|Roman Forum, Rome, Italy © Doug Hickok|
"The gods are on the side of the stronger," said Publius Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56-117), a senator of Rome and historian of the Roman Empire. This statement was true of the mighty empire, from the 8th century BC to the year AD 476, when one of the world's greatest civilizations rose, thrived, and declined in a span of about 1000 years. At the height of its power, the dominion of Rome spread 2.5 million miles across the Mediterranean region, and into northern Europe and Asia.
Pictured above, the Roman Forum was the heart of the empire and the oldest part of the city of Rome. This photograph of its ruins illustrates both a visual and historical depth, showing more than a millennium of years in one view.
The ruins from front to back are, the Arch of Septimius Severus (AD 203), the Column of Phocas (far right, AD 608), the Via Sacra (cobblestone path near steps, circa 5th century BC), the Basilica of Julia (steps, BC 54), the Temple of Castor and Pollux (3 columns, BC 484), and in the distance the ruins of the Palatine Hill (BC 510 - AD 576).
Quick take: You can buy the newest Hasselblad 200 MP camera for only $45,000! Act now while supplies last.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
|Yardarms, Tall Ship, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
Sailors tying up sails on the yardarm of a tall ship.
|Deck of Tall Ship, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
Ropes on the deck of a Coast Guard tall ship docked in Charleston.
|Red Barn, Rural Ohio © Doug Hickok|
An image from my days of roaming around the countryside in Ohio.
(shot on Kodachrome 64 slide film, 1986)
|Reflections of Shrimp Boats, Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, SC © Doug Hickok|
Homage to Jackson Pollack.
|Faded Mural, Folly Beach, SC © Doug Hickok|
Answer to the mystery movie star on the mural (from Tuesday's post) -
Ingrid Bergman... painted on the side of the restaurant, Planet Follywood.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
|A young Doug getting his legs in shape for those low POV shots.|
|Reflection of a photographer.|
|Whatever it takes to get the shot.|
|See, those squats paid off!|
|Shadow of a photographer... or 2.|
|To shoot or not to shoot... that is the question.|
Happy Birthday Doug ! ! !
Friday, May 27, 2011
|Four Palmetto Trees, Charleston Harbor, Mt. Pleasant, SC © Doug Hickok|
This is a view through four Palmetto palms toward Charleston Harbor on a hazy summer morning. I liked the palm trunks in shadow when I first arrived on the scene. I next used a 300 mm telephoto lens to compress space, giving the image a more graphic appearance. The photo was made on Velvia RVP color slide film a few years ago, back in my pre-digital days. You can see a little grain from the 100 ASA film speed, quite different from the smooth look of the 100 ISO digital speed. Also, I thought I would continue the blue/green color theme from yesterday's post. Hope I didn't make you doze off with all the technical talk.
Tomorrow will be a mixed bag day, with several promised images included.
Hope you have a great weekend.
Quick take: May I leave you with an absolute ooh aah image to start your weekend?
How about this stunner from Frans Lanting!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
|Blue Restaurant Door, Folly Beach, SC © Doug Hickok|
"In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject"
Folly Beach, a 30 minute drive from downtown Charleston (just 5 minutes as the Laughing Gull flies), is a great place to find color, color with character that is. This image shows a detail of a rough-looking door. It is the entrance to a popular restaurant in the island town. The weathered door is a gem in the making, having been chiseled over time into a precious specimen with dazzling blue and green hues. Add a bit of red and you have a little treasure.
And now, if you will please excuse me, I must clean my house.
Quick take: Here is a link to an extraordinary video called "The Decisive Moment", narrated by Henri Cartier-Bresson. In it the master photographer displays and discusses a selection of his most famous images. Priceless.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
|Castle Hill, Budapest, Hungary © Doug Hickok|
When walking around Castle Hill of Budapest one morning, I was initially attracted to this scene by the warm yellow color of the old stone walls. But then I became intrigued with the open door, which allowed a glimpse through the dark corridor into a courtyard garden. It reminded me of Charleston and secret gardens hidden behind the facades of historic houses. And that made me think, you never know what's behind outward appearances.
