Category Archives: Photography

Things I did and did not do in 2019

I think most people take time the end of year looking back and considering what the years end signifies for them. What did they do? What did they want to do but did not? Last year, I did a year end blog. As I read through it now, I realized I didn’t even put my goals for 2019 on it! But that’s okay. I don’t remember them now. But I will tell you what I did do and what I hope to do in 2020.

Travel

Early 2019 brought quite a bit of travel for me. I had several pieces in a juried show in NYC, so my husband and I took the train up for the opening reception. We stayed several days in a very cold and rainy New York. The train trip up was amazing and definitely something I would love to do again.

We also spent a couple of days in Pensacola Beach for a memorial service for a family member. We visited downtown Pensacola and spent some time walking on the beach.

I visited friends in Boston and Providence, learning a great deal about my country’s history, good and bad.

Something New

Around mid-summer, I came up with a new idea, a travel podcast. So, not being one to research or plan, I started one! It’s called Tourist in your Town. It started out to be just about what to see and do when you visit a place. But it quickly evolved into a combination of travel and history. Check it out!

Tourist in your Town travel podcast

I did talk about starting a commercial photography studio in that late 2018 blog. I sort of did that. I have the gear and the space. I even did some freelance work over the year. But I discovered that I had two options. One was to leave my full-time paying job and hope that I could get enough work to pay my bills. Or two, stop taking freelance work, keep that full-time gig, and pursue my true passions, travel and art photography in my spare time. I chose the second option. Probably because I’m not the kind of person to take big chances. I would, of course, take the right kind of freelance work if it landed in my lap. But I’m not pursuing it and I am saying no to things that just aren’t worth it. I value my time too much for that.

Me with my Tourist hat on

My aha! moment

I did spend most of 2019 angry and sad about losing that dream that I didn’t know I had (lost job in 2018). But towards the end of the year, someone posted a meme on FB that said something like what would yourself from 10 years ago think of yourself now. And my brain popped. Myself from 10 years ago had no clue of any of the things I’m doing now. That person’s goals looked very different from my current goals and wins. Now, I all I can think is how excited I am for the next 10 years!

Goals for 2020

So, what are my goals for 2020?

  1. Grow the podcast
  2. Be more present
  3. Make better art

Feel free to share your own goals in the comments or just post a link to your own blog!

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A Quick Visit to Salem MA

I recently visited some friends in Massachusetts. While I spent most of my time in Boston, I did spend half a day in Salem. One thing I learned is that maybe a Saturday in October isn’t the best time for me to visit this historic Massachusetts town. I will definitely go back, though. If you’d like to know more, you can listen to the podcast episode on Touristinyourtownpodcast.com

There was rain. There were lots of people, although they were all at the other end of this street in this pic.

Salem Street scene

Historic Buildings

The John Ward House was built in 1684 and is considered First Period architecture. The historic Salem home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The historic John Ward House

The historic Old Town Hall in downtown Salem. The structure was built in 1816-1817.

Old Town Hall

The Pickman House was built in 1664. The home is owned by the Peabody Essex Museum and is not open to the public.

The Pickman House

This clock is attached to the Legends restaurant. I could not find any info about it, so if you know anything, please share!

A cool old street clock.

Buildings with Character

Fellow travel blogger, Tatiana, runs a Thursday Travel Photo Challenge. This week the challenge is Buildings with Character. If you’ve been following me, then you know I love architecture.

Big cities always have great architecture, but so do some small and medium sized towns.

Providence

Providence, RI has some very unique architecture and is just a beautiful town. This medium size college town is a must see!

The Turk’s Head Building

Asheville

This beautiful Art Deco building is the Asheville City Hall. The small southern town of Asheville, NC has a lot of great character, even in the buildings.

Asheville City Hall

Bardstown

This unique building is the Old Courthouse in Bardstown, KY. The buildings itself resembles a church, but it was built as a courthouse. It is now the home to the local tourism board.

Old Courthouse in Bardstown, KY.

Prints are available of these unique buildings with character, just click on the photo!

Historic Downtown Boston

In the first blog about Boston, I talked about rain. The first part of my full day there, I walked around Back Bay East, following the Women’s Heritage Trail. As I made my way from Back Bay East to Faneuil Hall Market Place where I was meeting a friend, I found some great photo ops in historic downtown Boston.

Boston Common

I made my way through the massive central park in downtown Boston. It is considered the oldest city park in the US, as it dates from 1634. The park is 50 acres. I found the carousel to be sad and lonely on this rainy day in October.

