Something tells me that this AirBnB has no Wifi, no A/C nor Color TV. But it does have a stove and the South Dakota sky.
This picture was taken from what was once the movie set of Dances with Wolves and is now a museum and tourist spot along Highway 90. A structure like this makes me very appreciative of modern conveniences. Back then, it was way different.
Feeling a sense of gratitude for what we have goes a long way to erasing the thoughts and feelings of what we don’t have. There are a lot of things I would like, but when I look at this house and imagine surviving through the long cold winter in the Dakotas, I’m pretty dang happy with what I’ve got: including Wifi, A/C, and a color iPad. (Nobody watches TV anymore).
I know it’s the middle of winter now, but all the more reason to look longingly back on the days of summer. This is a friends house in Wisconsin.
On our summer holiday, my wife and I drove up from Florida. It was July, and we thought we’d get a break from the heat. Silly idea; it was just as hot and humid as way back in Florida. We even had several thunderstorms that rolled in and out, just like back home.
This used to be a horse ranch, but Dave and Janey have since retired. There’s a large barn and still a few horses on the property, but mostly it’s surrounded by farmland and these idyllic rolling hills. We enjoyed our time here and now have a new appreciation for Wisconsin. I even did a little video for them with my drone so they can use it if they ever decide to sell and move south.
Lately, I’ve been taking drives into the country looking for interesting things to shoot. For some reason, I find this old broken down barn interesting. I’m not sure if its a barn, it could be an old house.
I go alone on these trips because my driving would terrify any sane person. When I see something, I quickly check behind me and then decelerate while pulling over to the side of the road. It’s enough to give a passenger white knuckles. Often I’ll back-up to get a better look. If it looks promising, I’ll get out and compose a few shots then move on.
Anyway, I saw this out of the corner of my eye and then pulled over about a hundred yards down the road. Maybe it reminds me of something in the past, or perhaps it has character. Whatever the case, I was intrigued enough to stop.
This is another image I took on Independence Day. Normally the fireworks are launched from the other side of the river but not this year. Had we known we would have crossed and sat on the south side. Nevertheless we made due and in the end I rather like this photo from just before nightfall. These were someone’s private fireworks before the real show by the city. The clouds on the left were alive with lightning and we had man-made and Mother Nature’s fireworks exploding in unison.
Most of my photos do not turn out the way I intended. That was the case this evening with the obstructed view. But it’s not always a bad thing. We think we know what we want, but chaos and randomness dictate otherwise. Go with the flow and work with what you have. Adaptability is the key to success in photography and life.
Before a shoot I have scenes in my head of what I want to end up with. The majority of the time I get something different. But knowing what I want those scenes to be is an advantage. The scenes will eventually appear and I’ll be ready because I will already have thought about it.
For instance, imagine a sailboat in front of a setting sun. If I have my mind set on that I might not get it on a particular outing. But at some point I will see it about to occur and I’ll be ready. The catalog of ideas in my head grows when I look at works of other photographers, or simply when I fail to get the scene I came for. The bigger the catalog in my head the more I’m ready for.
On Independence Day I did not have this image in my mind at all, not even close. But I went with the flow and ended up with something I liked very much. But that other image is in the catalog waiting for it to come up again, and on that occasion I’ll be ready.
We sat along the north side of the river thinking the fireworks would be on the other side as in previous years. We were wrong and this year they were on our side. So as it turned out, waterfront homes and a palm tree obstructed our view. But what I thought was a minor annoyance turned into an iconic symbol of Independence Day in Florida.
In the middle of summer you can count on more than one type of fireworks. Thunder and lightning are as constant as the heat and humidity. There is a lot of energy in the sky and it can be mesmerizing to look at, especially at night.
Earlier in the day we were at an outdoor concert that was interrupted by a passing thunderstorm. The saying goes if you don’t like the weather wait ten minutes. We sat there in the rain and ten minutes later it was gone. The music started up again and in another ten minutes later our clothes were dry.
In the evening fireworks began on both sides of the river. Even though we had an obstructed view we picked a spot where we could see the lightning and fireworks. Lightning flashed about every five-seconds and it was nearly the same for the fireworks. It was hard to know which way to look.
In this small town it’s exciting when we have fireworks displays along the river, it only happens twice a year, once for Independence Day and the other for New Years. However Mother Nature’s display lasts all summer. So if you like a lot of flashes and booms, this is the place to be.
Here is another simple image from inside Barcelona’s Casa Batlló. I love these irregular “organic” lines of the walls and molding that are found throughout the house, it’s as if the only rule they followed was there should be no right angles. Also, if you look closely you’ll notice the walls have a mosaic pattern reminiscent of scales.
This is more than a house, it’s a study in the blending of art and design to create a habitat. Imagine if all homes were built as works of art, it would be a much more interesting world don’t you think?
This is the Casa Batlló Stairwell in Barcelona. This house is a work of priceless design by the famed architect and designer Antoni Gaudi. I took this while climbing the stairs to the roof. It’s a narrow courtyard of sorts with the house surrounding this central core. As I recall there were about five flights to the roof so on my way up I had plenty of opportunities to stop and gawk at the design.
This is a very big house, I could live comfortably on just one floor, even less. But if I did own the whole place I’d be sending texts to the kitchen to order meals, that would save a bunch of trips up and down the stairs. Then of course I’d need a Stair-master to get some exercise. I never said I was brilliant, if it was my house I really would have more money than brains.
I took a ton of pictures throughout the house, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Actually everyone takes pictures inside. There’s a nautical theme going on and it reminds me of a ship, or maybe something out of Jules Vern novel. When I Google other photos of this a few of them have an under water effect. Perhaps that was intended. In any case, here is a link to a search of stairwell photos from the house on Google: https://goo.gl/JW1jqj
Here are some more images from Barcelona: https://justenoughfocus.smugmug.com/keyword/barcelona/
These are houses in the old city center of Collioure. I am aiming up with the lens to get the colors and sky, but just below the field of view is a busy marketplace with all manner of shops. While my wife bought a locally made dress I walked around the square taking it all in. In the end we both left happy.
These houses remind me of California or even Florida. In warm climates homes are painted and colorful. In cold climates we make houses out of brick and the effect is completely different. Of course houses don’t look just like this in California, but the colors remind me of how varied they are when compared to the east coast of the US.
We had just finished having a drink at a cafe by the water and were meandering among the shops. I think the atmosphere of the place got to us because we lingered way too long. By the time we got back in the car we had many hours of driving to go. However I wouldn’t change a thing, in fact I plan to come back here and stay a little longer. These mediterranean costal villages are worlds unto themselves.
Walking around the beaches of Anna Maria Island you’ll find houses along the water with a view of the gulf. Some are located on relatively isolated stretches so that even if there are a lot of people at the beach these sections are quiet. Walking past this area the beach was was quiet and undisturbed as evidenced from a colony of skimmers that nest and feed here. As I walked past they paid me little heed as they rested on one leg. I live only twenty minutes away but I keep telling myself that one day I’ll just rent a beach house and do a staycation. I think this remote strip suits me just fine.