Top ten lists–I thought I’d do one–My Top Ten Favorite Photos from 2018.
In 2018 I’ve been to Mexico, twice, France, Italy, Malta, Ghana, Indonesia, and several cities in the United States. I’ve shot hours of footage and taken thousands of photos.
So, when I decided to post my top ten favorite photos from 2018, it sounded like a good idea. However, when I started to review the photos, not so much. There were more than ten good ones. I spent a few hours just reviewing them. How would I choose. How could I choose.
It took way too long. And, I’m sure that I left some of the best ones on the table. I’m also sure that there were some photographs that were better, for whatever reason, than the ten I selected. However, I’m emotionally connected, in one way or another, to these ten.
So, here they are–my ten favorite photos from 2018. They may or may not be my be my best. I could have posted more–probably should have posted more. But, you don’t have that much time.
I hope you enjoy these ten, and, please, have a prosperous and
Happy New Year.
Women work the rice paddies of Bali, Indonesia.
A young girl rests during nap time at the Comfort School of Kpetoe, Ghana.
A nun kneels in prayer during mass in Ho, Ghana.
A young boy does his number drills at the Comfort School in Kpetoe, Ghana.
Mother and son, Shelly and Rylan share a moment together.
Ryan and Meggan check social media on a bench in Malta.
Father and daughter, Jimmy and Z.
A young girl celebrates dia de los muertos with painted face and costume in Mexico City.
A woman banana vendor prepares her bananas for sale at the local market in Bali, Indonesia.
A shopkeeper in Bali, Indonesia pauses for a moment’s rest in Bali, Indonesia.
Tired, alone and far from home, the Eternal City, can be an unforgiving place. Religious tradition may favor the Catholics in Rome, yet Islam entertains apocryphal hope for ultimate victory in the struggle for religious domination. Global politics and religious ideology lose their import when you are sick and hungry. With no place left to go, a bridge over the Tiber River is as good a place as any to end a pilgrimage.
For more info on my show check out a June 11th article in The Spectrum.
Light, shadow, shape and texture, overwhelmingly surrounded by the sights of Rome. Architecture, people, ruins and religion. I am not so naive as to think that I could see it all in one day. Having spent one day in Rome, I am not so naive as to think that I could see it all in a week, or a month, or even a year. Rome has been around for a very long time. It would take a long time to see it, really see it. It would take longer to photograph it, really capture the essence of it. Yet, while I was there, with my camera, I stopped time. I saw things others have photographed with much more skill than I possess. Yet, I saw things others may have missed. This series is the first of four galleries of stuff–cool stuff–you may see in rome, if you are looking.
The sun was getting low, the shadows long. My own shadow was unrecognizable; however, this shadow reminded me of me, when my head gets too big.
I may have an obsession with cobblestones, their shape, their patterns and the stories they could tell of who passed their way.
Perhaps the same stones, yet viewed a different way–even the streets in Rome resonate with antiquity.
Unveiled in 1667 in the Piazza della Minerva, the Elephant and Obelisk was a commissioned work designed by Bernini outside the Santa Marie Sopra Minerva church and is the shortest of eleven Egyptian Obelisks in Rome.
In the Piazza della Minerva in Rome, round steel balls and barriers with chains protect the Elephant and Obelisk by Bernini.
Barriers, shadows and chains bar entry to the piazza.
Even with 2000 years of decay, Roman architecture still makes a bold statement, influencing much of the world.
Whether you are looking in or looking out, the setting sun emphasizes the color, contrast and climb to the sacred heights of the Eternal City.
Throughout Rome on many buildings and walls, if you look up, you can see detailed artwork of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus, usually illuminated by a lamp or lantern.
Another example of framed wall art in the style of the Masters. This portrait of Mary is about 15 feet off the ground. Someone has to maintain the flower box.
The stone shelf was empty, except for the bottle which was also empty.
Not sure which language or which beverage, but the empty bottle could be a metaphor for the effects of alcohol.
On a narrow Roman side street, this drinking fountain or water spout had so much character I couldn’t resist the photo. What I couldn’t figure out was if the water was safe for drinking.
From this angle, the water looks pretty good. Throughout Rome, there are water fountains readily available so the weary wanderer should never get dehydrated.
From this angle I’m not sure I would drink the water. However, the fountain is still pretty interesting.
At one point in the distant past it may have been a carriage outside the door, and, the barber may have offered blood letting. Somehow I found my way into the shot.
Brass doorknockers may aid admission through these old oak doors.
This stone lion stands guard on a bridge cross the Tiber River near the Castel Saint’Angelo.
We wandered down a narrow alley in the bleached out color of night, looking for the Spanish Steps. The Graphiti said we were lost.
In one man’s Roman trash, you might find a designer zebra stripped suitcase for a reasonable price.
