Always be thankful …

Some people forget there are 365 days a year during which to give thanks for what they have, count their blessings, and be joyful no matter the circumstances. It took me far too long in life to realize this, but now I most certainly do. As my stylized photo here suggests, the Thanksgiving Holiday period for us in the United States has arrived. Traditions take over. Turkeys will be roasted, smoked, or deep fat fried. Family members will travel via plane, train or automobile to gather to celebrate. Football games will be watched. Shoppers will seek bargain prices on the Friday after Thanksgiving (a relatively new tradition) and many will find great success in that regard. During all this some will complain that the turkey meal they were served wasn’t up to expectations. Some will sit stranded in air terminals awaiting delayed connections. Some will leave said terminal with a “lost baggage” claim ticket in hand. Others will weep or scream when their favored college or professional football team loses a key game played during the holiday period. While others will be seriously mad because the great bargain they sought on Black Friday was sold out. That’s all fine with me. I’m not judging one way or the other. But, it’s not me. I choose to be thankful regardless.

Prince William Sound Alaska

Last August I was fortunate to be on a relatively small boat, traveling through a portion of Prince William Sound in Alaska. It was in narrow Esther Passage where I was able to capture beautiful relatively close-up scenery without having to use a telephoto lens. Most day cruise ships out of Whittier include the passage on their itinerary on the way to view numerous glaciers that are located in Prince William Sound. Here are a few more compositions I saw that day.  As yes, the very smooth water was that color.

This photo “won” Best in Show


This Fall I decided to sponsor a contest to determine which photo, among several entries I expected to receive, was “Best in Show.” There was one rule to this contest. Only one candidate could submit photos, and that person had to be me. You might wonder if the contest was rigged, and it most definitely was. While I made many photos of changing colors on trees and other vegetation during October and November this year, I was not at all happy with what I accumulated. Hues were generally too flat, too few or totally missing. Like “reds.” But, being a dedicated photo enthusiast I boldly went forth week after week to try to find that “perfect composition” I could look at and say something like “wow.” Alas, it was not to be. Compared to the spectacular compositions I was fortunate to find last year, Fall 2017 was a disappointment. I had about given up, but one day I decided to give it one more shot. And, I was rewarded. This image captures for me the “look” I was seeking. The contrasting colors and lighting in the farm scene made me smile. So much so that when it was entered into my “contest” it won. I was shocked when I was notified my photo had been so selected. You just never know what will happen. Well, maybe we do know in a one-person photo contest.

Finally, some color in the Blue Ridge


I made this photo two days ago, from the overlook of Philpott Lake at the Army Corps of Engineers Visitor’s Center. It was a clear day, mid morning. I used my iPhone 7 Plus camera. The lake is a favorite of mine, and I’ve paddled canoes and kayaks along it’s 100 miles of shoreline. Colors are not as vibrant this year as I’ve seen them, but it’s not bad … at all.  As you can see below.