Al's Photography Blog

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Super Eclipse

Of course I have to post my photos of Sunday's Supermoon Eclipse for Skywatch Friday. I went to a local park with a lake and set up my tripod.
We were lucky as the eclipse had started when the Moon rose, so we got to see it low in the sky. At the beginning some thin clouds made the Moon even more mysterious.
But they cleared out and left a perfect view.
The eclipsed Moon reflecting off the lake was wonderful and eerie.
And for my last shot I used a wide angle and played with a flashlight on nearby trees.
It was a great experience and I was home by 9PM!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Arch Views & Museum

My last couple of Monday posts have been about the famous St. Louis Arch. The reward for getting to the top is spectacular views - on one side is the mighty Mississippi River.
On the other side you can see the city, including the ball park.
And the famous Old Courthouse is nearby - I'll blog more about this soon.
Underneath the Arch (literally - it's below ground level) was the Museum of Westward Expansion, although it closed shortly after our visit. It included some good exhibits, and its replacement is expected to open in the spring of 2017.
And that's all I've got from the Arch.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Colorado Gators

Believe it or not, there's an alligator park in Colorado - it's called Colorado Gators, and it's situated on hot springs near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It's the place where my old D40X finally stopped working - by the end of the visit the shutter motor was all be finished and it couldn't expose anything properly. So these are the last shots it ever took!
Of course, we had to visit it with the grandkids, and we all loved it. They even got to hold a small alligator!
They've even got a few rare albino alligators.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Inside Arch

So, you ask, can you go to the top of the famous St. Louis Arch? Yes, and it's a very unusual tram system that takes you up, not for the claustrophobic or acrophobic. You climb into a small capsule with five tiny seats and not enough room to stand up.
It's a very unique system with several of these small capsules chained together; as they climb up the arch each capsule rotates to stay level, and the inside of the arch is visible through each capsule's small window. It takes about four minutes to get to the top, at which point you get out and climb the last few stairs.
The inside of the top of the arch isn't very big and looking through those windows you realize how high up you really are (630-foot or 192 m), with nothing between you and the ground. It was swaying noticeably when we were up there - it's designed to sway up to 9 inches in either direction while withstanding winds up to 150 miles per hour (240 km/h). But it's still an unsettling experience to feel it!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

1978 New York City Chinatown

This was a strange sight indeed for a boy from Holland in the 1970s!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

More Arch Shots

Here are a couple more shots of the famous St. Louis Arch, looking straight up. Next week I'll show you how to get to the top!

Monday, September 14, 2015

St. Louis Arch

Here are some shots of the famous Arch from when we were in St. Louis late last year.
I wanted to get slightly different perspectives from the usual.
Here's a close-up of the windows at the top - more to come from there later.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11 Memorial

Nobody will forget where they were on 9/11 - I know I certainly won't. I've been reaching back into my archives to show New York before that day, but here's what I saw the last time I was there. The last photo brought it home for me, as it's all about the people lost on that dreadful day and the suffering their families have endured.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lake Dipping

If the wind is right, the more adventurous balloon pilots try to dip in Memorial Lake shortly after take-off. This first one is very daring - the pilot was strapped in a simple seat hanging below the balloon.
The huge boot succeeded - his basket was dripping water after he dipped. That's some impressive piloting!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Lift Off

Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday in September here in the USA, and for many years there has been a balloon festival in my city over the long weekend (The Colorado Springs Balloon Classic). It looked like last year would be the final one as the organizers chose not to continue it, but fortunately another group stepped in and this year we celebrated the first Labor Day Lift Off!
There were literally dozens of beautiful and unique hot-air balloons lifting off early in the morning.
It's one of my favorite local events every year and I'm glad it's continuing.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Another View of the WTC

Here's a different view of the World Trade Center taken during my first visit to the USA, back in 1978.
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