Going Inland in Iceland

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I’m continuing now with more photos from my trip to Iceland in 2014 with Zoe West and Nadine.
On this occasion, we had ridden north from the south coast, near the town of Vik.  I had seen on the map that there was a road that went north from the main road (the Ring Road) for about nine miles, ending at a campground.
As I was determined to try to get off the beaten path, this road seemed like a good place to do so.  I had a feeling that this would be a rough road, and it was.  The road guide I had, however, indicated that it was passable for all vehicles (rather than only four wheel drives) and thankfully that was the case, too.

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I wasn’t sure if I would go the full length of the road, which made its way to higher elevation, but I did, finally ending up at the campground – and just in time, too, as right about the time we got there we were engulfed in a hail storm the likes of which I had never seen before.  We were forced to sit it out inside the car for quite a while, though it was interesting to experience it.
In Iceland, the force of nature is frequently on full display.
The photos I’m posting now were made on the way up to the campground.  The weather was not very cooperative, being cold and windy, but Zoe and Nadine did pretty well, I thought.
I’ll add more photos from this location in another post.

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The City of the Tribes

Galway, Ireland, 2015

Galway, Ireland, 2015

Galway, Ireland, has been called “The City of the Tribes,” in reference to the 14 merchant families that were once very powerful and prominent there.
This post is not about that part of Galway’s history (though you can read about it here if you’re interested), but I thought it would be a good alternate to simply entitling this post “Galway,” which I have already used for one of my two earlier posts (here and here) about this city on Ireland’s west coast.
I was looking through the photos of my 2015 trip to Ireland and I’ve decided to make posts from this trip not in the order of the trip, but rather something more random so I can post whatever photos may interest me at any particular time.
So, even though I’m made some posts about parts of Ireland I visited after Galway, I’m going back now to the city where I began my trip.
As I wrote in one of the earlier posts, Galway is a pleasant old town and a nice place to spend a few days.  In fact, looking over my photos, I’m sorry that I didn’t photograph more than I did (although I did do so with my pocket digital camera).
So, here’s to Galway – a lovely place to begin a journey around the Emerald Isle.

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The Photographic Nude 2017

Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012

Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012

I just received a message from the LightBox Gallery in Astoria, Oregon, informing me that one of my photos, “Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012,” has been chosen to be included in its upcoming show, The Photographic Nude 2017.  The juror was photographer Kim Weston.
This image was made during my trip to the Canadian Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick in 2012 with Erica Jay and Dane St. Clair.   The location was a beach on the east coast of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island.  I made about half a dozen images like this, asking Erica and Dane to run and to jump when I cried out “Jump!!!”  (They did jump, but never at the same time, which is something that I have joked about since then.)
I purposely waited until they were approaching the right edge of the frame as I wanted the photo to look like the beach was trailing behind them.
A number of people have told me that they like this image quite a bit, but this is the first time that it has been chosen for exhibition.  One of my photos won first prize in this competition’s 2015 show (here), but I don’t think they’ve announced the prize winners yet for this exhibit.  Winner or not, it’s nice to have a photo selected to be part of it.
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A Dog and Donkey Show?

County Kerry, Ireland, 2015

County Kerry, Ireland, 2015

Here are some more photos from my trip to Ireland last year.  These were made in County Kerry on the way out to travel and see the attractions of the Ring of Kerry, which is on beautiful Iveragh peninsula in the southwest of Ireland.
For some reason, at this particular spot along the road, a small boy was sitting minding a pair of donkeys, one of which was obviously very, very young.  There was also a small dog that just sat on top of the older donkey, pretty much not doing anything other than looking around.
I’m not sure why they were there.  Perhaps it was to get some tips given by travelers who wanted to photograph them.  I really don’t remember seeing that, however, but I could of course be wrong.
Whatever the reason, it looked like an interesting scene to photograph, so I did.  I’m posting a photo of the nearby landscape, too.

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More Southern Exposure

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I haven’t been posting much lately as I’ve been working a lot of overtime at work, and when I get home I really don’t feel like doing much.  I worked both days both this past weekend and the weekend before, with yesterday being the 13th straight day I went into work.
The good news of this, of course, is that I’ll have a lot more time to take off from work for photography and other things in the future.
Anyway, I am off from work today, and after taking advantage of the opportunity to sleep late, it is indeed time to write another post.

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The two photos you see here are from the same photo session as that from my last post about Iceland, which were made close to midnight at a beach on the southern coast of Iceland.  The model is Zoe West.  I’ll post more photos from Iceland in upcoming posts.
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I made a big mistake with this blog recently.  I tried to create a new website/blog for an organization to which I belong, and I decided to do so using WordPress, which is what I use for this blog.
Unfortunately, when I tried out a template for this new site, I mistakenly changed the template for this, my Figures of Grace blog, instead.  I was able to change it back to its original template, but in doing so, some bad things happened.  Basically, almost everything in the right column here was missing.  I was able to go into the settings and restore them, but not the way they were before.
For one thing, everything is now in alphabetical order, which is not what it was before.  I had been able to select the order in which these other websites and blogs appeared by assigning a numerical rating to each one.  The numerical ratings are still there on each link’s WordPress page, but they no longer work – and I have been unable to find a way to make them work.
The same goes for photographs.  The link to my book of Asia photographs on Blurb used to have a photo posted with it, as did that for my Golden Fluffie Award for Best Nude blog.  Again, the WordPress page for each of these has a line in which I can insert the web link for a photo that should appear.  As with the numerical ratings, these links are in place but no longer work.
The search option is also missing, as is the ability for people to sign up to follow the blog by e-mail and the listing of recent posts, but perhaps I may still be able to restore these.
So, it would appear that previously, the changes which WordPress has made since I created my blog had not yet taken hold.  Then, after mistakenly changing the template and then going back to it, these changes have taken effect – and as you can tell from what I have written, they are not changes for the good, as “new” is not necessarily “improved.”
I am now thinking of changing to a new template altogether, but I have not decided yet.
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The Cliffs

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, 2015

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, 2015

I hope everybody enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day weekend.  Some of you out there no doubt stuffed yourself with food, and it was with food in mind that I made a post regarding food on that day with a photo from my trip to Ireland last year.
In looking back over my blog, I see that the last post I had made about the Ireland trip was done in September of last year, just a few months after I came home from the trip.  It had been quite some time since I last worked on these Irish photos, but this weekend I did so again and now have more to post.

