Any time of the year Yosemite is so beautiful. It has always been so even before I could appreciate the photographic opportunities that drove Ansel Adams to exemplify so many photographs as iconic American treasures. Just like taking photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, it is so difficult to see something that has not been represented a hundred times before. Yet everyone has an opportunity to express their feelings through their art. Hopefully my photo from the Merced River shows a different perspective that conveys the cold melting snow flowing almost beneath my feet and the winter atmosphere emphasized by the forboding clouds above the majestic mountains.
A wonderful week in Madrid, Spain to enjoy the culture and rich history followed by a week as a guest of PhotoPills on the Mediteranean island of Minorca. Madrid is truly a world class destination for art, architecture, and history. And an easy city to walk, relax, observe and become immersed in the activities of the locals. Now I intimately know the significance of the accomplishments and world changing events of 1492. This has been considered the most important year in world history. Not only did the Spanish decide to take over the peninsula from the Moors, taking back Granada and the UNESCO site the Alhambra but also the accomplishments from Christopher Columbus’s voyage to bring back ideas and foods (as the potato) from the New World. Seeing the historical walled cities and imagining the past centuries is a unique opportunity, especially knowing that people are living much the same way they have for centuries. Yet the siesta is going by the wayside, prompted by Spains membership into the Euro. But you may still find it challenging to find an unoccupied table to eat between noon and two or a retail vendor open during these hours.
Minorca is a beautiful island, with a diverse population that welcomes people from all over the world. From a photographers point of view the island offers beautiful coast side, a multitude of lighthouses, pre-Roman history and wonderful sunrises and sunsets with clear skies and plentiful stars. A good place for practicing sunrise and Milky Way shots with the PhotoPills app.
New photos have been added from a fantastic trip to Hong Kong and Beijing. My thanks to long time friend George for introducing Hong Kong. So much history and culture to observe. I arrived the day before a projected level 8 Typhoon which would close down the city. So, of course, I had to see The Peak while it was accessible during my stay. The view was of mist but with a polarizing filter and post-processing the panorama had much more perspective than the eye could see.
Next stop, Beijing. The air was not very healthy upon landing but after a day or so the rain and some wind came in to clear things up. Staying near the Imperial Palace in the Dongcheng District worked out best for seeing the city and traveling the hour plus to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace. Seeing the ancient small alleys (Hutongs) was great experience by pedicab. The walk along the Great Wall was breathtaking. Being within the inner walls, one could not help but imagine the past lives of the Emperors that ruled from this Forbidden Palace.