Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30 Photo of the Day: Cambodia

Vendors at Lolei – Temples of Angkor, Cambodia © 2014 Peter Marble

December 13, 2004 – These lovely ladies were very persistent. One of them persuaded Lesa to buy several pieces of fabric and other items.

After the transaction was completed, the seller gently scolded Lesa, with a sweet smile, and said "You could have had three times as many for the same price."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29 Photo of the Day: California

Barker Dam Loop trail – Joshua Tree National Park, California © 2014 Peter Marble

October 24, 2006 – On our third day in Palm Springs with our good friends Kelly and Su Mei, I dragged everyone out to Joshua Tree National Park for some hiking and photography.

This shot was taken on the approach to Barker Dam. The 1.3 mile loop trail features Joshua trees and lots of interesting rock formations.

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28 Photo of the Day: Easter Island

Ahu Tongarki – Easter Island, Chile © 2014 Peter Marble

November 3, 2008 – The moai of Easter Island are the main attraction. With 15, including the tallest on the island, Ahu Tongariki has the most moai of any ahu.

Before and after visiting Rano Raraku we spent a couple of hours happily wandering the site.

Here, for some unknown reason, Lesa felt compelled to provide a sense of scale, in this case, using one of the fallen moai.

For some additional information about ahus and moai, see this PBS page.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27 Photo of the Day: Lesotho

Rondavels in the Maluti mountains – Butha-Buthe, Lesotho © 2014 Peter Marble

January 31, 2012 – After a day visiting several projects funded by Bracelet of Hope, we had a lovely evening and dinner at the spectacular Maliba Lodge in Tsehlanyane National Park.

These rondavels, available for overnight guests, survived the fire that destroyed much of the lodge in July of the following year. Thankfully no one was hurt in the overnight blaze and the lodge has been rebuilt and reopened late last year.

This photo, along with many others posted on this blog, is available for sale at CanStockPhoto, Dreamstime, and fotolia.

April 26 Photo of the Day: Beaverton

Railway tracks and beach glass – Beaverton, Ontario © 2014 Peter Marble

October 1, 2012 – Our trips to Beaverton to visit our good friends Barb and Merv usually include some time for me to head out with my camera.

Oftentimes while I'm doing that, Lesa and Barb are scouring the shores of Lake Simcoe in search of beach glass. Here's some of their bounty from a recent outing:

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25 Photo of the Day: Newfoundland and Labrador

Bustling harbour – St. John's, Newfoundland © 2014 Peter Marble

May 28, 2010 – Each time we go to St. John's, I always enjoy a trip up Signal Hill with its wonderful views of the harbour, city and coast.

In the right of the photo you can see the Queen's Battery with the cannons aimed at the entrance to the harbour.

For another shot from this trip, see my Northern gannet in flight.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24 Photo of the Day: Prince Edward County

A screamer of a day – off Waupoos, Prince Edward County © 2014 Peter Marble

July 2, 2006 – All year long I look forward to our annual three-day weekend at Bayside B&B in Prince Edward County at the eastern end of Lake Ontario.

Sailing aboard Wind Chaser, a Beneteau 311, is always a pleasure. However, this year in particular, with gale force winds, was made to order for me. To avoid being overpowered, we sailed with a jib (fore sail) only. Even with that, we had the rails under for most of the afternoon!

On the way back to the marina I noticed a boat that just didn't look quite right.

As it turned out, a couple had spent about eight hours on a rental sailboat powering straight into a head wind and heavy seas all the way across Lake Ontario from Henderson Harbor on the New York side. I guess the wind was so strong that the furled jib was absolutely shredded!

I heard later that it was kind of a first date, and as soon as they docked, the lady aboard simply stepped off the boat and never looked back.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 23 Photo of the Day: Arizona

View of The Grand Canyon from the North Rim – Near Jacob Lake, Arizona © 2014 Peter Marble

September 21, 2004 – Day 4 of our canyon tour in Utah and Arizona.

