Friday, August 30, 2013

Amazon Skies

The Amazon is not just a river, it is an entire region, a basin, a rainforest, a biome. It has been termed the "lungs of our planet" because the vegetation continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen.

On my latest trip to the Amazon, I set out to take photographs of the constant moisture and texture in the sky to illustrate the "breath" of the Amazon, and to evoke the sensation of being in a living organ at work, a "lung".

The trees spread like capillaries into the tissue of the sky, pumping oxygen into the air where the breaths of clouds are formed.

"All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man... the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports."- Chief Seattle

"Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal." - John F. Kennedy

"With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live." - Sylvia Earle

According to the World Wildlife Fund, models suggest that by the year 2050, temperatures in the Amazon will increase by 2–3°C...

...while rainfall will decrease, resulting in longer and more severe droughts, and substantial changes in seasonality.

This is undeniable climate change.

With every bend in the river, the clouds danced with the light on the stage of the sky, and the Amazon took another breath.

The moments I captured will never happen again - the clouds transform and grow, the light moves and changes - but as long as the planet continues to breath, there will be beautiful skies to photograph.

"To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

More on Skies:
Andean Skies
African Skies

More on the Amazon:
Life on the Amazon: The People
Life on the Amazon: The Experience

More on Peru:
If I had to name a Favorite...
Published in National Geographic!
AAA Magazine Cover Shot: Machu Picchu
Kids Around the World: Portraits of Peru

More Images:
Peru Travel Images
Brazil Travel Images

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rooms, Views, Rooms with Views

It's Thursday already! Wow, where did this week go? Given limitations of time, I'm multi-tasking with this post for both #igtravelthursday on instagram, and #frifotos on twitter. To accomplish both themes, I've grabbed and instagramized all my shots of rooms and views currently stored on my iphone. These go back a couple years, some you may recognize from previous tweets or instagrams, others are making their online debut from the recesses of my phone's camera roll.  I could easily dedicate an entire post to each one of these fabulous places I've had the pleasure to stay, but for now, just go with it, and enjoy the view!
Top: Zhiwa Ling (Paro, Bhutan), Taj Bengal (Calcutta, India), Pan Pacific (Vancouver, Canada) Mid: Serengeti Safari Camp (Tanzania), Plaza Grande Hotel (Quite, Ecuador), View from Libertador Lake Titicaca (Puno, Peru) Bottom: Tambo del Inka (Urubamba, Peru), View from Tambo del Inka (Urubamba, Peru),  Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra, India)
Top: Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra, India), Oberoi Vanyavilas (Ranthambore, India), Oberoi Rajvilas (Jaipur, India). Mid: View from Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur, India), Taj Mahal Hotel (Mumbai, India), Sofitel Jardin de Roses (Rabat, Morocco) Bottom: La Mamunia (Marrakesh, Morocco), View from Paradise Pier Hotel (Anaheim, CA USA), View from Baltschug Kempinski (Moscow, Russia)
Top: View from Baltschug Kempinski (Moscow, Russia), Megaro Hotel (London, UK), View from Sheraton (Denver, CO, USA). Mid: Tub with view Four Seasons (Denver, CO, USA), Elsa's Kopje (Meru, Kenya), View from Elsa's Kopje (Meru, Kenya) Bottom: Sunset from Elsa's Kopje (Meru, Kenya), Tent at Calvin Cottar's 1920's Safari Camp (Maasai Mara, Kenya), View from Okahirongo Elephant Lodge (Okahirongo, Namibia)
Top: Piedmont D'Oreale (Johanessberg, South Africa), Outdoor Shower w/view at Orient Express Savute Elephant Camp (Chobe, Botswana), Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Safari Club Room (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe). Mid: Hilton (Miami, FL USA), Disney Yacht Club resort (Orlando, FL USA), View from Avenue Story Paris Aveue Rapp apartment (Paris, France) Bottom: View at Des Barres Manor (Guysborough, NS, Canada), View from Casitas de Colca (Colca Canyon, Peru), View from Titilaka Hotel (Lake Titicaca, Peru)

And the winner of best room with a view so far this year goes to the Aqua Expeditions Aria, where each cabin is a suite with floor to ceiling view windows, sleek contemporary decor, air-conditioning, and comfortable beds - you can pretty much experience the amazing secenery of the Amazon without ever leaving your room!
All photos taken on the Aqua Expeditions Aria cruise (Amazon, Peru)

Please be sure to visit any of the host blogs for Instagram Travel Thursday to see more great posts! This week I'm linking back to my name-twin, and lifestyle-twin for that matter (she likes golf, I like surf, both end in "f", same diff), the fabulous Kim-Marie at Luxury Travel Mom.

And be sure to check the #frifotos hashtags on twitter all day Friday to see more rooms with views!

And if you aren't already doing so, you can follow me on both twitter (@kymri) and instagram (@kymri).

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Instagram Retrograms: If IG'd then, what IG now

Welcome to my Instagram Travel Thursday (#IGTravelThursday) debut!

