All right, for the true travelers out there, this trip's for you. These pictures are actually a composite of several trips taken through the predigital years. So, let's start with Arizona, and the Grand Canyon. Then it's up to California, where we find the Giant Sequoias, the view back across to San Francisco, and the incredible sunset over the pacific. Then its up to Washington state, where we have these two shots from the woods (the one looks like Alaska, but I checked, it's Washington). And then we come back to the hills of Tennessee, and the cabin in the Smokies. Enjoy! I know I did.
Well, it's back to the archives again. These are more shots taken in the predigital era, mostly out West. The first shot is taken in California, but it "does not exist." At least you cannot find it on a map, because it is where a secret Lockheed plant existed. The next photo was taken in some State or National Park out there somewhere - I do not remember where. The third photo was one of the few that I still have from my first trip to Costa Rica, in 1971, and is taken where my Costa Rican family had their finca (ranch), near the border with Nicaragua, complete with active volcanos, and no paved roads. The next one is a desolate farm, near Manchester, Tennessee, obviously in the winter, which adds to the desolation. The next two are from Washington state, the first is Mount Rainier, the second one is from Olympic National Park. And the last photo is a bird's-eye-view of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in Colorado.
Sometimes, when in a scenic place, it's hard not to be too distracted by the grandeur to see the majesty at your feet. These are some close-ups that I have taken along the way. The first image comes from Washington state, looking out at the San Juan straits, but there, right in front are the magnificent rhododendrons, that catch your eye. The second picture is from the beaches of California, but not a picture of the beach, but rather the succulents growing on a rock. The next picture is of the mighty redwoods, but again, not what typically catches your eye. The next one is of my daughter (now 33 yrs old) - I wonder if she has seen this in years. The next picture is of a butterfly is some garden in Ohio. And the last picture was taken in some beautiful state park in Tennessee. So, you see, there is more out there than scenery, but believe me, you'll get plenty of that as well.
All right, folks, time for something a bit different - something old and new. Old, because these are pictures taken well before the digital age (1970s), taken with an old Olympus film camera, but something new, because of the process of digital restoration and conversion. These are mostly taken from trips out west, and so are necessarily heavy on scenery. The first one is taken at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in Colorado - really an astonishing place. The next one is taken at the Grand Canyon from the lesser known North Rim. The third is approaching Zion National Park, in Utah, which remains spectacular, as always. The fourth is of some wildflowers in Zion National Park. The fifth one is the Little Colorado Gorge, as the little Colorado River joins up with the Colorado at the Grand Canyon. The next one is of some Native American kids selling jewelry somewhere in Arizona. And the last one is actually from Washington State - somewhere in the hills. Hope you enjoy these.
Sometimes, when we are in a special, exotic place that is full of wildlife, it is hard to concentrate on the incredible flora that is all around. These are some pictures from Costa Rica which highlight just that - the incredible variety of the flora. The first two are from the rainforest, and taken "au naturelle" within their natural habitat. The next two are from the gardens, just normal gardens, and represent some majestic use of the normal plants within reach. The third and fourth pictures are representative of the wild plants that grow around in the different environments. And the last one is - I don't know, I've never seen it before or since. It was just "sitting pretty," waiting for someone to take its picture.
It's time for another "just because" session. Now, as I last posted, some photos just sit for a while, but after some experimentation, seem to say something to me, and these are examples of that. Now, the first photo is one that I think says, in language unspoken "Costa Rica." While the second one says this is what I love about our own backyard. The next three are from India - the first is from the Amber Fort near Jaipur, and its lines I find extremely appealing. The next one says "Indian marketplace" as none other (and it is the one picture in this series that I've posted before). The third picture is from the Taj Mahal, but looking back to the South Gate. Now the next one is of a familiar scene from Alaska, but was not shown, because it needed some "tweaking". And the last one is really "just because."
OK, I've got a confession to make - I really like digital photography because I can play with the images. Not every picture one takes is going to turn out perfect, or even acceptable, but digital photography allows some spectacular results, from pretty ordinary pictures. These are all taken from our trip to Costa Rica, and represent "easy fixes." The first set is at the Poas Volcano, looking down into the crater, and I thought that the picture was OK, but needed some enhancing, so I just adjusted down the shadows, and I think it became better. In the second set, I had just not gotten close enough to the subject to make it stand out, but photoshop to the rescue, and we have a much more enjoyable image. The third set makes the photograph of something ordinary into something extraordinary. And the last set takes an "OK" photograph, and just by concentrating on the part of the picture of interest, makes it so much more enjoyable.
Photography, after all is the play of light on objects, and so naturally light is a major aspect of taking pictures, and we often don't pay it enough attention. What I would suggest, now that we are in the age of digital cameras, is that you play with the exposure and aperture settings, and pick one that you think says it best. All of these photos are examples of doing just that, with one major exception, and that is the seagull picture, where I didn't have the luxury of time, and so I just kept shooting, and hoped one or two would turn out. Enjoy them, I know I did.