Victoria Memorial, London, England

Sun in London!

We had a pretty lucky trip to London, England. In the midst of September, somehow we found sun! We didn’t have much in the way of the stariotypical cold, cloudy, foggy weather just a bunch wonderfully crisp fall sunny days.

Visit Early

We ended up at Buckingham Palace sometime in the early afternoon. The sun was strong and the tourists were out in full force on the plaza to gawk at the Queen’s Guard in all their sternness. I don’t like it when people mess with the guard…it’s so terribly disrespectful (plus I am pretty sure those guys can break pretty much anyone they needed to in half). I made my way to the Victoria Memorial and it was covered with tourists soaking all the strong sun. I looked up and thought what a better backlight for Victoria then the Sun itself.

Happy Ground Hog Day everyone! Let’s hope for a cloudy day in PA today!

Photo Technical Info

The Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City

Finding Memorials

I sometimes think I am drawn to odd places. When I travel these days, I usually like to do only a bare amount of research. I of course have to make it to the BIG sights, but I leave a huge portion of my adventures entirely to serendipity. This was the case with today’s photo location. We were staying in NYC down by Battery Park and within is a 1/2 acre site dedicated to the remembrance of the Great Irish Famine. Outside of Ireland, we know this as the Irish Potato Famine and OF COURSE there is a memorial in NYC dedicated to this tragedy of the mid-1800’s! This is actually a very cool site and Pamela and I stopped by during the day and night to see it’s different sides. This is a close-up of one of the outer walls of the structure. The whole memorial is something to see…if you happen to be milling around lower Manhattan.

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Aboard the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial

Designing our Nations Monuments

I sometimes wonder how it is that we have been so blessed in this country to have some of the greatest monuments to our heroes. What a task, honor and responsibility it must be for the designers. They are building something that countless visitors will see for all of our remaining history. Something that must encapsulate remembrance, that must honor and make us all reflect on tragedy, courage, valor. I believe the two finest examples of many in the United States are the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Oahu, Hawaii.

A Different Sort of Hallowed Ground

The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is one of the most solemn places I have visited. It is an active cemetery and most of the crew members are still aboard (only a few hundred survived the attack). The space is open and airy, sereneā€¦a very stark contrast to December 7, 1941. This life preserver struck me at the end of my visit. It’s an almost ironic thing on a memorial to so many sailors who died without enough time to even attempt to use one. It’s there for the living of course, but then again, perhaps the memorial is there for us as well. May the dead only know peace.

Photo Technical Info

Dusk Falls on Lincoln

Ghosts of Tourists Past

There a a HUGE number of tourists at the Lincoln Memorial. I waited around for a long time hoping they would eventually disperse, but I think perhaps if you want unencumbered shots of the monument, it may be advisable to come in the early hours of dawn. The sun would be behind you, but that would be a great shot as well. I attempted to use long exposures on this shot to blur as much of the activity as possible. It gives the shot a milky soup of action sort of feel. Enjoy!

WWII and Washington Memorials at Night

What the What?

Two posts this week? What? Yep, I am having so much of a good time taking and processing photos I figured I need to step up my game. As a side note I have been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers where he professes the need to spend 10,000 hours to become an expert at any task. More processing and photo taking makes for a quicker path to 10,000 hours! WAHOO!

Blue Hour

I am finding that I really love blue hour. The quality of the light in the sky is just wonderful. It’s also interesting to me how quickly blue hour ends and the lights from the city overwhelm the good light. I took this photo at 8:57pm…4 minutes later I had stepped to the right to shoot the Washington Monument straight on and the sky was an awful sickly salmon color.

New Monuments

Every time a new monument gets put up on the National Mall, there is a controversy. The first time we visited DC, the WWII memorial was in the planning stages. The second time it was under construction. While my Grandfather was a veteran of WWI (Navy in the Pacific) I had mixed feeling about the placement of the memorial. Seeing the completed memorial has completely changed my mind. It really just fits there…like it should have been there all along.


This was a 3 bracket series (-2, 0, +2) processed with Photomatix. It was cleaned up in Photoshop and modified with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (Tonal Contrast) and Sharpener Pro. The final work was done in Adobe Lightroom 4.

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Road Trip

Pamela, Mike, Shawna and I went one year to a basketball game in Oklahoma City. We all piled into the car and drove to Oklahoma…making the obligatory stop at the McDonald’s over the highway (none of us actually eats at McDonald’s), and while we were in Oklahoma City we stopped at the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It is a wonderfully serene site dedicated to remembering a truly awful day in American History. I took this picture during our visit and have revisited it many years later and wanted to give this photo my time and attention. I hope it does some justice to the site.