Archive for the ‘landscape’ Tag

The Big Easy   1 comment

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, LA

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

I recently returned from a trip to New Orleans with my youngest son during his senior year high school spring break. New Orleans offered a varied mix of culture, history, food and local flavor deserving of  any southern city of its size.

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

My son and I avoided the decadence often associated with the city and instead, walked along the alley ways of the French Quarter meeting a few of the eclectic people and places along the way. Street musicians dotted the streets and entertained passerby’s as the sun warmed the day. I have always been intrigued by street performers. These are individuals who do what they love and despite the obvious financial hazards of street performing, are willing to entertain with a smile in the hopes of a small contribution to their well being.

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

Eager to venture off the beaten path, we took a day to travel outside the city. At the top of our list of places to visit was the Oak Alley Plantation.  Cameras in hand, and tripod at the ready we waited until each room emptied or the view was unencumbered so that we could quickly set up the shot and take a few photographs. Strolling the grounds after our tour, we walked the length of the walkway lined by the live oaks, stopping as we went to photograph the plantation and take in the beauty of the magnificent trees.

Oak Alley Plantation

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

The trip to New Orleans was a short one, but my son and I squeezed in a drive through St. Bernard’s Parish, a trip to a the marshes on Lake Pontchartrain, Oak Alley Plantation and plenty of walking through the city. We ate well and enjoyed each others company. It will be a lasting memory we will share.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

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Napa Valley in the Fall   2 comments

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

Napa Valley, like most wine producing regions has a mystique all its own. There is of course the wealth effect of fine wine and certainly Napa, like many famous wine regions, suffers the ills of the highbrow, that for me can sometimes be off-putting. Be that as it may, there are many welcome and hospitable vintners who, once past the pretense, proudly share the history, flavors and nuance of their wines. Fall in Napa is a sight and smell to behold. Driving along  Redwood Rd. towards Hess Collection winery, in the rolling hills north-west of Napa, the air is filled with the aromas of grapes crushed and fermenting as well as those still hanging from the vines.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

Honestly, I can’t say for sure what I was smelling but it was sweet and delightful. Late October generally marks the end of the harvest, so I was a bit surprised to see grapes still hanging from the vines.

Hess Collection is a winery owned by the Swiss art collector, Donald Hess, on land leased from the Christian Brothers, who occupy a nearby retreat and conference center. Nestled in the hills 7 miles from Napa, this quiet location offered a nice respite for a quick afternoon visit to the area.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

I quietly approached the chapel and found someone who kindly gave me permission to photograph the interior of the church. This image is composed of 9 frames so that I could capture all the highlight and shadow detail. Despite the lack of ornate architecture, the rich colors of the wooden pews and tile floor provided a pleasant contrast to the white walls  balanced with the wooden trusses of the ceiling.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

I was pleasantly surprised to see grapes still hanging on the vines, expecting to see empty vines with fading fall colors. Instead, I was greeted with plump bunches of  bright blue grapes, suspended against green, rust and orange leaves and twisted brown vines. After a light wine tasting I headed back along the quiet roads to make one more stop in Napa for a late lunch.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

The Uptown Theater, in downtown Napa,  made for one last series of photos before I left the area for the day. I could not help but add a duotone effect to add to the nostalgia of the art deco theater. For a brief moment, I was taken back in time and imagined the theater in its days of antique cars, wealthy local socialites draped in fur and black tie affairs that surrounded the Golden era Hollywood premiere. Those really were the days.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

The Photo That Got Me Started   Leave a comment

Landscape #1

© 1980 Paul Coffin Photography

In a recent blog I read, a question was posed about the photo that got you started. It made me think and I went deep into my archives to find that one image that I could trace my love of photography roots to. As it happened I found a few. Not surprisingly, they were landscapes and seascapes that  also had the sun low in the sky, reflecting on the water. It was 1980 and I was 15. I had purchased my first camera, a Nikon FE with my newspaper route money. I wasn’t aware then, as I am now, the impact photography would have on my life, and how ultimately, it would shape the person I would become and how I see the world.

It never ceases to amaze me, how at a very young age, our personalities, tastes, sense of humor and overall sense of who we are is cemented forever. I see it in my own sons over and over. Who they were when they were 5 or 15 or 20 is fundamentally who they are now.

If you are not living a life that is true to who you were when you were young, look back into your personal history books and pick up an old hobby. I firmly believe it is what keeps us young at heart and is at the core of who we are.

