4000 Unspoken Words

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What do I know?  I know I am one who needs a focal point to compose a picture, that’s what makes me click. Color, detail, and texture …

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 and God Bless America …

It’s not about the Camera …

…. or is it?

Cork Rainbow

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I am in the thick of another temporary setback. Let me explain. It has been 2 and a half years since I started to focus on photography. I have been learning different lenses, any and all lighting, tricks of the trade, software that has me spinning, and of course my camera, a Nikon D90, not to mention how to blog ..

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cities of Ireland-2My subject of interest was, and still is food, however, lately I have been exploring different types and styles of photography. The type and style I know best, but not necessarily the best at, is the photography of food. This is due to 2 years of diligence.

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I am now going to contradict myself: After reading many books on photography the consensus seems to be that it is NOT about the camera, it’s about the glass. Believing most of what I’ve read, and almost all of what I see, I had wisely invested in quality lenses. Way to go girl!

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Now the contradiction: After many debates with my alter ego, we agreed that it was time to bite the bullet and buy a full frame camera. It’s my next move, ready or not I want it. So today I am the proud owner of a Nikon D610. There were many reason for this decision. It was a drawn out, yet thoughtful process, and I am thrilled the debates are over. No more tossing and turning, I’m sleeping well.

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What’s the matter?   Where’s the setback?

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Well, ignorance is bliss, but not for long. New equipment has to be paired with newer technology….  Really?  yes really… 

When composing a scene I anticipate my finished product and set the camera settings to the best of my knowledge, but I have yet to see the difference this ‘full frame’ camera will make. The pictures I shot last week are held captive in my camera, waiting for the arrival of my upgraded software to set them free. So, is it about the camera?  I don’t know  …..   yet!

 Nite in Cork

 

The dilemma you ask?  Well, I’m back in the neighborhood where trial and error share the block with hit and miss.  The up-side? This time the learning curve should with me, and I’ll be packin’ my bags sooner than later.

 

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In the meantime I have filled this post with photo’s of Cork, Ireland. The ones that are cartooned, or tweaked, were not pleasing to the naked eye, so I had my way with them ! I also need to correct an error from my last post. The photos of ‘Bantry’ at dusk, and dawn, are of the town ‘Kinsale’…. Big mistake, BIG!

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Please stay tuned for more updates, and hopefully progress that will be noticed …  many thanks!

The Colors of Green …

Ireland- high country-3I spent the past 12 days with my one and only, my pride and joy, in the land of the color green. It was our last trip together before the sun will set, and a new chapter will begin. Cherish is the word, and Ireland was the setting.

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I have always wanted to go to the country of my ancestors, and I thank the Lord they were Irish. But this wasn’t your typical trip, it was a ‘Backroads’ biking trip. Just as it sounds, we biked the back roads of Ireland. Before I continue, let me fill you in.

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With 18 bikers in total, 2 leaders, and one behind the scenes ‘special ops’ man, we rode thru the Counties of Cork and Kerry. The crew was fantastic, the trip flawless, organized and tight, no need to worry, no need to fret. ‘Backroads’ has been in business for over 30 years, the kinks have been ironed out, and the itinerary perfected, it was full steam ahead.

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I am not a true biker, but I held my own, and when I was struggling, or lacking behind, the van was sure to find me. I took many photos of the country but I never felt confident about them, and I was right, most of my images were disappointing. I haven’t the eye for landscapes …. yet.  However I did manage to capture a few good ones, and a couple that I found exceptional.

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The images above were taken in the first 48 hours of our ride in County Kerry. The gradual and long climb to Moll’s Gap allowed for stunning views of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks range, the range that boasts of Irelands tallest mountain, Carrauntoohil.

