Personal blog of Derek and Margaret, now living in Dominica, W.I., founders of Ozone Zone – an Independent Canadian book publisher specializing in coffee table books of architectural treasures and lush gardens. We also promote fine artistic photography. This blog contains unofficial reports and comments from our various trips, photo sessions and jobs – an unofficial scrapbook of our travels, explorations and photo-related work. See “about” for more.

Posts tagged ‘aerial video’

Latest few weeks in Paradise – new video series

When filming Dominica’s most remote nature locations for last couple of years, little did I know that I will use this footage for my new Youtube nature series dedicated to all under lock-down, self-isolation, sick, overworked, and otherways affected by this virus pandemic. And yet, this seems to be the most perfect purpose for years of my work – to share it for free, spreading “good vibes” and sharing moments of relaxation we all badly need these days. After all – as we are under various movement restrictions – a virtual journey through the Nature Island is exactly what we may need!

While we both are safe in self-isolation high on hills of Dominica, it is easy to imagine the strain and desperation of all medical personel around the globe doing more than their best – often trying to make it up for their liders’ blunders. Therefore, this series is also for them – all medical staff working countless hours to bring help and relief to others, and also for all essential services’ workers.
I take my hat off to your efforts, and I hope that in a small, humble way I am able to bring you a moment of peace and relax.

This series started in a natural way as it also helped me put my mind at peace, and focus on things I love. I decided to create episodes about rich Dominica’s beauty, each highlighting a different aspect of it.

So, Dominica being an island and surrounded by blue waters just demanded to showcase its diverse coastal lines.

Next, I decided to show small things in nature. I don’t know about you, but I always prefer nature movies about tiny creatures rather than lions or tigers. So, this one is my take on small things and creatures.

I noticed that this episode has less favourable views with couple of “thumbs down” on Youtube. Whatever – I do it my way, from my footage, and with strong belief than nature would be incomplete without small, sometimes hard to notice things. I do hope you will like it, as I bring these small elements closer to your eye.

My third episode is more “epic” in style. Grand waterfalls, tall old trees, high cliffs – all things VERTICAL.  These are what Dominica is famous for, after all…

As I write this, next episode is just being finished. Give me two or three days, and enjoy Dominica in Bloom. It is not just about wild flowers, but also tropical flowers one can grow here – in a pefrect climate and on reach volcanic soil. It is not epic, I know. So, don’t be disappointed if you are after drama, wide drone shots and cinematic music. Flowers can give you a joy too. At least – they bring joy to me and margaret, who – as many of you know – is an experienced and keen gardener. And worry not – next  episode after this one will be again more “epic”!

So, if you want to see next episode, and a next after this one (coming soon!) –  I suggest you may want to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and get notified when my next flics are ready for viewing. And, while at my chennel, you can also see several new videos I created to share hiking epxerience in Dominica. These videos include such amazing places as Victoria Falls, Middleham Falls, and many more – also the famous Boiling Lake.


We do hope you will enjoy these videos, and thank you for watching. Subscribe not to miss any further episodes and clips. And feel free to SHARE this post and Youtube channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbd8t2aqFAF2af0uqSl1BOA
– lets share moments of peace among our friends and strangers!
Happy Easter, stay safe and well!

Until next time!

Derek and Margaret

www.DerekGalon.com
@derekgalon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#volcano #caribbean #dominica #discoverdominica #rediscoverdominica #adventure #hiking #holidays #lakes #boiling lake #active volcano #drone #mavic 2 #derekgalon.com #exploration #west indies #landmarks #documentary #4K #covid-19 #relax #healing vibes #relaxation #peace of mind #nature

Boiling Lake, Dominica. My photography hike. PART 3

Written from a point of view of pro photographer/videographer in hope to give others some insight about shooting there.   PART 3

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Boiling Lake, DominicaIn just fifteen minutes or so, we at last arrived at the Boiling Lake. At first we could not see a thing. The whole place filled with hot, smelly and thick steam. I just heard strong sound of big water pumps working at maximum speed. Bubbling and hissing, huge amounts of water pushing out in the centre of the lake. With a sudden twist of wind, all became clear. Thick grey boiling water circulating in the lake at a crazy speed. I could only imagine enormous power stirring it all.

