Tag Archives: Kevin Day

Top Towns to Visit on the Middle Mosel River

Ürzig and Ürziger Würtzgarten, Germany

To wrap up on the Mosel River in Germany, I thought I’d cheat and just compile a quick guide to the places worth visiting in between the major attractions of Cochem, Burg Eltz and Bernkastel-Keus. All of these places were within easy reach of each other, especially if you base camp it at Senhalser Höfe in Senhals. And since most of them have a famous wine associated with them, I thought I’d throw in some suggested riesling pairings as well.

Ürzig & the Ürziger Würtzgarten

Why go there: Only a handful of villages along the Mosel can even challenge the beauty of Ürzig. The justly famous Ürziger Würtzgarten vineyard — with its severe pitch and unusual red-clay soil — serves as a dramatic backdrop to the north of town. With the vineyard and its cozy buildings tucked together, I could have spent a full day photographing Ürzig and its surroundings.

Suggested pairing: Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Ürziger Würtzgarten Riesling 2012. Of all the wines I sampled along the Mosel, this one was the best example of minerality in a riesling. Continue reading

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Staying at Travaasa Hana: Sea Ranch Cottages

Sunrise over the Hana coast, Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Here are some more images of Travaasa Hana and its beautiful grounds. The resort is divided into two parts: the main area (where the lobby, restaurant, lounge, spa, art gallery and the Garden View Suites are) and the Sea Ranch Cottages, a more exclusive area where luxury cabins trickle down a hillside to the wild coastline. On our first morning, this is where I headed for sunrise, and I was treated to an extraordinary scene. Continue reading

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How to Photograph the Hana Highway

The Hana Highway, Maui, Hawaii

(Click on each image for a larger view)

Running 42 miles from Paia to Hana, the Hana Highway is considered one of the top scenic byways in America. But I think that’s misleading. It’s not really a highway, and “scenic” doesn’t do it justice.

Frequently, two lanes become one, and for several stretches, 15 miles an hour seems too fast. Blind curves segue into fleeting waterfall views, and for nearly its whole stretch, dense tropical forest enshrouds the steep hills. In fact, I’d bet that if the Hawaii Department of Transportation left the highway alone for a month, the forest would swallow the pavement. From start to finish, its wild, unkempt, and wonderfully free of everything that defines the rest of Maui.

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Varenna on Lake Como: The Little Village We Love

Varenna on Lake Como, Italy

(Click on image for a larger view)

We sat under an umbrella, our table decorated with two glasses of wine and a plate of bruschetta. It was 2005, and this was my first visit to Italy … my first journey anywhere in Europe. We had arrived in Milan that morning, boarded a train, and immediately made our way north to Lake Como and a little village Rick Steves had gushed about named Varenna.

On the brick-lined shore before us, a father was teaching his two daughters how to skip stones. The warm, hazy sun gave the colorful village the appearance of a melted watercolor, and one of us — I can’t remember who — said to the other “Varenna would be a nice name for a little girl, wouldn’t it?”

Almost five years later, Varenna Autumn Day was born. Now almost 3, she has a lightness, a sense of humor, and a sweet innocence that illuminates my every day. And despite the times people ask how to spell her name, or mix it up and pronounce it Ver-EE-na, or confuse it with Verona or Ravenna, we still feel like we knocked it out of the park with her name. This town — with its vivid colors, wizard hat campanile, hilltop castle and compact lakeside location where the buildings seem to hug one another — is officially on the highest pedestal of any place I’ve ever been. Continue reading

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How to Photograph the Matterhorn

how to photograph the matterhorn

Imagine you took the world’s 50 most famous mountains — Everest, K2, Denali, Fuji — and put their image on a flash card. Now imagine that you’ve flipped through the entire deck and quizzed yourself. Could you name most of these mountains based on their profile alone? The unique silhouette they cut into the sky? Odds are, only two of those mountains would be gimmes. Kilimanjaro and the Matterhorn. Even Kilimanjaro might be a maybe, but the Matterhorn? Their ain’t another mountain on earth that rivals its facade.

