Servicios de la Raza’s Annual Fiesta

 

 

I always love shooting Servicios de la Raza’s annual Fiesta!    Servicios does incredible work for the community of North Denver and their annual Fiesta is yet another way they give back to North Denver.    The car was stellar but it’s the Low Rider Hopping contest that is the biggest draw.

 

Very nice to be able to walk two blocks from my house to Chaffee Park to shoot the Fiesta.   I love North Denver.

 

 

 

The car show is always impressive.

The car show is always impressive.

 

I always enjoy photographing the Aztec dancers.

I always enjoy photographing the Aztec dancers.

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Ice cream, anyone?

Ice cream, anyone?

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Bikers checking out the bikes.

Bikers checking out the bikes.

Vote!

Vote!

Rudy Gonzalez, the Executive Director of Servicios, reacting to Councilwoman Judy Montero's comments.

Rudy Gonzalez, the Executive Director of Servicios, reacting to Councilwoman Judy Montero’s comments.

Introduction of VIP's and the North Denver police.

Introduction of VIP’s and the North Denver police.

Waiting for the Hopping contest.

Waiting for the Hopping contest.

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Photographers having a moment :)

Photographers having a moment :)

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Kids watching the show.

Kids watching the show.

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...and the winner is!

…and the winner is!

Chicano Bikers Club.  I wasn't going to tell them to smile.

Chicano Bikers Club. I wasn’t going to tell them to smile.

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Amen to that.

Amen to that.

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Posted in Humanitarian

National Moment of Silence 2014

The National Moment of Silence 2014 at Denver’s Civic Center Park was held to pay respects to victims of police shootings and brutality.

 

The images I saw of Ferguson, MO police officers with their guns aimed at people who were peacefully protesting was alarming.   Just maybe aiming an M60 machine gun into a crowd of people who are not posing a threat to you is a little bit of overkill.    I’m not sure what the facts are in the shooting of the unarmed teenager are and I won’t speculate on that here but the actions of law enforcement in the days following the shooting served to heighten tensions in that community.    It was heartening to see a less confrontational and more effective approach after local law enforcement was replaced by state police officers.    It also gives me hope to see the almost universal condemnation by both political parties to a militarized approach to law enforcement.

 

 

 

One of the organizers addressing the crowd  at Civic Center Park.

One of the organizers addressing the crowd at Civic Center Park.

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One of the organizers addressing the crowd.

One of the organizers addressing the crowd.

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A minister addressing the crowd.

A minister addressing the crowd.

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On a lighter not, what exactly does "Less pants, more science" mean?

On a lighter not, what exactly does “Less pants, more science” mean?

Posted in Humanitarian

Life on the Bosphorus

 

 

It’s interesting what ends up being my favorite place or memory when I travel.   I loved seeing the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and all the other incredible historic places in Istanbul but I think my favorite thing was the Bosphorus and taking in the life that goes on all along it.   Walking across the bridges, so vibrant with people fishing and vendors hawking food and wandering along the boardwalk where the locals hang out was so peaceful.     And hanging out with my kids in the evening on the Bosphorus, near Sultanahmet, drinking beer and watching the sunset made for some perfect evenings.

 

All images were shot with the Fuji X-T1 and the Fuji 18mm 2.0 or Fuji 35mm 1.4

 

 

The view of the Bosphorus from Topkapi Palace.

The view of the Bosphorus from Topkapi Palace.

The Galata Bridge was lined with people fishing every morning and evening.

The Galata Bridge was lined with people fishing every morning and evening.

Fishing off the Galata Bridge.

Fishing off the Galata Bridge.

The Galata Bridge.

The Galata Bridge.

And a fisherman looking for a little more solitude than the Galata Bridge affords.

And a fisherman looking for a little more solitude than the Galata Bridge affords.

A couple gentleman playing  backgammon.

A couple gentleman playing backgammon.

Girls hanging out on the Bosphorus.

Girls hanging out on the Bosphorus.