Quick take: Here's a link to a short article about shooting street photography with a rangefinder camera. The article opens up an interesting commentary/discussion on the pros and cons of film vs digital photography.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
|Ironwork Scrolls and Lantern Shadow, South Carolina Society Hall, |
Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok
Late afternoon sunlight casts the shadow of an ornate lantern onto a white stucco wall. Shown in the foreground are the ironwork scrolls of the lantern stand. The setting here is the South Carolina Society Hall (1804) which is a popular venue for weddings, cotillion, and other events. I'm sure over the years many debutantes have had their pictures taken next to this fancy lantern.
Quick take: In the course of all your thoughts and ruminations, have you ever wondered what a camera lens cut in half looks like?
Friday, May 20, 2011
|View of Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park, Oregon © Doug Hickok|
Ever since I was a kid, I have loved paging through National Geographic magazines. I was captivated by the pictures and maps of far away places that I found fascinating, places I wanted to learn about and visit one day. I was completely moved by the premise behind their motto, "Inspiring people to care about the planet." But it wasn't until I became interested in photography in my early 20's that I gained a true appreciation for just how amazing the photographers behind the photographs were. They worked unceasingly to find the most revealing vantage point, the most beautiful light, the most dramatic mood, the most telling human gesture or expression, or the most exciting wildlife behavior. They often worked in the most challenging and dangerous environments. Approaching their photography in a journalistic though artful manner, the emphasis was always on getting the image right in-camera. Over time I came to admire the work of many of these photographers.
So my pick for today's Favorite Photographer Friday is Sam Abell, one of many great NGS photographers whom I find inspiring. Quite unlike Ernst Haas and Pete Turner (previous FPF photographers), Sam Abell's color images are often quiet, understated, and sometimes almost monochromatic. His book The Photographic Life offers fascinating insight into what it was like to be a NGS photographer and even illustrates the processes he used to create some of his most iconic photographs. If you ever see his book in a library or used book store, scoop it up. You'll be fascinated. You can see some of his images here, and his website here.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
|Weathered Window, Old House, near Chillicothe, Ohio © Doug Hickok|
I made this image on Kodachrome 64 slide film in 1986. Back then, I roamed the Ohio countryside in search of interesting subjects, and often discovered them in abandoned houses or barns. I recently found this transparency,
in a sleeve of old Kodachromes,
of a rustic window with squares of pealing yellow paint. It reminds me of a painting in the mode of Mark Rothko. He was a Russian-born American painter known for his colorful abstracts, influenced by among others, the Cubists and their simple geometric designs. He was at the peak of his career in the 1930's through the 1950's, as was this old house, it seems.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
|The Tall Ship Europa, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
Every few years, several tall ships from around the world sail into Charleston Harbor for the Maritime Festival. This beauty is the barque Europa, which hails from the Netherlands, and will be 100 years old this summer.
Europa is also the woman in Greek mythology after whom Europe was named.
Europa is the name of a princess from Tyre, who later became a girlfriend of Zeus.
Europa is one of the moons of Jupiter (aka Zeus).
Europa is a large asteroid in the asteroid belt.
Europa is the web portal for the EU.
And perhaps most importantly, Europa is a classic rock song by Santana, and one of the sweetest instrumentals ever!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
|Thuya Garden, Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine © Doug Hickok|
Amid the dramatic coastal and mountain scenery of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is the small, off-the-beaten-path gem called Thuya Garden. In the early morning, when golden sunlight begins to peak through the trees, and there is no sound but the soft calling of birds, this secluded garden is transformed into a magical haven from the notorious summer crowds of the island.
Like an enchanted scene from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, this garden experience is one not to be forgotten. Look there! You can see Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed. And look there, it's Robin Goodfellow! Ah, and there's that donkey-headed Bottom. He's such a silly fellow.
"You there, Bottom, remove thyself, you're ruining the view!!!"
Quick take: Though I'm actually a quiet, low key person, some people think I'm a little quirky. Some have even called me eccentric. But apparently there are reasons for the things we do. Here is a short article on why creative people tend to be eccentric.
Monday, May 16, 2011
|Balsam Nature Trail, Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina © Doug Hickok|
Looping around a ridge just below the peak of Mount Mitchell, the Balsam Nature Trail guides you through a dense, dark subalpine forest of spruce and fir. The mountain is the highest in the eastern US at a modest elevation of 6,684 feet, but its prominent location above the surrounding Appalachian topography causes it to attract heavy weather. Cool even in summer months, this trail is often enveloped by clouds and mists. On this occasion, the mists began to clear just as the sun came out.
