Exploring Angkor Wat

Tomb Raider

Technically Tomb Raider was shot at Ta Prohm and this is Angkor Wat temple, but being American, I can’t help but tell you how much I felt like I was in a movie! Sure there were hoards of tourists and guides, but there is something amazing (and terrible) being able to freely explore this ancient temple complex!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 January, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Exploring Angkor Wat

The Ethereal Essence of Sakura

Magic in the Air

Magic is probably the wrong word to use. I feel like Sakura is must more of an Eastern philosophical festival than my Western mind completely grasps. There is so much beauty in the blossoms of the cherry trees. The burst forth to the enjoyment of all and fill the previously cold world wrapped in winter with color and life and the most glorious fragrance. Their time here is so short, only about 10 days, then the blossoms fall (die?). When this happens, a cool breeze come through and the petals of these one beautiful flowers rain down to the ground. I can most compare it to snow, but at the same time, nothing like snow. In that moment, for me at least, is perhaps their most beautiful expression. They leave the world in a gracefully chaotic fall that I can only call magical.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 9 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • Title: The Ethereal Essence of Sakura

In the Courtyard of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute

Up Early

I got up early this day to walk across the Ponte dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy. I was hoping to catch the sunrise on the bridge and since I was so close I figured I would go to the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. You probably recognize this church from photos shot from St Mark’s Square at sunset. The Basilica dominates the view in the West from the main square, but because you have to cross the Grand Canal, its out of the way nature makes it seem almost an after thought. I was lucky to be the only person at the Basilica that morning (another couple was leaving as I was entering) and I absolutely LOVE to catch birds in flight on a wet morning!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 January, 2014
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/100s
  • Title: In the Courtyard of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute

Windy Lanikai Mountain in Black and White

Death on a Mountain Revisited

There are times, when I post process my images, that I have a terrible time deciding what the image wants to convey. I feel very strongly about this notion actually, every image has a story, and my responsibility is to find that story help the image to communicate this in the best possible way. Perhaps this duality might in part be reflected in my sister’s experience nearly taking a tumble down the side of a cliff. Last week’s image is my feeling of the scene, but this more expressionistic view is perhaps how I interpret my sister might feel about the same place. Which is your favorite?

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 13 November, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: WIndy Lanikai Mountain in Black and White

The Dome of St Peter’s Basilica

Highest of the High

There is something both wonderful and awe inspiring about visiting a European Basilica or Cathedral. Each has it’s differences of designation within a religious faith, but the meaning seems clear. First, stuff lots of people in. Check! Second and perhaps more symbolic, the church is meant to represent the house of divinity. Obviously for the infinite, you need an AWE inspiring structure. This view of the very impressive dome of St Peter’s (yes, that St Peter…”Upon this rock…”) is from one of the lower balconies that lead all the way to the top of the dome and perhaps one of the most spectacular views of Rome. Be forewarned, it’s a strenuous climb. An elderly woman collapsed upon reaching the top on my trek up. I believe she was okay in the end, but what a way to go!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 2000
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: The Dome of St Peter's Basilica

Art Nouveau Parisian Metropolitan Station

Art Deco Paris

You can find more exquisite examples of Art Nouveau in and around Paris that just about anywhere I have been. There are whole areas of museums sure, but even walking around the city you find beautiful organic utility. This metro station is just across the river from Île de la Cité. I suspect it’s been installed or restored because of the prime tourist location, but that doesn’t at all detract from the beauty. I am headed back to Paris next year and cant wait to sit in its cafe’s just taking in the atmosphere.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 8 October, 2011
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Art Nouveau Parisian Metropolitan Station

Temple of Heaven Fire Baskets

Favorite Historical Sites

If I had to pick between the big three UNESCO sites in and around Beijing my preference, BY FAR would likely be with the Temple of Heaven. While in antiquity this was a temple for the Emperor of China, today its is an expansive and exquisitely beautiful park near the heart of Beijing. There is a majesty in walking up the path reserved for only the emperor. There is a grandeur and elegance that masks (along with modern perception) the religous rites preformed here to bring a good harvest. If for some reason you have to choose between The Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City and The Great Wall, I would chose in that order.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 6 September, 2016
  • Focal length: 31mm
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/1000s
  • Title: Temple of Heaven Fire Baskets

The NBC Rainbow Room

Surreality

The first time you visit New York City, I think you can’t help but feel like you are in a television show (or movie). So much of film and television history is set in The Big Apple, it’s a bit like a world that is only in the fantasy box called the television is somehow magically brought to life. Spending most of the early 90’s watching SNL, I am always excited going to Rockefeller Center. First because of the amazing Art Deco archatecture and second because its the home of NBC studios! On one trip, the street was shutdown and Tracy Jordan was outside filming a scene for 30 Rock. Again, NYC is at time EXACTLY like a television show…because it is!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 22 October, 2012
  • Focal length: 28mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: The NBC Rainbow Room

Price Tower Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Master Architects

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of those architects I would drive out of my way to see. Price Tower is an extremely unique in that it is to my knowledge the only “sky scraper” Wright ever created. On a trip to Oklahoma City for a basketball game, Pamela and I decided to make a detour to see this wonderful building. Sadly it was amazingly strong sun when we were there. Photos of the inside are off limits (BOO). Even in the strong sun, even denied interior photos, the building is still amazing. Everywhere you look you see more and more little details that on first inspection you miss. If you love architecture like I do, and you are even close to Bartlesville, OK stop by and take the tour (be sure to check for times)!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/640s
  • Title: Price Tower Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Funk!

Eating at the Bar

When I solo travel (and other times with Pamela) I have found it super helpful when going to busy restaurants to get a seat at the bar. Most places serve their full menu at these easy to obtain seats, plus you get the benefit of all the goings on of the bar. Many restaurants soul flows through this hub and it’s a fun place to have a conversation and see what really happens in this place. This is one of the bar stools at Flatbread Company, one of my favorite places to eat in Maui. While you might find cheaper fare on the island, you will be hard presses to find better pizza most anywhere.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 July, 2012
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Funk!