Fresh Drinking Water – Photo

During the second week of our honeymoon, my wife and I returned to the Red River Gorge, in Daniel Boon National Forest, Kentucky. This park is where we were engaged and also where we were married. It seemed only fitting that we also visited for part of our honeymoon. A multi-day backpacking trip was in order! Along the way, we used our filter to get safe water. Is there any fresher water than some from a spring in the mountains? Nice and cool, definitely refreshing, I don’t think it gets much better than this!

Click to see full-sized.

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Hiking Above the Clouds – Photo

This photo was taken shortly after Saturday’s. My wife (who had just become my fiance the night before) and I were walking back to our campsite in the Red River Gorge. We were on a ridge, above the clouds down in the valley. They were evaporating and the valley below us was beginning to emerge. Here you can see the forest slowly “waking up”.

Click to see full-sized.

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Sitting Above the Clouds – Photo

Took this picture one morning in the Red River Gorge in Daniel Boon National Forest. My wife (girlfriend who became my fiance the night before) woke up early, walked down the trail a short way and sat on the cliff’s edge. We watched the clouds in the valley dissipate.

Click to see full-sized.

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – Photo

While visiting Belfast we took a tour to the Giant’s Causeway, which included a visit to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Carrick-a-Rede means the rock in the road. The road is the sea route for Atlantic salmon on their westward journey past Carrick Island. For over 350 years, fisherman have strung a rope bridge 30m above the sea to allow them to access the best places to catch the emigrating salmon.


Giant’s Causeway – Photo

While in Belfast, my wife and I took a tour up to the Giant’s Causeway. We have been looking forward to this tour since we decided to come to Ireland. In fact, it is part of the reason that we chose Ireland in the first place.

How the Causeway was Formed

Way back in the day, the Irish giant, Finn MacCool, wanted to go and fight the Scottish giant, Benandonner. Finn built a pathway from Ireland over to Scotland, but upon nearing Scotland realized that the Scottish giant was much bigger than him. Finn came back and asked his wife what he should do. She thought for a moment and told him to dress up like a baby and to lay in the crib. Then she left. The Scottish giant came across the pathway to fight the Irish giant. He came into the house and saw the crib. Looking inside, he was afraid, “If their babies are this large, how big can his da be?” He ran back across the stone path, tearing it up as he went so that the Irish giant would not come to his island.

Of course, then you’ve got some scientists trying to tell everyone that the Causeway was formed “as a result of rock crystallization under conditions of accelerated cooling, this usually occurs when molten lava comes into immediate contact with water, as happens today in Hawaii, the resulting fast accelerated cooling process causes cracking and results in what we see today at the causeway.” But we all know the real story, don’t we Finn? 😉

(click on picture to view full-sized)


There is no real way to describe the feeling you get when visiting the Causeway. It is interesting to see the uniformity of the hexagonal stones on the ground and realize that it is a natural formation. They could easily be man-made paving stones. Then when you see that the stones “laying on the ground” are actually the tips of columns that could be meters in length it becomes even more amazing!


Victoria Square – Photo

I mentioned in Thursday’s post that my wife and I headed out after lunch (and the rain stopped) to explore more of Belfast on foot. One of the places we visited was Victoria Square. Victoria Square is a roofed outdoor mall, if that makes any sense. Traveling down the road (foot traffic only) you walk underneath a roof and you’re inside the mall, though you are still outside! The individual shops are separately enclosed, and since it was rather cool outside, we gladly stepped in some of them to warm up occasionally. The square is dominated by a glass dome that includes an observation platform which one can see most of the city.

Here is a picture from one of the third floor pathways, showing one of the mall entrances. You can see that “inside” and “outside” are merged quite successfully.
Victoria Square

We stopped at a small shop called the Cookie Box and got some hot drinks (hot chocolate for me and tea for my wife) and some delicious cookies! We carried them into the mall and sat on a bench to enjoy them. While there we saw the characters shown in the Scavenger Hunt under the Traditional Dress heading. We also headed up to the observation platform to see the city from above. Beautiful! (Unfortunately none of those photos really turned out.)