The carousel in the Boston Common
Boston Common Carousel

Chinatown

As I made my way out of the park, I found myself in Chinatown. Boston’s Chinatown is the largest outside of New York City.

The large ornate gate at the Chinatown entrance in Boston, MA
Chinatown entrance in Boston
The brightly lit marquee for the Empire Garden in Chinatown.
The Empire Garden was once a movie theatre.

Old State House

I finally made my way to Faneuil Hall but was not able to take pics as it was getting remodeled. From the Marketplace we decided to do some indoor activities as the rain and wind was getting intense. We decided to visit the Old State House. The Old State House was home to the Massachusetts General Court until 1798. It is one of the oldest public buildings in the US.

The Old State House one of the oldest public buildings in the US.
The Old State House

Thanks for reading about my Boston walk about. Interested in learning more? Visit the podcast to hear about it.

As always prints are available for each of these photos.

Boston Back Bay East

When I visited Boston, I knew that I wanted to find out more about historic women in Boston. My podcast, Tourist in your Town, specializes in historic women and minorities. There are several different areas featured on the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail. So, I decided to walk the Back Back East tour and try to find some of the historic places associated with these women.

I discovered that most of the homes associated with the women did not have markers, so a handy printed map would have been helpful for me. I tried to use my phone, but that just didn’t work well for me. But I did find some beautiful doors and entrance ways in this historically residential area.

Iron and glass doors in the arched entries are eye catching, but the vintage looking bicycle is what really grabbed my attention.
There’s just something about a simple bicycle, waiting for someone to take an adventure.
Side by side blue doors against a decorative white arched entry and a single, un-carved pumpkin on the stoop.
It’s that sad, lonely pumpkin against those heavy blue doors.
The French Cultural Center.
Fisher College

Be sure to listen to the episode featuring these women and historic locations in the Back Bay East area of Boston.

Barn in Winter

My fellow travel blogger, Tatiana, has started a new Thursday Travel – Photo Challenge. The first challenge was barns. It just so happens that I work right down the street from a very cool red barn. I’ve been wanting to take photos of it for a while. But never have. The property is soon to be sold for development, but I’ve been putting off stopping. But when I woke up this morning and it was snowing, I knew this was the day. I grabbed my camera on the way out the door. It was still fairly dark when I got there, but the snow was coming down and had already covered everything nicely, creating a nice winter scene.

A red barn covered in a winter blanket of snow.
Red Barn in Snow

Prints of this beautiful winter scene are available in my Pixels shop. Just click on the photo!

Rain in Boston Massachusetts

In early October, I visited some friends in the Boston area. Since I’ve started a travel podcast, I find myself having to travel at least every two – three weeks. I mostly travel by car because I can only do weekends right now. But I decided to fly up to Boston for a quick trip. I took a four day weekend at work and booked the flight.

People on rainy street in Boston
Rainy Boston street scene

Early October is a great time to see the leaves up there. However, it’s also a great time for changing weather. It rained. A lot. I tried to prepare for it by taking a raincoat, umbrella, and a home-made camera cover. The camera cover worked okay, but I think it’s best to shell out the money for a real one. A good thing about the rain is the clouds were amazing.

Storm clouds roll in over Trinity Church in Copley Square in Boston, MA.
Trinity Church in Copley Square
Rain clouds over Old South Church in Boston
Old South Church in Boston
The historic firehouse of Engine 37 / Ladder 26 in Fenway
Fire Engine 37 / Ladder Company 26 in Fenway

To hear more about my visit to Boston, visit Touristinyourtownpodcast.com!

Don’t worry if you can’t listen to the podcast, I’ll also be posting pics and fun updates here!

Train Photography

September is my birthday month and in honor of me, I decided to share my favorite images. I previously share my favorite simple images and my favorite window photos. This week, I thought I would share my favorite train photography.

Steam Engines

Like many photographers, I love steam trains. There is just something about the smoke rolling from the stacks. My favorite is just before take off when the smoke releases from below.

Steam engine just before take off
Steam train just before take off
Steam blowing up into a cloudy sky as the engine crosses the trestle.
Train crossing the trestle with steam blowing
The steam engine, releasing steam at take off.
Releasing steam

On the Train

When we visited New York City, we took the train up. These are some photos that I took on that trip.

Train corridor
The sleeping car on the Crescent Route with Amtrak.
Dining car on passenger train
The dining car on the Crescent

Train Stations and Depots

The train stations and depots have their own charms. Some are beautiful, historic buildings currently still in use for passenger trains. But many have been repurposed as visitor’s centers or craft shops.

