The Queen’s Bath, revisited

Along with all the amazing ruins, the ancient Maya site of Palenque also offers some really nice waterfalls not too far from the site center.  Dubbed the “Queen’s Bath,” it’s actually a series of waterfalls with terraces.  It can be a really amazing thing to see and photograph.

But can it ever change its appearance with the seasons.

Our most recent trip to Palenque was timed to fall just after the end of the wet season, in early December.  Enough water was flowing in the Otolum creek to give the Queen’s Bath some life:

The Queen's Bath

Note that this is a 1/13 second exposure, so you can see that you can get some nice blurring of the water without a tripod (note that you can’t use a tripod in the ruins without a permit requiring paperwork in advance, etc.).  At least, an exposure like this will work if your camera or lens offers image stabilization.

For comparison’s sake, here’s a shot taken from nearly the same spot two years earlier (but at the end of the dry season, in mid-May):

Queen's Bath (dry season)

The Aqua Azul waterfalls

The Aqua Azul waterfalls, uphill from the ancient Maya ruins of Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico:

Agua Azul Waterfalls

When we visited Palenque last year, we split the first day between the ruins and some nearby sights.  The Aqua Azul (blue water) waterfalls are a beautiful set of pools and cascades not too far uphill from the ruins along a twisty, winding road.  Great place to decompress!

BTW, sorry for the sporadic blog postings lately — I’ve been working to finish up the next “A Photographer’s Guide” eBook.  This one’s on the ruins at Palenque, and should hit the (metaphorical, electronic) streets in the next week.  But first, I need to finish up some editorial work on it…

Wild weather

Not having spent much (really, any) of my life near an ocean, I’m not used to just how rough water can get when there’s a storm nearby. Our recent Puget Sound trip gave us a little reminder of that on a day when we drove along the west coast of Vancouver Island:

Wild weather

Normally, Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Preserve is a serene place. As you can see, it was a bit more… boisterous when we visited.

Morning comes to Victoria

Another shot from our Puget Sound air-/road-trip. This one’s looking back toward Victoria, BC from the ferry headed south to Port Angeles, Washington.

Morning comes to Victoria

This shot would have looked about as nice if the sky had been clear and blue. Still, I like the smooth background light that the light overcast gave the scene. For those of you taking notes, I made this image with an Olympus E-M5 camera with the 12-50mm “kit” lens.

Point of departure

We recently returned from a multi-week vacation to the Puget Sound area. This trip followed our now-standard approach — fly to some interesting locale, rent a car, drive a thousand miles or so over a few weeks while taking in the sights and sounds. This is the first picture I’m posting from the 2,000+ photographs I collected in the process:

Point of departure

It’s a view out the front windows of the ferry between Vancouver (the city) and Nanaimo (on Vancouver Island), both in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I was originally hoping that I could capture some nice scenic views on this leg of the trip, but it proved… wetter… than the weather forecast had predicted.

So when life gives you rain, you take rain pictures.

At this point, the ferry was just leaving the Vancouver docks; that white-outlined dark spot is a small fishing boat heading out ahead of us. In retrospect, I like the sense of mystery that focusing on the water gave this shot. I took another version of this shot, but focused on the small boat — doesn’t look nearly as interesting.