First full moon and first photo of 2023. Here’s to peace, love, joy, happiness and a prosperous New Year! Cheers! 🥂
First full moon and first photo of 2023. Here’s to peace, love, joy, happiness and a prosperous New Year! Cheers! 🥂
“Life is a journey, not a destination….You are the artist, paint what you will.”
For our challenge this week, John from Journeys with Johnbo encourages us to share images that focus on our journeys, possibly the modes of transportation which took us there. Or to even share images of places we discovered while on our journey.
I think my love for travel started when I was a child. I couldn’t tell you when exactly it started. But if I had to guess it was the trip, we took out west when I was about six (6) years old. It was so exciting because this was my first plane ride. And from what I remember we saw a LOT of the country – everything from The Hoover Dam to The Grand Canyon; San Diego to Disney Land, and lastly to San Franciso. I remember it being so much fun I cried (literally) when we had to come home.
“A photograph is a return ticket to moments already gone.”
Yes, I’ve been very fortunate throughout my life to travel to many places here in the U.S. and to other parts of the world. And I’ve pretty much been on all forms of transportation, too: planes, trains, automobiles, sailboats, cruise ships, helicopters and yes, even The Goodyear Blimp!
But one of my most memorable adventures was another trip out west which Michael and I took Christmas of 2011. We couldn’t decide where we wanted to go, so we narrowed it down to three (3) places. We wrote the names on pieces of paper, folded them up and dropped them into a bowl. I don’t remember which one of us drew the winner, but we landed on a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway.
Our motto for the trip was “No map, no plans, no place to be.” It’s a line from Toby Keith’s song “South of You.” The only parts of the trip planned were our airline and rental car reservations. And so, on Christmas Day we headed to the airport and boarded a plane to San Diego, CA
Once we landed and picked up our sporty Mustang convertible for the trip, we headed to our first stop just outside of San Diego (Carlsbad, CA) for a quick visit with our nephew and his family.
Our activities for the day included lunch, a walk on the pier, and a visit to Mission San Louis Rey de Francia – Oceanside, CA. You can tell the boys were quite warn out from our day’s outing and scooting around in the convertible!
The real adventure of “no map, no plans, no place to be” started when we left San Diego. Our first stop that day was lunch in Laguna Beach. It’s definitely the artist colony it’s known for.
We didn’t stop much that day because we were too busy enjoying the coastline scenery. But, by the time we reached Los Angeles and navigated our way through the traffic, we decided to call it quits for the day.
We pulled into Malibu, just in time to grab a place for the night. And, since we didn’t have any reservations, we had no idea what we were in for when it came to hotels. We were lucky enough though, to find a wonderful little inn on the ocean and were greeted the next morning by a cute seagull at our balcony door (which was at the foot of our bed).
Day 3 – More driving, but we didn’t care, the scenery was amazing. We stopped for the night at Moonstone Beach in Cambria. THIS was the downfall of “no reservations.” We ended up in a dive of a motel. It was one of those places where you wouldn’t dare take your shoes off, let alone get under the covers! But it was a small price to pay for a beautiful sunset.
After that fateful night when we were ready to stop for the day, we would go to the nearest restaurant/bar and ask the locals for their recommendations……they never failed us.
“Due to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across country from coast to coast without seeing anything.”~Charles Kuralt
This is one of Michael’s favorite quotes and it’s so true. We may not have been driving coast to coast, but the quote is still appropriate for our south to north journey on the PCH. Afterall, if we had chosen to take the interstate look at all we would have missed.
Our last stop just in time for New Year’s Eve was San Francisco. We decided to return the rental car and walk or take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) instead. We wrapped up our trip with a nice dinner catching up with some longtime friends.
Thanks, John for this wonderful challenge. It was fun re-living this road-trip and all the wonderful memories Michael and I enjoyed together.
Next week it’s Sofia’s turn. Be sure to follow her at Photographias so you don’t miss out on her theme.
Until next time,
“When life shuts a door…. open it again. It’s a door, that’s how they work!”
This week Sylvia (My Colorful Expression) encourages us to explore doors/doorways that have drawn your photographic eye. Another fun challenge for me because it gave me a chance to go through my archives and revisit some favorite places.
Like these images of an old house rapidly deteriorating on the side of HWY 341 in South Georgia. Michael and I traveled it most every time we visited St. Simons Island. It was a beautiful stretch of highway lined with farmsteads old and new, pecan groves and cotton fields. We must have passed this particular site about a dozen times before we finally stopped to take these photos.
