Fireworks in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

This past weekend, our family was able to spend a few days (including July 4th) in Steamboat Springs – always a treat and source of plenty of photographic opportunities to boot.  This is the first time, though, that I had the opportunity to photograph the town’s fireworks.  So since there’s not a whole lot of information about the show online, I thought I should do a quick write-up to help future visiting photographers.

July bouquet

At least when we visited, the fireworks were shot off from three locations on the sides of Howelsen Hill — centered roughly on the ski jump, south and west of downtown. This means that many spots downtown will give you a partial view of the fireworks, but they seem to be fired to a low altitude — so unless you’ve got rooftop access, you’re likely to have an obstructed view. Continue reading

Notice of notice

So I noticed this notice on a recent business trip to Florida — apparently it’s now a required feature on vending machines there, but I can’t for the life of me tell what purpose it serves:

Notice of notice

It doesn’t have any inspection certification, or license information, or any obviously useful data like that.  But somehow this thing struck me as being oddly familiar.  Then in Steamboat Springs this past weekend, I noticed a sign from a distance that may have been the source of my dim recollection…

2014.07.04 Steamboat fireworks 023

Coincidence?  I think not!

Stari Most — Mostar’s (new) Old Bridge

We recently had the opportunity to visit the city of Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  A bit out of our way (even on a trip along the Adriatic), but we primarily wanted to see one iconic structure — Stari Most (“Old Bridge”).

The original version of this structure was built on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent between 1557 and 1566, and it stood for 427 years with no issues.  But it was a casualty of the Balkan Wars back in the 1990s, and so had to be subsequently rebuilt in 2004.

Still, it’s said that the (new) Old Bridge is made largely of limestone blocks from the (old) Old Bridge, salvaged from the bottom of the Neretva river.

Stari Most at sundown

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Denver’s Union Station, architecture, and how not to treat a nice lens

Denver’s in the process of reworking the core of its mass transit system, and since part of the new work had a grand opening last weekend, my daughter and I hopped on a light rail train to check things out.  The core of all the work will soon be Denver’s Union Station — rebuilt in 1914, and currently in the process of renovation into a high-end hotel.

But the light rail stop that used to sit directly behind (to the Northwest of) Union Station got relocated about a quarter mile further west.  So what to do with the space between?

Walking the Concourse

Why, build an underground bus station, naturally.  The idea was to make a bus station that looks more like an airport concourse than a stereotypical bus station — and if you ask me, they were fully successful in that.  I’m not sure, but suspect that the yellow tile trimming the walls is a hat-tip to the similarly-colored tile used in the original Union Station train tunnels (check out the cover of The Fray’s self-titled second album for a historical peek at them).

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Down from on high

An abstract shot from the Ice Castle in Breckenridge, Colorado:

Down from on high

One of the fun things about living in Colorado is the plethora of great photographic subjects at hand. Among these, a new one (to me) is the “Ice Castle” built in Breckenridge during the winter. Made out of thousands of icicles, with imbedded LED lighting, it’s fun to walk through and a great photo subject.  The lighting changes colors every few seconds, so you’ll need to be on your toes if you want to capture a formation lit with a particular color — and a tripod (or one of these) along with some sort of remote (corded or cordless) are pretty much essential.

Oh, and one more piece of advice — look up!  If you limit yourself to photos taken on the level, you’ll miss some really interesting abstracts like this.

The Great Ball Court

One of the iconic sites at the ancient Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, seen from its north end looking to the south:

The Great Ball Court

For some reason, this view doesn’t show up as often as does its opposite from the south end of the field.  Still, you can really get a feel for the ball court’s size — particularly since those are two people just to the right of this two-frame panorama’s center.