a visual study
Archive for April, 2014

Back in the UK

I was back in the UK recently. Some photos from various parts. This first one is from the British Museum. A wonderful exhibit on Vikings included people in period dress. Very high quality costumes! This next is from down in Dartmouth. A man struggles to draw his small boat to the water. We got out one day to explore one of the many ancient stone circles in the area. This site dates back over 5000 years. Wandering nearby were several wild ponies. They were used to seeing people and were quite calm. Couldn’t get too close to them though.

Vikings Dartmouth stone circle 2 stone circle 1 wild pony



Hollywood Sign

I got out today to make my way up to the ridge behind where I’m staying these days. It rained last night so the air is nice and clear. Bit of a chilled breeze blowing across but a very nice day out. After a short walk up through the neighborhood there’s a “trail” that leads up the mountain and wraps around behind the Hollywood sign. One photo is on the approach and shows the sign and the radio towers. The next is the view from on top of the ridge with the view out over LA. The last is the reverse view over into the valley, Burbank.

Here’s a link to some info on the sign and how to do this hike:




Griffith Observatory

I made it up to Griffith Observatory this evening. First time in years. I’d found an older photograph I’d taken years ago with my old Nikon D80 several days ago. I wanted to recreate it with my newer D600. Much nicer camera with greater capability for shooting in low light situations. Here are a couple to check out.

The observatory is open most nights until 10pm. They usually have a couple of telescopes setup out front. I’ve seen Mars, Jupiter, and most recently Saturn. Really cool and worth checking out. Here’s a link to their site:

DSC_5946 DSC_5951

the Biltmore House

Recently I spent some time in Asheville, NC with my family. Nearby there’s a beautiful private estate that’s open to the public for visiting. Built in the late 1800s, it’s a unique beauty here in the States. They have gardens, vineyards, livestock, along with a beautiful hotel and restaurants on the grounds. This photo was taken while we were out walking on a cold winter day. Wrapping things up later in the afternoon we caught the light just at the right time.

Here’s a link to the site for the house:


Thames Barrier, London

I keep a running list of things to go and see in London. Back last year I found myself with no real plans on a Saturday. I decided to go and see the Thames Barrier. Built to control flooding of central London, it’s a beautiful piece of engineering with it’s distinctive metal housings. Caught it on a good day with the dramatic skies for an interesting backdrop don’t you think?

There’s a nice little museum on the southern bank of the Thames. Here’s a link to some more information:



white wolf

This is in the Western North Carlolina Nature Center not far from my Mother and Father’s house. Beautiful white wolf there resting peacefully.

It’s worth checking out if you happen to be in Asheville. Here’s a link to their site:


kyudo in socal

Having the chance to return to the place where I first learned to shoot the yumi (japanese longbow) is a such a great thing. A beautiful spot early in the morning. Nice cool air with birds flying about and the occasional squirrel wandering by to see if you can offer any snacks.





Iona Abbey, Scotland

One of those ancient spaces that where you can just feel the history. A small island off the coast of Scotland, Iona is the place where Christianity came to the mainland of England and Scotland in the year 562 AD. A priest flees from Ireland to establish a monastery in this very spot. A very holy place. 48 kings are buried in the graveyard outside. Over the years several members of my family have spent time here. I was very happy to have the chance to see it for myself. The acoustics in the abbey here are magnificent.


Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Upstairs looking out over. This old structure is unbelievably large. Built in 537 AD, I cannot imagine the construction of such a magnificent place so long ago.