What really stood out to me on the house was this faded blue door. Can’t you just visualize a cute, white or gray house with a bright blue door?
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”Luke 11:9 NIV
I love old churches because of the stories they tell about the communities where they were built. Early into my transition to digital photography I became obsessed with taking photos of churches. So much so I had envisioned creating a coffee table book and naming it “Steeples I have Chased.” With the idea in my head, it wasn’t unusual for me to have Michael randomly stop so I could photograph the church. Like this one “Log Cabin Community Church.” It’s very near to where we live and has been around since 1912. Don’t you just love the bright, red doors?
What I did learn about my photography of churches (after searching through three external hard drives and my Shutterfly account) is that I haven’t done a really good job of taking photos of just the doors. Windows and alters, “yes.” But doors not so much.
I did manage to find this one from our trip to London (2010) of the main entrance to Westminster Abby. It’s definitely not my best, but that’s why we work at photography every…. single….day! Right?!?!
“The happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”
Sometimes a door really isn’t a door. It could be the front porch or simply the doorway to the home. This photo was taken at the Atlanta History Center gardens the summer I began my “re-wirement” journey. I don’t recall where the cabin originated from but what drew me in was the opposite doorway with the colorful, tattered fabric hanging on the railing. I began to imagine what the activity in the cabin was like. I’m sure to us it was a simpler way of life, but to the early settlers it was just life.
In the photo below do you see what I mean about the porch being the doorway to the home in this photo? It’s so welcoming and inviting and draws you further into the cabin.
So that’s my photo journey of doors. Lesson learned; I need to pay more attention to doors. Afterall, you never know which one will be yours to open!
Until next time,
P. S. Next week, Tina will be our host. She is a wonderful photographer so be sure to visit her site.
P.S.S. If you would like to participate in our weekly Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us on Saturdays at noon EST: Lens-Artist Challenge
P.S.S.S. If you are interested in purchasing unique notecards, photography or digital artwork please visit my Etsy shop by clicking on the button below.
I can’t say that our winter here in Atlanta has been so cold that we had to escape. Afterall, we’ve had some warm, sunny days lately when the temperatures have hit the low 80’s. But winter is winter, and it does get cold, gray and rainy (like today).
By the time February comes along we’re ready for a winter escape. And since Michael’s birthday happens to be at the end of the month, we have a pretty solid reason for a road-trip. This year was no different!
We started with our usual halfway point, St. Simons Island, GA and visited with our dear friends Meg and Bart for the evening. It’s always great to visit our friends and this fun little island. If you’ve followed me since the beginning of this blog, you know that at one time we had a vacation home on St. Simons. You can read about our adventures in these posts:
But I digress. Today’s post is really about our trip to Amelia Island, FL which is located about an hour south of St. Simons Island. It’s a quaint area and we were fortunate to find a hotel on the beach.
The beach on Amelia Island is wide and beautiful. Our first morning we headed out the hotel and walked three (3) miles (a short walk if you know me and Michael). The mist was just beginning to burn off as the sun was coming up.
Later that day we headed over to Fernandina Beach, FL which is about 10 miles north of Amelia Island, but they’re “technically” part of the same area. It’s a quaint little town, one we’ve visited on multiple occasions!
The main street is lined with shops and restaurants and some of the best antique shops filled with all types of local and national history. There was so much to see in each of the shops! But here are a few of my favorites.
Who doesn’t love an old truck! This one was parked outside the first antique shop we went into. I love the rust and the patina on the bumper.
My favorite booth! Just look at all the vintage cameras and how they’re displayed! Can’t you just imagine the stories each of these cameras have captured throughout the years?
I was a little mesmerized by this display case with all the vintage buttons. Do they even make these anymore?
Yes, “Life is a Beach on Amelia Island.”
Sunrise on our last morning. Had it not been for Michael, I would have missed this shot because I was too busy packing to head home.
Do you find yourself looking for a winter escape? If so, where do you go? Are you after more cold and snow or do you head to warmer climates?
Until next time! “Life is a journey, not a destination. You are the artist, paint what you will.”
“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they have.” ~Budha
I find myself focusing a lot these days on gratitude and this quote really stood out to me. Not from a standpoint of appreciating the “THINGS” I have, but from appreciating where I am in my life. Appreciating my family. Appreciating my friends. Appreciating my health. Appreciating where I am this very second of my life and the time I have been given to experience this chapter in my life.
