed detail.

    Like

  3. AnnMarie says:

    Well, it took me several visits to both this post and SmugMug to give them the proper attention but I’m finally done. And what a glorious journey, perhaps not as adventurous as the real one but nevertheless pleasurable. I especially enjoyed the virtual plane rides! And way too many awesome shots to single out any one in particular . . . well, perhaps the one of that couple next to the plane . . .

    Like

  4. mvschulze says:

    Enjoying this read. In 2008.we had a similar flight, to Misty Fiords out of Ketchikan, Pilot asked for volunteer to sit up with him. I jumped at that!

    Like

  5. Pingback: Well, hello there! | Disperser Tracks

  6. sandra getgood says:

    Really enjoyed this post, and am looking forward to the next one…who knew alaska was so much fun?

    Like

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