Stand Up Paddling on the Yangtze River, old style (iphone3, 2009)

Admittedly, I arrived late to the Instagram party - I only started using my IG account this year, in January 2013. When I did, I discovered I had somehow set up an account and taken one picture by phone and posted it to Instagram back in September 2011, from a cruiseship in the mid-Atlantic, by satellite.

I don't think I had a clue what I was doing then, but apparently it got some likes, and when I decided to actively use my Instagram account this year, I discovered I already had over 100 (legitimate!) followers (twitter peer pressure)...and only one photo posted! With an audience already waiting, and with the Instagram "rights grab" issue being not such an issue after all, it was time to join the party.

I began with a "Best of 2012" series (#bestof2012), in which I shared the highlights of my 2012 travels still archived on my phone, basically flooding anyone's feed following me for that first week of this year. Sorry, I had a lot of catching up to do, having traveled to India, Colorado (winter and summer), Morocco, Florida, the Bahamas, Russia, UK, France, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and the Galapagos Islands all in one year. I thank those of you who stuck it through and are still following me now, and I appreciate the kind and encouraging comments.

I was also late to the iphone party, my first was the iphone3 which I got in mid-2009. As I thought about what to share for this, my first Instagram-themed post, I decided to open up the old backed up archives and take a look at my earliest iphone photos from 2009. What would they have looked like on Instagram?

Rather than flood my IG feed which is active enough with current travels (and surf, family, dogs), I'm starting a mini-series here on my blog, to give those old iphone travel photos their 5 minutes of, well, being seen somewhere other than on my phone or hard drive.

So here's what June thru December 2009 looked like by iphone, instagramized with square crops (hey, it's a real word, some dude in Nigeria used it in a blog so I'm going with it).

Alaska/Canada - August 2009 - a family trip, with just a few fun iphone shots.

Wooing Elk at Denali National Park, Alaska

Sunny day in Ketchikan, Alaska
Rock Climbing and Rapelling in Skagway, Alaska

Huskie pup kiss, Juneau, Alaska
Fort building on Tofino Beach, British Columbia

Asia - September/October 2009 -  I was away for 6 weeks, 2 jobs back to back from Nepal to China.

Stop over in Bangkok
A first selfie attempt in Nepal

I didn't take a whole lot with the iphone in Nepal because I was working with my Canon SLR 5DM2:

On location in Kathmandu, filming a documentary series
If you want to see the final videos, I shared them here in this post: Listening with the Lens.

Then I was off to China to escort a group of VIP guests on a luxury tour. I use a local phone in China (and just about everywhere I travel), so I only thought to use the iphone very occasionally. And it's a good thing, as I clearly had not yet mastered the art of the "selfie" - in my defense, remember, this was before the phones had front-facing cameras. The best option was still to hand the phone to someone else.

Hosting Dinner at the St. Regis, Beijing
An absolute *fail* selfie at the Great Wall

Asking before taking pic in Daxu, China
With my darling friend/guide June in Hong Kong

Costa Rica - November 2009 - another family trip, with most of the time spent in the water. But even then I had a dry case for my iphone and wasn't afraid to (let my husband) use it.

Surfing the warm waters of Tamarindo
Flight delay from San Jose? No problemo!

Walt Disney World, Florida - December 2009

From the terrace at Kidani Village
Anandapur in Animal Kingdom

Back to the Future at Epcot
This symbol began to appear in flight!

As anyone who follows my Instagram now knows, between travels, I share whatever I find entertaining, and usually this involves kids, dogs, and surfing.  Thus, this post would not be complete if I didn't also include some here.

Kids & dogs:

Cute cousins at the SD Zoo
Composing cousins taking a break

Dog Beach, Del Mar (Jambo)
Dog Beach, Del Mar (Java)

As for surf? Well, 2009 ended with a huge winter swell, and after watching this guy make his way back in with only half his board....

A literal winter surf break at Point Loma (Dolphin Tanks), San Diego, CA
I headed to the OB Pier where high surf puts on a great show as the pier shakes!

Winter swell crashes along the Ocean Beach Pier, San Diego, CA

Had the fancy newly-introduced instagram video option been available then, I'd have shared this so you could also experience the waves up close and personal:

So, now you've made it through my first Instagram Retrograms post. You have your choice of #IGTravelThursday hosts to blame (or credit) for this nostalgic mini-series I'm now blogging, and each week I'll link to a different host. The fun is in checking out all the other links you'll find there too. This week I'm going with the place where the whole IGTravelThursday was born, Katja Presnal's Skimbaco Travel.

BONUS! If you're on instagram, you are likely also familiar with the hashtag #tbt, which means "Throwback Thursday",  in which you instagramize an old photo (at least 5 years old), ideally, taking a picture with your phone of an old print to share it on instagram with the #tbt hashtag. So yeah, it's nostalgic, which means I'm all over it too, and every week I'll share a #throwbackthursday / #tbt photo on instagram too. Instagram, travel, and nostalgia...could Thursdays possibly get any more fun?

Don't worry, I'm traveling again in a couple of weeks and still have tons of recent travel stuff to share. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!