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We spent the first two nights in the lovely town of Kenmare. Kenmare (Irish: An Neidín, meaning “the little nest”) is a small town in the south of County Kerry. The town lies on two noted Irish tourist routes, the Ring of Kerry, and the Ring of Beara, approximately 32 kilometers (20 mi) from Killarney. As a result it’s a popular tourist destination and many of the businesses in the area cater to tourists. Kenmare is noted for its food and pubs, we were never left hungry, or thirsty !

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I would have liked to have photographed the town, but BR ‘kma’ and I went straight to bed after the dinner hour.

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The third day we rode past charming towns on a fairly hilly route. The town of Bantry was our next destination. Mind you Bantry may only be 5 kilometers away, but BR took us a circuitous way, a way that took me all day, and then some …

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‘The Bantry and West Cork character is considered the most friendly, helpful, outgoing, quick witted, generous and possessing the gift of unlimited conversation with a great sense of humour. West Cork is recognised as one of the last bastions of true Irish hospitality. You are assured a warm welcome.’  wiki

Yes, that says it all. I’d love to go into more detail, but I may end up talking to myself …

August 5th was my sons 18th birthday. When the night was said and done, we circled back to Ma Murphy’s for a final pint, or two.  Here he his, pulling his own legal pint.

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Below are photos of Bantry at dusk and dawn.

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I lugged my tripod with me and felt the want, and need, to use it. The tripod assures me of a diligent shot, but had I pulled it out more often I’d still be somewhere over the rainbow …

Day 4 and 5 we biked the Kinsale area.  Ireland- high country-7

Kinsale is a fishing village in County Cork on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale. This town is a popular holiday resort for the Irish and foreign tourists. Leisure activities include yachting, sea angling, and golf. The Old Head Golf Course is one of the best in the world, and also rich in it’s history.

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The town of Kinsale is known for its restaurants, and holds an annual “Gourmet Festival”. Chef Keith Floyd, the British celebrity chef, now deceased, was previously a resident of Kinsale.

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Now let me discuss my photos. As I said earlier, the majority of my shots were (are) poor. Of course you haven’t seen those, but coming up with these few images was still a tuff decision. Too bad for me, it was a great opportunity to show my abilities as a wanna-be travel photographer… The up-side? I can only get better…. and I will ! I do have other photo’s to show you, better photo’s, however I am going to enter them in a contest. Of course I am aiming for 1st prize, but no worries if I lose, been there, felt that. After I have submitted them I will post them. The grand prize is $3000.00 towards another BR trip, and I want to win! So, if you will, cross your fingers and dot your i’s for me, I’m ready to get back in the saddle and behind the lens. BR is an exceptional way to see a country, or part of a country. Their packages include walking, biking, and other multi sports adventures, something for everyone. The Dalmation Coast? Amsterdam? or how about the San Juan Islands? I’m a day dream believer  …. and believing in my dreams!

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Pure Michigan

The last time I flew in a small aircraft I was reciting the Hail Mary, my head was tucked between my legs, and I was fearing for the worst. This time around was different, it was sheer ‘bliss’.

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My family is from Michigan and Northern Michigan is our home base. The 4th of July week is a special time for us, and everyone tries to make an appearance. This year we were short two family members out of 31, next year will be better..

I hadn’t planned on flying high this day, but my nephew called early, he had an open seat with my name on it. I was up and at’em, in the car and on my way within seconds … the perfect morning.

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We took flight at approximately 7am. Thin clouds were hovering the ground, a look I liked …  The body of water you see is Lake Michigan, and across the way is the City of Petoskey.

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Our route took us north, passing over Nub’s Nob Ski Resort. Nub’s is hands Kieferdown the best ski area in the Midwest. It offers 53 ski slopes, and trails, on 3 separate peaks. The staff is exceptional from top to bottom, east to west, and north to south. Nub’s loves to boast of their fresh homemade food, an award winning lodge, and the most highly decorated snow making and snow grooming crew in the Midwest. I can attest to all of the above.

We continued north towards Mackinaw City. By car the drive takes a good hour or so, but as Kiefer flies … minutes!

