This year there were a few events I photographed. Here are some of the highlights.
This year there were a few events I photographed. Here are some of the highlights.
One of the best times of the year – Christmas, time to spend with your family, time to relax, and have some fun. Christmas lights and displays are always amazing to see and every year I visit different places to take pictures of the Christmas lights. Here are some unique photos from 2018.
Crownsville Renaissance Festival is a great place to visit. This year it started from 25th August and runs till the 21st October so you still have time to visit. There is something for everyone. There are games, varied live performances, music, artisan shops, and plenty food to suit all different tastes.
If you come in the morning, you are likely to run into the King and the royal court at the entrance.
In the morning a bridge can be enchanted, just imagine your picture on this bridge with sunlight coming through the trees.
The morning is so beautiful at the festival, just walk around and find a quiet spot, not so difficult when you come early and you can just sit down, observe and rest.
Throwing axes in the Stupid Hat Area is pretty popular. And it is not just for the fellows! If you like music, there is plenty live music, just take your pick.
Giant soap bubbles are plenty fun for everyone and you can take quite spectacular images through the bubbles.
Once you have seen acrobats, plays and all the other fun, you can just sit some more and relax.
Virginia Scottish Games take place every year in The Plains, VA. This year was 45th Anniversary of the games. It was packed with entertainment, competitions and fun for two days. There were athletic events, music and dancing competitions, Clan Parade, Band Parade, and lots more. The day was filled with lots to do, with special events for children to keep the youngsters occupied.
However, some kids were proudly taking part in the main events. This little fellow in the picture on the left, marched proudly with the bands across the big field.
Opening Ceremony was preceded by the Clan Parade. This year it looked a little different than in previous years as the narrow entrance to the athletic field became even narrower with bands gathering to enter the field after the Clan Parade. However, nobody seemed to mind and everyone found their way.
As the clans were leaving the athletics field, the bands entered marching up to the top of the field.
The bagpipers and drummers marched up and then down the field after doing an elaborate turn in the middle of the field. And as you can see above, the little bagpiper is marching on with the band! Keeping up with the grownups could not have been easy but he did not seem concerned or distracted.
Music was all around even after the Band Parade finished. There were bagpipers practicing, playing, bands were practicing some more for the competition.
There were also live music performances and included Glengarry Bhoys, Chambless & Muse and Glencoe Lads and Friends. For the lovers of fiddling, there were fiddling performances as well in a fiddling tent not far from the Highland dance competition.
Dance competition was tough with the sky clearing, and temperatures increasing, it got very hot very quickly. Dancers were sweating it out on and off the competition floor. Below are just some of the images from the competition. While waiting for their turn come competitors were going over the steps in their heads and moved hands in the air as if they were the feet.
I tried to capture dancing action from the competition. These are just some of the shots I took, trying to illustrate a range of movements on the dance floor.
As Athletics is an integral part of the games there was lots of action on the field: heavy weight toss, light weight toss, caber toss and sheaf toss. With so many events going on, I did not get around to all of them but here are some of the images from the weight toss events.
You can see more images from the Virginia Scottish Games on my website. If you are interested in using any of the images or if you like your own photos please contact me.
Car show is an event that seems to attract a wide range of audiences everywhere. Obviously not everyone is getting excited about the same things or even looking at the same things. However, it is hard to dispute that it brings crowds. It was not any different earlier this year in DC.
There were plenty of new concept cars, some with new fuel, some extra small, some self driving. Pretty much something for everyone. Toyota showed some really interesting concept cars on the floor. On the left, Toyota FCV Plus Concept. On the right, a Toyota i-Road, not sure if that is still a car or a fancy tricycle. They both look small and you have to judge for yourself if you would want to drive one of them.
A more advanced Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell car, was also shown. You could actually see how hydrogen makes this car go.
The future is already here and you can buy one of those cars. They are a little pricey and you can only drive them in California. So for all those of you in other parts of the country for now you can just look at the pictures.
Among the concepts was Huyandai autonomous Ioniq. Looking just like the rest of the Ioniq line it is well equipped with LiDAR system allowing for autonomous driving. At the same time still looks like a normal car.
Another interesting feature was presence of a lot of small cars. From a smart car, through a selection of other small vehicles. While they are not for taking long trips, they could be adventageous for driving and parking in a city.
However, not all cars were small, concept, there were also the special ones. Those that we love looking at, some of us can even afford them and they always draw crowds.
The DC car show was not all just about the cars. It was also about fashion with creations by KennyKAS Custom that were part of the The ART-of-Motion display. Beautiful creations, super patient models produced just a superb display.
Don’t worry if you missed it, there will be next one coming. It is always fun to see the cars, sit in at least some of them.
I decided to look back at 2015 and try to pick a few favorite images. While doing that I realized that I am not sure which images should I be showing, those I find the most amazing or those which gathered the most response on various social media? So I decided to include a selection in a few categories. All of the images can be found on my Flickr site as I used BigHugeLabs to create the mosaics you see here. Their mosaic tool is easy to use and great fun.
The images were chosen based on number of views and number of favorites.
This is a funny category, as the images are chosen by a computer algorithm, however, as you can see some are consistent with some of the other categories.
This is the category, where picking the images is really hard to do. You tend to love all of your pictures or most of them. How to pick just a few? It was not easy.
There is a story behind everyone of those images you see here. Fog in Savannah was just a few minutes when it looked amazing. The three night images all taken with the same camera but only two of them on a tripod and I had a lot of time when shooting just one of them in St. Louis. Portraits shown here are all posed except the last. The little princess shot was just one of the candid moments.
