Sam and Friends

Who has not laughed at the famous characters we all know as the Muppets? As famous as they are, Miss Piggy and the gang were not Jim Henson’s first creations. 

Sam and Friends was Jim Henson’s first television show, a five-minute show that aired twice daily on WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. The show ran from May 9, 1955 to December 15, 1961. In 2010, these 10 characters joined Kermit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.

This was an unusually hard image to take. There was a lot of reflection on the glass and too many people to maneuver into a favorable position. I would wait for the crowd to thin out, but they just kept coming! Tripods are not allowed in the museums there, which means all indoor photography was hand-held.

An interesting note, before he became a frog, Kermit had a lizard-like appearance (far left).

Sam and Friends was Jim Henson's first television show, a five-minute show that aired twice daily on WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. The show ran from May 9, 1955 to December 15, 1961. In 2010, these 10 characters joined Kermit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Acting A Little Squirrely

It seems like the smaller the subject is for the camera, the more skill and patience it takes. These little antelope ground squirrels (and I mean little, no more than 6 inches) would scamper about like big mice, only to sit still for a second or two.

Just when you get the lens pointed in their general direction, they were off again, like a woman late for a shoe sale.. You had no idea which way they would turn and run either. At least you know where the shoe department is.

 

A squirrel watching cautiously.

Safe Harbor

I’ve never owned a boat, but have been fortunate to have a friend or two that have. It’s been many years since I’ve been on a sailboat though and would go again if the opportunity arose (Hint, hint. Any takers?)  Then again, I’d settle for a fishing trip on the bay. Or a bass boat on a lake. Or an outboard on a pond. That’s okay. I know where I can go kayaking this summer.

These sailboats rest quietly for another evening at the Pensacola Marina in Florida. 
  

I've never owned a boat, but have been fortunate to have a friend or two that have. It's been many years since I've been on a sailboat though and would go again if the opportunity arose (Hint, hint. Any takers?)  Then again, I'd settle for a fishing trip on the bay. Or a bass boat on a lake. Or an outboard on a pond. That's okay. I know where I can go kayaking this summer. These sailboats rest quietly for another evening at the Pensacola Marina in Florida. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Ham Duck

Some people are natural hams. That is to say, they’re always jumping in front of the camera, wanting you to take their photo. 

Walking back to my car after visiting Johnson Space Center this summer, a group of ducks started stalking my friend and me. Thinking we had food I suppose, they intercepted our path and wouldn’t let us advance until we presented them with something.  

When I pulled out my camera, this one brave duck advanced while the others retreated in disappointment. This guy stood around as if to say, okay take your best shot, then I’ve got to run. He was patient though while I fumbled with my settings longer than I should have and allowed me a few shots. Then he was off with his friends, seeking out some other potential contributor.

Walking back to my car after visiting Johnson Space Center this summer, a group of ducks started stalking my friend and me. Thinking we had food I suppose, they intercepted our path and wouldn't let us advance until we presented them with something. When I pulled out my camera, this one brave duck advanced while the others retreated in disappointment. This guy stood around as if to say, okay take your best shot, then I've got to run. He was patient though while I fumbled with my settings longer than I should have and allowed me a few shots. Then he was off with his friends, seeking out some other potential contributor. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Le Faux Tour Eiffel

There’s nothing quite like a romantic walk around the Eiffel tower in Paris. That is, unless you are in Las Vegas. There you will find a half scale replica of the French original in front of the Paris Las Vegas hotel/casino. While these two vary in height, there are many similarities between them. Both have an enclosed observation deck for safety as well as a glass elevator to admire the stunning vistas on the way to the top.

For a quieter, more intimate experience without sacrificing the view, visitors can dine in elegance at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant on the 11th floor.

Several years back, my wife and I did the Las Vegas weekend trip and dined in their restaurant, which I highly recommend. The view is spectacular, as you watch the Bellagio fountains dance in front of the setting sun and the famous Las Vegas lights.

This was a handheld shot from a small point-and-shoot. I’ll take the big guns if I ever go back.

 

There's nothing quite like a romantic walk around the Eiffel tower in Paris. That is, unless you are in Las Vegas. There you will find a half scale replica of the French original in front of the Paris Las Vegas hotel/casino. While these two vary in height, there are many similarities between them. Both have an enclosed observation deck for safety as well as a glass elevator to admire the stunning vistas on the way to the top. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Traffic in the Square

One of the cool things about long exposure photography is the motion blur you get with moving objects. You never quite know what to expect until after the image is complete. Sometimes it helps the image, sometimes it’s a distraction. But after you get the hang of it, you can anticipate the right moment to hit the shutter to get close to the desired effect. 

This is another image from the Sugar Land Town Square in front of their Marriott Hotel.
  

One of the cool things about long exposure photography is the motion blur you get with moving objects. You never quite know what to expect until after the image is complete. Sometimes it helps the image, sometimes it's a distraction. But after you get the hang of it, you can anticipate the right moment to hit the shutter to get close to the desired effect. This is another image from the Sugar Land Town Square in front of their Marriott Hotel. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Happy Buddha

Walking through the Hong Kong Market, you find many types of stores, selling almost anything. Though heavily Vietnamese, you find all kinds of items from the many cultures that make up Asia.

It a great place for lunch and window shopping, especially if you only read English. But if you don’t understand something, everyone is friendly and happy to help. It makes for a great afternoon “overseas”, but no airfare is required.
  

Walking through the Hong Kong Market, you find many types of stores, selling almost anything. Though heavily Vietnamese, you find all kinds of items from the many cultures that make up Asia. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.