I was planning on a new shot taken on the first full day of summer.  An appropriate picture to kick off a summer sale.

I had planned for the past week on the angle I needed to get one of the local rocks framed by the Milky Way.  A fun shot that takes a fair bit of planning and time to execute, all in the dark of a moonless night.

But, unlike the rest of spring, we got clouds.

I won’t complain about the clouds too much, as we’re in a drought here and this batch of clouds is a precursor to rain later this week.  That’s good news, although the weather systems coming in look to be unstable enough for thunderstorms.  Thunderstorms on these dry forest lands mean fires.  We’ve had a few already this year, but this looks like this could be the start to the real fire season.

I’ve been in a few areas of forest lately that really need a good burn in order to become healthy again.

Anyway, the clouds prevented me from getting the image that I wanted this evening, but that’s a minor inconvenience.  There are plenty more opportunities this summer to get the image I am thinking of.

So instead, I’ll reach back to last year for an image that is familiar to all of you long-time followers, perhaps new to those that have started viewing in the past year.


So back to the summer sale.

It’s simple -> Enter “Summer14” when you check out and receive 15% off pre-shipping costs for the next two weeks.


As always, I do appreciate your support.

Now get out there and enjoy summer!

(and for those of you south of the equator, think of summer when you enter the code!)


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, 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.


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.

Contest Help

Friends and loyal readers, a departure from the norm today, with a mid-day post and no new pictures.  I’m just asking for a little bit of help.

No, it does not involve money.

It’s a photo contest.  The local newspaper, the Medford Mail-Tribune, is holding a photo contest with the theme “Oregon Outdoors”.  I’ve been shooting a fair bit of that lately, so I’ve thrown my hat in the ring.

And that’s where I need your help, since they are running a “People’s Choice” category as well as their own “Editor’s Picks”.

So that’s where you, the people, come in.

I need your votes!

These are the three pictures that I’ve entered:

Sparks SUP
Lava Fields

Voting has started, and of the 342 images submitted, my three are sitting firmly in the middle of the top 24.

With your help, they could get nudged higher.

But I will admit, there may be a downside to voting – you have to register with a unique e-mail address in order to vote.  If that turns you off from voting, I do understand.  But if it doesn’t, thank you for your help.

If you click on any of those three images, the website will open in either a new tab or new window, depending on how you have your browser configured.

Once registered, the easiest way to find me is do a filtered search for “BillA“.  Or you can change the sort order to “Most Votes” and I should be there on the front page.

<  edit >  You can vote for up to three pictures.  Unfortunately, you have to do it one at a time.  But there are some excellent images there, so have fun browsing the collection.  < /edit >

Perhaps you’re asking “what does Bill get out of it”?  If picked in either category, “People’s Choice” or “Editor’s Choice”, the winning pic will be published in the local paper.  That’s it.  No cash prizes, no parade down main street, no nationally televised acceptance speech.  Just the fun in seeing a photo printed in the paper.

Thank you!


This image flashed across my monitor today as part of my screensaver. I had not seen it in a while, since it was taken on November 11, 2004.  The image made me smile at a moment that I needed it, a harried 45 minutes where I could not find my favorite lens.

A lens that has taken just under 30% of my 50,000 digital photos that I have taken that are in my database.

A lens, that if I had to replace it, would cost me a bicycle.

And I don’t buy cheap bicycles.

Long story made longer, the lens was right where I left it, although it had slipped behind a flap in my camera bag that never gets moved.

Except once recently.


I’m still trying to work on detaching from objects, but for something that has brought me so much enjoyment…

So back to November 11, 2004.

The progression of expressions makes me smile.


And no, this was not an image taken with my favorite lens.

Some train station on the Tokaido line, Tokyo, Japan.

Needle Redux

I do like the opportunity to reshoot an image that I had taken years prior.

It’s even better if that location is far away.

In this case, about a 10 hour flight away.

Plus 6.5 years.

It helped that the weather was different for each.

Overcast and gray then, partly cloudy and punchy now.

July 30th, 2006:

Purple Needle

November 14th, 2012:

Needle EMP

It’s amazing what a little bit of texture in the sky will do for an image.

This is the typical shot of the Needle.  I had to jostle amongst half a dozen other photographers to frame the shot above as I wanted it.  But I wasn’t worried.  I knew I could squeeze out a decent one.

Even blind squirrels find nuts once in a while.

This was to be the capper for the day, one where Goddess and I walked around and through Seattle, mainly via back alleys and side streets.

It’s more interesting that way.

A day where I crafted an impromptu project, images of the Needle from various angles and distances, all framed by the city in one way or another.

Likely not your typical views.

I’ll get them posted eventually.

