Tag Archives: kirt tisdale

Winter Wonderland – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I was blessed with a great photo opportunity during the holidays. We were in Seattle for Christmas weekend and on Christmas Eve it started to snow. What makes it even more spectacular than just the beauty of a white Christmas is that Seattle may get a snow or two during the winter months, but typically it is just cold rain. So, we were able to enjoy one of their infrequent snows and it started on Christmas Eve and lasted into Christmas morning. Yes, it was one of those peaceful snows with big fluffy flakes….really stunning. I haven’t personally experienced that at Christmas since our days in Denver almost 30 years ago.

We spent Christmas day with our son-in-laws family. They live on the outskirts of Seattle with lots of forest land around their neighborhood. Always traveling with my camera, my son-in-law and I went for a hike where I took the attached shots.

This first shot is the trail we hiked.

Couldn’t resist this capture with the snow covered branches arching over the trail.

We entered a clearing where I captured this lone tree all covered in snow.

Just loved the look of the trees….

Stunning was all I could think of……truly a winter wonderland!!

As we came back into the neighborhood we saw families and their children taking advantage of this opportunity….notice the wise mom positioned in front of the pond to prevent anyone from getting to close and personal with the water. Love it!!

Believe it or not, all of this was gone within two days…by the time we flew out it had all melted. The day after we left another storm moved in with lots of rain (the typical). Timing is everything!!  Thoughts?

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The Duck At Papago Park

My wife and I have not been home for a weekend since before Thanksgiving until this weekend. I am not complaining as we have had short weekend get aways to celebrate a first birthday for our granddaughter in Los Angeles, a wedding in San Jose and then our nieces graduation in San Diego for her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy (two of her internships over the last year and a half were here in the Phoenix area where we were thrilled to house her both times) and next weekend finds us in Seattle for Christmas with the following one in Los Angeles for New Years. I share all of this (yes I am headed somewhere…) as to why it was that we found ourselves in the ever popular shopping malls and stores this past weekend doing our last minute Christmas shopping. This is not to say that Amazon has not received it’s fair share of our purchases, but there are those items you need to actually pick up or find. Having survived the masses, my mind went to a peaceful quiet place as we wound down Sunday night. The result is the attached photos.

Papago Park in Phoenix is nestled between the Desert Botanical Garden and The Phoenix Zoo. It has ponds and hiking trails and is very “quiet and peaceful”. Key point!! I was looking for a beautiful peaceful snow scene, but since I couldn’t find one (yes I have been living in warm climates for many years now), so I settled on this to represent a reprieve from the last minute hustle and bustle of the season. So back to the ponds. The ponds are home to many birds, but as the fall and winter migration occurs, it has a resident that calls the ponds home year ’round, the Mallard Duck. Both shots are the same duck, who appears not to have a concern in the world. So I give you my visual of a little peace and quiet during this busy season!!

Thoughts?

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Climbing The Pyramid When You Could – El Castillo in Chichen Itza

Sepia Mayan Pyramid – El Castillo as it looks without people climbing it

Chichen Itza came up in a discussion recently about how you use to be able to climb the great stairs of the pyramid all the way to the top. I was fortunate enough to have done that very thing when you still could. I’m not sure of the specific year when I did the climb, but it was somewhere in the very early 2000’s. My wife and I were down there with a group of people from work (annual reward trip). We were staying in Cancun and took a chartered tour bus to Chichen Itza. I love history, architecture and ancient ruins, so I was in my element. Of course I was not without my camera and took a ton of shots of the different ruins, El Castillo being foremost in my shoot. I was fascinated from a photography aspect of pictures with people walking up the steps of this famous pyramid.

Fast forward to 2007 and we were back down there with some close friends and our respective families. My girls had heard about climbing this pyramid and couldn’t believe their father who has a fear of heights actually did it. Imagine their disappointment when we found out you could no longer climb the pyramid. Due to an unfortunate death to a falling tourist in late 2005 and to the damage being done by the sheer load of people trudging up and down those steps along with the graffiti left behind by those same people, it was no longer permitted.

“Chichen Itza” El Castillo the day I climbed to the top

Those pictures suddenly started taking on a new element for me as something that will not be seen again. As I worked with them for my gallery I kept getting this circa 1930’s vibe and Indian Jones feel from them. Sepia popped into my head and after converting them decided to add another element of that old vibe with some texture. What came from that process is these three captures converted to what I think looks like an old Indian Jones element from that era (of course I realize he wouldn’t be discovering anything new in a place that had tourist climbing pyramid steps, but my vision of this look didn’t care about such details).

“Walking Up The Pyramid”   you can see people coming down using my technique and people walking down like it wasn’t an issue….but you get the visual impact of how steep those stairs actually are.

Now you can’t leave without me telling you about the wonders of that climb. I have a fear of heights such as the edge of the Grand Canyon (edge only), glass elevators that take you up more than 10 stories….I have some tolerance….ledges on mountains to name a few. I knew climbing the stairs wouldn’t be an issue as you are looking at the structure. I didn’t have any issues climbing to the top and was a little cautious about walking around by the edge at the top….ok…I stayed pretty close to the walls of the structure you see up there. The view is incredible and I was fascinated by the placement of the different windows in the top structure. Truly forgetting about how far up I was, it was time to come back down. You have no idea just how really steep and narrow each of those steps are until you go back down. For me it was literally too much to try and walk back down those steps…one trip or miss-step and you will literally fall all the way down (which is unfortunately what happened to the tourist I mentioned above). The best way is to sit down and slide your backside down each step.

I have toured the site multiple times and have learned new things each time. For more information about Chichen Itza – Wikipedia Here.   Chichen Itza is located in the middle of the northern tier of the Yucatan Peninsula between Merida towards the Gulf of Mexico and Cancun on the Caribbean side. Thoughts?

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Autumn Foliage – Issaquah, Washington – Part Two

Part Two of Autumn Foliage…..

The Tracks

Orange Trees

Yellow Trees

More autumn colors from Issaquah, Washington. Issaquah is nestled against the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range and is an eastern suburb of Seattle. Enjoy! Thoughts?

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Autumn Foliage – Issaquah, Washington – Part One

Some of the fall beauty in Issaquah, Washington this time of year….

Issaquah is nestled up against the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range and is an eastern suburb of Seattle. Part Two next week as we enjoy autumn brilliance. Thoughts?

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Sepia Tone – Vintage Photography

I enjoy using a sepia tone for some of my photography, specifically if it will enhance the subject matter. The sepia brown tones originated with film photography as part of the process to develop the prints in the 1800’s. Today, we can recreate that same vintage look digitally.

I have attached two pictures I took at the Hollywood School House in Woodinville, Washington (just outside of Seattle). The school was established in 1912 and has been restored to its turn of the century charm. It is currently used for weddings and special events and is located in the heart of the Woodinville Wine Valley.

 

Both of these items caught my attention and I thought they would make great sepia tone photographs to highlight the aged vintage look they represented. Thoughts?

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Simple Beauty – Featured Art Print

All of us on this journey we call life, experience pain, suffering and disappointment…it is an aspect of the human condition. We also experience, joy, love and peace….it is also part of the human condition. Anyone that follows my work and blog know that I try and stay focused on the positive aspects of life. It is a single go around, so why waste time dwelling on the negative. To me, this art print serves as a reminder for all of us to stop and smell the roses.  Thoughts?

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