SUNFLOWER, ARSIE, VENETO REGION, ITALY: This beautiful sunflower stood out against a blue sky in the Dolomite Mountains of northern Italy. I like the shot because of the way the leaves create a feeling of motion. It was also one of my big sister’s favourite flowers. The photo was taken in the town of Arsie, which is located roughly 80 kms. northwest of Venice in the Veneto Region. Arsie sits on a plain surrounded by mountains near Lake Corlo, an artificial lake created in 1954 along the slopes of Monte Grappa for the production of hydro electricity. At its height in 1911, approximately 11,000 people lived in Arsie. Now, there are roughly 2,500 people living in the town. 6 Catholic parishes, 5 schools and 2 banks and 1 pharmacy serve the town.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, 18-200 DX zoom lens at 82mm, f25, 1/250 sec, ISO 1250
Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
ON THE HIGHWAY TO ALASKA FROM THE YUKON: It is a beautiful drive from Carcross, Yukon to Skagway, Alaska. Originally, the route was called the Carcross Road and then became part of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War. That highway was developed at a frantic pace in wartime. It has also served the mining industry well, but today is largely used for tourist traffic during the busy summer months. Stop anywhere along the road and you are sure to take in a breathtaking vista.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 10-24mm lens at 12mm, f11 1/500 sec., ISO 500. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Palm Frond, Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
CONSERVATORY OF FLOWERS, GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO: I like to find and photograph interesting patterns. This palm frond (I think it’s a palm frond) was in the conservatory when I visited there. I thought the natural light made for a stunning shot. The conservatory is one of the top features in Golden Gate Park. It’s been classified as a national and state historic landmark. Little wonder. It was opened in 1879 and is made of wood and glass— the oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It’s a living museum, home to about 1700 species from more than 50 countries. The Conservatory is definitely worth a visit when you are in San Francisco.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85 AF-S lens at 65mm, f 7.1, 1/80 second, ISO 1250. Photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography
POPPY IN WHEAT FIELD, NORTHERN FRANCE: Spring will soon be here and the poppies will emerge in Northern France. The poppy is, of course, a flower of remembrance. Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Fields” around May 3, 1915, lamenting the loss of a close friend in battle. Pretty well every school child in Canada knows the poem and it’s publicly recited year after year on November 11th. Poppies can be seen all along country roads in France and Belgium. This one was growing in a wheat field.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikkor AF-S 18-200 zoom lens at 145mm., f13, 1/640 sec, ISO 800.
Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon
FLOWER FIELD, NORTHERN FRANCE: Poppies dot the landscape of northern France. Their bright red colour and symbolism as the flower of remembrance can make them a compelling feature in photographs. As I composed this shot, I recalled something one of my photography professors shared years ago when I was in college. He believed that any photo that included a person became a photo of a person. His point was that the mere presence of a person in a photo established both its context and focal point. Applying my old prof’s maxim to this shot, the scarecrow is a person in effigy, thereby strongly drawing the viewer’s attention to it. What do you think– does the inclusion of a person in a photo establish a strong focal point? Shot handheld with a Nikon, D300, Nikkor 70 – 300 mm at 127 mm, 1/400 sec, f29, ISO 200.
Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography