Category Archives: Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

September 20, 2014 – Indonesia:Day003

Motion is the theme this week from WordPress’s photo challenge and my entry is on fire.

On the night the family and I went to the zoo in Bali, Indonesia, we were also treated to a performance of African dancing.

In addition to people in costume as giraffes and elephants, the troupe also played with fire. Courtesy of the low light and the long time the lens of my camera stayed open, this is what I caught when I snapped of photo of this flammable spectacle in motion.

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Pile of Rocks

March 15, 2015 – Cambodia: Day 002

Okay, we’re back to the crankiness when it comes to my reflections on Angkor, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and place that once stood as the seat of the Khmer Empire for seven centuries.

There is no doubt that this site is impressive.

There is no doubt that this site is massive.

There is no doubt that this site is awe-inspiring.

There is no doubt that this site requires a guide if you ever go (and a dress code also).

There is also no doubt that this site is in ruins.

Trust me, I know it sounds odd to lament the fact that a ruin looks…well, ruined…and that a collection of buildings built over a millenia ago looks like the cleaners haven’t come by in about three hundred years, but it’s true about this Cambodian treasure.

The fact that there were piles of rocks strewn about and that there were piles of rocks stacked up in aesthetic manners, for me, took a bit of shine off this place.

Maybe I’m just an archaeological snob. Maybe I’ve been ruined by our Peruvian experience to Machu Picchu and Ollantayambo where those locations looked like the place had been taken care of. Or at least cared about.

Below are just a sample of images of what I saw to explain what I mean…

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For the rubble that is stacked neatly on the ground, I should point out that each rock has a number on it. Our guide informed us that this is done so that – at some point in the future – the material can be placed back in its original location. Preservationists and other scholarly type folk came through Angkor and dismantled parts of the complex that were in danger of collapsing. The removed material is cataloged and stored (usually on the ground) with the intention of returning the structure to its original grandeur.

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For the rocks lying in a pell-mell manner, I saw no classification.

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I did snap this shot below of someone’s handiwork who decided to take some of the rubble and make their own structure. It’s not part of the original Khmer plan, but it still looked good.

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Angkor is Overrun

March 15, 2015 – Cambodia:Day 002

Over this weekend in mid-March, the family and I – along with my wife’s sister – traveled to Cambodia to visit the impressive and historic site known as Angkor.

Dating back to the 12th century, it was not surprising to our family to see this collection of temples and other buildings completely overrun.

Oh, wait, if you think I am talking about Angkor being swamped by trees, vines, and other vegetation, (such as the image below) you would be incorrect.

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Simply phrased, this Cambodian heritage is overrun by tourists. Have a looksie…

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If you ever have the opportunity, you should visit this impressive historical site. However, just be aware that you will probably be there with thousands of other like-minded folks.

Travel Theme: Mischievous

January 6, 2015 – New Zealand:Day 001

From the website Where’s My Backpack, the weekly photo theme is mischievous.

My entry for this week takes us to Auckland, New Zealand.

While walking around the city on our way to the Sky Tower, our traveling vacationing family came across a bus, advertising the local aquarium, that was shaped a tad differently.

Oh, when the shark bites...

Oh, when the shark bites…

Okay, let’s rev up the Pun-O-Matic and see what it spits out….

a) Here’s a ride that will cost you an arm and a leg.

b) This is a bus where all the passengers are chum-my

c) It’s form of public transportation that takes a bite out of your commute

Please feel free to add you own.

The Nighttime Zoo

September 20, 2014 – Indonesia:Day003

In our mini-vacation to the island of Bali in the country of Indonesia, we took the opportunity to experience the local zoo at night.

An advantage to attending a zoo is the chance to see all sorts of animals that one (especially a city-dweller like myself) does not have the chance to see in everyday life. The downside to plunking down your money and buying a ticket to walk around a zoo during the day is that you are not able to see those animals that are mainly nocturnal. The nighttime zoo gives us the opportunity to see those creatures that are active from dusk until dawn.

The downside to attending a nighttime zoo is that it is at night. This makes taking pictures rather difficult since nighttime, ipso facto, means “dark” and my camera (a 16 megapixel Nikon Coolpix S1600) does not do well in dim light and creatures of the night tend to spook at flashes (which were prohibited during our journey).

Be that as it may, here is what we saw on our trip to the nighttime zoo at the Bali Safari and and Marine Park.

First – and trust me, it is there – a Komodo dragon.

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Here’s an elephant in real life…

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…and here’s an elephant in stone which is a representation of the Hindu deity, Ganesh.

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The highlight of the nighttime safari is when we were able to move through the animal enclosures. We were able to do this safely because we were loaded into the back of a pickup truck that was surrounded by a steel cage. This was sort of like being in a shark cage, except we were not in the water and we were going through the feline carnivore section, such as the lions…

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…and the tiger, which actually jumps onto the top of the cage (and again, trust me, it’s there).

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We also saw zebras.

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To finish up, nighttime safaris are a wonderful way to see animals you normally don’t get to see be active in a zoo during the day, but they are darn difficult to make a decent photo album out of.