Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coming to and End

You know, for some reason when I started this blog I never really realized that I would at some point have to LEAVE England. Well, I am.

It is with quite the mixed bag of feeling that I prepare to move my family across the globe (AGAIN) this time to the high desert scenery of Tucson, Arizona. We're looking forward to being back in America after 5 years living abroad but we leave so many things behind: great friends, great church family, great travel and scenery opportunities.

So since I'll no longer be an American Yank in England I'm drawing this blogger site to a close. But fear not, for I have a cunning plan! I have begun the next step in my Blogger presence with ONE PICTURE ONE-HUNDRED WORDS which is just as simple as it sounds. I hope you enjoy it and I always love to hear your comments.



Sunday, May 03, 2009

Palermo, Sicily, Italy


On this day were were able to tour the island of Sicily off the Italian mainland. It was a bit chilly and as we ventured into the mountains it became cloudy and rained, all of which added to the ambiance of visiting Segesta which is an unfinished Greek temple from the 4th century. We also paid a short visit to the Medieval town of Erice which was completely shrouded in fog and made photography quite a challenge. Just a couple of images, you can see more of them as well as others from the cruise we too through the Mediterranean on my Flickr site.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mediterranean Cruise: Day 1

The first day of our cruise around the Med was pretty hectic and generally just a bunch of Point A to Point B action. Up at o'dark-thirty for the drive to London Heathrow airport for an Iberia Air flight to Barcelona (an Airbus A320 if you're curious about that kind of thing) followed by a small snafu when our transport to the port decided not to show even after a couple of phone calls to the main office.

Despite this we arrived on the Brilliance of the Seas with 2,200 of our newest friends and were quickly under way leaving Barcelona for Palermo. It was a grey, drizzly day very much like the norm we left in England. But I always try to make the best of what there is so I was able to do some photography on the surrounding industrial area and some of the more interesting ships as we left. Here are a couple of examples, you can see the most recent ones at my Flickr gallery.

I think what most amazes me about these container ships is that each one of those little colored squares is a semi-trailer/lorry trailer. And there are HUNDREDS of them on the ship. Just amazing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back with my prize!

Growing up in the South I often dreamed of far away distant lands: Dayton Beach, Disneyland, that sort of stuff. Of course I knew of those "other" distant lands from the Arabian Nights and Camelot stories but to think about visiting them... nonsense.

Fast-forward many, many years and I found myself in the midst of a family vacation that included ports-of-call with names like Palermo, Malta, Cypress, Rhodos (the correct way to say Rhodes I learned) and Athens. And to put a cherry on top of it all we would visit Egypt and make the trek from Alexandria to Cairo to visit the pyramids.

Now if you know me you are aware that I'm pretty much a little kid in a middle-aged body. Being such, I naturally thought "wouldn't it be cool to sit on a camel while looking at the pyramids"?

Well, dreams can come true and to prove it I present to you my fantastic family in front of the Great Pyramids of Egypt while on camels.

From left to right: my son Jordan, myself and daughter Emmalea, son Zachary and daughter Hannah and finally my lovely wife, Jill. It is important to notice that the lead camel, perhaps offended at my wife not wanting to experience Egypt on camel-back, has decided to lick and chew on her head during the photo. While I took a few photos during our 2 weeks aboard the Brilliance of the Seas (about 27gig worth) this is hands-down my favorite image of the trip.

I will be "driving the PC" for many days to edit the images but will begin posting them as soon as I'm able. Prayers for sanity (mine and my family's as I shout "where were we when we saw....") during the process requested and appreciated.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Featured Image of the Week

This week's Featured Image is being posted a couple of days early as I will be on a well-deserved cruise with my family in the Eastern Mediterranean next week.

I fear we have set a very high standard for our children when it comes to Spring Break vacations. You see, living in Europe we've always had such easy access to places I only read about as a kid growing up. So my children think that a normal Spring Break trip is a cottage overlooking Loch Ness in Scotland or touring Italy by train. Oh, what have I done...LOL!

This image was taken on just such a trip and Jill and I were able to escape one evening for a walk around Rome one evening. Our walk took us along the Tiber River and as we passed some trees we happened upon this wonderful sight of St. Peter's dome hanging in the night sky was the river quietly flowed beneath our feet. One of the most iconic images of the trip and the image I always think of when I hear the word Vatican.

As my Featured Image of the week you are able to purchase the base print for a reduced price for this week (actually 2 weeks due to our holiday break!) only from my preferred top-quality printing e-commerce partner ImageKind. Normal matting and framing prices apply. To see this image at my ImageKind gallery page please click here.

Please check back next week to see a new Featured Image from my image collection of "Unique Imagery From Around the World".

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This Week's Featured Print

This week's image comes from some when we were fortunate enough to live on a working farm in Norfolk county, England.

