Procession of Silence in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
The Procession of Silence follows the journey Jesus Christ is believed to have made on the day of his crucifixion, from being condemned to death, to carrying his cross to Mount Calvary, to being crucified, taken down, and laid in his tomb. It is a centuries-old Christian tradition that is re-enacted across the World during Lent, but not usually so atmospherically or on such a grand scale as at San Luis Potosi.
In San Luis Potosi this symbolic journey between each Station of the Cross (as they are known in Western Christian tradition) covers 5 kilometres of city streets in the historic centre of the city.
This article writes about the history and traditions of the festival, along with eye witness impressions.
A number of images are available to choose from.
Great Mosaic Wall of Zacatlan, Mexico
The Great Mosaic Wall of Zacatlan is the result of a two year community project that created a 300 meter long, 3 meter high mural with indigenous Nahua, Catholic Religion, and Community themes.
The mural is three city blocks long. It was worked on by thousands of volunteers and required millions of pieces of tile to complete.
Game of Thrones
Filming for Game of Thrones season 7 will include locations around the ancient citadel of Cáceres in the Extremadura region of Western Spain. The proposal is for a feature article that captures the spirit of the filming locations and combines them with a tourists guide to this historically fascinating and scenically astounding region.
Deforestation for Palm Oil
Globally, our rainforests are being cleared at the alarming rate of one acre every second.
The palm oil industry is widely denounced by environmental activists for its role in deforestation, but also encompassing socio-economics and indigenous rights abuses, this article investigates the broader consequences of this misunderstood industry.
Chances are, you consume a packaged product that contains palm oil every day. It is the most abundantly used oil in world, often hailed as the 'miracle oil' due to its efficiency and stability. But did you know that the palm oil used in your food, hair products, cosmetics and cleaning products are directly linked to major global issues such as deforestation, wildlife habitat loss, climate change and indigenous rights abuses?
I can provide buyers with photos and text about haunted places in the Czech Republic (which consists of more than the region of Bohemia, but "Haunted Bohemia" has a better ring to it, in my opinion). This country is steeped in legends, myths, and gruesome facts. I have in mind a series of contrasty b/w images and "true" ghost stories.
Forging Damascus Steel: The Art in the heart of fire
Entering the den of a blacksmith is entering the heart of the flames of hell but also the heart of the matter, trying to master its most mysterious secrets!
Mastering the forge is a complex art, which will tap the secrets of its operation at the heart of atomic phenomena and deep interactions between air, fire and matter. Without a profound knowledge, even intimate (some would say alchemical), of these there would be no art of blacksmithing.
This story focus' on Damascus Steel forging. This steel is characterized by the presence of frames or repeating patterns all over the surface of the steel. These patterns are made by welding together several grades of different steel. The resulting plates are then folded and hammered repeatedly (like puff pastry dough). A Damascus steel may thus be made of hundreds of layers and it's extraordinerly difficult to achieve.
Important note : I can provide up to 70 pictures for this story
Socotra Island - An Unknown Paradise
Socotra Island, a remote island off the coast of Yemen, has been called one of the strangest places on Earth. Its isolation, both from people and from the mainland, has created an island of rare flora, deserted beaches, friendly locals and amazing opportunities for any intrepid traveller who ventures off the beaten path.
High tea in Chiang Mai, Thailand
The High Tea story from Chiang Mai, Thailand, will feature the following subjects:
- The history of tea in Northern Thailand, with a strong link to tea from China.
- Miang, the traditional Thai fermented tea snack
- Chai, the traditional Thai orange colored tea
- Interview with the Swedish owner of a tea house who is developing wild tea to perfection
- Kombucha, called the immortal health elixer by the Chinese, with a history of 2000 years: a fermented green or black tea drink produced in Thailand
- Interview with a Thai owned tea house that serves high tea with a homemade tea sauce
- Interview with a Thai owned vintage tea house where they serve fusion teas like Marilyn Monroe tea, that will make you feel as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe
- Herbal teas
The sound of singing bowls in Nepal
The singing bowls came to Tibet from India at the same time that Buddhism was introduced to Tibet in the 8th century. Singing bowls are still used today by Tibetan Buddhist monk for religious purposes. But nowadays the bowls are widely used as an aid to meditation, yoga, music therapy and sound healing.
Why are they called singing bowls? Because they sing! When holding the bowl in the palm of your hand so that it is free to vibrate, you run a wooden mallet along the rim of the bowl lightly. Striking the side of the bowl will also produce sound, much like ringing a bell.
My story will explore the history of the singing bowls and the use today as a therapeutic tool. Santa Ratna Shakya from Boudha will be interviewed, He produces singing bowls and he organizes workshops where he teaches healers from the West.