That’s no place for boiling eggs. It demanded respect. From a distance, we were watching it in silence. Then, I had to work again. The hot steam was so thick, like a wall. My drone got disoriented and gave me contradicting reports – it is landing in one second (with nothing to land on, except hot steam!), then an obstacle is on its path and drone can’t continue, then sensors just went all crazy. To fly close I had to disable all collision sensors, and only then I could fly through this thick, hot steam. But it was when I flew much higher, than I could really appreciate the whole scene.


A big opal-white hole full of splashing dark water and steam blending with nearby clouds. A strange looking, steaming hot river flowing down the hill from the lake, set between orange and white rocks. It is the White River, leading to the beautiful Victoria Falls, one of my most beloved spots in Dominica. The whole area does not have much green, I guess it is way too hot for that. Raw rocks, sulphur steam and white water fill the large area around the lake. Definitely a very unique experience, all together more than worth the long hike.

While my friends were resting, I tried to squeeze as much filming and photographing as only possible, knowing that soon we had to go back, to arrive in Laudat before darkness. And, we did. Having rather short time for return, I had no time to do any more filming or taking photos, not even for my lunch.

We went back rather quickly, and just as we approached back the Valley of Desolation, I realized suddenly that – without even five minutes to sit down and relax since early morning – I became a bit tired. Many hours of hiking in tough terrain, and work in-between took its tool. Just when I needed most energy, getting up the tricky and slippery path from the Valley – I had my senior moments. I ran out of steam. I just had to stop a few times, as I started to feel like I am really sixty-three old man on a tough hike. But my friends with their patience allowed me to relax for a few minutes here and there, and once out of the most difficult part, I recovered enough to continue in a better manner.

We arrived at the parking spot just before dark. What an amazing hike. Definitely longer and a bit tougher than most around here. But still within reach of most, and packed with beautiful moments and views. We are already planning to go back – this time with tent, to stay overnight and take early morning photos of the lake and surroundings. It will be my big treat. Another amazing hike. This is why I am here in Dominica, the beautiful Nature Island.

Boiling Lake, Dominica

Thank you for stopping by!
Parts 1 and 2 can be found on right side menu.
If you enjoyed this story, please see my other posts, and check me on YouTube channel.

Derek

Thank you to Nahjie from JustGoDominica.com for all assistance.

All photographs copyright Derek Galon.

#discoverdominica #dominica @derekGalon @JustGoDominica.com

 

 

Boiling Lake, Dominica. My photography hike. PART 1

Written from a point of view of pro photographer/videographer in hope to give others some insight about shooting there.

Boiling Lake, Dominica. Second largest in the world after one in New Zeeland.

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We started early, just after sunrise. The idea was to have plenty of time to stop on our way and take photos. Walking through the forest, four of us felt refreshed and happy. Subtle early light filtered through jungle’s canopy as we were leaving behind the Titou Gorge. We were on our way to the Boiling lake, perhaps the most famous, but also one of toughest hikes in Dominica.

On trail with my friends.

Nahjie, my friend and a legendary adventure guide from JustGoDominica.com, along with his two young and brisk colleagues, dictated the pace of our walk. As the hike is quite long, it is important to manage speed and energy, to have enough for safe return. As we approached the Breakfast River, I heard long song of a Thrush high in hills above us. How delightful – I didn’t hear these birds since the hurricane Maria! Clearly the mountains of Morne Trois Pitons National Park are doing well. Once we reached the horseshoe shaped top of the hill and had a look around from the narrow ridge, the magnificent view confirmed that forest is indeed doing well. Flickering river deep under our feet, lush trees and tree ferns all around us. Rich, deep greenery as long as you can see – up to the coast of the Caribbean sea.

It was a good idea to start early. The views were far too nice not to stop and take elaborate photographs. While I photographed and flew my drone, we were passed by two small group of French tourists speeding towards the Lake. Express teams, I thought. As for me, I much preferred to have time to look around, film and photograph than hurry to the destination. Day was unfolding beautifully, and wide vistas were simply breath-taking.

Roseau far and down below us, and endless green mountains at every angle.

