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"I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Connecticut Update

Well, what a strange storm that was. Thank the Universe, I was able to keep electricity throughout, but around 2 a.m., just as the storm was abating, I lost cable-related services: TV, Internet and phone. (Never bundle phone with your cable services, by the way--a big mistake. I still had a cell, of course, but almost all the cell towers were down.)

My house was pounded (for lack of a more creative word) by winds that I estimate at around 80-90 mph for hours on end. It got scary at times, but I felt pretty safe in the house since I'm about 4-5 miles inland from the coast of Long Island Sound. But the wind was relentless. And several times in the distance I saw transformers explode and light the sky with a beautiful blue-green light. We're very fortunate that Sandy was, for my area at least, a very dry storm: only a few inches of rain, which is nothing.

Those a few miles from here were not so lucky and, as I'm sure everyone knows by now, the the shores of CT, NY and especially NJ took a horrific hit. I think the Pres and the Gov of NJ are doing a superlative job of handling this storm. Two professionals doing their jobs and exceeding their own talents and devotion.

Anyway, quite an interesting night, huddle up with my cats and just watching the storm on TV (until cable went out) and watching it out my picture window. I had a friend come over the day before the storm and help me board up a long bay window that is older and I was afraid might blow in. But once that window was boarded up, I felt pretty secure the house could take any amount of wind--and it did. You have to love the way they built houses 75 years ago.

I hope that those of you on the East coast reading this were spared any real damage. And I can tell you this: next week I'm going to invest in a good transistor radio, more flash lights and a lot of batteries. Although we didn't lost power, I was ill-prepared if we had--which is rare. Usually I'm over prepared!  (Photo: MICHELLE MCLOUGHLIN/REUTERS)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mastering Travel Photography Seminars

If you've ever wanted to get more professional results with your travel photos, National Geographic Traveler magazine is sponsoring a series of travel-photography seminars that sound like a lot of fun. They're being hosted by two of the world's great travel shooters: Bob Krist and Ralph Lee Hopkins. The seminars  are being offered in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

The topics covered in the day-long presentations (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) include: understanding the elements of travel photography, improving the quality of your travel images, making effective use of flash in travel photos, being on the road with your equipment and, of course, sharing your travel pictures. Bob and Ralph are two of the most published travel shooters out there; Ralph has a number of beautiful wildlife shots in my book The NEW Joy of Digital Photography and Bob has been one of my photo inspirations for my entire career.

The cost of the seminar is just $195--a small investment compared to the cost of almost any trip and you'll get your money's worth in inspiration alone. But fair warning: after seeing their beautiful work all day long you'll come away with a wicked case of wanderlust.

(Photo courtesy of Bob Krist.)