Tag Archives: Photographs

Texas Rose Festival Queen’s Tea in 2011

Here's a view of the gorgeous train of the 2011 Texas Rose Festival Queen at the Queen's Tea, held the third weekend in October every year at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden.

Here’s a view of the gorgeous train of the 2011 Texas Rose Festival Queen at the Queen’s Tea, held the third weekend in October every year at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden.

It’s time for the  2013 Texas Rose Festival, which is October 17th – 20th. This year’s festival, the 80th, features “Raindrops on Roses and Other Favorite Things” as its theme.  The Texas Rose Festival started in 1933 and is held every year on the third weekend in October at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden.

Here are photographs from the 2011 Queen’s Tea at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, as part of the festivities of the 2011 Texas Rose Festival. Click on the thumbnails to see full size-size photos with captions in a slide show.

One of the biggest events in the Texas Rose Festival is the parade, which you can read about by clicking on 2011 Texas Rose Festival Parade.  Lots of photos!
About the Texas Rose Festival.

Official Texas Rose Festival Website.

Tyler Municipal Rose Garden.

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Leap of Faith in the Wisconsin Dells

I was lucky to get this shot as a German Shepherd makes the leap made famous by Ashley Bennett in his father Henry Hamilton Bennett’s 1886 photograph “Leaping the Chasm at Stand Rock” in the Wisconsin River Dells.

On a recent driving trip through Wisconsin and Michigan, I was reminded in the Wisconsin Dells of how much progress has been made in photographic technology.  Photographers owe a debt to the early innovators, such as nineteenth century Wisconsin photographer Henry Hamilton Bennett.  Bennett originated the concept of photojournalism, invented a stop action shutter (which he called the “snapper”), improved the speed of the chemical exposure process and created other photographic innovations.  His photographs attracted throngs of tourists to the beauty of the sandstone gorges of the Wisconsin River Dells.  (The city of Wisconsin Dells is also now the self-proclaimed Waterpark Capital of the World.)

Bennett is considered one of the top landscape photographers of the 19th century, although I confess I’d never heard of him even though I’ve read a lot of history about photography. So I’m making up for that deficit now.

In 1886, Bennett took his iconic shot of his son Ashley jumping the five and a half feet from Stand Rock to a ledge and back to show how his shutter could freeze action. Ashley had to jump seventeen times before his father thought he had the perfect shot. Some people initially thought the photograph was a trick, because in those days capturing an exposure took a long time, which is why everyone looks so glum in their portraits. They had to stand still, not moving a muscle. Photographic chemicals took a while to react to light. Any part that moved during the long exposure time would be a blur.

In 1886, Ashley Bennett jumps from a ledge to Stand Rock in the Wisconsin River Dells in a demonstration of his father Henry Hamilton Bennett’s new stop action camera shutter. The photograph is called “Leaping the Chasm at Stand Rock.”

When people saw Bennett’s numerous gorgeous shots of the gorge, they swarmed to the Wisconsin Dells, where they could get their own photographs taken as they made the leap. This, after paddling boats to the site, under the direction of a guide.  Eventually, tourist leaps were stopped because of the risk. (Think of the lawsuits!) Now tourists (such as myself) watch a German Shepherd make the leap. You have to be quick to take your own stop-action photograph, because the dog makes the leap only once. I was lucky to get a full-body view as the dog leaped in his return to the ledge. There’s a net below the gap to catch any dog that doesn’t make it, but our guide assured us that no dog has ever fallen. Bennett’s photograph makes the distance from rock to rock look a lot farther. Even so, call me chicken, but I wouldn’t make any leap father than a foot at that height.

Here’s my first attempt to photograph the dog leaping from a ledge to Stand Rock in the Wisconsin Dells. The leap looks scarier in this photograph than in the shot when I captured the entire dog spanning the gap.

There’s plenty more to learn about Bennett, photography and the Wisconsin Dells.   Here are the links. You make the leap.

Wisconsin Dells History and Information.

More about Henry Hamilton Bennett.

The Stand Rock photograph was featured in Terrence Malick’s opening credits of his movie “Days of Heaven.”

Terrence Malick’s blog post featuring Henry Hamilton Bennett’s iconic photograph of his son Ashley jumping to Stand Rock in the Wisconsin Dells.

In the center of this photograph is Chimney Rock, one of the sandstone formations along the Upper Dells of the Wisconsin Dells section of the Wisconsin River.

For a full resolution version click here: Dog Jumping From Stand Rock in Wisconsin Dells.

Dog Jumping from Stand Rock in Wisconsin Dells Poster

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Let Us Remember

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and his family spent summers in a cottage near the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, in Washington, D.C. Although the cottage and grounds were a refuge from the heat of downtown three miles south, the nearby cemetery was a constant reminder of the daily carnage of the war. The cemetery, next to the Armed Forces Retirement Home, is one of only two national cemeteries administered by the Department of the Army, the other being Arlington National Cemetery. The national cemetery is adjacent to the historic Rock Creek Cemetery and to the Soldiers’ Home.

