PhotoKaz.com Best of 2013 - Posts & Photos

The Best of 2013: Posts & Photos

Now that the holiday season is upon us, it's time for another best of post.  2013 was a huge year for me, the biggest year of my life.  I started a new job working for a copper mining company with headquarters in my homeland: Poland.  I never thought that my native language would help me land a job in Canada, but here I am.  That pales in comparison to the biggest change in my life, I became a dad to twins!  Marek and June were born in the summer and are now approaching six months of age.   Things have not been the same since.  I obviously have less time to take photos and post on the blog, but I fill my time with the laughs from two awesome kids :)  There are many photos that I haven't even processed and posted yet, and they will have to wait until I have some free time (never?).

Like the Best Of 2012, the three most popular posts of 2013 are all gear related.

  1. Nikon D800 and D800E Setup and Configuration - Recommended settings for the four menu banks on a Nikon D800/D800E.  The post shows how I set up my camera and allows you to download the config file to use in your own camera.
  2. Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D - This is not a 2013 post but it was the #2 most visited post on my site in 2013 so I decided to include it.  It was also #2 back in 2012 and it's here again because these two entry level full frame cameras are very popular with enthusiast photographers.
  3. Nikon D800 Autofocus Repair Testing - The Sequel - Another round of testing my D800 autofocus system, this time after Nikon tried to repair it for the second time.  Sadly, the left side focus sensors are still not working well so I'll have to send the camera in once again.  I love the D800 but the focus problems make it a single AF sensor camera (for me).

The three most popular photo related posts of 2013 were:

  1. A Frosty Morning - Nikon D800 Macro with Focus Stack - Some photos in my garden after a frost.  Granted, this was posted on January 2nd so it had the benefit of a full year of collecting hits versus posts added in December.  I just use the Google Analytics stats and don't play favourites.
  2. Hiking Stawamus Chief South Peak - A great hike in Squamish, BC.  The Lions hike made the 2012 list.
  3. First Visit to the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research - self explanatory.

It is also interesting to note that the most common search term that lead people to my site was "pitbull".  I have many pitbull photos on my site but this one was by far the most popular.

American Pitbull Terrier - High Resolution Photo

Some of my favourite photos from 2013.

Nikon D800 Macro - Frosty Morning - Donkey Tail

Seattle 2013-01-05 : Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass - B&W chandelier

Shelter Dogs Vancouver: 2013-02-22 : Young Pit Bull Running

 

Crab Fountain, Vancouver Space Museum, 2013-02-23

 

2013 Acura MDX Tech Edition - Dark Cherry Pearl - Sea To Sky Highway Interior

 

Saint Patrick's Day : BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, BC : 2013-03-17

 

2013-02-20 : Vancouver Aquarium : Frogs On Duty

 

Vancouver Gastown Photo Walk 2013-04-30 : Harbour (Western Voyager)

 

Vancouver Gastown Photo Walk 2013-04-30 : BOSS 302 Mustang

 

2012 Oct : Mumbai India Visit : Kids Posing

 

Oct 2012 : Mumbai Visit : Old man and the wagon

 

Oct 2012 : Mumbai Visit : Well dressed tour guide

Oct 2012 : Mumbai Visit : Vijayadashami Festival aftermath 2

 

2013-02-23 Vanier Park Freezing Water Sculpture

 

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Komatsu Haul Truck Black & White : Copper Mine, Calama, Chile

 

Chile iPhone 5 : From Plane : Antofagasta Buzzard

 

 

 


Komatsu Haul Truck Black & White : Copper Mine, Calama, Chile

A Trip to Chile

I visited Chile in May 2013, so this post is LONG overdue.  In my defense though, two cute babies arrived and those little things take up all of my time :)  So after months of inactivity, here are a few photos from the trip.

I landed in Santiago and had a day to explore the city with my colleague Jamie.  We decided to go for a walk without having a destination in mind. and as we left the hotel the sun was reflecting off the large tower.  Sadly, I think the effect is visible due to air pollution.

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We walked along the canal, and came across several interesting sights.

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We saw a large statue at the top of a hill and decided that was a good destination.  It turned out to be the Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepciónand it was a much farther walk than we had expected.

