With International Expeditions: Nov. 15 - 24, 2013
I recently completed my second Amazon Voyage with International Expeditions, this time on their newly christened Riverboat, La Estrella Amazonica. This was a beautiful, comfortable and enjoyable ship, which served as a fantastic base to explore the Amazon River. During the course of the Voyage, we covered around 650 miles on the Amazon and various tributaries, and saw an incredible diversity of wildlife - birds, monkeys, dolphins, sloths and other mammals, snakes, frogs, various insects and reptiles, etc. In addition, we had opportunity to learn more about the local peoples and culture, visiting several small villages, a local school, participated in a ritual with a local Shaman, did some Piranha fishing, as well as touring Lima and Iquitos, Peru.
All together, we saw around 138 species of Birds, 16 Mammal species, and 42 species of fish, lizards, turtles, frogs, butterflies, etc. The beauty and diversity of all this wildlife was just spectacular. The photography itself was rewarding, though quite challenging, which is typical in tropical environments. As with my prior Amazon trip, I left my main birding lens, the Canon 600L/f4, back home, as it would generally be too large and unwieldy to use on a trip of this type. I therefore relied on the trusty Canon 100-400L zoom lens, most of the time with the 1.4x Teleconverter added, to get as much reach as possible. This resulted in a maximum aperture of f/8, and I often stopped down to f/11 to reduce some of the image degradation that occurs when using this much glass. This in turn necessitated the use of fairly high ISO (I went as high as 12,800 at times!).
So given all of this, I had to do substantial cropping of the original images to produce the photos shared here, along with applying Noise Reduction (I use Neat Image for this) to virtually all the shots I took. But all things considered, I'm fairly pleased with the results, and hope you enjoy seeing these images at least half as much as I enjoyed taking them! And as on previous trips, I used GPS to identify where the various shots were taken; you can click on the small 'Globe' icon at the bottom left of each full-sized image, and this will show the location using Google Maps.
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