Monday, July 30, 2012

Morning View, Kiev

This photo was taken from Friendship Park, near downtown Kiev. The blue building is part of the Kiev Philharmonic building, the building with the gold windows on the left is Ukrainian House, currently used as an exhibition center (formerly the V.I. Lenin Museum), and the building in the upper right is St. Alexander R.C. Church.

Processed using HDR, Photomatix, Photoshop, Topaz Detail

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beach Cabana, Long Caye, Belize

This is not the only Long Caye in Belize.  The more famous one, and much more developed, is at Lighthouse Reef.  The lesser known one is at Glover's Reef.  The following excerpt is from National Geographic Adventure.

Yet east of the (barrier) reef are three immense atolls, covering more than 400 square miles. An atoll, any atoll, is a magical place. It’s a reef encircling a now sunken island, often dotted with cays that are little more than specks of sand and shell, occupied by dreamers and seabirds. Thanks to atolls, you can find calm pieces of flat water in the middle of the world’s oceans. There are only four in the Western Hemisphere, and three lie off Belize: Glover Reef, Lighthouse, and Turneffe. (The fourth, Banco Chinchorro, is off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.)

Connoisseurs can sniff out the unique character of each atoll. Turneffe is famous among divers for Black Beauty’s ebony coral blankets and for the Elbow, where huge fish waft up and down a hundred-foot wall. It boasts a relatively luxurious cabana camp called the Blackbird Caye Resort and a fishing lodge. Lighthouse Reef, to the east, is home to the Blue Hole; 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep, it was explored and made famous in the 1970’s by Jacques Cousteau. One guidebook calls the atoll’s swanky Lighthouse Reef Resort a “tropical illusion.”

But Glover Reef is the one nobody’s heard of, the atoll for casual adventurers- kayakers, windsurfers, hammock swingers, and snorkelers. Glover is the remotest atoll in Belize. It’s a hundred square miles of sea filled with patch reefs and wild-colored fish, strewn with just five small islands, all strung along its southeastern edge, smack against the Caribbean. Glover has been called the biologically richest site in the Caribbean; in 1994, it was declared a marine reserve by the Belizean government.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

This was certainly a bit of a difficult shot to work with, since I'm taking the photo in the direction of the sun.  It wasn't all that interesting technically coming straight out of camera, yet something about this spoke to me about the experience of being in this place.  Using some HDR techniques on one original exposure, I was able to rescue what would have otherwise been not all that interesting, or even good, photo.

This was taken at our first stop in Pripyat and the building is the tallest building in the town.  Height is 16 floors.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Somebody's Watching Me

Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell

I'm just an average man
With an average life
I work from nine to five
Hey, hell, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone
In my average home
But why do I always feel
Like I'm in the twilight zone

And I always feel like
Somebody's watching me
And I have no privacy
I always feel like
Somebody's watching me
Tell me, is it just a dream

This spooky bit of Sovietcana apparently is a tribute to the Soviet security services, ie, the KGB. Although another source says it's not just the security services, it's the military too. Which would make some sense, since it's at one end of the former Chernoarminskaya (Red Army) street here in Kiev. Well whatever it is, I'm not sure I'd like to wake up in the morning and see these two cheery fellows staring at me though my windows.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Arm and Hammer and Sickle

Close-up detail of the Rodina Mat (Mother Motherland) Statue in Kiev. Yes, it's humongous. I've heard it said that this statue is the Soviet answer to the Statue of Liberty, just on a larger scale. If so, I'm wondering why they put it in Kiev and not in Moscow. Maybe they have a larger one in Moscow? I don't know. I do know that it's not the only Motherland statue in the former USSR.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Old Doors, Uzhgorod Castle

Seen at Uzhgorod Castle, Uzhgorod Ukraine.

Uzhhorod or Uzhgorod (Ukrainian and Russian: Ужгород) is a city located in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary. It is the administrative center of the Zakarpattia Oblast (region), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Uzhhorodskyi Raion (district) within the oblast. The city itself is also designated as its own separate raion within the oblast.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Seen in a former town at the southern end of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.  The town itself didn't seem to be all that big, but this building was.

C H E R N O B Y L - 2 0 1 2

Monday, July 16, 2012

Firefighters Memorial, Chernobyl

Erected in the memory of those who fought the fires at the Chernobyl reactor, and those who lost their lives, that day and all the days after.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Abandoned Ride, Hydropark Kiev

A reworking of a photo from two years ago.   When I went back recently, this old ride was no longer there.  There were a number of new rides installed in their place.  :-(   & :-)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Approaching the Eye

This is part of a Project 52 (one photo a week for 52 weeks) that I'm doing elsewhere. The topic for last week was water. Water, off course, should have been an easy one, but that's the problem. On at least a few occasions, I've gone for the easy instead of something a bit more challenging.

When I saw this, I knew I had my entry for "Water."