Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 2017

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 2017

I finally made it to the annual balloon festival held in Albuquerque each fall.  It’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for the city and they put on a great show.   There were several hundred balloons lifting off each of the two mornings I went and it was a non-stop visual experience.  In additional to the photos I was taking, a put together a collection of video clips caught on my camera that gives you a pretty typical look at a morning’s mass ascension.

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Quiet States

Farmhouse, North Dakota

Farmhouse at Dusk, North Dakota

“Nothing could be more lonely and nothing more beautiful than the view at nightfall across the prairies to these huge hill masses, when the lengthening shadows had at last merged into one and the faint after-glow of the red sunset filled the west.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt is big in the Dakotas.  And that’s not referring to Mt. Rushmore.  But when thinking of how I could describe North and South Dakota, “quiet” came quickly to mind.  After driving more than 2,200 miles in just over a week, the scarcity of development, people and changing landscapes are a constant.  There was sound- the wind and birdsong is always around, but it didn’t erase that quiet. Continue reading

More Country Churches

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a few days here and there for weekend travel, and churches are a theme that I usually can add to as I drive around most locations.  For example, on a recent long weekend in southern Georgia I shot over three dozen rural churches and then several more on Christmas weekend trip in Florida.

Old Church, Windsor, Florida, Alachua County (Year unknown)

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Is Yosemite Overrated?

Now when looking at the great western parks for an autumn trip, Yosemite wouldn’t probably be my first recommendation.  It was a first time to the area, so I carved out a few days to camp and explore in late September, hoping to discover the type of iconic views made famous from the likes of Ansel Adams and many other talented photographers over the decades.

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

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Philly Art

 

Roman Goddess of the Hunt, Diana

Roman Goddess of the Hunt, Diana

The Museum of Art in Philadelphia is one of the largest in the U.S.  It’s been a few years since my last stop inside so I made an effort to visit last week while in the area.  The exhibits are divided among two large floors, with the contemporary and special exhibits on the first floor, and Asian, European, and miscellaneous collections on the second.  Separating the floors is a grand staircase with a large statue of Diana on the balcony.

Man with a Violin, Pablo Picasso

Man with a Violin, Pablo Picasso (1911-12, oil on canvas)

Photographing in large museums is usually pretty easy as the lighting is well designed and the galleries provide a lot of space to move around.  I shoot in raw, so any fluctuations in light temperatures are easily corrected back at the computer.  I do usually have to increase the ISO settings to 800-1600 to get an adequate shutter speed to avoid blur.

Paul by Chuck Close, 1994 Oil on canvas

Paul by Chuck Close, 1994 Oil on canvas

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The Palouse

View from Steptoe Butte, Whitman County, Washington

View from Steptoe Butte, Whitman County, Washington

I’ve seen some nice photographs from the Palouse region in the past, so it’s been a location on “the list” to try and visit.  It’s probably safe to say that if you’re not a farmer or a photographer, the odds that you know where the Palouse is are not very high.  Located in the eastern portion of Washington into Idaho, it’s both a unique landscape and a very productive area for agriculture, particularly wheat. Formed by volcanic activity, wind blown silt became dunes which became the rich soil that underlies the heart of the Palouse.  For photographers, the light and varying colors of green and gold are often compared to Tuscany. Continue reading

Country Churches

Georgia is a big state with a lot of small towns.  And in and near these small towns are a variety of old churches, some in use and well maintained, and others in different stages of disrepair or ruin.

Young's Chapel, Ben Hill County, Georgia

Young’s Chapel, Ben Hill County

On a recent trip through Georgia, I spent most of my time in the larger cities of Atlanta and Savannah, but made a point to search out some interesting spots along the way.  Researching before the trip, I found a pair of very useful websites that helped locate some of these old places off the beaten path (see Historical Rural Churches of Georgia http://hcrga.org  and  Vanishing South Georgia http://vanishingsouthgeorgia.com/ ).

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