On this Memorial Day weekend in the United States, as we enjoy three days usually spent in some pleasant activity with family and friends, I wanted to spend a few moments thinking about the reason for the holiday.  Holiday seems too festive of a term for a day dedicated to remembering men and women who died in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces, but holiday does come from the word Holy Day. A sacred day.  A day for contemplation.

People around the world have been honoring their dead lost to conflict and war since the beginning of human time.  We can discuss the rightness, the justness or the causes of any war and come to a number of conclusions, but today I just want to think about the incredible sadness of the loss of so many lives and the gratitude I feel to those who died.

Memorial Day in the United States was established after the Civil War to honor fallen Union soldiers, but now covers all service men and women.  At least a million people died during the U.S. Civil War, including at least 600,000 soldiers.  Some have estimated the death toll of soldiers as high as 850,ooo. Memorial Day evolved from Decoration Day, which began during the Civil War among freed slaves and other black American families as a celebration of both black and white Union soldiers who fought for liberation and justice

One who particular bore a heavy load during war was Abraham Lincoln. During the Civil War, President Lincoln and his family spent part of each year (June – November 1862-64) living in a cottage at the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, DC., near the recently established National Cemetery. The Lincoln Cottage, as it is known now, was a refuge from the oppressive summer heat and clamor of the federal area and downtown three miles south, but the daily burials in the cemetery were a constant reminder of the war’s terrible carnage. President Lincoln would often roam in the cemetery at night in torment over the deaths and the burden of the war. So many died in the Civil War that the six-acre cemetery at the Soldiers’ Home was soon filled.  A much larger new military cemetery was needed, so Arlington National Cemetery was created.  Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs appropriated the land on June 15, 1864 for Arlington National Cemetery from the family of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Arlington, Virginia. Lee’s wife Mary Anna Randolph Custis was a descendant of Martha Washington.

The Soldiers’ Home was founded in 1851 as a home for retired and disabled veterans of American wars.   Soon after the start of the Civil War, a cemetery was created on its grounds, now called the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery.

The National Cemetery’s website states: “Just days after the Battle of Bull Run, the Commissioners of the United States Military Asylum offered six acres of land at the north end of the Home’s grounds as a burial ground for soldiers and officers.  This offer was accepted in late July 1861, and the first burials were made shortly thereafter on August 3.

From 1861 to 1864, the cemetery accepted thousands of soldiers’ remains from 17 of the 25 Union states, quickly filling the six-acre cemetery’s capacity.  An 1874 report on the condition of the cemetery noted more than 5,600 interments, including 278 unknown, 125 Confederate prisoners of war, and 117 civilian relatives of the deceased and employees of the Home.  In 1883, more than nine additional acres were added to the grounds, bringing the cemetery’s total size to nearly sixteen acres.  In 1900, all of the Confederate remains were reinterred in Section 16 of Arlington National Cemetery.”

The Washington D.C. area is home to many memorials and monuments.

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, the guard is changed every hour on the hour October 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual. From April 1 through September 30, another changing of the guard is added on the half hour and the cemetery closing time moves from 5 to 7 p.m.

Four memorials in the Washington, D.C., area: Upper left is part of the World War II Memorial; Upper right is a section of the Korean War Veterans Memorial; Lower right is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the lower left is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

About Memorial Day

About President Lincoln’s Cottage at The Soldiers’ Home

About the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery Washington, D.C.

About Arlington National Cemetery

About the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

About Vietnam Women’s Memorial

About the World War II Memorial

About the Korean War Veterans Memorial

History of the Arlington National Cemetery property.

My Blog Post “In Search of Abraham Lincoln”

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Puppies Like to Chew

It didn't take a forensic scientist to figure out who chewed these items.

We’ve had cats for almost twenty years, but that experience hasn’t prepared us for a puppy!   The adorable Loki is visiting for a while, and she has definitely made her presence known.

Loki, the chewmeister, trying to look nonchalant after I find the results of her latest chew fest.

Every day I discover some pile of torn rubbish on the floor that was formerly one of my very valuable mementoes. It started very innocently with catalogs and sections of the newspaper, but then Loki discovered she had a taste for vintage photographs. Yes, I should have locked up these items. We’re in the middle of some minor renovations, and desk contents and other items are in boxes. Loki knows how to knock them over or root into them to select the delectable fading views of my ancestors, bypassing the modern photographs.  Other items that have met her teeth are a wedding invitation, address book and a roll of masking tape, all stolen from my desktop. She found a loose piece of quarter-round woodwork trim in the kitchen and chewed both ends.  She has pruned all of the indoor plants.  Thankfully, we were able to move the plants outside before they were completely chewed to the roots.

An invitation and a piece of woodwork trim both fell prey to Loki's incessant need to chew!

But she’s so cute. Who can resist her when she jumps on the sofa, places her head on your lap and looks up at you, adoringly?

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Happy Spring!

A collage of blooming apple trees (and visiting bees) in my neighborhood.

Here's a collage of blooming apple trees (and visiting bees) in my neighborhood. (I originally designed this as a card, but I'm recycling it here.) If only I could insert the fragrance. (Blog-aroma!) It's intoxicating!

