Category - travel

Jonesing For The Light

The castle ruin show at the top of this post is Barnard Castle in County Durham, northern England.

The photo was taken at 8:30 PM on June 2, 2013.

I have been thinking a lot lately about… the light.  At that latitude, at that time of year – late spring, three weeks before the summer solstice – the sun doesn’t set until after 9:PM.

The treasured “Golden Time” when the sun rests just above the horizon – shining it’s yellowest light and longest shadows – can last like two hours.

On this particular occasion, that meant that I had enough time to walk almost entirely around the grounds and see this edifice from numerous angles.  I just kept walking, and shooting.  As I walked west, from the nearby village, I found a bridge that went over a stream.  I crossed the bridge and made the shot above from that angle, using the stone wall of the bridge in lieu of the tripod I neglected to bring with me (stupid).

It was already 8:30 PM… but the sun was nowhere near setting yet.

So I just kept going.  I crossed the bridge, and started walking along the stream.  I crossed a green area, like a small park.  There was a stone wall at the end of the park, but there was an opening in the wall, and a stone step way that led down to the stream bed.  I kept going.

I walked along the stream for about 50 more yards, and then found another great vantage point, composing the stream in the foreground as the final golden rays lit up the ramparts of the castle ruin:

Another angle of Barnard Castle – Durham, England

Another angle of Barnard Castle – Durham, England

When I was in the UK in the spring of 2013, I made a LOT of great photos in those hours before the sunset.

I got shots like these only because I had the time to follow the light.

I am jonesing for this light again.

I need to make reservations soon….


Castles and Abbeys

Did you see the Series Finale of “Downton Abbey” last night?

Everybody gets a happy ending.  Yay.

Then we wake up Monday morning and it’s back to Trump and Hillary, etal.   Yuck.

I thought I recognized the location that was used for “Brancaster Castle” – the sprawling estate that the Granthams visited to meet the mother of Edith’s finance,  Bertie, aka the “Marquess of Hexham.” The location is Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. I haven’t been there but I did recognize it immediately as a location that also served for some scenes of ‘Hogwarts’ in the first couple of Harry Potter films.

The whole subject reminded me of my travels in the UK and I took a look for the first time in quite a while at the slide show I made of some of the photos from the trip that I took there in 2013 (when I discovered the whole “Portals of Stone” thing).

It’s making me want to go back again in the spring…. <*sigh*>

My First Book Cover !

That’s my friend Beth Richardson, holding a hot-off-the-press copy of her new book:

Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Prayers. (Learn more about the book: Through the pages of Beth’s writing, we’re invited to connect with Celtic practices of gratitude and noticing of blessings in our everyday life. Drawing on her own Celtic heritage, Beth weaves personal story and written blessings into a book you’ll want to have ready for life’s ordinary and extraordinary moments.

…and that’s one of my photos on the cover.

The photo was taken at place on the northern tip of the Isle of Skye in Scotland called “The Quirang” – when Ann and I were there in the fall of 2012.  You can see more of the photos of this spectacular location here, and here’s the original photo:

The Quirang – Isle of Skye Scotland – October 2012

The Quirang – Isle of Skye Scotland – October 2012

Somebody Likes Purple

Partly since I have no idea when I’ll ever get back there again, I’ve been going through some of the photos from my last trip to the UK in October, 2014.

I spent the first few days on this trip in Glasgow, mostly because I wanted to see Glasgow Cathedral after learning of its architectural semblance to the Rosslyn Chapel (which was a pivotal factor in this whole quest, for reasons that I’ve outlined elsewhere).

But I didn’t really feel comfortable the whole time I as in Glasgow. I stayed at a nice enough AirBnB not far from the Cathedral, but the city doesn’t have the kind of visual focus that Edinburgh has around its looming castle. I took the open-air, double-decker bus tour, I could see it was a vibrant and creative place, but personally I just never quite connected with it.

