Kia Ora, New Zealand

"People make magic happen." Graffiti with a positive message. Today my thoughts go out to the people of New Zealand after yesterday's senseless act of violence. I took this in Christchurch five years ago and it's a good reminder the resilience of the Kiwis. This was taken in one of the cordoned-off sections of the city following the 2011 earthquake. Despite the loss and damage, the people of Christchurch came forth to rebuild and move forward after that tragedy and I have not doubt they will do the same now.

Kia ora,

Colin


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Signed & Numbered Lynx Prints with 2020 Aurora Calendar

It's been a monumental week here at CTP after returning from an adventurous month in Cuba - my Facebook page just surpassed 4,000 likes, thanks in large part to the lynx photos I've shared over the past few days! I'm also happy to announce that I landed a photo in the 2020 Aurora Borealis Calendar from Todd Communications. I've had some inquiries about purchasing copies of the lynx photos so I am making an offer for the first ten Artist Proofs of two different photos, signed and numbered, "Sitting Lynx" and "Yoga Lynx" - a 12x18" glossy print AND a signed aurora calendar (my photo is on the month of January) for $95 OR you can get both lynx prints and a calendar for $170.

Below are the links for the lynx😄😄 - click the title or the image to reach my online store. Thank you all for following my journeys, sharing my photos, and allowing me to continue to do what I do. Feel free to share this email!

Colin

Sitting Lynx


More Lynx Poses

Here are a couple more lynx photos from last Sunday - “Resting Lynx Face” and “Yoga Lynx.” Fun fact: Many yoga poses were learned (and named) from observing animals. Here a lynx demonstrates a nearly perfect "Downward Dog" pose. If I were to critique this lynx, I'd say drop the shoulders, lower the head, and keep pushing those hips toward the sky!

Namaste,

Colin

Resting Lynx Face

Resting Lynx Face


Yoga Lynx

Yoga Lynx

Welcome Home Lynx

No matter where my travels take me, it's always nice to return to Alaska and even nicer to be welcomed home by one of my favorite animals. We had some lynx activity over the weekend - what appeared to be an adult male (pictured here) who was trailing an adult female with two kits in hopes of mating. So far she seems to have resisted his advances.

Happy Monday!

Colin

 
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“Mi amigo primero y mi guía siempre.”

“Mi amigo primero y mi guía siempre.”
“My friend first and my guide always.”

I’m currently on my way home from Cuba and during my time there, I absorbed enough Español to create at least one meaningful and grammatically correct statement; a tribute to my guide and good friend, Gelin Eguinosa. He was our guide on my first trip to Cuba and I was sure to request him for both of my photo tours this year. You’d be hard-pressed to meet a kinder man who handles every situation, even the inevitable moments of adversity, with his level of thoughtfulness and professionalism. He’s knowledgeable in La historia de Cuba (Cuban History) and, of course, always knows the best cliff-jumping spots! As long as he is available, Gelin will guide my tours.

Speaking of tours, there are a number of people interested in registering for the “2020 Cuba Photo Tour.” Once I am home and settled in I will work out the details of next year’s trip and share the information. My plan is to continue leading these tours in Cuba while my hope is that we will be able to continue to visit and become acquainted with one of our closest neighbors. When governments fail to negotiate, citizens on both shores suffer. This leads me to my second meaningful statement en Español: “Puentes no muros.” or “Bridges not walls.” May we continue to build bridges by removing societal barriers and increase the exchange of ideas, goods, and goodwill.

Until next time, Cuba,

Hasta pronto!

Colin

 
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Viñales Sunset

The sun is setting on my time here in Cuba. Four weeks of leading tours, embarking on new adventures and visiting old haunts, making new friends and dealing with occasional adversity goes by pretty fast. I have every intention of returning and already have a number of people ready to sign up for next year’s tours.

This was taken in Viñales last night, where we were treated to a tour of local farms and finished up with a beautiful sky to end the day. Today we returned to Havana and I fly out tomorrow, along with the last of my second group. I’ll have more to share as time allows. Until then, hasta pronto!

Colin

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Cuba Farm Tours

Hola, amigos! My second group arrives mañana and it will be back to business for the rest of my time here. Aside from seeing the sights and scenery, my tours include visits to local farms where you can sample and acquire locally made honey, coffee, and of course, cigars and rum (if you're into that). These were taken in Viñales last week at our hosts' family farm. I have every intention of scheduling photo tours in Cuba again next February and already have a number of people who are ready to sign up. I'll work out the details and post them after I return. Until then, hasta luego!

