Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Making the Most of Your Camera's Phone While Traveling

Are you old enough you remember people inviting your parents over to see their vacation photos on a slide projector? Doesn't that sound like a fun evening? Complain all you want about social media, its invention has saved all future generations from having to keep from falling asleep in the dark while a neighbor explains some unfunny thing that happened to him and his wife at Niagara Falls.


I love taking photos of all kinds but left my good camera at home for a recent trip to Pensacola. That old photographer's axiom about the best camera being the one you have with you proved true. You can still get quality artistic photos with your phone. Here are my best efforts last week on my iPhone 7.

...and yes, were plenty of silly shots on the beach with friends but I'm guessing they look just like yours. The top photo is of a friend in the distance picking up seashells. Every beach photo doesn't have to be at sunset with smiling faces. This photo actually captures our friend's personality quite well. 

Experiment with close up... 

 ...and far away. 

 Look for beauty in the details. 

Try black and white for dramatic images.  

 Capture the theme of beach week with something other than feet in the sand.

The best thing you can do to improve your photos is to study photos in magazines that feature the kind of pictures you most want to take. Looking at great photographs will teach you about composition and inspire you to try new things. Bad angles and composition won't be undone with even the most expensive equipment. 

Happy photo taking! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

King Street Station Seattle


We went to sleep to this.

And woke up to this.

This trip made me add a couple of new goals to my bucket list.

1. Visit all the really beautiful train stations.

2. Visit all the tallest buildings especially those with glass floors.

3. Take all of the great train trips.

If you missed the beautiful Union Station you can read about it here.  While I had heard of Union Station I had no idea what the Seattle train depot would look like.

Y'all. It was the one time on the trip I was mad at myself for not having my real camera with me. 

We arrived at King Street Station  on time in the morning ready to begin our fun stay in Seattle.

I had a little trouble getting out of the train station. 

This station was built between 1904 and 1906. It was designed by the firm of Charles A. Reed and Allen H. Stem, the who also worked on designing Grand Central Station. 

seattle train station

I really need for somebody to get married on that balcony!

seattle train station

Like many other cities Seattle allowed the building to fall into disrepair as air travel replaced train travel after WWII. But more recently they had the foresight to do a proper restoration which was completed in 2013.

seattle train station

I'm a pushover for giant clocks.

seattle train depot

And fancy ceilings like these ornate coffered architectural gems. Can you believe that during the sixties there was actually an ugly drop ceiling of nasty acoustical tile covering these? I'd like to see the guy who suggested that idea. 

seattle train station

Beautiful details everywhere.

seattle train depot

Check out the beautiful green and gold iridescent glass tile border and the elaborate plaster rosettes on the ceiling.

seattle train station

Don't forget to look at the floors if you pass through this fantastic building!

seattle travel

You just can't go wrong with classic black and white mosaic.

seattle architecture

Need a closer look?

king street station

Or a wider one?

seattle architecture

I mean, I told you I had trouble getting out of here. So many details to take in.

king street station

The entire building is a little jewel box of incredible workmanship.

seattle architecture

Yeah, so in Memphis, we tore down our beautiful old train station and built a hideous post office. Our leaders are all cool like that. 

seattle architecture

Kudos to Seattle's city leaders for having a vision of what could be.


I thought the tower looked familiar when I finally made it outside. It's based on the tower of St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice. It was the tallest building in Seattle when it was constructed.

seattle architecture

We finally made it out of the train station and to our hotel! If you are in Seattle don't miss this gorgeous building. You can visit for free and there's no line!

Next up: Pike's Market, Space Needle and Chihuly Gardens, and the Underground Tour.

Happy Travels, Y'all! 

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