Yesterday there were massive rains on the mountain. I am told that it even dislodged borders that rolled into the streets causing massive damage to cars and the roadway. I took another two more hikes after the rain, last evening and again this morning. Here are few shots, particularly of flora and snails. At the end I came across an amazing rock formation, a kind of bunker, but my photos do not do it justice. I have included a few so that you can get the idea.
For Episcopalians in the southeast Sewanee, the home of the University of the South, is considered the “Holy Mountain.” I am spending this year in Nashville and this week took a bit of a retreat to St. Mary’s Sewanee. We have had massive amounts of rain, but before the storms came I was able to take a quick hike out to “Bridal Veil Falls.” I did not have ND filters or a tripod so I do not have any photos of the falls with that smooth, graceful look. Still, I was a nice day to take a hike. This morning, in the fog and rain, I took a few shots with the iPhone 7 plus. A remarkably good camera as well. I have added those at the end.
For Father’s Day 2016 my wife and daughter took me to the beautiful neighboring town of Bellefonte for their “Cruise” and a ride on the historic train. It was a short journey of 4.5 miles, but when you are only making 6 miles an hour, it takes a while. I took my camera (as one does) and took a few snaps. The cars were amazing. The ones featured here are the engine of a ’67 Jaguar E Type, a ’63 Corvette, a Plymouth Duster (with the Road Runner stripe), a modified Studebaker (I think), and an all original 1955 Pontiac Star Chief. The owner, pictured next to his Star Chief, told me that it has been in his family since 1961. His father sold it at one point, but the current owner bought it back. It was the first car he drove and just last year he drove it to Tennessee and back. “It’s a great highway cruising car,” he told me.
The Normandie Hotel was clearly a gorgeous hotel in its heyday. Built in 1945 it has been closed for years. The toothless-man working the parking lot told me that it was being renovated. A quick look on the internet told me that this has been the case since it closed.
I love art deco and it there is a special kind of beauty to it in decay. B&W seems to bring that it in certain frames.
This spring break we took 72(!) students to Puerto Rico as part of our Leadership Academy. Of course it was also an excellent opportunity for photography. I took along my D810, 28-70, 80-200, and 50mm, along with a Nikon J1 with the underwater housing (which, sadly, was lost in a waterfall; I don’t want to talk about it). A few of the images are below.
I am traveling through the west coast, starting with Las Vegas. In at least 6 visits I have never so much as pulled the arm of a slot machine. But I have snuck out twice to take pictures at sunrise in the Red Rocks Canyon National Park. Yesterday I had a few hours so I was able to amble among the rocks themselves around Calico 1. Just beautiful and breathtaking. And still not enough time.
I am working from an iPad so these images have no or very little edits to them. Shot with D810 and Nikkor 28-70 f2.8 or Tokina 20-35 f2.8.
We spent a lovely week in Vienna (Austria, not Virginia, although we left from Dulles). It is quite literally a monumental city. Statues and sculptures are everywhere. The weather was nice, but not great, often with solid, but bright, clouds. Great for portrait photography, not so great for landscape and architectural shots (depending upon what you are looking for in the later, of course). With all the white marble it occurred to me that B&W might just be the trick. From then on I looked for shots that I thought would benefit from this treatment.
I shot in RAW, did some tweaking in color before using Ponzanelli’s B&W Aperture presets.
I had the great good fortune to travel to Moscow for a few days. I wasn’t really sure about safety and I wanted to travel relatively light so I took my “travel kit,” a Nikon D3100 and Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3. This is a small a light combo with decent range and aperture.
The city center turned out to be far safer than my wife expected, but she had last been there in 1992. The early 90s were not a great time. It was an interesting time to be there, however, since Russia has recently “acquired” Crimea and I was actually in the room with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that he believed the US and the EU were trying to bring about another “color revolution.”
With Freiburg Germany as our base, we also traveled to Basel. It was a short train ride away and three round-trip tickets were less than 35€. Basel is, of course, an ancient and beautiful city with the Rhein running through it. When I was there 12 years ago I discovered that people will pack their clothes into water-tight, inflatable bags and float down the river on the hot summer days. I did it then, but I was a little leery of trying that with a backpack full of Nikon equipment.
The Basel Minster is gorgeous. My wife was the first to discover the memorial to the young graf and his mother and it brought to mind our own son’s early demise.