Town Dogs : the story of how man's best friend is now at home in our towns and cities
Not so long ago, you'd rarely meet a dog in town - they weren't made welcome. But times have changed, and so have the lives of dogs. Next time you're in town, don't be surprised to be greeted by a dog as you walk into a shop or gallery.
With humour and affection, this series of black and white photos shows how dogs have made themselves thoroughly at home in our towns and cities. For the lucky ones there's even ice cream, made especially for them.
Behind-the-Scenes with Studio Lighting Technician Kevin Palmer ,RPM.
The lighting style used by many greats of yester-year is sadly a long forgotten art. Studio Lighting Technician Kevin Palmer will impart some of this technique into this article to show while using a large number of strobes in a regular rotation is a costly investment in time and equipment costs - it pays huge dividends in the quality of the portraits, commercial work - and of course industrial applications. It is no wonder that these techniques, when applied properly - provide countless hours of enjoyment and attract a maximum amount of attention while accompanying an equally well done story. Enjoy.
Chittagong Ship Breaking Yards in Bangladesh, the place where the ships die… or the door to hell
"In the 60’s of the last century, the ship scrapping was an industry developed in countries like USA, Germany and UK, But in the 80’s, this dirty business moved to the third world countries, especially to India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as to the coasts of West Africa. According to statistics, currently more than 100,000 workers are employed in the ship scrapping industry, and annually about 700 ships undergo scrapping procedure.
Such ships have appeared on Chittagong beaches since 1970, but the real boom occurs only in 2008, when the World Bank statistics counts about 30 000 workers directly employed in this business and other 200 000 related indirectly to it. The lower cost of labour, the weak labour laws and the widespread corruption are among the main driving forces of this industry. Gradually, Bangladesh is transformed into a mecca for the ship recycling and is known for its acceptance of all kinds of ships, even for those of them with denied access elsewhere. Thus, these magnificent exotic coasts are turned into the world trash can for ship scrap."
Impressed by the bison - The buffalo roundup in South Dakota (USA)
After seeing Kevin Costner's epic Western film Dances with Wolves, I knew I had to go to South Dakota one day. The land of Native Americans, bison, and incredible scenery. The annual buffalo roundup (every last Friday in September) offers an excellent opportunity.
Frivolous Venice – back in time during the carnival
Centuries ago royals, nobles, and charlatans forgot all rules of decency during the famous and infamous Carnival of Venice, safely hidden behind masks. Still, revelers in richly decorated costumes parade through the streets of the northern Italian city during nearly two weeks of the carnival in February.
The tea capital of Bangladesh
The region around Srimangal, Bangladesh is hilly and full of picturesque tea, pineapple and rubber plantations. The best time to take a walk is in the morning, when the gardens acquire some kind of mystical look because of the light frog.
In about 150 tea plantations, situated in around 41 000 hectares is produced a big part of the highest quality tea in the world and that is the reason for the region to be named “the tea capital of Bangladesh”.
People employed in tea industry are not very wealthy. Statistically their number is of about 300 000, and 75% of them are women. The long working day with its “significant” 0,50 $ per day sentences these women to a cheerless life.
Day trips from Berlin - Liepnitzsee
Liepnitzsee is a short train ride from the center of Berlin and provides a perfect contrast to the city, with a beautiful forest and lake landscape.
The article has details of how to get there from Berlin by local transport, a walk from the train station through the forest and around the lake, and places to eat.
Lutherstadt Wittenberg 500 years since the reformation
2017 is the the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing his theses to the door of the Castle Church in Lutherstadt Wittenberg in Germany. This article looks at the history of Luther and the reformation along with details of celebrations and events in Germany in 2017 and a look at the modern day town of Lutherstadt wittenberg. Historical illustrations are included, photos of Lutherstadt wittenberg today can also be included.
Sunset over Adriatic sea
Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of the best cities for summer vacation. Dubrovnik has a lot of great beaches. The sunsets in the summer are beautiful. This article shows sunset from start to end on the rocky beach. Sun goes from one side to another over the beach and Adriatic sea. The sun changing colors of sky to yellow to red, and slowly disappearing below the horizon.
The Kinder Side of Mining - Effects on Others Exemplified!
Often times, I am hired to do a complete exposee on a mining, oil and gas or construction type operation. In the case of Toronto's UniGold Operations in the Dominican - my ten day assignment revealed some wonderful things that employees at the company onsite had been quietly doing for a young girl and her family...you see, the Canadian crews were bringing clothing, food items and more - giving it to this little girl that would walk daily to the drilling site - almost a mile away from her home in Haiti. UniGold's presence in the Community had an enormous impact on the people, their livelihoods - and well-being. I am proud to have taken these shots seen in part here.
