Capturing History

American History

KI and I love visiting Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park, where John Brown raided the federal arsenal in 1859 and a battle was fought in 1862 during the Civil War. This year we kicked off the camping season at Harper’s Ferry and had a friend join us.

 

Saturday we were traipsing through the town, visiting all of the historic sites. Each time I visit I try and capture certain historic scenes and sometimes I just cannot get that shot. Three of the photos included here, I have attempted before. I finally think I captured what I wanted to this time.

American History I

 

 

All of the photos in the American History series were shot before. Somehow this time with the right light and angles, they worked out.

 

 

Deserted Cycle II

 

 

Of course as you know by now, I am hooked on deserted bicycles. I cannot tell you how many shots since February I have taken of bikes. This one was a keeper!

 

 

Enjoy Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia today. It is the best thing about West Virginia IMHO.

American History II

 

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Celebrating Milestones

Happy Hour

Every week that I post a blog, I upload my photos to Twitter, Facebook and my “sell” site that same week. I bet this week those of you who follow my blog and twitter feed closely thought, “what the heck?”

The photos and the blog title don’t give away any theme or so you think! This year on my birthday and KI and my seventh wedding anniversary(still unbelievable we are actually married), we took the day to go on a Smithsonian Tour. For those of you not familiar with the name Smithsonian, it is our nation’s capitol museum system and it is also the premier research institution for biology, history, archeology…in the US.

As I have written many times before, KI and I are fortunate that we live so close to so many free world class museums!

Brew Time

On this particular day we took a tour that combined craft breweries, history of brewing in DC and culture. In less than 8 hours we hit all of our favorite things to do, and I got to photograph it too. Click on this link to learn more about DC’s brew history.

One of our stops was the Congressional Cemetery. We took the brewmaster’s tour. There are 19 brewmasters buried there. There is also a LGBT tour. Charles Fowler is a highlight on that tour. I thought his gravestone was so unusual. This link shares that tour.

In Memoriam

 

 

 

The last photo, “Musical Tribute”, makes me digress. I thought the gravestone was stunning, but I only saw one date so I do not know if Joyce is alive or deceased. So this practice of laying a gravestone prior to death may seem practical, but not when it is your own mother doing it which my mother has done.

All of us knew that she did this, but when we buried my stepfather, we saw the stone for the first time. It was unsettling to say the least.

Musical Tribute

 

Do any of you have parents who have done the same? Let me know what you think of this practice?

Today, enjoy my unusual collection of photos!

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Perspectives…Again

perspective-on-life

Perspective on Life

Over and over again I write about perspective and light, inherent in those blogs is also composition. The reason is simple. Photography is about creating compelling images using light, composition and perspective. Today I feature the last of my photos from the February cruise with Olivia#oliviatravel.

peeking-thru

Peeking Thru

All of the photos shown in this blog were taken in Key West, Florida-my favorite destination in Florida. Spending a day in Key West is like spending a week elsewhere. There is so much to do and see and everyone can find something fun.

looking-skyward

Looking Skyward

Since KI had never been, we did a lot. Our first adventure was hopping on a Hop On-Hop Off trolley. Good thing too as we could not have walked to the Hemingway House and the Lighthouse-too far at the end of a week of hiking, stair climbing and long treks. Last week I featured a few photos including one of Hemingway’s House. This week you can view my photos of the Key West Lighthouse, the flamingoes of the butterfly Conservatory and the iconic “Life” cover after WWII of the sailor kissing a nurse. Each has a different perspective. The lighthouse has two, and I am still debating if the shot taken through the fence is worthy of a blog.

As you can see, I feature flamingoes all the time. I love these birds. I especially like the effect of this photo as it looks to be a mirror image, but is actually two different birds. They are beautiful birds!

 

seeing-double

seeing Double

Enjoy this week’s selections!

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Creating Themes with Photographic Shoots

Cycles

Cycles

When KI and I cruised to the Western Caribbean with Olivia#oliviatravel back in February, I did not know what I would be photographing. I had an idea that I would shoot ruins since we were headed to Tulum in Mexico. Beyond that, I was clueless.

Island Bar

Island Bar

Often when I head out on a shoot with friends and fellow photographers, I have in mind what the day will bring. But like my end of year photography trek to Alexandria Virginia, that can change. I thought that day would be about holiday decorations and it was, but it was also about the architecture of the area, the birds on the Potomac and close ups of structures. Sometimes lighting, a critical photographic factor, make a theme stand out.

Ancient Ruins III

Ancient Ruins III

As I photographed my way through the Caribbean, several themes emerged. You have seen these themes in the last few weeks and next week, my blog will include more of the central themes.

Historic Digs I

Historic Digs I

As I mentioned above, ruins became a central subject. I include the iguanas I captured in that. They look perfectly at home among the ruins, but they were on every island, not just Mexico. Island life was also a theme that emerged. From Hemingway’s house, shown here, to the island bar “art” in black and white, from Half Moon Cay. That is a theme that is broad and would be natural for a trip of this sort. An unusual theme though emerged. From Half Moon Cay to Key West, I kept seeing deserted bicycles. In the March 24 blog on Olivia, you witnessed one photo. Here are two more. I changed the one below to black and white, removing the beauty of the island. I was hoping to capture more emotion. What do you think? Did I succeed?

Enjoy these photos today. I had a blast taking them.

Deserted Cycle

Deserted Cycle

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Mexico or Bust!

 

Ancient Ruins II

Ancient Ruins II

A few weeks ago, I blogged on our recent cruise to the Western Caribbean. One of our ports of call was Cozumel, Mexico. KI and I took a shore excursion to the Tulum Mayan Ruins on Playa Del Carmen. I had been there in the late 90’s, and while the Ruins did not change, the area surrounding the ruins was a little more commercialized. Good for Mexico! There is nothing wrong with making some money off of a country’s national treasures. The results were a paved highway to the Ruins and some commercial businesses, more than one offering a cold Corona for a dollar. The best Corona KI and I ever had too!

