Puffins are magical!

As 2021 enabled us to slowly, carefully head back toward travel and exploration of our world, I did manage to take a photography trip to Acadia National Park in the wonderful state of Maine.

Acadia is an exciting park to visit, as it presents a wealth of photography opportunities with excellent variety. During this trip, we photographed the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain, sunsets in Bar Harbor, lighthouses and nature in its many manifestations. It was a great way to unwind!

A side trip took us to Machias-Seal Island, which territory is disputed between Canada and the United States. The benefit of this dispute is that small groups are allowed to visit the island’s puffin colony, weather permitting. As our guide had reserved our tour’s spot well in advance (spots sell out in early January), and the weather cooperated, we had the pleasure of spending several hours photographing from blinds, as we were surrounded by puffins everywhere. Here’s one shot from that magical time.

Puffin Discussion

There were hundreds, if not thousands of puffins around us. From time to time, some of them would even run across the top of our blind, giving us a pitter patter of little puffin feet as a sound track.

This image was shot using a Canon EOS R5 using the amazing Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens. This lens absolutely blew me away with the image quality that it was able to produce.

There will be more posts coming from this trip!

Thoughts of Kharkiv

As the insanity of war has invaded the country of Ukraine, I can’t help but think back to my visit to the city of Kharkiv less than 4 years ago. The warm welcome that I was extended by the people of SoftServe made this a truly special visit.

These very same people are in my thoughts, as I see images of barbaric attacks on this great city, where I walked along the banks of the river

Kharkiv on a Spring Day

The visit may have been a work trip, but the camaraderie was heartfelt and time was enjoyed in each other’s company. Now, I can only hope that all of these work friends are safe and that this needless violence is stopped immediately, so that they can rebuild and get their lives back to normal.

This image was created using 3 shots taken with my Fuji X-H1 and processing them with Aurora HDR, using an Ethereal Drama preset; secondary processing was done using Luminar Neo. Both of these products are from Skylum, a company founded in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Let’s all do our bit and help the people of Ukraine defend their democracy!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Stack

Better pick ’em from the top!

Welcome to week 215 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

First of all, thank you for the great response to last week’s theme; I will post the round up, some time on Wednesday.

For this week, I looked for something that tied loosely to our Assemble theme from last week, while going in a slightly different direction. One form of assembly could be creating a Stack or a set of Stacked objects, such as in the photo with this post.

One reason for my going with this theme is that while sometimes we feel the deck may be stacked, we can always stack the odds in our favor; we can go in many directions, and I look forward to the type of stack that you’ll find in your creative wanderings!

Here’s the creation of a market vendor…

Navel Oranges on the Market – Rotterdam

This image comes from a walk among the many vendors at the market in Rotterdam; this market is a classic, as vendors set up their booths and display their wares to their best advantage. The quality of the foods is always outstanding and there are lots of places where you can sample. It’s a great experience on a Saturday morning!

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Can’t wait to see what you’ll stack! Have a great week!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 212

Love is all you need

Welcome to the 212th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

Love flowed throughout all of your entries for this week’s theme and I have to say that I loved it!! It was impossible to not feel the love that exists all around the world and in each of your hearts! Thank you for sharing generously.

Once we let love rule, we can…

Imagine Peace

During my visit to Liverpool I saw this view of the Museum of Liverpool and was struck by the deep and resounding importance of these 2 words from the great poet John Lennon. If we unleash the power of love, we can imagine, and achieve, peace.

Please enjoy the following blog posts:

