photography

A Week in Africa with Obama

…I’m not there, of course!

But Ari Shapiro,В NPR’s White House correspondent, is. And he’s documenting the trip on his fabulous Tumblr, “Ari in Africa.”В It’s a fascinating (and often funny) behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to travel in the presidential press corps. As Shapiro puts it:

Traveling in the presidential bubble is not exactly tourism. Exotic cities whiz by on streets that have been cleared of traffic. Hours that a tourist might spend wandering museum halls instead tick by in “press filing centers,” which tend to be windowless hotel ballrooms.

Days are booked from early in the morning until late at night. But if they’re lucky, reporters manage to break away from all that and get a “15-minute vacation”—a real taste of local culture via a meal in a neighborhood joint that hasn’t been prearranged for them, a quick walk on the beach, etc. (As someone who’s been on numerous press tours, I can certainly attest to how precious those moments are—they really make the whole trip worth it!)

Shapiro’s Tumblr has funny insights about reporting from the corps, interesting factoids about Africa, great snapshots of ObamaВ and gorgeous photos from when he can find those “15-minute vacations”—like the one below.

senegal sunset

Definitely check it out, while he—and Obama—are still there.

(Photo by Ari Shapiro via Ari in Africa)

So Ready for an NYC Weekend!

New York City at Night

I am so glad the weekend is here! My next few days are pretty full, but luckily, there are lots of nice, relaxing elements involved. My mom, sister and I are getting massages that we all got each other for Christmas and birthdays, and we have a family brunch planned for tomorrow. And I’ll be running at some point—our race is a few weeks away and I’ve only squeezed in four runs, so far! But I’m not worried. 😉

This week seemed to be chock full of awesome NYC photos. A few days ago I stumbled upon the one above. An Expedition 35 crew member aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station shot it on March 23; NASA recently posted it on its site. It’s truly amazing how clearly the gridded streets are lit up. And I love how easily you can spot Central Park and the riot of lights that is Times Square.

Have a wonderful weekend!

(Photo by NASA)

Whoa, Manhattan!

Port Authority Offers Media Tour Of One World Trade Observatory On 100th Floor

How stunning is this photo? It was taken from what will be the 100th floor observation deck at One World Trade Center, 1,250 feet up in the air. When the building opens in 2015, it’ll be 1,776 feet—and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere!

It’s funny; I can’t recall ever seeing another shot taken from this angle before. The clarity is astounding, and I love how you can see both sides of the island from downtown all the way up to my ‘hood, near the George Washington Bridge. Plus, it’s crazy just how much higher up this building is—it’s towering so far above all the others.

Pretty amazing.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images via Gizmodo)

Firefall at Yosemite National Park

firefall

My visits to national parks have been few and far between—my first trip to the Grand Canyon was just a few months ago!—so it was no surprise that I’d never heard of “firefall,” at Yosemite National Park, before today.

For about one week each February, the sunset over Horsetail Fall creates an amazing illusion: It makes it seem like the water is on fire. And each year, hundreds of photogs trek to the park for a chance to capture this “firefall.” Some of the images out there are astounding—it really looks like red-hot lava, and not mere water, is flowing over the cliff!

Have you ever witnessed firefall in person? Or seen anything like it? (Yet another reason to add Yosemite to my list of must-visit places!)

(Photo byВ Jim Wilson via The New York Times)

 

Holland’s Tulip Fields

This morning, while I was shivering on my way to work, I counted how many months of cold we have left. I was feeling a little blue when I realized that warm weather is still a ways off, but my day brightened after I stumbled uponВ Normann Szkop‘s photos of Holland’s tulip fields, via Weather.com. (Which, coincidentally, is predicting lots of snow for theВ weekend. Yay. You know how much I love being cooped up in my apartment!)

If you’re also in need of a cheery dose of spring, take a look at Szkop’s gorgeous photos below and on his Flickr page. I can’t even imagine how brilliant those colors must look in person!

tulip field

tulip field

tulip field

(Photos viaВ Normann Szkop’s Flickr set)