Lil Red Taxi – Photo

Went up to Belfast last weekend. Saw some beautiful scenery, visited some amazing places and learned some fascinating history (I guess current history, as the Troubles are still on-going). All of those places, and my favorite picture is of this lil taxi that we took a tour in. I paused while walking back from shooting some photos and quickly grabbed this one. Good thing it turned out so well, as I only took one!
Red Car

As you can see, we had a bit of rain. The day started out nice and sunny, if cold, and towards the end of the tour it began to rain and then snow on us. Fortunately for us it didn’t last long; we ate lunch in the hostel and by then it had cleared up so we were able to continue exploring the city.

I would love to have entered this into the Photo Scavenger Hunt for transportation, but had already submitted the bicycle photo. That’s ok, though, as I still get to share it with you, here. 😀

Enjoy What You are Shooting


I know nothing about photography, but have always dreamed of taking great photos. After years of wishing, I was finally inspired by Lisa at Travelin’ Local to start improving my photography skills. She loves her photography and is passionate about finding adventures in her hometown.

Based on my lack of knowledge, I needed[singlepic=15,320,240,,right]to start at the beginning. No matter where you look, one of the most important parts of getting better is simple, practice. I had to get out there and start taking more photos. One piece of photography advice I read was “Enjoy what you are shooting.” Following this advice, I spent some time staring through the camera at the keys and keyholes in our apartment. My wife found this quite amusing. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I find the old-fashioned keys in our apartment fascinating. It is helpful that they are convenient and readily available (and inside… it’s cold at night!)

Of course, we don’t have keys like this at home. I have seen them in a couple of the older homes I have visited, but only on interior doors, not on the front door. Since I don’t expect to live anywhere else that has them, I plan to enjoy them while I have the opportunity.

[singlepic=17,320,240,,left]I know I am not the only one who is interested in an everyday item in my house. I’m sure that you possess something that is different, something that either you or others find fascinating. Don’t let your familiarity blind you to how interesting something can be. You might need to change your perspective. An easy way to look at those items in a new way is through the lens of a camera. You don’t have a fancy camera? That’s ok, neither do I. Mine is a fairly cheap point-and-shoot, an older version of what you will see at any electronics department. It is neither fancy nor feature rich. I am using it as a starting point; it’s easy to use, has few options to confuse me, and will enable me to focus on taking pictures (things like composition and lighting).

Having trouble thinking of an item to re-look at? Here are some suggestions: [singlepic=16,320,240,,right]

  • something that you collect
  • a gift you received
  • a well-worn item
  • a heirloom
  • something different from everyone else’s (different color, shape, etc)

Now that you have your subject in mind, begin looking at it in a different way. My first key photos struck me as boring and plain (I must have taken 50 total, over half of which I deleted.) After some frustration it finally occurred to me that I was looking directly at them. While this worked in the picture above, highlighting the light coming in through the keyhole, it did not work with anything else. I finally realized that I should try a new angle, and ended up with the picture at the beginning of the post. I tried re-arranging the keys, holding them in my hand, combining them with the door, looking from every possible angle and more. (You wouldn’t believe how many tries it took me to get that key to stand on it’s edge… or how frustrated I was when I knocked it over before getting a satisfactory picture!)

Once you have done this a couple of times, you will be surprised to see how you will begin to look at everything differently. You will wonder how you can arrange the stuff on the coffee table for a good picture. “I wonder how that glass will look over here with the light hitting it just so.” Everything in your house is interesting, if only it is seen in the right way. It’s up to you to be looking!

[singlepic=14,320,240,,left]Another piece of photography wisdom I recently read was “Don’t think about what others may say about your image. If you like it, it’s worth publishing.” So while I know they could be better, I like these photos and hope you enjoy them too!