The First Time I Saw the Colosseum of Rome

My First Time

It was a crisp winter morning in Rome. Cold by Mediterranean standards, but not by middle American. As a passed through a park that contained some ancient baths, I stopped just the top of my destination, one of the New7Wonders of the World, the Colosseum of Ancient Rome! I finished my way around the streets losing view of this mammoth structure, but there she was, enshrouded by trees. As I rounded the small stair, this was my first view of the Colosseo.

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Gold Votive Holder at Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

In the Great Church

The greater insides of Santa Maria del Fiore is a bit on the sparse side…boring even. The facade and the dome are really the highlight while the nave is completely open and drab. One very interesting exception was the votive holders. Often in Catholic churches these are quite beautiful when lit, but a generally boring affair, but at Santa Maria del Fiore, they are a golden flowering plant bringing light to a drab world.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 14 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 21mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Location: 43° 46.3822′ 0″ N 11° 15.369′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: Gold Votive Holder at Duomo in Florence, Italy

Thai Buddhist Temple Offering Pots

Offerings and Meditation

These pots lined the exit of the Reclining Buddha. What struck me was their dual purpose. First they solicit donations for the temple. As you pass each one a small denomination coin is dropped in as an offering. Second, they are yet another form of meditation…a walking meditation, rhythmic…full of thoughts of charity.

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Villa Balbianello from Lake Como

Beauty and Beyond

There is a beauty on Lake Come that is quite unlike anywhere else I have been. The small lake front towns (Como, Varenna, Lenno) are far too crowded with tourists looking to get away from the city for the day. April when I visited, the wind was still biting and the temperature too cold for my taste, but still the beauty is there. There is a stillness and a calmness to these waters. I am all too happy to one day return and spend more time.

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Chinese Astrology Rabbit Statue in Kowloon, Hong Kong

What is Your Sign?

I can’t say I fully understand the intricacies of Chinese Astrology. I think I know two things:

  1. It seems to have little in common with Western Astrology.
  2. I am the Rabbit.

When I visited Kowloon’s Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple the place was packed…I walked in shoulder to shoulder with other tourists and worshipers. There wasn’t a clear shot of much so I focused on close-up work. You know…creativity is an attribute of both the Rabbit AND Pisces!

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Spiral Incense in Hong Kong

Which Buddhist Temple?

I have visited quite a number of temples, shrines, churches and other holy places around the globe. This is amazing as I get to see how people from different places and walks of life experience religion. The problem is sometimes these sites can run together! Some places like La Sagrada Familia are unmistakable, but this shot…might be a few places! I think, given the prominent spiral incense, its Man Mo Temple, but honestly I am only about 75% sure!

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On the Beach in Kauai

Crazy Sunset Tones

I have been experimenting again. I almost didn’t share this photo. It seemed too extreme to me when I processes it. I have been playing with some of Trey’s Lightroom Presets. They are surprisingly fun and I love deconstructing them to find new techniques in Lightroom!

Pro Tip…never use any preset on its default values, but rather as a starting point (wedding photographers, feel free to ignore that completely).

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Twilight Falls on Venice Italy


If ever there were a place for the Vampire to roam, it would be Venice. I constantly think of returning here, but have held off this year in favor of Florence and Rome (I have not YET visited these two cities). The thing is, there is so much motion and tone in Venice. It can be a bit TOO easy to find something to photograph, but honestly that is nothing to complain about!

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Torii Gates in the Rain at Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto Japan

Tripadvisor Hell

When I arrived at Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto Japan there were a ton of people. I was also greeted with row after row of flags proclaiming the site on the best in Kyoto according to Tripadvisor (le sigh!). It’s not that I dislike Tripadvisor, on the contrary, they are often a relied upon site for travel info, but being voted one of the best also means TOURISTS!

I was quickly overwhelmed, despite arriving early with the throngs of people. I realized in order to find some degree of privacy I would need to do one of my favorite things…hike! Fushimi Inari-taisha is a vast tract of land expanding up into the surrounding mountainside. Many of the temples are a considerable and arduous cardiovascular trek into the hills, and soon I was leaving the masses behind and spending some much needed time in the Japanese wilderness. In the end I have to say, Tripadvisor got it right Fushimi Inari-taisha is one of the best sites in Kyoto!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 15 November, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 6400
  • Location: 34° 57.996′ 0″ N 135° 46.5252′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: Torii Gates in the Rain at Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto Japan

End of the Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Extraordinary Beauty

There are places in this world that have taken by breath from me. Na Pali coast is one. I started as I often do with a great hiking guide on the Awa’awapuhi Trail from Unreal Hawaii (I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these guys). The trail was a bit wet (expected) and slightly uneventful, but fantastic exercise.

I can’t describe how high I am taking this photo, or how close to the edge I was hiking out on the ridge line. The photo does no justice to nature’s splendor, but I wanted you to see what I can convey.

As a side bit of trivia, this photo is the 400th I have processes for the blog!

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