Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Delicate Colors

This week, Ann-Christine asks us to share photos featuring delicate colors. She includes several examples of floral delicacies and a very nice delicate sky as an opening photo to her challenge. You can check out her examples here. Her opening photo immediately reminded me of a pastel sky that I’ve shared recently in another challenge response. Forgive me for resharing, but that Phoenix sunset is a prime example of how sunset skies can be delicate. Continue reading

Cayman Crystal Caves – From Pirate Hideout to Tourist Attraction

Grand Cayman Island.

About thirty years ago, a young man from Denmark moved to Grand Cayman and followed in his father’s footsteps. Christian Sorensen spent time searching the island for suitable caves to build a tourist attraction in the same manner as his father, Ole Sorensen, who was already successful in the development of Harrison’s Caves in Barbados. Unlike some of the cave attractions in the Caribbean that are complete with pirate “skeletons” and fake treasures, you won’t find any of that in Crystal Caves. From those early explorations, it took Christian Sorensen twenty years to purchase and develop the property into what it is today. Continue reading

In Flanders Fields… Memorial Day 2020

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at Point Loma, San Diego, California.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.
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“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Cellpic Sunday – 24 May 2020

Buckeye, Arizona.

In March of this year, the desert was awash with spring flowers near our home in Buckeye. There was no shortage of opportunity to capture the bright yellow brittlebush plants that are plentiful in the Sonoran Desert. On one of our Saturday hikes, I was still learning about the new Samsung S20U phone that replaced my personal S6 and the “work” phone that was provided to me from Civil Air Patrol (CAP). That phone, a Samsung S7, captured many images that I shared here because of my 4-year tenure as North Dakota Wing Commander in CAP. As of April 4, I would rotate out of that job and the S7 would be retired as I no longer need a CAP-provided cell phone. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Pastimes

Scottsdale, Arizona.

This week, the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is being hosted by Sue (Mac’s Girl) from her blogging site, The Nature of Things. She writes, “With so much time being spent at home, many of us have been looking for new pastimes or taking up old ones in order stay occupied or even sane…. It could be something that you are trying for the first time or a hobby or interest that you have enjoyed for many years. Feel free to dig into the archives or take a picture to illustrate a current pastime.” You can read her entire challenge post here. I could have focused on some of the pastimes that have occupied my time over the years, but instead have decided to focus on a hobby that has always interested me, but I’ve never taken the time or had the space to get started. Continue reading

Colorado River State Historic Park – Former Military Depot Turned Museum

Yuma, Arizona.

Notice: This post is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic and at this time, the park is closed to visitors. Please stay safe and follow your state or country’s guidelines for travel in your region. More information on the park’s current status can be found here.

Where the Colorado River crosses from Arizona into California, Yuma became a crossing point into the Golden State, never more true than during the gold rush days starting in 1849. One year later, a military post was established at Yuma and by 1858, Yuma experienced a boom as gold strikes on the Colorado River started another gold rush. In 1864, the U.S. Army established a Quartermasters Depot on the site that is now the grounds of the State Park. Materials and goods were delivered from ocean-going vessels to the mouth of the Colorado River where they were carried by steamboat to the depot. From there, supplies were transported to serve fourteen military posts in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Southern Utah, and West Texas. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 17 May 2020

Lake Township, Iowa.

Just over a month ago, we headed back from Arizona to our home in Fargo, North Dakota. Normally we take three to five days, visiting family and friends along the way and taking time to capture some “local color” as we go. Given that we are in good health and looking toward the upcoming 14-day state mandated quarantine for snowbirds returning home, we decided to throw some sandwiches in a cooler and drive straight through. Lynn and I alternated driving and napping and we made the trip in 29 hours, stopping only for driver swaps, rest stops, and fuel. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Cropping the Shot

This week’s challenge is from Patti Moed. She asks us to focus on one of the basic “first steps” in bringing out the best in an image. She writes, “This week’s challenge is a chance to explore a photo editing technique and the benefits of cropping the shot.  Show us how cropping helped to improve an image and create a desired effect.  Include the shot “before” and “after” so we can see the difference.” You can read her entire challenge post here.

Of course, that first step might also end up being a later step as you evaluate the close-to-final image and discover a different crop might bring out a different look that might even change the photo’s emotional appeal. Continue reading

But I Digress… Portraits? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Portraits

San Diego, California.

OK, so I’m not a portrait photographer and I don’t claim to be. Turns out Luminar 4 might just make me a portrait photographer that could make me happy with my work… if I can get the camera to focus on the eyes. I scoured my gallery of images to find snapshots that I could somehow justify in the name of portraiture. I didn’t find any. But I did find some images that were captured at a wedding in San Diego some years ago. The snapshots I found included an of my sister and an in-law, and, a solo image of my wife. The opening image features my sister, Veronica (we call her Babe), and my nephew’s wife Edwina. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 10 May 2020

Miami, Florida.

It seems like a year ago, but on February 8, we departed Miami on the Carnival Conquest for a western Caribbean cruise. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing photos from some of the excursions on that trip. If you are reading this on its publication date, Lynn and I, along with my niece and her husband would already be in Rome on our 50th Wedding Anniversary cruise and our first trip to Europe. Of course, you know we aren’t going anywhere far away anytime soon. Continue reading