On our drive to the Jacob Lake Inn at dusk, we were watchful for deer, however at one point I was surprised to hear Lesa yell "COW". Apparently bovines are allowed to roam freely in that part of Arizona and are a real danger – a half dozen or so were just a few feet off the side the road as we passed them. Who knew!

That evening we overheard a couple in the restaurant who arrived after dark and travelling by motorcycle talk about how scary it was with so many deer on the road.

Just for fun, here's a scan of one of my grandmother's slides, taken I'm guessing in the late 50's at the North Rim.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22 Photo of the Day: Toronto

The Promise of Spring – High Park, Toronto, Ontario © 2014 Peter Marble

April 22, 2010 – What a difference four years makes – It snowed here last Tuesday!

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21 Photo of the day: Texas

For Eugene Stuart Marble 1924-2014 – Lee County, Texas © 2014 Peter Marble

May 7, 2013 – This is my favourite tree near Eugene's and Caroline's property, "Green Heron", on the last day I saw my uncle Eugene, who passed away today.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20 Photo of the Day: Romania

Râșnov Citadel – Braşov County, Romania © 2014 Peter Marble

September 27, 2013 – On our fourth day in Romanian Transylvania we hired a car and driver arranged by the gregarious owner of our hotel in Braşov, the wonderful Casa Rozelor.

Among other sites we visited that day, including Bran Castle, we toured the ruins of Râșnov Citadel.

Just for fun, here's how the photo looked before I removed what I considered to be the extraneous people and paths and fiddled with it in Lightroom.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19 Photo of the Day: Argentina

Patagonian Landscape – On route to El Calafate, Argentina © 2014 Peter Marble

November 12, 2008 – Our drive to from Puerto Natales was delayed by Chilean authorities who, for some reason known only to them, decided to close the border to Argentina for a day or so.

There are several routes from Puerto Natales, but our gas guzzling Ford "Ecosport" necessitated that we take the shortest and roughest one. We had been unable to obtain Argentinian Pesos in Chile or Canada, so when we stopped for gas in Esperanza, the poor attendant actually crossed himself when we were finally able to settle the bill by paying in U.S. cash.

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18 Photo of the Day: Hungary

Hungarian regional train – Eger, Hungary © 2014 Peter Marble

September 22, 2013 – On our sixth day in Hungary we headed back to Budapest by train.

Our decision to travel by train as much as possible on this trip turned out to be, by and large, a good one.

The regional trains in Hungary are inexpensive, on time and reasonably comfortable, but not especially modern by North American standards.

The EuroCity (EC) trains winding their way through Eastern Europe, although faster, do tend to fall behind schedule as we discovered waiting for EC trains in Slovakia and Romania.

Then there is the challenge of using the online sites, such as MAV-START, the Hungarian site, to pre-book tickets. I'm still waiting to see if they will refund me about $400 CAD from two failed attempts to book a sleeper car from Budapest to Sighisoara, Romania.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17 Photo of the Day: Czech Republic

Tram in front of the National Theatre – Prague, Czech Republic © 2014 Peter Marble

September 12, 2013 – Our first day in Prague, after an overnight flight from Toronto via Heathrow, was spent walking and getting oriented. By the time we passed the National Theatre at about 4:00 p.m., I was definitely ready for a pivo.

We made our way back across the Vltava river to Mala Strana (Little Quarter) and found a great spot for a break near our hotel before heading out for an early dinner at the U Fleků micro-brew pub.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16 Photo of the Day: PEI

Marsh Boardwalk – Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada © 2014 Peter Marble

August 12, 2011 – Following a family wedding in Moncton, New Brunswick, about 20 of us descended on the cottages at Brackley Beach on PEI for a week or so. By the fifth day, Lesa and I needed a break and spent a lovely afternoon poking about at Cavendish Beach.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15 Photo of the Day: South Africa

Elephants at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – KwaZulu Natal, South Africa © 2014 Peter Marble

February 3, 2012 – The oldest game park in Africa, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is the only one in KwaZulu Natal with Africa's Big 5 (lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard). We were lucky enough to see all but a leopard.

