Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Don't Trip, See You Next Fall

Purdue in 1994. This was my first Fall in Indiana and I loved all of the color. I am a California boy and yes, we do get winters there and it even snowed in Walnut Creek (where I grew up) 4 times in the 20 something years my family lived there. Usually we even got below freezing several times a winter. However, we just don't have as many trees that change such purty colors in the fall. I often just headed around town looking at these gorgeous trees that were probably 50-60 feet high and really impressive all decked out in colors. I found that if I included some blue sky it added a great contrast to really accentuate the colors of the foliage.

Never Take This Picture

Hello! Just a short note today as I am in the middle of grading g-chem exams but I needed a little break :-) This picture comes form Indiana in 1997 when I was a grad student at Purdue. I have titled it as a picture you should never take because if you look closely you will see that this is taken out of the window of a moving car--it is of the driver's side view mirror looking back at a fantastic sunset. I have always liked how the sunset is mirrored in the car's side window as well as the sky itself. Also, it was dark in front of the car so there is a great dark framing to the picture. Just don't tell my mom how I took it!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Through the Looking Glass

Today's is a picture that almost wasn't. Before heading off on my own for the summer of traveling in 2005 my parents and I headed around Eastern Europe for a couple weeks which was an incredible experience. I remember the Berlin Wall some (it came down in my senior year of high school) but my parents obviously remember the iron curtain much more vividly. The fact that we were able to freely wander around formerly closed countries was an experience none of us through we would have just a few years before. Of all the cities we visited in Eastern Europe, Kraków is probably my favorite. The castle, the university, the main square, the Jewish quarter, all of it made for a fantastic place to visit. While there we went to the Czartoryskich Museum which, among other things, has Da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine." ( You can see my picture of it here, or a web version here) The museum allows you to take pictures only if you pay for a 5 euro Photographer's sticker which my dad elected to do but I didn't. I saw this shot and asked him to take it, but he didn't think it would work out. Now, I think that my dad has a much better photographer's eye than I do, but I wanted this shot. So, I stole his photographer's sticker from him (well, he said it was OK, but stealing it makes for a better story) and headed back to get this shot. Still one of my favorites from that trip :-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

It Wasn't Built in a Day...

Other than flowers, one of the types of images I look for in my photography are nifty patterns--especially smaller parts of larger of objects. This picture comes from the Pont Du Gard in southern France and was taken in 2005 when I was traveling around after teaching in Italy for the year. The Pont was built in 19 BC by Augustus' son-in-law and aide, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. So, there has been plenty of time for weather to work its magic on the stones of the bridge. This was actually my second visit to the Pont du Gard as I was there when I was in 7th grade as well (and once again in the summer of 2006--I just can't seem to stay away :-) ). When we visited as kids you could still walk across the third level (which was where the water was carried--it is an aqueduct after all) 160 feet in the air. Not sure my mom was too happy about us running around on the top but alas, it has been closed since then so I wasn't able to try it again so many years later :-) These stones were down on the first level and I just really liked the way they had been weathered. Not only is the pattern nifty, but it is a visual represenation of the age of the structure--cool!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Total Eclipse of the Heart

This is not my best image ever, but hey, the auto focus on my telephoto is broken so this was a manual focus guess :) Out here on the East Coast it cleared up enough to get a fairly red moon--this picture shows some of the red, but the sensor picked up more light than I was hoping for. This one shows the shadow a bit better:

The eclipse was nifty to see and we have to wait till 2010 for the next one!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Feeling a bit Sheepish

This past summer I had the chance to visit Scotland and England with my family and we had a wonderful time. Most of the trip was spent up in Scotland and needless to say there were LOTS of pictures of sheep taken. We found these sheep in the town of Killin right next to Hamish the Highland Coo. Hamish is a standard Highland Coo that is kept next to a Woolen Mill as a tourist attraction--stop and take photos of Hamish...and then buy things at the woolen mill :) We did find some more Highland Coos farther north being kept by real farmers too. I took many pictures of sheep that I think are really kinda cute such as this one, and this one, but I really like the way this guy is peeking above the tall grasses...a bit more understated than the others.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Hopeless Romantic

And here is a red rose for Valentine's Day :) I showed up at Courtney's office today with a dozen red roses personally delivered...always the hopeless romantic :)~

(Check out Courtney's version of a Red Rose post for today)

