Visitors 294
Modified 17-Aug-08
Created 13-Aug-08
356 photos

I toured the Galapagos Islands aboard the motor yacht Parranda in early November 2004 - seven days, 500 miles. The trip began on the Island of San Cristobal after a short flight from Guayaquil, Ecuador and continued on to the islands of Espanola, SantaFe, Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Bartholome, Santiago, Rabida, North Seymour, Baltra and South Plaza.

We began each day landing in the pangas and wading ashore carrying our photo gear. Working 3-4 hours in the sunrise light, we were nearly alone with the wildlife. By 10 we would retreat from the hot equatorial sun to spend mid-day resting, having lunch and sometimes moving to a new location or snorkeling. In the late afternoon we would land again and shoot until sunset at 6. There was a briefing on the next day’s itinerary at 6:30, dinner at 7 and welcomed sleep by 9.

Not quite tropical paradise, nor wilderness, the experience was a bit more like visiting a living museum. On the desert islands and volcanic landscapes the creatures went about their lives barely noticing us. We observed mating, feeding, sleeping, courtship rituals and just plainplaying. We were restricted to trails and only saw a small fraction of each delicate ecosystem. Yet, we had the opportunity to photograph over 45 species or subspecies - most endemic to the islands.

I found 70-200, 300 or 500mm lenses most useful, though in many cases we could approach close enough to use wide angle lenses also. 2400 Ektachrome slides were edited down to a select few, scanned to 111MB files with a film scanner, and optimized for color, contrast, cropping and printing in Photoshop.

These images depict the diversity of species, and hopefully bits of their personalities as well. Volcanic landscapes, the blue Pacific water and wildlife found nowhere else in the world … little wonder why the Galapagos have been called the Enchanted Isles.

American Oystercatcher 1

American Oystercatcher 1

American Oystercatcher 2

American Oystercatcher 2

American Oystercatcher Pair 1

American Oystercatcher Pair 1

American Oystercatcher Pair 2

American Oystercatcher Pair 2

American Oystercatcher Pair 3

American Oystercatcher Pair 3

Bartholome 2

Bartholome 2

Bartholome Beach

Bartholome Beach

Bartholome1

Bartholome1

Bartolome Cone

Bartolome Cone

Bartolome Morning

Bartolome Morning

Beach Chase Baby Sea Lion

Beach Chase Baby Sea Lion

Blue Footed Booby 1

Blue Footed Booby 1

Blue Footed Booby 2

Blue Footed Booby 2

Blue Footed Booby 3 BW

Blue Footed Booby 3 BW

Blue Footed Booby 3

Blue Footed Booby 3

Blue Footed Booby 4

Blue Footed Booby 4

Blue Footed Booby Fishing

Blue Footed Booby Fishing

Blue Footed Booby Flight

Blue Footed Booby Flight

Blue Footed Nest Area

Blue Footed Nest Area

Brigantine

Brigantine