The most exciting part of our evening game drive was when two white rhinos, who didn't take kindly to being startled as they came out of the bush, charged our jeep. We had an experienced driver who thankfully was able to back down a dirt road in the dark slightly faster than the rhinos could run.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14 Photo of the Day: Thailand

Longtail boat on the Chao Phraya – Bangkok, Thailand © 2014 Peter Marble

December 8, 2004 – Known as reua hang yao in Thai, these ubiquitous and noisy craft have long drive shafts at the stern that also serve as rudders.

Taking the ferries on the Chao Phraya is a fun and efficient way to travel to many of the temples and other sights in Bangkok.

Here's a short video clip taken on the river on the same day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13 Photo of the Day: Romania

Palace of the Parliament – Bucharest, Romania © 2014 Peter Marble

September 29, 2013 – With 3.77 million square feet, it is the world's second-largest administrative building after the Pentagon. Another claim to fame is that in 1992 Michael Jackson is said to have stood on one of its balconies overlooking Nicolae Ceaușescu’s version of the Champs Elysees and addressed a large crowd by saying, “Hello Budapest!”.

On our last stop in Romania, it absolutely poured both days in Bucharest. Not to mention that the entire experience totally creeped us out – from what we presumed was the mafia boss doing business in the restaurant in our hotel, to the cabby who couldn’t make change for the equivalent of a fiver, to the hotel room door that wasn’t locked when we returned after having carefully made sure we had locked it on the way out.

Thankfully on the second night we found a wonderful nearby wine shop. The proprietor spent a good 45 minutes discussing which wine would go best with the bread and cheese we had picked up for dinner.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 12 Photo of the Day: Chile

Pedestrian bridge to Hosteria Pehoe – Parque Nacional Torres del Paine © 2014 Peter Marble

November 10, 2008 – Torres del Paine, about 100 km from Puerto Natales, is the primary reason we traveled to Chilean Patagonia.

The day we drove to the park was apparently the first in several weeks that it wasn't raining there. We found out later however, that the wind was howling at about 100 km/hour!

When I was researching the trip I read that some poor bugger had his luggage dropped into the lake while crossing the bridge to the hosteria – my guess is that it was simply blown out the staff member's hands.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11 Photo of the Day: Toronto

Pedestrian Bridge over the Humber River – Toronto © 2014 Peter Marble

September 23, 2012 – This is one of my favourite bridges in Toronto. I know this shot was taken in the fall, but most days of the year you will see people on bikes, with strollers or walking or jogging across this bridge.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 10 Photo of the Day: Chicago

Young Couple at The Standing Lincoln – Lincoln Park, Chicago © 2014 Peter Marble

April 24, 2005 – The third day of a wonderful weekend visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium, and other Windy City's sights, including the Wrigley Building and Chagall's street art.

We had such a great time Friday night at Andy's, that we went back Saturday night to see the Mike Frost Project.

On Sunday we happened upon these two in Lincoln Park.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9 Photo of the Day: The Moon

The moon – from Waupoos, Ontario © 2014 Peter Marble

August 4, 2012 – Nearly every year of the past 12 we have been fortunate enough to spend a few mid-summer days and nights in Prince Edward County.

I have tried several times to photograph the moon over Lake Ontario and for this shot, I braved the late night, early August bugs.

Special thanks to Lightroom® for helping to bring out the detail.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 8 Photo of the Day: Manhattan

Brooklyn Bridge © 2014 Peter Marble

April 9, 2011 – Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the joys of any visit to New York.

This time, as usual, we started on the Manhattan side and an hour or so later were wandering about in DUMBO (down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass).

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7 Photo of the Day: South Africa

African Penguins – Boulders Beach, Western Cape, South Africa © 2014 Peter Marble

February 12, 2012 – After lunch on our way out to Cape Point, we stopped to visit the colony of about 3,000 penguins just outside of Simon's Town. They were very accommodating subjects.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 6 Photo of the Day: Lesotho

Local village children – near Butha-Buthe, Kingdom of Lesotho © 2014 Peter Marble

February 5, 2012 – day 14 in Africa. After the church service we basically drove our rental 4X4 up a small mountain on a boulder-strewn "road" to get to the Tlhakhuli foster home where we spent the night.

