Sometimes finding inspiration is the hardest part of doing something creative. Take photography, for example. You have a camera, perhaps the fancy digital SLR with all the bells and whistles. But no high tech machine is going to make you compose and organize the parts of a good, high quality photo. That is still a very human task and one that is also a matter of personal taste. In the recently released third edition of Learning To See Creatively, Bryan Peterson strives to educate readers in composing good photos. Continue reading →
It seemed for a while like Mother Nature had forgotten that it was winter. It’s been so mild here! Even at the end of fall, when we’d normally see at the very least a dusting of snow, we saw next to nothing. Well maybe Mother Nature finally checked her calendar. The past week has been cold. Really cold. It’s colder here than in Stockholm, Sweden. (I checked.) The creek that runs next to our house is almost completely frozen over and has a light coating of fresh snow on it from this morning. And we had a few inches of snow fall earlier in the week. I made sure to snap a photo of the sun trying to peek out as the snow flakes came gently down. It sure is pretty.
Recently, every time I watch German television online or read a digital newspaper, I keep seeing specials about the past 25 years popping up. In one week from today, on November 9, 2014, it will be 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In October of 2015 it will be 25 years since the official reunification of Germany. For millions of people, everyday life has changed in ways that many of us could never understand and probably never will.
Likewise, it has made me reflect on my own trip to Berlin in 2009. While there, I stayed in former East Berlin along Friedrichstrasse. I didn’t stay there because of the East German connection. Instead, I simply stayed there because today it’s central Berlin. The area is around the corner from the Brandenburg Gate, Tiergarten and many of the city’s museums on Museuminsel. During my visit, the East Side Gallery, the longest section of the Berlin Wall, was in the process of being restored. Wherever possible, the original artists were repainting their pieces. We walked along the open air gallery, at times separated from the wall by fencing protecting the restorations in progress.
Now look at the German capital. It’s truly amazing how quickly things can change. Continue reading →
Earlier this year I failed to make the time to go to the Philadelphia Flower Show. It would have been my first time to attend the world’s largest indoor flower show. Then I ended up visiting Winterthur on a raw and rainy day to see the Downton Abbey costume exhibit. It was also early enough in the year that not much was in bloom anyhow. But I made up for them both with my first visit to the Elizabethan Garden in Manteo, North Carolina. Continue reading →
What’s summer without a road trip? We recently packed up our suitcases, left the pup with my parents, fueled up the car and hightailed it across the state (or commonwealth, if you prefer) of Pennsylvania for a bit of a business trip. Of course, I was snapping photos furiously along the way. We went from Philadelphia to Beaver Springs to New Castle to Pittsburgh to Cleveland. Then we turned around and headed back home to Philadelphia. Now if only it wasn’t stinkin’ hot and humid. At least the car’s air conditioning worked! Continue reading →