Tag Archives: canada
May 25, 2013


About six months ago I made a conscious decision to stop worrying about updating Postcard Valet.  This was after a few months spent worrying about why I wasn’t updating the site during our last few months in Australia.  Though I regret not explaining why I haven’t been updating, the rationalization for why was an easy one to make.  Once we got on the road again, at the end of the day I barely had the time and energy to back up our photos and keep up with my daily journaling… Writing for the blog – let alone video editing – would have completely exhausted me, as well as taken away valuable travel time.

Considering we just drove onto the Alaska Marine Highway and, in about six hours we will return to Juneau and our trip around the world will be at an end, I thought this would be a good time to finally write about what Oksana and I have been up to. (more…)

September 10, 2010

Niagara Falls Panorama

Niagara Falls Panorama

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Oksana and I were in North Carolina when we decided to go to Niagara Falls for our honeymoon.  Since we were on our way to Florida at the time, it was a little out of our way, but I was seduced by the lure of an internet add for a 4-star hotel with a “Fallsview” room.

Once we got there, we discovered the Sheraton was about three blocks uphill from the falls themselves.  So, while it was true we had a Fallsview room, we also had a Casinoview room and a ParkingGarageview room… At no extra cost!

We drove into Canada the night before and didn’t see the famous falls until the next morning.  Then we took a wrong turn, walking down the street from our hotel, so we ended up approaching the falls from its headwaters.  I actually enjoyed that, seeing it revealed in bits and pieces, rather than coming up from the downstream side.

We battled our way to the railing, shoulder to shoulder with all the other tourists.  Both of us took some photos and shot some video.  As we continued downstream, I finally found a spot that had a good view in both direction and wasn’t too crowded.  I snapped a quick series of photos, intending to use them as a panorama later.

If I had been more patient, I could have waited for the sun to peek out from behind the clouds.  When the mist was just right, and the sun was just right, rainbows would arc out in front of us.  But if I would have waited for that, I would have also had to wait for one of the Maid of the Mist boats to be perfectly centered under the rainbow and, well, I’d probably still be there now.

This one’ll do me just fine.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Date: 17 August 2010; 1:25pm
Focal Length: 45mm
Shutter: 1/640 second
Aperture: F/8
ISO: 100
Photoshop: 9 images stitched together with Autostitch, increased saturation, cloned in some plants in lower left to allow for long crop, cloned out cement railing on extreme right.

July 9, 2010


Bison in British Columbia

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While driving down the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, you can’t help but spot some wildlife.  We expected to see some deer (and we did, two), hoped to see a bear (four of them; three black, one grizzly), and sort of doubted we’d see any moose (but we saw two, anyway).  It never even occurred to us that we might run into some buffalo.

The first two we spotted were slowly lumbering along the side of the road, munching on the grasses that grew on the huge shoulder between pavement and forest.  We stopped the car on the other side of the two lanes of traffic and tried to get some good photos despite the rain.  Unfortunately, those two bison were not exactly interested in us and didn’t even look up from their meals.

As we drove from Watson Lake to Dawson Creek, we kept a running total of buffalo going.  Nine, ten, eleven, twelve… and still no better opportunity for a great photo. That is, until we rounded a curve and gave up completely on our count.  Spread across both sides of the road, a herd of at least 40 bison were slowly walking the shoulders.  We saw bulls moving among the cows and newborn calves; a whole social dynamic was on display for us.

We took a lot of photos out both windows.

When one lumbering bull approached my side of the car, I focused in close on his head and snapped a few like this one.  Look into his eye.  I think he’s wondering what sort of a dent he could put into our Jeep…

Canon 5D Mark II
Date: 1:40pm, 3 July 2010
Focal Length: 200mm
Shutter: 1/160 second
Aperture: F/2.8
ISO: 250
Photoshop: Auto Contrast