Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Pikes Peak As Seen From Our House

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Epidaurus Theater

Continuing with the photos from the 1973 family vacation to Greece, here's the famous Epidaurus Theater. Again, it's an amazing thing - built so long ago, it holds 15,000 people and the acoustics are so perfect that anybody in the audience can hear words spoken from the stage.
Visit Sunday Scans for more scanned stuff - photos, artwork, cards, and more.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lions Gate Bridge II

A couple of weeks ago I posted some photos of the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver. I took the opportunity to walk out on the bridge and get some photos of the large towers, and here they are. Don't get dizzy looking up!
This post is for both the Scenic Sunday and Sunday Bridges memes, as I think it qualifies for both.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Huge Rainbow

I originally had something else planned for this week's Skywatch Friday post, but last night we had a storm pass over just before sunset. Just occasionally, when the conditions are right, this can make for fantastic rainbows. This one started as just a small double section.
But it soon spread out to form a semicircle, across much of the southeastern sky.
And even had sections with a second rainbow, as shown in the left of this photo.
So I've postponed the entry I had ready, and put these photos up instead!

Monday, July 25, 2011


One of the newer hotel/casinos in Las Vegas is the Cosmopolitan, aimed at the high end. It's a beautiful pair of buildings from the outside.
And of course, inside, it's simply gorgeous. These hanging glass curtains particularly impressed me.
I didn't spend any money here, it's a little out of my comfort zone! But it was a brief part of My World! And it's also for PicStory, with the theme of the week being Blue.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Erechtheion Caryatids (Greece)

First, my thoughts are with Norway after yesterday's terrible events. I can only hope that this doesn't affect the country's wonderful and unique way of life.

For this week's Sunday Scans entry, here's an old photo of the famous Erechtheion caryatids, at the Acropolis in Athens. It's amazing to think that these were made 2,400 years ago!
I was asked last week if these old photos are sepia-toned; in fact they're simply old color prints that have faded. One of these days I may see if I can figure out how to bring the color back to them, as I know it's possible to change the color curves with photo editing software. But my time for that tends to be very limited.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Desert Views

In my last post, I showed a couple of desert photos in Utah just before sunset. If you simply turned around from where I took the second one, here's what you saw. Bear in mind that the road you see is one of America's major highways, Interstate 70, which runs for thousands of miles. These photos were taken literally yards off the highway.
In literally two minutes, the light was gone. This remains one of my favorite parts of the 12-hour drive from my town to Las Vegas. And that's my Scenic Sunday entry for the week. And I'm also entering it into the fun PicStory meme, under the theme "Interstate Travel".

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Desert Skies

Back in early May when we were driving back from Las Vegas, we hit one of my favorite parts of the drive just before sunset, in the Utah desert where the views can be expansive as the highway approaches a break in the cliffs and drops down.
It's not uncommon to see clouds where the rain doesn't get to the ground, known as virga (this is also common where I live). Right at sunset this can create some wonderful effects.
In my next post on Friday I'll show you the very nice views when you turn around from where this last photo was taken. Until then, visit Skywatch Friday for more incredible skies.

For those interested in weather (an appropriate Skywatch topic), here's an illustration of the dramatic shifts from winter to summer here. At my house, our low temperature this year has been -19.5 °F (-28.6 °C) back in February. We've been as high as 91.2 °F (32.9 °C) this month. That's a shift of over 110 °F, or 61.5 °C!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inside Caesars Palace

Back to Las Vegas for My World Tuesday, here are some photos from inside Caesars Palace, specifically the Forum shops. To start with, I found this circular escalator very interesting - I don't remember seeing one before.
And of course, typical over-the-top Vegas glitz, this time meaning lots of faux-Roman statues, among lots of shops. These photos are all taken indoors.
Still, it's certainly attractive in its way.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Parthenon

Continuing with our family 1973 Greece vacation, here's a photo of the Parthenon.
For more scanned photos, cards, and other oddities, visit Sunday Scans.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Horsethief Park

