Seattle Skyline

As you probably read in my past blog posts, I loved my time experiencing and photographing Seattle.  Why???  Because of the great locations like this one.  I took this photo from Kerry Park looking back at the city skyline so that I could see the Space Needle, skyline and Mount Rainier in the same frame.  What a cool location!!

This specific photo was taken at sunset.  I shot from this site on my visit during a sunset and sunrise.  I think I got lucky, since a local photographer told me that they only get about 10 good days per year, where you can see Mount Rainier this clear.  On both of my days, it was easy to see.  Lucky.

Barbados' Parliament Building

These buildings were originally known as The Public Buildings and have been the home of Barbados’ Parliament since they were finished in 1874.  They are created in the theneo-Gothic architectural style that is similar to the Victorian era of Great Britain, which makes sense based on their historical tie to England.  The site is in the downtown area of Bridgetown and is designated as UNESCO protected properties.

This was about a 15-minute drive from our hotel because of lights and traffic, but only a 25-minute walk.  MJ and I had lunch at a nice little restaurant downtown (Tim’s) with the locals, it wasn’t a tourist place, and then explored the downtown area.  It was during this time, that I captured the 10 exposures needed to create this panorama of The Parliament Building.

Bottom Bay

MJ and I had a great time on our trip to Barbados.  We rented a van and explored most of the island.  I’d give this a very good rating compared to most Caribbean islands.  Here is what I loved about it:

·      The people are amazing and super friendly

·      Around every corner is another outstanding beach….white powder sand

·      Every water sport is available: surfing, sailing, scuba, snorkeling, etc…

·      The geography is unique, with lots of variation around the island

·      They have good infrastructure (water, electric, etc…)

·      The weather is a great at an average daily temperature of 86 degrees with over 3,000 hours of sun per year

·      Sea turtles…. It feels like every beach along the west coast has turtles….  Well maybe not every beach, but Carlisle Bay and Paynes Bay for sure….  Probably more, but those are the ones I can confirm.

·      Churches.  There are eleven parishes (sort of like a county) on the island.  Each parish has a major historic church that dates back to the late 1700s or early 1800s.  These are like the central hub of religion for each parish…or at least they used to be back in the day.

·      Oh…did I mention the people.  I have meet many friendly people in the past, but I don’t think I’ve seen or met a group as friendly as the Bajan people (Bajan means someone from Barbados)

Anyway, tonight’s picture is from Bottom Bay Barbados.  This is a beach on the south coast with a wide expansive beach with smooth rolling waves riding onto the shore.  The beach is semi enclosed by high coral cliffs, providing this panoramic view of the south shore.   It has some cool tall palm trees that help make it beautiful and a cool atmosphere. 

Our hotel has a great beach (really great), but Bottom Bay might be my favorite just because of it’s setting. 

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Drew Brees

I had a great day photographing the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints game at Heinz Field today.  We had outstanding weather (mid 60s, with no raid or snow) for late November in Pittsburgh.  The outcome of the game didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to:

 

1.     Not get hurt

2.     Have fun

3.     Get a few good pictures

 

I accomplished all those goals.  So here is a picture of the outstanding (future Hall of Fame Quarterback) Drew Brees for your viewing pleasure tonight.  I thought this picture from the game was pretty good.

I’ve been wearing an orange baseball hat to the last few games because some friends have wanted to find me on TV, which isn’t very easy.  When you put 100 photographers on the sideline and force us all to wear the same tan NFL vest, we become hard to see….which is fine with me.  We are not the focus of the event.  Anyway, while I was at the game, I saw myself in a highlight from earlier in the game.  When I got home, I looked it up.  I have it here for you.  My half second of fame…… 

This is the replay from ESPN.  I am in the corner with the big arrow highlighting me…

This is the replay from ESPN.  I am in the corner with the big arrow highlighting me…

Here are two of my photos from that same play.