The bus dropped us off at this commercial area where the “Lively Mercado” was photographed.

Ocean View I

Ocean View I

The walk was about 15 minutes to the Ruins. I don’t remember a long walk before, but I am hoping Mexico tourism figured they needed to protect these ruins a little better from vehicle traffic.

Our tour guide was knowledgable and treated us well. The tour guides were all local and the tour was from a local company. There was never any mention of “the wall” or other politics. They steered clear as professionals do, and showed us the best of Mexico-its people, food and sites.

 

 

 

Lively Mercado

Lively Mercado

While a salesman, named Alex,  from the row of stalls, approached me to buy from him, he was not pushy, and I promised to return after we visited the ruins. I am used to shopping in stalls like this especially at Florida flea markets, but usually the sales people are more aggressive. These sales professionals, and yes they were professional in their dealings,  were low key. I returned to Alex after our sightseeing and bought some jewelry for my mom and myself. (KI did not want anything for herself in case you were wondering.)

Throughout the day, I kept thinking to myself, I want to show Mexico and its people that we are truly its friendly neighbor to the north. I wanted them to know that we respect that friendship and common border. It was a heavy burden that I took on myself. But Mexico and its people had other ideas! They wanted us to have a good time, and that hospitality shined through.

Ancient Ruins

Ancient Ruins

 

KI commented at the end of the cruise that the day at the Ruins was her favorite. I think our interactions with the best Mexico could offer had something to do with that.

 

Enjoy my photos of Mexico today!

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Happy Anniversary KI!

Historic Digs

Historic Digs

KI and I took our first Olivia vacation #oliviatravel this past February. We booked the trip two weeks after the presidential elections after I got an email offering a savings code entitled “stronger together.” That should have been our first clue that Olivia knows what they are doing and do it well.

deserted-skiff

Deserted Skiff

It was a Valentines Day gift, anniversary gift and my birthday gift to us. The anniversary and birthday are today! What a present too!! We had blast, and the trip was healing.

 

 

We cruised to the Western Caribbean visiting the private island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Caymans, Bahamas, Cozumel, Mexico and Key West at the tip of Florida. While I had been to all but the private island, KI had been to none of the ports. But the ports were only part of the reason for going.  The cruise offered entertainment and panels of speakers that dovetailed on current events and the theme of women and empowerment. Billie Jean King, Delores Huerta and Edie Windsor were just a few of the women speaking. (Click on their names to find out more about them.)Vickie Shaw and Karen Williams entertained us with some comedic levity about the current political climate. We really needed that too!

Ocean View

Ocean View

 

This cruise was unlike any other that I or KI(who has a very short cruise history of two now!) had been on. Everything Olivia did was first rate. There was always staff available to assist with anything. They had a formal guest services table, but the staff were everywhere. The programming was amazing, informative, well prepared and just made us feel so much better, if even for only a short time. The gift shop also had merchandise just for us-Tomboy XLaurel Burch and Olivia merchandise. All of our shore excursions were with other Olivia travelers. And we talked with Edie Windsor, the woman whose courage and determination made today an enduring reality for us. Listening to her story and how much perseverance she had makes KI and I treasure what we have even more.

 

And it was so cool to be traveling all week with 2000 other women. Politics came up often as the topic of conversation but more than

Deserted Cycle I

Deserted Cycle I

that, we just chatted about our lives and loves, feeling free to talk about anything and everything without fear of judgement or disapproval.

 

I know this may sound like an advertisement but if you get a chance to go on an Olivia Vacation, do it. They travel worldwide and are well worth the price! KI and I already booked our next trip for 2018 to Venice, Croatia and Greece.

 

 

The photos here represent my favorites from the trip. No particular theme. Historic Digs and Ocean View were taken on Grand Caymans. Deserted Cycle I was photographed on Key West, and Ancient Ruins I was taken at Tulum Mayan Ruins. The deserted skiff was shot at Half Moon Cay.  I hope you enjoy these gems today. Go to the tab “Recent Photos” to see more. Over the next few blogs I will be sharing more photos from our amazing trip!

Ancient Ruins I

Ancient Ruins I

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Receding Lines

Receding Lines V

Receding Lines V

On a photo shoot at the end of 2016, I started out the day with a preconceived notion of what I was going to photograph. My photo buddy, Rob,  and I were heading to Old Town Alexandria in Virginia during the holiday season. I thought I would focus on the holiday which I did, and also shoot some photos of the history.

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

As we parked in an historic neighborhood, our goal was to walk to the water about a half a mile away. Rob began shooting immediately, focusing on geometric shapes. I slowly saw what he was doing, and started to look at the houses and the neighborhoods differently.

No One Home

No One Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We photographed for over 3 hours, from cloudy to sunny, from rain to blue skies. We made it to the water, but did not spend much time there. The residential streets were much more interesting. We also encountered much more foot traffic from tourists in the commercial areas.

Receding Lines IV

Receding Lines IV

 

Out of that shoot, along with my previous post of Ellicott City, a series of images called “Receding Lines” took shape. Playing with my new full frame camera-Nikon D750- which is an amazing piece of technology and photographic equipment, I created a surprising series that even I am enjoying! All artists are critical of their work as you may know.

 

Each perspective, and whether the photo is in color or black and white, evoke a thoughtfulness on the part of the photographer and viewer.

Receding Lines VI

Receding Lines VI

 

Up next week are photos from KI and my first Olivia Cruise.

 

Enjoy today and let me know what you think.

 

Thank you always for supporting my work!

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