The Fun Monday assignment for June 20 is: BIG Summer Projects. Our host for June is Sayre , known to some of us as the Energizer Bunny, wants to know what we plan to get done this summer--something really huge. Well Sayre, you may remember that I had a month without access to a computer recently. So, I spent that time working on my house and yard--cleaning the basement, filing, shifting furniture, and getting the yard under control. Consequently, my big project can be a lot more fun. In the next two months I want to learn to take better digital photographs so I can capture all the good memories of upcoming travels to Scandinavia and who knows where after that!
I'm a relative novice at digital photography and my shots show that. The last trip I took was the first time to use a digital camera--a simple point and shoot Canon Power Shot. Loved the convenience, ability to enhance with photoshop. But now I'm ready to up my game a bit. To begin I picked up this wonderful photography essential guide by Tom Ang--it's a combination of how to and the artistry of photography. And now this week I'm going to purchase a more powerful camera so I can practice, practice, practice before Scandinavian trip.
On returning from travels abroad, my most treasured mementos are these low tech albums that I make for each trip. These albums are always out so that, if on a rainy afternoon I decide to go to Italy, I can just drag out "Gardens of Tuscany 2000" and re-live the trip. Each book is filled with photos, postcards, menus, programs, ticket stubs, currency and coins, beautiful labels, pressed plants and flowers. Each item has my hand-written description, plus thoughts on that day's travels. So essentially, they are illustrated travel journals, from 1993-present:
Here's a peek at a few pages from the Tuscany album (if, like me you're a bit of a voyeur, you're welcome to em-biggen the photos for more detail). This is Sienna with its hilly streets, the Piazzo del Campo where the Palio festival features horses racing madly around the square, a fancy wrapper for delicious Italian sweet yeast bread--panforte al cioccolato, oh yes! Look closely at bottom left photo--houses have birth announcements mounted under door knockers--this one for little Sophia:
This page features the countryside around Pienza, including the brochure of our hotel, Il Chiostro Di Pienza, a 15th century converted monastery with serene hill views and a resident border collie for we dog lovers to mooch on when we missed ours at home:
Here you see an olive grove , garden, and wisteria arbor on left. On right is Villa Cetinale owned by an English Lord Lambton and his mistress, combines English and Italian architecture and garden:
In Florence, photos and mementos from the Uffizi Gallery. Lower left-Botticelli's "Primavera", upper right some carbinieri standing guard in front of Giambologna's "Rape of the Sabine Women". But my favorite is the "gallery" dogs sleeping on the steps of the Uffizi:
Finally, scenes from my hotel window in Pienza on the last evening of trip, Italian currency and coins, and the dinner menu from our hotel in Florence. We had gilthead seabream with courgettes (cucumbers must have been in season!), strawberry sorbet in crispy basket:
Several of my friends enjoy digital scrap booking and they are quite beautiful. But for me, for now, I love being able to look through these old-fashioned albums and remember the pleasures of travel. Sayre, hopefully I'll borrow some of your energy and enthusiasm and complete my Big Photography Project so the next album will be even more satisfying than this one of Tuscany.