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday.  I did.  I am blessed with a great life.  It probably isn’t the life everyone would wish for or like, but it fits me perfectly.  With that said, here is a photo I took two years ago from inside an amazing church in Sacramento.  Sacramento isn’t my favorite city, but I’ve enjoyed my visits and its hard not to appreciate locations like this one.    

360 Loop

Earlier this year, I got a chance to travel to Austin Texas.  I’ve never been there before and I’ll admit now that the city was very nice.  The University of Texas is in the middle of the city, everything was clean and nice.  The Texas State Capital building was amazing as well.  I always find it interesting what characteristics cities have…and they do have them.  Cultures, trends, feelings, etc…  Every city seems to have a “vibe” to it.  Well, Austin had a young, start up, healthy, high-energy vibe.  The general population seemed to have an average age younger then many cities, probably due to the location of the University of Texas.  It is a “start up” location with lots of new IT companies.  Lastly, there were more joggers in that city then I’ve ever seen in one place without an official race or event taking place.  It felt like you couldn’t live in that city without being a jogger. 

Well anyway, I did my normal thing.  I had a list of locations I scouted in advance that I wanted to see and photograph.  My first night there, I went to the northwestern side of the city to climb this bluff to watch the sunset and photograph this spot.  I thought it would be cool with the Colorado River, 360 Loop (highway) bridge and the vehicle light trails. 

The location didn’t disappoint me.  What did surprise me is how many other people were up there to watch the sunset as well.  In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised.  If I can find out about it from my computer in Pittsburgh, the locals must all know about it as well.  Silly me.  So I got some great photos pre, during and after sunset.  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Eve and Holiday tomorrow.

Seattle Panorama

I got so many great photos while I was in Seattle.  More importantly, I had some wonderful experiences.  The only negative was that my time was limited. 

At the end of my first day (after dark), I went to Harbor Avenue in West Seattle to get some photos of the city skyline across Puget Sound.  If I had all the time I wanted, I would have visited this site at sunset, but I couldn’t be everywhere at the same time.  So I had to prioritize my locations and make some choices.  That meant I got to West Seattle after sunset and the next day at sunrise.  Maybe next time, I’ll get there at sunset.  Anyway, this is a great spot to view the entire city skyline and just relax on a park bench or put your toes in the sand. 

This panorama is made from 25 different exposures blended together.  As you can probably guess, it took some time to process.  But I think the effort was worth it.  What do you think?

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Fremont Troll

When I learned I was going to Seattle, I did some research for locations to visit.  When I found this site, I knew I had to make this one of my stops.  I knew immediately that this spot would be something my friend Kris would love.  So I am posting this here for her.  I hope she enjoys it.  Besides, who doesn’t love a troll living under a bridge?

About this sculpture:  This is the Fremont Troll (also know as The Troll or the Troll Under The Bridge).  It is a public sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle.   The Troll is a mix media colossal statute, located on 36th Street at Troll Avenue under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (also known as Aurora Bridge).  It is clutching an actual Volkswagen Beetle (another reason Kris would like this).  It appears like the Troll grabbed the Beetle away from the roadway above.  The Beetle has a California license plate.  Four local artists created The Troll and now visitors are encouraged to climb on him.  He is 18 feet high and weighs 13,000 pounds.  In honor of the sculpture, this section of Aurora Avenue was renamed to Troll Avenue in 2005. 

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To demonstrate the sculpture's size, this is me standing in front of it.  As you can tell, it was a very cold morning in Seattle.

To demonstrate the sculpture's size, this is me standing in front of it.  As you can tell, it was a very cold morning in Seattle.

Eastern State Penitentiary

I hope you liked the last picture I posted from Seattle.  I’ll have more from that trip down the road.  Tonight, I have a photo from my trip to Philly last year.  During that trip, I spent an afternoon at Eastern State Penitentiary.  I took this photo in one of the prison wings.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.




