Category Archives: Travel

Gateway Arch

Welcome back!

I’ve been out on vacation for the last couple of weeks which is why there haven’t been any posts lately. I took an absolute ton (well, ounces) of pictures so I’ll be posting a few here and there.

One destination was the Gateway Arch in St. Louis Missouri. Enjoy a few pictures from that stop.

I tried to grab a few pictures from non-standard angles and I think it worked out ok. It’s incredibly hard to get interesting shots of something when the sun is bright and high, lots of people around and it’s so large.



Playalinda Beach Florida

I’ve ordered a real DSLR finally but for the moment, you have more point and shoot glory for your viewing pleasure. Playalinda is one of our favorite beaches around here due to the more remote nature of it. Typically it has only locals which is a good thing. Being located in a national park there are no services at all except for latrine style bathrooms.

There are only a couple things not perfect here. The abundance of fishermen is the first. They are nice but their lines and hooks can be a nuisance. The other is parking lot 13. Somehow that area at the end of the long beach has become an unofficial clothing optional beach. It doesn’t seem like its an issue for those that don’t want it, they stay in their own area, but still, we don’t push our luck.

Camano Island Washington

About two years ago we took a day trip to Camano Island located on the Puget Sound in Washington state. Here are some of my best images from that trip.



A couple of years ago I spent a week on the beach in Hilton Head Island South Carolina. I set out to capture a great sunrise photo with my point & shoot camera and did come back with dozens of nice ones. Here are four shots taken from the same place and roughly the same time of morning on two different days.

As you can see they are all different. This is due to a number of small things but ended up with drastically different shots.

The differences are due to:

  1. Different camera presets or “Scenes”
  2. Different post-processing presets in Lightroom 4
  3. Different cloud locations resulting in how much light is available
  4. Different sun elevations also resulting in how much light is available

So here you see four shots that are basically the same but very different. I believe all are dramatic shots that make nice sunrise pictures. The only post-processing I did was to apply a single preset, more work may have made the pictures even nicer.

The question is though, which do you prefer and why?

Artist Point Washington

A few years ago I lived in the Seattle area and we traveled around the western part of the state nearly every weekend. In looking for places to travel I heard of one destination that was said to be above the others… literally. The only problem was that it was only open for a few weeks a year. Artist Point is an incredible destination, if you make it. You are supposed to be able to see numerous peaks and sweeping panoramic mountain views.

My last summer in Washington we made two trips up there, right before moving to Florida. On the first trip, it was a nice sunny day, but the upper lot that has the big panoramic views was closed. What we could get to didn’t disappoint. We had a great time and took plenty of pictures, but knew we had to come back.

On the second trip the upper lot was open, but the mountain was locked in with fog. It was fun to play with my son in snow in August but there wasn’t a lot else for us at the top. The paths around the lower lot though had some great views with the overcast skys. Some of my favorite pictures are from that day.

The numerous hiking paths and mountain lakes make for some incredibly picturesque places.

There is no question that I’ll have to go back there one day.

For once I liked the TSA

I travel what most people would consider a lot and as such I go through airport security frequently. Very frequently.

I try not to worry too much about it and just be sure to give myself time to get through the line. I’ve also got my “system” down to get through the scanners and such as quickly as possible. But even then, it’s slow and cumbersome and well, totally awesome to take off your shoes and belt in the middle of a crown.

This morning was a bit of a different experience for me though.

I stood in line to get to the first checkpoint, where they check your ID and boarding pass like normal. Then, when the agent scanned my boarding pass the machine beeped a few times and she said “Oh, you have been selected for TSA Pre”. At that point she gets up and walk me over to a different line.

Well, a podium but no line, no line at all. From there I walked straight to a metal detector(not the dreaded backscatter) and was told I didn’t need to take off my belt, or shoes or take anything out of my bags. Just put them on the belt and walk through the metal detector and that was it.

I was through security in record time, it was great. I looked over my boarding pass and there didn’t appear to be anything on it showing if I had been approved so I guess I’ll never know until they scan my pass.

When it happens though, I’ll like the TSA that day 🙂