a journey for photo knowledge

photos in auto

Great Sphinx of Tanis

The Egyptian Antiquities display was another location I didn’t spend enough time. But I did spend quite a few minutes waiting for the crowd to thin to get this shot of the Great Sphinx of Tanis. Patience isn’t always a strength of mine, but I’d like to think I grew in that regard a bit after spending time in Paris. Hush. Quiet. Breathe. Look. Listen.



Winged Victory of Samothrace

What an amazing entrance. Standing defiantly, proudly at the top of the stairs in the entrance to the Sully wing was one of the first sculptures I saw in the Louvre – the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Truly spectacular.


Musee D’Orsay

My travel companions were very smart to select an apartment so conveniently located. We stayed in a 3-bedroom apartment at 69 Rue de Lille, which was right across the street from the Musee D’Orsay. Despite this fact, it was Day 4 (if memory serves) before we visited the museum. It was a tremendous space. We saw some amazing works by Van Gogh, Manet, Degas, Renoir, and even some of Toulouse Lautrec. Understandably (and unfortunately), the Orsay does NOT allow photography. So, I played by the rules, with ONE exception. On the top floor of the facility, you have a stunning view of the city (Montmare in the distance) from the backside of the exterior clock. When I entered the room, I saw lots of folks taking this photo, and thought, “Well, if everyone else is doing it…” Unfortunately, my fear of getting caught resulted in a rushed shot.


Locks of love… and destruction?

A common sight on the bridges over the Seine are these testaments to love. Couples write their names on locks, place the lock on a railing, lock it and throw the key in the river. It’s a moving testament to love, to be sure. And makes for some very interesting photos. But we’re told that this unauthorized public display of affection is actually doing damage to the architecture/stability of the railings. Some have reported that the weight of the locks have given way and cause railing to fall. I saw no evidence of this. Further, there were vendors on nearly every bridge selling locks. If the authorities decide to stop this activity, I hope they repurpose the existing locks and railings. I envision a large replica of the Eiffel Tower, built entirely from the locks. Or maybe a very large heart, placed in Tuileries Garden?


Camera quandary

My vacations this Fall include my second Caribbean cruise and my first trip to Paris, France. Last year I lugged around my Canon EOS Rebel T3i, not wanting to miss a good shot. But I’m not sure if I want to carry such a large DSLR around, or invest in a small pocket camera.

On one hand, I shoot mostly on automatic/modes with acceptable (to me) results. The pace of vacation doesn’t really lend itself to composing a shot and futzing over settings.

On the other hand, I’ve become to0 reliant on auto modes and am losing what little I learned in photography class.

Side note… I was disheartened when my photography instructor, near the end of the three-weekend course, said that she shoots in auto modes. “What? After you put us through the pain of understanding these settings?” I screamed. Of course, she was right to put us through those exercises. We should know how to compose the shot manually, if for no other reason than to tweak things with auto mode isn’t delivering quite the shot.  I digress.

The other real concern is the possible damage to the camera. I use the camera for work as well, so it gets quite a workout. And I’ve had pretty bad luck with damage to three previous cameras.

So that’s the quandary. Take the EOS or invest in a smaller, easier to carry camera? But it’s Paris!? How do you not take your best camera to Paris? Decisions, decisions. Plenty of time to ponder.


Lose yourself, seriously.

I am not a well traveled person. I’m only now, in my mid-40s beginning to travel a bit. Last year’s cruise afforded me some amazing opportunities. On our St. Thomas, Virgin Islands stop, we hopped a taxi to Cruz Bay, took a ferry to St. John and then a “taxi” to what has to be the most beautiful, relaxing place I’ve ever been. Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Going back in September.



Spending an entire day in a two story open cabana, with this view. Ahhhhh. Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.


Street Performers

GB-KW 1113, originally uploaded by gburgan.

The best thing to see in Key West is the sunset. Before sunset each day, crowds gather at Mallory Square. Time is passed by, among other things, watching street performers. This aparatus was used by an escape artist in his chained performance. But his daughter doing the introduction turned out to be the better shot.

Sony DSC-H1; 1/2000 sec; f/6.3; Focal Length: 6 mm; ISO 64 (Automatic)

Key West

GB-KW 849, originally uploaded by gburgan.

On a trip to Key West in 2006 with my sister, I snapped hundreds of photos. This is one of my favorite shots from the entire trip. At times the smooth, glassy water was competing with the sun for attention.

One week until my digital photography class starts.

Sony DSC-H1; 1/400 sec; f/4; Focal Length: 8.6 mm; ISO 64 (automatic)

Sister’s Backyard

This was taken with my Sony Cybershot on one of my first trips to my Sister’s place in Navarre. Such a beautiful “back yard.”

Sony DSC-W80 (Cybershot); 1/640 sec; f/8; ISO 125; Focal Length 5.8 mm