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!!!! I thought a flower appropriate for today :) In the Fall of 2006 Courtney and I went to the North Georgia Mountain Festival in Hiawassee, GA and froze to death. But between cups of hot cider and kettle corn we dropped into a flower competition that was held as part of the festival. There were several examples there of beautiful dahlias and I fell in love with them. The roses I had been growing in California don't grow so well out here so I was looking for a new type of flower. It turns out that dahlias love Georgia weather so I asked Santa for some for Christmas and she (Santa's elf, my mom) ordered several for me from Jackson Perkins. As many of my gardening projects go, this turned into a much bigger task than expected—I needed a place to plant my new bulb so I took out about ~70 square feet of grass in my front yard (and had to go down about 1.5 feet!) to create a pear shaped flower bed for my new flowers. The bed looks great and the dahlias came up in spades (sorry, couldn't resist) and look great around the new bird feeder I placed in the bed. The picture above came from the dahlias this past spring. It is a bit hard to tell from the picture, but the bloom is about 10 inches across—Dahlias really do like Georgia weather!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Another of the wonderful opportunities i had while living in Europe was to head down to Egypt for 10 days in December 2004. I went the first week of December which was ideal because the weather was great and it was before the big tourist rush that happen right around Christmas. It seems that lots of USA tourists head over to Egypt over xmas to avoid the heat of the summer and that the crowds can get pretty bad. Not so when I was there. I even have a couple pictures of the great pyramids with no other tourists in the shots!
I started out my Egypt tour in Aswan on the Nile river and this picture comes from there. Everyone on the Nile river boat I was on (only 3 English speaks so we had a guide all to ourselves!) took a short ride on a felucca on the Nile to get out to an island that is now a botanical garden though it used to be private. I took this picture on the way out to the island and I think that the geometry of the shot is what appeals to me. I like the way the lines move from the bottom up in an arc. I am noticing even in the few pictures I have posted so far that one of the themes I seem to try to photograph is a part of a whole. Yes, I take wide angle shots and landscapes and the like, but this shot, like the Personification of Faith post, focus in on a small part of a larger scene and lets the viewer fill in the big picture. In looking through my photos I seem to do this a lot. Interesting--I learn something new about myself every day :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Watcher Over The City

While living in Italy I had a 5 day weekend for Thanksgiving and chose to head to Paris for the holiday. After taking the overnight train and getting into Paris really early I wandered the town for several hours before I could check into my hostel. I chose to buy one of the three day museum passes and was determined to get my money's worth and stated hitting museum after museum. I managed to see every open room in the Louvre in one day...and hit the musée d'Orsay that same afternoon! After the museum fest of the first few days I took some time to see some of the other traditional sites and around sunset ended up at Notre Dame. When you climb the towers they have you go up one tower, across the top of the church and then down the other tower. There was a really long line to get to the top and it is pretty much single file across the church. I noticed the sun going down to the west and hung around for a few minutes to get the sun in line with this gargoyle. The only problem was that to prevent people from jumping or throwing things form the top the entire walkway is covered with a wire cage. So, to get this shot without the wire lines in front of it I had to pass the camera through the mesh and hold it out at arm's length hoping I was aiming where I intended and that I didn't drop the camera! Luckily I succeeded on both accounts. I have some other pictures that highlight the gargoyles but I like the silhouette aspect of this one--I hope you do too.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Personification of Faith

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and I had a chance to attend service last night for the imposition of the ashes and I wanted to share this picture. This picture, like my last post, was also taken in Spain at a celebration of Corpus Christi. When traveling during the summer of 2005 I had a very open schedule and went wherever looked interesting. My family had all recommended a visit to Toledo, Spain so on my way back up to France I stopped by for an afternoon visit. The town itself is nifty, but everything was covered in flowers and banners for a celebration. Traveling on my own for several weeks I had kind of lost track of the calendar and didn't know that the next day was Corpus Christi. I asked around and found a very nice shop keeper who spoke no English but with my small amount of the related Italian I was able to piece together that the next day at 10 AM there was going to be a large procession/parade through town. So I found a room outside of town for the night and was back in town very early to get a good spot for pictures. It was a wonderful experience and very moving to see the entire city join in a shared celebration of faith. I took many pictures that morning of the pageantry and I am sure a few more will appear here over time. This one, however, is the one I am most proud of. This was one many groups of nuns monks who were a part of the procession. I took several shots with a wider field of view but this close focus on her hands and the rosary seems to me to be a personification of faith. I love the very real hands and if you look closely you can see her about to move the bead forward with her thumb nail showing that she is actively praying.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Flower for the Beginning

And now for the pictures :)

Most of my pictures have been taken with a Canon Digital Rebel--the first generation. I will be upgrading it soon, but it has been a great camera so far. Lenses have varied, but I usually use an 18-70 Canon AF or a 70-300 Canon AF, both with image stabilization.

So, here's Picture #1

This was taken in 2005 in Segovia, Spain. This is a favorite for me for the colors and the subject balance. I like the blurring of the bee wings and how they fade into the background.

The Welcome Message

Welcome to my Blog!!!

This is a chance for me to share what I see when looking at the world through the eyes of my camera. I will post some photos that are new and some that are old favorites. I am going to try for three posts a week, but we'll see how that works out :)

I would love to hear your comments about the pictures!