travel

Life Thur the Lens 12/52.... This Thing we Do

The Good, The Random, and The Fun....

We started a fun tradition while we were in Europe. I have a slight obsession of taking photos of my people walking away from me. I like to capture whatever it is they are looking at, or are heading towards. My only regret is that we did not start this in time to capture a couple countries... England and Holland

France

Austria

Ireland

Luxembourg

Belgium

Italy

Switzerland

Germany

I have to say, this is not the easiest shot to set up. I like the shot to include the view as well, not just our backs. And, of course we always had to find and area where I would not worry about someone snatching my camera once I turn my back on it. But, it was all worth it because these are my favorite shots of Europe. 

We have carried on the tradition since returning to the U.S. because....

"Tradition, tradition! Tradition!
Tradition, tradition! Tradition!"

~ Fiddler on the Roof

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... The Good, The Random, The Fun, Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday , Song-ography,  Wordless WednesdayWednesday Around the WorldLittle Things Thursday, and Friday Photo Journal.

WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE THRU THE LENS LOOK LIKE???

 

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Life Thru the Lens 11/52... WWI in Belgium, the final push, Ypres (Leper) Belgium Part IV

We are back to Belgium for our final push of our World War I weekend tour. We ended our tour at Ypres (or Leper) Belgium. The main reasons we wanted to visit Ypres was to visit: the Tyne Cot British cemetery that lies just outside of the village, the Sanctuary Wood Trenches, the Canadian Memorial, The Changing of the Guard at Menin Gate,  the Ypres fortress and ramparts, and the Flanders Fields Museum. We managed to pack that all into a day and a half, but by far the best part was the Changing of the Guard at Menin Gate. 

The Good...

While I did take photos at the beginning of the ceremony, I videoed the ceremony itself. I think it is important to video when you tour, just as much as it is important to capture the moment in photographs. 

Unlike photographs, when you video you are able to capture not just the culture of a place but the tiny nuances such as sounds, dialects, and the general feeling of a place, or event. Photos would have never captured the all consuming feelings of deep honor, and tradition, that the ceremony evoked. 

The Random....

The red poppy was the first flower to spring new life in, and around, the battle fields and cemeteries of Flounders. It is as much symbol of hope and new beginnings, as it is a symbol of the lives lost. At the American cemetery in Normandy, we were told that the first flower to bloom on a gravesite is the poppy. I do not know if that is truth or myth, but I do like the thought of the delicate petals flowing in the breeze that blankets the land during spring; the poppy is a reminder that good can spring forth from tragedy. 

The Fun...

The Tyne Cot British Cemetery, and the Canadian Memorial, were some of the most stunning and well maintained cemeteries we visited. Each gravesite was beautifully planted with colorful gardens and every single headstone was perfectly straight. We were quite overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. 

If you would like to see where all we have been in Belgium WWI tour, check out these posts... Part IPart IIPart III

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... The Good, The Random, The Fun, Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday Wednesday Around the World, Little Things Thursday, and Friday Photo Journal.

What does your Life Thru the Lens look like?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Life Thru the Lens 8/52... WWI in Ghent, Belgium, Part III

Ghent, Belgium a photo tour... because sometimes words are not needed. 

The Good...

The Random.....

On our last few trips in Europe, I wanted to try to capture absolutely everything. I knew we were moving back to the US soon and I wanted to be able to capture the essence of Europe. I did miss out on some thing, I do have regrets.  The one thing I did capture, that you will want to as well is....

~ The odd and quirky things.. like the sign below which marked several spots in Ghent for hot opportunities. 

~ The architecture... not just on buildings but also on light-posts, bridges, and doors.

~ Cultural characteristics... like fun clothing stores. 

~ People... in their every day moments. 

The Fun...

I have a slight obsession with doors. I did not know I had this obsession until we moved to Europe, but doors in Europe are so beautiful. And, they are everywhere.

Did you see that I am giving away a set of birthday cards at the end of this month. Hope on over to this post to enter for your chance to win. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday Random-osity and Friday Photo Journal.

What does your Life Thru the Lens look like?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Life Thru the Lens 7/52... WWI in Ghent, Belgium... Part II

Our next stop on our whirlwind tour of the WWI countryside in Belgium was Ghent. I'll be honest, we have a slight obsession with Amazing Race. We have watched every season as a family for a long, long while now... and the season before we stopped by Ghent, guess where Amazing Race stopped? Some of you might recognize it. 

