Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts from the ‘Creative’ category

On the road to Jerusalem, July 1961.


You need to see this film, “Kingdom of Heaven” (2005) starring Orlando Bloom and Eva Green to appreciate its historical accuracy. Do your homework. I think that most people need to watch this film several times to understand the storyline. This is one of my favorite films, but then again I taught history.


Kingdom of Heaven“; Israel July 1961

Above the Rappahannock River.


If I showed you a photo of the Statue of Liberty I think that you would have little trouble in telling me that the location of the statue was New York Harbor. But what about a photo such as the one shown here? Could you identify the location? Call it an acquired skill or whatever, but after looking at tens of thousands of photos for 40 years such photo identification becomes possible. Perhaps my years of teaching history had some side benefits. I was able to identify the location without any accompanying documentation. This is “Fredericksburg, Virginia” c.1990 above the Rappahannock river.  If you look closely you can you not see the Union and Confederate soldiers squaring off for battle? Almost.

Enoshima Island, Japan (1955)


Here is a photo, “Enoshima Island, Japan (1955)“, that I find to be very special although I cannot really explain why. Perhaps having been in Asia a long time ago has something to do with it. Maybe it is related to culture shock. I remember that it took some time for me to adapt to my new surroundings. Likewise, upon my return to the U.S. it also took some time though not as long. At any rate this is a photo that I do not tire of viewing. Enoshima Island is located just off the coast of Yokohama.

Japanese shipping line.


Ships make great subjects for photographers. Some ships. We like this ship in particular that is named Ryuyo Maru. But there is a problem with taking photos of ships and that is in the identification. Not that ship identification is above my pay grade, but the issue is complex. Many times the name of a ship is reused as one is retired from service only to be replaced by others using the same name. So you may have several ships bearing the same name. Ships are scrapped, destroyed by war, torpedoed, they sink in storms, or hit a reef and sink. They are sold to other nations and renamed. It does make identification challenging. Not impossible just challenging and time consuming. There is a limit as to how much research one is willing to put into this endeavor. As is this case with the “Ryuyo Maru“, c.1970 we are only not certain of the date of the photograph but the location as well. Ryuyo Maru is not the name of the ship rather it is the name of the Japanese company that owns this particular ship, and it is just one of many ships having the same name. So a shipping company might have 20-30 ships in inventory numbered sequentially based on the launch date.

We say that not all photos of ships make great subjects. In fact, if not shot correctly, they seem rather boring to us. In the case of the Ryuyo Maru it is the low angle on the bow, the perspective at which the photographer saw his subject. Moreover the strong diagonal lines created by the mooring ropes and the dock with the logs creates tension in the image. This is what diagonal lines contribute in any photo.

June 1994


I visited the Grand Canyon in August 2003. It is actually a most difficult place to shoot pictures. The sheer magnitude of the canyon, the ever changing light and weather actually create complex problems for shooting. This blog photo, which I did not take but I wish I had, is just about as perfect a photo of the canyon as anyone has a reasonable chance of taking. “Grand Canyon“; Arizona (June 1994). If you look closely you can see what appear to be two eagles circling in the sky in the middle of the photo.