The Avant Guard

 

black and white photograph of a pedestrian tunnel by Doug Couvillion

The tunnel under the train tracks in Alexandria, VA always looks damp and forbidding.  I’ve walked past it many times and it always seems to draw my attention.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vivid

Traditions De France

photograph of Traditions De France store in Old Town Alexandria, VA

During the walking part of my commute through Old Town Alexandria I kept my eyes open for vivid images.  Normally I walk on the same side of the street as Traditions De France so I pass right by without really seeing it.  Viewed from across the street it really does make for a vivid image.

Circuit of The Americas Tower

photograph of the tower at the Circuit Of The Americas race track in Austin, Texas

The tower at the Circuit Of The Americas track in Austin, Texas stands 251 feet above the race track.  I didn’t go up the tower but it was pretty impressive to look at from the ground.

Texas State Capital

photograph of the interior of the Texas Capital dome

Inside of the dome of the Texas Capital.  I was hoping to find a way to get to those spiral stairs but they did not appear to be accessible to the public.  Click on the photograph to get a larger, more detailed view.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Inside Saint Ignazio’s

HDR photograph of the inside of Saint Ignazio Church in Rome, ItalyIf you are ever in Rome I recommend visiting Saint Iganzio’s Church.  From the outside it doesn’t look very exciting but once you walk through the door you will be amazed.  I’m sure some art history buffs will argue but I thought the ceiling was better than the Sistine Chapel’s and there was no waiting in line and no admission.  What you can’t see in the picture is all of the amazing sculpture that decorates both sides of the church.

The lighting in these churches ranges from very dark to extremely bright.  To create this image I had to blend 5 different exposures together.

Click on the image to see a larger version of it.

For The Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People

photograph of the north gate into Yellowstone National Park

The North Gate to Yellowstone National Park is quite impressive.  Although I would guess most visitors no longer arrive through this gate, it struck me as a nearly perfect entrance to the park.  It’s large, rugged, and beautiful in it’s own right, much like the park itself.  You also have to love the inscription at the top “For The Benefit and Enjoyment Of The People”.  It kind of sums up the whole National Park system.

We spent a week in Yellowstone in mid-June which was a wonderful experience.  The downside was after a few days the park food starts to get a little monotonous.  On our fourth night we left through the North Gate to find pizza for dinner.  After getting our fill of non-park food, we returned through the gate and I was pleased to be able to photograph it with some interesting clouds in the sky.  Luckily the lighting at the time allowed the same exposure for the clouds and the gate so no HDR trickery was needed to make this image.

The Markel Building

photograph of the Markel Building in Richmond, VAWhatever you might think of the Markel Building in Richmond, VA, you have to agree it’s pretty original.  I lovingly refer to this architectural anomaly as “the Jiffy Pop building”.  If you’re familiar with Jiffy Pop, no further explanation is required.  If not, here’s a link to the Wikipedia article on it, complete with pictures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiffy_Pop.  I don’t know much about the building but I believe it was originally build for Reynolds, the aluminum company, when they were big in Richmond.

 

Spacious

photograph of a woman and child in a large, open area behind a large, ornate chandelierI caught this image at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, quite unexpectedly.  I was photographing the Blue Ridge Chandelier, on the right side of the image, when the girl moved to look out an enormous window off the left side of the photograph.  I was immediately drawn to the spaciousness of this image.