Friday, January 29, 2010

Picture Perfect

Window at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

Two years ago I had the best travel year of my life!  I had only been to Europe once prior to 2008, but with our daughter studying abroad in the south of France, and my husband having lots of frequent flier miles saved up over the years, it was the perfect time to go somewhere!

So during the Easter holiday, which was also our son's spring break, we ventured over to see our daughter in Montpellier, and then we all went to Paris for four glorious days.  I had hedged our bets about where to stay and hadn't made any sort of reservations with only one week left prior to going.  Not a very smart idea considering the fact that Paris is "sort of" a popular destination and it was Easter!

Near the train station in Montpellier, France 

I lucked out and had an apartment rental company, who normally only rents by the week, contact me and offer us the apartment for way less per night then booking two hotel rooms would have cost just a few days before we left.  With 4 people in most European hotels, you need 2 rooms.  Thanks to the wonderful company known as Paris Perfect, our visit to Paris really was perfect!  If you ever get the chance to visit Paris and want to live like a Parisian, I highly recommend you contact them and rent one of their lovely apartments!

As if a trip to France wasn't enough in one year, our daughter also had a 2 week break just a few weeks later and called to see if I wanted to meet her in the north of England for what she described as "a week of drinking tea and watching sheep."  She phoned to ask me to do this just prior to our trip to see her in France and I immediately said "No we can't afford that," to which Mr. Tide replied "GO, you won't regret it!"

Wall surrounding York, England

I spent the next few days hemming and hawing about the cost, flying by myself to a foreign country for the first time, who would watch the dogs...I came up with any excuse possible.  But the thought of seeing our daughter and spending a whole week in England was just too tempting.  So the internet searches for low airfare, cheap B&B's, and discounted train tickets began, and in April of 2008 I was winging my way across the pond...alone!

Before I left, Mr. Tide decided we really did need a good digital camera.  So we purchased the Canon Rebel XTI and several specialty lenses so that I could capture every memorable moment.  Did I mention that one of my best friends in the whole wide world lives outside of London and he and his wife, mother, and step dad had agreed to drive up to meet us in York?!  So getting great pictures of my time spent together with our daughter and our friends was a must!

Now, I'm no Ansel Adams, and I'm as likely to take a fuzzy shot of something unrecognizable as I am to get a spectacular (by my standards)  shot.  But when I got home, after taking over 800 photos, I was amazed at what "I" had taken.  Almost none were out of focus and the color quality was amazing!...Go Me!!!

Overlooking the North Sea, Robin Hood's Bay, England

Since then the camera has become like another appendage, I take it everywhere with me!  And it still continues to produce wonderful photos!  Along the way I've learned a few things, like take risks and view things from unusual angles or try different settings, but I still have a very long way to go.  My next adventure will be trying to use Photoshop to color correct or just have fun with some of the pictures I take.  But for now I'm just happy to click away and capture little snippets of life as they happen.

Here are a few of my favorite photos taken over the last several years. (All pictures on my blog are mine or Mr. Tide's unless otherwise noted)  You can click on any photo to enlarge it.

The beautiful and majestic Fountains Abbey, England


The stunning ceiling at the York Minster Cathedral, York, England


Quinn doing what he does best...being cute!


Our sweet and crazy snow bunny, Kylie




The full moon last night



Mr. or Mrs. Eagle, not sure which, who likes to hang out in our dead tree during the winter months


What are some of the things you enjoy taking pictures of in your spare time?

9 comments:

  1. Oh your photos are so beautiful. What wonderful year of travel you had. I have bookmarked your Paris travel company... just in case. Just looking at your side bar... I can't believe how similar our kitchens are... such good taste we have! A-M xx

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  2. Whoa! That eagle is fantastic! I am in awe of this photo!
    Hello to Quinn and Kylie. And your moon is quite nice as well. Who needs photoshop anyway?!! These photos are great.

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  3. Great photos. I like to take photos of my dogs. And, I seem to specialize in blurry photos. I call it my style.

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  4. That shot of the eagle is fantastic! And lucky you, to have gone to France and England. I have never been, even though Henri spent 3 years in England in the Air Force before I met him. All of your images are lovely, but shots of eagles always drawn me in! -Lili

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  5. Your photos make me want to immediately go back to Europe! Although I think we need to expand from Europe since we've neglected other countries :) While I LOVE some of the places we've been (particularly Croatia and Austria), we feel as if we should explore different areas rather than go back to the same places. And while we've managed to see quite a bit, there's still SO much more!!

    I'm so jealous that you got a photo of the moon last night :) We couldn't even see it here because (shock, shock) it was raining and overcast AGAIN - darn weather!!

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  6. A-M, I highly recommend them...and I'm not a paid spokesperson, they don't even know I blogged about them lol! They also have apartments in other European cities.

    Kate, I look forward to getting many more photography tips from your blog and when I need some camera equipment I know just where to go!

    House things, hang in there, that was my photography "M O" until I got this great camera!

    Lili...what are you waiting for dear...GO!

    Traci, since it's raining "again" down your way... that means it's a great day to compile those bathroom pics so I can post your lovely new master bath on here! ;)

    Kat :)

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  7. It's a funny coincidence that my daughter was on an exchange in Normandy, France in 2008 as well. She was in a little town just outside of Rouen for 3 months from February to May. It was a cold spring and she kind of froze as we thought it was going to be warmer than it was. Easter weekend was when they went to EuroDisney and it was especially cold. Funny to think you were there in France at the same time.

    I love your photos, by the way. I would love to see more.

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  8. That is funny! It was crazy weather when we were there and it literally rained, sleeted, snowed, and the sun was shining all in the span of about 3 hours on Easter Sunday in Paris! Where our daughter was in the southern part near the Med, they kept telling her that they were having unusually cold weather, but it was fairly warm compared to where we live, so she was happy!

    Thanks for the compliment, but you should visit Chronicles of a Country Girl...now she knows how to take photos!

    Kat :)

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