Nevertheless, I made a few attempts to capture some of its essence. I put on my “street photographer” hat a few times, and this is one of the results:


Glasgow, Scotland – October, 2014#instatravel #travelgram #photooftheday #thebest_capture #nuriss_tag #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #capture_today #waycoolshots #ig_great_pics #picoftheday #instadaily #bestoftheday #streetphotography #glasgow #scotland #bus #tour #splendid_people #phototag_people

©2014 aka @driver49

Autumn at the Faerie Pools

No, I’m not in Scotland.  Didn’t get across the pond this year.  <*sigh*>
We have a digital photo frame on the counter in our kitchen, and it plays a continuous rotation of photos from our trip to Scotland in October, 2012.
I saw this one a couple of days ago and it reminded me that fall is mostly faded now.  Here’s a glimpse of how the season looked back in that October, at an area on the Isle of Skye called the Faerie Pools:

The Faerie Pools – Isle Of Skye, Scottish Highlands
As fall fades… A look back at October, 2012 @IsleOSkye @visitscotland
#Scotland #photooftheday #thebest_capture #ig_masterpiece #nuriss_tag #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics #tweegram #picoftheday #instadaily #jj #beautiful #bestoftheday #followforfollow #f4f #like4like #likeforlike
©2015 aka @driver49

My Obligatory Autumn Photo…

…with a barn and a tree.

It was also along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.

So I was just driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway last week, when I saw this little barn… and this big, red, tree…

@BlueRidgeNPS @BRParkwayFDN @Interior @usinterior
#blueridgeparkway #friendsbrp #blueridge #photooftheday #thebest_capture #ig_masterpiece #nuriss_tag #architectur #travel #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood @instagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics #sunrise #virginia
©2015 aka @driver49

Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I went up to Virginia again last week, this time to visit a guy who is building a nuclear fusion reactor.  More on him later.

I stayed in Floyd, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The day I headed home, I got up before dawn and headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and saw this sunrise from the first overlook:

Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, VA – October 21, 2015

@BlueRidgeNPS @BRParkwayFDN @Interior @usinterior
#blueridgeparkway #friendsbrp #blueridge #photooftheday #thebest_capture #ig_masterpiece #nuriss_tag #architectur #travel #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood @instagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics #sunrise #virginia
©2015 aka @driver49

New Desktop Portals for June

Greetings, Time-and-Space Travelers,

I know, when I started this program I said I’d send out some new “desktop portals” every month.  I’m just a little slow on the uptake this month… but it is still June!

So I have two new images for your computer and mobile gizmo.

For your computer, I present the Beauly Priory, a small monastic ruin on a peninsula called “The Black Isle” near Inverness in the Scottish highlands.

Desktop-Beauly16-PA064846click here to download “Beauly Priory”

If you are a fan, you might recognize the site, which I just learned has been used as a location for the “Outlander” TeeVee Series.  It has an even greater signifance for me, personally – because in a very real sense, this is where “Portals Of Stone” began.  I first visited the site when touring Scotland with my wife in the fall of 2012, but I didn’t have nearly as much time as I wanted to photograph the ruins.  I remember very clearly thinking to myself as we drove away, “I need to come back here…” – which I did about six months later.For your mobile device, here is one of the very first portals that appeared after that return trip to Scotland in the spring of 2013:

This is looking out the main entrance of a ruin called Hermitage Castle in The Borders region of Scotland.  The castle served as fortress for a variety of families and has a somewhat colorful if brutal history; the site also figures prominently in the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, for it was here that the conspiracies that led to her undoing were first hatched.

Click here to see more of Hermitage and the other Castles and Abbeys from my 2013 expedition.

I hope you enjoy these images and you will download them and use them on your gizmos.

click here to download “Hermitage Stargate”

* * * *

Before I go, I have one other bit of news to share:

We probably met when you stopped by my installation at the “O” Gallery in the Arcade during one of the First Saturday Downtown Art Crawls over the past year or so.  So it is with some sad reluctance that I let you know that that installation will be coming down at the end of the month.  My last day there will be this coming Saturday, June 27.  I’ll be there from 1-4:00 PM, and after that I’ll be taking everything down.  If you’ve ever thought you might like to have one of these pieces to hang on your wall, come by Saturday and, well, you know… let’s make a deal…

I have no idea at the moment where I will display this work next, if anywhere, so if you’ve got any ideas or suggestions, by all means, pass them along.

I will try to get some more desktop files for you next month, but it’s already so late in June that I might just wait for August.  In the meantime…

Thanks, and see you “on the other side of the Portal…”