So nice to go traveling

Wow, it has been over a month since I posted a blog! I am appalled with this failure of what started out as a rebooted daily discipline, back in Jan 2016, but there’s been a good reason for this.

In mid-June I was fortunate enough to have taken an extended family vacation back to England and include a brief 2-night sojourn to Paris too. I had grand plans of writing blog entries and posting images as we traveled but, to be honest, I was too busy enjoying myself “in the moment,” as they say these days.

And that’s how it should be.

I will play a bit of catch up over the next few weeks and months as I process the hundreds of photographs I did take that will jog my memory. And I’ll start off with the first three that I worked on yesterday evening, from Brighton, Paris and Amesbury.




The time went very quickly and we saw family, several friends, and many of our old stomping grounds and tourist attractions. We were even fortunate with the notoriously unpredictable British weather.

It would have been nice to have stayed longer and spend more time with even more friends and family but, alas, time caught up with us and it was with mixed emotions that we returned to our home in Pennsylvania. After a day or so I admit that it’s good to be home and to appreciate the life that we have here.

That’s the philosophical part of traveling, perhaps!



52 Week Challenge: Week 50

WEEK 50: Landscape: Symmetrical – Often considered one of the hardest compositions to pull off, Symmetry. Challenge yourself this week by shooting a symmetrical landscape/urbanscape.

I used this evening’s trip to Longwood Gardens to see the light display to my advantage here. The Italian Garden afforded a great opportunity to use formal garden symmetry to fulfill this landscape requirement, with an added twist of being a night shot too.



52 Week Challenge: Week 47

WEEK 47: Landscape: Abandoned – Capture an image of that which others have forgotten. It may be the last image before it’s gone from us forever.

These are the abandoned smokestacks and factory buildings of a local Pennsylvanian steelworks. I deliberately focused through the chain link fencing as I think it adds a certain context to the imagery, as do the grasses growing in the yard.



52 Week Challenge: week 41

WEEK 41: Landscape: Get High – Everything looks different when you are high. Find a high perspective to shoot this landscape.

Beautiful autumnal textures in Northern Pennsylvania



52 Week Challenge: Week 38

WEEK 38: Landscape: Get Low – Time to look at the world from a different angle. Shoot a landscape from a low point of view.

Not much chance to get out today so I went though some shots from earlier in the year. This one really cheered me up – spring daffodils leading up to a lovely old tree, taken from a fairly low angle.



52 Week Challenge: Week 32

WEEK 32: Landscape: Colorful – Shoot a landscape that packs as much color as you can find into the scene.

This was an interesting challenge. I haven’t had the chance to get out this weekend so I went through some of my recent images to see which would provide the most colorful compositions. In the end I have settled for this mixture of landscape and sort-of street scene that I took at the beach in Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu Province, India a few months back. The beach activities don’t really start up until much later in the day but even so the place is full of bright color.



52 Week Challenge: Week 29

WEEK 29: Landscape: Waterscape – Ocean, lake, river, pond, or puddle. Make water the primary subject of this landscape.

I am still using my recent trip to New England to play catch up with the dogwood 52 week challenge. For this one I popped up to the top of Scargo Tower in Dennis, Massachusetts and stitched 5 images together to get a panorama of Lake Scargo, one of the deepest lakes in Cape Cod.

Legend has it that the lake was created by a Native American princess of the same name in order to keep fish that been given to her by a suitor from another tribe. He gave her the fish in a gourd and said he would return but the water dried up so they needed a new home. In one version the lake is filled with Scargo’s tears and in another she drowns in the lake.

Either way the vaguely fish-shaped lake was blessed to be always well stocked for good fishing, although not being a fisherman I cannot verify this!


52 Week Challenge: Week 26

WEEK 26: Landscape: Simplify – Simply the scene to make your primary subject stand out.

If you look closely at this dead tree it resembles a hand curling out of the marsh. A bird must have thought it a potential place for a nest, but it really wasn’t given the straw debris beneath its crooked fingers.

Did the nest slip, or did the tree let go?



52 Week Challenge: Week 17

WEEK 17: Landscape: Urbanscape – Most Landscapes are wide open spaces of natural beauty… this week find the beauty of the urbanscape/cityscape.

You would think that it is quite easy to get an urban landscape, but this week I was fairly rushed and the weather wasn’t the best, with a few days of drizzle and grey skies. Anyhow I eventually ventured out this morning, taking a 30 minute diversion before work, with the intention of getting some street shots and, moment of inspiration, some shots from the top of the parking garage, six floors up, in the center of town.

I was strolling purposefully up the stairs when I was overtaken by a “bit of a Martin Parr moment” as I call them, and decided that an internal urban landscape would fit the bill nicely. I love the huge swathe of grey concrete, the light glinting off a single parked truck in the distance and just a small splash of color of the elevators on the periphery.

Please let me know what you think!



52-week Challenge: week 14

WEEK 14: Landscape: Zoomed in – Most landscapes are wide sweeping images. Try an alternative and zoom in instead.

I admit that this seemed counter-intuitive to me. I always associate landscapes with sweeping vistas, and therefore using a relatively wide lens like my 20mm (that’s 40mm equivalent on a 35mm frame). But the assignment seemed clear so I attached my biggest glass, the 200mm  (that’s a huge 400mm equivalent on a 35mm DSLR) and zoomed in on a woodland landscape near my home.

In order to make it more interesting I captured a little of the Spring grass and some spiky overwintering plants in the foreground, with the wooded landscaped valley behind.



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