These children walked up from the small village below to find out what was going on and to visit their friends, all AIDs orphans, at the foster home.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5 Photo of the Day: Slovakia

Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising – Bratislava, Slovakia © 2014 Peter Marble

September 16, 2013 – After walking across the bridge from the old town, we took the elevator up to the restaurant. When the doors opened we were greeted by a lovely young woman who acted as if we might have been the the first people she had welcomed all day. We paid the entrance fee and then climbed a very creaky interior stairway leading to the top of what is known as the UFO.

Construction of the road that leads to Most Slovenského národného povstania resulted in the destruction of most of the Jewish quarter and a large part of the old town.

This is the companion shot to the March 18 Photo of the Day of Bratislava Castle on the other side of the Danube.

Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Revise Lightroom® Watermark Presets

Whenever I export an image, I usually want a slightly different version of my standard watermark. Typically I change the opacity, the position, or size depending on the particular image.

When I first started to use Lightroom® watermarks, I saved each edited preset and ended up with a mess of unnecessary presets cluttering up the list.

Here’s how to revise an existing watermark preset during the export process:

1. From the Library or Develop module, choose File, Export and then either select a preset from the list on the left, or complete the Export Location, File Naming, File Settings, and other settings as required.

2. In the Watermarking section, check Watermark: and then from the drop-down list, select the preset with the watermark you want to use.

3. From the same drop-down, at the bottom of the list choose Edit Watermarks….
The Watermark Editor appears, e.g.,

(In this example I am using a graphic, but you can revise text watermark presets the same way.)

4. Make whatever changes you need to for the Text Options and Watermark Effects.
For example, here I have changed the Anchor position and reduced the size, i.e.,

At this point, if you click Save, you are prompted for the name of a new preset.
(This is how I got in trouble and ended up with lots of duplicate watermark presets.)

5. Instead, click the drop-down beside the watermark title at the top-left, then at the bottom of the list choose Update preset “{preset name}” and click Done.

6. Back on the Export window click Export.

When you include a watermark preset in an export preset, for example the one I use for Photo of the Day posts, this little trick really can save a lot of time.

Happy Exporting!

April 4 Photo of the Day: Cambodia

Angkor Wat © 2014 Peter Marble

December 11, 2004 – On our first day in Cambodia we visited the amazing Angkor Wat.
I had dreamt of this temple ever since the summer in my childhood that my three cousins built a massive sand castle replica based on memories of their years living in Cambodia.

Our guide, Mr. Sok, always made sure to take us to the best places for photo ops.

P.S. If you missed it the day I published it, here's a link to my Afternoon on Tonlé Sap photo.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April 3 Photo of the Day: Argentina

Tour boat at Perito Moreno Glacier – Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina © 2014 Peter Marble

November 13, 2008 – day 2 in Argentina. After a hairy drive yesterday from Puerto Natales, today is one of our few sunny days in Patagonia.

From our base in El Calafate, the park is only about two hours by car. While we were there we were fortunate enough to watch as large pieces of the glacier calved into Lago Argentino. The boat tour at the end of the visit provided fantastic views of the face of the glacier.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2 Photo of the Day: Chile

Rano Raraku Quarry – Easter Island © 2014 Peter Marble

November 3, 2008 – day 5 in Chile. After renting bicycles yesterday and getting a bit lost and sunburned, today we joined a group tour to visit some of the most important historical sites.

This quarry is where most of the nearly 900 moai of Rapa Nui were carved before being transported to an ahu (platform) elsewhere on the island. Some of those that are still here are incomplete and partially buried. How the moai were transported remains a mystery.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1 Photo of the Day: Hungary

Cupola of St. Stephen's Basilica © 2014 Peter Marble

September 23, 2013 – day 7 (our last) in Hungary. We spent a good part of the afternoon marveling at the beauty of this magnificent basilica.

There is still so much yet to see in Hungary, particularly in Budapest – We may just have to go back.