Landscape #2

© 1980 Paul Coffin Photography

Posted October 28, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Art, Landscape, Maritime, Nature, Photography

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Automobile Parts   Leave a comment

I’m a car guy with a non car wife, which makes me a practical car owner with impractical car dreams. 🙂

Exotic or antique cars are one of those items that make no sense to own other than the pure thrill and joy of riding and the aesthetic of a beautiful curved painted piece of metal barreling down the highway. Very close to where I live, on the first Sunday of every month, a local car show is held in an empty parking lot. I love old cars and have always longed for a 1965 Cobra (replica of course, since an original costs millions). There are always a few at the show and I am including a few pictures here. I also love the way the color and reflections of cars photograph and whenever the opportunity arises, I look for an interesting angle, reflection or closeup.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 
 
 
© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
  
 
 
© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
  
 
 
© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
  
 
 
 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
  
 
 
 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
  
 

A couple of years ago I went to Universal Studios with the family and located in the 1950’s era theme park were the cars pictured below. It’s just too bad they don’t make cars like this today.

 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
  
 
 
 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
  
 
 
 
 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

Throughout my travels, I have stumbled upon rusty old beauty’s like the ones below. Wow, if these cars could talk. I can only imagine the miles they each traveled and the stories of the many roads and occupants whose paths they crossed. Photographing in HDR brings out all the character and color of these cars and I love how the rusty clunkers are brought back to life in these images. I’ll keep photographing old cars and maybe one day I may own one. You’ll see me with the top down, screaming like a little girl. 🙂

 
 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 
 
 
 
 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 
 
 
 
 © 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 
 

Sunset on the Western Plains   3 comments

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

There are few of God’s spectacles quite like a sunset. My travels have found me among many as rich and as colorful as I can imagine, and that are truly awe inspiring. These three photographs were taken minutes apart as the sun gently slid beneath the horizon just outside the small town of Wala Wala, WA.  I was alone in an open field with only my thoughts to keep me company on a cool evening with a gentle breeze replacing the warmth of the glowing sun.  The fields had been plowed and the heavy impressions of the footprints of combines and tractors were all that was left on the rolling hills.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 
© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

These photos reflect the peaceful tranquility of life on a farm among thousands of acres of land. It was a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life were I live, outside of one of our countries largest cities, Atlanta.

Although I didn’t have the opportunity to explore the local area further, this is also part of the Columbia valley wine region. Perhaps on another trip I will be able to visit some of the many vineyards to photograph the grapes as they cling to the vines ready to be harvested for another years great vintage.

Posted August 31, 2012 by Paul Coffin in HDR, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel

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Sunrise Sunset   Leave a comment

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

In one of my early blog postings, I recall having mentioned the comfort the moon brought me on my first trip to the Philippines. It was a moment of recognition of the familiar amid the very unfamiliar. Every day and every night for millennia, the cycle of the rising and falling sun with the ever present moon continues to inspire and keep us comfortably in natures rhythm . The brilliant colors cast over the rippling water and painterly sky, a visual gift for all who gaze upon its glory.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

The color of light as the sun eclipses the horizon is like no other and the warm glow it casts brings beauty to any subject. The skies in Peru were among the most spectacular I have witnessed and the evening skies were filled with stars and the outer edges of the Milky Way. These colors are as I remember them, vibrant burning oranges, reds and purples mixed in the texture of partly cloudy skies and still waters.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

Pucallpa – The industry of the River   1 comment

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

I’d like to say that the boat we boarded to begin and end our mission on the Ucayali river, was moored on a  dock in an area that was suited to easily boarding and departing, but unfortunately, it was not. Instead, we literally were pushed up against a muddy, much polluted river bank in between the fisherman’s loading area and a local boat builder. It was not what I had expected, but it did offer some interesting views of a world more foreign than I have ever visited.

The days started early for those that made their living from the river, and the constant sound of the humming motors, like a whir from a lawn edger or ailing lawn mower, was my wake up call. Sunrise cast a warm glow over an otherwise dirty and exhaust smelling embankment, with hard working men carrying blocks of ice, bananas and what looked like saw dust to each of their boats.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

The conditions were harsh, hot, humid and exhausting and yet somehow, through it all, I managed to get a smile from a local fisherman as I peered though my lens and snapped his picture.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

No matter the conditions, whether in the village, on the river bank, in the city or in the local tourist towns, people smiled at me. I didn’t for a second ever feel resented or reviled. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. It would be easy for me to judge those I encountered and compare their lives to mine, but that would have been presumptuous and egotistical. Instead, I accepted their happiness for what it was, a celebration of life.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
 

It is odd now, a week later to reflect on that world, as it was then and is now. Mine, a fleeting presence, left with an indelible mark.