  1. Teressa started off this week’s responses with a capture in Another LQQk that is absolutely perfect for the theme; and it’s iconic!
  2. Diane strikes at the heart of love for many of us in her post in pensivity101; I’m confident that I’m not the only one who relates to the love that we feel for our furry family members!
  3. The contributions in Don’t Hold Your Breath are always amazing, and I really enjoyed the trip to Strawberry Fields; in this case, all was real!
  4. Kammie’s captures in her post in Nut House Central are fantastic, but it’s the last photo in this post that really caught my eye!
  5. Indira shares some of what she loves in her post in Sharing Thoughts, each of which thoughts has great meaning; lovely!
  6. I really love the entry in Geriatri’X’ Fotogallery, as the Beatles are even asking for some Help!
  7. Xenia shares the love of her whippets in a lovely post in Whippetwisdom, which is not at a loss for words! In a second post in Whippetwisdom, Eivor and Pearl are enjoying the snow as part of their playground!
  8. Another wonderful post comes to us from A Day in the Life, where some of the things she loves are shared; although I don’t think we get the iced latte!
  9. Sandy does share a feast for our eyes in her post in Out of my Write Mind, as we get to enjoy the love that unfolds in Nature.
  10. Teresa shares her love for the wonderful city of Prague in her post in My Camera & I, with a lovely look at love!
  11. Ken shares his love for serendipity in Pictures without Film, as timing and love find a way to the top in a fantastic photo!
  12. Nicole brings us the romance of young, star-crossed lovers in an amazing post in Une Photo, Un Poéme; the great photo and the story are all about love!
  13. Susan unleashed her creativity in bringing us love that’s in the air in her post in Musin’ with Susan; love the technique used for this great image! Also, go check out Susan’s week in review in Musin’ with Susan for more great photos and beware of the belly of the beast!
  14. Amy shares her process in creating really cool images transferred onto wood in her post in Photography Journal Blog; this kind of experimentation is what leads to great art and wonderful results, as we can see here.
  15. Debbie takes us toward a dreary day in St. Albans in her post in Travel with Intent; the treatment of the photo is simply stunning!
  16. There is much wisdom in the wonderful post in Sgeoil, as the lowly dandelions deserve our love!
  17. Cee brings us the song that gave us this week’s theme in her magnificent post in Cee’s Photo Challenges! And that Yellow Submarine is amazing!
  18. David takes us on a Beatles tour with his Blackbird-themed post in David M’s Photoblog, which shows us the great variety of these birds in beautiful photographs!
  19. Another wonderful post was shared in Our Other Blog: Two Sisters and Two Points of View; the yellow submarine popped into view right away with love, and the Tardis just made it complete for me!

Please let all these wonderful authors know how much you enjoy their blog posts!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 211

A climb toward the heavens…

Welcome to the 211th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

In this second week of being back in the saddle this new year, it’s fun to see all the great entries that you contributed! Thank you very much for such great work! Your twists on this theme were a pleasure to read and view, and it’s great to see that all the twists come together in this manner.

Here’s a twist that I had to ascend…

Twisting to Heaven

During our vacation in Italy, my wife and I started in Ostia Antica, the ancient port city of Rome; there we found the castle of Pope Julius II, who valued his privacy, judging by the fortifications.

Please enjoy the following blog posts:

  1. Diane kicked things off in her post in pensivity101 with a wonderful bit of prose inspired by the image of the tree twisting up into the sky in the abbey’s courtyard. Beautifully done!
  2. There’s a wonderful capture of the twist of the vine in this week’s entry in Geriatri’X’ Fotogallery; the view of the vine, makes me wonder what lovely grapes will grow there!
  3. Maria twists our perceptions in her post in Kamerapromenader, as she brings us a very creative approach in PhotoShop! Great twist!
  4. Brian takes us into Nature’s creative realm in his post in Bushboy’s World, as Mother Nature displays great variety in her choice!
  5. In another great post in Wanderlust and Wonderment, we are treated to a magnificent twist of Nature, learn the ropes and get to shout about it! Check it out!
  6. Teresa brings us another amazing photo in her post in My Camera & I, which shows us how life can adapt to the forces put upon it!
  7. Alice shows off a rather nautical theme in the fence in her post in The 59 Club; great capture and angle on this one!
  8. There are some rather significant twists in an amazing shot in David M’s Photoblog, as both the hungry ones and the patient parent contort for this shot!
  9. Nicole provides us with the pleasure of another stunning photo in her post in Une Photo, Un Poéme; the capture of the twists in this tree is gorgeous!
  10. Ken not only shows off his photos skills in a great post in Pictures without Film, as he also shares his rich sense of humor in this post! Love it!!
  11. Xenia brings on her Whippetwisdom in a lovely post, which features some of my favorite subjects: dogs and driftwood, plus I love the poetry as well!
  12. Cee has us all twisted up in her contribution in Cee’s Photo Challenges! Those twists are both whimsical and utilitarian with a hint of Samba!
  13. Sandy brings us Winter with a twist in her post in Out of my Write Mind, combining the chills and beauty in an artful manner!
  14. The lovely photo and quote in Sgeoil‘s post made me think of the Fates of greek mythology, as they spin, draw out and cut the thread of life. Wonderfully done!

