Places

A jaunt through Geneva

This past summer we visited Geneva, Switzerland, during the Fêtes de Genève. It was a short business trip, if I recall correctly it was about a day and a half, but in-between the business meetings, we snuck in a jaunt or two through the old town. One afternoon we started down by the lake, on the Promenade du Lac, and we climbed uphill on the beautiful stone steps toward the Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville and the Promenade Saint-Antoine, then we came back down to the lake to see the Jet d’Eau. The following day, we visited the Promenade des Bastions, where the Université de Genève is located. And that was it. It was August, it was incredibly hot, even for Geneva, and the only area tolerable enough during the sweltering daytime heat was the lakeshore. It really says something about global warming when Geneva’s weather becomes intolerable in the summer…

Geneva is a beautiful city with a lot of history. It’s a wonderful thing when a country has a chance to develop and to build upon the successes of previous generations without the ravages of war, which to say the least, reset the clock of progress for a place. Switzerland has been in this enviable position for hundreds of years where it has been able to stay neutral and thus its people have had decent lives and have been able to see the fruits of their labor and to leave something worthwhile behind for their successors.

I hope you enjoy this gallery of photographs from a privileged place, full of beauty and value.

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Places

Summer in our garden

I promised I’d put together a gallery of photos taken in our garden last summer (that’d be the summer of 2018 for those of you who’ll be reading this in future years), and here it is.

Get ready to see 347 photos of summertime, taken between June and August of last year. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy! 😀

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Events

On the evening of the summer solstice

It was the summer solstice a couple of days ago. On that longest day of the year, I thought it might be interesting to take photographs in our garden, just as the day drew to a close. I was especially interested in capturing the evening primroses, because we have so many of them this year, and because I was curious to see whether they’d open up sooner or just as dark fell, as is their custom.

Well, they didn’t open up sooner, I still had to wait until it was almost dark, but I found out something new; having never watched them open up before, I had a wonderful surprise in store for me. As it turns out, the blossoms open at a pace that can be observed live, without the aid of time lapse photography. It’s not as fast as a mimosa pudica’s reaction, but it’s fast enough for a person to stand (or sit) there and watch it open. Nature is wonderful!

I hope you enjoy this set of photographs. I took them with my PEN E-P3, whose IBIS mechanism was recently repaired by Olympus Czechia and is now working so well, it’s tempting to use it as my main camera. I plan to use it a lot more than before, that’s for sure. By the way, my setup included the M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8 lens and the lovely and inexpensive MCON-P02 Macro Adapter. It works with several more lenses from Olympus and it’s small and lightweight, so it even fits in your pocket.

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Places

Summertime in our garden

I was going through old(er) photos of mine taken in 2009, and I put together a lovely collection of summertime photos from our garden (even if I do say so myself). Look, I know it’s not summer now. It’s winter (sort of). Each season has its purpose and is beautiful in its own way. Should we get some snowfall or at least some frost, I’ll probably be out there taking photos that you’ll be able to see here. So I could have scheduled this post to publish sometime in May, or I could let you see these photos now, and let you dream of this next summer, which I hope is going to be a beautiful one for all of us. (Unless you’re in the Southern hemisphere, in which case you’ve already got your summer. Isn’t it weird how that works out?) Enjoy the photos, there are 82 of them!

These photos were taken with the following cameras: Canon EOS 5D, Olympus Camedia C-770 UZ and Canon EOS Rebel XTi. For the Canon cameras, I used the following lenses: EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 50mm f/1.4, and the EF 24-105mm f/4L.

Canon EOS 5D (front)

Olympus Camedia C-770 UZ

Canon EOS Rebel XTi

Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens

Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Lens

 

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro USM Lens

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro USM Lens

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Places

A jaunt through the mountains near Bran

During our recent visit to Bran Castle, we had a few spare hours that we chose to spend wandering through the mountains above Bran. We found a dirt road that wound its way up the mountains through a beautiful village called Sodohol and then entered into Bucegi National Park. We stumbled onto it by chance and followed it till we could go no further without damage to the underside of our car, so we parked it and walked. We had a wonderful time and I hope the photos you see here will show it. Some of them are high-resolution panoramas and one includes a view of Bran Castle from afar. Enjoy!

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Places

A hike through the hills of Atel (Hetzeldorf)

Atel (Hetzeldorf) is a larger village in Southern Transilvania with a beautiful fortified church. The church is undergoing renovations and is closed to the public but the hills surrounding the village were certainly open and welcoming today, as we took a short hike to enjoy nature. In case you’d like to visit the place yourself, here’s a link to the spots we saw.

We’d come to get a bit of fresh air and as we were walking around with Sophie, exploring the flowers and the bugs and the birds and listening to the various sounds the latter two made, we spotted a building up on the hill, looking somewhat deserted. We decided to pay a visit and see what it was. It turned out to be the somewhat deserted church of the Saxon cemetery which overlooks the village.

If you don’t know the story of the Saxons of Transilvania, you need to read this. It tells only part of the story and obviously none of the heartache of the departure from their places of birth, but the deserted graves, tilting and knocked over by time, including the cobwebs on the church door, tell the story of a people that are no more, with only remnants here and there. These people built these magnificent structures and sturdy homes that have stood the test of time and now they are here no longer. Atel is only one of the many, many Saxon villages spread throughout Transilvania but for some reason, seeing all those graves in disarray made me realize how few Saxons there are left and what good work they’ve done over the many hundreds of years they were here.

I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and as usual, if you’re interested in using any of them, please see my licensing terms.

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A Guide To A Good Life

Men’s Summer Wear Suggestions

Hot summer weather is here (it’s been here for a month or so) and that means it’s nearly impossible to wear a suit during the day. Here are some suggestions I’ve put together for acceptable summer clothes that will keep you cool and presentable. I’ve also included a few pieces of advice such as how to deal with sweat (bring an extra article of clothing to change if needed), the appropriate length for summer shorts and finally, whether or not it’s acceptable to roll up the sleeves of your shirt.

I hope you find it helpful!

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