Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

This week’s photo challenge starts with “Have you traveled anywhere exciting lately?”  Oh boy, travel is a topic maybe it’s best not to get me started on as “going to see things” is a bit of a hobby for me.  It also happens that I was on the road just a few weeks ago.  I visited a few well-known spots that pretty much everyone has heard of.  This post though is more about something I really love about traveling, and that is visiting some spot a bit off the tourist path and being utterly charmed by it.

I do enjoy history, so I often find myself at spots of historical significance.  I will admit though, if it has to do with World War II, it’s probably because my husband found it.  That’s how I came to be standing here:

ISO 400 4.15mm f/2.2 1/100 sec

Where am I? The Upottery Heritage Center.  Here’s a Google map link, if you would like to see a map of the area.  Why was I here? Well the Band of Brothers left from here for Normandy; that was my husband’s interest.  He had been in contact with Robin, a volunteer at the center, who had agreed to open the converted hut for us to take a look around.  This is one of those museums that has been put together by people who care about the history of the area.  It’s a small space, but there is an incredible amount of well researched detail here.  My husband talked to Robin about those details.  For me, it was the photographs, look at all the photographs!  Our youngest child was traveling with us and found the stash of newspapers from the time. Eventually, it was time to drag ourselves away from this room. The driving tour was next.  Robin was willing to take us around to show my husband where the old airfield was.  For me the highlight of the driving tour was this:

ISO 25 4.15 f/2.2 1/420

During the war it was a guard station.  It’s the last remaining one in the area and now if functions as a Remembrance memorial.  A beautiful tribute if you ask me.

Part of the tour took us through farms that are currently in use, so from my Instagram, I have this shot.

On a #walk with a #cow #nofilter #england

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

A cleaned up version of that shot is in my Picfair portfolio.

This morning in Upottery was a highlight of the trip.  The well known places were good too, but this was unique, something that will stick in our collective family memory. In terms of the photography, I stuck with my iPhone for this visit and was pleased with the results. Have you perhaps had the experience as well, that a lesser known place ended up being a highlight of a trip? Can you believe how lush that grass is in the Instagram photo? That’s a no filter photo.  Feel free to leave your comments below.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

Something that changed my life in a lot of ways was living in South Korea.  As a family we have lived a lot of places and traveled as much as possible.  I have a lot of things to remind me of where I have been.  One of the things I am doing in my life now is taking a Photoshop class.  I have a food assignment now and I have been taking test shots to get my ideas together for this project.  Here is one that I shot a few days ago:

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/25

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/25

I thought this project would mean more to me if I picked something that represented me.  The mini kimchee pots in the background are from our time in Korea.  The teacups were a gift from my husband when he went to Taiwan.  Tea brings back memories of my time in Asia as well as England and Canada.

The photo above is unedited and was shot using my point and shoot camera. In my next photo shoot for this project I will have reconsidered the background, the lighting, and the staging.  This original shoot includes approximately 300 shots, taken over the course of the day, with two different cameras.  Most of them will end up in the trash can. Right now I am using them to think about what I want to change.

Since I am going to be taking and editing and thinking about this project so much you can see why I chose to shoot something that I treasure.  How about you? do you have something that you photograph over and over because of what it means to you?  What do you think of my test shot? The red tablecloth has to go right?

Cheers!

Travel Theme: Through

I had been going through some older pictures this week including some from a trip to Yellowstone.  It was interesting that the theme at Where’s My backpack? for this week was through.  I thought that this photo of a geyser bursting through the earth fit the topic, so I did some editing, and here is my version for the challenge:

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

I’ll show the original at the bottom, but the photo was a bit flat and some of the details were lost.  From the original I created two adjustment layers, one was exposure and one was levels.  I did the levels layer first.  I chose a section of the grass and then created a mask, then I painted in white, to reveal the lighter ground.  For the exposure level, I chose a section of the trees, then created a mask and again painted in white to reveal a bit of detail in them.  Then I flattened the image and did a shadows/highlights/midtone adjustment.  Then I sharpened the photo a bit.

Here is the original:

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

Part of the reason I chose this photo to edit was that I really like the sky in the original version. What do you think of the edited version?  Do you edit your vacation photos, or do you prefer to leave them as is?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Travel Theme: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day.  That is an interesting theme. I was a bit stumped on this one, but I thought of something eventually.  I ended up choosing two pictures:

It's a photo taken by my Mom.

It’s a photo taken by my Mom.

This photo I scanned and I use it as my gravatar.  My Mom took it.  She is gone now, but she was really computer literate.  It is a line of work she started in when computers were just really becoming fixtures in businesses and then homes.  In some ways, my Mom and I didn’t have that much in common, but I am thinking she would have loved this blog.

The second is this:

Taken on my iPhone, just for fun.

Taken on my iPhone, just for fun.

I love tea.  This photo was taken at the London Tea Room in St. Louis.  If you are in St. Louis and “need” tea, that’s the place to go.  Not only do I love tea, I love to share a cup with my girlfriends.  The venue doesn’t really matter, and a few of my friends don’t even like tea (mock horror), but for me it is the connection with my international collection of women friends who are sharing this journey with me that matters. A lot.

Cheers!

Travel Theme: Roads

One of the things that I love about the travel photo challenges at Where’s my backpack? is that it makes me think about all the things I haven’t taken photos of.  This week the theme is roads.  I don’t really think about roads all that much I guess; at the very least I don’t take many pictures of them.  Here are a few I came up with:

That photo taken on a ferry features our car, the green one loaded down with bikes, headed from Kingston to Wolfe Island for a lovely day of biking. Wolfe Island is part of the Thousand Islands in Ontario Canada.  Windy but beautiful.  The street sign photo I took walking around Toronto on a rainy day.  The deer making a dash for it is an example of many blurry photos like it that I have of wildlife trying to survive amid the roads that we build.

Cheers!

Travel Theme: Bridges

The theme this week at Where’s my backpack? is bridges.  I’m not a huge fan of heights as I have written about before, so usually my focus is to just get across the bridge and be done with it.  I am happy to say that there was one time at least where I took the time to appreciate the bridge.  It was at Fundy National Park in Nova Scotia.  If you happen to click on that link to the park, you will see another picture of this covered bridge:

Cheers!

Travel Theme: Mountains

This photo has a bit of a bittersweet story behind it:

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/6.3 1/250

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/6.3 1/250

It’s the Canadian Rockies as seen from a train.  We were on a lovely trip from Toronto to Vancouver on the train.  This was one of the last photos I got before my camera broke.  I am sure you can imagine that I was quite upset.  Two of the prongs (wrong word I am sure) were bent and the memory card would no longer work in the camera.  I spent the rest of the trip using my point and shoot camera.  Here is the point when you would be right to note that I am lucky enough to have both a point and shoot and a DSLR.  Also, I was able to get my Canon 50D fixed.  So, I’ll concede it wasn’t a total disaster.  But still.

The Canadian Rockies are beautiful and so this is my entry for this week at Where’s my backpack?

Cheers!