Tag Archives: 2014

London England – Day 3… Very Belated

So I’ve had computer issues.  I’ve had work issues.  I’ve had health issues.  But I couldn’t let this trip go unshared, the stories untold, or the pictures undone.  So lets just pretend I’m still there, blogging from a tiny hotel room in Europe, sharing all of this loveliness with you…

We spent most of our last full day in London at the Tower of London.  Google the history and you’ll be amazed.  Basically a tiny city within the city surrounded by stone walls, self sufficient, and the ability to protect itself.  The architecture was gorgeous, the history was mind blowing, and yes, we got to walk into each of those towers because the preservation over hundreds of years old was near pristine.  The jewels of the royal family is also held here – no cameras allowed – but the biggest diamonds I’ve ever seen, most of it way too gawdy for me… not saying I wouldn’t indulge if I was royalty.

There is even a story behind the ravens of London.  Mostly just legend, but none the less, they’ve been raised at the tower for hundreds of years and are seen to protect the crown.  Legend says should the crows ever leave, the crown will fall and London will follow.  That’s a lot of pressure for some birds.

But!  Let me tell you, these birds are no joke.  They no doubt walk around within the tower walls like they own the place, with all the confidence a raven could have.  They are the largest ravens I’ve ever seen, and smart too.  This little kid must have been munching on crisps or something before he stuck his hand back into his mitten before losing it… whatever was in it the raven was going at it with ease and diligence.

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Within the castle walls…

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Everyone wants me to carry the camera kit and take the pictures… but its like pulling teeth trying to get anyone to cooperate when it comes to them being in the photos…

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I’m pretty sure I tripped, tucked, rolled, and got right back up on my feet right after taking this photo (camera unharmed!).  I can only laugh about my clumsiness, though slightly embarrassing.  Week ankles, unsupportive shoes, small feet, I just really don’t know.  I’d like to blame it on the uneven cobblestone ground that is everywhere in Europe.

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Changing of the guard was fun, and loud, and a bit abrasive…   Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.15.30 PM

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I’m a little bit weird when it comes to history and torture chambers and such.  Don’t judge.  I can’t explain it… but this was on of the towers they kept prisoners.  Messages were etched into the stone and still stand in that condition.  You can read some of the confessions or confirmations of the innocence.  Of course we ran out of time before I got to see all of the good stuff… like the actual devices used.

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Part of the original materials used when the tower was being erected.Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.16.21 PM

The London Bridge stands outside the walls, but the view is phenomenal.  Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.16.27 PM

Hubby likes stained glass.  It’s a quiet obsession, I know and it was everywhere within the tower.Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.16.35 PM

There were a few cheesy re-enactors for tourists amusement.  But this guy was good at playing…

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Ever wonder how many times you show up in other people’s photos?

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A very ominous and mysterious photo of B.

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So we ate at The Swan which is one of Hubby’s favorite places to go in London.  Fun Fact: way back when, pubs, restaurants, etc were named after animals because the animals could be drawn.  The photo would identify the establishment and would be easily identifiable to the illiterate.  I hope you can read the sign (not a illiterate joke – more of a photo in web-quality)… again with the history.

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continue: operation Europe mind blown… watch for more posts soon (sooner than the soonest, I promise).

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i interrupted some nookie this morning; arachnophobia sufferers: Do Not Proceed…

But, really… is anyone honestly afraid of Daddy Long Legs?  They can’t bite you, they don’t bother you, and really they protect you from other spiders (or so my mother has told me since I was old enough to be afraid of all creepy crawlies in general).  I don’t consider them real spiders, even though my heart still falls a bit every time I see one; but then my rational brain kicks in and ignores them.  In fact I saw one in my house the other day, I just pretended I didn’t notice him and went about my afternoon.

By no means do I claim to be a nature photographer.  But I saw these two on my porch and just had to capture the moment.  So ignore the fact that the focus is slightly (mostly) off the insects (but look at the weave of the grill cover… perfection!!) and just get in a little nature channel type education for your morning entertainment.

Let me just say: this was difficult.  Lets go back to the point that I do not like spiders.  That being said, I will kill them if they are in my house, even with my hands if I can’t find anything to crush them with fast enough to get them before the escape, (the trick is to be quick, swift, fearless, and have a fierce landing).  So I can’t say I am an arachnophobe, by any means, but I had a 100mm macro lens on my camera body and it took me about 50 photos and about 15 minutes to get close enough to get these shots, and they still aren’t perfect.  (I’m really sorry to all who are cringing and hating on me because I just admitted to killing “other living beings”… it’s just bugs, not even all of them – mostly just the ones in my home and the harmful ones, I promise.)

Secondly, I was under the impression my lens had captured the insects perfectly.  Uploading them I see it mostly captured the grill cover.  It’s okay.  It’ll do.  People… animals… trees all much easier… most of the time.

I knew by the way they were spinning that 16 legged web that something was going down, but I had no idea what I was looking at until I uploaded the photos and imported them to my software.  It’s pretty amazing. I’m not going to try to narrate because the photos tell a good storyline, but just the fact that I was looking at them through the camera and had no idea the details until I actually looked at the photos is pretty incredible.

I think about the nature/science of this and I’m proud of these shots.  Then I really think about it and I kinda feel like a Peeping Tom.

*Photo quality degraded for social media use.

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a little beach wedding…

I’ve lived in Michigan since summer 2005.  I’ve never been in love with any part of it as much as I’ve longed for the oceanic beaches of the East Coast (or St. John USVI).  When I was asked to shoot (my very first!!) wedding this summer in Harrisville, I had no idea I would be staring at Michigan’s East Coast so lustfully.  Close your eyes, clear your mind, then gaze out at the shoreline and you’d swear you were in the Outer Banks of North Carolina (or even sitting in the sands of Cinnamon Bay).

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It was a little beach wedding.  The sunshine was intense but the temperature was perfect with the breeze coming off the lake.  The water was so very blue… but icy cold (as rumored by the children who attempted a post-ceremony swim).  The bride and groom planned a simple day for their festivities.  Fifty of their closest friends and family members, slow cooked bbq, a help-yourself drink cart, picnic tables, a gift wheelbarrow, and pie. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.58.18 PM       Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.58.31 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.59.03 PM     Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.58.48 PM The details fell together nicely.  A bouquet full of memories. A little white dress that looked oh so beautiful contrasted next to the groom’s blue collard button up and tan beach shorts.  The bride was surrounded by a lifetime of girlfriends as she prepped herself for the big afternoon; the groom by his best man and the bride’s sons (who were actually the “bridesmaids”).
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And I know this day is all about the newly wedded but I just couldn’t help but silently fawn over the guest of honor, the groom’s mother, who exuded so much beauty and grace that she reminded me so much of my own great grandmother (whom we recently lost).  I just wanted to smother her with affection and listen to her life’s story.  I told her she was beautiful and the camera loved her.  She smiled in appreciation and then chuckled at my forwardness. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.42.36 PMThe day was filled with smiles, laughs, happiness, and love – so much so I’m having a hard time narrowing down the photo quantity as I cull the images.

When I document a day such as this one, I try to remember the moment certain photos are associated with, like the one below.  Alas, for the life of me I can’t remember why she is smiling or why he is smirking – but the photo definitely tells a story.  And if there is one thing that we can all learn from a wedding day it is to smile, smirk, laugh, and love so much more.  The details are details and may dissipate,  but if we remember the bigger picture as being a happy one, well… I guess that’s all we can ask for. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.22.18 PM