There are many things that inspire me to take photographs – a dramatic sunset, a beautiful landscape, an iconic view of the world, an infectious smile, or just a scene of everyday life which captures the feelings of the moment. With all of that being said, the single reason that I got back into photography was to be able to capture nature at its best – through the amazing wildlife that we are privileged to share this planet with. On this week when there has been an overwhelming outcry against the senseless killing of Cecil the Lion, there was only one choice for this week’s challenge, “Inspiration.”
I’ll add my voice to those that are appalled by this act. While there are certainly greater evils in this world (poverty, hate, oppression, and many more), the killing of this noble beast (and the countless other killings of endangered animals in the name of “sport” or commerce) is a very poor reflection on our society. How can one look at a creature like this Lion from Tanzania and not worry that there are supposedly civilized human beings out there that could willfully deprive future generations from this incredible source of Inspiration and awe.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Close Up”, I decided to go back to a close encounter from Africa. This little cat (full grown female Cheetah) is staring down at us through the top window of our safari vehicle. I had my smallest lens on and it was still almost too close to focus. She was a perfect companion and made no threatening gestures at all as she spent about 10 minutes on our roof surveying the countryside for prey……
Here’s my entry to this week’s challenge “Half and Half.” I took this photo last week at the San Diego Zoo. I was there late in the afternoon hoping to get a photo of a young jaguar cub with some dramatic lighting and shadows. The photo that I liked was one in which the cub is partially in the sun with the background in shadows. It turned out that there is close to equal parts light and dark – half and half kitty……
I’m a little late in getting my challenge response in this week to “Symbol”. I chose the well known national animal and icon for Australia – the Kangaroo. When we went there, one of my first goals was to find a kangaroo that I could photograph. This “Roo” was near the town of Cairns, one of the gateways to the Great Barrier Reef. I actually took this photo in someone’s back yard as this mom and offspring were grazing. One glance at this iconic creature and you already know what country you’re in – a symbol through and through…..
Yesterday, we had what might be considered an ideal fourth of July. Up at the crack of dawn to walk the dogs, then off to the golf course with our neighbors and best friends. After a delightful but badly played round, we stopped at a local restaurant to have a late breakfast and chill for a bit. We were served by a cheerful and friendly waiter of hispanic descent. When we asked what he was doing later to celebrate the 4th, he matter of factly told us he was going to his second job before returning to his family in the late evening. We left the restaurant feeling how lucky we were but also cheered by this man’s heart. After a visit with the dogs, we went to see the creative and thought provoking animated film “Inside Out” about how your mind works and the joys and tribulations of youth – if you haven’t seen it, I would certainly recommend it! We decided to walk to downtown San Diego for the fireworks display since we hadn’t done that in many years. After a quick stop at an Argentinian restaurant with good food and a wonderful solo guitar player, we continued to the waterfront. There we joined thousands of fellow celebrators from every race, nationality, and background to enjoy our national independence holiday ritual. We ended up talking to a nice young oriental couple who were also there to take some fireworks photos. We then enjoyed the walk back home with a cheerful crowd and an end to a very nice day!
This entire day was a great reminder of what is best in America. We have all come from somewhere, in pursuit of the same dreams and aspirations, and just wanting that illusive “dream”. It was a great reminder that in this country of immigrants, people like Donald Trump have gotten it woefully and shamefully wrong.
For today’s challenge, “Door”, I’ll take you to the streets of Melbourne, Australia. There is an area in downtown Melbourne where the street artists are allowed to exercise their talents and paint the walls of the streets and alleyways . It is a beautiful collection of work, some funny, some with a message, others just attractive and interesting. Here is a scene from one of those back streets with some of the art surrounding a door…..
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge “ROY G. BIV”, I took this photo yesterday as we were flying into Anchorage Alaska. We were approaching the landing and flying low over a series of ponds and creeks with the sun coming directly across the water. Between the water’s reflections and the polarizer on my lens, it produced these beautiful effects on the water – a nice fit for this week’s challenge.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I ALWAYS stop and watch the squirrels whenever I see them – it doesn’t matter that they are frequent sightings pretty much anywhere you go in the US. I was out looking for larger subjects in Grand Teton Park when I saw this little guy on the fencepost near the parking lot I was in. Couldn’t resist spending a few minutes with him and taking a few pics. Hope you like him (or her) also……
I recently went to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks precisely because they were “Off-Season.” It was too late for the ski season in Jackson Hole but not too late to get some nice photos of the Grand Tetons. This is shot of one of the very famously photographed mormon barns with the Tetons as the backdrop. You can see the snow is going fast but it is a beautiful sight on a clear spring day.
The second photo is also of an oft-photographed area – Oxbow Bend in the Grand Teton Park. During the fall color season there are hordes of photographers at this spot hours before sunrise to catch the colors. I was pretty much alone as I took this photo. Since it didn’t have the advantage of the fall foliage, I chose to make it a B&W and just feature the scenery and reflections.
This was my first opportunity to try out a new camera at night. This is a long exposure taken of the San Diego skyline from the island of Coronado. I liked the lamp lights, the deserted walkway, and the lone bicycle to give the city some scale and context in the foreground.