Ford GT

I got a chance to try out some automotive shots using my new Lee filter yesterday.  This is one of those situations where you can’t control the environment so, you do the best you can.  The biggest challenge with this car show is that the lighting is usually very harsh.  Although some of the cars arrive fairly early, many of them don’t roll in until sometime just before noon.  Pretty much the worst time to take outside photos!

I have not used filters all that much but, I decided it was time to try it.  The graduated filter allows me to cut down the harsh sunlight without needing too high a shutter speed.  That lets me keep enough light to capture shadow detail on the ground without blowing out the sky.  I had to do quite a bit of experimenting which gave me some shots that were way too bright or too dark.  I finally found a combination that worked well and got better results than I thought possible.

This Ford GT is what I have considered a dream car for a long time.  I remember all the years that the race-car version of this automobile was tearing up the tracks all over the world and was amazed when they came out with a street-legal version.  The biggest challenge I had in getting a good shot of this was all the people who were gathered around it.  Had to leave and come back several times before this opportunity came around.

15th Annual United Way Car Show – Atlanta
GM Georgia Innovation Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
19mm @ f/8 – 1/100 sec – ISO 100

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How’s the fishing?

Our cruise ship – The Oaisis of the Seas, was at port in Labadee when this little row boat came around the bend of the beach area and approached the walkway that leads to the island.  It was afternoon so, I assume the he was probably coming in after a morning of work.  Watching him paddle through the shallow, crystal-clear water was a beautiful scene.

It looks like he had lots of nets piled up in the stern but we could not see any pile of fish anywhere.  Maybe he had already off-loaded his catch and was just coming by to watch the silly tourists as they walked over to get sunburned on the beaches.  I’m not sure, but I thought this was an interesting image to get some true local flavor in the cruise port.

Local Fisherman
Labadee, Haiti

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/9.0 – 1/400 sec – ISO 400

Remnant of the Past

Thimble-shaped structures like this dot the island of Jamaica and most people probably see them but don’t notice or don’t know what they are.  This is the base of a windmill that was used in the production of sugar.  These mills were all over the island when Sugar Plantations fueled the growth of the British colony that thrived here.  The mills were used to grind the sugar cane to produce granulated sugar and molasses.  Molasses is what Rum is produced from and this is the other big product of the colonial era.

At one time, Jamaica was the top producer of sugar in the world.  Today, it is still a major producer of sugar and rum but tourism is the biggest source of income.  It was very neat to learn a little of the island’s history when we were on our tour going from Falmouth to Montego Bay.

Jamaican Sugar Mill ruins

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
44mm @ f/14 – 1/50 sec – ISO 200

So close and yet, so far

On our trip to Montego Bay in Jamaica, the tour bus let us out on a busy section of the shopping district.  We parked right next to Margaritaville and piled out onto the narrow sidewalks to spend our “free time” before the tour would move on.

As I mentioned before, this section of the city is packed in with touristy shops and vendors trying to get you to spend your dollars before you moved on.  As we walked down the street, I noticed this wall with a fence that looked out on the beautiful blue waters of Montego Bay.

It’s kind of a tease here.  The street is hot and crowded.  If you’re into shopping, that’s fine but if you’re wishing for the blue waters and gentle breezes it seems like that’s far away.  The fence is locked so you can’t get out to the beach without paying the entrance fee or being a guest at one of the businesses that has beach-front access.  I guess it is a subtle form of advertising – Just a peek to make you long to be out there.  Now that I think of it, being on the beach would be great right now!

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
110mm @ f/11 – 1/50 sec – ISO 200

Just chillin’ in Jamaica

Everywhere you go in the Caribbean, there are vendors selling food or miscellaneous trinkets.  This guy just seemed to exude a Jamaican vibe doing nothing other than sitting at his cart full of coconuts.  For all I know, he could be from New Jersey but from a distance, this just seemed to me to capture the laid-back nature of this island.

It was awful hot as we were waiting for our excursion to Montego Bay and those ice-cold coconuts looked really tempting.  Of course there were many beautiful sights here that just call you to relax and enjoy.  I can see why they say one of the most common phrases here is – No Worries, Mon!

I totally agree.

Falmouth, Jamaica

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
50mm @ f/14 – 1/30 sec – ISO 200

Inspiration for stone carvings?

The structures of Chichén Itzá are covered with carvings of powerful wild animals.  Today, the ruins are also covered with local inhabitants like this iguana.  I can easily picture ancient Mayans looking at these miniature dinosaurs and imagining dragons or feathered serpents, perhaps?

If you don’t look closely, you could mistake this one for another carving.  Basking in the sun on a chac mool (sacrificial sculpture) the lizard blends in with the colors of the stone and seems not the least bit bothered by the tourists who wander about the site.  I guess they just get used to all these silly people being awed by this amazing history.

Chichén Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
78mm @ f/16 – 1/30 sec – ISO 200

Kukulcán the Feathered Serpent

On the great Plaza, between El Castillo the main pyramid, and the Great Ball Court, are several smaller structures. The Platform of the Eagles and Jaguars and the Temple of Venus are two very similar structures with steps on each of the four sides and a flat platform at the top. The top of each staircase is flanked by images of the winged serpent, the God Kukulcán.

Chichen Itza-082
The walls of the Eagles and Jaguars platform are carved with Eagles and Jaguars gruesomely grasping human hearts.  The story here is that there were two groups of Toltec warriors responsible for capturing sacrificial victims. Eagle Knights, who attacked the enemy using bows and arrows and Jaguar Knights fought using clubs fitted with obsidian knives.

 

The platform was likely used for religious and ceremonial purposes and may have been a sacrificial site.

The Platform of Eagles and Jaguars
Chichén Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
44mm @ f/16 – 1/250 sec – ISO 200

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