A Birthday Trip to Italy: Part III – Rome
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but one day was all we had to shoot the iconic sights and find the best restaurants. Fortunately I have been to Rome a few times before and know the historic center reasonably well so I knew exactly where I wanted to be to get the photos I wanted. The unfortunate thing is that one never knows when the monument or cathedral you want to shoot is going to be covered in scaffolding and being restored or cleaned. (more…)
A Birthday Trip to Italy: Part I – Matera
After a seven year absence from a visit to what is arguably the most beautiful landscapes in the world, it was decided that the birthday trip would be to Italy. Not the same old Italy that first time visitors and guide books direct travelers to, mind you, but something completely off the tourist grid. (more…)
Shooting Solara in Sanford, Florida
I recently returned from shooting a brand new multi-family property in the rapidly growing Orlando suburb of Sanford, Florida. The owner of the property saw my photos of Two21 Armstrong in Auburn, AL and hired me to shoot their still under construction property for its website and marketing materials.
The shoot included twilight pool photos which always complicates the logistics of travel since the perfect timing of glowing blue skies doesn’t always coordinate well with flight schedules. (more…)
Photographing Student Housing in Auburn, AL
I was recently hired to shoot an apartment community in Auburn, Alabama that caters to students attending Auburn University. The property had recently enhanced their amenities and needed new photography for their brochures and website. (more…)
It’s All About The Light
I was in New York City recently, preparing for an upcoming trip where I will be the photographer for a group of company employees who will be going to Wall Street to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The short trip is action packed and every move has been carefully choreographed to ensure the maximum “bang for the buck” and photo opps. As a photographer it’s essential to know where you will be and at what time of day so you can plan for the type of light that will be available in each location.
I shot a series of photos of the Chrysler building that was prominent in the skyline view from our hotel. The photos from our sight inspection trip will later be used for a variety of items. In this case, I chose this photo to be used for the luggage tags that will be sent to each of the trip’s participants. (more…)
The Perfect Ending to the Perfect Trip
Twenty Years in Paris – Part V
Call me a softie, a romantic at heart, or perhaps at the point in my life when I have crested the hill and begun what I hope to be a very elegant and gradual descent down the other side. Don’t get me wrong, I still love scuba diving, James Bond movies and the occasional leap off the top of a 2,000 foot tall mountain with nothing but a hang glider silently soaring over the beaches of Rio de Janiero. But sometime after my 40th birthday I noticed my priorities were shifting.
The obsession for the latest clothes, cars and cache has given way to experiencing life to the fullest every day. Life’s lessons learned have been punctuated by just how short life actually is. (more…)
Love Is In The Air – Or Locked To A Bridge!
Twenty Years in Paris – Part IV
Let’s face it. If you have been to Paris and liked it enough to return for another visit, you undoubtedly know the two biggest draws to the city. The visual eye candy comprised of amazing monuments, spectacular churches, ancient architecture, gardens, fountains, the River Seine and the cobblestone streets is reason enough for repeat visits to the crown jewel of Europe. The other reason is, of course, the food!
Clearly, the French can sculpt a statue, paint a canvas and design world class buildings. They can also create the most amazing, mouth-watering food I have ever seen anywhere. (more…)
A Perfect Evening in Paris
Twenty Years in Paris – Part III
We arrived in Paris at the Gare du Norde train station and took a taxi to the Marriott Champs-Elysees where we discovered our room was not yet ready even though it was 4:00 p.m. and check-in was at 3:00. We asked if another room was available and after a few minutes of feverishly pounding his computer’s keyboard and making phone calls, the front desk clerk was able to change our room so we could unpack and get ready for dinner. Knowing that we were celebrating our 20th anniversary, the hotel manager kindly sent a celebratory cheese plate and bottle of white wine for our enjoyment. Abandoning all dietary common sense during our trip, we dove right in.
After such an elaborate appetizer, we had to think twice about heading out for dinner. Well, not really! We knew what was in store for us and finished dressing for dinner. This night’s destination was a small, left bank restaurant serving classic Parisian dishes. (more…)
ATM Cards in Amsterdam
Twenty Years in Paris – Part II
Amsterdam is as charming and picturesque in September as it is in spring or summer. The canals and narrow houses lining them glow beautifully in the Autumn sun or after the evening lights appear, which happens as early as 5:00 p.m. in the fall season. Regardless of the time of year Amsterdam never fails to provide its visitors with plenty of eye candy and a magical experience not soon forgotten.
This year we chose the Renaissance Hotel near Central Station due to its location and room availability for payment with Marriott Rewards points. The nicest hotel in the city is (more…)
The Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Twenty Years of Paris – Part I
Working the system using a combined 55+ years of travel experience, the best option for free Business Class seats on our 20th anniversary trip to Europe for the dates we needed turned out to be via Washington, D.C. So our trip began with a flight from Atlanta to D.C. where we would make our connection to Amsterdam on a KLM flight.
Taking full advantage of our passionate belief that the journey IS the trip, we booked a morning flight to DC so we could enjoy the day in our nation’s capital. (more…)
July 4th Fireworks in New York City
This year, since July 4th fell on a Wednesday, it seemed the perfect opportunity for a long weekend trip. And, since a trip means photo opportunities, I wanted to choose a great place to photograph fireworks. The choice was easy – New York City, of course! Macy’s presents the largest fireworks display in the country every year. Done deal, NYC here we come!
