Isla San Jose & Cruising for Wildlife

Mar 10, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion

In true expedition photography style, we were up an hour before the dawn and landed on the shore at Punta Colorado on Isla San Jose for a sunrise shoot.  The warm light reflecting off the blue water on the red cliffs was a photographer’s dream. The sun cast beautiful shadows on the fossilized bones and shells imbedded in the red sedimentary rocks. After a quick breakfast back on the ship, we returned to the shore for energetic walks in the colorful arroyo and atop the beautiful red cliffs with stunning views of the Gulf of California.

In even more true expedition travel, our plans changed by the hour as we encounter great pods of whales. First about a dozen sperm whales that logged on the surface right next to our ship between long deep dives. Then a pod of a few dozen short-finned pilot whales came close to investigate the ship which allowed for incredible photo opportunities. Just when we thought it was safe to venture south, we happened upon a sea of mobula rays jumping out of the water and a humpback whale that breached a few times as the sun set on this very special day. Southward tomorrow for more adventures.

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About the Author

Rich Reid

National Geographic Photographer

Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Rich Reid has specialized in environmental and adventure photography for over two decades. On assignment with National Geographic Adventure magazine, he cycled Alaska’s Inside Passage by ferry and explored California’s Gaviota Coast by bike and kayak. North American Nature Photography Association elected Rich as a Fellow for his significant contributions to the nature photography industry, and he was a finalist for the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his time-lapse video documenting forest fire ecology.

About the Videographer

Matthew Ritenour

Video Chronicler

Matthew grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, where a love of geography, culture and history were instilled at a young age. He studied anthropology at California State University, Chico, and soon began working at the Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA), a documentary production studio that focuses on sharing the results of anthropological research with the public. As a cinematographer and editor at ALVA, he documented research on everything from the effects of drought in California, to looted petroglyphs in the Sierra Nevada high desert, and the global trade in emeralds.

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