On the train ride into Zermatt last summer, I had my back to the town as we rolled up the tracks. What I saw in reverse was the sight of every passenger leaning out the train windows seeking their first glance of the Matterhorn. At one point, I turned around, looked up the hillside, and bam: there it was. The sight of it made my heart skip a beat. I’m not kidding.

Photographing the Matterhorn is easy. Creating a unique image that hasn’t been done before … now that’s hard. Here are some things I learned on how to photograph the Matterhorn during my all-too-brief stay in Zermatt last June. Continue reading

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Cabarete on the North Shore of the Dominican Republic

Cabarete beach sunset, Dominican Republic

Hailey, Varenna and I just returned last weekend from a six-day vacation in Cabarete, a beach town on the north shore of the Dominican Republic. We traveled with Hailey’s mom, Diana, who instigated the trip last April. The logic was like many vacations hatched for this time of the year: some place warm, with sand and surf. No other requirements.

Road side concession stand and dancers, Cabarete, Dominican Republic

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Switzerland Through a Tilt-Shift Lens

Swiss flag flying off the back of a steam ship on Lake Lucerne

(Click on images for a larger view)

OK. So it’s been three months since we went to Switzerland, but I’m not done posting images. I’m just catastrophically slow at updating my blog now that I have my own business (by the way, check out our killer website, designed by HeyDay Creative).

On top of that, our little family has decided to move to a bigger house. Where this house will be, we don’t know yet, but getting our current place ready has been pretty consuming. The plus? Eventually, there will be new wall space in a new home to decorate with enlargements of Switzerland.

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The Moment: Star Trails Over Western Colorado

Time lapse of the North Star over the Ute Lodge, near Buford, Colorado

(Click on image for a larger view).

The highlight of my trip to the Trappers Lake and the Flat Tops area was hanging out with my dad in a rustic, 400-square-foot cabin in the woods. I cooked up spaghetti with red wine sauce one night, and we polished off a bottle of Plungerhead — which plunged my head pretty badly the next morning, but man, it is such a good wine.

Sure, the lake was beautiful. Sure, the respite from the city was needed. But there’s nothing that compares to good conversation with a good friend over good food and good wine. It made the trip.

While we chatted, I set up my Canon 5D Mark II on a tripod outside the cabin and captured two 20-minute exposures of the night sky with a Canon 24mm f/1.4. This is a situation where the quality of this gear really comes through. Both the camera and the lens are remarkably clear when it comes to shooting the night sky.

 

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Trappers Lake – Flat Tops Wilderness, Colorado

A broad-tailed hummingbird feeds on a rosy paintbrush, White River National Forest, ColoradoClick on images for a larger view.

Summer’s end is fast approaching, which usually means two things in Colorado: luscious Palisade peaches are in season, and most of us are wondering whether we got into the mountains enough.

I started this summer with plenty in the way of mountain time, but they weren’t my mountains. They belonged to the Swiss, and they were ridiculously beautiful. But just recovering from the stresses of that trip meant a good three weekends in a row at home with our little family. By the time we unburied ourselves from the laundry, recharged our businesses, and spent adequate time with extended family, it was late July and I hadn’t seen the Rockies up close in months.

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The Moment: The Matterhorn Eclipses the Moon

A nearly full moon passes behind the Matterhorn's summit.

It took nearly an hour to discover what was happening.

We had hiked up to this meadow just outside Zermatt, on the trail that eventually leads to Zmutt and the North Face of the Matterhorn. It was getting hot, and Varenna was inspecting the gravel on the trail, handing her best specimens to Mom, and then pushing her stroller like the big girl she was proclaiming to be (“bick guhr! bick gurh!). We were all content, and not planning to go too far. After all, this appeared to be it: the iconic view of the Matterhorn, the one that conjures visions of alpenhorns and men yodeling “Ri-co-la” into the crisp glacial air.

But as we turned to head back to town, the moon was suddenly quite noticeable and on a very interesting course.

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