Mount Shuksan: Blue Hour is Better, Sometimes

I’m used to paying for photographs. Sometimes in the form of itchy mosquito bites. Once I paid with a badly twisted ankle. More often I pay in numb fingers and toes in the cold.

Last week, staying up late to take photographs of Mount Shuksan under the stars, I expected the lost sleep, but I did not expect to pay by losing my place to sleep and my sleeping gear!

It all started when I noticed that sometimes even the most serious photographers miss great light.

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Tropical Birds of Costa Rica

Manakin Magic

Sun filtered through the verdant canopy. The air temperate was 80 degrees in the middle of January. It was hard to believe.

I was hiking with my girlfriend on an abandoned road in Nosara, Costa Rica. Soon, we heard a faint but mesmerizing sound from the underbrush to our left. Transfixed, we moved closer to peek through the thick tangle. We waited. Then we caught glimpse of a black bird smaller than a sparrow sitting on a low branch. Soon, we heard two, singing with each other in bubbly notes.

For a brief moment the bird sat in plain view, under the full light of the midday tropical sun—it was long enough to absolutely shock us both.

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Time-Lapse Film: Autumn in Acadia

Without a doubt, autumn is my favorite season. Not only do leaves turn shades of red, orange, and yellow normally impossible the rest of the year, but the very composition of the air seems to change. Even inhaling becomes more interesting. In fall, every breath feels like a bite out of a perfectly crisp apple.

Because autumn is my favorite season, a fall spent inside is painful to me. The last few years, I’ve spent more time typing term papers than in Acadia National Park, which is right in the backyard. As I hit the keys of my computer with an anxious fever, I gaze out the window at the changing colors. In New England, the grand finale of fall doesn’t last long.

While I can’t change the number of hours I must type (for now), I can take full advantage of the rest of the possible daylight hours for enjoying this glorious season. This last fall, I tried exactly that. This video is the result:

Autumn in Acadia: Watch in 4k or HD 1080p high-resolution for best results.