Placid Lake

Placid Lake

I love the serenity of this placid lake and the seemingly solitary man in a rowboat. This picture was taken with a telephoto lens and cuts out the others on the lake, the factory nearby, and the busy highway. To me, it represents the idea that no matter the hustle and bustle in your life, we can take some quiet time for yourself. Finding peace is important. Even if it is just 5 mins of quiet, we all need to make the effort, even in the middle of a busy modern life.

This was an easy daylight snapshot from a balcony zoomed in fully at 250mm. The shot came out much more dramatic than I expected, but I am very happy with the result. I changed the contrast just a bit in Lightroom, but didn’t do anything further.

Camera: Canon 600D
Lens: EF-S55-250 mm at 250mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/800
ISO: 100
Postprocessing: Lightroom

Where the Money Is

Where the Money Is

The idea of currency, of money, always fascinated me. I remember collecting foreign coins as a child. I was excited when my grandparents brought me back Lira after a trip to Italy. One of the most exciting aspects of a childhood trip to Niagara Falls was paying with Canadian dollars. Money is a weird concept if you think about it. Something that is only worth anything because everyone tacitly agrees on it. As a student of business and economics, I think money and currency are some of the most interesting aspects of the field. For people like me, the euro experiment was very interesting. It is very unsettling to have one currency replace another. It changes your perception. Suddenly you pay more attention to the price of things and notice changes in price. It feels like you are spending foreign money. More than the transition to the euro, it took a long time for me to stop thinking in US dollars and switch to calculating in euros in my head. Only after years of earning in euros did I start thinking in Euros.

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Mill Colonnade

It always amazes me to find new places to explore. Places that are simply amazing, but you didn’t even know existed. In 2013 I visited in Karlovy Vary (or Karlsbad ) in the Czech Republic. I didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by a charming town with brightly colored buildings and large hotels.  Known as a spa town, there are several springs and the tourist shops sell tiny jugs that you can use to sample some of the water. The spring I sampled tasted like when you bite your lip and bleed in your mouth – the water had an extremely high iron content. This photograph is of the Mill Colonnade. It was built between 1871 and 1881 to allow visitors to enjoy the springs even in bad weather. It encompasses 5 springs.

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Cheshire Cat

Solar Eclipse Maximum March 20, 2015

When I was little (and there were 9 planets) I was very interested in astronomy. I had a telescope, a number of books, a start chart, and VCR tapes of astronomy shows. Eclipses especially intrigued me. I made my parents stand outside and film a lunar eclipse, and I have seen several of them since. One thing I had never seen was a solar eclipse. In my astronomy book, it listed August 21, 2017, as the date of the next total solar eclipse in the USA – an eternity to a 10 year old. Since then I have been waiting for that day. Over the past 25 years, we used the telescope to project an image of a small partial solar eclipse, which was interesting. When I arrived in Germany in August 1999 I was thrilled to learn that a total eclipse would be taking place in just a few days’ time. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy that day and I did not see the eclipse, although it was still thrilling to experience the darkness of totality.

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Bank of America Tower

I have always been fascinated by skyscrapers. In fact, some of my first pictures I ever took as a kid were of skyscrapers in Philadelphia. I think it is the drama of a skyline, how humankind has managed to build something so massive, so high. It amazes me how one building can dramatically alter a cityscape – like changes to the Manhattan skyline since 2001 or the addition of the Comcast Tower to the Philadelphia skyline.

For someone who loves skyscrapers, Manhattan is heaven. There have been so many new buildings built over the past few years. On a recent visit to New York City, I was walking at night and passed under the 1,200 ft Bank of America tower – the 4th largest building in NYC. The glass facade is really lit nicely at night. The sky was cloudy and the light was reflecting in a very cool way. I wished I had my camera with me. Thankfully cell phones have pretty good cameras and I was able to get a snapshot.

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