Recipe - Aubergine, Tomato And Red Pepper Curry
Preparation and full recipe instructions for a vegetarian Aubergine, Tomato And Red Pepper Curry.
Recipe - Butternut Squash Tagine
Preparation and full recipe instructions for a vegetarian Butternut Squash Tagine served with couscous
Alcala del Jucar, voted the most beautiful village in Spain
This village of Castile-La Mancha seems out of a magical story. It has everything that a tourist wants to see, all within easy reach.
Alcalá del Júcar was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1982 by Royal Decree. Without doubt it merits this appelation, when you take into account its monuments of great historical and artistic interest, including; the Hermitage of San Lorenzo, the Castle, the Church of San Andres with its unique architecture, the Roman Bridge, and the peculiar bullring. And not forgetting the quaint and cozy cave-houses, of which some have been converted to accommodate visitors allowing them to take in the pleasant atmosphere of the village and give them stunning views.
Faces Behind Your Coffee: Exploring the world of coffee farmers and beyond in Rwanda
I have a first person account of visiting the coffee cooperatives in the Lake Kiva region of Rwanda. Below find an excerpt from the first paragraph of the article. Accompanied by powerful imagery.
When you stop in for your morning cup of coffee, be it a single origin drip coffee, a cappuccino or any variation of hot or cold coffee drinks, we tend to forget that we are drinking an amazing substance that is grown and produced thousands of miles away
As a photojournalist I was on a journey to the “land of a thousand hills” in the Lake Kivu region of Rwanda to see for myself the origin of coffee in this small African country. Rwanda is one of a few countries in the world where the coffee bean is grown. Rwanda’s coffee industry dates back to 1904 when German missionaries introduced it in the country. In the 1930’s under Belgium influence they started full-scale production. Unlike Ethiopia there isn’t a tradition of drinking coffee here. Rwandans were dissuaded from drinking the coffee in the 30’s when the industry began most likely because it might have slowed up production of this money crop.
Whale Watching in New England
Excerpt from a story on whale watching in Boston starting in the Boston Harbor and heading out to Stellwagen Bank . It was quite the year for spotting amazing whales.
After three attempts to venture out on a local whale watch that was canceled due to six feet swells I finally picked a perfect day at the beginning of the season in March. My early attempts were much too soon for spotting whales anyway. They weren’t quite back from their 2500-kilometer journey from the Silver Bank near the Dominican Republic where they breed, fast in the crystal clear waters, and give birth. We were on our way to the Stellwagen Bank, an underwater plateau at the mouth of the Massachusetts Bay that attracts a wealth of fish and thus an endless buffet for these marine mammals. Such is the order of the ocean.
Procida, pearl of the Gulf of Naples
Procida is a tiny island in the Gulf of Naples, Southern Italy.
It’s the smallest and least known of the Naples archipelago, to which belong Capri and Ischia too.
Thanks to the lack of tourist crowd and to its peculiar characteristics, i.e. the gardens that in the right seasons are full of flowers, lemons and oranges, Procida offers many interesting photo opportunities.
An article about the most beautiful spots of this beautiful island.
Doha - A City of Old and New
As Doha expands to meet the world stage it maintains a strong sense of its culture. A series of photos that both highlight the world class modernity and embrace the culture of Qatar.
Walking through Industrial Dartmoor
Still regarded as one of the wildest places in Europe, Dartmoor in South-West England, is not simply a windswept and mysterious upland but has been home to a plethora of industrial endevour including tin mining, quarrying and gunpowder production, to name but a few. Each has left its mark on the landscape and provides the basis for a series of walks through history.
I can provide one off or a series of articles ranging from 1000 to 2000 words, together with photographs.
i am a writer travel writer/photographer located on Dartmoor with over 500 published articles to my credit.
Czech Cat Cafes
The "cat cafe" phenomenon, which started in Taiwan, has spread worldwide. The Czech Republic now has several such cafes. Unlike many other cafes, which charge an hourly fee, the cat cafes here charge only for food and drink. The cats are not up for adoption, but are a very appealing draw to cat lovers. Patrons often find one or more of the cats in the cafe jumping on their laps, or on their tables. Since animals are generally accepted in Czech restaurants and other establishments that serve food and drink, the food-serving area is accessible to the cats.
Have You Ever Thought of Holidaying in a Cave?
The city of Matera in Southern Italy is a tumble of mediaeval buildings crammed together on the slope of a narrow limestone gorge. Such is the lack of space in trying to get access to the water below that over the centuries dwellings and workshops have been built on top of one-another and hollowed out of the steep limestone cliffs. The result is visually stunning and unique, like a citadel from a Tolkein fantasy or a set for Game of Thrones.
