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Archive for February, 2009

Death Defying Flights

I recently had the opportunity to spend a glorious Valentine’s Day in Brattleboro Vermont, home of the Harris Hill Ski Jump, to watch and photograph the ski jumping competition.

The newly renovated Harris Hill Ski Jump

The newly renovated Harris Hill Ski Jump

What a sport! I have never experienced something like this and was amazed by the fearlessness of these atheletes and the absolute beauty of them soaring through the air dozens of feet above our heads.

Yee Haw!

Yee Haw!

When I was originally contemplating attending this event, the thought of another winter day (will this winter EVER end?) spent in Vermont of all places, wasn’t too exciting.  The day could not have been better, however. The sun shone brightly. The temperature was pleasant and the frozen tundra was only mildly muddy and mucky.

She Flies Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease.

She Flies Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease.

For the photography buffs, these were shot with my Nikon D300, fabulous and versatile 70-200 mm f2.8 VR and Nikkor 1.7 mm teleconvertor.  We were able to move up and down the course and get pretty close to the action.  At times, I felt I could have used a little more reach and at other times, 70mm plus tele was too much.  I was glad to have a zoom for the added versatility.

I did try out my new Op-tech Binocular/Camera Harness for this trip.  I usually never wear a camera strap, being short and not flat chested, I find I hate the camera bouncing around in front of me constantly but at PhotoPlus Expo, I was able to try this harness out while it was attached to a brick and marveled at how lightweight and comfortable it was.  I can unequivocally say that after an entire day of walking around with that giant camera/lens combo, I barely noticed it was there.  I put aside the geek quotient too, when trying to get my footing in the hard, crunchy snow and ice and was able to use two hands to hold on the railings.  Get one soon. At $22 it’s a steal.

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Aaaaahh, Key West

Well I’m back and totally recovered from my wonderfully relaxing birthday celebration in Key West.  What did I do for four nights in Key West?  Well, I took numerous photographs of the Key West sunset.  I don’t think I could ever get tired of looking at that visage.  What do you think?

"Admiring the Key West Sunset"

"Admiring the Key West Sunset"

While I have more colorful versions of the sunset in Key West, this image is my favorite – I think because it translates the tranquility of the open seas, the majesty of a boat from another time and the enjoyment of other people also viewing the glorious sunset.

This image was taken from my favorite sunset viewing location – the Sunset Pier restaurant right next to Mallory Square at the Ocean Key Resort & Spa.

"Down at the Sunset Pier"

"Down at the Sunset Pier"

At the Sunset Pier, you can sit facing the sunset on these little benches built for two, have a Margarita, listen to the Salsa music and just enjoy the view.  I will suggest that you keep a good grip on all your electronic devices as my long lost cell phone is now at the bottom ocean, underneath the Sunset Pier, falling in on day 1 of my journey. I was just starting my second Margarita, I swear!

Key West is a photographers paradise – between the daily colorful light show at 6pm everyday and the crazy collection of performers and characters out at Mallory Square, you never have to look far for a spectacular subject.   I wore my D300 everywhere.  I like to carry it in a Tignanello backpack style pocketbook when I travel. I have never found the right camera bag for travel and use an odd collection of knapsacks and pocketbooks to lug my camera and usually just a single lens when I am out and about.  When I bring a lot of gear, I love my jill.e red leather camera bag.   It holds a lot of gear and still looks stylish. Yeah, I know I can hear all the male photogs groaning. They are happy with their Tamracs and Lowepros but a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.

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