Posted on July 24, 2014
These four shots were all taken within a few feet of home . . . three at my home and one on Pat’s sidewalk when I dropped her off at her home. Facebook friends will have already seen the last picture; one with which I am very pleased. I don’t give tips on taking good pictures very often, but I will venture out with two very basic and very important tips. The first is be ready. Be ready with your equipment on hand and your mind’s eye looking for images that attract you. The second tip is take a lot of pictures. The more pictures you take, the more familiar you will become with using the tools at your disposal. Like every photographer, you will also learn from mistakes. Careful analysis of your work will help define and clarify your particular point of view; what it is that you get excited about taking pictures.
Well enough tutorial. Here are four pictures with brief brief, explanatory captions.
Posted on July 22, 2014
Pat and I were at the launch site a little before 6:30 AM (yes AM!), but the balloons weren’t ready to launch. The pilots were looking at maps to try to figure out what to do. The usual launch site was at the west end of an open area, but today the winds were blowing east to west; contrary to the usual prevailing winds. After much discussion they decided to move the launch site about a quarter of a mile to the east, confident they had enough room to clear the trees. These pictures tell the story of the effort and teamwork needed to get a balloon off of the ground with hot air. Today they decided to use propane instead of politicians.
Posted on July 19, 2014
Before returning to the dock, our bus took us to the the northeast corner of the island of Cozumel. There was a pull off from the road to a small scenic overlook. Here some entrepreneurs from the area had set up some crude kiosks and a very tiny bar hunt. The structures were made from driftwood, wood from pallets, and plywood. Along with the usual touristy bangles and baubles, they were selling beautifully finished driftwood. The day was beautiful and the brief bit of ocean air was delightful (as was the margarita). Hope these images capture some of the loveliness of the spot . . . even with driftwood hut owners persistent hawking of their wares.
Posted on July 17, 2014
Like most cruise ship ports of call, Cozumel welcomes visitors with stores, kiosks, and music; all seeking your money.
Posted on July 15, 2014
Cruises can be a fairly reasonably priced all-inclusive vacation (if you remember that “all-inclusive” doesn’t include everything). Jo and I took some time to reconnect and enjoy each other in a brief (4 night) cruise in the Western Caribbean. The boat population was almost twice the population of Joanne’s hometown. We started and returned to Miami with ports of call in Key West (previous photoblog post) and Cozumel. Here are some shots of the boat, from the boat and while at sea.
Posted on July 12, 2014
Joanne and I took a brief cruise from Miami through the Western Caribbean and back to refresh ourselves. Our first port of call was Key West. Key West packs a population of 25,000 into an island only 4 miles long and 1 mile wide; the largest island of the nearly 1800 islands that make up the Florida Keys. The early industries of Key West were as a port of trade and the salvaging of shipwrecks in the barrier reef that runs through the islands. Most of the islands are the exposed parts of reefs.
Key West is also where U.S. Route 1 begins its 2400 mile journey to the tip of Maine. The primary industry today is tourism.
Chickens run free throughout the island. The ubiquitous roosters frequesntly announce their presence.
Our stop was relatively brief. I hope to return some day as there was beauty everywhere.
Next stop Cozumel.
Posted on July 9, 2014
The Amish countryside has a gentle tranquility and inviting, humble hospitality to it. We saw many rare sites, including this round barn.
The terrain is gently rolling with a beauty that is very hard to capture.
It was laundry day for some homesteads.
Even driveways had an eye-catching beauty.
The farms gave evidence of a modest prosperity in the midst of living a simple life. We saw beautiful homes as well as well-kept farms and fields. Most farms had corn storage as well as a vegetable garden near their houses. Many of the vegetable gardens were bordered with beautiful flowers.
One barn that caught our eye had gently aged wood and a beautiful green roof.
As we came closer, we realized that the round silo was also constructed of wood.
I chuckled at the sign below. I don’t want to give the impression that Pat and I look for bakeries (we do, but I don’t want to give that impression), but sometimes they come looking for us!
The Amish live a simple life in the midst of a complex world. Not all of the countryside population was Amish which seems to illustrate the paradox of the lives of the Amish. They do not drive motorized vehicles, but will accept a ride in one. The women dress plainly and modestly, but make beautifully colored quilts. They harvest in fields with nearby cell towers. They have paradoxes, but live lives mindful of a quieter, gentler time. A simpler time that many today sometimes envy.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.