Jake Egbert Photography Blog

The Ocean Ate Jake’s Camera

The winking red glow of a light, somehow still illuminated, was momentarily visible deep beneath the surface as she continued to tumble further up the beach, dragged by the sneaker wave that would terminate nearly 100 feet beyond the previously-wet sand. I thrust my arms into the chilly darkness as the red light blinked and disappeared once again, fingers groping blindly, desperately, until they finally brushed against a smooth and slender leg! Just as the wave finally reached it’s zenith and stalled, during that silent pause preceding the inevitable rush back to the sea, I hauled her bodily out of the depths. I staggered for balance, nearly dropping her again. But with adrenaline-fueled determination I finally hoisted her clear of the sea, inverted, gripped by a leg, water and sand draining out of her back into the now receding rush of surf.

As I stood there, knee-deep in the Pacific bathed in salt water, moonlight, and the flickering orange glow of distant campfires, I knew I’d lost her. She was dead. This was the end of my beloved Nikon D500 and her Tokina 11-16mm/2.8 lens.

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HVMS XC - Meet #3 Dragonslayer

I got to photograph my daughter's cross country meets this year.  It was a great chance to be outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather we enjoyed in Oregon this year.  Plus, it gave me another chance to practice sports photography. 

These shots are from Dragonslayer, the fourth meet of the year.  Dragonslayer is a much bigger event than the earlier meets with schools participating from all around the Portland area. Held at Overlook Park in Portland, the small course was crowded and lively as the runners wound around old trees, over hills and past soccer practices making three loops. By the end the faster runners had lapped many of the slower participants. We arrived just in time for the 7-8 grade race. 

Congratulations go out to the HVMS boys for the win!

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the race. There are several options if you want to see more pics from this event just click on the links below:

  • BUY -- To see all the rest and to buy professional quality downloads or prints visit the gallery at my storefront.
  • FACEBOOK - See the top 40 or so shots at my Facebook page. 'Like' my page in order to tag, share, or comment on the pics. 
  • GOOGLE+ - Same pics in my Google +  gallery if that's how you roll.


Ridiculously Relaxed Cross Country Runner


I'm thinking of entering a My Best Shot of 2012 photo contest and I've narrowed my choices down to the 10 photos in this gallery. I would love to get some feed back over the next few weeks to help me decide which one to enter. Please vote for your favorite by "liking" it in the gallery or making a comment! I would love to know why you like a shot, too, if you feel like sharing. Thanks!

If you prefer to see the gallery over at my Facebook page (a very easy place to "Like" or comment) you can click here.

Coast Guard Cadets Salute WTC, Fleet Week 2012, USCGC Eagle, Manhattan, NY.

Blue Angels Over Battle Group, Fleet Week 2012, Hudson River, Manhattan, NY

Blue Heron at Mukilteo Landing. Mukilteo, WA

Hungry Gull. Mukilteo, WA

4th of July Fireworks After the Fireworks. Old Lyme, CT

Sail Fest Fireworks 2012. Fort Trumbull, New London, CT

Osprey Taking Flight. Old Lyme, CT

My Fish! Osprey, Old Lyme, CT

Gary Rower Stearman, Oregon International Airshow 2012, Hillsboro, OR

USAF Thunderbirds, Oregon International Airshow 2012, Hillsboro, OR

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February Backyard

The Oregon winter season is still new to me. In Utah, my dad ran two tanks of gas out of his snow blower last week. But here in Oregon this past Saturday we had balmy temperatures in the mid 50's so I spent some time on my balcony soaking in the sun and observing the birds that never migrated away this winter. The hummingbirds and goldfinches are a constant presence at our feeders.

We see a wide assortment of goldfinches in our yard.  They seem to be brightening up compared to the more drab plumage we saw through the Fall season.

We've seen up to fifteen finches hanging from our thistle sock at a time. 


One of many hummingbirds that enjoy our backyard

I often hear the distinctive chirp of a hummingbird accosting me unseen from high branches around the borders of the yard; broadcasting that, while others (particularly the humans that fill the feeder) may make short visits, all should be aware that this yard has already been claimed!

Dive! Dive! Dive!

