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About peety3

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    Seattle, WA
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  1. Very late to the party, but I usually do my excursions with a 14/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 100-400, and 600 with a 1.4x. And yes, I did still feel the need to crop some of my shots with the 840mm equivalent bad boy. You've got to decide what you want to carry...
  2. Another enthusiastic vote for Gastineau Guiding. Their boats are the best around - stable, roomy, two of the best designs I've seen for whale watching. Their photo safari tour ("Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari") uses 14-passenger boats, while their other tours use 20-passenger boats, with similar designs between the two. All of the side windows are hinged and swing up to the ceiling, so they're 100% open when the boat is stopped, making viewing (and photos) so much better. There's also 1 (on 14 pax) or 2 (on 20 pax) outdoor viewing platforms that are open for use while the
  3. Bennett Lake and Carcross are two different stops: the lake is in the middle, Carcross is at the end. There's not much to see in Carcross...grab yourself an ice cream cone a block from the train stop and you're set. For the sake of mention, the Bennett Lake run does alternate: one day it's outbound, the next day it returns. You've got 50% odds that it'll be a returning run. Just like you'll take a bus in the opposite direction, the outbound train crew reverses the train using the triangle in Carcross, parks the train, and hops in a van for the drive back to Skagway. The next mornin
  4. It's not necessarily the megapixel count (my 5DsR is 50mp and it's still CR2), just the file format. And yes, every now and then you've got to get updates for software to remain compatible with the newer cameras. It doesn't even have to be CR3 to be a problem - any time there's a camera newer than the software, there's apt to be an obstacle.
  5. It's not about the camera, it's about the lens. Zoom lenses are OK to start with, but you can get a heck of a lot of performance out of a "prime" (non-zoom, aka fixed focal length) lens for the same or less money. Sure, you've got to find the right focal length for your needs, but for outdoor sports, all too often, the limit is your wallet. Indoors, the spaces aren't big enough to gamble on focal length: you probably want to try with a zoom or ask others who've shot in similar spaces what lens they used (and if a zoom lens, what focal length it was at most of the time). In a nutshell, you want
  6. We've done two NB, two Seattle RT/Tracy Arm Fjord, and one Seattle RT/Glacier Bay (we moved to the Seattle area between the first NB and the second NB, then did all the others from Seattle). NB is the most relaxing of the three if you look at just the cruise, but the travel logistics on either end make it a little rougher. GB is in the middle if you ask me, but TAF is usually cheaper.
  7. Very camera-dependent, but it boils down to a decision between "focus once and stop trying" (which people love for portraits) or "keep focusing as long as I've got the button half-pressed". There can be a lot more to it also, such as whether you or the camera picks the "focus point", whether the focus points will track the subject, perhaps how the focus logic decides whether to stick to the original subject or jump to a newer closer one, etc.
  8. We've done several tours with Gastineau Guiding and have been thrilled every time. They're very good at being exclusive via the cruise lines, but don't let that turn you away: their boats are better and you'll appreciate the difference. At least through Princess, it's JNU-670, JNU-700, and JNU-705, though they have boats in many of the ports and therefore can offer tours there. On our last cruise, we wanted to maximize our whale-watching time. Although most of their whale watches have a secondary component, that part is most definitely optional. I called ahead (two months, two week
  9. I can't speak directly to the Anchorage/SB itinerary, but we've done the NB twice, the Seattle RT/Tracy Arm Fjord twice, and the Seattle RT/Glacier Bay once. I do feel the NB/SB itinerary is more relaxing as the events are more spread out, RT/GB is not too crazy, and the RT/TAF is a serious case of hurry-up/wait/hurry-up/wait/hurry-up/get-out (board fast, at sea a day and a half, four stops in <60 hours, 49 hours at sea, quick stop in Victoria, short sleep and disembark). That said, we live 40 minutes drive from the Seattle cruise terminal so it's a no-brainer for us: the logistics of Vanco
  10. Understand the boundaries to evaluate the benefits: if you travel on your own, prefer anytime dining, tend to not sit with others at meals, and/or tend to dine in the hot traffic time of 5:45 to 6:45 (such that 5:30 or 7:00 is too early/too late for you), it's for you. If you travel with others who won't be in CC, you can't pull them into CC.
  11. We love the Adagio Bar on Ruby, and how it works with the adjacent specialty restaurant and the outdoor patio that's adjacent. Now that we understand how the "four half-sized midship MDRs" work on Diamond/Sapphire, those are appealing. Golden or Star would be next on the list. Grand is nice but I personally dislike the lack of passenger-accessible midship stairs; it puts more burden on the midship lifts and the other stairwells.
  12. Like Havoc said, rent. Try for lenses with lower zoom ranges (like Havoc said) for better optics. A non-zoom lens ("prime lens") will almost always have better optics than a 3x-4x zoom lens, which will almost always have better optics than a 10x-15x zoom lens.
  13. The 4-day cruise is likely a way to reset the schedule to days of the week that work better for the overall marketing of the ship - it shifts the subsequent 10-day cruise to not end right at Christmas (likely a terrible time to have cruise passengers flying into or out of the embarkation port).
  14. My understanding is that there is ONE table in the Princess fleet that'll seat 12; all the rest are 10 or fewer. That one table is on the Ruby, perhaps #119. The telltale clue is that it usually takes two tablecloths; none of the stock tablecloths are big enough to cover the table properly. It's in Botticelli, 6/aft, so only available to TD as I understand it. Even so, good luck getting that table. I've seen it go to bigger families/groups, but I've also seen it go to a group that requested our waiter by language...
  15. Cocktail per person, half-bottle of wine or something like that. Petit fours to start, salad, appetizer, main course (steak, lobster, or combo), dessert (that's only offered during UBD). We've done it three times: August 2015 in a starboard mini-suite leaving Skagway, February 2017 in an aft-facing penthouse suite (with my parents) leaving Mazatlan, and September 2017 in a starboard mini-suite leaving Skagway. Interestingly, that month of difference (plus/minus normal weather fluctuations) meant that we did that last UBD from inside because of the cold/wind. Something to consider...
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