Philosophenweg Redux

We’ve had to wait a year to retake the shot.  It’s not quite there, but should be in a few days.

What shot?  This one.

It’s been pretty popular with the local crowd.  But there are many things I just don’t like about it.  So I’ve been waiting until this autumn to give it another go.

We had a nice little cold snap, with the morning lows getting down into the low single-digit Celsius.  That helped accelerate the change.  Better yet that it’s been absolutely gorgeous the last few days, with high temperatures in the 20-25C range.  It’s certainly our Indian Summer.

So Goddess convinced me last night that we should head back after work this Friday afternoon and give it a look.  It was a good idea, since many of the trees down here in the Rhine Valley have quickly changed and shed their leaves already.  But looking up into the hills, it has been pretty clear that the trees in the hills have not peaked yet.

But it is still a day by day thing.

So almost one year later, here is one of today’s images.  I’m still not satisfied with it, so we’ll give it a few more tries in the coming week, hopefully catching the colors near their peak.

Philosophenweg Fall Colors 2012

Compared to last year’s dull overcast, I was excited about the fact that we were getting a nice cirrus layer moving through.  At least it added some interest to the sky.

By the way, that’s Goddess sitting down there near the center.  I needed a bit of scale for the image, similar to last year.  That’s a component that I really enjoyed.  And we were shocked because there just weren’t too many people up there this afternoon.  Considering how gorgeous the weather was and the fact that the trees were starting to turn, I fully expected to have to elbow for a spot to set up the tripod.  But I was the only one there, save the occasional peering over my shoulder, then a click with a phone.

I wonder how those shots worked out.

My favorite part about this shot?  You can’t see it, but full sized, I can look at the clock on the Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit, located just left of the three yellowing trees over Goddess’ left shoulder) and see that it’s 5:55 (pm).  That’s what I read.  Just to verify, I looked at the image’s EXIF data and see 5:57.  Not too shabby.

We’ll keep experimenting.  Perhaps you will see a few of them.


Good fun with Goddess, a old virtual, but new IRL, friend, light and predatory birds.


Adlerwarte Berlebeck, Detmold, Germany.

Thanks for the wonderful weekend and fantastic hospitality, Michael.

And for the virtual photography friends that I’ve known for some 6-8 years now, Michael was the closest in distance, but it worked out that he was the last that we’ve met in person.

We are now richer for the meeting.


As Goddess exclaimed – “That looks Photoshopped”, once she saw it on the screen, although she saw me take the picture and pull it up on the computer without doing anything to it.

Photo details – ambient underexposed 1.5 stops (purposefully), 580 EX II on full power.  Canon 5Dm2, EF 24-70/2.8L, ISO100 @ 1/1600.  You can see the flash in the eyeglasses of all the people in the background.

Thanks for letting me play with the toy, Michael!

For Goddess

Goddess likes George.

So this is for her.

George Hincapie - Oude Kwaremont. Ronde Van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), 2012.

For you photo geeks, that’s with the EF 24-70/2.4L at 46mm, ISO 100, 1/250 @ f/11, external flash.  Focus distance ~30 inches.

I could have reached out and pushed him over.

Not that I would have wanted to.

I always want to see George do well.

Aerial Lines

The weather was beautiful here in southwestern Germany today.  Nice and clear, with temps around 5ºC (41ºF) and nary a puff of wind.

Perfect for taking a break from the book and getting a nice 50km (30 mile) bike ride in before getting back to the book (bleh).

And perfect for taking the camera along for any nice B&W opportunities.

Aerial Lines

Lots going on there.  The power lines, the contrails (which I didn’t notice until I had taken the first shot) and steam from the Philipsburger Nuclear Power Plant off in the distance.

I just wish the Flickr/Wordpress image compression wouldn’t jack up the details so much.  Click on the pic to be taken to a much clearer, crisper version.

Taken at 2:30pm.  But it sure looks like it’s late afternoon, close to sunset.  But that’s part of the joy of living here, where the sun didn’t even reach 20º above the horizon at noon.  And it’s only getting lower.

For those that live here, Germany is a wealth of bike trails and paths, criss-crossing the entire country.  With proper planning, you can ride from one side of country to the other without having to hit major traffic areas.  Not a bad thing.  It’s a goal that organizations likes Rails to Trails are striving for.

But while the trails criss-cross the entire country, it’s not like they’re in a straight line or anything.  Here in the Rhine River valley, where there aren’t any geographic features (other than the river) to work around, the paths just don’t make much sense.  It’s pretty easy to get twisted around and ride in a circle if you don’t use a map.

Heck, I have a map and still ended up doing circles and having to backtrack.

But it’s part of the fun.