Scotty's new website

What happened to "Last Flight Out Photography"?

Well, my last website was totally lost by my EX-Webhost, Bludomain. For reasons I have yet to wrap my head around, all my blog posts, galleries, and entire website were lost when their servers failed.

 

Life goes on...

Welcome to my new and improved website. It is still "Last Flight Out Photography", and it will still contain my favorite images from around the world...underwater, landscapes, street photography, sports, and aerial shots from my drone.

My 12th Trip To Pacu Jawi

Believe it or not, I didn’t go to Sumatra at all last year. Garuda over double their price to Padang, so it just made it too expensive to spend just one day in Sumatra to see the races. This year, however, Lion Air started flying to Padang for nearly half the price. So, I organized a trip this past Saturday, and brought 9 people with me.

It is always an amazing experience, and it’s tough to NOT get a good photo!

I usually shoot with my Nikon D800 and the Sigma 50-500mm. This time, I shot with my Sony A7R3 and the Sony 100-400mm lens. No comparison which was better…the Sony wins hands down!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Street Photos From 2011

Amazing what you can find going through old photos. These were taken back in 2011. I am never sure why I never post some photos. I guess at the time, I just thought they were average…but now I think they are bit above average…haha…

 

 

Back From Raja Ampat

I get so caught up keeping my Instagram and Facebook posts up to date, I forget about my own blog!! So for my ten or so readers, sorry about that!!

So last week was my something like 25th visit to Raja Ampat. I have seriously lost count on how many times I have been. I started going in 1998, and the only year I missed was the year I was suffering from Cancer treatment (2013). Some years I have gone two or three times. Never the less, every time I go, I am always AMAZED. I might be delusional, but I really think the reefs have gotten even more healthier. At least it seems so. After every dive, while handing my weight belt to the boat guys, I always say….”wow…what a dive…hard to beat that one!!”

If you have been following this blog for some time, you know I love the Sweet Lips. On one of our last dives at Cape Kri, I shot down to 40+ meters to my favorite Sweet Lip spot. There were literally thousands of them mixed in with other schools of fish. I only had a couple of minutes to get a shot, so I saw a group of them hovering over the rock they usually hang out at. The sun was peaking through from above, and Otto was hovering about 20 meters above me. The thing I love about Sweet Lips is that you can get close to them, and they just look at you like your some idiot, but are patient and don’t move. Can’t you just see what they are thinking with these photos?? I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best, so I posted all three shots from this spot…which one do you like the best?

North Vietnam

Two summers ago, I took a motorcycle trip from Hanoi to Sapa in North West Vietnam. It was a spectacular trip. The best part about traveling by motorcycle is that it is easy to pull of the road and take photos. I felt like I was stopping every five minutes to take a photo. The only bad part was the routine to take a photo. 1. pull over and park. 2. turn off the engine. 3. take your helmet off. 4. open the seat. 5. grab your camera. 6. take a photo, then do everything in reverse. With all that effort, it was kind of a pain to take many photos, and often I would just keep driving unless there was something spectacular to photograph.

When we arrived a small villages to spend the night, there was always time to take a hike or go on a photowalk.

This little girl was on the trail at one of our hikes through some incredible rice paddies. Would be great to go back there a few years from now, and see if she is still there!!

 

How About Something Like This of YOUR kid??

This year, instead of selling my prints at the Christmas Bazaar, I will be selling photo sessions to create photos like this of your kid. It can be any sport or hobby. I am very creative, and can make something to fit your style and to match your child’s personality. Just send me a message if your interested, and I can book a session for you in advance.

I will still be selling my prints, but won’t have many on display this year…but you can always choose a photo from my portfolio, and I can make any size print for you to fit your home.

The Three Dudes

You gotta wonder who these guys were back in the day. Somehow they have survived the poachers. Most of the characters on the walls of Angkor Wat have lost their heads. Must have been quite an honor back when the Khmere chose to have your face carved in stone to last centuries.

By the way, do you see the small spider and his web? Once you spot it, it’s hard to take your eyes off of it. I thought of “photoshopping” it out…but, in the end, it kinda adds to the photo…

A Nice Kenyan Sunset

At the end of each day while on Safari, the guides stop for what they call a “Sundowner”. They park the truck at the perfect location, set up a table and a couple of chairs, and pull out snacks and a bottle of wine. I told them I wanted a nice sunset shot, so they parked  way down a slowly sloping hill. When I looked up the hill, there was a nice tree at the top of a ridge, and some animals wandering around. I pulled out my 200mm lens, and zoomed into the tree, and waited for the animals to move in the perfect position. The Wildebeest near the tree was just standing there not moving…so he was in position. Meanwhile there were several antelope running around…I wanted to catch one of them running into the right side of the frame. At first, they wouldn’t cooperate…but finally, just as the sun was at the horizon, three of them ran over the ridge out of view, and the fourth one ran to the right. BANG….GOT IT !!

 

Streamlining My Website

You may have noticed I took a couple of pages down from my website. My thinking is that my website had too much clutter. The main goal of my website has always been to share my work, and to tell stories about my photos. A website with LARGE images seems to me to be better than Instagram or Facebook…it is more intimate as well. It’s all about “exposure”, and getting your work “out there”. So that is the main purpose of this website, so I decided to take all of the “other stuff” out, and focus on showing my photos.

