Feeling lazy so I’ll take the easy way out this week and choose another photo from Edinburgh for this week’s challenge, atop. This is a fairly regular view from “atop” one of the hills surrounding Edinburgh. Although it is a normal view for postcards, you can understand why it is popular as it gives you a nice vantage point for the primary sights of the city. In particular, the clocktower on the right centre of the photo is on the beautiful Balmoral Hotel, to the right of that is the Scott memorial (to Sir Walter Scott), and to the left is the Edinburgh Castle high on another hill. I normally don’t like to take views from above cities (skyscrapers or observation towers) because they seldom provide a view into the character of the city. I think this view is different in that it is not high enough to hide the character of the main buildings and it provides a nice overview of where everything is……
I should mention that the memorial in the foreground is to Dugald Stewart, a Scottish mathematician and philosopher of the 17 and 1800s.
One of the things we always look for while travelling is the amazing street art which always seems to reflect great senses of humour. It is also great fun when you run across a seeming interaction between the art and the real life that is going on around it. This was a scene we stumbled across while roaming the streets of Bergen, Norway. To me it looked like the young lady on the wall was not only supervising the workers below but actually controlling them with her joystick…….Fun!
I saw the subject of this week’s challenge and thought that I would post what is considered an “iconic” landscape shot. This photo is taken through the Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, Utah at dawn. I arrived at the scene well before sunrise and there was already a crowd of photographers there. They were also not the most courteous of photographers who would let you in to be able to “get the shot”. In the end, there was one kind fellow who allowed me to duck in under his tripod so I could share the view. Not the best angle or framing but I took what I could get.
In fact, I took a couple of quick shots there to get the scene that everyone takes and then bailed out to take less crowded shots from around the arch rather than through it. When I look back at these photos I much prefer the ones that I took from “around the corner” because they remind me of a relaxed, quiet experience rather than stressing to find a place among some fairly self-absorbed people.
These days if I run into that kind of photographer “gaggle” I often just wander off nearby and take a different angle away from the crowd. It saves the aggravation and lets me enjoy the experience rather than fighting for that “perfect” shot.
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……
Two weeks ago I had a great experience “On the Way.” As I was leaving Yellowstone and beginning my journey back home to San Diego. I was driving through the Grand Teton National Park in the evening before a planned stopover in Jackson, Wyoming. I saw a couple of gravel/dirt roads that looked like they needed exploring so I took some time out from my transit to see if I could find some wildlife. At my first stop, I found some Marmots that I posted a photo of earlier this week. On a second dirt road, I went into the woods as far as I could before running into a large “pond” in the middle of the road. Not having a four wheel drive, I turned around and went back the way I came in. I wasn’t expecting to see anything as I had been on the road only 5 minutes before. As I came around a corner, I saw this nice surprise – A grizzly sow with cubs.
They were also “on their way” so I didn’t have long with them but I did get a few quick shots. Here is a view of the cubs as they were leaving – I love that the one cub kept looking back to see what I was doing. This “on the way” interlude made both of our journeys very memorable!
When I saw the subject of this week’s challenge all I could think about was the continuing sorrow for the disaster in Nepal. I chose this photo as it shows happier days in the ancient capital area known as Bhaktapur in Katmandu. This area was almost totally destroyed by the earthquake(s). While we were there in 2013, we also discussed the political situation in the country which was struggling to come up with a new constitution and government structure. That situation can only exacerbate the dire need in this devastated country. The city and much of this country are tragically “Broken” and in need of whatever the rest of the world can provide. I stopped short of including a link to relief organizations but I hope that you might consider giving to one of your choice.
I also wanted to include a more human photo to put a face on those in need….
I had lots of options from our recent trip to Australia and New Zealand for this challenge, “Afloat.” We spent a lot of time under the water as well as floating above – on a cruise ship, aboard a dive boat, and even on a small zodiac. What I ended up choosing was a photo of a school of Dolphins that we saw in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. I took this photo looking back into the sun so many of the details were “blown out” by the glare. I took out even more water detail when I processed the photo and ended up with this version which I think looks like the dolphins are “afloat” in the air instead of their normal watery environment.
Here’s my response to this week’s challenge “Blur.” Photographers frequently use a narrow depth of field to isolate the subject from the surroundings. Its a great technique unless you happen to get the focus point just slightly wrong and catch perfect focus on another portion of the photo while the subject is just a shadow. This is one of my favorite examples of that happening. I was trying to take a photo of a tufted puffin in Alaska who was taking off directly away from the boat we were in. The puffin was my intended focal point but I missed and got some of the “spray” from his hopping take-off instead. I still like the photo as it catches the action as well as a crystal clear image of where the puffin used to be…..
Love this challenge. I’ve chosen some faces from our South America trip:
The first is of a woman in a little village in Peru. One of those “every line tells a story” kind of faces…..
and since the challenge title was plural, I thought I’d add a contrasting image. I published a picture in one of my first posts of a young Uros girl from the floating islands of Lake Titicaca – just to show that “cute” runs in the family, here is a photo of her brother – every bit as captivating.
And just because it fits well with the challenge, a picture of a young vendor outside one of the Incan ruins – with many faces.
This beautiful flyer was our first real siting in the Galapagos. As we initially got on our boat and worked our way up to the observation deck, we were greeted by a male frigate “wind surfing” along with the boat. He remained with us for the entire first leg of our trip – soaring just beyond reach above the deck and providing lots of opportunity to take our first wildlife photos in the Galapagos. My wife also characterized the session as a chance for all of the photographers to compare lens sizes….as males are inclined to do.
When we arrived at our first stop the next morning we were treated to many more frigates in their environment and “strutting their stuff”. This first photo is again a male, showing off his incredibly red “pouch” for the females flying overhead.
I like the next shot of the female (red ring around the eye and white chest) approaching the male who appears to be perplexed about what to do next. In any case, we’ll leave that to your imagination.