Spring officially arrived more than a month ago, but we’re just now getting lovely weather. (We did have one nice day here and there before.) The petals are already falling from the apple trees, but I’m looking forward to a succession of cheerful blooms.   Magnolia, lilac, peonies, iris, lilies…..

Moxey of Middleground explains how spring fever affects many of us in Sometimes My Train of Thought Gets Totally Derailed.  Paula of Locks Park Farm across the pond is side-tracked by the gorgeous spring weather in Devon.  Check out the photos of her adorable new puppy, which she carries in a backpack in Playing Truant.

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I’m Addicted to Digital

My Newest Addiction!

My newest addiction! My photographs are the tabby cat in the second row and the Texas waffle in the third row. After all of the "arty" photographs I've taken and submitted, I never dreamed that my two most popular photographs, featured on the RedBubble home page, would be my cat and a waffle I made for my breakfast.

Last month, I stumbled across a photographer’s blog that mentioned the RedBubble art and photography website, so I checked it out — then I signed up.  Now, I can’t stay away from it.  The amount of incredible excellent art and photography on cyberspace is mind-boggling — and from teenagers, even.  

If only we’d had digital photography and computers when I was a kid.  (We did have electric typewriters with correction tape.  And boy did I need the tape! ) All of my hard-earned darkroom skills are now archaic.  Using film, an enlarger and developing chemicals these days is like listening to your music on vinyl disks.  You have to be hard-core to do it.  I love the instant gratification as well as the ability to edit in so many ways in digital photography!  We “edited”  in the film darkroom, too, but it was limited.  And I only did black and white.   (I won’t even go into cameras.  More on that later.)

I dsicovered that birds are an extremely popular photography subject.  You need a twist.  Here, a cardinal holds on for dear life as he's buffeting in a snow storm on a pear tree branch. encrusted with ice The blossoms are covered with snow.

Birds are an extremely popular photography subject. You need a twist to stand out from the flock. I took this photograph of a cardinal holding on for dear life as he's buffeted in an early spring snow storm on a pear tree branch outside my kitchen window. You can't see the detail here, but the blossoms are covered with snow and the branches encrusted with ice. The poor cardinal, as brave as he is, is probably too common.

I started with Flickr, but I love RedBubble’s Aussie cheekiness.   Etsy is fun, too. (I discovered Kenna Foster on Etsy. She’s also on Flickr.  She’s on my blogroll. Check her out!)  I don’t know how many photography and art sites are online, but there must be tens of thousands of photographers and artists looking at and commenting on one another’s work, everyone from professionals to the people posting their first work.  It’s inspiring, overwhelming and humbling at the same time.

This photograph of Paddington with his mis-matched eyes has been very popular.  Paddington is tired of me pursuing him with a camera and is going to take out a restraining order against me.

My photograph of Paddington with his mis-matched eyes has been very popular with other cat owners and lovers. Paddington is tired of me pursuing him with a camera and is going to take out a restraining order against me.

On RedBubble or Etsy, there’s a chance that someone will see one of your great photographs or artworks and decide that they can’t live without it. On Etsy, the artists themselves produce and deliver the work.  

If you order through RedBubble, RB produces and ships the art as a card, print, canvas, calendar or poster.  I suspect that much of the art sold on RB is to the artists and photographers themselves.  I bought my own photograph (below) of the View from the Sydney Tower on canvas.  Those RedBubble people know what they’re doing!

Anyone who signs up for RedBubble (It’s free) can also get a free photography website, which is very cool.  You can organize your photos into galleries.  It was incredibly simple.  You can join a huge number of specialty groups on RB, such as landscapes, sunsets and sunrises, wildlife, doors and windows, old theaters, rivers, pets, food, skies  — in fact not even the sky is the limit.   Each group has sub-sets, too.  There are groups with minimal standards, and there are groups by invitation only, and everything in between.

I like to photograph oddball things, such as this van parked at Bondi Beach in Sydney.  I think the driver is trying to contact the mother ship.

I like to photograph oddball things, such as this van parked at Bondi Beach in Sydney. I think the driver is trying to contact the mother ship.

Featured photographs and art usually are exceptional, awe-inspiring, off-beat, fresh or eye-popping or else tug at your heart-strings (or else the person who selected it just took the next artwork that came along…..)

I know many of you out there are photographers.  What is your favorite photography website?  What are your favorite subjects. What do you do with all of your photographs? Do you print many?  Why do you take photographs?  I wanna know!  If you want to see a RedBubble website, here’s mine.  I’m still working on it.  My favorite gallery is “Fun Stuff”.  Catherine Sherman Photography.

RedBubble.      Flickr.   Etsy.  Beholden to Nature – Kenna Foster Photography.

Thanks to my daughter for saving the RedBubble screen shot for me.

I thought this view from the Sydney Tower was spectacular, but the number of spectacular photographs in cyberspace seems to be infinite!

I thought my photograph of this view from the Sydney Tower was spectacular, but the number of spectacular photographs in cyberspace seems to be infinite!

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