Cracks In The Ice

Tripods And Remote Controls

When most people talk camera gear they focus on cameras and lenses, both of which are are perfectly fine, who doesn’t want a nice camera and a good set of lenses to put on it?  There are plenty of accessories to help your photography, two in particular I’ve found helpful.  The first is a tripod.  Many pros will claim that you should buy an expensive tripod, but if you’re just an enthusiast like me, a fairly inexpensive tripod will probably do.  I purchased this Dolica tripod back in 2010 and have been very happy with it, the tripod is fairly light, sturdy enough for everything I use it for without any problems.  For some, investing in a more expensive tripod may be a good choice but for the occasional self-portrait shots and night photography, a decently reviewed less expensive tripod will probably do.  The second accessory I have found useful, and also very inexpensive, is a wireless remote.  I bought the official Canon remote which has served me quite well, both for triggering the camera while it is on a tripod for longer exposure shots so that there isn’t any movement from pressing down the button on the camera, and also for taking portraits when there is no one else around to take a picture for us.  Sure, there is the auto-timer in the camera but taking multiple photos that way consumes more time and this way you know exactly when the camera is going to go off.

Stepping Onto The Frozen Lake

This photo was taken in December, a little early in the winter to be out on the ice but there had been a stretch of cold weather so the ice seemed solid and we stayed close to shore, just to be safe.  It was a nice sunny day and as you can see there were many large cracks in the ice which would probably make people not so familiar with being out on the ice a little nervous.  The camera was set up on the tripod but not using the remote since I figured holding her and trying to press the button at the same time wasn’t the greatest idea.

Standing on frozen Rice Lake, located in northwestern Wisconsin

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Busy Busy

The Fun Of Furniture Shopping

Completely non-photography related again, but it’s been a super busy weekend after moving into a new place on Friday and needing to completely furnish it.  You don’t realize how much you need until you’re starting new…everything from cleaning supplies to basic food supplies like spices and ketchup and cooking oil to the much more expensive furniture…there must be about a million different styles of couches, beds, mattresses, etc. and none of it is exactly cheap.  Anyway, it’s been a busy few days.

More Butterflies

Another photo from the butterfly sanctuary in Mexico.  It was crazy how thick the air was with butterflies, every direction butterflies everywhere, up in the sky, flying all around you, all over the trees and grass, monarch butterflies everywhere.

Sky full of butterflies at butterfly sanctuary in the state of Michoacan, Mexico

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Back To Basics

Moving In

I moved into a new place today and it’s a bit strange having no internet access, no cable tv, no furniture, basically nothing.  Kind of a strange feeling starting completely new, but strange in a good way.  Anyway, I found just enough internet to post tonight.

Delicious Dessert

This photo is from Portofino restaurant, found on many of Royal Caribbean’s ships.  Portofino is a fine Italian restaurant (hence the name, after the small town in northern Italy) which serves delicious appetizers, main courses, and desserts.  My favorite of the desserts was this sampler which included miniature versions of most of the options of the dessert menu.  It was not only a visually appealing dessert, as you can see, but was delightful on the taste buds as well, providing a variety of decadent flavors, from the flour-less chocolate cake to the classic tiramisu.

Plate with four miniature desserts on it

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Go Westward!

Busy Busy

Haven’t been able to put as much time into writing much for the posts here this week, started a new job on Monday and moving into a new place tomorrow so life has been a little chaotic lately.  Might miss posting here for a day or two until we get internet, hopefully not but we’ll see.  If I do disappear for a day or two, I will definitely be back soon.

Columbus Status

This statue is located in Barcelona, Spain with Columbus pointing to the “New World.”  The statue is located at the end of one of the busiest streets in the city, so getting a photo of the statue without people in it was near impossible without very tight cropping and I prefer how this picture came out.  The clouds on this day were fairly interesting and the statue is such an interesting landmark that it’s hard to take a bad picture of it.

Status of Christopher Columbus pointing westward.

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Mocked By A Hummingbird

It took me forever to get this photo.  This humming bird came by several times a day to have a snack from the plant just outside the window.  But he was quick, very quick, and any movement from inside the window sent him flying away in an instant.  I couldn’t count how many times I had the camera in hand and pointed in his direction and the humming bird darted away before I could get a picture of him.  Finally, I managed to get this shot which turned out quite nice, especially considering how futile my previous efforts had resulted in.