Life in the Sassi di Matera is vibrant and immersive, where the delicious smells of Italian cooking and home-baked bread emerge from chimneys at street-level from houses below your feet. The great news is that you can easily rent one of these partly subterranean homes, allowing you to experience living in a cave that has all the amenities of a well-furnished apartment.
We give you an insider guide to finding the best holiday accomodation in Matera; what to see, where to visit, and the best places to eat.
The Island of Rügen: Germany's Secret Resort
Mention holiday destinations in Germany to people who don't live there, and the usual hand-full of places will come up: Boat-trips down the Rhine valley, Munich's Oktoberfest, Christmas markets in Cologne and Dusseldorf, Berlin of course, maybe walking in the Black Forest. Suggest though that they could vacation on an idyllic island with beaches and chalk-white cliffs off Germany's Baltic coast and people are flabbergasted. Germany has beach holidays? There are German islands? Does Germany even have a coast? The island of Rügen it seems is well known and beloved by German holiday-makers, but off the tourist map to anyone else in the world.
This article introduces you to Rügen's spectacular Jurassic coastline, with its elegent resorts with piers and sandy beaches where you can hire a Strandkörb and enjoy the warm Baltic sun in style. There are cliff-top walks to explore, light-houses to climb, and other nearby islands to sail to, such as Hiddensee where cars are banned.
How to Make and Cook Courgette Spaghetti
Using a spiralizer to make courgette (zucchini) 'spaghetti' together with a recipe for a broccoli sauce.
Discover Tarragona: Mediterranean hub of the Roman Empire and cultural gem
Situated an hour south of Barcelona, by the Mediterranean sea, the town of Tarragona has considerable historic heritage dating back to the roman and medieval period making it an ideal destination to visit for culture vultures and those looking to escape the busy city of Barcelona.
Tarragona or 'Tarraco', as it was called by the Romans in 281 BC was an important hub for them and many of the landmarks the Romans built are still in existence today and declared UNESCO world heritage conservation sites. The Roman structures include the roman amphitheatre, circo romano, the forum and roman walls which enclose the old town of Tarragona.
As well as its' historical heritage, Tarragona entertains many cultural events and festivals throughout the year which help the town come alive. The Festival of Santa Tecla (the town's patron saint) is the main attract in mid-September. During Sant Jordi day on April 23, Tarragona's famous demonstrations of human towers are celebrated on the main Rambla whilst the annual 'Tarraco Viva' festival in May pays homage to the towns roman heritage with reenactments and performances of life in roman times.
Tourism in Germany - Places to see in North Brandenburg
The area is a diverse region of lakes, forests and, small towns. It is just a short trip from Berlin yet little visited by tourists. This is a photo series of suggested places to visit.
Sailing the Kodak Gap (Lemaire Channel, Antarctic Peninsula)
The Lemaire Channel is nicknamed the Kodak Gap due to it being one of the most scenic and photographed tourist destinations on the Antarctic Peninsula. The channel, just 11 kilometres long and 1,600 metres wide is flanked by steep-sided snowy mountain peaks and glaciers and peppered with numerous icebergs of all shapes, colours and sizes. The sheltered waters provide calm sailing, an exception when travelling in the volatile Southern Ocean. This account is based on a trip aboard the MS Expedition.
Stacks of Chimneys!
Have you ever noticed the vast variety of chimneys in England? Some of the wealthy property owners in former times had more chimneys built than they could use, just as a status symbol of their affluence. Chimneys were rare in Western Europe until the twelfth century, as fires used for the purpose of heating the property, were usually positioned in the middle of the room.
South Georgia - the Jewel of the South Atlantic
South Georgia is the largest of a group of isolated islands known as the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and is situated in the South Atlantic Ocean.
South Georgia island is small - only 165 kilometres long and no more than 22 kilometres wide, but it is covered with mountainous terrain and numerous glaciers and teems with wildlife, both on and off shore.
Previously (and thankfully no longer) home to a whaling community, there remain several abandoned and rusting processing plants and buildings, Today however South Georgia has only a few human non-permanent residents and it is probably this and the island's sheer remoteness that makes it such a special haven and breeding ground for an abundance of penguins, seals and sea birds.
Life in Suruç Refugee Camp, Turkey
On a sun-baked plain near the Syrian border lies the largest refugee camp in Turkey, Suruç, with tented accomodation for 25,000 desperate and war-traumatized souls.
This collection of photographs with captions documents life for refugees living a transitory existence without certainties and under the constant threat of aerial bombing.