The previous owner of our home saw this pic and said this is the Pepping Happy Valley Hummer. I think this is the cheeky little fellow that chirps at us any time we trespass in his backyard.

I love this Oregon skyline

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Oregon Zoo Visit

I had a couple of hours to kill in Portland this past Saturday afternoon so I made my first visit to the Oregon Zoo. Between the intermittent rain showers I photographed some of the more interesting animals (and people).

I've been to quite a few zoos, and this one ranks high on my list. I found the Great Northwest area of the zoo to be particularly impressive with its diverse animals, habitats, and forested layout. Maybe it was because of the lower temperatures or the on-again off-again rain, but many of the animals seemed particularly alert and active.

I probably only saw half of the exhibits on this visit so I'll be wanting to go back again soon. Although, during a particularly heavy rain shower I got to spend over 20 minutes inside the Elephant Museum; plenty of time to read each and every plaque within the display, some of them twice. So, I may not need to go back to that part of the zoo...

This bobcat was pacing its habitat

The two mountain lions were very active, stalking one another...

...and pouncing when the other least expected it.

This polar bear was snoozing until rain started falling more heavily.  I snapped this as the rain woke it up.  It soon moved out of the rain.

The damara zebra.  Not just black and white.

Reticulated giraffe

Train in the rain (and sunshine)

Rocky Mountain Goat

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HVMS XC - Meet #1

Fall brings many great things. The crisp cool temperatures mean you can break out your favorite sweater again, the damp scent of leaves and earth tell you that Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner, football (need I say more?), and now it also signals the arrival of a new passion for at least one member of my family: Cross Country!

My daughter started running cross country last fall and had a great time. She is having an even better experience this year and I've enjoyed documenting the events through pictures as can be seen in the photos and the linked gallery, below.

And the girls are off and running!

This young lady from Rowe dominated at the first meet of the season

1.8 miles later, there was no one even close as she crossed the finish line

Every finisher got a high five

One of our Happy Valley boys took the lead mid-way through his race

Headed for a close finish, Coach Oliver leads the pack on his pace-bicycle

And it's Happy Valley by a narrow margin!

Announcing the results

Lighting in this gallery provided by the setting sun

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Sugar - In Concert - Esker Point 2012

I finally got around to processing a few more photos from this past summer. On July 19th I saw Sugar in concert at Esker Point Beach for the third year in a row. Once again the band did not disappoint!

My photo gallery from last year's concert is probably my personal favorite of all my work. And, while I don't know that this year's gallery is up to the same standards as last year I do like it a lot. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the 2012 Sugar concert. Enjoy!

You can also see the pics on Facebook here if you wish.
And while you're there you can "like" that page, too, but only if you do like it...

A great venue for a concert!



This drum stick has seen its last concert



Most (but not all) of the fans were thrilled by the loud, upbeat music.




Israel recognized me because of my photos from last year.

Don and Shelley drew a crowd of their own when they showed off their cha-cha skills during a brief intermission.




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Fleet Week 2012 #2 - Parade of Sails

For post number two I picked a few favorite shots of the other ships that participated in the parade of sails.

There were several other tall ships cruising the Hudson River with the Eagle this fine May morning (here's a list of most of the major participants). Each time we passed one of these ships our crew manned the rail, and their crew did likewise. I think the most impressive were the ships like the Dewaruci of Indonesia that had crew members waving in choreographed precision from high aloft in the rigging.

The Eagle led the procession into Manhattan beginning just south of the Verrazano bridge. Following us was the destroyer USS Roosevelt, which was the lead vessel in an impressive battle group that included several more destroyers and the LHD-1 Wasp. Circling the group were several small heavily armed Coast Guard vessels, insuring that nothing interfered with the parade.

My next post will focus more on the aerial portions of the event. Until then, check out the pics below or head over to the big gallery.

