On our trip to Italy last Fall, we visited Tuscany, a must see for the first time tourist (my wife in this case). We quickly tired of the "Disneyland" that the heavily touristed cities have become (think Siena).
We were staying in a small town that isn't in any guidebooks, Torito di Siena. Evidently, no tourists think of visiting the old part of the city. But we did. And there we recaptured the charm and authenticity of Tuscany. A small hill town, walled like the others.
I made this image in the duomo (church) which is hundreds of years old and only about the size of the tourist desk of Siena's much more famous duomo. We sat and took in the special feeling the place gave us. Thought about the thousands of lives that have been through it. It was a completely genuine and peaceful place to collect our thoughts. Occasionally one of the town's elderly residents would shuffle by the open door.
And today I know that the town's residents will gather here as they have for centuries for their Christmas mass. With it's low birth rate, and what relatively few youth there are flocking to cities for the opportunities there, Italy is rapidly changing. I'm glad we got to see a window in to the real Italy as it has been for centuries.
I'd like to express my gratitude to the men and women that serve in our armed forces. Thank you for all you do. If I could have nine lives, I'd definitely spend one of them in the Navy. I shot this from my back porch recently when the John C. Stennis steamed by.
First day of 2013! 2012 was a great year for me photographically. Three big trips: Cuba, Scotland/Ireland, and NYC. I got to do a lot of street photography on these trips, which was a growing experience for me.
I defiitely realized that I'm no longer "into" regular landscape photography. For many years here on the blog I have mentioned that I don't do "stands of trees" fall color shots, for example. With landscape, I find that I want to find interesting details, and present them in a unique way, one that hasn't been seen before.
I selected this image because it's kind of straddling this philosophical fence. Ho hum, another sunrise, right? But for me, this back lit fog-cloud, raises this image up from a standard landscape shot. I also selected it because it was from one of my great trips, this being Ireland (thanks John and Dan).
Within a few minutes of this shot, I got another unique one, that ended up being published in a book about Ireland light. I'll share that one one of these days.
I met some great new people this past year, which is important to me. I had my share of struggles as well. Life. You know How It Is.
I saw an article the other day that said "forget new year's resolutions, pick one word." I like that thought. The word I selected is "health." I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post some of the health things I have been going through. Without getting into details, I'll just say I'm really on an upswing. So health applies to both my physical and mental side, and I believe that is going well, thankfully! I'm grateful to several people that have helped me in this department.
And I believe growing as a photographic artist is important to my health as well. Thankfully I have a great day job (financial health), that will keep me busy this year. I only have one big photography trip planned right now, but I'm sure I'll work some smaller trips in. And hopefully grow my photographic eye and my skills.
All the best to my friends and blog readers this coming year. Cheers to your health as well.