Travel Memories transformed into Photo Paintings

One of the many things I love about travel photography is that when I look at a photo from a trip it brings back that exact moment to me in perfect clarity, the excitement of seeing something new and beautiful…aromas wafting through the air…the breeze caressing my skin…foreign sounds creating curiosity!  Here are some of my travel memories edited with software that take me back to that moment…

Halong Bay, Vietnam – 2009

The view from a boat I spent the night on, very much like the one I captured here…

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Vieng Vang, Laos – 2009

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Petra, Jordan – 2009

Reaching “The Treasury” in Petra, Jordan while hiking…

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A young girl begging while hiking for two days in the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra…

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Peru – 2009

Spending three weeks exploring Peru, this little girl and her baby Llama…

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Reaching Machu Picchu, Peru, after 3 1/2 days of hiking at high elevation…

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Cairo, Egypt – 2009

An old man at the Pyramids in Egypt pointing “the way”…

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A chaotic, but every day life scene from Cairo…

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Africa – 2012

A beautiful village woman in Zambia, Africa while on a 35-day Overland Truck Adventure through six countries…

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Men from the Masai Mara tribe in Africa…

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Path to the Baobab tree in Africa…

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Fethiye, Turkey – 2015

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Istanbul, Turkey – 2015

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Antigua, Guatemala – 2016

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Love the bright colors!

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Near San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – 2016

Horseback riding…

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Roatan Island, Honduras – 2007

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Our world is amazing and I’m leaving tomorrow to explore eight more countries in Eastern Europe…I’m so excited!

Fun Evening with Friends

Here in Cincinnati, the weather was unseasonably cool yesterday.  We had plans to go boating with friends, but decided to hang out at their house in Northern Kentucky instead.  We enjoyed dinner, playing cornhole, and the ladies took an urban hike to see the Cincinnati skyline.  Of course, I amused myself with taking photographs.  The neighbor’s little girls were darling…

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I love how this cornhole bag appears transparent…

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Through the Fog

Just after dawn the other morning, I crept through the morning fog, down the dirt road I live on, alert for nature unfolding.  The neighbor’s cat peered at me while I took his photo…

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The trees were shrouded with mist…

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The dirt road seemed to go on infinitely…

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The Emotion Behind Writing and Abstract Photography

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My deck with this morning’s snow…

I’ve prepared a short paragraph describing the emotions I feel when I write for a new Meetup I’m attending this evening, and wanted to share it with you.  I usually give photography most of my creative energy, but really enjoy writing!  Here it is:

A few words make their way from my brain to my fingertips and appear on my computer screen. Sometimes they come in short bursts, and other times they are hesitant, reluctantly surfacing. Once arriving, their place is not guaranteed. Without warning, one or more may disappear, letter by letter, in a backwards fashion. Having never considered how it feels to be born, the process halts as the words question their creator. How do you feel when you create me? Desiring to deliver a thorough answer, I dig deep inside and answer, “It’s complicated. Each time I think of one of you, I’m not able to fully capture the essence of my feelings. It occurs to me to list one of you at a time, as you enter my thoughts, and perhaps connected, as a team, you’ll allow my audience to perceive my emotions as if I were a book to read.”

Freedom, creative, struggle, inadequate, proud, lonely, beautiful and accomplishment.

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Back to photography!  Here are a few more of my recently captured abstract photographs.  The above photo is of leaves frozen in a small pond in our yard, entitled “Trapped”.

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This is a decorative bottled placed on its side on my kitchen counter with sunlight streaming through the window.

Do you have a favorite photo?  What do you think of my short paragraph?

The Search for Autumn

My latest assignment for Cincinnati Refined was to find the most colorful “leaf popping” streets within selected Cincinnati neighborhoods, so off I went, on a 40 mile journey and was amazed that I only found a few colorful trees!  It seems that Autumn is arriving late.  This was the most vibrant tree…

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A peek at a bit more of “the” tree…

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On the way home, this bean field and sky shouted for me to stop…

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So…I’ll be going out again next week hunting for Autumn!

Foggy Morning

I woke before dawn and made my morning coffee.  Peering out the window, everything was encased in fog.  I hastily threw on a jacket over my pajamas, grabbed my tripod and camera, and wandered down the lane in my house slippers to capture the beauty.

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Do you have a favorite?

Finding Art at Put-in-Bay

My quest to find art everywhere I go with my camera, was fulfilled at Put-in-Bay!  This tiki torch lighting a restaurant walkway provided a cool contrast to the dusky sky.

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This beautiful girl with an edgy look allowed me to take her photograph.  I gave her one of my cards and sent the photos to her.  She thanked me for making her feel special!

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10 Tips to Cut Your Travel Costs

If you love to travel like I do, here are some tips to stretch your travel dollar…

1.  Lodging

Lodging is by far the largest expense when traveling. Couchsurfing is a terrific alternative to the standard hotel room if you’re a bit adventurous. After making an online profile through Couchsurfing.org, you can search their database based on location and other filters, such as age and male/female, for a place to crash for a few nights. It’s totally free and the friendships you make could become lifelong! You may also host people at your place, if you have a couch, an extra bed, or even an air mattress on the floor. In the past two years, I’ve Couchsurfed in Cape Town, South Africa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Patio of Cape Town, S. Africa Couchsurfing home

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2.  Solo Travel

 If you’re traveling solo through a travel company, choose a company that doesn’t charge a single supplement fee, such as G Adventures. They’ll pair you up with a roommate and who knows, you may even become Facebook friends with them!