Lady Liberty through the rigging

The Dewaruci of Indonesia

The CUAUHTEMOC of Mexico

Pride of Baltimore II

The Gloria of Columbia

The Guayas of Ecuador

USS Roosevelt ahead of the rest of the battle group

USS Roosevelt passed under the Verrazano Bridge with the crew at the rail in their dress whites

The Verrazano Bridge

US Coast Guard RBM

The CUAUHTEMOC of Mexico

45-foot RBM.  Armed and dangerous!
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Fleet Week 2012 #1 - A Morning Ride

I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience in late May when I was invited to spend the day aboard the USCGC Eagle during Fleet Week 2012 in Manhattan, NY. A friend of mine is an officer with the US Coast Guard and he happened to be assigned to the Eagle this summer. He invited me to ride along as a VIP while the Eagle led the Parade of Sails up the Hudson River! When he extended the invitation I really had to think long and hard about it... Ah, who am I kidding? I jumped at the chance. Immediately!

It should come as no surprise I had my camera along for the ride -- I came home with over 1,000 photos. With everything going on lately it has taken me a looooong time to get up the ambition needed to sort through and edit that many photos! The other item of note, photographically speaking, is that this was the last event that I photographed in .jpg format. Right after my cruise aboard the Eagle I switched to RAW format as an experiment. This was based, partially, upon on a conversation I had with a "serious" photographer on board the Eagle, and I haven't had any desire to switch back. RAW format chews up my hard drive and pushes the processing capabilities of my laptop, but it allows me a level of editing control that I just can't get with .jpg pics. In fact, it has been so long since I took these .jpg pictures aboard the Eagle that I found it very frustrating to go back and try to get the results I wanted now that I've been working in RAW for several months.

Since there are so many pics in total I plan to make a few posts highlighting my favorites by topic.

This post is really about getting myself, a civilian land lubber, on board a very cool tall ship early on the morning of May 23. So here goes...

Once I had accepted the invitation to ride along I received an email from a friendly Coast Guard public relations rep instructing me to arrive at the financial district of lower Manhattan by 6:30 AM. There a pair of 45-foot Coast Guard response boat-mediums (RBM) would begin ferrying VIPs out the to Eagle, lying at anchor just off the Statue of Liberty.

To ensure a timely arrival, I stayed the night at a hotel I Pricelined up near Times Square and then took the subway down to the WTC and my date with the Coast Guard. I arrived on time along with a sizable group. In fact, there were so many members of the press and other VIPs that I got to wait a couple of hours for my turn to board an RBM for my trip out to the Eagle. So I wandered the marina observing the endless stream of New Yorkers running, cycling, and walking their dogs while the sun rise reflected off of WTC 1.

After watching several boatloads of passengers make their way out to the distant Eagle it was finally my turn! I boarded the last RBM shuttle and once we cleared the marina they rev'd the twin 825 HP diesel engines and the financial district shrunk quickly behind us. I had a great view of the Eagle and the Statue of Liberty as we approached, however, I had a difficult time taking pictures because I thought it wise not to fall headlong into the Hudson River. I alternated snapping photos between other passengers and holding fast to the engine cowling to avoid taking a bath. I will say this, though, if you ever get the chance to ride a water taxi with a bow-mounted M240 machine gun, I highly recommend it!

We circled the Eagle and I made may way up a set of stairs to the deck, where I met my host for what promised to be an exciting day.

The Eagle is just visible in the distance along with the Statue of Liberty

One WTC rising through the Manhattan morning mist

Morning joggers reflected in the puddle of a leaking hydrant

North Cove Marina

Another view of One WTC

Eagle and the Statue of Liberty from North Cove Marina

A Coast Guard RBM loaded with VIPs heads for the Eagle

The shrinking Manhattan skyline

Lady Liberty over Eagle

My lens was not wide enough to get the whole ship (at least not shooting one handed from a moving RBM)

Good morning, Lady Liberty!

USCGC Eagle backed by the Jersey City skyline

Jersey on the left, Manhattan on the right, Eagle in the middle

One more of Lady Liberty, posing with our special water taxi (the one wearing that bright band of orange)

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Ticket to Ride - In Concert - Old Lyme - 2012

I just happened across the Ticket to Ride concert in Old Lyme last year, to my surprise and delight. This year, however, we arrived on time and on purpose!

The annual Beatles concert was presented by Koffee Works of Old Lyme and took place outside their shop under a beautiful sunset. Ticket to Ride has had a good year so far. They appeared on the local Fox affiliate and they are rumored to have spent quite a bit of time in the studio of late (fingers crossed that their laying down tracks for an album). It seems like that work in the studio is paying dividends. These boys from Liverpool have really tightened up their harmonies and polished up their chords! They sounded fantastic and they once again had this crowd twisting and shouting over and between the painted lines of the bank parking lot late into the evening.