I loved the street scene along the Bosphorus.  It's the place to chill in the evening.

I loved the street scene along the Bosphorus. It’s the place to chill in the evening.

Amanda and Jonathan.

Amanda and Jonathan.

Amanda, laughing at my excellent sense of humor, no doubt :)

Amanda, laughing at my excellent sense of humor, no doubt :)

My fav photographer, Meghan.

My fav photographer, Meghan.

...and her awesome husband, Ryan.

…and her awesome husband, Ryan.

River cat!

River cat!

The girls checking out the river kitties.

The girls checking out the river kitties.

Thanks to Jonathan for taking one of my all-time favorite pics of me with my girls.

Thanks to Jonathan for taking one of my all-time favorite pics of me with my girls.

Posted in Asia, Europe Travel

Bosphorus Ferry, Istanbul

I hadn’t been back to Asia since I lived in Taiwan as a little kid so I was excited to see it again.  Okay, so I was in Asia a total of three hours on our trip to Turkey, but hey, I made landfall and I saw a castle…I’d call that a cool day.     The Ferry along the Bosphorus is a great way to see more of Istanbul from a different perspective.

 

There are a ton of private tour operators that give tours along the Bosphorus but someone had recommended just taking the regular ferry as it was cheaper and offered the opportunity see a a castle and set foot in Asia at the last stop.    Different sources had recommended getting there an hour early to ensure good seats but as long as you get there early enough to get a ticket, you’ll be fine.  People are moving around and changing seats on the ferry and views the entire time so no need to waste much time standing in line for tickets.

 

All photos were shot with the Fuji X-T1 and either the Fuji 18mm 2.0 lens or the Fuji 35mm 1.4 lens.

 

The terminal ferry where the Bosphorus ferry departs.

The terminal ferry where the Bosphorus ferry departs. The tall, pointy tower in the background is the Gellato Tower.

The view from the back of the ferry before we took off.

The view from the back of the ferry before we took off.

I love the contrast between old and new in this pic.  This is exactly how I think of Istanbul - full of incredible historic sites but also a vibrant, modern city.

I love the contrast between old and new in this pic. This is exactly how I think of Istanbul – full of incredible historic sites but also a vibrant, modern city.

An old fort along the Bosphorus.

An old fort along the Bosphorus.

The ferry was a casual, relaxing way to see more of Istanbul.

The ferry was a casual, relaxing way to see more of Istanbul.

My favorite photographer making art.

My favorite photographer making art.

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In Asia!  For a couple hours, anyway.

In Asia! For a couple hours, anyway.

My son-in-law Ryan relaxing in Asia :)

My son-in-law Ryan relaxing in Asia :)

The remains of Yoros Castle in Anadolu Kavağı, Turkey.  As far as castles go, it was a tad disappointing but the view was spectacular.

The remains of Yoros Castle in Anadolu Kavağı, Turkey. As far as castles go, it was a tad disappointing but the view was spectacular.

Jonathan enjoying the cruise!

Jonathan enjoying the cruise!

The view as we arrived back in Sultanahmet.

The view as we arrived back in Sultanahmet.

Posted in Asia, Europe Travel

Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey.

I’ve wanted to visit Istanbul since I was a little kid.  My dad was stationed there for a few years in the late 50′s and he’d get this far away look in his eyes when he talked about his time there.   He’d travelled all over the world but no place else seemed to be as magical to him as Istanbul was.

 

Istanbul did not disappoint.   Turks are simply great hosts.   I always make an effort to learn to say hello, thank you, goodbye in the local language.  And “I’m sorry”…that’s an important one :)   It makes a difference.  I’m not even sure it makes a difference in actually communicating but people know you care when you make the attempt.  Maybe not always in Paris : )  but most places I’ve traveled, it does.   In Turkey, a “merhaba” was always greeted with eye contact and the same greeting in return.

 

There were a million things I loved about Istanbul – the history, the architecture, Turkish coffee, the secularism, the Turks, being in Europe and then Asia and then back in Europe twenty minutes later.