Sure, others may have more, they may have accomplished more in their careers or experienced situations I never will. But that is their journey not mine. And for that I choose to appreciate and find happiness in my own journey.
What part of your journey are you failing to appreciate that is holding you back from your happiness?
P.S. If you are shopping for unique notecards, photography or digital prints be sure to stop by my Etsy Shop by following this link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/donnarobinsonphoto
“Just living is not enough. You must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” ~Hans Christian Anderson
May you find your sunshine, freedom and little flower this week!
P.S. If you’re looking for unique greeting cards, prints or digital prints be sure to stop by my Etsy Shop by following this link: Shop Etsy: DonnaRobinsonPhoto
“Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious.”
Who are you surrounding yourself with? Do they inspire you? Do they support you? Do they bring you positive energy?
~Looking for unique note cards, prints or digital prints? Then hop on over to my Etsy Shop by clicking or copying and pasting this link in your browser: https://www.etsy.com/shop/donnarobinsonphoto
I am a sucker for old, dilapidated architecture whether a building, a bridge or some form of transportation. So, it was really a no-brainer for Michael to stop the truck so I could take a few shots of what I call “The Forgotten Railroad.”
It wasn’t much more than the cab and the red caboose sitting off the main road in the town of Hartwell, Georgia. There were no historic markers, no “keep out signs” or anything to stop me from getting a few closeup shots. In fact the grassy field in front of the train was well manicured as if it was saying “come closer and take a look!”
And so while Michael patiently waited, I slipped out of the truck with my camera in tow and walked towards the abandoned structures. It was the middle of the day and the sun was extremely bright with clear skies. Not the ideal situation for lighting, but I made it work.
I would have loved to walk around the train, but the grass was tall underneath and I was trying to avoid any surprise encounters with a snake or any other stray creature. It was bad enough I had flip flops on and accidentally stepped in an ant bed!
I look at this tattered seat through the window and wonder who were the travelers? Where we they going? Was this just a local scenic train that traveled the area, or was it part of a bigger transportation system?
How many feet have climbed up on these steps and how many hands have grabbed these rails to take a ride in this cab?
And then there’s the red caboose! Can’t you just imagine the train conductor waving at the cars or pedestrians waiting patiently at the train crossing?
Too bad the red caboose has gone away with technology. Perhaps people would be a little more patient with a passing train if they new the train conductor and the red caboose would be pulling up the rear!
It you look closely, you can still see the rails of the train tracks. It’s as if they were purposefully laid there to park these last two cars.
“One thing about trains: it doesn’t matter where they’re goin’. What matters is deciding to get on!”~The conductor from “The Polar Express”
~Looking for unique note cards, prints or digital prints? Then hop on over to my Etsy Shop by clicking or copying and pasting this link in your browser 👉👉 https://www.etsy.com/shop/donnarobinsonphoto
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you may remember a post from a few years back titled For the Love of Photography “The Accidental Sunflower Garden” . The post was about two (2) beautiful sunflowers growing wild in our backyard thanks to a few leftovers from our backyard critters. They were so much fun to photograph that summer. One photo even managed to make its way into my Etsy Shop as both a greeting card and matted print.
So, you can image my delight when the same thing happened this year! Lucky for me, this time they were growing on the lower section of our yard and within easy reach of my macro lens.
When I discovered them, there were three (3) scraggly little stalks each growing at different heights. From a distance they weren’t much to look at except for a few buds and one (1) bright yellow flower standing tall with its face pointing towards the morning sun.
As I moved closer to the tallest stalk, I noticed the brightest flower was surrounded by a few other buds each waiting for their chance to shine.
Clearly, the sunflowers had another purpose in their short lives. The garden insects quickly found them and began to nourish on their sweet nectar and delicate petals.
Fortunately for me, the bees didn’t seem to mind my camera lens snooping around them.
But my favorite shot is the one below with the detail of the disk florets beginning to take shape. Don’t you just love the geometric shape growing from the middle outward?
It’s been a few weeks now and the flowers are beginning to shrivel up and the stalks are slowly drooping towards the ground. I’ll miss my little sunflower garden once the blooms have all faded away. Hopefully, if they’re left undisturbed, they’ll dissolve into the earth and will come back bigger, stronger and brighter next year!
Website: Donna Robinson Photography
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