There is something about the atmosphere of this primeval forest that always reminds us of elves and dwarves and Tolkien tales. As a matter of fact, we once found Gandolf's wallet and car keys laying beside the trail. He must have dropped them on his way to saving Middle Earth.
Quick take: If you like dramatic landscape photography, take a moment to view California photographer Mitch Dobrowner's work.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
|Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy © Doug Hickok|
Many travelers are probably familiar with the famous Cathedral (Duomo) of Florence, either having seen photographs of Brunelleschi's red brick dome towering above the city, or having visited the church when in Florence. Needless to say, the church is an impressive work of art, either from a distance, or up close. This view of the decorative exterior shows the intricate design work of the marble masonry. Whereas the dome took only 16 years to build, the facade took about five centuries to finish, being started in the 14th century and being completed finally in 1887. Talk about a titanic project, the construction of the Duomo is indeed a model of patience and persistence (not unlike the church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona). These concepts are often difficult to fathom in the immediate gratification society we live in today.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
|Blooming Shadberry Trees, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway,|
North Carolina © Doug Hickok
A hillside blooms with shadberry trees in early Spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also known as serviceberry, Indian pear, or sugar pear, its purplish fruit has been used by people for centuries in sauces and pies, or eaten raw for its sweet flavor. Wildlife love the berries as well... songbirds, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, bobwhites, skunks, foxes, raccoons, black bear, squirrels, and chipmunks feast on the abundant fruit. (Not to mention being highly prized by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore).
Monday, May 9, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
|Old Double Doors, Savannah, Georgia © Doug Hickok|
Like Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, these old doors have much to admire, and even though they are incomplete, they stand alone as a composition. Perhaps a little neglected behind the rhythm of the balustrade, they have survived the test of time, and conduct themselves like a true classic. D.C. al fine.
Hope you have a classic weekend as well.
(Image shot on Fujichrome Velvia RVP 100 color slide film, using a Nikon F3HP camera, and a Nikkor 105 mm f/2.5 lens while wearing elf ears
and a kookaburra feather in my pork pie hat.)
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Some of our fellow bloggers have asked me to show some alternative views of previous posts, and although I don't have exactly everything asked for, I will try to approximate their requests. So here goes...
|Common Eiders and View of Lubec, Maine © Doug Hickok|
A vista from near the lighthouse as the fog began to lift, looking back over toward the
U. S. from Campobello island.
|Ravenel Bridge, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
A look at the Ravenel Bridge tower and cables without lamp posts.
|Pineapple Fountain, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
Yes, more pineapples, this time the Pineapple Fountain at night.
|View of Krakow from the Divine Mercy Tower, Krakow, Poland © Doug Hickok|
Another view from the tower at the Basilica of Divine Mercy, showing the outskirts of Krakow, Poland. Below, center, is the Pastoral Lodge and to the right is the Convent.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
|Dock Street Theatre Courtyard, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
This is the courtyard to the newly renovated Dock Street Theatre in the French Quarter of Charleston. It is a place patrons gather during the intermissions of plays, concerts and other performances, and is perfect for a bit of fresh air, a cool drink and light conversation.
Not far from the theatre is Magnolia's restaurant, where Becky and I went for our anniversary dinner last evening. A loud shout out to our friend Edward, our favorite waiter, who entertained us with a fabulous feast never to be forgotten.
Take a bow Edward. Bravo!!!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
|Smoking Ridges, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee © Doug Hickok|
In our marriage we have journeyed together, through highs and lows,
balancing along ridges, venturing into valleys, and facing the fog of parenting.
|Ridge Trail to Mt Craig, Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina © Doug Hickok|
Marriage is a thrilling hike through a wonderful but unpredictable wilderness...
|Trail Marker, Tanawha Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina © Doug Hickok|
... on a path which we will continue to travel together
for the next 25 years... or more.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
|Amphitheater Steps, Lagiewniki Sanctuary of Divine Mercy,|
Krakow, Poland © Doug Hickok
In the Roman Catholic Church, today, the Second Sunday of Easter, is designated as Divine Mercy Sunday. My family had the opportunity to visit the Basilica of Divine Mercy in 2007 when we chaperoned for the Cathedral Girls Chorus of which our daughter was a member. While the girls were rehearsing, I had the chance to climb to the top of the tower to see what my eyes could spy...
and what I spied were the amazing patterns of the amphitheater and the yellow hues of the flora and flooring!