Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Working (hardly) Vacation

Posted: May 20, 2017 in Photography, Travel


Travel photography requires early morning and late evenings to take advantage of the golden/blue hour classic lighting. Of course you have to while away the time in-between, in this case pretending to be Colonel Kurtz in the pool at the Hotel Mono Azul in Costa Rica. Coming from the Northern latitudes it is worth noting that the length of the days at nine degrees doesn’t vary much and it seems a much quicker transition during those sunrise/sunset periods. Enjoy my views of Pura Vida here.
~John

Three’s a Crowd

Posted: August 20, 2016 in composition, creativity, Travel, wildlife


One of our blog followers submitted this street scene travel snap made with iPhone for a critique. On the plus side we have nice color –  the yellow and blue speak to me.  The rule of three goats (err, rule of thirds) is also a plus. Easy fix would be a tight horizontal crop, but would eliminating the foreground reduce the information content (i.e. crumbling infrastructure), I don’t think so. Additionally, is it more effective to have the goats “randomized” or have them perfectly placed for a eye-grabbing compostiton? Unfortunately, that was not a consideration as the photographer made only one quick snap. Getting the goats (get your goat, get it?) to cooperate — well, only luck and patience can make that happen. Final grade, a B for effort, a C- for the image.
~John

Serendipity Circus

Posted: April 24, 2016 in Travel
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Clown show
On a spur of the moment trip to Costa Rica I stumbled on the Central American clown troupe performing in San Jose in front of the Teatro Nacional. Of course planning and a fixer are a professional’s best friend, but never underestimate the joy of the unexpected.
~John

Mind Strumming

Posted: March 20, 2016 in ideas, Photography, Travel, UK

guitar strum
It has been a busy three months. Paul made a pilgrimage to Amerika and returned to the UK with a boodle of images. I have been to South Carolina, Mexico, and four trips to rural Missouri. Fitting, I think, that on my last little excursion I was checking on sunrise/sunset times and they were both 7:09. Yes, Winter is behind us and this post represents a bit of mental Spring cleaning. So much for the rambling preamble; here are a selection of observations/activities from the last few months.

  • No car – sold my vehicle, bought a replacement and sold it – for now I am done owning a car
  • Moved from Apple’s abandoned Aperture to Adobe’s addictive drug Lightroom for photo processing and cataloging
  • Playing with Photomatix HDR and realize I know next-to-nothing about colour theory (my earlier photojournalism career was 90% B&W) and learning about colour is the “teach the old dog new tricks” conjure for this year
  • Read a lot, and between sub-par thrillers and mysteries, I have hit on a few reads I think are worth sharing…

(more…)

Round Spring
Round Spring in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a great place for snapshots… But it reminds me why I am not a “scenic/nature” photographer. First, you have to really work hard to create a picture that is not just another postcard snap. Second, you have to be up early (above is 7am with the temperture about -2 celsius) and dress appropriately (I had no gloves – d’oh). Third, you have to haul a lot of gear- tripods, flash, filters, etc. I love the idea but I have to work my strength — stick with human scenery.
~John

Southern Comfort

Posted: February 16, 2016 in Photography, Travel

PV-2
Halfway between Biloxi and New Orleans on US 90 the Gulf Shore dream is on stilts.
~Paul

Paradise Found and Lost

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Mexico, Photography, Travel

Puerto Vallarta

For a Winter escape you can hardly beat Puerto Vallarta aka Party Varty. But for every beach paradise there is a dumpster diving corollary. However, at least this man of the street is stylin’.
~John

Mardi Mobile

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Parade, Photography, Transportation, Travel

Mobile Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras
Everyone loves Mardi Gras parades and 110.000 came to see the festivities in Mobile, which is impressive because the population of the city is only 195,000.
~Paul

road to Orient Land Trust Valley View Hot Springs skinny dipping at Orient Land Trust
The depths of winter have us yearning for one or our favorite places – Valley View Hot Springs near Villa Grove, Colorado. Part of the Orient Land Trust, the Springs offer a rustic get-away in a delicate eco-sanctuary where you can free your mind, shed your clothes, and immerse yourself in nature.
~Paul

Surf’s Up, Suit Off

Posted: December 21, 2015 in Environment, Travel

Naked swimming
Don’t even think about skinny dipping here!  First day of winter and I am ready for a nature swim – I suspect I would not be the first to take the waters while wearing my birthday suit. Meet me at this little lake in Eureka Springs Arkansas at the Summer Solstice.
~John

How to Discover America

Posted: September 21, 2015 in Travel
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Miami Beach
What’s the best way to do it? One thing to consider is whether you are going in winter or summer.  If you are going in winter, and if your time and budget is limited, the best option could be to fly into the Miami area, and stay there. (Remember to check prices for flying into the Fort Lauderdale airport as well as Miami itself).

It seems to me the whole world comes to Miami. There are lots of Americans, of course, but you will also meet a lot of people from Canada, as well as Germany, and France and the UK. I even got to slow dance with a couple of girls from Korea. (Don’t tell anybody about that…)

And the area is good, whether you are on a moderate budget, or if you have just won a big lottery jackpot. For instance, John Lennon owned a five million dollar house in the area. On the other hand, one December, I stayed in a nice room with its own kitchen area, two blocks from Miami Beach, for 60 pounds per night.

If you’ve got a bit more time and money, you could hire a car and drive to New Orleans, which has been, from its earliest days, one of America’s most cosmopolitan and entertaining cities. You could drive it, according to the Rand-McMally website, in 12 hours and 42 minutes, but there are enough interesting things to see along the way, that you could plan to take two or three days for the trip. — Paul