Main Street Station in Richmond, VA
Main Street Station in Richmond, VA
Ashland Train Depot is also the visitor's center
Ashland Train Depot is also the visitor’s center
Greenback Depot in downtown Greenback, TN
Greenback Depot in downtown Greenback, TN
The visitor's center in Loudon, TN.
The visitor’s center in Loudon, TN.

Yes, I am slightly obsessed with trains and train depots. That feeling of nostalgia when you step inside. Of course, I have not doubt that original passenger trains were uncomfortable rides. But it’s nice to imagine having the time and money to take the train across the country. Some day.

East Tennessee Day Trip

While looking for a new subject for my podcast, I came across the Birthplace of Sequoyah Museum. I also noticed they were having a Cherokee Fall Festival. It would make the perfect East Tennessee day trip. So, we made our way from Knoxville, TN to Vonore, TN.

Greenback TN

The Greenback Drugstore and Diner in downtown Greenback, TN.
Greenback Diner

When I travel, I like to stop at local places to eat, so I searched for diners between Knoxville and Vonore and found the Greenback Drugstore and Diner in downtown Greenback, TN. It’s more diner than drugstore. But it’s a great little spot for a quick breakfast. Right across the street from the diner is the historic Greenback Depot, home to several small shops. None of which were open when we came through town.

The historic Greenback depot in downtown Greenback, TN.
Greenback Depot

Birthplace of Sequoyah Museum

At the Cherokee Fall Festival, we were surprised to find Civil War reenactors. I am famous for not reading descriptions all the way through. Apparently, the reenactment is because a troop of Cherokee joined the Confederates for several major battles. We did not stay for the reenactment, battle isn’t my thing. But I did get some cool shots of the actors and their camp.

Civil Ware reenactors are presenting the flags during the opening ceremony for the Cherokee Fall Festival.
Presenting the flags
Tents in the Civil War encampment.
Civil War Camp

The festival was held on the grounds of the Birthplace of Sequoyah Museum. Sequoyah created the first written language for the Cherokee Nation. He is also believed to be the first person to create a written language without ever knowing how to read or write another language. Listen to the episode to find out more about Sequoyah.

Maryville, TN

On the return, we spotted this abandoned grocery store. The signs on the outside were new. The soda machines out front seemed to be working. There were items inside, but it was early Saturday afternoon and the place was locked up tight. So, I am assuming it is closed for good. I had to stop and take pics.

Abandoned Super Market in Maryville, TN
Super Market

For lunch, we stopped at Jake’s Place on Highway 411 in Maryville, TN. Jake’s is a country cookin’ joint. We BBQ sandwiches. Hubby got fried okra on the side, made with fresh okra, not frozen. I had onion rings because it’s been years since I’ve had them. They were good, just enough breading without being overwhelming. The pulled pork was perfectly smoked without being overwhelming.

Jake's Place on Highway 411 in Maryville, TN.
Jake’s Place Menu

Sometimes it’s difficult to go on a real vacation. A quick day trip usually isn’t hard to find. Our travel time was about an hour each way. We ended up being out of the house for about 7 hours. I’d love to hear about your own day trip! Tell us about it in the comments or share the link to your blog!

Prints are available of the photos in this blog, just click on the pic.

Window Photography

More favorites in honor of my birthday month. Windows are a favorite for most photographers. They can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used to enhance your subject. But most of my window photography is all about the window itself.

Window Light

That soft glow that you can only get from window light. In all honesty, I think there is an additional light in the stairwell, but it still looks cool.

The light from windows in the stairwell of Matthias Church in Budapest, cast a glow on the stairwell.
Four windows are reflected in a pool of rain water inside an old, abandoned warehouse.

Window as a frame

No need to change a thing. It’s a built-in frame.

A young woman takes a selfie in the window of an upstairs loft in downtown Knoxville, TN.
Women make dumplings in London’s China Town. Her work station is setup right in front of the window, allowing passersby to see the art of dumpling making and trust that those will be amazing dumplings.

Window Reflections

Got a window? Then you’ve got a reflection.

While having coffee at Cafe Gerbeaud in Budapest, Hungary, I noticed this cool reflection with the window sign reflected and had to take a picture.
An old, historic building is reflected in new mirrored glass building in downtown Budapest.

Just Cool

Some windows are just kind of cool.

A deep window arch in a medieval castle affords a view of the surrounding countryside
They’re everywhere in Cuba, the large windows and doors with the beautiful, decorative arches at the top. The columns and the decorative iron covers just add a special something else.

To see more of my window photography, please visit my gallery.