Torre de Collserola

This tower is one of the first things you see in Barcelona. However, in my case, it took me by surprise.

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Torre de Collserola
Overlooking Barcelona in the rain – click to purchase

It was raining, so I had it in my mind to drive up the mountain and visit the Sagrat Cor church. However, the clouds created a thick blanket of fog, and it was difficult to see more than a hundred feet. As I stood outside the church, the clouds began to thin, and the tower appeared rather dramatically.

Here is a close-up view that T took with the telephoto lens fully extended. The tenth level is the observation deck, according to Wikipedia.

Torre de Collserola
Close-up of Torre de Collserola

more from Barcelona

The tower sits atop the Tibidabo mountain and overlooks Barcelona. If I had Googled it, I would have known that it’s open to the public on weekends — something to add to my next visit.

Pacific Trail

The Wild Pacific Trail is just as it sounds, on the Pacific and wild. Wild, as in hiking or trekking in BC’s Vancouver Island.

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Pacific Trail
A section of the trail on Vancouver Island, BC

The image uses HDR techniques, meaning I combined three frames of different exposures and blended them. Also, I used f10, so most everything is in focus.

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I love trail shots for the sense it creates of going somewhere and, a natural desire to know what’s just around the corner. This trail, in particular, is especially good for that; it has hundreds of turnouts that open on amazing views of the pacific.

Rainbow Falls

This photo is just below Rainbow Falls in North Carolina. It’s on a trail with a waterfall payoff at the end.

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Below Rainbow Falls
Taken on the trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina

I think the word rainbow sums up those fall colors. North Carolina is famous for its autumn tones, which, as I write this, is still a couple of months away. It was nice to hike in the mountains and get a break from the humidity back home.

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This is another old photo I pulled from the archives. Old images are veritable breadcrumbs leading back to forgotten details. For instance, from the picture, I recall the hike took longer than expected and, was a little more strenuous. So when we got back to the hotel, we ate pasta and dinner rolls, leaving only, …you guessed it, breadcrumbs.

Multnomah Falls

No trip to the Portland area is complete without visiting Multnomah Falls. Here is a lie; there was nobody here when I took this shot.

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Multnomah Falls
The most iconic, Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

In fact, to get this, I had to elbow my way through layers of Instagrammers holding phones aloft with their backs to the falls. I should have known better, it was July 4th, but I went anyway. I Photoshoped all the people off the bridge except for one. In the end, this edit is not far from the scene I imagined in my head.

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If I did have the place to myself, I would have taken more shots, but I like this shot, so maybe that would have been a waste. Anyhow, when I go back, even if it’s winter, I’ll come early to try my luck again. But it’s all good; I ended up hiking to the top to see even more waterfalls and a lot fewer people. It ended up being an excellent day, for Instagram and me.

Old Church

Here is a pro photographer that used only an iPhone for 6 months. I love this…

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I took a picture of this church along one of the lesser-known highways in Florida. I just thought it looked kind of old-school.

Old Church
An old church along state road 50 in central Florida

When driving in the country, I look for things that stand out, and this fit the bill. It was, in fact, a Sunday but late enough that it was empty. It doesn’t look to me like it has airconditioning so, on a summer day in Florida, it’s probably hotter than purgatory inside, give or take a few degrees.

more churches in the gallery

Not long after this stop, I started entering the suburbs of Orlando, and from that point on, everything is new-school. The only things that look old are facades made to look that way. So, getting out of the city to see throw-backs is pretty cool, even if it is hotter than the devil’s den.

Dutchman Falls

The water from this fall runs year-round and is fed by a spring. I would have gotten closer, but Instagramers were posing in front.

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Dutchman Falls
A waterfall fed from a spring above the Columbia River

I Photoshopped out the Instagramers because I kind of like it without them, maybe it’s just me. Last year on the same day, I was at Mount Rushmore and encountered the same thing, hundreds of them. I need to start an Instagram of Instagrammers.

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Nevertheless, it was quiet and pretty here, which was at the top of a steep hike from the Columbia River. I had water but too much heavy camera gear, but I didn’t realize I was going to climb the trail until I got there. As all of my hikes in Oregon, it was well worth it, and I’m looking forward to going back for more walks, Instagram notwithstanding.

Faerie River

In my imagination, this is a place where you might find the fae folk. The stream is part of a river in a state park, but I had the idea little invisible beings were all around.

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Faerie River
A stream adjacent to the Hillsborough River

The image is from the Hillsborough River State Park in Florida. Maybe it was my mood or the setting, but parts of it seemed nothing short of enchanting. There are places inside forests like this that have an ephemeral quality of nature about them.

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I experienced the same thing in the forests of Oregan a couple of weeks ago. Some sections of the trail had a subtle quality that you could easily miss. I have no idea if nature spirits exist; I’ve never seen one. At the very least, encountering these areas in the wilderness gives me pause and stokes my imagination.

Scott Lake

Scott Lake was a detour of a detour I took while driving through Willamette National Forest. I took so many detours its surprising I made any forward progress at all.

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Scott Lake
A remote lake in Willamette National Forest

I figured as long as I had gas and some trail mix I was probably not going to have problems. The only real dilemma was deciding when to turn back. If I didn’t need sleep, I’d have driven all night, and that would have been just fine.

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I could see setting up camp here and exploring for a few days. As its the pacific northwest, I’d half expect to see a bigfoot. This area is so big and untamed that it would not surprise me in the least. At least this is where I would be if I were a bigfoot.

When I See It

If you head down this road for three minutes, you’ll end up at the gulf. If you go the other direction for about two hours, you’ll end up at the Atlantic. Only in, Florida.

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When I See It
The sun sets over Emerson Point in Palmetto

I was leaving the gulf and stopped for a different shot when I happened to look back; that’s how I came to take this photo. Most of the pictures I take originate from this rather haphazard approach. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally plan; it’s just that planning and this type of photography are only loosely connected. Having a plan gets me out of the house, and that’s where the connection ends.

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Once out of the house, the struggle is figuring out what photos to take; to solve that I try to stay open and aware of what’s around me. Over the years, I’ve developed an aesthetic which largely stems from my personality. So, when I go out to take photos, even though I may not know what I’m looking for, I will generally know it when I see it.

River Reflections

The reflections along the Hillsborough River are entirely peaceful. That is until you realize alligators lurk just below the surface.

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River Reflections
Along the Hillsborough River in Florida

But if I was an alligator, this seems like the perfect place to live. I’m living in a state park, I don’t get harassed, there are plenty of turtles to munch, and I don’t have to get stuck in someone’s pool and have my jaws taped shut.

see reflections in the gallery

In reality, alligators have it hard. Only a small percentage make it to maturity. The most energetic, most intelligent among them live out their full lives. And the luckiest of those are living here in these beautiful parks.