Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chincoteague Sunrise

Seen at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Area, just south of the Maryland border in Virginia.

This photo goes back to my pre-digital era. I scanned this about two years ago, but I didn't particularly like how parts of it turned out once digitized. But having now worked on it a bit, I'm happier with the outcome now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Old and New Kiev

The three main buildings in this picture are a business center, a hospital, and a residential building. Guess which one is which?

In a city that certainly could use some new hospitals, you won't see a new hospital in this picture. The new building is a business center. Guess I didn't have to tell you that. The economy in Kiev is still holding up somewhat, mostly because it's a low cost city compared to most of Western Europe and the USA. Meaning, labor costs are low, meaning outsourced work from the previously mentioned places. If they manage to get this building half occupied in the next five years, outsourcing would be why. The residential building is the one in the middle of the other two, on the right, and the one in the foreground is the hospital.

The hospital is an honest to goodness, Soviet era hospital. Drab, showing it's age, and maintained and supplied with the few kopecks thrown it's way. Inside, 75% of the lights are turned off to economize. But I guess Kiev needed this business center (and 100 other new ones like this) more than it needs a few new or rebuilt hospitals.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Starry Starry Night

In this case, this photo isn't really what it seems. Click on the following link and read the first comment in the "Comments and faves" section!

Starry Starry Night on Flickr

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Autumn in Hydropark

Deep in the Heart of Kiev, Hydropark is located on several islands on the Dnieper River, which separates the Right Bank and the Left Bank of the city.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

People Who Died

Seen in the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Kiev. On the wall are thousands of pictures of Soviet citizens who died during World War 2. The collection of photographs are even more impressive when you remember that the 1930's and 1940's were a time when few people had cameras.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Break on Through Too

Opportunities for shots like this don't come along often, at least not where I am, but when they do come along, you can often get a number of shots like this within 10-20 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The View of the Dnieper

• HDR Photo

Mariinsky Park in Kiev has a number of scenic views overlooking the Dnieper and the Left Bank of Kiev. This is an evening view from one of them. This photo is about four years old, but it wasn't until recently that I returned to it and did some processing that makes it awesome! The structure in the center of the photo is the Moscovsky Bridge.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turkish Countryside

•  HDR Photo

Seen in the Turkish countryside south of Kemer.  Late September 2010.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fort Street Guest House, Belize

The Fort Street Guest House, on the waterfront in Belize City, Belize.  Affordable rooms and wonderful food!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Onward to Oblivion

A Soviet era (obviously) wall mural, found tucked away on an obscure building on an obscure side street in Kiev.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ostap Veresai

~~ Wonderful, wonderful life history here… ~~

Ostap Mykytovych Veresai (Ukrainian: Остап Микитович Вересай), (1803 – 1890) was a renowned minstrel and kobzar from the Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire (in today’s Ukraine). He, like no other, helped in the popularity of kobzar art not only in his country, but also outside its borders.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

St. Sophia, Kiev

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus’. Today, it is one of the city’s best known landmarks and the first Ukrainian patrimony to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The complex of the Cathedral is the main component the National Sanctuary “Sophia of Kiev” the state institution responsible for the preservation of the Cathedral complex along with several other historic landmarks of the city.


Like any major church in Kiev, this church has a belltower. I took this photo from that belltower.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where's Prince Charming when you need him?

This shot was invited to the Getty Images collection.  However, I could not add it because it's just a random street shot.  I'd need a model release to sell this in most places, and I have no idea who she is.  Oh well...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Three exposure HDR.

The HDR process did not make as big a difference in this one as I thought it would. Yet, there was some noticeable improvement. What really surprised me is that usually when I start out with an ISO 1600 photo, then create a three exposure HDR, the outcome is often unusable because of noise introduced by the HDR process, noise that even a decent noise removal program won’t deal with well. This time it worked out well.

But in the end, the outcome was more due to the use of Topaz Adjust then to HDR.

Located at the same restaurant as this one…

Traditional Musical Instruments.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tropical Scene Finike

This picture was taken about a one minute walk away from the Harbor at Finike, seen a while back. Hey, if your bus is going to have problems with the AC, you might as well come away from it with a few good photos!

Friday, November 4, 2011

St. Andrew's and Andrew's Descent

Definitely on the list for my 10 favorite photos of the year!

The quest for this "difficult" photo.

I thought I have seen St. Andrews from all possible angles, especially those involved with standing on the ground.  Yet, one day I saw a photo with many similarities to this one, and thus began my quest.  There did not seem to be any building or balcony, even if it was open to the public, that would give this view.  And I was very sure it was not taken from an aircraft of any sort too.  In addition, buildings look very different at ground level than they do from on high, so I was having trouble just identifying other buildings.

Later I saw a similar photo with a second building I could identify.  Locally it's known as the Castle of Richard the Lion-hearted.  (It's not shown in this photo).  Now I could identify the general direction that someone had pointed their camera.  Next time here, I found a set of steps going up a hill, an old set of wooden steps with about 5% of them broken in half and another 20% soon to break through.  But no luck.  The photo was not taken from here.  I did see another set of steps on the other side of the street, but for some reason I did not believe these would lead anywhere useful.  And it didn't seem nearly high enough to get a similar photo.

But back to Google Earth, and lining up the two buildings I decided that those second set of steps just might lead me to my quest.  I went back a week later and climbed those steps and got this view, and a few more equally as awesome.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cossacks Statue

The Cossacks statues depicts the participants of the Pereyaslav Council of 1654.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Going Nowhere

Abandoned Hydropark Rides

Taking a leisurely stroll through Hydropark in Kiev, I can't help but to think back to another amusement park I never got to visit in it's heyday. Palisades Amusement Park. Growing up in New Jersey, I remember the Palisades Park commercials playing continuously on the radio and knowing that one day I would just have to visit that place. But that day never came.

Both Palisades Park and Hydropark were based on similar theories. That the working classes, the great unwashed masses, deserved a break, deserved their time in the sun too. But Palisades Park fell victim to it's own success, while Hydropark fell victim to Soviet austerity programs in the 1980's (they had a very important war to fund, don't you know), to the breakup of the USSR, and to monetary devaluation and hyperinflation in the 1990's.

Unlike Palisades Park, which no longer exists, Hydropark lives on. But prime real estate is leased to entrepreneurs who take control of a section of the park or beach and open it up to those who can afford it. Sorry working classes. The great unwashed masses are no longer welcome at some of the prime locations.  But you're free to wander around and view that which had been.

Note: The fallen trees in the picture came down during a thunderstorm the day before I took this picture. The day before, I was caught outside in another park about 2 miles/3 km from here. Luckily no trees came down in that other park!