In Berlin, many tourists seek out Checkpoint Charlie as their first stop. We stumbled on to it quite accidentally. At the little checkpoint booth under the sign they had two German men dressed in American uniforms. Everyone was having photos taken with them. I thought the entire thing was odd, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, so who I am to judge.
This is the side if you were leaving the American side of the checkpoint and entering into the Soviet Russian side. I have not altered this photograph to make it more or less gray. Except for a minor exposure adjustment I didn’t touch the values in this photograph at all. Winter in this part of the world can be very, very gray.
If you face the opposite direction (the American side) the scene is terribly gaudy. There is a McDonald’s that takes up about half the block. Lots of neon and tacky shops.
Yesterday I went tromping around with my father in law’s huge lens. I wish I could even remember how big it was. Maybe a 500? Anyways, it was a long, telescoping, manual focus lens, and without a tripod it was difficult to manage to pop off a clear shot. I also picked a spot at the river which is better illuminated in the hours before sunset, rather than at sunset. So even though it was fun to be outdoors and trying something new- it was sort of a bust. I managed to get one good shot of some backlit moss.
My new camera is incredible! Here are some photos to nibble on. They were shot yesterday when it was almost so cold I could see my breath. The red flower is a double petaled hibiscus and the orange is an bougainvillea. You can click any of the images to see them in a larger (and more detailed!) size.
Winter is a stark and beautiful time of year at the ranch. Nothing seems to grow or shrink. Everything seems to be waiting for things to simply get less like they are.
Throughout the day the Sandhill Cranes fly over our house, calling out their wild song. Here is a link to what they sound like: Sandhill Crane Sound.
At our neighbors place across the road, about a million (more or less) cranes gathered for some rest, some water and some delicious bugs. I ran to the house and got my camera and headed over there for a few shots. Unfortunately my dude had drained my camera’s battery the night before and so I only got about 6 shots total before I packed it back up. The two below were my favorites of the group.