This year, I traveled to some of the most amazing places last year and picking just 4 pictures was hard but decided on the four you see. Why? A sunrise hike to Delicate Arch and being lucky for some 2 minutes was priceless, Sunset at the Windows in Arches was a game of patience till the sun goes low and comes out from behind the clouds so the colors change. This is one of the images while the sun was still high and I took this image lying on the ground. My beautiful panoramic shot would not appear nicely in the mosaic so it is not shown here, but you can see it on my website or Flickr. Bryce Canyon – a great place to visit, but poor weather can make your plans of taking pictures go out the window. Here is a moment of sunshine caught on the rocks just before it started drizzling.
I am fascinated by bees and this little one was, I think, the best capture this year. They are fast and unpredictable, but really beautiful. Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD, was my first. I like shooting action and this was yes, you can guess my first fast action set of pictures at the jousting arena. Then we come to the end of the year, autumn or fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year with colors and light being quite stunning. I picked the picture which showcases the gold color of the fall. Why? I like it but also I set out on a day trip to take some images of fall,, however, the weather decided that rain is the most appropriate thing in the fall. Therefore, when sun was poking through the golden leaves I was quick to take some pictures.
All this brings us to the end of the year and Christmas. The beautiful cards that we used to get at Christmas time long time ago always made me want to create an image as beautiful as they were. Not sure if I succeeded by your standards but I love this golden ball in the tree.
What is coming in the New Year? We will see. My camera is ready and already working hard this year. I hope to see more of you visiting my blog and connecting with me on Instagram, Flickr and Twitter this year. Have a great New Year!
Soon after the Scottish Games I went to my first Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, Maryland. The Festival is amazing, it allows you to experience something really different from your regular everyday life. As soon as you pass through the gates you become a part of the feast in Revel Grove, a village in Oxfordshire, England. Why? Because, this year’s story line was the Royal visit by King Henry VIII and Queen Katherine of Aragon in Revel Grove. You can see the King, Queen, the royal court and foreign guests. They are definitely enjoying themselves.
However, pirates did not completely take over. There was lots of entertainment, with The Sirens, The O’Danny Girls, Cu Dubh to name a few. And music was not the only thing you can enjoy. There were short versions of Shakespeare’s plays, acrobats, juggling, jousting and many other attractions.
Shakespeare would have been proud watching those short versions at the Globe Theater.
A lot of action and entertainment was at The Joust Arena with the Return of the Black Knight Joust. Horses and knights were all action on this hot day in a very dusty arena.
In all the excitement there were moments just worth seeing, here are a few of my favorite moments from the festival.
I enjoyed the time at the Renaissance Festival and if yo have not been to one, go and have fun! Huzzah!
Labor Day weekend was the time to go and seen what the Scottish are up to in Virginia. And there was plenty to see at The Plains: athletics, highland dancing, bag pipe bands, clan parade, sheep dog demonstrations and much more.
This was my second time at the games and I enjoyed every moment of them. One of the highlights in my eyes was fencing demonstration from the Virginia Academy of Fencing. As you see, starting early is a key to become a good fencer.
However, you get a bit more fun when you can actually pick up the sword.
Learning to defend yourself can actually take some time. I should know, used to fence a little some time ago. If you never tried it, go for it. Fencing is a cool sport, can leave you with some bruises but it will teach you some valuable lessons. There were also other opportunities to explore sword fighting and get a personal introduction.
Central stage of the games were the athletics events: stone toss, heavy weight toss, hammer throw, caber toss, sheaf toss and weight over bar. The caber toss in amateur competition ended in a tie and had to be broken by attempting to toss the professional caber! It was definitely fun to watch. It takes three men to get this caber upright and only one guy to toss it.
The athletics field became for some time a central stage for the Clan Parade. Capturing the marching clans was an interesting task, as you wanted not to be stepped on while sitting on the grass. Here is a mosaic composed from the parade and a few special shots that seem to warm the heart.
The parade was closed by the pipe bands marching down the center as well. One of the bands turned away from me but the second was heading right for me! So a quick scramble to get away.
Pipe bands sounded great and created a great atmosphere. Although not everybody agreed with that statement!
It has been very hot over the weekend so being able to rest a little was a good thing. One place where you could rest was under a big tree to see the sheep dog demonstrations. The sheep and dogs did not seem to mind the weather as much as people did. There was plenty of action to watch with amazing explanations as to what is really happening.
If you were tired and thirsty, there was plenty of drinks to enjoy, great lemonade, beer and you could always pick up some tea pots and make your own. Sit back and relax.
Finally, there were some pretty spectacular participants and some famous people, OK not really people, but still famous cut-outs.
I had a great time and hope to see you next year!
Last Sunday I went to a great Super Bowl party organized by the Triangle Patriots Fans in Raleigh.
The party was at the Backyard Bistro. It was an afternoon and evening of fun and excitement. There were games before the big game. Seems like Tom Brady’s number 12 was the most popular shirt all around, but not the only one obviously. Fans gathered slowly inside, many took part in a raffle and were later joined by a former Patriot’s player Lin Dawson.
Lin talked to the fans and signed photos as well as posed with fans for some. He was a great addition to the party! He also shared a little bit of insight about his organization during half time.
The game was a close one and there were ups and downs, but every touchdown excited the fans and final one caused an amazing explosion of enthusiasm. For some fans it was nearly hard to believe after what we have seen during the game.
The event was a great success thanks to all of the volunteers and Christina, the organizer.