Monday, October 6, 2014

Catching Light -Mykonos, Good-bye Greek Isles


In June I finished a tour of eight European countries, Austria to Turkey and mostly along the Dalmatian coast with a brief cruise of the Greek Islands.  Mykonos was the last island on the cruise before ending the trip in Athens, Greece.  I chose Mykonos for this "catching light" post because the day we spent on the island offered countless opportunities to photograph brilliant light--blue skies and sea, white cube-shaped houses glittering in the sun.

(Click on collages to enlarge.)

Here are some of the best sights from my tour of the harbor and town, including the lime washed cubical buildings with their blue accents and flat terrace roofs:

Mykonos has many churches, most very small.  In the past churches were built on sites to avoid paying taxes--example the small sanctuary middle left.  The large free form church is the Paraportiani and is quite unique as it is a blending of five churches each with different architecture:

Here are some common sights walking along the harbor:  fishing boat, the Alexandria Restaurant by the sea, an old anchor, fresh seafood (including octopus which is pounded and then hung to dry from fishing boats before preparing) and a playful dog making a pest of himself on the beach:

Streets are narrow and paved with flat stones that are painted white all around.  The white-washed buildings are accented with colorful doors, windows, and balconies.  Blooming bougainvillea, oleander, hibiscus, and fuchsia tumble over walls and balconies.

The windmill is a classic symbol of Mykonos.  At one time the windmills were used for grinding grain.  Now they are part of the character of the island.  Notice the Barbie pink scooter lower right!

These final shots are of the setting sun over the Aegean Sea as we walked back to our ship along the harbor:

 By this time I had been away from home for 21 days so was getting quite homesick.  Still, I'm glad to have these memories of sparkling white light against the blue Aegean Sea.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Catching Light - Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

September 1 - a quiet Labor Day here in the U.S. and a favorite holiday because it's not too early to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. I see the first hints of fall around the lake at Bernheim Forest. Brilliant skies reflected in the lake, grasses along the water's edge just turning and catching the light. A quiet and welcome time of the year. Enjoy. (Click on image to enlarge.)


Monday, August 25, 2014

Catching Light - Big Sky Sweden

Slowly getting back into blogging after a long absence by participating in "Inspiring Photography-Catching Light", a very intriguing meme hosted by Monica at Nature Footstep . Looking for--and capturing--the light in all its surprising variations is both a challenge and a pleasure for most photographers. Especially when I travel, I'm always aware of the different light wherever I am, looking for something that I would not see at home. For this week, I'll show you examples of the light in the landscapes of mostly southern Sweden, captured on a trip from Stockholm to Malmo (2008).

(Click on images to enlarge.)

This first dawn photo was taken through the airplane window.  According to the "you are flying here" map we were just south of Reykjavik, Iceland, flying over Aberdeen, Scotland and about two hours from landing in Stockholm.  The light of dawn is always a welcome sight after a long night flying:

The view from your hotel window is always the luck of the draw.  Sometimes you get the blank wall, the air conditioning units, or parking lot.  Other times--as I did in Stockholm--you get beautifully lit architecture on the water.  This is a night view of the Stockholm City Hall with its gold capped tower and Three Crowns, the official symbol of Sweden (by the way, the Nobel Prize ceremonies are held in the Gold Room of this building every year):

After a few day's sightseeing in and around Stockholm, my tour group began a long drive through the farmland of south central Sweden.  The light was so clear, the clouds just huge and appearing so close to the rolling grain fields along the highway.  The farm buildings in this region are painted with Falu or Falun Red, a color resulting from mixing copper ore castings into the paint.  This color has been commonly used in Sweden for hundreds of years:

Many of the farms lay along Lake Vattern, a long finger lake which feeds into the Baltic Sea and the second largest lake in Sweden.  Here I loved the sky's reflections in the glassine surface of the lake:

In small villages and towns along Lake Vattern we saw many gaily painted and trimmed cottage homes like this one in the traditional Falu Red, which looked wonderful caught in the sunlight:

And finally, late in the day we stopped at a family owned inn in Toflahom for the night.  This was our twilight view of a small lake from the dining room window.  The next day we had just a short drive to Malmo where we took a long bridge/causeway across the sea to Copenhagen, Denmark:

I must say the light surprised me in Sweden.  I expected weak, watery skies, but got brilliant almost painterly light instead.  If you too find chasing light with a camera fascinating, be sure to check out Monica's link above.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Catching Light - Mykonos at Dawn

After a blog re-design hiatus of eight months, a new meme, "Inspiring Photography-Catching Light" hosted by Monica at Nature Footstep Memes has inspired me to get posting again. So, please ignore the signs of "under construction" on my blog and enjoy the breaking dawn light as my cruise ship, the Lewis Crystal, came into the harbor of the Greek island of Mykonos (June 2014).  All these photos were shot through my cabin port holes. That "crackling" is from salt spray on the glass.