 

When someone asks me what my favorite thing from a trip was, it’s often the same answer.   As much as I loved climbing the tower of Notre Dame or just wandering around Sultanahmet before the sun came up…  If my family was with me, it’s always the same answer – just hanging out with them when there’s nothing to see or to do and we’re just chilling on the bank of the Bosphorous with locals and drinking beer or we’re watching the sun go down behind the Eiffel Tower.    This is heaven for me.   And  it’s when I know this is all enough.

 

My trip to Istanbul was made more meaningful from the info I got about my dad’s time there from his shipmates he served with in Turkey.  Thanks especially to Bob Dickie and Richard Trower for sending me info on the places my dad hung out.   And more importantly, for filling me in on a part of my dad’s life I knew little about.

 

All images were shot with the Fuji X-T1 with either the Fuji 18mm 2.0 or the Fuji 35 1.4.    The Fuji X-T1 and the Fuji X100S are the best cameras I’ve owned.

 

The Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, istanbul.

The Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, istanbul.

I don't think there is anywhere in Istanbul where you can be that you can't look up and see a mosque or some incredible historic structure.

I don’t think there is anywhere in Istanbul where you can be that you can’t look up and see a mosque or some incredible historic structure.

The Blue Mosque.  I'm in awe of the graciousness that tourists are welcomed into mosques in Istanbul.

The Blue Mosque. I’m in awe of the graciousness that tourists are welcomed with into mosques in Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

We ran into nothing but honest taxi drivers in Istanbul.

We ran into nothing but honest taxi drivers in Istanbul.

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The Fatih mosque in Istanbul.

The Fatih mosque in Istanbul.

A sultan't crypt at the Hagia Sophia.

A sultan’t crypt at the Hagia Sophia.

I loved all the street food in Istanbul.

I loved all the street food in Istanbul.

The plaza in front of the Blue Mosque.

The plaza in front of the Blue Mosque.

The Grand Cistern in Istanbul.

The Grand Cistern in Istanbul.

These were yummy...and cheaper once you got outside the touristy part of Istanbul.

These were yummy…and cheaper once you got outside the touristy part of Istanbul.

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul.

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul.

In addition to the Grand Bazaar, there are seemingly endless markets that take up half of Sultanahmet.   I'd wander for hours and eventually pop out somewhere far from where i though i actually was.

In addition to the Grand Bazaar, there are seemingly endless markets that take up half of Sultanahmet. I’d wander for hours and eventually pop out somewhere far from where I thought i actually was.

A family getting water in Sultanahmet.

A family getting water in Sultanahmet.

My friend Charles loves clowns so I got this shot for him…as my kids wait patiently as they so often do when we travel.

Teenagers are the same the world over.

Teenagers are the same the world over.

The Blue Mosque.

The Blue Mosque.

Inside the Blue Mosque.

Inside the Blue Mosque.

Praying in the Blue Mosque.

Praying in the Blue Mosque.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

Posted in Asia, Europe Travel

Travel Photography – Fontainebleau, France.

 

The more I read about Versailles and the insane crowds of tourists that descend on Versailles, the more my enthusiasm drained for making the day trip from Paris to check it out.  I kept reading cool stuff about Fontainebleau, the palace that functioned as Versailles before there was a Versailles.   It was supposed to be Versailles without the crowds.

We took a forty-five minute train from Paris to Fontainebleau.   As an aside, the trains in Europe have me seeing a car free existence for myself some day.    So much more relaxing to ride on a train than to fight traffic.   The palace was interesting but based on pictures I’ve seen, I’d have to say Versailles looks like a big step up from Fontainebleau.  It just goes to show how spoiled I’ve become by all the amazing monuments, museums and castles in France that I can be even a little disappointed by a palace.   A cool, relaxing trip nonetheless.

 

Fontainebleau, France.

Fontainebleau, France.

Posted in Uncategorized