Sunday, February 28, 2010

Naperville Fall Walk

While some shots are from far, lots of possibilities are near. This is from the path near our house. Right now, the path is all white. Sure looks different from early fall, when this shot was taken. Bought a Beagle, Eloise, about a year ago, and even though the entrance to this path is less than 100 yards from our home, I had never found a reason to walk it before getting the dog. I think like walking it as much as the dog does. You never know where paths will take you, so if you see a path, take it.

Sunrise over Batiquitos Lagoon, La Costa California

Took this sunrise shot looking east (of course) over Batiquitos Lagoon, a small waterway that feeds into the Pacific Ocean. I got up early to get some shots of the beach near the La Costa Resort while I was at a bond conference late last year. The shots to the east turned out to be more interesting. That bridge is some railroad tracks going over the Lagoon.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Relaxing at the Louvre, Paris

Took this shot of a wonderful statue at the Louvre in Paris. Isn't she beautiful? The museum was so crowded, it was even hard to get this shot without anyone standing around. The funny this is that this is the statue of the "Sleeping Hermaphroditus". I didn't know it at the time, but when I walked around to the other side, it was a full on nude male!!! I was so shocked, I just kept laughing and forgot to get the picture of the male side. Now, I have to go back for that shot. For those with a historical bent, this is a Roman copy from the 2nd century AD after a Hellenistic original of the 2nd century BC. Anyway, it is old. From the Borghese Collection.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Travel Book Shop -- Portobella Road, London

Ever see the movie 1999 hit movie, Notting Hill, with Hugh Grant and Julie Roberts? Well, the Travel Book Shop that the Hugh Grant character owns does exist and we had to visit it in our trip to London in 2006. The shop is near Portobella Road in Kensington which hosts an amazing street fair with all kinds of second hand shops and antiques stores. The Portobella fair was also featured in the film in a montage with Hugh Grant trying to get over the Julia Roberts character. I had to buy a travel book there and actually found a great one on excellent campsites in Wisconsin. So, I go to a travel book shop in London, to buy a book on Wisconsin. Oh well, you never know...

Film buffs will also remember that Portobello Road was also the setting of one of the scenes in Bedknobs and Broomsticks and featured in a song by Dire Straights, Portobello Belle. (Ok, I didn't know that either, but I got it from Google.) If you ever get to London, it is a must see.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bright Lights Vegas

Shot was taken with a Lumix point and shoot from the balcony of the Mandalay Bay last summer with a great view of the strip. This is from our annual "Old Men Gone Mild" trip to Vegas. Have fun each year watching the young guns who join us "take Vegas by storm" which apparently means that they lose everything that they bring. Fun stuff.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Antique Shop Central Illinois

I was heading down to Memphis by car and stopped in a small town in Central Illinois. Can't remember the town, but this splash of color caught my eye back in 2008.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New York City at Night

In San Diego this week traveling for business, so I thought I was appropriate to post a shot from a place about as far away mentally as I can think of...that would be New York City. Trick with this shot was stand as still as I could to get a sharp picture. I still wonder what the lady in the left corner was thinking about?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Charlotte Time Keeper

This shot was the first taken with my new camera when I got it in July 2008. I shoot with a Nikon D700, although the shots posted on this site are a combination of that camera, my older Nikon D200 (sold), my Iphone and a point and shoot from Lumix. Hey, you don't need a fancy camera to shoot interesting things. Just get out there and shoot.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

John Hancock from Navy Pier, Chicago

Heading to downtown Chicago this morning to catch up on some paperwork. This is how the city should look every day. This shot was taken on a Saturday morning in June about half way down on Navy Pier. Can't always have excellent weather like that or we all would be living in Arizona!!! Really got lucky with the Chicago Police and Chicago Firefighters red and blue tugboats both being docked at the pier that morning.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Notre Dame de Paris from Seine River

Again, the photography books always tell you to look for a different view. So, I took this picture from the opposite side of the Seine River as we were coming up to Notre Dame Cathedral back on our family vacation in 2006.

Friday, February 19, 2010

St Louis--Gateway to the West

The photo books say to look for a different view of a well known and oft-photographed icon. So, turned around and saw this shot. Turned out to be the best of the day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bird's Nest--Beijing

Not the best shot but in honor of the Olympics playing on the TV right now, I thought I could post a shot from Stephi's and my trip to the Olympic Village in Beijing. Supper hot day, but what I remember most is all of the local Chinese that came up to ask if they could take a picture with Stephi. So many of the Chinese on vacation from the rural areas have never seen any Westerners' and Stephi's red hair at the time really stood out. She had a ball getting her picture taken.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Memphis: Pretty in Pink

Took this shot in downtown Memphis near the Mississippi River. Building was empty but the pink color jumped right out at me. Couldn't pass up this shot.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Smart Car -- Paris

You are starting to see more of these around in the US, but in Paris back in 2006 they were everywhere. Apparently, you buy a smart car in Paris, you can park it anywhere, even on the sidewalk.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Niobrara River Nebraska

This waterfall on the Niobrara River near Valentine Nebraska was a real lifesaver. This shot was taken way back in 2003 during our last trip to this wonderful area of the country in what is called the sandhills of Nebraska.