Please let all these wonderful authors know how much you enjoy their blog posts!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Twist

A tree brings us closer to the past…

Welcome to week 211 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

After a week with wonderful responses, it’s time for another challenge! As I was looking for an image for last week’s round up, I came across a photo that I thought was rather apt for our time. There’s been a certain Twist to both the time we’re in and the events that we experience…

For this week’s theme, feel free to put your own personal Twist on it, as there are always extra points for creativity and a double bonus for fun! Enjoy, the Twists and turns of your minds and take us on a journey with your image(s). I’m very much looking forward to seeing your interpretations!

Here’s a bit of a twist…

A Tree in the Abbey

This image is from our vacation in Ireland, as we visited Muckross Abbey in Killarney National Park; this yew tree has been growing in the courtyard for a very long time and lends a definite air of mystery and intrigue…

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Stay safe and twist the night away!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 210

Puzzles larger than life itself

Welcome to the 210th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

Thank you all for the wonderful responses to this week’s photo challenge theme of puzzle. Also, more importantly, thank you for the warm welcome for my return to this great forum. It feels good to be back!

Sometimes the puzzle is rather large…

Springing forth toward the sky…

The above monkey puzzle tree was found by my wife and I in the gardens at Clan MacLeod’s Castle on the Isle of Skye. When I saw these people standing next to it, I just had to photograph it and capture an impression of its massive scale.

Please enjoy the following blog posts:

  1. Debbie started the week’s responses off with a wonderful set of images in Travel with Intent, as she highlights the national tree of Chile…go check it out and see how it connects with the image above!
  2. Diane reminds me of something that I very much enjoyed as a child in a lovely post in pensivity101; nowadays, I will often help out my mother-in-law with this kind of puzzle!
  3. The capture in Teresa’s post in My Camera & I really caught my eye, as she features the puzzle aspect of architecture in a great way!
  4. Leave it to ladyleemanila‘s post to blow my concept of puzzle piece count way up high! 18,000 pieces is mind-boggling!
  5. Ken has us off to the races in a great post in Pictures without Film! There’s nothing better than a group of ducks vying for first place!
  6. The ancients have left us interesting puzzles, as we can see in Geriatri’X’ Fotogallery; this puzzle makes me think both of piecing things together again and the challenge of understanding what the larger structure might have looked like…
  7. Maria brings something to mind in her post in Kamerapromenader, for which it takes a real expert to find a good solution! The skill of people who work with stone in that form is priceless!
  8. Sandy shares some stunning black&white photography in her post in Out of my Write Mind, which also demonstrates that these are perfectly pieced together!
  9. Susan made me laugh with her entry in Musin’ with Susan, as it is filled with wit and a puzzle that many of us can relate to! Also, check out Susan’s week in review in Musin’ with Susan, and enjoy the variety of great photos!
  10. Hammad has a very fine capture in his post in The Blog of Hammad Rais; this photo makes me think that this maze has a way out…but does it?
  11. Teressa shares a wonderful set of images in her post in Another LQQk, which lead me to believe that she enjoys a puzzle or two! I agree that the puzzlement in the statue is very pronounced!
  12. No regrets for some lovely egrets in another wonderful post in Don’t Hold Your Breath! I have photographed some in my travels, but didn’t know as much about them as I.J. shares with us.
  13. The sun is highlighted as a puzzle in our universe with a great quote and photo in Sgeoil‘s post; an intriguing concept!
  14. Alice showcases a puzzle to be solved by a horse in her post in The 59 Club…how do you adjust to look through that fly cap?
  15. Brian brings us a subject that is truly puffed up and looks like it might be ready to blow in his post in Bushboy’s World, so be careful! Great song too!
  16. Take a closer look at the puzzling photo in Land of Images, and tell me what you see… serendipitous art? I like it!

Please let all these wonderful authors know how much you enjoy their blog posts!

Bring on the New Year!