This means focusing on making more frequent blog posts, and updating my portfolio often. I am kicking myself in the ass to get a move on that. I take way too long between posts, and want to change that.

A Double Rainbow

On our family trip to the Southwest this past summer, we drove through a small Utah town (can’t remember the name of it). The light was just amazing. On the west side of town the sun was setting in clear skies…on the East side, there was an ominous storm brewing. Of course, this sets up the perfect scenario for a rainbow, and boy did we get a rainbow! I pulled over to the side of the road, and jumped out of the car with my camera. Others followed suit, and before you knew it, many of the locals were out with their iphones taking photos with me. I was looking for something to put in the foreground of my photos so that I didn’t end up with just a photo of a rainbow. Across the street, I spotted it…and old abandoned car. Another dude who got out of his car too, standing near me with a nice DSLR camera, came over to talk to me. He was asking what kind of camera I had, and what my camera settings were. We talked a bit, and I then pointed across the street to the car, and we looked at each other, and agreed we had to go for it. So the two of us walked to the car in the deep grass, and took some shots. I hadn’t shot an HDR in a long time, but thought this was the perfect opportunity to bracket my shots…it is what HDR was made for. I took several shots, but this one was my favorite.

Grand Canyon Sunset

I was surprised, actually, how few good photos I got at the Grand Canyon. Our first afternoon there was the best as there were clouds in the sky. The next couple of days, it was SUPER HOT and not a cloud in the sky. Those kind of days make boring photographs. The Canyon is so big, it is really difficult to capture the sheer beauty before you, but it was spectacular.

I gotta say, though, the crowds at the South Rim were unbelievable. I remembering going there as a kid, and I remember having the place pretty much to ourselves. Ok, we did go in July, the most crowded month to go, but just sayin’….it was crowded.

Patience and Perseverance

Paid off in Big Time Dividends…

Just got to my photos from Kenya. The main goal of my trip was to get some photos of “Tim”, the largest elephant in Africa. BUT, finding ONE elephant in Amboseli National Park was no easy task. It’s not like you can call him. On the first two days, we had no luck, but after talking with the Maasai, we heard he was spotted in a conservancy outside of the park. So, on my last day, we went to the conservancy, and with shear luck, we found him!! Getting a photo of him was another job altogether. What I wanted to do was to place a camera on the ground, and get a shot of him from the ground up. Not an easy task. The problem was that he was in the bushes and trees eating, and he was surrounded by four other HUGE bulls that apparently know he has large tusks, and are like his security guards. He was not walking somewhere, so it was impossible to predict where he would walk out of the trees for me to get a camera set. You can’t walk right up to them either…if you did, it would be game over. So, I had to be at least 100 yards or so away to get out of the truck, place the camera, and then run back to the truck, and then pray he/they would walk over my camera. My first four attempts failed miserably….they would walk about 50 feet right or left of my camera. After my fourth attempt, they went deep into the bush and swamp, and we couldn’t follow them. Our guide said they would be in there for a few hours before coming out again. So, we went on a game drive in the conservancy, and then came back to the area near sunset, and saw them eating in the trees near a path. When they looked liked they were going to come out of the trees, another safari truck came and were watching them. That gave only one path out…between our two trucks, so we put the camera on the ground between our two trucks…and guess what?? They walked right over my camera, and I fired off my camera with my remote!! I was so excited!! So, not only did I find TIM, but I got shots of him from the ground up!! Woo Hoo !!

This first two shots are of the most famous, and unarguably the largest Elephant in Africa, “TIM”.  I was in awe of this majestic animal. He is now 50 years old, and there is no telling how many more years this animal has left on Earth. It will certainly be a sad day when he goes. Being in his presence, therefore, and to capture him with my camera from the ground up perspective is something I will treasure forever. I consider these images to be perhaps the best I have ever taken…they were certainly the most difficult to get, and that makes them priceless to me.

The other shots are of what I like to call, “Tim’s Security Squad”. Tim, I was told by my guide, is a friendly elephant. This does not mean you can just walk right up to Tim and shake his trunk, but it means he is used to seeing people gawking at him, and he is not aggressive about chasing you off. The same can NOT be said of his “security squad”. They are aggressive Bull Elephants, and they will not let you get close to Tim. They are huge beasts as well, and they can flatten you to a human pancake if you get too close.

People have asked me, “were you afraid they would step on your camera?”. The answer is, YES. However, I thought it worth the risk. Would I rather risk my camera, or never get the shot I came to Africa to get? That was an easy answer…of course I would risk my camera. When they started to walk towards my camera, I was in for a new surprise. From my experience, it is obvious that elephants really do watch where they step. My camera was in total silent mode, so they didn’t hear my camera, and compared to their size, my camera was a tiny object on the ground. Starting with Tim, however, he definitely saw my camera…he paused a second when he approached it, and then carefully took one step to the right of the camera. Each elephant in succession did exactly the same thing. One of them even kind of freaked out a bit before stepping to the side (last photo).

Simple AMAZING animals!! My favorite in Africa!!

 

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Scotty Graham is an internationally acclaimed professional photographer specializing in fine art photography and print making.
scottygraham1@gmail.com