Norfolk lies in an area of England called East Anglia. Named after the homelands of the Anglo-Saxons in northern Germany it is, at least where I live, not nearly as flat as has been described. Rolling I would say is a good word to use. It is peppered with WWII airfields and if you remember the opening sequence of Memphis Belle then you have a good idea.

Looking out of our kitchen window we often saw the sun setting behind the infamous English hedgerows but, as happens in a land acclaimed for it's magical light, all the pieces fell together this evening. A quick step out of the front door and voila' a little slice of East Anglia captured to help us remember just how blessed we are to have lived here.

As my Featured Image of the week you are able to purchase the base print for a reduced price for this week only from my preferred top-quality printing e-commerce partner ImageKind. Normal matting and framing prices apply. To see this image at my ImageKind gallery page please click here.

Please check back next week to see a new Featured Image from my image collection of "Unique Imagery From Around the World".

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Things you can't do anymore

Earlier this week a friend of mine were talking about things we did while kids that aren't allowed anymore. Despite growing up worlds apart (he in England and me in various parts of the USA) lots of things were the same: fishing, rock fights, riding bikes all day and building clubhouses on "common" property. Kids are kids no matter the place.

In doing a bit of research for an upcoming trip I learned with great sadness that is is now forbidden to feed the pigeons in St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy. When I took my family there on holiday my wife was amazed that this was something that ALL the family wanted to do (and if you travel with family you know what a rarity that is!) and to say we dropped a bit of coin to support the local bird food vending economy would be an understatement.

I know the world is changing and is certainly not the place of my childhood. I certainly can understand the public health implications of the move as well as the effect they have on the historic architecture of St. Mark's (just as I can understand I would not let me children wander as we did when I was young), but it is sad to know sometime in the future I'll be talking with someone and say "Hey, remember when you could feed the pigeon's in St. Mark's? That was cool.".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm afraid to say it....

Knowing what sometimes befalls a person when they make bold statements about things so I cringe when I think that I about to let this phrase loose on the world...

I think spring is here in England.

Flowers out all over the place, birds that have been gone are back (big babies, tough it out like the rest of us I say) and a general warmth that has been lacking is slowly creeping back into the ground. I do enjoy spring....

Monday, March 16, 2009

My first Featured Image

Today I start what will be a (hopefully) regular feature of my blog: the weekly Featured Image!

This week's image comes from some time ago but still to this day remains one of my favorite images I've ever captures. While living in Alaska there are often strange weather occurrences due to the fact that Anchorage is surrounding on three sides by mountains and the remaining side open to Cook Inlet leading to the Ocean.

On this particular day we had a weather front move through that brought with it lightening. No that doesn't sound like a big event to most of you but lightening is a rather rare event in the city. As the front pushed through there was a very definate line where the air masses were meeting and it happened that as it was passing overhead the sun was setting and grazing the bottom of the clouds. Throwing open the window I quickly was able to capture and entire roll of images before the moment was over.

It was a tough wait the next day as my friends at Photowright Labs processed the slides and when I saw them I was not disappointed: 36 glorious glimpses into the combination of clouds, sunset and sky lay before me. The image seen below was the pick of the litter, eventually earning an Honorable Mention in the Alaska WILD photography competition and going on tour across the state of Alaska as well as being hung in the International Photography Hall of Fame.

As my Featured Image of the week you are able to purchase the base print for a reduced price for this week only from my preferred top-quality printing e-commerce partner ImageKind. Normal matting and framing prices apply. To see this image at my ImageKind gallery page please click here.

Please check back next week to see a new Featured Image from my image collection of "Unique Imagery From Around the World".

Monday, March 09, 2009

The summer of change...again.

Well it's that time again, time to start thinking about packing up our home and moving 1/2 way across the planet. Again. Out time living in England is coming to an end and this summer we'll be experiencing a new climate we've never experienced before: the desert.

Yes, three years in Tucson, Arizona.

So expect a flurry of posting activity as I try to get caught up on images that have been captured but not yet processed. Frantic trips to see what I thought I'd have time to see but alas have not yet done (a familiar situation I fear). Say, for example, the Jorvik viking festival in York.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Frozen and windblown

Every now and again I get a chance to get away from things and get out on my own and such was the case earlier in the week when I made a date with the Welsh hills. Truthfully I wasn't sure if I should risk it as for the two days prior to my departure the doom and gloom sayers at BBC (known as weather forecasters) were telling us the Island of Britain would be a solid mass of ice with possible mammoth sightings. OK, a little exaggeration on my part but honestly they were using words like WEATHER WARNING and SEVERE WINTER CONDITIONS on the screen. Unfazed, I hauled out my winter survival gear that has sat dormant in my shed and started off at a lovely 0230 to discover there actually WAS white stuff coming down from the sky!