The Good...

By far Ghent was one of the most architecturally interesting cities we visited in Europe. The stunning fact about Gent is that it escaped sever destruction of the city in both World Wars. That is pretty amazing considering cities of smaller stature were destroyed as artillery bystanders. 

Since our obsession with Amazing Race tends to overshadow our life, I thought it entirely proper to begin our Ghent tour with The Gravensteen. While not one of the most extravagant castles (Germany has the bar set pretty high in that category) it was fun to tour a partially moated castle. There are not many moated castles left on the mainland of Europe. 

The Fun...

Because we had extensively toured castles in Germany, the inside of this castle was not that spectacular. However, what I did really enjoy was the views. Most German castles are either positioned in the countryside away form the village center, or high above the village. So, when you look out a window the countryside views are stunning, but I loved Gravensteen because of its village views. 

The Random...

I wasn't a fan of climbing to the top of the castles. I have an extreme fear of heights and just climbing up the stairs my heart would begin the pounding, thumping, teeth rattling drum of trepidation. But I always climbed, as I had this little pep talk in my head, "It's been here for hundreds of years. Surely it won't fall down today!" Because, the view was always worth the fear. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday Random-osity and Friday Photo Journal.

WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE THRU THE LENS LOOK LIKE?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Friday Randomness... the itch to roam

Oh man do I have it, the itch to roam. We have not "really" traveled for three years now, and man my wandering heart is longing to hit the road, and to find a new place to experience. 

The Thinker and I have a huge dream to be nomads for a year, two, three. I have no idea if/when we could make it happen, but until then we religiously follow a few nomads on social media. 

Gone With the Wynns are one of our absolute favorites. They are funny, entertaining, and educational all wrapped in one. 

Live.outdoors on Instagram is packed full of imagery that makes me want to hit the road every single day. (Click the image to link through)

And, because one of our traveling dreams is to visit all of the lower 48 National Parks, National Park traveler on Facebook is a must. (Click the photo to link through)

What about you? What are some of your bucket list dreams?

The Wandering Road

I have an obsession with roads. It's an obsession that took root years ago. I didn't understand my obsession until we moved to Europe and began our journey of wanderlust, and then I realized the road represents to me all the possibilities ...adventure, suspense, thrill, anxiety, wonder, hope, dreams. The road symbolizes the ability to transport yourself from one culture of diversity, to another. It defines what could be, if we have the courage to step out of our comfort zone and into the unknown of the the wandering road. 

And fly away from here
Anywhere, I don't care
We'll just fly away from here
Our hopes and dreams
Are out there somewhere
~Aerosmith - Fly Away From Here  

Follow my road journey on Instagram at #thewanderingroad

I'll be visiting these lovely communities... join along...  Song-ography, Wordless Wednesday, and Little Things Thursday

Glacier National Park... a Photographer's Defining Moment

There are moments in your life, defining moments. Those moments when the scales are removed and you know the path you want to be on. They, are the moments that you are not waiting for. They, are the moments in that come at you unexpected and linger into hours, and then years. Those defining moments are the ones that you do not fully comprehend until you process them as a whole and realize with intensity of passion that you are defined: you are a person with purpose. This was that moment for me. 

It took me years to realize that our trip to Glacier National Park set me on a charted course. It took me years to call myself a photographer and believe that I truly was one. It took me years to admit that not only was a photographer, but I wanted to be one as well. 

If we could live anywhere in the world, and money was not "the" object that stood between home and living there, this is where we would live. On the North Fork, in Montana. Even as I write these words, tears fill my eyes and my heart builds with anxiety at the truth revealed. Yes, I have fallen in love with a place as much as Germany. I honestly did not think that I was capable of feeling home; I have never had a home, I have been a vagabond my entire life. To know deep within my soul what home means, and how it feels, and how throughly etched it can be in my heart, is mind boggling. 

I do wonder if my intense feeling of home is tied to my defining moment? Maybe, it is where you are defined that you feel most at home?

Ansel Adams is one of my absolute inspirations. His imagery is breathtaking, and the contrasting tones of his back and white photos are mesmerizing. He is an artist I would have loved to sit under and to glean as much as I possibly could.

It always amazes me to sit and watch the light change during a sunset. It is one of the best times of the day and I find myself entranced by the beauty of each stroke of the artist as the sun sets and the light shifts. 