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BYU Idaho Dance Alliance

The BYU Idaho Dance Alliance team put on a charity performance (all proceeds from the dance concert went to support local charities) at the New London High School on July 27, my last Friday as a full-time resident of Connecticut. Since many people from ours and other local churches had worked tirelessly to bring this dance concert to fruition I was very hopeful that it would turn out well.

The dancers overcame stifling heat and humidity (NLHS didn't see fit to turn on their AC, to the detriment of the dancers and the audience) and still managed to put on an inspirational performance that was impressive in both its scope and quality. All in attendance were treated to a top-notch dance presentation the likes of which is rarely seen in this area.

Below I have posted a few of my favorite shots from the event, along with a link to a larger gallery. The lighting was pretty sparse, so I was quite pleased to pull even this much detail from the images. I've been shooting in RAW format for a few months now, which tends to allow me to crank more detail out of highlight and shadow areas, along with chewing up my open hard drive space...









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Wildlife of Mukilteo

A few weeks back I posted a gallery from my visit to Mukilteo, WA. Here are a few of my favorite wildlife shots from the album.  Same big photo album, just highlighting different pics.

Some kind of a wood duck

This cormorant dove hundreds of times and came up with fish nearly every time.  I'd call this a double crested cormorant based on the other pics I can find online.

This great blue heron just hung out right next to the ferry landing, not caring that I was wandering all over his (or her) beach

This seal made several appearances while I was there

Why settle for one fish, when you can have a whole beak full?

Feathers in the breeze

The seagulls and I could tell when the cormorant was going to surface.  The surface of the water began roiling with fish trying to swim away from the diving bird.  Good news for a hungry seagull!

This was a very mild mannered bulldog.  He didn't even eat the little Yorkshire terrier that came yipping at his heels.

Gulls everywhere

Sky on fire
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Watching the Rain

So, I started a new job in Portland, Oregon about two weeks ago. It's been a very busy and exciting time preparing to move my family across the country.  While I have taken a few photos in the past couple of weeks, I have spent very little time processing any of them. Well tonight I was just scratching the surface of my photo queue and saw these two shots of my son contemplating whether or not he really wanted to accompany me on an errand across town (he did choose to go with his old man, to his credit!)  I realized tonight that even though I now live in Portland, a city renowned for its gray skies and rain, the last time I saw a real downpour was the day before I left Connecticut!

Summer in Portland is actually beautiful! Blue skies, sunshine, low humidity... Hopefully I'll get around to posting some Portland pics soon!

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Mukilteo Lighthouse

I had a chance to visit the Puget Sound north of Seattle a few weeks back on business. It rained all day, but by evening the drizzle stopped and I spent a couple of hours at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park in Mukilteo, Washington.

Before my trip I struggled with the decision of whether or not to bring my camera along. As much as I enjoy taking pictures, there are trips (business trips in particular) where I don't ever take my camera out of its case. Lugging the camera on and off of airplanes only to not use it can be a pain. Well, as you can see, I finally opted to bring the camera along again... I think I chose wisely.

Finding myself alone for several hours with my camera in tow in a place as picturesque as this... Well, there are worse ways to spend an evening on a business trip. I watched the ferry boats running back and forth across the sound in tandem, I observed lots of wildlife, and I generally just had a great time. I capped off the evening with a delicious dinner at Ivar's followed by another half hour on the piers watching the sunset.

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Elsie & Ben - Portrait Session

I recently had the opportunity of shooting portraits for a couple of great kids; classmates of my own son and daughter. We had a good time inventing individual poses and then we set about shooting some of brother and sister together. Luckily, a few of the pics of the two of them together did not include bunny ears!

I started out shooting with a flash but didn't really like how it was flattening the images out. So, I switched to just shooting with natural light and I was much happier with the images I was able to get. Here are just a few of my favorites from the session.


Patiently posing together, the loving brother and sister.

Brother and sister in their natural element!

