Juneau – Alaska Cruise 2017 – Part 2

This is the second post documenting our September 13, 2017, visit to Juneau, Alaska, a long-delayed continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise. Current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE<<link. The following introduction is the same as that of previous posts so that’s something else you can skip.

There’s a gallery at the end of each post and a SmugMug gallery HERE<<link. Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. Note that the SmugMug gallery will eventually contain all the photos from Juneau; those from this post (Part 1) and those from this Juneau posts.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. If there’s a panorama, I’ll link the full-size files but be warned . . . they’re typically huge. Huger than people have ever seen before. Don’t click on those links unless you’re enjoying a biggly Interweb connection. Also, if you have biggly Interweb but you’re reading this on a phone — which is sad; VERY SAD — I wouldn’t bother with the full-size photos because they are HUGE; huger than anyone else’s huge photos. 

September 13, 2017, had me shoot around 300 photos (186 P900 photos, 10 D7000 photos, and 280 Note II photos, but most of those were three-shot HDR series, so probably around 75-80 photos) and a few videos. Also, many of the Note II photos were inside shops and are mostly of little interest to anyone. Photos I think are of interest are posted below.

I should probably do a brief introduction . . . 

First off, here’s the Princess Patter<<link for the 13th of September of 2017. 

Here’s a map of the whole area . . . Juneau is roughly in the middle of nowhere . . . but not that far from Haines, as the crow flies (near the bottom of the map). I would guess more than 100 miles but less than 150 miles. Click the picture below for a much larger version (4.4MB).

This is the Juneau Port Guide<<link describing the attractions of the area and what little other information a visitor might find useful along with a rudimentary map.<<link

Right, that be enough background stuff to bore even the staunchest readers to tears. Many — I’m sure — have already tuned out and left. 

~ ~ ~ ~ here we go ~ ~ ~ ~

As before, most of these photos are from the Nikon P900 and the Samsung Note II. There are no D7000 photos in this post. Keep that in mind in case you’re considering whether using a point-and-shoot camera suffices to document your travels. 

Also, for this post, we’re now switching to specific and somewhat random stuff. Meaning, things I saw that I thought made for a nice photo or were otherwise worthy of my attention. Like, for instance . . .

That’s the display in front of the Visitor Center. Here’s another view . . .

And here are a details photo . . .

What to make of the sculpture . . . at first, I thought it depicted waves . . . but the more I looked at it, the more I started thinking about underwater plants and creatures. Those aren’t feet; roots, maybe? And those are likely urchins (not the human kind; the kind that will really hurt you if you step on them).

The visitor center is right on the waterfront, and if you turn 90º to your left from the photo prior to the last one, you get this view . . .

And, if you go to the water’s edge and look left . . .

OK, that’s not strictly true . . . that’s on the way back to the ship, and a few hundred yards from the visitor center.

However, if you are standing in that spot, and if you have a mucho-grand-wow-what-a-zoom-you-got-there, then you can take a few shots at an eagle that’s perched way the heck away from where you are. All of the following shots are at 2000mm eq. zoom, but the first three are with bland settings, and the next three are with the Auto setting of the camera.

Here, let me show you; the first three . . .

I should mention that I tried to process these in every which way so as to match what the camera does on the Auto setting . . . and therein lies the problem with a camera that doesn’t give you access to the RAW data . . . you are limited in what you can do because you don’t have all the data.

“Heck!” you say/ask. “Why not use the camera in Auto mode all the time? Those look pretty good.”

Yes, Bob, yes they do. The problem is that Auto mode does other things that don’t always work for what one wants to shoot. Auto mode controls focus, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, and even the flash.

Yes, for many instances it does pretty good, but it also can screw up a perfectly good shot by focusing on the wrong subject or, worse, process the final version of the photo with a heavy hand, making assumptions about saturation, sharpening, contrast, etc. Assumptions that maybe one doesn’t agree with.

So, yes, in this case, the Auto feature worked well . . . but what I really wanted is for the camera do give me access to the RAW file so that I could do as good or better.

BUT . . . even as I complain, I’m cognizant of the fact that no other camera/lens combination that I own (owned then or have now) would have netted me these photos. I mean, isn’t that the thing about life? We seldom stop and think about the positive stuff about it, and concentrate more on things that could be better. In itself, a worthwhile goal if one actively works toward making things better . . . but, if all one does is complain about not yet being there . . . well, that’s not as good, is it?

Anyway, here’s a lesser-but-still-interesting bird. Notice the sea snake right behind it . . .

Oh . . . nevermind . . . that’s just a stick.

From here on, there will be some repeats of photos from the first post . . . the difference being they were shot on the Note II.

Many of them will be indoor shots of souveniers . . . like these:

I admit that for many of these, I did not take as much care as I should have, especially considering the low-light conditions inside most shops. Many shots ended up with a less-than-acceptable amount of blur.

The only excuse I have is that I shot many, many shots . . . which I won’t share because some of the things I shot (quilts, paintings, other stuff) are copyrighted and I don’t want to get the owner’s permission to post them.

Before I continue with the Note II photos, here are a few more from the P900 . . .

. . . I liked the reflection and ripples of this shot of one of the tenders coming from the ship . . .

This next one I took because the Sun appeared . . .

Yes, a cheap play on words . . . seriously, I snapped it because of the birds.

What birds?

These birds.

What’s so interesting about the birds? . . . nothing specific, but in person, they were more visible to the naked eye than the camera eye.

