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Monthly Archives: June 2011
In preparation for wedding stuff, I spent the evening going through pictures from past adventures in search of photos of Alisha and I. Buried in the pictures from Rome, Italy was this image, captured from high atop St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.
We reached the this vantage point by answering the age-old question of “Where do these stairs go? The go up.” So up we went!
It’s pretty tight quarters up here, but it’s one heck of a view!
One of my most-favorite and (at the same time) least-favorite parts of travel is jumping into a taxi cab at the destination airport.
It’s a favorite because everything I have been doing to get to my destination is almost finished. That last little leg, many times with the radio on (which is nice to learn a little bit about local music choices), is a fantastic tour around my new temporary home.
It’s my least-favorite because nothing screams tourist like walking out of the airport with a giant sack on one’s shoulder asking to go to a hotel.
In Vietnam, for example, the taxi drivers all stood up with excitement at the two Americans walking toward them. The guidebook said it should be a $6US cab ride to our hotel, but our driver told us a number that translated to $10US. Plus, at the end, he charged us a toll of $3 or $4 dollars that he refused to pay on his own (the cab driver taking us to the Vietnam airport at the end of our stay did not charge us for that same toll, I might add). In the end, it really didn’t do anything to inconvenience us. Aside from being dishonest and annoying, it’s hard to get upset at a $5 bump in price when we just spent $1,000 on airfare.
Half of the fun in driving around Ireland is being able to stop at all of the delightful road-side settings and take pictures. The other half of the fun in driving around Ireland is the complete joy of driving on narrow, winding roads on the opposite side of the road.
When renting a car in Ireland, may I suggest upgrading to the complete insurance protection?
The NBA Finals wrapped up yesterday. I think all of America (except those fools residing in Florida) were thrilled Miami lost to Dallas. Even if you hate the Yankees, you have to respect their commitment to winning — or at least their commitment to battling with the Red Sox. With LeBron James and the Miami Heat, the way they went about winning reeked of arrogance more than a “commitment to winning.”
While in Spain, I wanted to photograph the 16th-century Cathedral dominating the town of Segovia’s main plaza.
It was our first night arriving in Spain and it was nice to just sit in the plaza, enjoy a pitcher of sangria, and wait for the sun to go down (and the sky to get the color that I’m waiting for). While we waited, locals and tourists alike made themselves comfortable at tables and just enjoyed the evening, as well.
During the course of the night, it occurred to us that the plaza was the town’s babysitter. Men would walk to the plaza with their kids, enjoy a drink and conversation while the children ran around nearby. The sun seemed to set very slowly, which was fine by us (this picture was taken at 9:40PM).
Somewhere during the course of the evening, I decided that, even if we left in the morning, it was worth it to come all this way, enjoy a glass of sangria, and head home. Of course we stayed for the duration of our travel plans, but it was nice to see and experience other cultures and how they do Life. Sometimes that little infusion of another country’s culture is what I crave.
Not unlike Segovia’s town plaza playing the roll of the babysitter, in my neighborhood of Chicago we get together and let the kids run amuck, but it’s usually once a year and we close the street down for a “block party.” In this small Spanish town, it’s called “just another Tuesday.”
One of the perks of living in Chicago is our food. We take eating very seriously, and even our quick and simple hot dogs have some very strict rules. Yellow mustard, relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, pickle Spear, peppers and a dash of celery salt are the only things put on a Chicago-style hot dog. Ketchup can be used on the fries, but certainly not the hot dog!
One year ago yesterday, the Chicago Blackhawks ended their drought and won the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks organization did a cool move and allowed season ticket holders an opportunity to hang out with The Cup and have their picture taken with it. (They even went so far as to bring in a professional photographer to take an enormous high-resolution photo and post it online for free.)
I’m a big fan of the movie The Blues Brothers and the ‘Hawks have a car similar to the 1974 Dodge Monaco from the movie. I’ve seen it around the United Center, but I was happy to have my camera with me when it was parked in front on Stanley Cup Day.
Several years ago a buddy and I decided to go to Egypt together. One of our day trips to the market in Cairo. As much as I enjoy our food inspectors doing their jobs, I’m a sucker for markets in other countries.
Walking the beach one morning in Bali, Indonesia, Alisha and I noticed the sand had some crazy fun patterns in it.
Spending the weekend in Las Vegas, one can only take so much of the opulence that is “Sin City.” Going for something less seedy, I grabbed a rental car and headed to Valley of Fire State Park.
Valley of Fire is only about 30 miles from Las Vegas, except the last 14 miles are winding through the Nevada desert, so it takes about an hour to get there. After paying the park’s entry fee, I found something one doesn’t see too often in US parks anymore — no fences. There were dangerous rock ledges, loose boulders and lots of things to trip over. I feel like the United States has become so over-protective against lawsuits that parks are fenced off so much that only flat, parking lot-like surfaces are where tourists have the freedom to roam.
All of that being said, there weren’t many people at this park. Normally I like taking pictures and avoiding people in them, but in this case it was nice to have the woman on top of the rock formation giving perspective without detracting from the image.
Falling under the category of “Eh.” pictures, this is Anna Ruby Falls, near Helen, Georgia.
Alisha and I were visiting the area for a friend’s wedding and I, of course, brought my gear along. Anna Ruby Falls is a really pretty area about two hours Northeast of Atlanta. The actual falls are quite dramatic, and this is just a small stream coming from the area. (I’ll post a picture of the actual Anna Ruby Falls later.)
Being from the flat lands of Chicago, it’s rare to see an elevation change such as the one in the image above, so I had to capture it. The reason I think this is an “Eh.” picture is because I think it’s pretty, but it needs more. Perhaps bright reds and oranges from the trees changing would be a nice touch. Too bad for me it was a very mild Fall in the Southeast back in 2007, so the leaves held their green color for quite some time.
Hello and welcome to the fifth month of my photoblog!
I’m impressed with myself that I’ve made it this far in regularly posting images. Originally I wanted to post three days a week, but I suddenly found myself uploading five or six days a week. There are times when work takes over and I can’t upload for a day or two, but I’ve been posting no less than three images a week, and I really feel like my photography is re-inspired.
It’s nice to scroll through my images and find old pictures I have a new appreciation for. I think I mentioned it earlier, but it’s easy to come home from Cambodia with 1,000 pictures of “yet another temple.” However, spaced out over time, there are some fine pictures that stand out on their own, but didn’t end up in the travel photography section.
The above picture is a good example. When sorting through pictures from Siem Reap, Cambodia and the surrounding temples, this one isn’t as worthy as other pictures, I think. It does, however, stand out on it’s own when it’s mixed with flower pictures, images of the Chicago skyline and a random picture from Brazil.