Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Northwest Trip, Part 2: The Pacific Coast

A view of the coast at Nehalem, Oregon

The day I drove from Seattle down the Washington and Oregon coast was cloudy and overcast--the only such day I experienced in the entire two week trip, as it turned out-- and I was worried that I would miss the photographic opportunities I'd been looking for.  But in photography there really is no such thing as bad weather, just different opportunities. As you can see, even in the gloom of a cloudy day, the Pacific coast has its own beauty.

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon

A beach scene at Tillemook, Washington

Monday, July 29, 2013

Northwest Trip, Part 1--Montana and Washington

Abandoned school in Vananda, Montana

The American Northwest is an amazing place. The scale of the wide open spaces there have to be experienced to be understood. On this trip I drove a large loop that took me from Illinois up to Minneapolis; across North Dakota, Montana, and Washington to Seattle; down the Coast of Washington and Oregon; then back east across Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nebraska; and finally back to Illinois. It was over 5000 miles in total driving.

My photography started in earnest on the way out as I drove across Montana and Washington, taking care to get off the Interstate and drive through the countryside. The wide open countryside, so empty but so full of life, was awe-inspiring. It was all truly beautiful.

In Montana on U.S. 12 I happened upon Vananda, a ghost town that had once been a railroad stop. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dust devils near Warden, Washington

In central Washington I drove into the Columbia Plateau near the town of Warden, and saw dust devils in the dry wheat fields. The wheat alternated with deep green irrigated crops.

Fields near Warden, Washington

Friday, July 26, 2013

Northwest Trip--Prologue

I am busy processing photos from my 5000+ mile road trip to the Northwest, and I will start posting them in earnest next week. For now, here is an infrared photo of a tree near Knife River Montana.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Coast to Coast!

I realized a long held dream this summer by driving coast to coast in a single summer. I first drove east, to New England, which I've already posted about. More recently I visited the great northwest by driving up to Minneapolis, over to Seattle, and down the Oregon coast before heading home again.

What an amazing country America is. The natural beauty, and the sheer scale of it all, is simply awe inspiring.

I have plenty of photos from my northwest trip that I am processing and will be posting soon. For now here are photos from this summer that show both ends of America. At top, the Portland Head Light on the Atlantic Ocean near Portland Maine. Below, a view of the Yaquina Head Light Station and the Pacific from just north of Newport Oregon.

More pictures to come.

Monday, July 22, 2013

New England Trip--Harpswell Panorama

As a final photo from my New England trip, here is a panoramic view of the ocean from "Lands End" at the south end of Bailey Island, Harpswell, Maine. And yes, that's my shadow on the lower left. Click on it for a larger view.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New England Trip--Litchfield County Connecticut

On my New England trip I spent a few days in Litchfield County in western Connecticut with a friend who lives there. We got around quite a bit, mostly in the towns of New Milford, Washington, and Kent. This part of Connecticut is incredibly beautiful. It is hilly, forested, and replete with quaint cottages and stone fences.

Above is the Old Stone Church in New Preston, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and part of the New Preston Hill Historic District.

Below is an infrared shot of the countryside, from an overlook south of New Milford. I think it does a nice job of showing the forested hills of that part of the country.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Englad Trip--Concord MA

Concord Massachusetts is a lovely western suburb of Boston, and of course the site of one of the battles that started the Revolutionary war. In the mid 1800s it was also a hub for Transendentalism with Ralph Waldo Emerson at its center. The town drew a number of literary lights in the 19th Century, several of whom are buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which Emerson was influential in laying out.

Above is a view Author's Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, so named because Emerson is buried there, along with Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott.

The Thoreau family plot is pictured above, and right across the path is Emerson's grave.

Monday, July 15, 2013

New England Trip--Harpswell, Maine

Harpswell Maine is a small town spread out along a set of isthmuses and islands in Casco Bay, just northeast of Portland. It's a beautiful little town with wonderful views of the bay and the rugged rocks that make up the Maine shoreline. Above is a view of the Halfway Rock Light out in the middle of Casco Bay, taken from "Lands End" on the southern end of Bailey Island.

Above is a shot of Mackerel Cove on Bailey Island, a working lobster port. It's very picturesque. In fact, Wikipedia claims that Mackerel Cove is "one of the most photographed places in Maine" and, as evidence, displays a photo exactly like the one I took, below. Never let it be said that I would miss an obvious photo.

Friday, July 12, 2013

New England Trip--Scenic Vistas

This is an infrared photo taken from an overview just outside New Milford, Connecticut. A big summer storm had just blown through, and in the aftermath there were beautiful clouds reflecting the setting sun.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New England Trip--Montpelier, Vermont

This is the Vermont State Capitol in Montpelier, Vermont. Montpelier is the smallest state capital in America, with less than 8,000 people. In spite of being the seat of state government, Montpelier is just a lovely small town deep in the mountains and forests of Vermont. But then, so is the rest of Vermont. It is all very pretty.

Monday, July 8, 2013

New England Trip--Waterfall

Here's a view of a waterfall in New Preston, Connecticut. I have altered it to appear as an oil painting.

Friday, July 5, 2013

New England Trip--Bennington, Vermont

I'm just back from a trip to New England. It was my first chance to visit Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as a chance to visit friends in Boston and Connecticut. It was great trip, and of course I got some photos I'm really excited about.

Bennington Vermont is the largest town in southern Vermont, and the third largest in the state, with a population just over 15,000. It's a beautiful old New England town with plenty of quaint architecture. Above is the First Congregational Church, built in 1804. Below is a side view of a huge old, apparently inhabited residential building in Old Bennington. Atmospheric, to say the least.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Blog!

As if having one blog that hardly anyone reads wasn't enough, I've decided to start another one.

While this blog allows me to post on my interests in travel and travel photography, my new blog, called "Photexpressionalism" is for posting my more artistic and experimental photography.

It may not be to everyone's taste. In fact it may not be to anyone's taste but mine, but that's OK.

If you feel inclined, check it out at

As always, thanks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Favorite Places # 1: Kyoto, Japan

I've decided to choose my five favorite places to travel to. I define "favorite" as a place I've been that fascinated me, and that I'd like to return to.

I've long had a particular fondness, bordering on an obsession, with Japan and it is by far my favorite place to pursue photography. Luckily, most photographers seem to agree. To say that Japan is a visually fascinating place is to understate the reality of it. Of all the places I've been to in Japan, Kyoto is the most interesting and the most beautiful. It is therefore my number 1 favorite place to re-visit.

It was incredibly hard to pick just two photos to represent the incredible sights in Kyoto. Luckily, I have 25 other posts on this blog that feature Kyoto, so you can check those out if you're so inclined. The two photos here are both from the grounds of the imperial palace in Kyoto.

So that's it. My five favorite places. I hope I get back to all of them. for now, on to other things.