Archives for July 2012

Trial by fireworks…

Its been awhile since the 4th of July…we’ve all had a chance to reminisce about the what we did or shouldn’t have done.  It’s also given me the opportunity to pore over the images I took.  I started the weekend hoping to get some great firework pictures – needless to say it was a good learning experience!  What I found most challenging was getting the proper focus point while still having a good composition (with the firework in it).  I had read some general guidelines that did help, but in the end, nothing compares to first hand experience.  I had a good idea of where the fireworks were going to be on display, but as with any explosive it was still hard to predict where it was actually going to explode.  I pushed through the frustration and was able to capture a few “good” ones until I looked at my notes…then the real fun started!

The best tip I read was to not forget about your surroundings.  There are some great photo opportunities of catching the people around you as they watch the fireworks.  For me, this meant my nieces, nephews, and the sparklers they were so excited about yet afraid of.  Watching them run around was quite entertaining and rewarding as I turned my focus to longer exposures and light streaking.  As they became more comfortable with the sparks and sparkles I tried to get them to be creative to see what their little minds (and mine for that matter) could come up with.  By far it was the most rewarding part of my holiday celebration, but I must be honest, they weren’t the shots I was after – I wanted the grand finale in all its glory.  It’ll have to wait for next year, but the holiday wasn’t for naught, I’ll take what I’ve learned from this experience and be ready for next year!

In the mean time click on the image below to enjoy some of my favorite shots from the weekend.



A tribute to fallen soldiers…

I’ve driven by the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN many times and every time I want to stop and take some pictures.  Some may consider that a bit morbid – maybe, but for me, I think cemeteries can be incredibly peaceful, not to mention historical – pages of our past.  For instance, the picture at the right is of a cemetery in the heart of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Yep, downtown Boston.  Its called the King’s Chapel and Burying Ground and is found along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile, brick-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites throughout downtown Boston. If you are ever in Boston, I would highly suggest checking it out.  A blog post will be coming soon to document my trip along Freedom Trail, so stay tuned!

I digress…anyway, in 1870 the Fort Snelling cemetery was created to serve as a burial place for soldiers who died while stationed at the fort. After World War I the citizens of St. Paul petitioned to have a national cemetery established in the vicinity. Congress passed legislation in 1937 that designated a potion of the Fort Snelling Military Reservation as a national cemetery. The entire site, administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, comprises 436 acres and remains the final resting place for over 180,000 service men and women. A humbling display of bravery, patriotism and commitment to freedom of those that came before us.

I had the distinct pleasure not long ago of what we in the airline industry call a “productivity break”.  A productivity break is a long sit between scheduled flights that does nothing but make our day longer…sometimes 13 hours plus. I could waste an entire post simply dedicated to these monsters, but this time I decided to make the best of my productivity break and be…well, productive.  I decided to venture outside the airport, enjoy the sun, and honor all the fallen soldiers the best way I know how – with pictures! Click on the image below to see my gallery/tribute to all the men and women, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas who fought so I could be productive on my “productivity break.”