Door Latch in The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

What to Say about China

China is difficult to describe to those who haven’t been. I have a bit of trouble describing it to myself and I have been many times now. It is a vibrant place…there is an energy there and you immediately feel you are where IT is happening RIGHT NOW. I spent my time visiting the ancient sites (some of them) in Beijing. This is a latch on a door screen leading to one of the buildings inside The Forbidden City. The entire site is very well preserved with many of the buildings undergoing restoration currently (and I think continuously). Much as modern construction moves forward, so to does it allow the Chinese to remember their heritage.

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2014 Instagram Favorites

Traveling Takes a Toll

I am just returning from Beijing, China today and as chance would have it, I decided it would be a good time to share a few of my favorite Instagram posts so far in 2014! I usually do a review at the end of the year of my favorite Instagram photos from the entire year, but there are just SO many fun shots I thought it was a good idea to do regular reviews. I maybe should do one every quarter! Instagram for me is a sketch book. I usually take a good deal of time to work on photos and they are not from where I just returned, but a conglomeration of where I have been on ALL of my travels. As such, Instagram lets me stay connected with friends, family and fans and let you all know WHERE I am right now! If you haven’t followed me before, follow me on Instagram now! Before you ask, yes this is all this year…actually January through May. I even visited Hong Kong twice! I really like to travel…Enjoy!


Lighthouse in Honolulu

Sunset in Venice, Italy

My Wife Pamela and Me

Tan Tien Buddha Hong Kong

Landscape Washington State

Point Zero Paris

Buddha in Bangkok

Wisteria on Lake Como, Italy

Lenny Kravitz at CiscoLive!

Greenspace in Hong Kong

Embarcadero in Reverse, San Francisco

Gondolas of the Venice Grand Canal at Sunset

Perfect Moments

It was January on the water, I had a respiratory infection, and the sea air seemd to do me no more good then it did for Gustav von Aschenbach in the novel Death in Venice. I actually spend a good deal of time later this night contemplating if my breathing got worse, how would I get to a doctor…does a water ambulance come and take you to the hospital? Luckily, my problems were run of the mill sick, nothing like the plague, but you can escape that history either when you visit Venice.

All of these problems and dark thoughts one would think could drag down anyone’s spirits, but not me…not in Venice. It is a jewel, one that specifically requires blinders, but even the most amazing gemstones have flaws. The people who built this city undoubtedly understood the sea, its power and majesty. They must have also been a bit mad, but standing on that pier looking at the sunset, I believe we have the same heart.

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Embarcadero Architecture

Love of Travel

It’s absolutely no secret that I LOVE to travel and part of that is inevitably staying in hotels. Some people find American hotels to detract from the experience abroad, but I have never really found that to be the case. We absolutely LOVED our little apartment in Paris, but I also loved staying at the Hôtel du Louvre, simply for the convenient if not a bit busy location. The thing I appreciate is when hotels look and feel different, and base that off the overall history of the city. I love when properties pay attention to their architecture, and design a space that is like nothing else you have been in. This is absolutely the case with Hyatt at Embarcadero Center. Sure, THEY didn’t design Embarcadero Center, but they did design themselves into it and oh what an interesting piece of San Francisco Architecture it is.

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A Desperate View of the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy

Choosing Photos

I find myself wondering as I type this, what draws me to a particular photo to work on it. There may be one singular element that triggers interest for me. Often, there are just photos I know will do well with my particular process, today’s photo wasn’t one of them. Today, I was intrigued by two things in this photo. One was how I caught the smallest sliver of the setting sun behind the bridge. The other, and most important element was the ghosted people along the corridor by the Doge’s Palace. The vantage point of this shot is from the front of the Venetian Prison and something about those distant uncaring ghosts seemed perfect to me.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 25 January, 2014
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Location: 45° 26.0237′ 0″ N 12° 20.4647′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 10s
  • Title: A Desperate View of the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy

Kauai Sunset from The Beach House

Not MY Beach House

Ask a local. I can’t tell you enough how important this is to traveling. There are locations in the world (China…I am looking at you), where (and this is only in my limited expereince) you might get the recommendations they “THINK” you want, but most locals are happy to tell you good info. This is the case with this great sunset location in Kauai. I asked the bellmen at the Grand Hyatt Kauai where the best, close sunset spot was and they directed me to Beach House. Maybe this was one of those, they “THINK” I want to go to a bar, eat and catch sunset, but I found three or four wonderful angles to view sunset. Ask a local and you are bound to find some great adventure.

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The Na Pali Coastline of Kauai, Hawaii

The Pull of Hawaii

Kauai isn’t like the other Hawaiian islands I have visited. There is a wildness here, evermore so than on Maui, my closest reference. This was my first time visiting Kauai and it absolutely will not be my last. Every time I go to the islands, I can feel that seductive pull that traps people and never lets go. Something about the place makes me want to be there, it’s more than the beautiful weather and landscape, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I will keep exploring the feeling.

Quiet Isolation

To me Hawaii is synonymous with hiking. There are places in Hawaii that are incredibly over-crowded, but part of the islands magic seems to be the ability to lose yourself with incredible ease. I found this magic on the Phiea Trail. At the trails head, dozens of people were gawking at this incredible view. I took this photo and kept on walking, climbing over rough terrain and in 10 minutes…silence.

I was alone on the trail with the wind and the ocean and the trees. Occasionally I would come across a fellow hiker, we would nod or say hello, but their footsteps and mine someone were an invasion of the peace. Rapidly, the magic would take over again as the other hiker would fade into my distance and I into theirs. I would once again find myself alone enveloped by the power of nature.

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A Lock on a Dock by a Lake

Security on a Dock

A quick photo for today. I found this random chain and pad lock on the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Nothing was attached and nothing was around so I have no idea why it was there. Maybe someone regularly locked up their bike to this pillar and just left their lock there all the time. I cant imagine that chain is light. Consequently, today’s title made me feel a bit like Dr. Seuss!

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The Most Exclulsive Address in Disneyland, Club 33

A Disney Exclusive

It doesnt get more exclusive than Club 33 at Disneyland in California. The wait list is said to be in the years. When they do call be prepared for the $25,000 join fee, and $10,000 a year membership fee. There are a few places where you can get a few glimpses of the club from outside, but these only give you the most vague feel of what it must be like inside. If you happen to work at Disneyland and need a photographer to photography The Club…I might know someone!

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Visiting the Home of Mickey Mouse

I Told You to Watch Out

If you noticed the theme brewing, never fear…I am off to Hawaii again soon so that will capture my attention soon. This is a shot from the small, but wonderfully detailed world of Toontown in Disneyland. It’s almost like the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit exploded all over with some of your favorite Disney Characters thrown in for good measure. Here I am visiting the Home of Mickey Mouse.

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