Emerald City

I finally got out to Seattle.  What an outstanding city.  It has been a little cold, but honestly, I got great weather for November (sunny, clear sky).  It could have rained or snowed on me.  I also have the best wife in the world.  She is okay with me adding a few days on trips like this to capture some images (I am here for work).  And I took advantage of every moment.  I was up before sunrise every day and I didn’t get back to my hotel room until well after sunset.  I may never come back to Seattle again, so I wanted to maximize the opportunity.

 

Today’s photo was taken from within the Dog Park on Beacon Hill just south of Seattle.  The freeway in the center of the photo is the US 5, which I think makes for a nice foreground with the vehicle light trails. 

 

Have a great Monday.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Gateway Center T Stop

This is a photo of the Gateway Center T stop for Pittsburgh’s Light Rail system, commonly known as the “T”.  The Port Authority of Allegheny County operates the T.  Trolley lines have been running in Pittsburgh since 1897.  Today over 8.3 million riders use the T system annually.  Maybe you should come to Pittsburgh and take a ride on the T.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day in the United States of America, which is a national holiday to honor people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.    It coincides with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world.  It also marks the anniversary of the end of World War I, which ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

I am thankful to everyone who currently serves and has served our country in the past.  With that, I’ll stop and let this photo of the Vietnam Memorial speak for itself.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Lonely Piano

It’s a piano.  That’s what MJ suggested I put for this blog post.  She didn’t think I needed to say anything else.  Jay and I found this beauty up on the 3rd floor of an abandoned church in Detroit last summer.  Due to the recent rain, there was standing water in many of the abandoned buildings and this one was no different.  That might not sound like such a great thing, but it gave us lots of opportunity for reflections. 

 

The most common item I find in abandoned buildings are pianos.  I think it’s because people don’t want to move them when they leave the buildings.  Most of the pianos I find are in rough shape.  This one was no different (all the keys and internal items were striped out), except the woodwork on this piano was amazing.  I think someone should go back and pull this piano out to save it.  Maybe make a kids bed out of it or something.  I think someone creative could do something amazing with it.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Dream Lobby Bar

Thursday!!!!  I’m tired, but I have a few more work days left this week.  So I am keeping the post short and sweet tonight. 

Tonight’s photo is of the Carnival Dream Lobby and Lobby Bar at 330am in the morning.  I am the only idiot who gets up extremely early on vacation to photograph ships, architecture, sunrises, etc….   Everyone else sleeps in late on vacation, I do the reverse.  So as everyone else was going to bed on the cruise ship, I got out of bed and captured some wonderful photos of the ship.

I don’t know where the Carnival Dream cruise ship is at this exact moment, but I’m guessing the lobby is full of people having a great time.  So here’s to them.  Cheers.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Rusty Junk

A few weeks ago, MJ and I piled in the car for one last sunny (and warm) drive before winter sets in.  We went south to Cheat Lake, West Virginia to explore an area we’ve never visited.  Cheat Lake is a beautiful man made lake just east of Morgantown.  We went for a hike in Cheat Lake Park along the lake to the dam.

This beautiful trail had the lake on one side and a very large hill (mini mountain) on the other side of it.  Well as we walked, MJ and I noticed all this junk way up the side of the hill above the trail.  So on the way back, I decided to climb up to see what it was and photograph it.  That sounds easy enough, but that climb wasn’t easy.  Climbing down was even harder.  Why this junk is on the side of the hill in the middle of nowhere….. I couldn’t tell you.  My guess is some West Virginian wanted to get ride of it and decided pushing it over the hill would be easier then taking it to the junk yard….

At least it made for an interesting photo.

Missing Calvin

Not only has Calvin not played the last couple of weeks, but the Detroit Lions have a bye this week.  It seems like two years since he’s been on the field….even though I know it hasn’t been that long.  So I’ll be forced to watch some other NFL teams today, when I just want to see Calvin catching 50 year TD passes.   Is it a man-crush?  I think not.  But I’ll admit, I’m a huge Calvin fan.  Unfortunately, I think he’ll be hurt more and more often.  But I’ll enjoy watching him when he’s on the field.

Have a great NFL Sunday.