After another hour or so, we arrived at the small plateau at the top of mountain. Surrounded by short, dense vegetation which seemed to be a cross between tropical and alpine, I had another chance to look around. The most amazing view I can remember. A 360 degree panorama, with Freshwater Lake area on one side, Roseau far and down below us, and endless green mountains at every angle.

Taking more photos, I couldn’t resist also shooting wide panoramas made of many overlapping images, in hope they will give the justice to these magnificent wide-open views. A first glimpse at the Boiling Lake far away on right side.

Taking more photos, I couldn’t resist also shooting wide panoramas made of many overlapping images, in hope they will give the justice to these magnificent wide-open views. Nahjie pointed me to one direction. “Can you see that cloud in the forest? – he asked. “It is the Boiling Lake and it’s steam”.
Ouch, while it looked intriguing, it also seemed to be quite far away, and meant only one thing – lots more of the hike ahead of us. And – as I was told – the easy part just finished now, with things getting a bit more tricky from now on.

Photographing landscape, about half-way (the easier half!) to the Boiling lake.

Second and third parts of this story are coming very soon, check back for more. Most interesting photos about to come!
Thank you for stopping by!

Derek

 

All photographs copyright Derek Galon.

#discoverdominica #dominica @derekGalon

 

Why Dominica

Old tree in Syndicate Forest.

View from our home

Caught in busy life of rebuilding our home damaged by hurricane Maria, landscaping our gardens, commercial photo and video projects here in Dominica and on neighbouring islands, dealing with our Permanent Residency status, and other everyday work, one may actually forget the core thing – WHY are we living in Dominica for the last 6 years?   Why HERE?

Having to cope with numerous everyday matters, we noticed we got tired and are falling into a daily routine.
However, couple of months ago, one of my projects for a friend from JustGoDominica.com required me to go to various nature places  of Dominica – and this gave me lots of joy forgotten in recent years. So, we decided to go both visiting the most beautiful locations we know, and to continue exploring new places.

Syndicate falls, Dominica

These once-a-week trips keep giving us more energy, inner peace, harmony and happiness. And we realized these gave us back the reason to be here!  While it did quietly slip away from our agenda – the main reason of living in Dominica is its beauty!

Syndicate Falls, Dominica

Beauty of nature, balance one can find here, less commercialization of our lives and living mostly outdoors-  this is why we decided to move here.

Detail in old forest.

Surely, we do have our everyday tasks to perform – but we promised ourselves to always try and keep some time to go around and experience Dominica’s nature every now and then.
Therefore we would like to share with you some of photographs taken on our latest hike.

We found our peace and happiness in Dominica, and never regret moving here.

Palm trees in bloom

But perhaps happiness can be found everywhere if we have time and will to see beauty around us, and find some moments to do and see things that are our passion and give us joy.

And, if you are like us and find thrill in experiencing daily living in nature and tropics – Dominica will be happy to see you, even for a short visit. The joy can be yours!

 

Syndicate Forest and National Park Info center. Dominica.

As for me – I am now charging batteries for our another trip!

Thank you for visiting our little blog. If you like what you see, please share with others.

Cheers, until next time!
Derek and Margaret
http://ArtPhotographyServices.com

All photos are copyrighted Derek Galon, please respect it. Thank you.

#Dominica  #DiscoverDominica

Dominica Film Challenge

The last three months saw us crossing our island of Dominica back and forth, filming some amazing places. Now that all the work is already done we can sit down and tell you about it.

Margaret starting our drone in Scotts Head

For the last few years Dominica Tourism Authority (DDA) organizes Dominica Film Challenge to promote the island as a nature destination. So far it were teams of avid travellers from abroad who got invited to participate. But this year for the first time the concept changed, and only local Dominica filmmakers were invited to apply.

Nahjie securing our way in canyon

We offered ourselves to participate and were among the six teams selected to create a short movie on a given theme. Our theme was “hiking”, but we decided that we should expand over this theme, taking advantage of being both local and also foreign. I mean, yes – we live here for five years and know Dominica for much longer. But we also spent half of our life in Europe, then many years in Canada – travelling a lot – including various off-the-usual-path places, also in the Caribbean. That gives us a different perspective. We thought we could see what visitors may find most thrilling in Dominica, but also how the post-hurricane recovery and all the changes it caused may create an added attraction for them.