Colin

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The Classic Cars of Cuba

While I am no motorhead or car enthusiast by any stretch, I truly enjoy photographing the many classic automobiles in Cuba. After the embargo, the Cuban people kept these vehicles running out of necessity as newer models weren't available to them and I have to marvel at their ingenuity. This is why there are still so many on the roads today.

One of the photographic techniques I shared with my group here is called panning - using a slow shutter speed to accentuate movement and tracking the subject as it passes by. If you open an issue of National Geographic Magazine, you will often find photos with exaggerated movement, which adds life and emotion to the images. I always say that photography is a set of rules and principles and once you master these rules, learn to creatively break the rules. This is when you've become an artist.

Colin

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Adversity vs. Perseverance

“The only value we have as human beings is the risks we are willing to take.” (Ernest Hemingway)

I’ve been dragging camera gear around with me for more than 20 years now, in all types of conditions, and have been quite fortunate to never have sacrificed anything of great value to the elements. Alas, all good things must come to an end. Last week in Trinidad our group set off on an afternoon horseback riding venture. Since we were just starting out and going to be stopping shortly for lunch, I left my pack in the two-wheeled horse cart with 2 of my clients and the driver. They were far ahead of the rest of us, who were adjusting to the bumpy ride and learning the commands. When we rounded a bend and arrived at a river crossing, we saw the cart was empty of riders and upended in the river; my pack along with one other were submerged in the murky water. I immediately jumped off my horse and ran to the river while our guide, Gelin, dismounted and grabbed our packs from the cart. Apparently, the horse was struggling to get across the river and bucked, upending the cart in the process. As it turned out, it had been sitting there at least 10-15 minutes. I opened my pack to find my brand-new Nikon D850 camera body along with my D700 and 3 of my best lenses completely saturated. With the help of my group, I began emptying water from the gear in the hopes that some of it might be salvaged. Soon we arrived at the little restaurant in the countryside where, thanks again to my clients, we stuffed napkins into the open compartments and obtained a bag of rice from the hosts to begin the drying process.

Before I go any further, I must acknowledge that the situation could have been far worse as two of my guests were riding on the cart that spilled into the river. While I was obviously upset about my gear, I was grateful that nobody was injured. Material items can be replaced but there is no value that can be placed on human life or the wellbeing of my clients. Initially, some in the group seemed to be more upset than I was (one remarked it was as if Sydney Laurence had lost his paint brushes, a very kind metaphoric compliment, I must say) but I reminded them that everybody was OK and, in the end, that is all that really matters. I told them that I’ve been through far worse and experienced greater loss and came out on top and this would be no different, no matter how expensive or inconvenient the situation might be.

Rather than finish the ride, I decided to make my way back to town with one of people who had been on the cart when it tipped over. She was understandably shaken but in good spirits. We had no choice but to ride the cart back, this time avoiding any rivers. We did encounter a few large mudholes and despite the driver assuring us that we did not need to dismount, I demanded that he stop and let us down when the horse started to buck again. We made it back to the casa carrying drenched backpacks and a 20 lb. sack of rice filled with thousands of dollars’ worth of gear. After transferring everything into Ziplock bags, I made some calls and arranged for a new D850 to be brought down this week. I stashed the rice and gear at a casa in Havana and set off to Viñales a couple days later. At this point, I still do not know what, if anything, survived. One way or another this will all work out, even if it means shooting a few more weddings this season to replace what is lost.

I could have avoided all this by never stepping outside my comfort zone, but what is the purpose of life without adventure? At this point, there’s nothing left to do but smile and keep moving forward…

Colin

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Joyfulness

We have but one simple purpose in life, which is to be joyful. Children understand this yet we unlearn it as we grow into adulthood. How is it that as we mature and acquire knowledge, we lose this wisdom? Wherever you go in the world, you will find children being joyful. Whether they have a brand new soccer ball or a flattened aluminum can to kick around, children will always find joy.

Colin

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First Cuba Tour es Finito!


Well, my first Cuba photo tour has ended and everybody has departed. We had a great group of people I've received a lot of nice feedback. Aside from one minor setback in Trinidad, things flowed quite smoothly. I now have a few days in Havana to relax until my second group arrives on Saturday.

