Clouds and sand in the Hoanib River Valley, Namibia
It’s April and spring is in the air. That often means rain and cloudy skies. As a photographer, I much prefer a little dramatic cloud action to bright blue skies. Here are some of my favorite recent images to show why clouds can be a good thing. Namibia has the best clouds I’ve ever met. They add drama and softness to the often beautifully desolate landscape.
Cloud reflections on the River Derwent
I recently visited Tasmania for the first time. The landscape reminded me a bit of Scotland, only the Southern Hemisphere’s version.
#shotoniPhone6 unset panorama of the River Derwent
The island had some gorgeous wispy clouds. This made it fun photograph landscape on the River Derwent at sunset. I liked framing the scene both vertically and shooting in panorama mode on my iPhone 6.
Dramatic sunrise in Sydney
Clouds make all the difference when photographing sunrise and sunset. They are nature’s own filter, changing the color and mood of the magic hour. I liked the way their texture complemented Sydney Harbour when I took this shot of the Sydney Opera House at sunrise.
Blue hour clouds over the Olympics in Seattle
Seattle has too many gray days for my taste. But when the cloud cover is just right it can make for some fantastic colors during blue hour after sunset. I thought the Olympics looked particularly stunning bathed in pastel light this week.
A smiling air hostess aboard an Emirates flight from DWF to DXB
I’ve flown a few legs on Emirates in First Class recently. Since nothing is going to top the video my husband and I made back in 2009, I needed to come up with another way to capture the experience.
The Emirates Flight Crew at DFW airport GIF
I thought it might be fun to do GIF post.
2004 Dom Perginon prior to take off GIF
I shot these images as stills on my iPhone 6 and then turned them into GIFS using the Giffer Pro App ($3.99)
Dates before take off on Emirates First
Emirates is known for hiring very attractive “brand ambassadors” as flight attendants. Here my husband enjoys one of the dates offered to Emirates First prior to take off.
Arabic coffee pour with a smile GIF
Small cups of arabic coffee are poured prior by an Emirates flight attendant. I love their I dream of Jeannie style hats. Giffer Pro also offers fun filters which help compensate for bad airplane light.
The Emirates First shuttle at Dubai International Airport
Giffer Pro also allows you to turn video into a GIF, like I did with the video I shot on my iPhone above.
Maybelle, an autism service dog hopeful
I recently visited The Monkey Tail Ranch for their Volunteer Recognition Day and Open House. Located in Hollister, California about an hour south of San Jose, The Monkey Tail Ranch is a 501 organization which trains service dogs, mostly for children with autism.
I met Tim and Elise through K9 Training Concepts where they helped me better train my lab, Scarlet. Not all dogs make the cut to be service dogs, and those that don’t get socialized and trained to be Instadogs, which are family pets. My puppy, Zeppelin, is an Instadog and the perfect addition to our family.
Here’s some video I shot of my two dogs playing at the Monkey Tail Ranch:
Scarlet and Zeppelin playing at Monkey Tail Ranch
Eight week old Maybelle is very well socialized
Perry is almost done with his service dog training and will soon be going home to his forever boy.
Elise working with Zeppelin, my instadog
Boomer the horse was happy to eat carrots from guests at the Monkey Tail Ranch
I think the world of Tim and Elise and work they do with pets and service dogs. If you think an Instadog might be right for your family, check out the Instadog website and the Instadog Facebook page. You can learn more about the Monkey Tail Ranch on their Facebook Page.
A view of Gros Piton from Ladera Resort
I just returned from my first trip to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. St. Lucia is all lush rainforest and curvy mountains. If islands were supermodels, I’d say St. Lucia is the Kate Upton equivalent. In honor of #FriFotos, I thought I’d share a few landscapes from St. Lucia.
iPhone panorama shot from the deck of Ladera Resort
Diamond Falls, St. Lucia
The Piton Mountains are no doubt the island’s most notable geography– they are an UNESCO World Heritage Site– but St. Lucia has many other charms. The island has beaches, rainforest, volcanos and waterfalls (especially the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens) are all beautiful and worth visiting.
St Lucia’s Diamond Falls
Peak a book Piton view from the pool at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
If you’re into cloud porn, then St. Lucia is for you. Here’s a timelapse I shot from the deck of room 709 at Sugar Beach.
Cloud Time Lapse from Room 709 at Sugar Beach
Beautiful landscapes are one thing, but Lucians, as the locals call themselves, are lovely people. And it was nice to leave the hotels and go into Soufriere and dine with the locals while taking in another spectacular sunset.
Sunset at Soufriere Harbor, St. Lucia
Tim and Tater, the FEMA search and rescue dog, en route to Alaska
When I found out this week’s FriFotos theme was “uniform” I decided to take the opportunity to pay tribute to some very special professionals who wear uniforms– service dogs.
I’ve learned quite a bit about service dogs in the past year because my puppy, Zeppelin, is being trained by Tim and Elise of K9 Training Concepts who know quite a bit about the subject. In addition to training dogs as family pets (like my Zeppelin), Tim and Elise are both members of the FEMA Search & Rescue teams. Their dogs, Tater and Lupin, are are trained to find live human scent in disaster situations. These dogs have mad skills. Check out Tater climbing a ladder at the 1:15 mark in this video.
Tater climbing a ladder at the 1:15 mark is highly impressive
Tater in Uniform
Tim and Elise are also the co-founders of The Monkey Tail Ranch, a non-profit organization where they train service dogs to help those living with autism, post-traumatic stress, and other disorders that can benefit from having a service animal.
Nothing cuter than a puppy in uniform: Future service dogs in training
I didn’t know about autism service dogs until until I got to know Tim and Elise, and every time I hear updates about how the Monkey Tail service dogs have changed lives, I often find myself moved to tears.
First time in uniform: 9 week old Bailey, a future autism service dog
If you know of anyone who might benefit from an autism service dog, I highly recommend checking out The Monkey Tail Ranch. I cannot speak highly enough of Elise and Tim’s commitment to dog training– be it their own FEMA search and Rescue Dogs, service dogs for austim, and family dogs.
Lupin the FEMA Search and Rescue dog looking very handsome in uniform
Tim is also a full time firefighter, and while Firemen a reputation for looking fine in uniform, I don’t think he’d be insulted knowing that Tater and Lupin kind of steal the show. I’m grateful Elise and Tim train family dogs, too, like our Zeppelin. Zepp is an Instadog and won’t be officially home with us until he is fully trained this summer.
Zeppelin is proudly being trained by k9 Training Concepts
Above Photo Credit: Rebecca Adler Rotenberg
The Monkey Tail Ranch is located in Silicon Valley in Hollister, California.
The photos in this post are courtesy of the Monkey Tail Ranch and Rebecca Adler Rotenberg. Much thanks to Tim, Elise, and Rebecca. Without them, this post would not be possible.