Margaret in the canyon

That gave Margaret a nice start to write her script, beginning with a short introduction of Dominica as a beautiful Nature Island, then reminding of last year’s hurricane and then going on a trip to re-discover Dominica and see the changes. We had some nice pre-hurricane footage and also documented Dominica soon after it. So, now we recorded recovering nature and visited some amazing locations, also filming short interviews with tourist guides.

Trafalgar Falls 6 months after hurricane

The trip we both remember as the most unusual was the canyoning with our friend and a fantastic guide from ExtremeDominica.com, Nahjie Laflouf, and his climbing partner, Junior. They brought us to a beautiful rock formation at the bottom of a canyon. Beautiful and amazing place to film. However, dragging the equipment through a rough path often changing to a vigorous stream, then through high river waters was not exactly easy for us, and without their help it simply would not happen! But the reward for this hike was amazing, and the footage shows it well.

on hiking trail over Freshwater Lake

Our favoutite locations such as Freshwater Lake or Trafalgar Falls were surely nice to revisit, but I also filmed in the bush, taking close-up shots of recovering nature and re-growing forest. The last on our list was a boat trip through the Indian River with “Fire”, a great guide we know for years. We found Indian River changed but really beautiful – as “Fire” said – we could see “a different kind of beauty” around us. We saw the nature bouncing back, a heart-warming assurance that soon it will regain its old glory.

Derek on boat with “Fire”

Being on boat with “Fire” is always great. Whenever we had visiting friends we made sure they go with him exploring Indian River nature reserve. But this time – although this is how he makes a living – when “Fire” heard we make a film to promote Dominica – he refused any payment for the trip. What a guy! Respect, man!

With all material in hand we spent quite a time editing it and crafting as a super-short movie.

We actually decided that requested length of 3 minutes did not have proper chance to tell our story the way we wanted – so we delivered… TWO movies! One is officially entered to the Dominica Film Challenge, and another one is a bonus. Two-for-one, well – you know – like a pizza. This version extended by two extra minutes shows more of nature recovery process which we find fascinating.

What really adds to our video is the voice-over. We were in luck to “discover” a great talent in the person of Kevin Francis who recorded Margaret’s narration in a single take, bringing out every flavour of this short text. Combined with fantastic music by our Polish friend, a guitarist Andrzej Chochol, it added a really immersive sound layer.

Indian River nature reserve

All work is done and delivered, now progressively launched by Discover Dominica along five other videos.

We surely hope you will this short film. We had a blast doing it, and thanks to it we visited places we did not see before. So, all is well. Now, click the link, have a look, and “like” and “share” the clip if you find it nice. Your clicks will help selecting the winning video!
Please use headphones if watching on a tablet or small laptop.
Dominica – Hike an Island Reborn

Enjoy!
Derek and Margaret

Please remember all photos are copyright Derek Galon and Ozone Zone Books. No usage without written authorization. Thank you.

#DominicaFilmChallenge,  #rediscoverDominica, #DiscoverDominica

 

Revisiting Montserrat

Revisiting places you are fascinated by or feel affinity with is a very special treat. We were lucky to had an opportunity to come back to Montserrat, British Overseas Territory nicknamed “the emerald isle of the Caribbean.”

photographing outdoor activities...

photographing outdoor activities…

Life on this beautiful island was changed forever after series of volcanic eruptions on Soufriere Hills in the mid-1990s. Two-thirds of the island was destroyed including Plymouth -the capital town buried by a 40-feet thick layer of lava and volcanic debris.

photographing Volcano from St Joseph's hill - the closest possible point, already in the dreaded  zone V.

photographing Volcano from St Joseph’s hill – the closest possible high located point, already in the dreaded zone V.

Nineteen people lost their lives, eight thousand were forced to leave the island. Today, the volcanic activity is closely monitored by the Montserrat Volcanic Observatory with state of art facilities. Life is concentrated in the “safe zone” up north, where a new capital town is been constructed, and a new airport and marina recently opened.

Mutual attraction - Margaret photographing wild donkeys wondering over destructed old airport area...

