A Country Cottage

Or else Windsor Castle.

April 2006. After a couple of trips to London under our belts, we got adventurous and just took the train to Windsor without pre-booking something. It turned out to be a very nice full-day visit, before returning late-afternoon to London.

In spite of being a beautiful historical site, it can be hard to get a decent shot without tourists elbowing one another everywhere. That's the problem with it being a popular royal residence. As it turned out, the Queen was in residence at the time, but of course, we didn't see her.

#Travel #England #WindsorCastle


Twenty Minutes to Get Your Photo!

The bane of bus tours!

We literally had twenty minutes to get up close and personal with the Eiffel Tower. I took a few shots, but my best ones were actually from the bus window. This is a photomerge of two shots, with some cloning out of unsightly objects and people.

This was taken in the first week of May, 2004. In spite of how the sky looks, we were later hounded by a hailstorm- the very same one that had attacked us and left us damp for the rest of the day while we visited Stonehenge earlier in the week.

#Travel #France #Paris #EiffelTower


A Man's Castle Is His Home

Or it's a conference center.

This is Leeds Castle, which is nowhere near the town of Leeds. It's near Maidstone, Kent, halfway between #London and Folkstone on the way to Dover.

I've visited there twice, in 2004 and 2005. Different seasons. In spite of the cloudy weather, this was early July 2005. Tuesday the 5th or Wednesday the 6th; I don't remember exactly. I lost a day on the trip to Stonehenge. Didn't even get pictures.

#Travel #England #LeedsCastle


Harry, Ron and Hermione Ate Here

Sort of . . .

It's been ten and a half years since this trip, and a few details are lost to history. What I remember about the day is that it was off-again-on-again rain, sunshine and snow. April 2006. Oxford was definitely damp.

Some scenes from Harry Potter were filmed in this room, and through movie magic, it was tripled in width. You remember Harry and friends in the great hall? Here it is in the original. Just outside are some stairs where some other scenes were filmed. Very clever, these movie makers!

Of course, being on a fully-loaded bus tour, there was never a moment when there weren't people in the shot, and no tripod or other support to allow a series of shots that could be run through Photoshop's median processor. But, for all that it is a tourist snapshot, it is my tourist snapshot, so I'm OK with it.

#Travel #England #Oxford #HarryPotter


South Dakota – December 2014

A very small collection!

I got to go with some friends on a whirlwind weekend trip to South Dakota— just one day on the ground, the other days for travel.

The main objective was Mt. Rushmore, but we also saw the Crazy Horse Memorial and Wind Cave National Park. A packed day, but memorable all around.

This is a small collection of photos I took on the trip. Not much here, but it might inspire you to have a visit yourself.

#Travel #SouthDakota #MtRushmore #CrazyHorse #WindCave

Beneath The Abbey

Beneath the ruins.

I don't remember exactly what part of the ruins we were exploring. It may have been the high altar area, or perhaps the dormitory. In any case, there are remains of what must have been some spectacular Norman construction, and occasional views out through windows that could take one back in time to the 1100s.

#Travel #England #BattleOfHastings #BattleAbbey #Ruins #WilliamOfOrange


A Pacifica Sunset

A storm was coming, but not for a couple of days.

I got kind of lucky being later than I had originally planned on my weekly visit to San Bruno Mountain. I like to go adventure driving and often take the long way to get there, or maybe take the long way to go back home. I especially like dropping down to the ocean at Pacifica, where I can stroll along the beach front or out onto the fishing pier.

A storm was brewing, but wouldn't arrive for a couple of days. It was sending some pretty nice breakers ahead of time. This is the time of year when the annual Mavericks surf competition takes place nearby, so it's not unusual to have big surf anyway.

But the couds! Oh, the clouds! They were beautiful, and gave some character to the sky as the sun sank into the westward sea. So I took a series of shots of the breakers meeting the shore, and some frames of the clouds above. (I collect sky shots for sky replacement in some of my other photos.)

This was edited starting in #LightroomCC and finished off in #PhotoshopCC with the help of #Topaz Star Effects to enhance the sun flare.

#Ocean #Beach #SanFranciscoBayArea #Pacifica


The Queen Lived Here

But not while she was Queen.

This statue of Queen Victoria stands in the garden outside of Kensington Palace. It was sculpted by her own daughter, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyle. Here was a royal daughter who took her art seriously enough to produce a lasting monument to her mother.

Apparently there has been some yard work done in the last ten years, as there is now a small octagonal pool around the foot of the statue, and the area looks (in recent available photos) to be much more cleanly landscaped than in this photo from April, 2006.

#Travel #England #London #KensingtonPalace