Christian Ink - Tattoos and The Gospel
Tattoos and The Gospel aren't words you usually hear together, but, in this case, they work together in a beautiful way! A few millennials have taken it upon themselves to use the old art of tattoos to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each person has a different background and life story, and their tattoos are as individual and unique as they are.
Mallorca, so much more than touristy Mediterranean beaches
Mallorca, the ever so popular Mediterranean island off the coast of Spain, is the largest island in the Balearic Islands Archipelago. This island is so much more than a sunny beach destination. By rental car I travelled part of the island.
My story will cover traditional flavors from Mallorca, such as the Pa Amb Oli, which translates as bread with olive oil and is commonly eaten by locals and tourists. Sea fennel; an edible wild coastal plant, which is picked and pickled with locally harvested artisanal sea salt. Sobrassada; a raw, cured sausage, a local sausage with a rich history.
Fornalutx, a soulful hill town with a history of over 1000 year which is located at the centre of de Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.
Patron Saints are celebrated with passion in Mallorca. In Moscari, a small town, every year the Santa Anna celebration is a cultural landmark of its strong sense of community. Santa Anna is the Patron Saint of maidens and bachelors, and all the inhabitants participate in the ceremonies and festivities.
Reserva Marina dell Llevant de Mallorca is a protected coastal area . The bays are accessible by boat or by foot only and make for a amazing day trip. A one hour hike will bring you to secluded rocky beaches where you can even enjoy a naturalfish spa.
Ancient Architecture of Yemen
It is difficult to imagine that many of the buildings in small villages as well as the city of Sana'a are over 1000 years old. Built to defy the harsh climate and utilizing traditional techniques of adobe, many buildings rise over 6 storeys high. The streets of Yemen are a living museum of architecture and UNESCO has designated many areas as World Heritage Sites. But what is behind the mud walls is just as stunning: beautiful stained glass windows and intricate plaster carvings adorn many rooms, making Yemeni houses both beautiful and functional.
The Musandam peninsula, Sultanate of Oman
The Musandam peninsula which juts into the Strait of Hormuz, includes is part of the Sultanate of Oman, and exclave separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. There are four provinces with the main well-known one is Khasab where all tourists go to take the traditional wooden boats called Dhows.
The tour takes them to the fjord-like between desolated mountainscapes. On the way, they can see dolphins and time to time baby sharks.
Dhows stop several times for the tourists to enjoy swimming and snorkeling in a clear sea water.
Splashes of color in Asia
This is a pictorial in black and white with splashes of color from different countries in Asia.
Images are from Myanmar, Tibet, Laos, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The Mysterious Nazca Lines, Peru
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, the Nazca Lines are a collection of ancient lines and geoglyphs situated in the Nazca Desert, Peru. The lines and mostly animal symbols span a distance of 80 kilometres between the towns of Palpa in the north, to Nazca, in the south.
Believed to be created by the Nazca culture between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, these geoglyphs are best viewed from the air, which begs the question, why and for whom were they created.
Explore Mauritius: More to the island than beaches and luxury resorts
The island of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean is well known for its fine sandy beaches, aquamarine waters and luxury resorts, though the idyllic island offers much more than that.
Mauritius is now a multi-faceted holiday destination offering plenty of inland excursions and attractions, cultural visits, scenic nature and landscapes and sporting activities such as golf and horse racing.
The diverse nature of tourism includes locations such as the Black River Gorges National Park and the sacred lake of Grand Bassin, and provides opportunites to hike, bike and sample the natural beauty of the island. Adventure and Leisure parks, like the Casela World of Adventures, which allow visitors a full day of activities for all the family. The capital city, Port Luis, presents both traditional market and modern shopping outlets, museums and cultural activities.
Though beaches and resorts are plentiful and lovely there is more to explore and experience in Mauritius.
Attached are images to illustrate this feature.
Prague Christmas markets
Prague's Christmas markets are among the most beautiful in the world. Set in the stunning Old Town Square and other beautiful locations, the stalls offer traditional Czech food, fair-trade goods, wool products, ornaments, and much more. A huge Christmas tree dominates the Old Town Square every Christmas season, and pens contain live animals for the children to feed. Lights bedeck the stalls, tree, and buildings. Everything sparkles!
My Very Challenging Trek to Spruce Knob, WV to Capture The Milky Way
During June of 2016, I got the notion of attempting to capture a full sky panorama of the Milky Way. Prior research indicated three possible sites within 300 miles of me, and I chose Spruce Knob, WV, but would the nightly waxing moon, passing cold front, tropical storm in the Atlantic, and the unknowns of the 300 mile trip itself impede my efforts?