(Click on images to enlarge --I'm still trying to figure out how to manage larger photos in my blog template. :-)

I started shooting before dawn, sun rising over the open sea:

Here you can see ghostly outlines of the Mykonos harbor and its lights through heavy fog:

A favorite shot in this series, the little red tug boat that could -guide our ship into the harbor:

Shadowed structures on the dock:

Views: of the waterfront before fog fully lifted, sunlight just starting to hit the buildings:
Golden dawn light on the harbor:

Hope you enjoyed my attempts to "catch the light". Be sure to go over to Monica's place at Nature Footstep Memes to link to more light shots.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mosaic Monday - Swiss Travel Dog

click on mosaic to enlarge

While on a somewhat blogging hiatus over the recent holidays I was trying to come up with some fresh post topics for the new year.  Here's my first effort:  Dog a Day.  Whenever I travel I miss my dog(s) that are left at home.  So, not far into the trip I'm looking for dogs to pet and photograph no matter what country I'm traveling in.  To begin this series I give you the Swiss Bernese Mountain Dog from a 2008 European trip.

Spotted this grand dog at an outdoor cafĂ© in the historic center of Lucerne, Switzerland.  The Bernese is as much a symbol of Switzerland as its red cross flag (flying from buildings in top left photo), chocolate, and fine timepieces.  The Reuss River runs through the historic city center and cafes and shops line either side of the river where the Swiss enjoy the outdoors.  The flower decked wooden Chapel Bridge spans the river and provides a beautiful walkway.  This wooden bridge is one of the oldest in Europe, built in the 1330s.  The inside bridge roof is covered with very old paintings.  Middle right photo was taken from a cruise boat on Lake Lucerne and is the classic Swiss landscape of small wooden farmhouses and chalets nestled into the steep mountainside.  Lower right is a shot of the cloud-covered Alps.  I took this pic from the summit of Mount Pilatus near Lucerne.  Getting to the summit involved thrilling rides in a cable car, ski lift AND aerial gondola!  Think you'll agree that the view was worth the effort.

So, I hope you enjoyed this first Dog a Day post.  If so, come back next week.  Who knows where we'll go-Russia, Italy, France, New Zealand? 

Linking to Mosaic Monday

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Best of 2013 Photography - May, June & July

I'm a bit behind with spotlighting favorite photos/subjects from 2013. So, today I'll share my picks for May, June, and July:


In May I became interested in photographing the many beautiful historical churches in Louisville so that I could participate in the weekly InSPIREd Sunday meme where we share interesting churches and other places of worship.

It happens that many of Louisville's historic churches are Episcopalian.  As I went around town taking photos of them, noticed that they all had red doors from the grandest cathedrals to the simplest stone churches.  Learned that the Episcopalian red doors symbolize many things, but primarily sanctuary and the Blood of Christ and His sacrifice.  This great example is Advent Episcopal in the Highlands of Louisville:

~click on images to enlarge~


For June I'll go back to one of my favorite spots for photographs -- Beargrass Creek from the Belnap Bridge in Cherokee Park.  In particular, I love getting shots of this wonderfully gnarled old tree in all seasons and times of the day.  Here a touch of pure summer fun with the inner tube swing hanging out over the creek.  BTW, this is my reminder to you that summer will return, although you may not think so in the frigid cold of this week!

July was not the greatest month for photography here at Summit Court.  First, it was the start of several months of ongoing problems with internet/DSL and my computer's performance which kept me from blogging on a regular basis.  In addition, it was a time when I was dealing with serious health and caregiving issues for my elderly family members.  On the positive, however, it was about this time that I started getting interested in attracting birds to the yard and trying to ID them.  So, I chose this collage of Chet in his favorite spot--lying by the front door and peering out at the birds.  He has taken a very laid back stance on his Roommate's new obsession with birds!
Picks for August - December still to come!  Am finding that going back though photo archives is a great way to see what happened in 2013.  You?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Best of 2013 - April Photography - Spotted Pony and Sunny Yellow

For the April pick of best photos of 2013 I chose this friendly spotted pony at a riding stable out in eastern Jefferson County.  I went back later in the year and was pleased to see my friend still in the pasture.
And just for the benefit of all my friends who hate this bitter cold winter weather that we're currently experiencing, how about some sunny yellow?  Hang on!  The forsythia will be blooming before you know it!