Cell phone service in Rome was frustratingly inconsistent. When we saw this icon for the local provider, I realized why. Their phones are rotary.
We had just come out of the Pantheon. People were everywhere. As we rounded a corner, the music that was blending with the noisy ambiance suddenly became clear. Two guys, street performers, had set up their gear and drawn a crowd. We had places to go, so much to see. No time to stop. But the music. It was Incredible. We could see it in their faces, the guitarist and the cellist. We could see it in the faces of the crowd, trance-like. Time stopped with us. We listened, a blend of new-age classical with a hint of Italian oregano. The spell broke when the music stopped. A breeze rustled our clothes. Time to go. More to see. As we wandered away, the music resumed. Even now, the siren’s song remains in our ears, calling us back to Rome.
It has been a few months now since I was in Rome. Yet, the feeling of Rome has stayed with me. It’s hard to describe. Every city has a personality. There are some cities that are welcoming and inviting. Other cities are dirty, and scary. Still others have an energy that is exciting and invigorating.
For me, Rome was all of these and more. On one hand, it was steeped in ancient tradition. The Ghosts of ancient Rome were still present. The evolution of the ancient was overlaid with an oppressive Catholic air. Yet, on the other hand, that very air was vibrating with life. I could see it in the faces of people–some locals–most tourists, I presume. I would have liked to explore and research the Eternal City through the lens of my camera in greater detail, but alas, I had but one day.
This gallery is the first part of a two part essay on the people of Rome from last September, when the sun was warm, the leaves were turning and the city was very much alive. I’ll post the second part in a day or so. Your questions, comments and/or profound thoughts on the purpose of life through the lens are most welcome.
Lido di Ostia, or Lido di Roma is a beautiful resort destination on the Tyrrhenian Sea and the mouth of the Tiber River. Ostia was the ancient seaport of Rome. Due to the buildup of silt and the passing of time, the actual Roman seaport is now several kilometers from the sea. But, the warm Mediterranean breezes still blow across a resort village community not far from the heart of both ancient and modern Italy. When I go back to Rome, and I will, I hope to spend more than an afternoon soaking up the sun, sand and warmth of this beautiful Italian community.
It’s January, 2014. The high temperatures in Utah average in the high 20s to low 30s. It’s cold. There’s snow on the ground. The warm glow of Christmas faded as my son took our Christmas lights down. I’m grateful he was home from school to do it, because it was too cold outside for me. In trying to warm up, I wanted to revisit Rome, at least with pictures.
Anne flew to Rome to meet me on my birthday. We stopped at Ostia Beach after shooting an interview nearby. Ostia is the closest beach to Rome and is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea of the Mediterranean, not far from the city. The water was warm. The breezes were gentle. The sunset was magical. Anne was with me, and, it was Rome.
I hope, if it is cold where you live, you can feel the warmth of the setting Italian sun and endure the cold, for a few more months.
I thought, since it is New Years Eve, I would post a photo gallery of shots from some of the places I’ve been around the world. Sort of a “Best of” gallery from previous posts. I’ve been only blogging since August, so I have yet to post shots from everywhere I’ve been. And, I have yet to even start posting video from all of these places. That is what 2014 is for. Resolution 🙂
The world is a big, beautiful place, filled with interesting people, amazing sights, random coincidences and occasional tender mercies. I have been blessed to travel. I have been blessed to make friends on every continent. I hope to keep the friends I have made and make more as time goes by. However, my greatest blessings are found at home, with a warm fire, a good meal and my family, who love me.
When Christ was accused of rebellion by the Jewish Sanhedrin, he was sent to Pontius Pilate for judgement. Legend says that he ascended the 28 marble steps leading to Pilate’s Praetorium where Pilate questioned him prior to judgement. Three hundred years later, as Rome was converting to Christianity under the leadership of Emperor Constantine and his zealous mother St. Helena, Helena had the marble steps of the Praetorium extracted and sent to Rome. Tradition says that by ascending the steps on one’s knees, the Scala Sancta, Holy Stairs or Jerusalem Steps, will bring Catholic Pilgrims special blessings, especially on Fridays or during Lent. It was following an ascent of these steps that Martin Luther allegedly experienced a prompting from the Holy Spirit directing him to rely on Faith rather than works. This experience was a turning point in Luther’s life and launched the reformation.
Today, Christian pilgrims still ascend the Jerusalem Steps on their knees, seeking for spiritual insight, divine guidance or, in Catholic Terminology, plenary indulgence–remission of temporal punishment as a result of sin. Interestingly, there is a sign at the base of the Scala Sancta instructing pilgrims that climbing the Holy Steps on bended knees does not substitute for sincere repentance. To receive entrance to the true Holy City, one must ascend the golden steps with a broken heart and contrite spirit.