A bit of play with Luminar AI

It’s been a bit of an absence! As we start 2021, let’s see, if I can get going again and revive some of the fun that I had prior to this shutdown of sorts.

First of all, a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to everyone around the globe with fervent wishes that we escape from this virulent frenzy and get back to visiting one another again.

All this lack of travel has been something that I have missed for quite a while, so I’m starting to look at doing something with images from previous trips, which I’ll start with a view from Ireland in 2019:

Cliffs of Kerry

The Cliffs of Kerry are absolutely stunning, and, in my opinion, they rival the Cliffs of Moher, especially, as there’s not nearly the crowds! The view and sense of scale of these cliffs is nothing short of breathtaking!

A little bit about this image, as I did a bit of processing on it. Here’s the (somewhat) original image, which is an HDR composite that was processed using Skylum’s Aurora HDR:

Cliffs of Kerry (HDR only)

This image was then taken into Skylum’s Luminar AI, which is a recent purchase. Luminar AI is very much a version of Luminar with additional very smart bells and whistles, such as lots of templates, skies, etc. With a bit of playing around, I selected the Street Theater template and added some edits to it, which include the Sunset.

Definitely a bit of fun to experiment with this image and impetus to try some other things in the future. As I get more skilled with this new tool, I’ll share more of my findings.

In the mean time, thank you for reading and stay healthy and safe!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Return

Return travel…

Welcome to week 209 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

Back from a bit of a hiatus, I thought it might be a good idea to celebrate the idea of Return for this week’s theme… Whether it’s the travel to return home, a return to normalcy, the return of a book or a favor… There are many great returns in our lives! Your challenge is to connect one of those returns to an image of your choosing this week. Feel free to take any direction you’d like to take on this theme, and have fun with it!

Looking forward to seeing many happy returns!

Returning to Boston…

Back in Boston…

Upon arrival at Logan Airport from New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, I didn’t expect a large line for luggage, as there were only 5 passengers on the flight… The emptiness of the baggage claim area was stunning! Good news, is that as I walked to the carousel, my bag came out and I was outside in seconds to meet my wife!

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Stay safe, healthy and let’s work toward a return to our preferred state of being!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 207

No lines, no waiting…

Welcome to the 207th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

Thank you all for the well-wishes. As I catch up, I’ll still owe you round up 208 for later this week, and the delayed 209th Tuesday Photo Challenge is arriving in a couple of hours. We will get back to normal!

Your Travels were filled with reminiscences of places past and hope for places future; one thing that came through loud and clear in all of your posts is how travel expands our view of the world and connects us as people of this planet. Covering the distance brings us closer…

Thank you for all the work you put into your posts!! I truly enjoyed reading them.

Travel looks very different these days…

The Air is Out of Travel…

The otherwise busy Terminal A at Boston Logan Airport of a Friday afternoon… It was a rather eerie feeling to have no trouble with social distancing, as there were very few travelers. As my flight would take me out of the country, there was a significant number of checks that were made to ensure that I was not going to be sent back on arrival in the Netherlands. After I cleared that hurdle, I had to take this photo to give a sense of the emptiness of the terminal…

Please enjoy the following blog posts:

  1. Na’ama starts off the posts on the Travel theme with a wonderful poem that really touched me, which is also beautifully in tune with the great image in Na’ama Yehuda.
  2. Maria reminisces of travels taken in her post in Kamerapromenader; that rainbow over the Isle of Skye should result in money!
  3. Nandini has us traveling not only across space, but also time in her post in queennandini; wonderful haikus and images!
  4. We travel into Spring without fear in a wonderful post in The Jesh Studio, which is something that all of us can appreciate!
  5. Osceola, Iowa, looks rather inviting in a great post in Does Writing Excuse Watching. All that space might take away the sense of social distance!
  6. Viveka definitely put together a great post in myguiltypleasures! She reminds us of both the pros and cons of traveling…I know a fix for those queues!
  7. Jackie is ready to float leisurely down the Danube in her post in JunkBoat Travels; looks like it was a wonderful trip!
  8. Diane’s post in pensivity101 tells of travel in a very big way, as her solo trip to visit her brother in New Zealand was indeed a grand trip!
  9. Kammie keeps her travel local in a wonderful post in Nut House Central; walking those local trails is always full of enjoyment!
  10. The travels shown in the magnificent post in Wanderlust and Wonderment has me filled with awe! There are some places that I have visited, but there are some that are very high on my list, such as Abu Simbel!
  11. The travel mode highlighted in the lovely post in Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery is one that I can see enjoying…all the comforts of home, wherever you go!
  12. Sarah features a heap of color in her post in By Sarah, as those well-worn, travel-weary tires have settled with a bit of paint!
  13. Another interesting mode of travel is documented with a magnificent photo in theOnlyD800intheHameau; I expect that I might also find it unsettling…
  14. David shares stunning photos of some travelers, who are not affected by any travel ban in his post in David M’s Photoblog; those birds are some of the champions of logging travel miles!
  15. Bren takes us to a rather unusual location in her post in Brashley Photography; Lombard street is a sight to behold and Bren’s capture of the scene is simply fantastic!
  16. Teresa takes us to the heights of Switzerland in her travel post in My Camera & I, which makes me want to wander among those Alps!
  17. The post in Don’t Hold Your Breath takes us across a decade of Summer travel to many amazing locations! Great collection of images!
  18. Ken shows us that travel doesn’t have to be far in his post in Pictures without Film; Brynna common on a Winter solstice morning looks breathtaking!
  19. Alice takes us back to one of her travels in a lovely post in the59Club; Berlin is among my favorite cities with lots to offer to tourists.
  20. Woolly may have to postpone this year’s visit to Africa, so we’ll just enjoy his photos from a prior trip in WoollyMuses! I sincerely hope that this postponement is temporary, as I’d love to see more photos!
  21. Nicole really captures the essence of Brittany with the wonderful photo in her post in Une Photo, Un Poéme! What a stunning scene!
  22. Rupali expresses a sentiment in her post in Mazeepuran that is shared by many of us: we miss our travel! Wonderful post!
  23. In another wonderful post in Land of Images, we get to experience Travel – Nae Moor; may you Ferry Well!
  24. Anne shares a magnificent set of travel images in her post in HorseAddict; her post reminds me why I too want to visit Cambodia!
  25. Aseem put together a great post in his blog Transition of Thoughts, as he connects the Brooklyn night with 100 words!
  26. Sandy takes us along for a trip to the Rockies in her post in Out of my Write Mind; they are filled with stunning beauty!
  27. Klara takes us to Helsinki in her post in Sliku Svoju Ljubim II, where the lanterns are carried in stony silence.
  28. Marie takes her heart, and mine, back to Italy in a lovely post in The New 3R’s: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect! Gorgeous view!
  29. Sheetal also takes us to Italy, as she gives a wonderful recounting of travels through Tuscany in her photos in SheetalBravon; I remember Sienna and its amazing staircases very well!
  30. Brian appears to be looking wistfully toward the sky as planes fly over in his post in Bushboy’s World; like the Beatles, we’d rather be flying!
  31. Tatiana takes us up to Nova Scotia in her post in Travelways; there, we go back in time in Sherbrooke Village to see how the pioneers lived.
  32. In myTravelCSP, there’s an abundance of wonderful travels that we join; lovely post!
  33. Xenia takes us to those precious places in a wonderful post in whippetwisdom, as both dog and human look for these locales.

Please let all these wonderful authors know how much you enjoy their blog posts!

Mama Cormier

.... my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more

Don't Forget the Half

Loving the sum total of all my parts!

sound mind journal

a quiet place where our minds meet

My Camera & I (2)

This blog is my creative outlet where I can share my photos, my travels, my random thoughts and a bit of myself.

Maria Vincent Robinson

Photographer Of Life and moments

Does writing excuse watching?

Wasting time on the couch.

Dare Boldly

Artful Words to Inspire Everyday Living

Jennifer's Journal

Website & Blog of J. Kelland Perry, Author

Out of Four Stars

It's more than just the opening weekend

seasons: a poetic journey

life: a decade longer

thoughts and entanglements

A collective of poems and photos. All photos taken by me unless stated otherwise.

Go Outside Today

Leave your houses, leave your cars, leave your boxes...

ARHtistic License

Thoughts on the Creative Process by ARHuelsenbeck