Puffin Watching on Iceland’s South Coast (Dyrhólaey, Iceland)

Puffin Watching on Iceland's Southern Coast (Dyrhólaey, Iceland)

So you’re dying to see puffins on your trip to Iceland, eh? I’m no bird watcher, but that was me, on our inaugural trip to Reykjavik this summer. Unfortunately, we discovered, they’re not as common as horses and sheep, and we almost went our whole 6-day trip without finding them.

Once we did, however, it was magical! We saw upwards of 80 birds swimming, fishing, flying and waddling, and there were always around 10 of them a short 3-5 meter distance away. If you’re visiting Reykjavik during puffin season and don’t mind a 2+ hour drive, read on for our simple tips for locating these beautiful birds and the photos we captured once we (finally) found them.  Continue reading

Big Island Diving with Kona Diving Company (Kona, Hawaii, USA)

Diving on Hawaii's Big Island with Kona Diving Company

If you’re a diver or if you’ve ever looked into getting certified, then you’re well aware that diving is an expensive hobby.

And since we’d been on a strict budget for a year after quitting our jobs to travel, we hadn’t been diving in two whole years! This being my first visit to Hawaii’s Big Island, I was absolutely dying to do the manta ray night dive. But first, it was time for a refresher.  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Seven (Wyoming to Alberta)

North to South U.S. road trip recap week seven

Week seven was by far one of the most memorable weeks on our road trip. I can’t believe how much we saw in one week! Oodles of wildlife, gorgeous sunrises, and even the Northern Lights — all the way down in Yellowstone National Park (they’re not usually visible so far south).

Somehow we managed to visit FOUR national parks all in one week. And despite late night Milky Way photo sessions, we managed to wake up before dawn TWICE to witness the gorgeous sunrises Yellowstone has to offer. If you’ve never seen Yellowstone yourself, add it to your bucket list NOW. And in the meantime, you can drool a bit over these photos!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers June 20-27.

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U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Weeks Four, Five & Six (Illinois to South Dakota)

North to South U.S. road trip recap weeks four, five and six

After completing our third week on the road in the U.S. this summer, we decided it was time for a little breather. We departed St. Louis at the beginning of week four and then pressed the pause button when we reached Chicago. And there we stayed, visiting my twin brother, for the first two and a half weeks of June.

Despite growing up in St. Louis, I’d never visited the nearby Windy City ’til now. And what an awesome place it turned out to be! So much so that we decided we’d return to Chicago for an even longer break after our upcoming national park loop. We finished off this three-week period in Badlands National Park, where we found unique erosion-formed landscapes, plentiful prairie dogs, and the craziest (and unexpected) storm we’ve ever experienced! (You don’t want to miss that video.)

Note: Since we paused for so long in Chicago, this recap covers weeks four through six of our U.S. road trip. And I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers May 30 – June 19.

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U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week One (California, Nevada and Arizona)

U.S. road trip week one recap: California, Nevada and Arizona

We’ve hit the one-week marker on our U.S. summer road trip, and I’ve already got ambitious dreams of visiting each of the 49 states we can reach by car. Do you think we can do it? I do! But to start, here’s a photographic overview of our first week on the road.  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Busy Bee (Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, USA)

Shot of the Week: Flying Bee and orange flowers at Huntington Botanical Gardens, California, USA

One hundred thirty-six. If you’ve ever wondered how many shots it takes to capture a killer, in-focus — and in-flight — bee photo, that’s your answer.  We don’t typically do this type of photography, but the setting we found ourselves in earlier this week gave us the perfect opportunity to practice. My cousin Val is visiting California this week, and luckily (for once) I was in town! While searching for something to do together near to where she’s staying, I remembered the Huntington Gardens. I’d been once or twice before, several years ago, and I always enjoyed spending a few hours meandering around the Garden’s huge variety of flowers, plants and trees.

The weather’s been chilly here in California the last few days, but Monday treated us to a beautiful sunny California day. Hummingbirds were flitting about, the gardeners were busy pruning, and bees were buzzing around all the vibrantly colored flowers.

Ian, having just borrowed a new lens to review from B&H Photo, was eager to take photos. While flowers are a fine subject on their own, they’re certainly more interesting when there’s something flying around them. But these little buggers just wouldn’t hold still! This photo is #121 out of 136 bee photos he took in this spot. (Just ask me how many external hard drives we have — completely filled with photo files…)

This photo was taken on Monday, May 4th with the Sony a7 II and Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Heliar III lens with the Hawk’s Helicoid V5 close focus adapter. (Continue to view full photo.)  Continue reading

Toucan Rescue Ranch Review: Our First Encounter with a SLOTH… and other animals (San Isidro, Costa Rica)

Toucan Rescue Ranch review: our first encounter with a SLOTH... and other animals (San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica)

I have a new obsession. If you follow us on Facebook, you already know what it is. (Here’s a hint: They’re four-legged, furry, and have a reputation for moving rather slowly.)  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Seal at Brothers Islands (Victoria, British Columbia)

Shot of the Week: Kayak to the Seals of the Brothers Islands

On our kayaking excursion in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, a harbor seal sits atop a rock at the Brothers Islands on October 6, 2014.

The above photo was taken with the Sony a6000 and Sony E 20mm f/2.8Continue reading

Portraits of a Gang: The Elk at Lone Elk Park (St. Louis, Missouri)

Lone Elk Park in St. Louis Missouri on northtosouth.us

Did you know a group of elk is called a gang? (I didn’t until I looked it up 30 seconds ago.) Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Marmot Munch (Washington, USA)

A hoary marmot chows down on some greens at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, USA on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

The above video was recorded using my Sony a6000 and Sony E 20mm f/2.8 lens.  Continue reading