Return To Blogging Land
After an extended break, I have returned. Between work and other craziness in life I’ve neglected both the blog and photography over the past couple months but I have returned. The weather around here has been fairly nice recently and many of the flowering trees are in full blossom, creating a perfect excuse to get outside and take some photos. It has been fun but not quite the same as traveling the world and taking photos.
Red Headed Friend In The Flowering Tree
This bird is a regular in this tree which is right outside our kitchen window. He comes by almost every day with another bird and the combination of his color combined with the blossoms on the tree looked like it would make for a nice photo so I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple shots while he was on the near side of the tree and in clear sight. Unlike my previous attempts at getting a photo he not only stayed in place long enough for me to get a photo but pretty much posed for the camera.
I got my first digital camera about five years ago, an Olympus Stylus 1030SW, and began my journey into the world of digital photography. One of the features this camera had was the ability to do panoramic photos in camera, which I thought was really cool, until they almost never worked properly and came out with a horizon that didn’t match up and all kinds of weirdness in the photos. Eventually, I learned to take them as separate photos in camera and combine them on the computer and the results improved. As I’ve gotten better with my photography I’ve started taking less of these photos because they usually don’t turn out with results that I like. Occasionally I do get one that I really like however, and those occasional successes usually make for an interesting photo.
Door County Fall Colors
I took this photo a few years ago in Door County, Wisconsin. It was a beautiful October day and the fall colors were at their height. We stopped along this curvy road to take pictures and while standing on the opposite side of the road I realized that it may make for an interesting photo with the road on either side of the photo and the car in the middle. The processing to combine the photos gave the photo an interesting effect, not exactly what it looked like from the perspective I took the photo from but capturing the feel of the scene well.
Last August we spent a week and a half traveling in Europe, starting in Italy, then to Switzerland, and finally finishing in France. We decided to spend our 4 days in Switzerland staying in the Bernese Oberland region instead of moving from place to place so that we could minimize our time sitting on trains (though the Swiss train system is excellent) and maximize our time out on the trails enjoying the incredible beauty of the region. We arrived in Lauterbrunnen, a small village down in the valley with the peaks of the Swiss Alps rising up above on either side. The high cliffs on either side of the valley were covered with many waterfalls and the grass and other plants in the valley were extremely green. We hadn’t walked more than a minute from the train station (dragging our overly heavy luggage, also seen in the picture) when we had to stop and take in the picturesque view; the charming buildings of the main street of the town with the cliff rising sharply from the valley below, a waterfall plummeting down the face of the cliff. Photos just can’t capture how awe inspiring the landscape in the region is but that didn’t stop me from trying.
It’s amazing how the clouds in the sky can make such a difference in the quality of a photo. A cloudy day with a completely overcast sky, not so interesting. An all blue sky, while it may make for a wonderful warm sunny day, also not that interesting. In between is the perfect mix, some clouds and some blue sky. Interesting shapes and patterns in the sky make for so much more interesting of a photo. Sunset photos especially benefit from interesting cloud formations in the sky as they’re lit up by the sun as it disappears below the horizon. Sadly, we can’t control what the clouds in the sky look like, however if you pay attention to the sky you’ll know when great photos will be appearing before you. For example, when I took this photo of the sunset in Siena I knew it was going to be a wonderful sunset and was literally running back to the location to make sure I didn’t miss it because I had seen earlier in the day that the clouds in the sky and where the sun was going to be setting was going to make for a wonderful sight.
Towers Of San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a small medieval town in the Tuscany region of Italy. The town is famous for its towers, which numbered around 70 at its peak many years ago. Just over a dozen remain and they dominate the skyline of the town. The day we were there was absolutely beautiful and the clouds provided an excellent backdrop for this shot that I got from the edge of town.
It’s been a busy few weeks moving into a new place and starting a new job. Everything has been going great so far but there hasn’t been much time for posting updates here, too much other stuff going on. But hopefully I’ll get back to posting on a daily basis again soon, and getting out with the camera and shooting more, it’s a shame when the real world gets in the way…
This photo was taken in the botanical gardens outside of Hamilton, Bermuda a couple years ago. It was a beautiful day and the botanical gardens there were quite nice so I spent the afternoon listening to my iPod and taking photos. This flower was one of my favorites.
Tags: Bermuda, Flower
The photo below is from the McDonald’s located in the shopping center next to the cathedral in Milan, Italy. You’re probably wondering why I would be posting a photo of the McDonald’s instead of the cathedral (which will be coming later, the cathedral is extremely impressive) but once you look at the dessert display you can understand why. I’ve never seen a McDonald’s quite like it, when I usually hear McDonald’s I’m thinking greasy burgers and salty fries, not delicious looking croissants, cheesecake, and gigantic muffins. On top of that, the building the McDonald’s was in was very fancy looking, only adding to the strangeness of seeing the common fast food restaurant in a not so ordinary way. Maybe if the McDonald’s here looked more like this, I might actually go there once in a while.
I’ve always had an interest in lighthouses. They make for interesting objects to photograph, those that are open to climb often offer wonderful views from the top, and many of them have an interesting history behind them. This lighthouse is on Caye Biscayne, just outside of Miami. The lighthouse is fairly simple but I still found it quite interesting.
Stained Glass Windows
Until I traveled to Europe I never really had an appreciation for how impressive the inside of churches are. However, after seeing the many amazing cathedrals and churches all over Europe, I enjoy churches of all sizes, both for their amazing artwork and wonderful architecture. In particular, I enjoy stained glass windows, each telling its own story and the vibe created by sunlight flowing in through the colored glass.
Stained Glass Of Montserrat
This stained glass window is located inside the church at Montserrat, a monastery located up in the mountains north of Barcelona. The inside of the church is quite impressive and the surrounding scenery is beautiful. The day we were visiting was a Sunday and we arrived shortly before the church service was starting so there was not much time to take pictures but I did manage to get this shot of one of the stained glass windows inside the church.
This small chapel is located at the end of a long rocky pier along the beach in the small town of Georgioupolis on the island of Crete, Greece. While on an excursion visiting several places on the island, we stopped in this small town briefly. I started by walking up into the town and away from the beach, trying to get a good photo of the white mountains which overlook the town. Unsuccessful in finding the photo I was looking for, I headed back down to the beach to see how it was. When I did, I saw this charming chapel at the end of a long pier formed by rocks. Not having much time, I quickly walked out to the end of the pier to where the chapel was, took several pictures, then turned back and half walked/half ran back down the pier, needing to be back on the bus within a couple minutes.
After a couple weeks without home internet access, I’m finally online again. We got our internet hooked up this morning and so far the results have actually been faster than the advertised speeds. We’ll see if it lasts but so far I’m quite pleased.
Walking The Walls Of Lucca
This photo was taken in Lucca, Italy. Lucca is a charming small town, located near Pisa. While Pisa is known for it’s leaning tower, Lucca actually has several towers, including a couple you can climb. The old town is located within the city walls, which were built hundreds of years ago for protection. The walls still remain but instead of providing protection as they did ages ago, the top is covered by a walking/biking path which is lined with trees on either side. It makes for a very pleasant walk with some excellent views along the way.