Weekly Photo Challenge: Between (Houses)

I feel I should continue on with last week’s WPC of Between.

After my last two posts of Between (Columns) and Between (Walls), it is just natural that I should also post on Between (Houses).

On our trip to the Baltics, one of my favorite themes of photography was to photograph houses.

I like the colors of the houses and the quiet cobble stone alleys.DSC_0140

Here is my favorite picture taken in a quiet alley.

The picture will be a lot less interesting if not for presence of the cat on the street.

I have an almost exactly similar photo without a cat . I can appreciate what a difference a cat (for many, it is a beloved pet) makes to the picture!

So, this concludes my series.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between (Walls)

I am running late for this WPC.
After submitting an entry on Between (Columns), I can’t help submitting another one for Between (Walls).

The picture was taken in Dubrovnik, Croatia. We walked high up the hill with houses, passing many alleys, until we reached this alley.DSCF0974

I like the light pink color of the walls, but this picture has many other interesting features.

You can see plants and flowers hanging out from the houses, blanket hung out for drying, a balcony and what’s more – between the walls is a narrow cobbled footpath.

Above the footpath is a small bridge linking two houses.

The Croatians must love planting very much. On this small bridge, there are green plants and two women who appeared to be doing some gardening.

I was fascinated by narrow alleys and houses in Dubrovnik and couldn’t refrain myself from taking more photos!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between (Columns)

Lately, I have been too carried away by my new series of posts on my wife’s 5400 Miles journey into the US.

To the point that I have almost forgot posting on the WPC’s Theme of Between.My beautiful picture

Here are a couple of images taken at Luxor, Egypt.

I was stunned by the big stone columns I saw at Luxor.

Not only the columns but the big beams between the columns.My beautiful picture

The underside of the beams are painted – that’s unbelievable!

PS The images have been scanned from my old photos of year 2000.


5400 Miles in the USA (Setting Sun)

Sunset and sunrise are perhaps the most beautiful moment – especially if you are in the desert.

This picture was taken by my wife when the sun was setting in the Utah desert.CIMG4014

From the picture, you can feel that the sun was still hot as it was exerting its last rays of light.

The sand on the ground has formed ripples as wind blew across the desert.

There was not much of signs of life, except in the distance, one man was walking away  hurriedly.

There was complete silence in the area as the day was coming to a close.

5400 Miles in the US (Mono Lake)

Mono Lake is something quite unique.

The scenery was so special that has provoked my wife into taking photos – something she won’t do in our travels – I was the one who photographed while she just enjoyed the view, as she know when back home, I’ll have all the photos.CIMG3920

The following is extracted from Wikipedia:

Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in a endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.CIMG3918

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp.CIMG3922

The human history of Mono Lake is associated with its productive ecosystem. The native Kutzadika’a people derived nutrition from the larvae of the alkali flies that live in the lake. When the city of Los Angeles diverted water from the lake, it lowered the lake level, which imperiled the migratory birds. The Mono Lake Committee formed in response and won a legal battle that forced Los Angeles to partially restore the lake level.CIMG3921

The draw down in water levels have revealed more of the salt columns.

Open Fields in Black and White

I like wide open spaces.

Especially those with white cloud, blue sky and wide open fields.DSC_0265

The picture here  was taken while travelling in the Baltic.

This is my ideal kind of picture for wide open fields . . . . . . . . . .

this is just so idyllic!

5400 Miles in the US (Arches)

This must be one of the best photos my wife has taken recently in her trip to the National Parks in the Southwest of the States.

The photo shows a visitor who has climbed up the orange red color land mass and stopped, looking up at the huge inclined landform above him.CIMG4561

Behind him was the blue sky.

He seemed to be facing a formidable barrier so that he couldn’t hike upwards anymore.

The arch just rose so steeply and at an angle above him.

This image shows a big contrast between the huge and strange shaped landform and the small and fragility of the visitor.



Nubian Village near Aswan, Egypt

This must be one of the poorest villages I have ever visited.

We travel up and down the Nile in a felucca.

One of our stops was to see a Nubian Village. We landed and saw this village.My beautiful picture

We walked along narrow alleys and watched how people lived.

Whereas many of the Nubian houses are painted in colors, the house we visited were just plain.

The homes were neat, large since several generations share a home. The homes sit on the desert, so the floors are sand, which is free and can be easily changed every few years. The homes are built of mud bricks and have high  ceilings to keep them cool.

Coming from a relatively modern city, we were  taken aback on what we saw.

We realized that the comforts of modern cities are not available everywhere and we should be grateful for what we have.

PS Picture scanned from an old negative taken in year 2000.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

This week’s Photo Challenge is Between.

As we walked into this palace in the Baltics, I thought I should take a picture of the entrance.

It would be interesting if I took a picture of the entrance with the palace in between.DSC_0209

However, the direction of the sunlight wasn’t right – I would be photographing against the sun and the image of the palace would come out dark.

So, once entered into the courtyard, I turned myself back and took this photo.

I am glad that the sunlight has revealed some very  fine details of the gate, the columns and the lions mounted on the top.

Instead of the palace, I still have an attractive building between the gates.

As someone who takes travel photos, I well know that the sunlight may change by the second . . . . . .  . . . if we don’t take a picture at the moment, that moment may lost forever . . . . . . . . .  the sun would have moved and we may no longer pass this way!



5400 Miles in the USA (Hiking)

I asked my wife how she got around in the National Parks of the Southwest.
Everyday, if they were not driving from NP to NP, they would be walking / hiking within the parks.
Typically, they would walk 4 or even 5 hours a day.CIMG4156

Sometimes, they walked back to some scenic spots to see how they look during sunset.
Here is a picture which shows huge rock jutting above you, you walk underneath it as if it is a canopy. The path is narrow and winding; on the edge of the path is a slope which descend quite steeply.CIMG4090

My wife remarked that it would have been better if she have brought along two walking sticks ( instead of only one). here is a picture showing tourist resorting to two sticks.CIMG4067

Sometimes, visitors use both hands and knees for climbing up steep slopes. Maybe, in those situation, even walking sticks cannot help.CIMG4734

There are of course areas which are to steep. In some cases, ladders are provided for visitors to climb up. There are also areas where the paths are too narrow and dangerous, in such cases, chains on the slope side may be provided.CIMG4805

Of course, in some NPs, mules are available.

Here are a couple of photos, showing the mules.

One of these  is an amazing picture taken from above, which show many mules with an almost red earth color as background.CIMG4305

The intention of this post is to prepare some of the readers what to expect in the NPs of the Southwest.CIMG4389

Of course, some visitors do not seem to require anything to assist in their hiking.

My last photo show a lone visitor wandering among the strangely shaped rocks.