Mystical Mount Athos, Greece
The seas, especially at the southern end of the peninsula, can be dangerous and it was certainly very rough the day I sailed. The mountain was veiled in a blue haze with a collar of thick white cloud giving it a mystical appearance. The entire peninsula is regarded as one huge monastery.
Women and female livestock are not even allowed within five hundred metres of the coast.
Bullfights in Fujairah Emirates
Bullfights take place every Friday afternoon, on Fujairah corniche close to the beach
There are no matadors or picadors, the loser is the bull that walks away (it is more a head butting). It involves two males locking horns in a three-to-four minute Sumo-wrestling-like fight that usually ends with no bloodshed. The bulls are trained in the sea in order to increase their stamina and ensure they do not become easily tired. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Talented Flowers, Chiang Mai, Thailand
My flower story features the following subjects:
Edible flowers – banana flower salad – deep fried pumpkin flower – spring roll with flowers – blue pea flower rice – vegetarian salad with edible flowers
Annual flower festival Chiang Mai
Interview with an American glass blowing artist who gets inspired by Thai orchids
The important Buddhist practice of offering flowers
Flower drinks and flower tea
The creations of a Thai flower decoration artist/florist
Production of artisan traditional Saa paper flowers
The national flower of Thailand
A "how to" article on photographing interiors, with the theme of a photographer hired by a magazine to shoot the interiors of various restaurants in a tourist town. Tips on minimal lighting setups, lenses, and image composition are included.
Winter is coming
Polar wave in Europe brings the strong winter to this part of the world. This winter in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina is the coldest winter in 50 years. Temperatures go to -20 °C. The whole city is covered with ice and snow. Evan Miljacka river is completely frozen in one its part. The photos showing how magical is Sarajevo under ice and snow. You can see Sarajevo's bridges, frozen river, streets and city under the white snow.
Losing Win Win (on the road from Mandalay)
An exploration of the main attractions in the area around Mandalay, Myanmar, in the company of an unreliable motorbike rider. The attractions include ancient cities near Mandalay (Sagaing, Mingun, Inwa), the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly Maymyo), and striking temple complexes near Monywa.
Vatnajökull National Park: the place where Iceland lives up to her name
As I prepare for a trip at home, there are always activities I really look forward to. Visiting a glacial lake in Iceland was one of them. And here I am, on an early winter morning at Jökulsárlón. Crackling ice moves in the rhythm of the water that flows from the sea into the glacial lake and vice versa. Swirling movements take smaller pieces of ice along, and large pieces slam into one another with a dull thud.
Anyone can walk on a glacier, assures the guide as there are different routes ranging from easy to very challenging. So I put on hiking boots with crampons, take a pickaxe and start walking.
Portugal in the Spotlight
The contrasts of Portugal range from the vibrant bustling capital city of Lisbon on the West Coast, to the quiet scenic fishing villages of the Algarve in the south. Then there is the annual festival in Loulé. The colour and grandeur of the geology along the south coast and the bridges, oh the bridges of Lisboa!
Lilies are one of the most exotic flowers to grow in the garden
This article includes tips on their care and where they will thrive for years when grown in pots
Photographs included in this package
Byzantium – City of Gold, City of Faith
Byzantium – City of Gold, City of Faith
Byzantium was the seat of one of the longest surviving and most powerful empires of the western world. Originally the capital of the Roman Empire in the East, Byzantium remained, for a thousand years after the fall of Rome, a centre of religion and learning, and the site of many buildings and artefacts of legendary wealth and beauty. Werner Forman Archive has a large collection of content relating to this legendary civilisation.
Werner Forman Archive is the collection of globe-spanning photographer Werner Forman, who travelled for eight decades, imaging art, ancient civilisations, antiquities, architecture, landscape and people. http://www.werner-forman-archive.com/
In a small recreational town in California, Kristen Adams arises as early as 4:30 am and goes to work every day hiding his secret from his employers and the public that he serves.
No, he’s not dealing drugs, stealing cars or producing pornography. But, “Every available inch” of his body is covered with,” says Kristen, who “has no chronic illnesses, “ . . . tattoos.
Most contemporary businesses or employers these days wouldn’t blink an eye. But Kristen’s job is to “protect and to serve”. He’s a policeman.
The Maori in the Land of the Long White Cloud
Globe-trekking photographer Werner Forman went to New Zealand. Amid adventures he photographed many ancient Maori artefacts for the book “Maori – Heirs of Tane.” They were polynesians who voyage far across the Pacific in canoes and settled in Aotearoa – the Land of the Long White Cloud and created their own culture before Europeans arrived. Werner Forman Archive has a treasury of photographs of ancient Maori weapons, tools, jewellery and historical structures.
Werner Forman Archive has an extensive library of photographs of archaeological sites, architecture, evocative landscapes, and art from many great museums and private collections of the world.