Mutual attraction – Margaret photographing wild donkeys wandering over destructed old airport area…

Government’s renewed focus is on bringing new visitors to the island, and we were part of a creative international team working on a new promotion of the island, photographing it’s top attractions.

preparing our drone in the dreaded Volcano Exclusion Zone V

preparing our drone in the dreaded Volcano Exclusion Zone V

photographing volcano from a boat

photographing volcano from a boat

Along with the crew from London and Barbados, we were travelling island up and down, day and sometimes night, photographing and filming many different places. We are not at liberty to show you “official” photos, because they soon will be used in a major international promotion. However, we can share with you some photos showing us in action. We hope these will also give you a glimpse of this fascinating place….

photographing iguana gave me a chance of resting flat for a few minutes - a rare treat during busy schedule ;-)

photographing iguana gave me a chance of resting flat for a few minutes – a rare treat during busy schedule 😉

The island had changed a lot since our first visit 2 years ago. Perhaps the most striking difference for me was its lushness: some parts of the island which I remember as covered in ash are now filled with new vegetation. Boat tour around the island was a highlight of this trip for me: watching an awe inspiring, breathtaking scenery. As usually, we all worked long hours and hard …
We were able to get permission to enter the exclusion zone to photograph Plymouth, this time also using our drone which proved to be very helpful. You can read about previous our experience and see more photos in our earlier posts:

https://ozonezonebooks.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/montserrat-another-photo-shoot-trip-to-the-caribbean/

https://ozonezonebooks.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/new-pompeii-montserrats-old-capital-destroyed-by-volcano/

https://ozonezonebooks.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/plymouth-the-new-pompeii-margarets-notes/

leaving the zone V for a safer ground...

leaving the zone V for a safer ground…

We hope to be back in Montserrat for some more work, and would like to thank MDC, the Tourism Director, our amazing hosts and Montserrat Government, for having us in this brilliant international team. Not only it was a fascinating work, but we all became good friends.

We also thank you for stopping by at this post. Until next time – and Happy New Year to you!
If you like this post, Share and Like it, or Follow to be updated on further stories. Cheers!

Margaret and Derek

Margaret with our boatman after boat tour, along with Patrick and Mark from our creative team.

Margaret with our boatman after boat tour, along with Patrick and Mark from our creative team.

Written by Margaret Gajek, photographs by Derek Galon and Margaret Gajek. Please respect the copyright.

Last Few Months (and more)

A.Brouwer Paints His Tavern Scenes. From left: Herman Surkis, Tom Gore, Dasty Hughes, Derek Galon, Jon Hoadley, Carl Constantine, Mike Hebdon, Aleta Eilasen, (+ Sally The Dog). Makeup aleta, props - Derek, Costumes - Dusty + Disguise The Limit, lighting consultation - Jon Hoadley.

A.Brouwer Paints His Tavern Scenes.
From left: Herman Surkis, Tom Gore, Dasty Hughes, Derek Galon, Jon Hoadley, Carl Constantine, Mike Hebdon, Aleta Eilasen, (+ Sally The Dog). Makeup aleta, props – Derek, Costumes – Dusty + Disguise The Limit, lighting consultation – Jon Hoadley.

The last few months after returning from the jury session of Al Thank Awards in Austria, were interesting for me in one particular way – I received more medals and awards for my Painterly photo series. Namely – eighteen more of them, received at such salons as the German International DVF Photocup, 7th International Photographic Salon Varna, 8th International Emirates Photography competition, PIPA (Photovivo) 2014 Singapore, and several others. It is always great to receive medals and awards, as it assures one that he is on the right path with currently created images, but the nicest award for me are comments of people who enjoy seeing my photographs, and I received several of these too.

Pan, Bacchus, and Ceres.  Bacchus, Pan, and Ceres - medalist at London International Salon of Photography 2013, in UK, and Gold medal winner at 151st Edinburgh International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography 2013, in UK.With lighting assistance by Jon Hoadley. All models from Victoria, Canada. Top left: Chrisscreama, Standing Center: Walking dreamer, Bottom left: Aleta Eliasen, Daniel Corbett, Michael Ward, Derek Galon (me!), Chrisscreama again (far right), Model in front: Kim Brouseau

Pan, Bacchus, and Ceres. Bacchus, Pan, and Ceres – medalist at London International Salon of Photography 2013, in UK, and Gold medal winner at 151st Edinburgh International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography 2013, in UK.
With lighting assistance by Jon Hoadley.
All models from Victoria, Canada. Top left: Chrisscreama, Standing Center: Walking dreamer, Bottom left: Aleta Eliasen, Daniel Corbett, Michael Ward, Derek Galon (me!), Chrisscreama again (far right), Model in front: Kim Brouseau

