Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Alaska

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Philip.AK, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    I just finished a solo 250-mile trip from my home in Kodiak to Homer, Alaska. I took 11 days to finish the trip which went a little slow in the middle while I waited for a good weather window to make the 25-mile crossing from Shuyak to the Barren Islands, and then the additional 25-mile crossing from the Barrens to the Chugach Islands on the south end of the Kenai Peninsula. The trip turned out just stunning, and I have put together a video that I think captures the experience as well as I could have hoped for. I hope you like it too. The animals were out and doing their things, the weather cooperated when I needed it to, and the country is utterly magnificent. Here is a link to my trip video. I definitely encourage you to watch it in HD and full screen with the sound turned on. :D

    https://vimeo.com/46725100

    Here are some actual screen shots from the video if you are wondering if you really want to watch it or not. :)

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  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Well I'm just 4 minutes into it and it's just mesmerizing. Beautiful shots.
    thanks.
     
  3. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Stunning...Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. Greg

    Greg Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Awesome video, I've only watched about 3 minutes so far but plan to come back and watch the rest. You are very good at slow panning and smooth camera action. What camera are you using? It appears that you have it mounted to your helmet or head in quite a few shots.

    Thanks,
     
  5. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    All of the telephoto shots and some wide angles were made with my Panasonic Lumix ZS20. It's really just one of the new generation of compact point and shoots with nice big zooms that record 1080 HD. It has some decent optical image stabilization, I hand-hold very carefully, and then I do some final stabilization in iMovie. The final result can sometimes be smooth shots, though my Nordkapp and about any sea state are usually trying to work against me there. :wink: The main thing that seems to separate professional video from home movies tends to be the amount of camera movement, so I really really try to get smooth shots.

    I also like to use the gopro 2. The POV footage and some of the wide-angle scenics were done with one of those, and though I had meant to bring a head mount for the camera I forgot it and just held the camera mount in my teeth for those shots. A bit annoying. :doh: For the couple of timelapse shots I used a tiny folding tripod, but otherwise everything is hand (or tooth) held.

    If you guys aren't on a fast connection I recommend starting the video and then immediately pausing it. Go do something else for a while so that it has a chance to buffer, and then come back and hit play to watch it through.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Just watched it start-finish...WOW! I don't think I closed my mouth (jaw-dropped) for the whole thing. Very inspiring and motivating!

    With all due respect to other new members; considering everything you've shared and contributed in your little-over-a-month time here, I nominate you as this year's "Best New Member"! Sorry, there's no prize, but it looks as though you've already been rewarded. Keep it up, Philip! :big_thumb :clap:
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Yah, I think watching that video was the best 20 minutes I spent yesterday. Fantastic scenery, but what an eye! What touch!
     
  8. KayDubbya

    KayDubbya Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Really nice video Philip. Great camera work and good post production too. Very professional. Keep them coming...
    Thanks for sharing.
    Kelly.
     
  9. Tatlow

    Tatlow Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    :!: The scene with the bear wandering on the shore turning over the rocks and finding, what, an eel? to munch on were wonderous. I kept going back to that footage. Thank you for this video. Must admit, your clip also makes a good statement for owning a dragger, I mean a plastic boat. :lol:
     
  10. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    The bear sequence is actually 3 different bears I saw tidepooling for breakfast along a ~5 mile stretch of coastline one morning on a minus tide. They all happened to be fuzzy, blonde, and within a couple hundred pounds of each other, so it is hard to tell they are different animals.

    And yes, I am a big proponent of plastic boats. After I smashed a hole in my fiberglass kayak hitting a rock I went back to plastic and am plenty happy with the performance and peace of mind it offers. :big_thumb
     
  11. mbiraman

    mbiraman Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Great pics Phillip. Any chance you'll be putting it on You Tube,,,,even when i buffer the whole thing its still just too choppy to watch for my connection. Looks like a great video tho.
    Thanks
     
  12. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    I am not a fan of youtube, but I just changed the permissions on vimeo to allow you to download the source file and just watch it on your home hard drive. Look for a link below the player window on vimeo that should give you a few resolution options. The original 1080 HD file is a full 780MB, but I think it's worth it. :mrgreen:

    I will probably turn the download option off again tomorrow, so just grab it tonight.

    Cheers.
     
  13. mbiraman

    mbiraman Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Thanks for that Philip.
    Excellent video,,one of the best i've seen. You don't often see a trip report from the water and top of a mnt as well. Great video skills as well.
    Thanks
    bill
     
  14. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    "Ditto" all of the above. Great stuff.
     
  15. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Wow. Simply stunning.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Bryan
     
  16. Reef

    Reef Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    So great that I watched it twice. Something about the great shooting, great wildlife, great story, and great editing made it even more than the components. Thanks!
     
  17. seawallrunner

    seawallrunner Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Oh my goodness this is superb.

    What a beautiful trip, and your video skills really brought me - even more - into the story.
    14.00 made me gasp out loud !!!

    I spent a week in Petersburg / Wrangell channel last year, kayaking, and your images brought back delicious memories.
    Funny how the bar in Petersburg was padded with dollar bills from visitors, too.
    I would love to return to Alaska and kayak some more. It's beautiful country up there !!!
     
  18. pryaker

    pryaker Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    After that last entry I had to go back to see what happened at minute 14. Yeah, cool, the feeding Humpys. I don't know if that's an amalgamation of various whale encounters but it's very cool to see the pairs diving down and manoeuvring next to each other.

    I'm curious to see if you have any footage of the opposite end of the feeding cycle when they come up through the bait ball? I was lucky enough to be close to that earlier this summer. It was extremely surreal to be paddling along and off my bow to see first, 4-8 little fish come rocketing a meter straight up out of the water, followed immediately by the head of the pursuing humpback! A big blast of fishy smelling breath, his bulging cheeks, and the amazing white and pink colouration of his skin stick in my brain. Of course, my camera wasn't ready and that was the second and last time I was close enough so I don't have any of my own footage to relive this exciting moment.
     
  19. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    I'm blown away!

    Fantastic work!
     
  20. bigbear

    bigbear Paddler

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    Re: Paddling from Kodiak to Homer via the Barren Islands, Al

    Outstanding!!! As an avid person interested in cinematography this is at the top of it's class. Beautiful choice of music, the editing outstanding........a creative work of art! Truly enjoyed your transition to black/white in the whale scenes. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. You are talented in cinematography and hope you pursue that talent to your fullest. Outstanding!!! Thanks!!!