New York's Strangest Museum
New York’s most unusual museum is not on Fifth Avenue but on 400 acres of beautifully
landscaped land in the Bronx. This quote by the New York Times is referring to Woodlawn
Cemetery developed in 1863.
Thousands of visitors come to view the collection of over 1300 mausoleums and
monuments designed by the nation’s most accomplished architects, landscape designers and sculptors. The work of McKim, Mead & White, Beatrix Farrand, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Daniel Chester French graces Woodlawn’s grounds. It is also the final resting place of many notable artists, writers, business moguls, civic leaders, entertainers, musicians and suffragists, including Herman Melville, Joseph Pulitzer, Frank Woolworth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
In 2011, Woodlawn was designated a National Historic Landmark. Every year over 100,000 people visit. Some come to commune with loved ones while others participate in concerts, lectures and events hosted by the Woodlawn Conservancy. Public and private tours can be arranged practically on any topic of interest because of the multitude of illustrious people buried there, and the vast representation of art and horticulture.
With rolling hills, waterfalls, lakes, elaborate gardens and a collection of 3,500 large canopy and ornamental trees, Woodlawn Cemetery is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.
The PEZ Obsession
Showcasing PEZ candy dispensers that celebrate famous people and characters from George Washington and Elvis Presley to Santa Claus and Darth Vader, Shawn Peterson oversees the official collection of plastic-headed containers displayed at PEZ Candy Inc., headquartered in Orange, Conn.
The author of three books on the topic and with 50,000 dispensers in his personal collection, Peterson takes seriously his job as curator over the company’s visitor center.
Ancient Fife and Drum Muster
Every third Saturday in July for the past 60 years, 80-120 fife and drum corps from across the country has converged upon Deep River, Connecticut, to participate in the Deep River Ancient Muster (DRAM). Braving the heat in woolen socks, waistcoats and other period clothing, they proudly march through the streets preserving an age-old custom while performing some of the same music that provided the cadence for troops marching during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and other early American military engagements.
Strange Castle Built by Actor with Sherlock Holmes Obession
William Hooker Gillette played Sherlock Holmes on the stage literally hundreds of times, but is arguably more well known for constructing one of the most unusual castles in the world. The castle is sited 200 feet in the air along the banks of the Connecticut River. It was designed by Gillette, constructed by stonemasons using tens of thousands of fieldstones, and was completed in 1919. It looks like a large drip sand castle that one might see at the beach. It has 24 rooms with walls 3-5 feet thick, hand-carved window hardware, and 47 hand-carved doors each uniquely designed by Gillette with a puzzle lock system. The built-in couches, a movable table on tracks, and light switches of carved wood all point to his Gillette’s genius and engineering interests. The main 30x50 foot salon has a complex mirror system that enabled Gillette to spy on his guests from his bedroom so he could perfectly time his “grand entrance.”
An avid train buff, Gillette built a 3-mile miniature railway that extended throughout the property. Famous visitors like Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, President Calvin Coolidge and Helen Hayes (who had her own room at the castle), were always treated to a ride on the “Seventh Sister Shortline.”
Now a Connecticut State Park, Gillette Castle enjoys thousands of visitors annually.
Life Inside A Glass House
“Create beautiful things. That’s all.” – Philip Johnson
Architect Philip Johnson lived his life by this simple philosophy and it is evident in the many noteworthy structures he designed during his lengthy career as an architect. Nearly every major city across the United States has one of his skyscrapers, libraries, theaters, art museums, chapels, banks or educational institutions. And while some of Johnson’s edifices also signify his contribution in helping to establish Modernist architecture in this country, it is his private residence, the Glass House, which reveals a different story in his commitment to art and design, his quest for beauty, and his desire to build for building’s sake.
The Glass House sits perched upon a promontory surrounded by 49 acres. It was built in 1949 and is comprised of glass, steel and brick. It is a 1,728 square foot rectangular shape measuring 56-feet long by 32-feet wide. Obviously, since you can see right through it the occupants would have been fully exposed, but because of it’s setting, it remains perfectly private. It has no interior walls, except for a floor to ceiling brick cylinder serving as a lavatory, and yet the “rooms” are clearly delineated by the placement and choices of furniture, which were designed by Mies van der Rohe. While it feels simple and sparse, it is well appointed with everything one needs to live comfortably yet nothing more or less.
Johnson’s life partner, David Whitney, was an avid art collector, curator, critic and gallerist. Together they amassed a huge art collection. As it grew, Johnson designed a Painting Gallery and Sculpture Gallery on the grounds to exhibit the work of Frank Stella, Cindy Sherman, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and others.
