South Plaza Island was our first shoreside visit, and it was perfectly timed with sunset, which happens quickly along the equator. The gentle afternoon light was warm and luminous accent to a landscape rich in green and yellow, due to recent abundant rains and the short-lived blossoming period of the portulaca plant. Plants in general, although they do receive the attention that the wildlife of the islands do, were and are a critical component in understanding natural selection processes in the archipelago. We had the rewarding experience of watching both a reptile and birds feeding on the abundant yellow flowers. In particular, a ruddy turnstone was eating the pollen, certainly something I’ve never seen before.
I had high hopes for an evening landscape here with the flowers in the foreground, but the sloping angle of the island, in combination with clouds and the fact that one can’t deviate much from a trail, prevented that. I did however find the tall prickly pear cactus on this island offered some vertical spatial dimension for a landscape. The warm and cool color combination always seems to work well together, offering some tension in the palette, but still very pleasing.
As clouds obscured the sun, the low light made stopping motion in the bird and iguana photos challenging. I moved to 800 ISO since 1/200 sec was not fast enough to stop the quick action of an iguana chowing down on blossoms. Unfortunately many good compositions were a little blurry. The 400 f/4.0L IS DO with a 1.4x was a valuable lens choice for this area, although I did not use it much throughout the trip.