On the way to Bordeaux, quick stop in Paris for the first time. Did a walk around at night with my friend, Bob. Starting at the Place du Trocadero, shot the Eiffel Tower at dusk and then moved closer down the steps, trying a bunch of vantage points. At the base of the Tower, near the ticket entrance, I went horizontal to try a different perspective. Was one of my favorites from the night. Simple B&W in Camera Raw or Lightroom.
I was in Upstate NY and thought I would venture to check out Lechtworth State Park near Buffalo. The forecast was for rain but my camera was out on the seat next to me as I drove through the countryside early in the morning. The clouds were definitely rolling in and reminded me of the Octoberfest trip to Munich a couple of years back. We had set out from Munich to photograph Neauschwanstein Castle and it was dark and looked like rain. At the base of the hill leading up to the castle, you also have a very good view of Hohenschwangau Castle, which was the summer residence of King Ludwig II. As we were walking past, the sun suddenly popped out from behind the clouds and lit the castle like a spotlight.
Multiple thousands of miles away, with a different subject, it happened again…
Letchworth State Park has been described as the “Grand Canyon of the East”. The Genesee River runs through this deep gorge over three significant waterfalls surrounded by forest both in the gorge and along its borders. In the park, which is southwest of Rochester, NY, the main road runs for approximately 16 miles alongside the top of the Northern wall of the gorge with a lot of accesses and pull-offs that provide ample photographic opportunities. A trail system of about 66 miles of trails only enhances the opportunities. Like the Grand Canyon, the barriers are mostly low stone walls, and like the Grand Canyon, these walls often border the edge of enormous descending gorge walls. Also like the Grand Canyon, there are clearly marked areas that you can venture into and ones that you can’t. But, while reds, yellows, and brown may dominate images of the Grand Canyon, green is your dominant color at this time of the year.
Rain came and went through my three-hour visit to Letchworth. Three hours is not enough time,but I had a flight to catch and really no choice. It did, however, provide me with an overview of the Park, a visit to their museum and a lot of ideas as to when one might be at a certain location at a certain time. On any first visit to a location, I have made it a practice to try to make notes relating to locations, time of day, etc. for future visits.
Was I discouraged because of the rain. NO! The weather really enhanced the greens of the forest and I felt the muted light made the walls of the gorge stand out from the forest. I am in test-drive mode with the D5 and it continued to perform beyond my expectations. I’ll definitely come back here, want to see it in Fall colors and I will probably get even better images if I give it a few days of shooting. But, despite the weather, it was fun to shoot the Park. Here are some favorites from this three-hour tour in a SLIDESHOW, below …..
I think travel photography is a great way to enhance a trip. A little preparation pre-trip goes a long way to make sure you are ready to capture those images and that they get safely back home with you – something I wrote about a couple of years back for Currents Magazine and am happy to share if you contact me.
Travel photography gives you the chance to visually tell the story, creating memories you can look back on for years. But to tell the story its more than a simple click. Trying to tie in elements that can visually express your experience in a simple image can be daunting.
To illustrate, the light and sky were great for the first image of the fountain at Munich’s Karlsplatz, just outside of the ancient gate, Karlstor, and the pedestrian area leading to Marienplatz. But if you don’t know Munich, it could be a fountain anywhere in Europe. I like the second one a lot better. It helps tell the story and certainly the time of year that we were in Munich.
We just returned from a week and a half traveling through Portugal via the Douro River Valley. With vineyards occupying every square inch of land right down to the river, there were images to be made in almost any direction you turned. Met a lot of great people who shared the trip with us from Lisbon to Madrid. A memorable adventure. This is an image of Porto from across the river, just as the sun started breaking from the clouds. More to come….
The fast ferry to Ft. Meyers left Key West at sunset. The sunset didn’t disappoint. Hand holding technique was key on the open stern of the ferry as the wind was buffeting the 80-400 so strongly that I had to shift my lens hand to push the lens into the wind while firing off bursts at high speed. A lot will be out of focus, but this strategy will usually provide a frame or two that are sharp within the burst…
If you want an outstanding dining experience on Key West, I highly recommend you check out Blue Heaven. Reservations are probably a good idea for dinner given its popularity. For more information click here: www.blueheavenkw.com