Johnson and Whitney had the foresight to safeguard what they created by donating it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The couple also gifted over 2200 pieces of art to the MoMa. The Glass House opened to the public in 2007 and over 15,000 people visit annually.
Carosuel Museum Preserves A By Gone Era
There were thousands of carousels at the turn of the last century. This is what people did with their leisure time. They dressed in their Sunday finery and took the trolley to end of the line with their families and a picnic basket, where transportation companies had built picnic groves, then merry-go-rounds and later Amusement Parks. In the early 1940s thrill rides were invented and the carousel became passé. Today, there are less than 200 antique woodened carousels operating in the United States.
But at the New England Carousel Museum, people can view a collection of over 150 horses, menagerie and chariot pieces, and learn about some of the greatest carousel manufacturers and carvers of the day which are all represented here.
Focus on Hots! Responsible Photography of Venomous Snakes
In a world dominated by social media and driven by sensationalism, photographing dangerous animals can turn deadly in an heartbeat. Almost everyone in the developed world has a camera of some form on their person most of the time, but when it comes to photographing dangerous wildlife - particularly venomous snakes - special considerations must be taken into account. I am proposing an article that summarizes some tips on how to photograph venomous snakes in a responsible way, based on the author's own knowledge and experience photographing these subjects. Safety is emphasized throughout the text, and every topic addressed - from equipment to composition - is made from the perspective of remaining as safe as possible and treating your venomous subjects with respect while still making incredible images. The author has over 20 years' experience with wildlife and nature photography, and five years' experience at a commercial venom laboratory working with over 40 species of venomous snakes from around the world.
Darjeeling: The Queen of Hills and the Diva of Aromatic Tea
Straddled on the western side of a ridge at an altitude of 7,100 feet above the sea level on the eastern Himalayas, Darjeeling is not only called the ‘Queen of the Hills’ but is also the seat of the finest quality of tea in the world. Originally, a part of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim, the Gurkhas arrived here from Nepal in 1780 A.D. and captured the place. But in the Anglo-Nepal war that followed in 1817 A.D., the Gurkhas were squarely defeated by the British. Then in 1728 A.D., two British officers by the name of Lloyd and Grant chanced upon this place on a survey mission and got enthralled by the sheer beauty of the place as well as its strategic importance due to its proximity to Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet. Thereafter in 1835 A.D., the British took Darjeeling on lease from the then king of Sikkim at an annual rent of 3000 rupees and started developing the place which finally metamorphosed into the present svelte and sylvan hill station.
The Poppy - a Flower of Summer and the Sun
THE RED POPPY - or papaver rhoeas - is the most striking of our native wildflowers, adorning fields and verges across Europe with its scarlet blaze. The flower has long been important in folklore and its symbolism in world wars has been expressed by many poets. In its simplest form, the scarlet poppy never ceases to attract our eye - a delight to the english countryside - a flower of summer and the sun.
Las Fallas fiesta in Valencia - One of the largest festivals of Spain
Are you planning a city trip to Valencia? Include the Las Fallas fiesta. This is a festival you have to experience once (at least). It’s about deafening fireworks, endless parades of men and women in colorful traditional costumes and of course the Fallas. Those paper mache images up to 10 meters high brighten all the squares. During the last night of the festival, the city seems to go up in flames. Las Fallas is also on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Mormon Youth Recreate Handcart Treks of 1850s Pioneers
In the late 1850s, thousands of Mormons emigrated from Europe, bound for Utah. Where the rail lines ended in Iowa, those who could not afford oxen and covered wagons built carts that they pulled by hand across the plains and over the mountains. Hundreds died when caught by winter in Wyoming.
Handcarts have become an important symbol of Mormon history. Every year, many Mormon youth recreate short versions of these handcart treks. On the shore of Utah Lake, high school students from Orem, Utah dressed in pioneer clothing and spent three days pulling handcarts, sleeping in tents, playing, praying, and listening to stories about their ancestors.
Five Months with the Colombian Navy
I was asked by the then admiral of the Colombian Pacific Fleet to do the photography for a book commemorating the fleet base's 20th anniversary. This entailed working over a 5 month period with the special forces, naval personnel, trips in helicopters and light aircraft, visits to islands in the Pacific, and into the jungle to the indigenous people. I was also asked to do photos of scenery flowers, insects and whatever wildlife I could find. This was an adventure of a lifetime!!
Visiting the National Christmas tree in Washington, DC.
An illustrated visit to see the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in Washington, DC. A holiday tradition since the 1920s the Pageant of Peace featuring the beautiful National Christmas tree as well as performances and other religious and seasonal displays brings visitors from around the US and the world every year. A short history of the event and travel tips included.