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Inland Michigan is rural, hilly, green and lush. Dotted throughout the countryside are wonderful little restaurants, all with their own unique ‘up north’ ambiance.

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The Big Mac. Impressive view? I’d say!  The body of water you see is the Straights of Mackinac, the narrow waterway separating the U.S. State of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula from its Upper Peninsula. Bella !

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We then banked to the right and followed the Eastern shoreline south towards the Point Nipigon area. The second photo is of Nipigon….

I have relatives in Nipigon, if I’m wrong, I’m sure I will hear …

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The next spectacular view,from my perch, was of Little Traverse Bay, the City of Harbor Springs, and the mile long peninsula, Harbor Point. In other words, my Heaven on Earth.

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The pilot had us, my mother and I, in the air for just about an hour. I couldn’t have asked, or dreamt, of a better way to start my day…  Thank you Kiefer!

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My Summer of Bliss …

Blissfest. I started to tell you about this event before, but my site prematurely published, so here we go again…   Bliss-5

This very cool festival is a three day musical romp in the woods, the woods of Northern Michigan. “Blissfest” has been around for 34 years and it only gets better. This musical event is organized, clean, friendly, and a throw back to the 60’s. Let me show you:

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bf-5‘Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers’ is the band that I followed. I’d like to represent them in Chicagoland, they are that good!

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BlissThe food at Bliss is also good. Mostly fresh, some organic and some gourmet. All of the meals go well with a side of mushrooms and a brownie for dessert… can’t have it any other way!

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bf.bf-2. Pete, is that you??

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Blissfest is rated number 5 in the country for ‘family entertainment'(so I was told). There is a main band shell and two other stages that are hosting music at all times, 4 kiva’s, and several spots for children to play, paint, and dance. I neglected to show you that side of Bliss because I wanted to capture the ambience. I hope you could ‘feel the bliss’.

We, family and friends, are already planning for next year. We have two campsites, a 10×10 tent, carpets, tye-dyed boundaries with beads, two large coolers, plenty of blankets, chairs and tables, lights, cameras, and action….  What do you say? Wanna go? 

 

 

 

 

Planes, Trains, and …

Automobiles ….

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Cars and more cars. I am surrounded by mechanics, geeks, oil, and gas !   I rank second to a Viper, and third to a Challenger. The gal my boys fancy has a chassis, an axel, a pair of headlamps, and a tail pipe, how can I compete?    I should have had a clue when my husband presented me with my very own license plate, personalized with our initials. It was our first Valentines …..

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In my family cars aren’t just a way of life, they breathe life. ‘Our’ cars are treated like royalty. They are pampered and spoiled, scrubbed and bathed, dressed and diapered. Their palace resides behind our hut. In this manor every hook has a tool, every screw has a drawer, and every nook has a tranny.  My boys to men are serious !

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Now lets fast forward to 2014.

The drive to SLU, where my son will be attending college, is a monotonous drive. En route there are two car dumps, I mean depots, that we must stop and see … every time.  My well oiled boys circle each and every buggy, they hem and they haw, then they circle again. It’s nothin’ but fun !

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So you ask, what about poor me? Well, not wanting to see the art of the hand-written note fall to the wayside I have started a note card business using my photos. I also want to emphasize the importance of manners. Remember, manners can open many doors…   Well, after handing my son card after card of blueberries or watermelons to express his gratitude, I decided to make, for him, his own personalized stationary. I photographed other focal points, but for this post I felt the deer in the ‘headlight’ look was fitting.

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Now I thoroughly enjoy our visits to these dealerships, it’s an hour or more of sheer delight. These two automobile establishments have something to offer each of us. Perhaps it’s an old muscle car, a dilapidated Ford F50, or some rusted-out, fallin’-off, beaten to hell front fender. What ever the draw is, remember, ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’,  and a simple ‘thank you’ is long remembered…

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Summertime, and the living …..

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… is easy

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