18 Photos - Aug 23, 2011
Photo: Predator at rest. (full res)Photo: Photo: You may think I captured this image of a "dragon" in a far off land but in fact it was very close to home. Let me know where you think this is and as always I appreciate feedback on the photo. I'll update the post later today with the story.

Update: First of all, no this is not +Larry Page when he is grumpy.
As many of you pointed out it is in fact a giraffe. And as a few people guessed or deduced the location is
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Safari West in Santa Rosa -- safariwest.com.
This was actually my second time there in a long time. We spent the night in one of their tent cabins and in the morning we took a walk among the animals. It was a bit dreary before the fog burned off (many of you guessed sf for that reason) so I was ambivalent about bothering to lug around the big 28-300 lens. In fact I wasn't very satisfied with the light as I got some giraffe closeups. But as we headed off toward the rhinos I took one last look back, embraced the foreboding atmosphere, and caught this fortuitous pose.

To give credit where it is due +Chris Connelly got the location first followed by +Igor Shevlyakov +David Andersen +Janet Rae-Dupree +Dinesh Nandan +Joe Foos +Tetsu Noguchi +Gabe Norwood +Barry Ross +Ted Martin +Matson Breakey ...

For photo buffs, I like the 28-300 for its versatility but it is heavy. In this shot you can also see some chromatic aberration along the giraffe's neck which is a bit surprising.Photo: Taken in the state of majestic landscapes. I have been there twice and have been awed both times by the scenery and I certainly plan to visit again.

We turned around at this point on the hike because it was just a short day trip but it was very tempting to continue on into the wilderness.

Update: As a few of you have mentioned this is Alaska -- vast and scenic. Congrats to +Michael N. +John Hawkins +Cyrus Murphy and +Lyndsey Kleppin .Photo: It is hard to appreciate how vast this world is until you travel to a remote corner and watch your wings take off without you.  I was lucky to catch this shot when the plane I had just been on flew off to escape just before sunset.

If you have travelled somewhere remote, how did you feel when your transportation left you?Photo: You might think that this is a macro shot but in fact there just are really big bugs in the south pacific (perhaps someone can identify it). This one landed on a table near me and all I had on me was a wide (35mm) lens. But I got as close as I dared, and with a little crop, here is the result.

Note this is my first try at posting from Picasa as the latest version now has native Google+ support.Photo: After a long day at the office ...Photo: OasisPhoto: Photo: Photo: Fresh TracksPhoto: If Hitchcock's movie scared you, don't be afraid.  Frigate birds are harmless except of course for the occasional dropping.  Nonetheless, they along with other bird species can be an overwhelming sight at relatively untouched sanctuaries such as this one on Isla Genovesa in the Galapagos.  Though it looks upside down, I shot this pretty much straight up from under a cliff overhang while dodging those little white bombs raining down.Photo: A nurse shark in the Bahamas swims toward the light.  While they are generally harmless, I have seen them get curious about humans before and come in for a sniff.  Perhaps foolish but my first impulse when I see a creature such as this is to grab my camera and jump in the water.Photo: Blue Angels -- great at flying.
Counting ... not so much.

taken during the amazing airshow in SF this weekendPhoto: Nothing is quite like swimming with a humpback whale. Believe it or not, this is a baby! Despite our language (and culture and species) barrier, her intelligence and playfulness shone through right away. As I snorkled at the surface, she came up every minute or two to take a breath (the adults only breathe every 15 minutes or so). Each time, she got closer and closer until she was almost tackling me. In those precious few moments, I felt I really formed a connection with this beautiful creature. I will never forget the experience.

As an aside, this photo and many other spectacular ones were almost lost altogether when in haste I later jumped in the water and didn't properly close one latch on the camera case. After many hours of drying, stressing, and stitching files together I managed to recover all the photos. So don't be foolish like me ... back up your photos after every outing.

Thanks to +Eric Cheng and +Tony Wu for encouraging me to make this journey to the Vava'u island group.Photo: I caught this beautiful sunrise a few weeks ago ... a nice antidote for those who are facing very different weather in the next 24 hours on the east coast.Photo: "You there, pull over!"

[taken during sf fleet week]Photo: No place in the world has made me consider my place in the universe like Jellyfish Lake. Millions of creatures all drifting seemingly aimlessly, searching for light, for the energy to spawn so generations of their offspring may do the same years later. I take a small breath, sink toward the bottom, watching them in wonder and think are we really so different?