Hello and welcome. Hope you enjoy the images I have posted. Please do not reproduce them without my permission. Most are available as note/greeting cards or as prints/enlargements. Thank you for visiting my site and your comments.
Many have asked about the Header image above, which I named 'Eerie Genny'. It was originally shot with film [taken on the shore of the Genesee River near the Univ. of Rochester]. During the darkroom development, I flashed a light above the tray. The process, known as 'solarization', produces eerie, ghostlike effects; some have mistaken this image as an infra-red photo. Some 35+ years later, I scanned and digitized the print, and did a little modern day editing, and, voila.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quedlinburg Skies (ii) [Sky Watch Friday]

I apologize for the interruption in my postings from Germany, which I resume today. These images were also shot in Quedlinburg, where I left off several weeks ago. We were making our way up to the castle, which had a spacious garden with some delightful stone figures.

It also offered wonderful views of the city, and my new Tamron 16-300mm lens gave me some awesome shots. Below, St. Blassii [foreground] and St. Benediktii [background] seemed close enough to touch [notice the wind turbines in the distant background].
On an otherwise overcast day, there were occasional breaks in the clouds that allowed the sun to brighten things up, as here with St. Nikolai.

Finally, we broke for lunch, and then did some window shopping until the sun reappeared. It was late in the afternoon, so we decided to get a different view of the Dom and castle. This required walking to the edge of town, and then going up 106 steps. The effort was worth it, as the sun cast a wonderful light on the two.

At the top and beyond that staircase we found ourselves in a charming neighborhood.

As we were taking our leave, I discovered this fascinating door containing convex mirrored windows, which created a series of varied reflections.

Finally, we retraced our steps back down the stairs and, since we still had some energy left, we went exploring below the base of the castle/Dom hilltop. Here are some shots taken along the way.

 I will be away and miss next week’s SWF posting, but will resume in July with images from Magdeburg.

Morocco Odyssey 19: The Sahara Desert (ii)

Our second day in the Sahara was the one that everyone had awaited with great anticipation. It was the day for the camel ride. I admit to being apprehensive, and for good reason. We drove out to the start site and saw by the following line of lazing animals.

 We each approached them, climbed aboard, and waited for the driver to get each camel to stand up. This is an interesting process: first, the camel gets up on its hind legs, forcing you to lean back to avoid pitching forward; then, the camel gets up on its front legs, forcing you to lean forward to avoid falling backwards. Of course, this goes fairly quickly and you have to respond accordingly, while holding tightly to the metal T-bar in front of you. Needless to say, I was most uncomfortable and felt I might slip off sideways at any moment. In contrast, most of the other group members, especially my wife [in the orange cap below], seemed quite at ease. [Notice my ‘relaxed’ grip on the T-bar.]

I confess that the only time I ever relaxed my grip and take a shot [below] was when the camel was at a dead stop. I managed to survive the hour and actually begin enjoying the experience. Fortunately, it was only later that I heard about a guy from a different tour who had fallen off his camel and broke his collarbone.
From the camel ride, we then traveled to a date palm farm. It  was operated primarily by one man [below], with a little help from neighboring farmers. As it turns out, it is a labor intensive job and with considerable physical demands, as well as an understanding of biology/genetics of the trees.

The farmer also had some animals, which tour members posed with; here, my wife gets into the act.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Morocco Odyssey 18: The Sahara Desert (i)

In preparation for our trip into the Sahara Desert, we left Erfoud in the early morning via four rugged 4x4 vehicles. We made several stops along the way,  the first was a fossil extraction factory. Once completely under water, this section of the Sahara contained quarries replete with fossils embedded in huge slabs of stone. The slabs were sliced, polished, and cut further in all manner of shapes and sizes. All this required huge machines and skilled craftsmen. In the bottom image, you can see scores of those triangular fossils.
 After making purchases in the extensive factory shop, we drove on and visited with a local family [below].  
 Then, it was out into the desert, as we drove past nomad tents, fort-like walls [I imagined seeing foreign legionnaires standing watch on the ramparts], and through endless sand dunes. I thought our driver, Abdell [below], was playing games with us; but it turned out that, rather than for our amusement, his zig-zagging through the dunes was to avoid getting stuck in the sand.
After much bouncing around, our OAT camp site in Merzouga seemed to appear out of nowhere.
 Completed only several weeks earlier, the sleeping tents contained a shower, a toilet, and a colorful bed [below]. While comfortable during daylight hours, the temperature in the tent dropped to freezing at night. I ended up having to sleep with a woolen hat, gloves, and a sweatshirt on top of my pajamas, and barely managed to remain warm.
 Following dinner that first night, we drove further into the desert in the hope of making contact with passing nomads. Their tents are often left standing for others passing through. Good fortune was with us as we came upon a family. Our tour guide, Madani, translated the lively discussion.
                   It is a difficult and harsh life they must lead, and our hearts went out to them.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Morocco Odyssey 17: Trip to Erfoud [Sky Watch Friday]

It was time to take our leave of Fes and make our way over the Middle Atlas Mountain range. The route wound its way through beautiful pine groves and giant cedar forests; and it crossed over a 6,000-foot pass where there was still snow and people making the most of its presence. The shots below were taken through the bus window as we made our way towards the Sahara. Skis and sleds, and even camels, were available for rent.

                                          And, of course, there was food for sale.
          Occasionally, there was a magnificent view of the mountains through the window.
We arrived in Erfoud, a small trading village that is the gateway to the Sahara, were we would spend the night before venturing into the desert  Before dinner, I took a walk around the grounds and came across two photo-ops: a mother and child camel followed by a wonderful sunset.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Morocco Odyssey 16: Fes (v) Excursion to Volubilis & Meknes

On day 3 of our stay in Fes, we took an optional tour to two UNESCO World heritage Sites, Volubilis and Meknes. Volubilis is one of the most well preserved Roman cities in North Africa. It covered a huge area that was too vast for us to walk through in the time we had allotted; but, we were still able to enjoy much of its historic ruins  The ruins were all manner of buildings, floor foundations, columns, triumphal arches, and striking mosaics. Below are representatives of each.
Some of the many wonderful mosaics are below. I must admit to enhancing their contrast  for presentation.
From Volubilis, it was only a short bus ride to Meknes. It was once home of the Moroccan sultanate, where an immense stables at one time held 12,000 horses. Below is one of the gate entrances into the city.
Within the walls, we came upon a huge open air market. This corner caught my eye and I had to shoot it.
 Taking the optional trip proved to have been a good decision.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Quedlinburg Skies (i) [Sky Watch Friday]

We opted to stay another night in Halberstadt, but make a day trip to Quedlinburg. This turned out to be an excellent decision, as the distance was short, the country road route picturesque, and the town simply delightful. In contrast to Halberstadt, Quedlinburg suffered no damage during WWII. Hence, the centuries old half-timbered houses [Fachwerkhäuser], the Romanesque Dom [St. Servatii] and castle all remained intact. Thus, it is no wonder that they are all designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, and that it was jumping with tourists. Right out of the parking lot at the edge of town, we found ourselves in picturesque streets filled with delightful shops and eateries.

                                           We made our way up to the castle and the Dom.
The Dom’s romanesque interior was reminiscent of the Halberstadt Liebfrauenkirche [see posting from last week].