Humming bird with motion frozen as he prepared to eat from a plant.

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Big Sandy Sunset

Sunset At The Lake

This photo was taken at Big Sandy Lake in northern Minnesota.  The water was fairly calm that evening at provided a great reflection on the water.  The overall scene from where I was shooting wasn’t very interesting, however, but I remembered the suggestion from one of the books I had just read that getting down low can create a more interesting scene and the result was this shot of the sunset between the blades of grass along the lake.

Photo of sunset with reflection in lake, shot down low between blades of grass.

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Watching Tourists Hike Silvestri Crater

Mount Etna

Mount Etna is located on the island of Sicily.  It is the largest active volcano in Europe and is an awe inspiring sight.  I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the volcano twice, both on day excursions.  The second visit was in the summer of 2011, two days after the volcano had erupted.  The road winding up the volcano was still dusted in volcanic ash which had coated the entire area.  The massive volcano has many craters, both active and extinct.  The view looking down is also impressive, of the Italian towns below and the Mediterranean Sea beyond them.

Looking Down At Silvestri Crater

Silvestri Crater is a popular stop on excursions visiting Mount Etna.  Each bus stops in front of the crater, tourists make their way out and circle around the crater.  It’s understandable why it is so popular, not only is the hike very easy but the views are great and can be done fairly quickly.  Having hiked around (and down into) Silvestri Crater during my previous trip to Mount Etna, I decided instead to hike up to the higher crater on the other side of the road.  It was a much longer trip and I didn’t have much time so I was literally running up and down the mountain, and I was about ready to collapse by the time I got back to the bus.  It was well worth it, however, as the view looking down to Silvestri Crater was beautiful, as was the landscape facing the opposite direction, which was not visible from below.

Looking down at Silvestri Crater from the top of a larger crater up above

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Heart Shaped Lake

This photograph was taken from the top of the acropolis in Lindos, a small town on the Greek island of Rhodes.  It is a charming small town which was formed way back  in the 10th century BC.  To get up to the top you need to walk through the narrow streets of the town, climbing higher and higher as you go.  At the top you reach the acropolis, which may not be as impressive of a sight as the acropolis in Athens but the view from the top is stunning.  This charming looking lake is just down the coast from the acropolis and is one of the highlights of the surrounding scenery.

View of a heart shaped lake from the top of the acropolis in Lindos, Greece

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Tyra Banks Eat Your Heart Out


Completely unrelated to the topic of photography but relevant since I spent my entire day packing.  I’ve moved far too many times in the past few years, can’t really complain because it has allowed me to see a lot of really amazing places during that time.  However, it doesn’t change the fact that packing up all of your belongings and moving them to a new location is not a fun process.  The only upside is that it forces you to really think about all of your belongings and if you really need them or not.  I’m happy to say the garbage can is full of things that it was past time for me to get rid of and it feels good, but I still have way too much stuff.

The Baths

This amazing place is located on the island Virgin Gorda (which translates to fat virgin, for those not fluent in Spanish), part of the British Virgin Islands.  The Baths is a beach which is littered with massive boulders, which form natural grottoes, arches, and tunnels.  It is a truly spectacular sight, almost as if it is something out of this world.  The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover was shot at The Baths several years ago, not in the exact location of this photo as that location was overrun with people taking photos when we were there.

Photo taken between two large boulders at The Baths in the British Virgin Islands

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Caribbean Sunset

Great Photo I Didn’t Take

Trey Ratcliff posted this photo on his blog yesterday.  The photo is an excellent example of HDR photography and how it can be used to make a great sunset photograph with the elements of the foreground properly exposed.  Trey consistently posts excellent photos on his website so I recommend checking it out regularly.

Sunset Over The Caribbean

This photo was taken a couple years ago, before I had heard of HDR.  We were out in the middle of the ocean at the time and like often happens in the Caribbean, there was an amazing sunset.  The clouds in the sky looked like they were on fire.

Caribbean Sunset

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