Globes

GlobesWe are marking the first full day of winter today with a grin.  Yesterday was the kick-off for this year’s Winter Solstice offering over on my photography site and it was a good day (thank you everyone!).

But if you’re following via social media sites, they do a fine job of squashing certain posts that contain certain words, especially words that are a single-word representation of an offering of anything at a reduced level of currency.  Why?  Because they want us to pay them to increase viewership of those specific posts to normal levels.  Or pay even more to increase viewership even higher.

If you are looking for a holiday present, it is too late to get it this week, but if you’re looking for a different look on your wall, now is your chance!  Please click on the picture above and you’ll see the code at the top of my website.

Again, thank you all for your support!!!

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Winter Solstice Sale

In a few short hours it will be the official winter solstice for those of us north of the equator.

For some that means it’s now the the beginning of a long, dreary winter.  A season to dread.  But not us.  Winter is another great season to get outside, explore and play.

This past Friday was opening day for our local ski mountain.  Goddess and I were able to get more than a few runs in on uncrowded slopes before school let out for the holidays.  And the rain today.

It’s currently raining up on the mountain, on top of the minimal snow.  Hopefully it doesn’t melt the snow and start another rough winter for the mountain, which never opened last winter for the first time in its 50-year history.

Fingers crossed.


As is tradition here on the solstices and equinoxes, I’m offering a sale on my photography.

All products are 20% off (does not apply to shipping costs).  Just enter Winter14 in the coupon field when you are ready to check out.  Just click on the coupon below to start browsing.

BAP - Winter14Thank you so much for your continued support.  I do appreciate you!

Happy Holidays

I know that today is the last day of school for most school districts as we head into the holidays.

If you’re traveling, please be safe.  If you aren’t, enjoy where you are and who you are with.

And however you spend the holidays, please take a moment to reflect upon how lucky you are.  Because if you have the access and the capability to read this and see the picture below, you have plenty for which to be thankful.

A vendor’s bowl full of choices in a souq (market) in the Muslim quarter of  Jerusalem’s Old City.

Walking Shadows

Now for something completely random.

One of my favorite shots.

Heading to temple to begin the Shabbat observance, Yaffo Gate, Jerusalem, Israel.

Walking Shadows

After sunset, which is when the Shabbat started for the observant Jews, Goddess and I had the distinct pleasure of standing on a hill just west of the Old City walls and watching a moon rise over the old city.  Not just any moonrise, but a lunar eclipse.

An astounding experience.

In an amazing place.

Launch

It has been quiet around these parts for the past week or so.

Usually I apologize for that, but this time I don’t think that I will, even though I do appreciate my loyal readers.

I really do.

So where was the focus?  My new web site, of which this blog is a part.  Some of you might have even noticed some changes here.

It’s all part of taking my photography a bit more seriously, including delving more into portraiture.

Photo Logo

So please click on the image above (which takes you to http://billandersphoto.com), take a look around, kick the tires and leave a comment.  Perhaps buy a print or three.

I even dropped the prices 25% to mark the occasion.

BAP-Launch

Just click on that coupon and a new window will open.  Browse and pick to your heart’s content, then enter that code upon checkout.  And you’ll be in like Flynn.

If you had browsed my galleries before and think you have seen it all, please look again, especially in the Travel section of my Portfolio.  There are new photos in there.  And quite a few images that I have reworked for one reason or another.

So you might find something different.

As always, thank you for taking the time to stop by my littler corner of the sphere.

London Nightline

Well, it’s the year’s end.  And there will be plenty of year’s end lists.

Just not here.

Instead, I’ve been looking back at the year’s RAW images and seeing what I’ve missed or what needs to be reworked.

I guess you could call it a bit of nostalgia.  But not in the typical sense.

I’ve mainly thought of the three photographers that I’ve been able to meet in person over the past 13 months.  Photographers that I’ve known online for quite a few years.

In December 2011, Goddess and I had the pleasure of meeting Shimon Z’hevi, who after an arduous in-person screening process, decided we passed muster and spent the next week showing us the back alleys and culture of Jerusalem as well as the landscape of Israel.