A big part of what separates a true photographer from anyone with a cell phone is (more…)
Fun in Phoenix
Phoenix is a city of contradictions. It is a desert city but a river runs through it. Lush green golf courses are surrounded by powdery dry, dusty landscapes. Mile after mile of flat land, with occasional mountains rising from nowhere, form a most interesting topography not often seen throughout the United States.
A neighbor to Phoenix, Scottsdale is an upscale suburban area that is part oasis and part arid mountains scattered amid the hot, dry landscape. Adjacent to Camelback mountain is The Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott resort and spa. The property is very large and comprised of several two story guest room buildings scattered around the meticulously manicured gardens.
I can only imagine what the water bill must be at a resort like this in the middle of the desert. The grounds are very nicely maintained and (more…)
Rattlesnake Canyon Textures and Light
A little more difficult to reach than Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon involves climbing rocks and ladders, and squeezing between narrow gaps in the rock. Although the rock colors and textures are very similar to what we saw in Antelope, Rattlesnake has a very different look and feel.
The canyon is smaller, has more light, and where Antelope can be traversed all the way through and exited on the other side, Rattlesnake is one-way with a dead end. Apparently because of the more difficult access, there are far fewer tourists visiting this canyon and therefore it is much less often photographed.
Not a good place to be if you suffer from claustrophobia, Rattlesnake Canyon is nevertheless another location where photographing nature is almost required. The lighting conditions make it tricky to capture great images, but a little creativity and a good eye go a long way. Have you ever seen more beautiful rocks? The feeling is pure magic.
Magic Moments in Antelope Canyon
Last year’s trip to Arizona began as a long weekend getaway and ended up being quite an interesting adventure. Our drive North from the Phoenix airport took us to a part of the country I had never seen before. It was my first visit to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and that magical place I had seen many photos of but was shooting for the first time, Antelope Canyon.
After spending a day in Grand Canyon National Park, I was expecting Antelope Canyon to be more (more…)
Playa del Carmen – What a Difference a Day Makes!
Waking up the next morning in the quiet, gorgeous condo we found the previous day through Airbnb.com, it was hard to believe that we had gone from such a ridiculous situation to such tranquility in just a few hours. The condo’s owner, who lives in Dallas, arranged for his local manager to meet us at the unit and let us “check in” at noon after high-tailing it out of the hip, young, trendy place where we clearly did not belong.
We quickly stocked up on staples for a weekend in Mexico. Beer, wine, some Scotch and munchies to nibble on. The one bedroom condo (more…)
Trumpets on the Mexican Riviera
We paid dearly for the hotel’s car to pick us up from the airport in Cancun for our 55 minute transfer to Playa del Carmen. Having been to Mexico several times before, and even fallen prey to two of the biggest tourist scams in the country, we knew it was better to be safe than sorry since we wouldn’t need a rental car for our long weekend stay in Playa. Paying off police officers who stop tourists in rental cars on their way to the airport only fuels the corruption fires that burn throughout Mexico.
The atmosphere on the flight to Cancun was even more festive than a flight to Las Vegas. After all, nobody is flying to Cancun for business. Everyone is headed for a vacation and many of us began our libations (more…)
Monkey Business in Bali
In addition to countless spas, restaurants and clothing shops lining the streets of Ubud, Bali, there is a remarkable stop right on the edge of town. If you love furry little creatures, you will love Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest.
Wenara Wana or what is more commonly known as the Padangtegal Monkey Forest is a must do for anyone visiting Ubud. The “forest” is actually a walled area with two entrances where visitors pay the 15,000 Rupiah ($1.65 US) fee for admission. There are no gates so the monkeys roam freely, but they know that their main source of food comes from the tourists (more…)
Zen in Ubud
On our drive from Seminyak to Ubud, Bali for the remainder of our trip, we stopped at one of the many Batik producers where you can watch how Batik is made. The process begins with crafters carefully applying melted wax to the fabric forming the pattern where die will not adhere to the fabric. Die is then applied and the wax melts off leaving the natural color of the fabric.
Once the pattern is created the fabric can then be cut and sewn into any number of garments, (more…)
The Road to Bali
The country of Bali has always held a tremendous amount of mystique and tropical allure to me. Perhaps it began when I was a child and heard Bloody Mary sing about the forbidden island of Bali H’ai in the musical “South Pacific.” Images of a volcano surrounded by lush green palm trees and beautiful beaches were beckoning me to an island that is so far away from home one could only dream of ever going there. It wasn’t until later that I learned Bali H’ai was a Hollywood concoction and not the same as the island of Bali, Indonesia.
Nevertheless, the allure remained and when it came time to start planning our annual Christmas/New Year’s trip this past summer, Bali was one of the front runners (more…)
Christmas Around The World
This year we spent Christmas in Singapore. It is so much fun and enlightening to travel to other countries and experience how they celebrate the holidays. Last year we were also in Asia, Bangkok to be more specific. Not only is the weather so very different than where we live but the culture is very different also. One thing that is a constant, however, is holiday lights and decorations.
There may not be a lot of Christmas trees like North Americans are used to seeing but there are always some type of lights and decorations, even in countries where (more…)