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Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pic of the Day: Waiting for the Flyby

In September, 2012, the space shuttle Endeavour went atop NASA's massive 747 carrier for the last time. Her tour took her across America, and a final flyby over Orange County, Long Beach and Los Angeles before her final stop at LAX, there to be transported to the California Science Center as a permanent exhibit.

One of the more profound moments came as she passed over the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach's Queensway Bay. As the 747 waggled her wings in salute, the Queen responded with a blast of her famous and iconic 55Hz horn.

Thousands lined the beaches from Orange County to Long Beach to await the flyover. Below one such couple arrived early to make sure they had a perfect position for the event.

(Long Beach, CA)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pic of the Day: Cecil the Lion

Photographers -- particularly wildlife photographers -- have virtually the same experience and adventure as hunters when dealing with wildlife. We stalk, we watch, we aim, we have to know our craft and have a high degree of skill to ensure we get the trophy we seek.

The only difference is that when we leave, the animals are still there for the next person who comes along. To appreciate their beauty and the magnificence of nature.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pic of the Day: Umbrellas in the Jungle

This verdant jungle-meets-the-ocean scene is just across the bay from Mexico's Puerta Vallarta, along the West Coast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pic of the Day: A Mystic Land


I love this photograph of an area of Western Canada just after sunset. The low lying clouds are beginning to drift through verdant valleys and a lush landscape. It's an area called False Creek, lying just between Vancouver and Squamish, BC.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pic of the Day: Time Exposure

I am in no way an astronomical photographer, but am fond of taking night shots in cities and along darkened streets. On a trip to Joshua Tree in the California desert a few years back I turned my camera into what was -- to me -- a near pitch-dark blackness, and opened the shutter for a minute. Just to see what happened.

The large object in the middle is the planet Jupiter. The smaller reddish dot to the right in below is Mars.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pic of the Day: Room with a View

One of my favorite hotels is the Waikiki Parc in Honolulu.

This is the view we usually get. Why is why the Parc is one of my favorites...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pic of the Day: Distortions in Glass

Looking out at the windows and reflections of other hotels in Las Vegas is an amazing, and sometimes confusing, thing.

I notice these things....

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pic of the Day: Irony

The irony of this image has never left me. Post-911 many parts of our Federal and State governmental offices were suddenly put behind barriers and access by the people restricted.

Here is a fence and lockout for Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Freedom indeed....

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pic of the Day: Down from Above

Day hikers wandering the steep cliff face of the Red Rocks State Park just outside Las Vegas.


Don't trip.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pic of the Day: Travel

A little later this morning I'm running my first Travel Photography workshop at Tuttle Cameras here in my home town of Long Beach. In honor of that, here is a photograph dedicated to the topic.

There is nothing quite like the energy of a very early morning departure for a trip, whether it's a road trip, a flight, or something else entirely. Heading out on the grand adventure is the key, and it can only be found outside your front door.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pic of the Day: CHOCOLATE!

There are certain cities in which is it absolutely unforgivable not to seek out and sample the local chocolatiers: Paris (La Maison du Chocolat); New York (Jacques Torres); Portland (Moonstruck): San Francisco (Ghirardelli); Santa Fe's Chocolate Trail, etc. Many of these names became chains, but the original store, and the quality, remain.

Perhaps the Grand Dame of them all can be found in Brussels' Grand Place: Godiva's original store, opened in 1926.

The Visit Brussels website says this: "When Pierre Draps created his first pralines in Brussels, Belgium, in 1926, he established the foundations of sophistication, innovation, purity and passion which became the Godiva Chocolatier. Under the name borrowed from Lady Godiva, whose legendary ride on horseback symbolises style, sensuality and daring, Godiva’s craftsmen still decorate their chocolates by hand."


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pic of the Day: Birds of a Feather

This dark and enigmatic photo was taken at a park just before sunrise on a misty morning here in Long Beach.

I enhanced the contrast and converted it to B&W -- my hope is to echo the mood of the 1930s film noir movies in a scene vaguely reminiscent of "The Birds".

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pic of the Day: New Orleans Gallery Window

This image, taken nearly a decade and a half ago in New Orleans (Mardi Gras 2000!), has always had a strong appeal for me. I love the colors and composition, though it could stand a Photoshop touch-up.

It's a little rustic -- rough around the edges -- as a photograph. And I think that's part of its charm.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Picture of the Day: Arch in Morning

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a spectacular and almost ethereal construction. Even while staring at it the viewer has the impression it's not really there.

In the early morning, and late at sunset, it takes on a whole different glow, as if setting fire to the sky.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Picture of the Day: Happy Dog!

I'm a dog lover, with two energetic and loving Dalmatians sharing our home with my wife and me.

This pup, very soggy but very playful, was loping along Huntington Beach's famous "Dog Beach" with a toy in her mouth, passing through the reflected afternoon sunlight off the Pacific Ocean. 

Happy dog!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pic of the Day: Superstitions

Just east of the metropolitan sprawl of Phoenix, Arizona, lie the mysterious Superstition Mountains.

They are suitably dark and brooding, and contain countless stories they will never tell.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pic of the Day: Beware the 'Roo

Despite the fascination with kangaroos in the rest of the world, many Aussies regard them as little more than large pests. Having witnessed a few 'Roo boxing matches, I'd tend to also include them as a menace to civil society. But that's just me.

Take at a wildlife park a few dozen kilometers north of Sydney.