Now because the majority of folks here haven't spent time in Alaska driving in snow on a daily basis the traffic was, well... nuts. Even starting at the crazy hour I did the traffic (and not the road conditions, the roads were darn near perfect by Alaska standards) my usual 5-hour trip to Wales took a leisurely 7 1/2 hours. But in typical Wales style the wind was blowing, the snow flying and the hills, oh those Welsh hills were a beautiful sight to behold. The purpose of this trip was to capture the Royal Air Force and US Air Force jets utilizing Low Fly Area 7 (LFA7) with the snow covered hills beneath them and the scanner told me what I already knew: all areas unfit for use. No jets on this day. But I was not here just to photograph but to test myself and get in some much needed fieldcraft time, so up to icy trail of Mynydd Gwerngreig I went and making the normal 45-minute hike in a lazy 1 1/2-hours in a biting wind. Later I did enjoy a hot lunch cooked Scout style on the side of the road while I took in great gulps of the fresh mountain air. A hot lamb shank supper later that night at the Dolbrodmaeth along with a frosty Guinness would have to do until the next day. The day the weather was supposed to get worse.

Morning dawned with much less snow that I had expected yet a quick look at the telly showed that most of England was shut down due to heavy snow. The area of Wales I was in was pretty much unscathed yet the weather was said to be moving in. To me this meant no jets for a second day so I might as well get some more time in on the hills and off I went. This time I headed to the rocky area of Craig y y Bwlch. Despite it being a short 10 minute drive from my hotel at Dinas Mawddwy when I reached the pass the deck was down to nothing, the wind howling and snowflakes the size of a 50-pence piece. In Alaska we call this... spring. So up I went. I pitched my tent and reclined inside with a sweeping view of the spot where aircraft converge from 3 different directions and with any luck bolt down towards Tal-y-llyn lake. But not today.

After coming down I drove the route through the valleys that the jets take and was able to explore little nooks and crannies I had not seen before and at one point watched amazed as a pair of juvenile red kites played around a stand of trees and rode the winds that swirled around the area.

Finally, after 2 days of being "skunked" the rumor was strong in the air that today would be a good day to see fast-moving pointy-ended things come swooping down the valleys. Lowfly spotters were out on both hills (we had met at the Bwlch but the weather was just too inhospitable there). So we waited, perched on the sides of of steep snow-covered hills ans joking between sips of hot drinks. The shouts of HAWK would break us out of the mood but the end result was 3 Hawks and another 3-ship of Haws too high to even point the lens at. But when they blast through the narrow valley at 500+ knots it is a powerful moment in time.

So was it a success or a bust? I'd have to say a little of both. Luckily I enjoy the mountains, I enjoy winter and I enjoy when my outdoor skills are challenged and put to the test. If I can take a workable image or two in the process that's good. If I can have my socks blown off my a modern piece of military hardware that's even better. So a hearty THANKS to all the guys who were on the slope with me that last day, as usual the company of rock rats is some of the best in the world no matter the number of movements.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Well, as predicted, the weather here in Norfolk has been bleh. The good side of that is there are now over 1,400 images at the Flickr site. Lots of images from my days on Terceira Island in the Azores that haven't been seen before with even more on the way.

The big push in underway to get my backlog of images cleared as we have been notified that we leave foggy, soggy England this summer for warmer climes: Tucson, Arizona! The goal is to have everything up and ready so I can hit the ground running back in the States.

Some examples of images recently posted at the Flickr site:

Friday, January 16, 2009

When the weather is bad...


Poor weather has made it possible for me to update for the past couple of days and it appears the conditions will only get worse on into the weekend. So, enjoy photos being added quite frequently at the Flickr site and soon to follow many of the finer examples will be posted to various sites for purchase such as ImageKind, CafePress and Zazzle (two stores there) ONE and TWO!

Some recent additions include:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Well the Holiday break is finally over, the kids back in school and the cars fixed (which means I'm not sitting in a waiting room) so it is finally time for me to get back to work!

I do hope you had an enjoyable Christmas break. For us Christmas is bittersweet since we are so far from family, but as always the church family is there to help celebrate. Everywhere we have gone our newest church family is wonderful and helps us to feel a part of something bigger, feel like we're home.

This is also the time to look back and remember those things I was blessed enough to enjoy: the Weeting Steam Festival, low-fly spotting in Wales, Spring Break in Loch Ness, a winter trip back to Alaska and the general euphoria that comes with being a photographer. 2009 promises to be no less exciting with Spring Break slated to be spent cruising around the Eastern Mediterranean, more trips to Wales and a couple of possible trips I'm keeping under wraps for the moment. This year will also see us leaving England for (as of now) parts unknown so another adventure of moving the family across the globe is in store! I'm almost excited about that. Almost...

So here's hoping that 2009 will bring fun, adventure and laughs to you (OK, me too).

Best wishes,