For a couple of years when the boys were back in middle school we used to go camping at a star party in north central Nebraska. Star Parties are gathering of amateur astronomers that get together in very rural and dark areas of the country to see the skies in their pristine state. This is one of the rare areas of the country that you can see the Milky Way from horizon to horizon. Near Valentine, the Milky Way is so bright it looks like clouds coming in as it rises. Even the bottoms of clouds are darker than the tops as they have no ground light to reflect back. That is how dark it is near Valentine. Well, one thing about the Nebraska Star Party is that it is held in June or July and the average daytime temperature is near 100 degrees with no shade. We found this waterfall on the Niobrara where we could spend a few hours in the coldest most refreshing water I have ever been in. You can actually walk under these falls. I just got the brochure for this year's party. I wonder if the boys will go back there with me this year?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Bean Side View

Here is the third shot in the full on Bean weekend. Took this while exiting the park closely followed by security. Hey, why put up a strange looking work of art and not let people take pictures at 5:30 in the morning? Anyway, got the shot on a beautiful June morning. Tough to get this shot otherwise without lots of tourists around.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Bean

This silver bean shaped stainless steel object sits in Millennium Park for those of you not familiar with downtown Chicago. I am sure that I will have lots of Bean shots over time on this blog as you get some unique views of the city skyline (like this one). The official name for what everybody calls "the Bean" is Cloud Gate.

Cloud Gate is British artist Anish Kapoor's first public outdoor work installed in the United States. The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect the city's famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a "gate" to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.

Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66-feet long by 33-feet high. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New York 8th Street

Took this shot walking down 8th street in New York city last fall. Wanted to get a little bit away from the tourist area and found this "gritty" view of a city sidewalk--and this shot won an award last night!!!

Joined a Naperville photography group a few months ago and entered my first photo competition. This club is an extremely talented group of long time photographers who get together to improve their photography skills. I entered this New York city scene and a few other shots. Did real well for a rookie as I got honorable mention on two pictures and almost walked away with the top prize with this print. Next step is that I submit my shots to the Chicago Area Camera Club Association Salon to be held on March 13th. Let you all know how it goes. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tower Bridge--London

After visiting Nina in Paris in 2006 we flew to Italy. I couldn't get a cheap flight home (read: free with miles). Everything came through London. So, we decided to tack the great city of London on to the back end of the trip. This shot is of the Tower Bridge in London. I wasn't thinking that I would be posting these shots on a blog way back in 2006. Probably didn't know blogs existed. So, I think it is more of a tourist snap shot, but it was fun being there and a nice day to visit such a wonderful city. Now, I have to get back there to take some better pictures. Hmmm...I wonder how many miles it takes....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monterey Bay Pier

I got up early to take some pictures of the area around the pier in Monterey Bay, California. I was walking around the pier and I turned around and almost fell over this splash of color. This was one of the shots that I used for my photo show in Chicago. Monterey is an amazing place on the California Pacific coast. Only got one morning to shoot around so this is a place I look forward to visiting again.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Orleans Celebration

Had to post something positive for the city of New Orleans celebrating its SuperBowl win over the Indianapolis Colts yesterday. Most of my New Orleans shots were of buildings, but this gentleman certainly had the Big Easy spirit. So, in honor of the win, New Orleans gets the Shot of the Day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Merry-Go-Round Navy Pier

Today's shot was taken on Navy Pier showing the Merry-Go-Round near the center of the Pier. You have to get there early to catch a view without tourists and other visitors around. This shot is from June 2008 at about 6:00am, just after sun rise.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Resting on the Sidewalk in Paris

I really like this shot of the kids from 2006 when we went to visit Nina in Paris. It looks like Stephi and Jono are saying, "are you kidding me...more pictures", I can't tell what Michael is saying or thinking (don't play him in poker) and Nina is still all smiles. By the time we went to visit Nina in Paris, she could walk a hundred miles around the city and not get tired. Funny how Nina looks exactly the same to me today, while Michael, Stephi and Jono all have changed so much. They are a great group of kids, although I haven't received the report yet from Stephi's birthday party at Michael's place. Jono came up to surprise her so that was nice. To bad Nina couldn't make it as William was sick. Oh well, love those Parisian sidewalks. Definitely can't walk two across.

Friday, February 5, 2010

When in Rome...

...take pictures of the Coliseum. The broken floor parts used to raise and lower animals and men to the main area. Amazingly impressive. Over 500,000 were said to have died on its floors. They even used to flood it by diverting water from a nearby river for navel battles.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stephi on the Great Wall

In honor of Stephi's birthday, I choose a picture of Stephi peaking through one of the slots in the Great Wall near Beijing. I love how you can see the rest of the wall way down there in the distance. That was some climb. One great thing about Stephi is that she will be game for any travel opportunity anywhere in the world. That can't be said about everyone. Some people will travel only if they have a Four Seasons. Stephi will travel anywhere they have four seasons. She is a great travel companion. Have a nice Birthday, Stephi.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Central Illinois

Saw this red Coke machine standing against a white wall while driving on Rt 45 coming back from Champaign. Decided to turn around and get the shot and it turned out to be one of the better shots that I have taken. You never know what you will get by trying. I used this shot in my photography show at the Chicago Photography Center so some of you may have seen this before. Anyway, loved the colors as they really popped with the grain in the wall giving contrast to the Coke machine. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Downtown Chicago at Night

Took this from the top deck of the parking lot at the end of Navy Pier. It is a 30 second exposure taken with a tripod. The key was getting the shot before getting chased off the pier by security. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Orleans Street Scene

Took this this early morning shot in New Orleans in a more industrial area near the French Quarter in May 2009. Went for a run and saw this colorful street scene near the hotel. Since I started taking shots more regularly, I am always on the look out for color. Went back after the run to catch this shot and got lucky to get a picture without cars or people wandering about. I waited just long enough to catch a clear moment. Luck always favors the prepared.