It was an amazing experience!  And thanks to his blogging, he continues to draw us into the culture and events there in Israel with is vibrant first-person accounts.

Skip ahead to July 2012 and we were able to work with Michael Kaiser and find a common weekend free.  Mind you, we actually had to coordinate that weekend some five months in advance, but at least we were able to nail it down.  Michael was gracious enough to have Goddess and I visit and stay in his home.  Pretty gutsy considering we had never met in person.  But we’ve conversed virtually for many years and grew to know each other, so we were quite comfortable.  It was amazing to sit with him and flip through albums of his years working as a writer and photographer for his local paper, where his reportage took him to many places, including Afghanistan in the early 2000’s.  Trust me, his experiences in that country were far different than mine in 2011.

And the third, which is actually back a few months to the end of May 2012, we finally got to meet the lovely Susanna Hauru, a Finnish transplant to London, while Goddess and I were on a trip to the UK.  I was nervous meeting her (as well as Shimon and Michael), as she’s quite the accomplished street and wedding photographer (both Shimon and Michael are very accomplished in their own rights).  But she was as gracious as could be and we had a wonderful time walking the back alleys and haunts of London as she introduced us to her favorite views.  And we accidentally introduced her to a new one.

For that I earned a manly hug.

(gotcha Susie!).

But on our walkabout, while Goddess and Susie were chatting, I set up the tripod and grabbed this shot soon before Big Ben struck midnight and the lights went off in the tower and the Palace of Westminster.

A pretty magical view.

And not too shabby for my 23 year old 50/1.8.

London Nightline

Go ahead and click on that picture.  It will open up in a new tab/window on a black background.  That way you can enjoy the lines and lights.

As far as every post here, if you click on the picture, there will be different behaviors.  Play with them and figure out what they are.  😉

But back to the three photographers.  This past year has been an amazing year on many different levels.  But on the photography front, the fact that we were able to meet these three in person was fantastic.  These three are my toughest critics when I ask them to be.

And I appreciate that.

And them.

Scandalous

Well, it’s spring break from school.  Whoo hoooo!  One week break between classes, so there’s a bit more time in the evenings.

I just need to figure out where to find some time this weekend to get out and enjoy this fine warm spring weather and take some pictures.

In the meantime, I still have quite a collection left from our visit to Israel last December. And here’s the follow-up to the image in this post, called “Bagging Nuns“.

It was quite fun to watch the ladies harvesting accreted salt from the rocks along the shore of the Dead Sea.  Even more fun once Goddess and I were down there next to them, pants rolled up, feeling the salt water splash across the feet.

Scandalous

Cassock

Life’s been getting in the way of posting with any frequency, but that is why it’s called life.

I still have many, many images from our Israel trip last December.  I’ll slowly get them out here for you to look at, if you wish.

Here’s a moment from our walk down the Via Dolorosa.  Click on the name and do some reading.  Let me assure you, regardless of your religious upbringing or beliefs, it’s a moving experience to stop at each station, hear the story, hear the chants and prayers, then continue along the path.  Even more interesting is to see the locals non-reactions, especially since the majority of the walk is through the Muslim district of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Cassock

Walking Shadows

The days are getting longer.

That’s for sure.

Sunset is already an hour later than it was less than a month ago.

And almost two hours later (time zone adjusted) than this shot from Jerusalem in December (over two months ago).

Walking Shadows

These folks were rushing to temple, just moments before the start of the Sabbath.

History

It’s been a few weeks.  Been busy with quite a few other things, from work to school to Goddess.  All are worth it, but I still need this little piece.

School is focused on history, which is ones of my loves.  It didn’t used to be that way, since I suffered through it during my school years.

But as I grew older, I came to understand, appreciate and love it.

It’s even better when you can walk the grounds.

Roman Overlook

And open your eyes to the world.

This portal is looking west from the the plateau-top fortress of Masada, looking over the grounds that the Roman Empire camped while slaves built an earthen ramp up to the fortress so the defenses could be breached and the fortress overtaken.  The story is both tragic and heroic at the same time.  And we’re much better for the insight that Shimon provided us.

Masada, Dead Sea, Israel.