The whole “Painterly” series is a continuous challenge, pushing me to explore new techniques and learn more and more about lighting. Thanks to generous help of my friend and a fine photographer Jon Hoadley, I am lucky to use his ProFoto lighting set. The B1-air strobes and soft-boxes used for my work are highly impressive, versatile, and very reliable. I was just recently commenting to Jon that I am seriously impressed with these lights – when by an unusual coincidence the ProFoto people found my “Painterly” series  impressive too, and offered me a spot on their prestigious blog about select professional photographers and artists. I could not turn such opportunity down, and the result of it had just been published: “Derek Galon Recreates a Classical Painting with a Clever Use of Flashes and Softboxes”.    Thank you, ProFoto, it is an honour to be profiled on your fine blog!  Have a look by CLICKING HERE!

What else?   Well, it is nice to see  our books get more and more popular in UK and Europe, as our British distributor orders them now quite frequently.   We just visited several fine gardens in Victoria, during the Open Garden program. If there are any nice photos, I will share them with you soon.  Exotic Gardens of the Eastern Caribbean - more news!

What else? I just wanted to quickly update you on all our activities, feeling a bit guilty about my long silence. Ah, yes! We are preparing for another shooting trip to the Caribbean. Dominica – one of our most favourite islands will be the place of my first Caribbean aerial photo and video work. Yes, I am bringing my flying camera Phantom 2, and I am eager to share with you results of this trip!
For these who did miss my first official aerial video, here it is again – Flying Over Abkhazi Gardens and Tea House, in Victoria, BC, Canada.   Just click on the image below, and video will start to play.

I am so happy I decided to learn this flying system. It is not easy, but gives amazing new possibilities, and captures fantastic, immersive images. You can’t get such feel when shooting from a “regular” helicopter or a small airplane. Why? You are never so close to the subject, and  a tele-zoom lens won’t reproduce that unique feel of overflying a place at a close range. Just have a look at this video.

Well, this is all at the moment, I will post something when we land in Dominica, and then – after return, when I will have a ready, edited video – you will be the first to see it!
Thanks for stopping by, Margaret sends regards  (she is working on a new book, spending hours alone doing some research).
Cheers! If you like it – please SHARE!
Derek

All photos and video copyright Derek Galon and Ozone Zone Books.

 

Revisiting Abkhazi Gardens and Tea House, Victoria (aerial video)

Abkhazi Gardens and Tea House, Victoria, BC, Canada

Abkhazi Gardens and Tea House, Victoria, BC, Canada

When we visited this fantastic garden two years ago, it was absolutely beautiful. The garden, freshly saved from destruction and full of history, thrived under capable hands of  Jeff de Jong and his team.
You can see our post from that time here

abkhazi2Just recently we heard of staff changes, and were curious how did it affect this beautiful place.   Still under management of The Land Conservancy BC, which – along with many donors – saved the garden from destruction, it recently saw Jeff moving away to other tasks.  We were thrilled to see that this change did not affect the garden in any bad way. The garden matured beautifully, and now in spring colours, it is just a perfectly maintained, magical place. The manager of the Tea House, Mr Page, oversees the day to day operations, which seems to work perfectly. A man of a considerate charm and skill, he was very helpful and informative. The Tea House itself makes for a perfect ending of your garden visit.

abkhazi5

Our previous post tells the love and life story behind this garden, and shows quite a few photographs. Therefore for this post, we have a special treat for you. Instead of writing more, we present here an aerial video! Titled “Flying Over Abkhazi Gardens and Tea House” it tells its story with a 5 minute video clip created using  Phantom 2 flying camera quad-copter.  These few photos presented here are also aerial shots using the same system.

We hope you enjoy these, and when in Victoria, you would consider visiting this splendid place!
Thank you for stopping by, and as always – if you like it, please click Share or Like buttons. And of course Follow us, to be first to see our next post.
Cheers!
Derek

Photos and video are copyright Derek Galon, Ozone Zone Books. Please respect our copyright.

 

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