Vianden Luxembourg... 3 things to take pictures of when traveling

Vianden was the first "official" trip we took out of Germany. I remember being a bit nervous about crossing the boarder for the first time. And then, I remember The Thinker, and I, laughing as we recounted that experience on our last trip to Vianden, in 2011.

Vianden is a quaint little village tucked away in the Valley of the Seven Castles, in Luxembourg. It was also the chosen place of exile for Victor Hugo. After visiting, it is not hard to understand why Hugo was called to the village. It swelled with soothingly peaceful alleys, tucked between crooked buildings, that echoed a history of time and stories into one's soul.

Based on some regrets I have about what I did not capture while we were in Europe, I came up with a few "must capture" moments of travel...

1. The little things. We all think about the big tourist things to capture, The Eifel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, but I wish I had captured more of the little things. Like, cups of coffee in Italy, street views in Paris, gutters with "look right" in London, and stunningly clean sidewalks in Switzerland. I wish I would have taken photos of the essence of a place, rather than the landmarks of a place.

2. My people. I actually have trips where I was so engrossed in capturing the environment that I completely spaced capturing my people in the environment. I do have "a" photo of us from every place we visited, but I wish I would have captured more of the everyday, moments. I notice as I look back through our photos that, in the beginning, when photography wasn't so much about capturing that perfect photo I did capture a ton of my kids just being a tourist. But, as I began to think more about creative composition, and techniques, those moments went away. Do not forget about the everyday moments.

3. The environment. I wish I had taken more photos of wine bottles lined up on tables at festivals as drunk Germans celebrated the season. Or, tables stacked full of dishes after a three hour meal as a group of friends departed for the evening. I wish I would have taken photos of umbrellas lined up in the doorways to stores, or people walking on the walkplatz in the rain. I wish I had captured people more in their environment.

When you are out exploring the world, do not forget to capture your exploration in the very tiny nuances.

life thru the lens 7:52... waiting for snow

We are patiently waiting for the snow to start. We look longingly out our window and have imagined a flake, or two, floating down to our brown world. The forecast is predicting anywhere between 2-6 inches, and we are praying for 6. We haven't had much snow this year. The only "real" snow our area has received was while we were off gallivanting around in Colorado. Which, I have to say, we had more snow in Colorado, so my heart was not heavy to miss the snow here. Since then, every storm that has blown through our area has left us heartbroken and down trodden. But this time... maybe...

Until then, I thought I would share with you a hike we happened upon while we were out exploring one day in Colorado. All of us where completely unprepared to go on a hike, we only planned to drive around and take in the scenery. But, it was a short hike, and it was snowing off an on, and The Thinker and I love to hike in the snow, so...

A friend asked me ask me a fabulous question a couple weeks back...

I picked up on something interesting as I was reading through your post. I seem to see everything in still lifes. (lives? lol), but I rarely “see” shots of people. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. What do you usually “see?”
— Elizabeth @ Beauty Observed

I have pondered that question since she asked me it. I struggle a bit with still life, but I have also struggled with portrait sessions. For instance, my most recent Senior session, while I liked the photos, I didn't love them, and that has been the case for several of my sessions. However, there are other sessions that I loved, I still think of them to this day. Up until now, I have not been able to put a finger on why.

I see life in landscapes. I view the world in constantly changing light and shadows, contrast and hues. Those photo sessions that I loved/love... I thought of them as landscape first, and then place my subject. And, in one single question, I have completely found my niche as a portrait photographer. If I cannot think of it in landscape first, I will never be satisfied with the results.

It always amazes me how one tiny question can bring about such insight. And, how this photography community we have/are creating here constantly pulls me out of my rut and into a new realm pf photography. I really love you guys. I really love everything you bring to my passion in life.

I'm going to leave you with the same question... How do you "see" life through your lens??? Comment below, because I would really love to hear your answers.  

{Edited in LR, then PS with various settings... added Kim Klassen's "just a touch at" 85% opacity on soft light, with a brush off at 100% on the needles, then added "KK-3112" 2012 collection at 30% opacity on screen. Text added, and resizing and sharpening for web.}

YOUR TURN!!

Life thru the Lens the rules....

1. Share with us your life thru the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone, with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~I am going to start featuring a photo in my Pinterest Life Thru the Lens... be sure to check it out.