Gracias, amigos! Thank you for following along.

Colin

Sunset over Havana.

Sunset over Havana.

Vegas Grande - Cuba’s tallest Waterfall.

Vegas Grande - Cuba’s tallest Waterfall.

Exploring a cave in El Nicho National Park, Cuba.

Exploring a cave in El Nicho National Park, Cuba.

Viñales, Cuba

Hola de Viñales, Cuba! It's been a while since I've checked in. We've had a very busy week but the first tour is winding down and I'll have a week in Havana before my next group arrives. This is my first time in Viñales. We went on a sunrise hike this morning and I will have more photos to share soon. As always, muchas gracias for following my journeys.

Hasta pronto!

Colin

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Hola de la Habana!

Buenas dias, amigos! Hola de la Habana!



I arrived in Cuba yesterday and have been quickly reminded why I adore this country so much. My first tour (10 people) arrives tomorrow and we’ll be spending the first two nights in Havana before heading south to Playa Larga, Cienfuegos, and the city of Trinidad, then returning to Havana for a night and venturing out to Viñales for two nights. My second group arrives on Feb. 16 and we will repeat the same itinerary. Here are a few shots from my first morning in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. Mas para seguir!

Gracias,

Colin

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Super Blood Wolf Moon

There was a pretty cool event in the sky last night. Hopefully you got to witness the "Super Blood Wolf Moon" lunar eclipse. If not, the next one takes place in 2037. 

Happy Monday! Have a great week out there, wherever you are. 

Colin

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Fata Morgana

North America's tallest mountain, Denali, was glowing in low angle afternoon light yesterday. This was taken approximately 130 miles from the base and you can see why it is the steepest vertical rise in the world, ascending from sea level to more than 20,000 feet in that relatively short distance. The mirage at the base of the mountain, known as Fata Morgana, is caused by warm air settling over the top of a colder, denser air mass, resulting in an atmospheric duct that acts as a refracting lens.

There's a bit science to start your day. As always, thank you for following along!

Colin

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Aurora Photography Classes

Hello friends! Soon we will be entering what is typically the best season for viewing aurora borealis – late winter/spring. Even though we are currently in a solar minimum and activity is lower, we still get some nice displays here in Alaska. I offer a class on nighttime/aurora photography every year at the Eagle River Nature Center and since it usually fills quickly, I’ve decided to offer two classes this year on consecutive Saturdays - March 16 & March 23. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about night sky photography, please follow the links for more information and to register. Cost is $75 and each class is limited to 10 people. 

March 16: https://www.ernc.org/courses/nighttime-aurora-photography

March 23: https://www.ernc.org/courses/nighttime-aurora-photography-1

I can’t guarantee auroras but I can promise that you’ll learn some good techniques for exposing and focusing at night as well as tracking auroral activity.

Thank you and feel free to share!

Colin

Self portrait under the aurora. Taken at the public use cabin, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

Self portrait under the aurora. Taken at the public use cabin, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

March 2018 Aurora Borealis Class, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

March 2018 Aurora Borealis Class, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

New Camera!

One thing about these cold snaps, they sure make for a peaceful winter scene. We're gaining over two minutes of light each day now and soon the sun will return to this part of the valley, a welcome relief after being in the shade since late November. 

And with the New Year came a new camera body. This image was taken with my new Nikon D850! I am happy to add this to my arsenal, although 60 MB files will force me to be more selective when shooting or my hard drive is going to fill quickly...

Happy Tuesday!

Colin

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Happy 2019!

For a year that began with no travel plans, 2018 quickly turned into one of my most adventuresome thus far. February found me in Cuba 🇨🇺 for the first time, which set the stage for further spontaneous and far-flung excursions including the Big Island of Hawaii to photograph the Kilauea Volcano eruption, Washington state for a yoga 🧘‍♂️ retreat, and finally a quick visit to Iceland 🇮🇸 in September. I look forward to the magic that 2019 will bring in the way of new experiences and explorations. 

May your intentions manifest in the New Year and as always, thank you for following along!

Colin

PS – I can still add one more person or possibly a couple to my second Cuba Photo Tour, which begins in Havana on Saturday, February 16, 2019. Details here: https://www.colintyler.com/phototours-and-classes/. Please message me if you are interested.

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