From a hike last September on the west side of Pikes Peak, here are some photos from an area known as Horsethief park, so known because it's where the horse thieves used to hide out. It's one of my favorite areas to hike, but it's about an hour's drive from my house so I only go once or twice a year. Here in the initial steep climb I felt like I was in a Lord of the Rings movie.
This time I went on different paths than usual, down to a stream with some remains of human construction.
I found a small cave that might be used for shelter if you were brave enough...
...and the remains of a nearby campfire.
And finally, a large beaver dam.
I've got more shots from last weekend here, but I'll put those up another time. In the meantime, visit Scenic Sunday for more worldwide scenery. And also PicStory, where this week's theme is "outdoors" which is perfect for this hike!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vancouver Skies

From our May weekend in Vancouver, here's a Skywatch Friday shot where I liked the combination of natural green and artificial wires for the electric buses. And, of course, typical Pacific West grey.
It's not spectacular but it's my slice of the skies for the week.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Stormy World

Over the last week we've finally been getting some monsoon moisture (the last five days have all followed our classic summer monsoon pattern of morning sunshine with later-day thunderstorms), so I thought I'd show a stormy sky for My World Tuesday since we've seen so many. I took this photo in my front yard, and used GIMP to crop and sharpen it slightly. It's a single 28-second exposure, there's no fancy editing or photo-mixing here.
This storm had so much lightning that I was able to get many photos out of it, and I'll share them over the next few weeks.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Agora (Greece)

For this week's Sunday Scans entry, here's an old photo from our family vacation in Greece when I was growing up. It's the Agora and Seion.
Visit Sunday Scans and post your old photos.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lions Gate Bridge (Vancouver)

On our Pacific Northwest vacation, we spent a few days in beautiful Vancouver. For Scenic Sunday, and for a meme that's new to me, Sunday Bridges, here are some shots of the Lions Gate Bridge, which is officially called the First Narrows Bridge.
It leads out of the incredible Stanley Park, and there are lots of unique views of it if you're willing to walk a little.
I love the elegance of suspension bridges.
The lions at the end of the bridge were decked out in the local hockey team's colors, who were playing in the finals for the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately we know how that turned out, with riots after their seventh-game loss.
Between Vancouver and Portland, I have lots more bridge photos to post, including several more of this one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lightning and Fireworks

I've got a couple of night shots for this week's Skywatch Friday entry. First, here's one of my first lightning captures of the summer, taken this past Thursday evening. The streaks of light at the bottom are cars on a road, as this was a long exposure. I trimmed, scaled, and sharpened it using the free GIMP photo editing software.
Also, here are a couple of fireworks of a different kind, captured handheld on July 4th, at the Air Force Academy display. I used my 50mm lens, opened up all the way to f/1.4, so I could get short enough exposures to shoot without a tripod.
For me one of the highlights of the evening was hearing the orchestra play the famous 1812 Overture before the fireworks started, complete with real cannons (if you're not familiar with the music, Tchaikovsky scored the overture with real cannon fire). Hearing it like that is not an everyday occurrence, and one nice benefit to having major military installations nearby! (The photo on the right is one of the cannons firing.)

For more of my lightning photos, click on the Lightning tag below this post or on the right of the blog.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Happy 4th of July - for those of us in the USA, this is Independence Day, when we celebrate the founding of the country. Although I don't have any fireworks photos to post, here are some shots with fire, explosions, and other hot things, taken from Sirens, the free Treasure Island show. It's held several times each night outside the front of the hotel.

The hotel uses it to attract people into the casino. Of course these lovely young ladies dancing on the ship are a big part of the show.
But there is a plot involving a second ship with pirates!
And of course there's plenty of smoke...
... fire...
... explosions and stunts...
... and of course, fireworks!
It was actually quite fun to watch. And it's my My World Tuesday entry for the week.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Loutsa, Greece

For Sunday Scans, I'm starting a series of photos from a holiday in Greece, back in August and September of 1973. Here's a view from our balcony in Loutsa.
Visit the Sunday Scans meme and join in the scanning fun!
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