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I’m beginning today with one of the landmarks of the Irish landscape – the Cliffs of Moher.  These steep cliffs on Ireland’s west coast rise as high as 700 feet and feature sheer drops down to the Atlantic Ocean.  When I visited the cliffs on my first trip to Ireland in the 1990’s, there was nothing to prevent people from going right up to the edge – and indeed, people did do that.  I have to think that some of them never came back, as things have changed since then, with a low stone wall put up to try to prevent people from getting too close, though people do climb over.
Photographing something like these cliffs can be difficult if you’re trying to come up with something new and potentially interesting from a visual point of view.  Still, I tried, and I came up with a photograph of a warning sign on the wall showing a man going over the cliff with the actual cliffs in the background, giving a sense of how beautiful but potentially deadly the place is.

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On a lighter note, on the earlier trip, my tour group visited a weaving mill close to Dublin.  As our guide – a college student on summer break – took us through the shop, she showed us some mohair sweaters, to which I said, “Ah, like the cliffs.”
“What cliffs?” she replied.
“The Cliffs of Mohair,” said I, to which she responded, “That’s the Cliffs of Moher!,” followed in typical Irish fashion with “Ah, I see we have a wit among us!!!”

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Good Food

Good Food, Cobh, Ireland, 2015

Good Food, Cobh, Ireland, 2015

I was working on some of the photos from my 2015 trip to Ireland today.  This one, from the coastal town of Cobh, seems expressive of today’s theme.  I hope everyone ate some good food surrounded by family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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Southern Exposure

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Once again, I have not posted anything for a while.  I was away for several days last weekend, and when I have been home, I’ve been trying to catch up with things that I’ve gotten behind on through my working a lot of overtime at the office lately.
Of course, one of the things I’ve been wanting to catch up on is the blog, so I am finally getting to it now.
Today I’m going back to my 2014 trip to Iceland.  In my last post about Iceland (here),I posted some photos of Zoe West on a black sand beach on Iceland’s south coast.  I’m continuing with that photo session today.
I’ll include a few more from this series in a future post, too.

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As I wrote in that earlier post, I had wanted to photograph at this spot on my trip to Iceland in 2013, but either the weather was too rough to photograph nudes or there were other people around on the beach.  (Actually, the weather was also pretty rough when there were people around, too.)
The weather was better in 2014, so that was less of a problem, but we still had to worry about other people.  Fortunately, at the time of the year that we were in Iceland, the sky never really gets dark, so we were able to photograph late in the day – very late!
These photos, in fact, were made close to midnight, and they show Zoe posing next to the basalt columns that grace this particular spot.

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Heil Donald

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I have never been so absolutely ASHAMED to be a citizen of the United States as I am now.
We have elected a bullshit artist, a con man, an unashamed and unrepentant liar, a racist and a bigot who brings out the worst in people to the highest office of the land.  A man who joyfully mocks people with disabilities and disparages combat veterans and their families.  A man who is going on trial shortly for both racketeering and fraud AND child rape.  A man who gleefully proclaims his manner of abusing women.  A man who claims to be good at business but has filed for bankruptcy four times and refuses to release his tax returns to show us how much he is really worth.  A man who claims to want to help others but throughout his life has only shown an interest in helping himself.  A man who was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.  A man whose rhetoric and tone are alarmingly similar to that which Adolf Hitler used to get elected.
It is a victory of the uneducated over the educated, of intolerance over tolerance, of authoritarianism over the right to due process under the law, of fear over hope. This man has made open hatred and bigotry something that is now acceptable and practiced by many, and his election will likely embolden them even more.
This may ultimately bring about the collapse of the Republican party from within, but how much of our nation – and the world – will it take down with it?
Heil Donald. The Dark Age has begun.
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Spiders: Close, But No …

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The results of this year’s Black and White Spider Awards were posted online on Saturday.
Last year, one of my art nude photos was awarded an Honorable Mention, so I was hopeful to maintain that status or even get one of the three awards this year.  (See post here.)
The first thing I did was to look at the list of nominees, and I saw that five of the seven art nude photos I had submitted had made that category.  After seeing that, I was very hopeful of success, but those hopes were dashed when I looked at the list of winners and honorable mentions and saw that I was not there.

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Once again, having a good number of photos make the last cut before the winners is no guarantee of success.  This happened once before with the annual contest for the French magazine PHOTO, when I saw on the magazine’s website that ten of the twelve photos I entered had made the Finalist category, but not a single one of them had gotten into the magazine, which is what really counts.
When I got the Honorable Mention last year, only two of the six photos I entered in the Nude category were nominated, too.

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Two other photos that I had submitted, in the “Children of the World” and “Still Life” categories, also were nominated.
So, a step backward this year, but I have to say that of the winning images, a lot of them I would have chosen myself to win. (Others, not so – but that’s the way it often is.)  You can see the full list of nominees and winners by clicking here.
As for PHOTO, I made my submission for the January 2017 issue last week, so now all I can do is wait and hope.

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