Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fountains at Versailles

Paris. The city of love and lights. Romance is conjured up at the very mention of the name in the minds of most people. The dream trip for young couples in love.

I was fortunate enough to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Paris and witnessed young couples in love staring deep into each other's eyes. In one instance there was a proposal at the top of the eiffel Tower and in another Paris was where an engaged couple purchased their wedding rings. Love was definately in the air.

Along with the veritable bucketloads of love being flung into the air is the flip-side of love: war. Paris was the scene of revolution, upheaval, plague and the depths of human suffering at the hands of one another in the name of... whatever you mind can come up with.

Just outside of Paris is the palace of Versailles, a spectacular display of planning and workmanship. It very nearly bankrupt the country of France as it was being built. Aside from the intrigue and treachery it was witness to over its lifetime, Versailles is a marvel of engineering at its pinnacle. Engineering on a grand scale no less. I've been in many a village around the world that would fit nicely inside the stone and guilt iron perimeter many times over with room to spare. Impressive for sure.

Many more images are on the way from this trip, I'm working hard at trying to get them out in time for the holiday season. Check back to see if I've made my self-imposed deadline!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mammatus and Crepuscular

The saying goes "better to be lucky than good" but personally, I'd rather be both. I much prefer the saying "chance favors the prepared mind". Simply put, be ready to take advantage of whatever happens across your path. Let me illustrate...

Today a colleague of mine was up at our house (the Middle of Nowhere he calls it) working out the particulars of a holiday photography event we are doing together. Meaning, of course, that we were inside most of the day polishing ad copy, constructing sets, all that fun stuff that makes the lives of photograpers the envy of all those around them. Well, maybe not. Add in that the weather has turned blustery and drizzly and the day was productive but not the kind of thing you's use to sell a new life in the English countryside.

Driving back from picking up my son from the bus stop I caught a flash of color out of my eye and as we rounded a bend in the road. The hedgerow opened up and there it was: mammatus clouds on fire from the setting sun. Mammatus clouds are very cool, like hanging balls on the underside of a cloud resulting from sinking air. Despite their sometimes fierce look they actually signal the latter stages of a storm and for me, are the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow. As if this sight weren't good enough, bby the time I dragged my cameras into the driveway the sun had sunk below a band of clouds creating spectacular crepuscular rays (god beams, sun rays).
The entire event lasted perhaps 10 minutes from when I first saw it and then, gone. Lucky because I live in a place that these two sky events happened, good because when I ran in the door everything was ready to use and in the scant time available I was able to, I think, capture the essence of what I saw.
I love my job, I love my job, I love my job...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Slideshow for 2008 Calendars

As I previously mentioned, there are now SIX 2008 Photo Calendars in this year's offering. New for this year is a streaming photo slideshow complete with music for those who wish to browse a bit before making a purchase decision. To view the slideshow, click this link.

An Active-X plugin from Photodex is required, the software company that is responsible for dragging me kicking and screaming into the world of streaming image content!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Blast From the Past

Today I was performing the exciting task of file maintenance on my computer (oh yeah, the exciting lives of photographers!) and came across this image I hadn't seen in some time. Thought I would share about it.
While living in the Azores I was very fortunate to become friends with a great group of men through our common association with Boy Scouts. It was our intention to have a cross-island hike with the Troop and to spend a couple of nights sleeping under the stars.
Well, apparently WE thought it was a great idea but the BOYS just rolled their eyes and developed various maladies that took them out of action. Know what? The men went anyway!
Terceira Island is known for dairy cows and a great cheese/butter making tradition. you're bound to pass field after field of dairy cows and as we passed this one paddock we realized that the ground was much higher on the other side, giving me a perfect hoof-level view of the approaching bovine subject. One of the guys on the trip was Bill Comp who caught me in-action while I snapped away making what would become a very popular image from my time at Lajes Field.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Evening on the Farm

Fall is a wonderful time of the year, seemingly no matter where in the world you are (that is, unless you're somewhere where there IS no fall). The air gets that crispness that can catch you off guard if you're not expecting it. You look out the window at the grass and can't quite tell if there is dew or frost on the blades. Then there's the sun hitting those leaves as they make their final transformation from natural powerplant to natural fertilizer.

Then there are the nights...

Night photography has always been my time for me. Like shoveling snow or mowing the yard, it is a time when you know you'll not be disturbed. Despite being just a few steps from my door, I was able to enjoy nearly an hour of time to experiment with a new camera body and enjoy an unusually clear night on the farm. And with all the advances in technology over the years, when I photograph at night, for the most part I time my exposures with the time-tested mantra of:

"One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi..."