Galapagos Photography – Isabela Island

Lava Rocks - Isabela Island - Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are a very special destination. Prior to flying to the enchanted islands, we toured through the Atacama desert in Chile and parts of Peru (Machu Picchu). To get to Galapagos, you have to stay one night in Ecuador. Flights leave either from Guayaquil or Quito. Coming from Lima, we decided to stay one in Guayaquil. The flights were better and usually the Quito plane stops in Guayaquil to collect the remaining passengers before heading on to Balta airport on Galapagos. Safety and fast, reliable connection to the airport was our priority for the hotel in Ecuador and I can highly recommend to stay at the Hampton Inn in Guayaquil. Probably the most comfortable and nicest Hampton Inn I have ever stayed at (and I have seen many). It is very close to a nice boardwalk at the harbor and has fantastic room service.

We left the next morning with the airport shuttle from the hotel. In contrast to Lima airport, Guayaquil is nice, not crowded and easy to get around. Make sure, to get your luggage checked at the Galapagos Inspection Station before lining up for the check-in counter. It is right next to the check-in counter.

To fast-forward to the photo you see above, it was taken on Isabela Island, which is the largest of the Galapagos Islands. We took a speed boat (a very rough ride) from Santa Cruz to Puerto Villamil and stayed at Casa de Marita for three nights. Probably one of the nicer hotels on the island. We were also able to arrange all our tours right there. This shot was taken right outside of our ocean front room. A long exposure just after the sun set behind the volcano in the background.

Technique:
Mounted camera on tripod and expose for the sky next to the setting sun. Remember the settings from the meter reading and keep them dialed in manual mode. Afterwards attach a filter holder (I use Cokin Z-Pro Filter Holder) and slide in your filters (here GND 3-stop Hitech filter soft and ND 3-stop Hitech filter). Adjust the exposure dial by about 3-5 full stops to expose longer. Your camera might stop at 30 seconds and only show bulb mode. That’s fine, you simply have to calculate the additional time needed, by doubling the time with every additional full-stop. Compose the shot the way you want it to be framed and use a remote or cable release to avoid and movement of the camera.

André

 

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