Because there’s no motion in a still — amazingly, it’s why they call these images “stills” — the birds blend in as your eyes are drawn to the big orange blob . . . What? No, not Trump; I mean the logo on the ship.

OK, let’s go back to quasi-duplicates (again, similar to photos from the first post, but taken with the Note II — you’ll be able to compare them in the SmugMug Gallery).

The visitor center showing the wall decoration I showcased in the previous post.
All of these are HDR photos from three separate shots and processed in Aurora HDR.
. . . people badly recreating a famous album cover.

While I was using the Note II, I was actually using the Open Camera app (which I recommend people check out — people who take some care in their photographic efforts) as opposed to the native Camera app.

The HDR photos are a bit more vivid than the regular photos and — although difficult to tell — offer up a slightly wider dynamic range (the span between completely dark and washed out details).

Here, again, is the bear doing an impression of Forrest Gump’s “I got to pee!” scene.

I should pause and again mention that a phone is perfectly serviceable as a vacation camera unless you plan to print the photos and hang them in a museum. Meaning, I think these are perfectly fine and of high enough quality to satisfy most people.

Here is the famous (to some) bar that we did not go into.

Sorry . . . Saloon. Apparently, everyone greets you when you go in . . . something some people enjoy but that we probably would not have enjoyed as much as most.

Back to the P900 . . .

There was a reason I snapped this photo . . . I think it’s a historical building of some kind, and if I had the gumption, I’d look it up and give you a link.

Instead, I’ll tell you that a search for “889 Franklin St. building with red roof” turns up many photos of the building. Apparently, cruise people like to photograph red roofs. Honestly, that’s why I took the photo.

But, why this photo?

Two reasons . . . one, because on the wide-angle photo (below) they looked crooked, and two, to once again showcase the P900’s zoom . . .

. . . they’re on the left edge . . .

Not that I do, but if I did, I’d never do naked yoga in front of a window, even if I have a three-quarter-mile worth of water between me and the opposing shore.

For instance, look at this shot of amazingly happy and festive people enjoying breakfast:

That’s from the back of this ship (empty at the time I snapped the photo below as most people had gone ashore by then) . . .

But, let’s get back to more HDR photos from the phone . . .

Most stores in tourist areas have some floor space reserved for a couple (or more) fake x-mas trees laden with ornaments reflecting local themes.

And, when we used to decorate during the holidays, buying ornaments from various places was an easy way to have a physical record of our travels.

Here are a few more photos of the visitor center . . . perhaps giving a bit more perspective to the previous photos.

OK, yes, if you start pixel-peeping, these are a bit less quality than the P900 . . . but, at the size I’m sharing these photos, and even if viewing the SmugMug gallery, these are pretty good.

I wish I could sit with my feet like that . . .

. . . of course, it would mean my ankles would be broken, so, maybe not. The upturned paw is where parents have their kids sit so they could take a photo. Nothing like teaching kids that dangerous carnivorous predators are fun to interact with.

Let’s return to the P900 . . . with a photo of the Coast Guard patrolling the harbor:

OK, you got me . . . you realized this was me just doing the zoom thing again . . .

About fifteen minutes later, from the upper deck of the Coral Princess . . .

This next photo is about 1 MB in size, and 4,800 x 920 pixels in size . . . click it to see it in its native resolution.

It’ss one of the things the P900 does not do especially well. I mean, it’s OK, but it could be better.

Here’s the Emerald Princess practically empty . . . you can see two men on adjacent balconies, but that’s about it.

Meanwhile, on the Sun, the crew was holding drills (the ships do that when they are in port and most of the passengers are ashore).

Too close? Here . . .

Yes, we were on the way out of the bay . . . Here’s a shot of the other side of the ship about three minutes later . . .

For as much crap as the cruise lines take, the workers don’t do too bad. Most of them are from countries and lives where they might not ever get to see as much of the world as they do on these ships, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who didn’t appear genuinely friendly and at least relatively happy.

Of course, I’m sure that, like any job, there are crap days, but it’s difficult faking good humor and interest. Some people can do it, but I think I’m pretty good at spotting fakers, and most of the workers seem to be having a good time.

A few sights on the way out . . .

What’s that? You want to see it closer? Why, you’ve asked the right guy!

The only thing better would be if I’d shot some movies . . . which I did and will publish in the next installment.

Another angle on the water running down to the water . . .

Most of the shoreline is peppered with houses . . .

Wait . . . what’s that spec on the water?

Boy, sure wish I had a BIG ZOOM at my disposal . . . well, duh! . . . I do!

I mean, I’m sure it’s safe and all, and they probably know how to swim, but I wouldn’t go out on that  . . . not with big floating cities going by.

Here’s another set-up for a zoom demonstration . . .

Why, Disperser, what be them dots along the shore?

Well, Bob, them be houses. Houses with people in them, and if they are doing naked yoga by their windows, we’ll be able to see them.

Nope! No naked yoga, but I see a sewing machine, a ladder, and what looks like a chair.

Anyway, later on, I trained the big zoom on the half moon. Technically, if you consider the other side, it’s a quarter moon, and the full moon is actually half a moon . . . but, I digress.

Not one of my best efforts . . . but the scene on the water was awesome . . .

What the heck?! . . . I could plainly see the moon and its reflection on the water . . . but human eyes have a greater dynamic range than cameras . . . unless . . .

Artistic license, and all that. If the pros can combine shots, so can I.

OK, here’s a random gallery of the above . . .

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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