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Sailfest Fireworks - 2012

This was my third time watching the Sailfest fireworks in four years. The previous times I've watched from the waterfront district of New London and I was so close to the action that I struggled to keep the larger bursts in the frame. This year we found an ideal position from which to watch down at Fort Trumbull. There was much more space, fewer people, and two tall ships in the foreground, including the USCGC Eagle, which all added up to a great experience for me and the family. I'm pretty happy with how these shots turned out. Do you have a favorite picture from this gallery?
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4th of July Fireworks & Lightning

In accordance with annual tradition, my wife obtained a box of Wal-Mart's finest fireworks and we celebrated the 4th of July in grand style out in the driveway. The kids took turns writing messages with sparklers and flashlights and then we fired off the assorted fountains in grand style.

As we finished our fireworks show, the real fireworks began. A large storm cell rolled in and the kids camped out in the driveway to watch the lightning streaking across the sky accompanied by surround sound thunder claps.

No offense to our Wal-Mart fireworks, but Mother Nature seems to know how to put on a much more impressive show!

Girl with wings

Secret messages

Flashlight art

The grand finale

The real show
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Old Lyme - Memorial Day Parade - 2012

May 28, 2012 -- An Old Lyme tradition resumed again today under sunny skies, a welcome contrast to the drenching rains that caused the cancellation of the 2011 event. Parade participants marched in front of cheering crowds from the firehouse on Lyme Street to the parade terminus at Duck Creek Cemetery. The closing ceremonies incuded, among other things, performances by the Lyme Old Lyme High School Marching Band, essay readings, a flag ceremony, and a 21 gun salute followed by Taps.

I posted photos of this event right after Memorial Day and LymeLine.com ran some of them when they were fresh and new!

This annual event is one of my family's favorite aspects of living in small-town Connecticut. There is a real sense of community as we see people we know from school, gymnastics, and little league scattered up and down Lyme Street.

The whole town seems to be involved in the parade. Everyone first meets at the parade staging area as many families have kids marching with a band, baseball team, scout troop, etc. Then the parade rolls by, kids throwing candy, other kids scrambling to pick up candy, parents and spectators waving and snapping pictures. Then, the whole town gets up and follows the parade down to the cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremony. Afterwards, the parade sort of reverses course and we all follow the marching bands back to the firehouse where the whole event started! After enjoying free hot dogs and soda on the apparatus floor of the firehouse, residents are welcome to wander down to the Lyme Academy for the antique car show and an impressive array of sparkling automobiles.

LOLMS Marching Band - Anchors Away, played 100 times!
(Mrs. Wind, the band director, will not listen to this song again for a few years, except in her nightmares!)

A patriotic parade watcher

This one was twirling the foot with the sandal in time to the marching band music

The New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums

Three-volley salute

See you next Memorial Day!
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PopArtsBall - Lyme Academy

Last month I was invited to photograph a fundraising event at the Lyme Academy in Old Lyme, CT. The PopArtsBall was an Andy Warhol themed silent auction, dinner, and dance held under large tents and in the main gallery at the Lyme Academy. Tickets went for $150 each and the event sold out at 350 participants. This soiree was clearly above my pay grade, but I had a great time documenting the rich and beautiful as they partied the evening away, all for a great cause. Proceeds went to scholarships for art students at the academy, as I understand. Who knows, maybe I'll be invited to more of these parties in the future...
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Beluga Day 2

It's been a few weeks since I posted anything to the photo blog. This makes two Beluga Day posts in a row (here's the last one) but the events were actually a couple of months apart. You can certainly tell that this Beluga Day was warmer than the last one; no one was bundled up this time.

One of my favorite aspects about this Beluga Day was listening to a couple of older kids in the crowd jealously observing all the preschool kids right up next to the whales. "Mom...," one whined, "Why do all those little kids get to go in there? I want to go in there!" I'm kind of with the whiny kid, in some respects. At least I had the big lens to help me feel like I was up close to the whales.

Underwater view

This beluga waited expectantly for chow time like a big white puppy

A pesky seagull was intent on stealing a tasty fish from the steel bucket.  However, the trainer wasn't about to let this feathered filcher off with a free meal.

Feeding time!

Hands on the glass

Chillin' with whales


Ear-to-ear smile

Hold on to that rope!

Back to class we go!

See you next time!

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