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Half way up the hill, you can see the tower in the distance where we started our walk.x2013-05-25-Chile-May-2013-2777-MKH

Finally at the top, tired and needing a rest.2013-05-25-Chile-May-2013-2798-MKH

Enjoying the view.

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A few more shots from the top of the mountain (click to see bigger).

We found a rail car that could take us back down, which was great as we didn't want to walk all the way back down.  Using Trip Advisor, I found that the cemetery is worth visiting.  Despite being tired, we decided to make our way down there since it wasn't far.  Along the way, we came across some interesting graffiti.

And a dog that didn't like me taking his photo.

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We finally made it to the Cementerio General, and I'm glad we made the effort.  It is an amazing spot, with a lot of old crypts and gravestones.  The sun was starting to set and we just walked around looking at the interesting sights.  This is the entrance gate.

Cementerio General Santiago Chile

Inside one of the buildings, there are many like this. Each plaque a person's final resting place.
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Some are obviously very expensive, with marble and stained glass windows. They are beautiful.

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Cementerio General Santiago Chile

 

Others are older and less well maintained, but equally interesting and with a lot of character.

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A few more shots. This is a spot I will have to come back to, it's a fantastic place to walk around.

That was it for Santiago, not a city you can see in one day but we did our best.  Must have walked 20Km in total.  The next day, we took a tour to the Casablanca Valley, well known for it's white wines.  The tour would visit several wineries, with a sampling at each one of course.  First up was Indomita, with a great view and a beautiful estate.

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A few shots during a tour of the winery.2013-05-26-Chile-May-2013-2901-MKH_HDR-Edit

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The name of the second winery escapes me.  It was smaller and used more traditional techniques.  If you recognize it, leave a comment and I'll update the post.  Thanks!

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Here they are making balsamic vinegar.  As the vinegar ages it reduces in volume so they pour it into ever smaller barrels.2013-05-26-Chile-May-2013-2931-MKH-Edit

The final winery was Casas del Bosqe.  Another beautiful spot where we sampled wines and had an excellent lunch.

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The next day, I caught an early flight to Calama, which is located in the Atacama Desert.  The Atacama is the driest place on earth, receiving almost no rainfall.  Some weather stations have NEVER received rain!  These are a couple of iphone photos from the plane as we were leaving Santiago.  There are still clouds here, in the Atacama there are only clear skies.

Chile iPhone 5 : From Plane : Atacama Desert

 

Chile iPhone 5 : From Plane : Atacama Desert

 

This shot is on the approach to Calama.  A bizarre landscape featuring no plants.  In the bottom of this photos, there is a small river that supports a small group of shrubs.  Beyond that, it's  bleak but strangely beautiful as well.

Chile iPhone 5 : From Plane : Atacama Desert 3

 

I was in the Atacama to visit a copper mine in the region.  This is where the big trucks live.

Komatsu Haul Truck Black & White : Copper Mine, Calama, Chile

Chile: Komatsu Haul Truck 360 Ton - Antofagasta

 

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It's hard to visualize how big these trucks really are.  The tires are 4.3m (14') tall, here is a shot of me standing next to one (I'm 1.8m or 6' tall).

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And a few small trucks too.

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From the mine, I went to Antofagasta which is a port city in the north of Chile.  Despite it's proximity to the coast, it is still extremely dry.  While working in the office, I had a little friend visit me.

Chile iPhone 5 : From Plane : Antofagasta Buzzard

While in Antofagasta, I made a quick stop at the Ruinas de Huanchaca.  These are the ruins of an old silver smelter, now a National Historic Landmark.

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Inside the museum is NASA's moon buggy.  They tested this buggy in the Atacama Desert because of the similarity to the moon and mars. 2013-05-31-Chile-May-2013-3124-MKH_HDR-2

The ruins are opposite the Enjoy casino and hotel, where I stayed for a few nights.

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Towards the end of my visit, a few of us decided to head to the coast to visit Mejillones.  Another port city, and not a bad place for a walk.

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We saw a huge sea lion, and it was keeping a close eye on two kids on the beach.

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On the way to the Antofagasta airport, I did stop at La Portada.  This is a natural arch on the coast, and a very popular spot for photos.  It is one of fifteen natural monuments included among the protected areas of Chile.

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On the way home, I had one more opportunity to visit Santiago, though only for the evening.   I watched a few street performers, had dinner, and called it day.

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