One of my roommates in Thailand through G Adventures

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Family Reunion

Family Reunions are a time to reconnect with relatives you haven’t seen in a while, eat good food, and participate in fun activities!  That’s what my family did yesterday.  Here in the country that means you go for hayrides…

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eat massive amounts of food…especially desserts prepared by my Aunt Colleen…

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Lumenocity

Lumenocity is an annual event held here in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio at Cincinnati Music Hall.  I was invited to the dress rehearsal by a friend and met her and two other girlfriends to have a bite to eat beforehand at a restaurant called Abigail Street right around the corner from Music Hall.  The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Ballet perform under the white tent shown below while you’re treated to an elaborate and flamboyant light show on the exterior of Music Hall…

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Earlier in the evening at Abigail Street Restaurant, I captured a selfie in the mirror of the lovely shabby chic ladies’ restroom…

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Summer Fun

Bouncing on the water, holding on tight, our friend had tons of fun tubing behind our boat this past weekend!  Everyone looks forward to summer because there’s so much to do…Bicycling, concerts in the park, picnics, having a frosty cold drink on the deck, and of course fun in the water!  You know it’s summer when you smell freshly cut grass, blooming flowers, and the aroma of grilled food.

I enjoyed honing my photography skills snapping pics from a boat skimming the water at high speeds jostling my camera and I…

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Views from Mount Floyen

The views from Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway can only be described as Spectacular, Astonishing, breathtaking, stunning, dazzling, and magnificent!  We were blessed with beautiful 75 degree sunny weather in early June and I felt like I was on top of the world!

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Bergen and Bryggen

The City of Bergen transports you back in time, to a time when life was simpler.  A life that revolved around good fresh food, healthy outdoor activity, family and friends!  As a tourist, you only have a glimpse into the lives of the people who live and work there.  Three days wasn’t enough time to explore the surrounding area, but I was able to relax at my comfortable Airbnb apartment, when I wasn’t browsing the streets of Bergen and the area known as Bryggen, which means “Wharf” in Norwegian, and consists of 61 wooden buildings, along the waterfront.  What’s remarkable is that the City of Bergen is almost 1,000 years old and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Incredibly, it stays light in Norway until 10 or 11pm and daylight begins around 3am in the late Spring.  During our three days in Bergen, it sprinkled rain perhaps a third of the time, but Norwegians say, “It’s not bad weather, just bad clothing choice”!  Having arrived in town the evening before, tired from our spectacular day traveling from Oslo to Bergen through the Fjords of Norway, we decided to wait until the next morning to go grocery shopping.  I awoke earlier than my three Tour participants, as usual, so I went off in search of the closest grocery, which was thankfully only a 5 to 10 minute walk from our Airbnb.  I purchased eggs for omelets, bacon (because one of the others wanted it) bread, cheese, lunchmeat, and a few other staples, to help with the high cost of eating out in Norway.  The only coffee maker in the apartment was a French press, which I’ve never used, but with a bit of instruction, I caught on quickly, and made a nice pot full.  I then proceeded to make a nice breakfast for everyone.  The main tourist attraction I had planned for us was to go to the top of Mount Floyen, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post!

Here are some photos of the captivating town of Bergen…

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Turn right at the Witchy Bitchy Salon

If you’ve been following my month-long European sojourn, you’ll recall from yesterday’s post that we had spent the day on trains, a boat and a bus, from Oslo, Norway to Bergen, Norway, via Norway in a Nutshell, through the beautiful Norwegian Fjords!  Upon arrival to the train station in Bergen, although I had printed Google map directions to our Airbnb accommodations, I asked for assistance from a lady with a baby on her back, who definitely looked to be a local.  She said to follow her…she was going in our direction.  She brought us all the way to the “Witchy Bitchy Salon”, located about 15 minutes walk from the train station, which is where our host said to turn and go up a street to her place.  I have to say that Bergen is filled with hills.  Small hill…big hills…and more hills.  Unfortunately, two of the wheels on my 50 lb. rolling suitcase broke on this leg of the trip, so I was pulling dead weight up these hills!  We went up one hill and it was quite confusing with the street names being so similar and conflicting at the same time, so I began ringing door bells to ask assistance.  One guy stuck his head out of his top window and tried to help.

There’s the Witchy Bitchy Salon on the left…

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Norway in a Nutshell

Norway in a Nutshell is a website where you can purchase tickets to see the majestic and spectacular Fjords of Norway.  It was one of the highlights of my month-long trip in Europe and I was joined by the three Tour participants I was leading through Scandinavia.  We began the day early, leaving our hotel in Oslo, Norway at 5:30am to walk to the train station for the start of our adventure.  I briefed everyone the day before as to the timeline of events and what to expect.  It would be a long day…15 hours, beginning with a five-hour train ride to the town of Flam where we would board a one hour scenic train ride through the beautiful mountains, passing breathtaking waterfalls, rocky cliffs, and lush green meadows.  It was voted by Lonely Planet in 2014 as the best train journey in the world.  We would then board a boat for two hours of incredible beauty traveling through the Gudvangen Fjord, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Next a bus would pick us up for a one hour ride to the last leg of our adventure, a 1 1-2 hr. train ride into Bergen, Norway.

I spent the entire two-hour Fjord boat journey taking photographs and enjoying nature’s glorious beauty!  The boat would slow down and drift into coves where quaint fishing villages were nestled in the pristine valleys…

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Dramatic waterfalls plunged hundreds of feet to meet the glistening sea…

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Surrounded by towering mountains and blessed with a perfectly sunny spring day, it was easy to feel connected to everything!

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Although it was early June, snow was still melting on some of the higher mountain peaks… Continue reading