The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.
Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps adopted for all models, making it the official name in the United States for all P-40s. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.
P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during June 1941. No. 112 Squadron Royal Air Force, was among the first to operate Tomahawks in North Africa and the unit was the first Allied military aviation unit to feature the “shark mouth” logo, copying similar markings on some Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 twin-engine fighters. – Wikipedia
I’ll Bite You
This P-40 Warhawk is on display at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center right as you walk into the museum. The plane is suspended from the ceiling of the massive hanger and right at eye level from the entrance platform. This allowed me to get this shot without much compression. Here are the details: Canon EOS REBEL T4i | Canon 24-105mm @ 24mm | ISO 400 | f/4 @ 1/40″ (Note: I needed the higher ISO due no flash or tripods allowed in the museum)
Feeling Like I’m Back Home
Very few places I have traveled have felt like home. I’ve lived in several states in the US, and visited different countries in my limited time here on earth. Needless to say, I am American through and through, apple-pie, red, white and blue. Few places capture my heart and make me feel free, as does Dublin Ireland. I agree with James Joyce who once said, “When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.”
I lived in Ireland for almost a year and became immersed in the city and it’s culture. My family emigrated from Ireland just before the American Civil War, thus making my own Irish linage rather thin. However, every time I visit Dublin, my very thin Irish ancestral blood boils with anticipation for a long awaited homecoming.
Dublin is a very walk-able city; it’s not a very large. Street signs are mostly easy to find and both in English and Irish (Gaelic). The Irish joke that the street signs are in both languages so that you can get lost in both languages. The city begs for you to stroll its streets just as the poets and philosophers of old.
You can take in the some of the best parts of Dublin by beginning your day at St Stephen’s Green. Easy to get to, it’s one of the main parks in city Centre. The Green is Irelands best-known Victorian public park. Strolling through the park you find many water and flower gardens, sculptures, and unique structures such as the delicately carved Victorian Swiss shelter in the center of the park. The park also has a good children’s playground. On weekends, many artists selling their works often surround the Green.
Exit the parks northwest corner through the Fusiliers’ Arch and cross the street to Grafton Street, one of Dublin’s best shopping districts. You will find many unique shops, tourist traps and restaurants on Grafton Street. If you’re hungry, grab some excellent Italian food at Pasta Fresca on nearby Chatham Street. If you’re looking for a snack, about mid way through your walk on Grafton Street, you will find one of my favorite places to get a cup of tea or coffee and croissant: Bewely’s Café.
At the end of Grafton Street you will find Trinity College. Many folks will visit the historic and beautiful book of Kels and the breath-taking Library, which are fantastic, but walking the grounds of the campus is well worth the time. The hustle and bustle of the city falls away as the peaceful campus invites you to wander and admire the architecture and walk ways. Get away from the crowds and you will see another side of Trinity that many don’t bother to see.
Across the street from Trinity are a couple of great stores worth a look. Stop off at Books Upstairs, and pick up book of poems by Yeats, or a book on philosophy from Thompson (if your into books on anti-capitalism). Books Upstairs is an eclectic store similar to those found near college campuses throughout the world.
Once you cross the river you are on O’Connell Street. O’Connell street claims to be the heart of Dublin’s urban center and is lined with several statues and monuments dedicated to the leaders in the fight for Irish independence. It is worth a walk up and down to admire the architecture, but not much more to be perfectly honest. As a matter of safety, be sure to keep an eye on your purse and wallet. O’Connell Street tends to be a hot bed for petty crime. When you see The Spire hang a left and you are on Henry Street. Henry Street is Dublin’s second most attractive shopping district. In some regards it’s better than Grafton because more locals visit here than tourist; it also has a Butlers Chocolate store!
By the time you reach the end of Henry Street you’ll be hungry and thirsty, take time to stop at The Church, a restaurant in a gorgeous converted church, the former St. Mary’s Church of Ireland. The Church features excellent food in the Gallery Restaurant as well as The Cellar Bar and Nightclub; where you can finish the night off dancing till the morning hours.
This walk takes about one hour if your walk it straight through. I don’t recommend that you power through the walk however. Take your time, absorb the atmosphere in Dublin, and admire its architecture, statues, and most importantly, feel free and independent in a very unique and personal city.
Note: I originally published this article on WeSaidGoTravel.com
I love Dublin, it is one of my favorite cities to visit and maybe someday live there. It’s a city with plenty of amenities, steeped in history, and tons of culture.
Smithsonian Air & Space Museum - Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
I’m a bit of a space junkie. I’ve been following the space program since I was a kid, and like every other kid of the space shuttle generation, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Well, my dream didn’t work out, but I still have a keen interest in space exploration. So this past long Presidents’ Day weekend, my family and I drove 3 hours to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles international airport to visit one of the greatest museums this county has to offer. I was especially excited because they have the Space Shuttle Discovery on display. It’s the first time I had seen one in person, so the trip was extra special.
The museum is gigantic, and it will take a good part of a day to make your way through it. In fact, the building is so huge that it has room for a Sr-71 Blackbird, an Air France Concord, the Space a Shuttle Discovery, the B-29 Enola Gay, and still have plenty of space for every kind and size of plane in between. You can also see the restoration hanger where any number of aircraft are being restored. When your done looking at the collection of planes, visit the observation tower and watch commercial airliners land and take off at near by Washington Dulles Airport. If you are a airplane groupie, the Udvar-Hazy center is a must see pilgrimage you need to make.
The museum is free to enter, and open everyday of the year except for Christmas. However, you will need to pay $15 for parking.
I have seen a couple Saturn V rockets in my lifetime. They are massive skyscrapers that are capable of hurdling men to the moon. The Saturn V is an impressive vehicle, and I remember my parents telling me about the launches. However, seeing my first space shuttle in real life was a dream come true. The space shuttle is of my generation, not the Saturn V. I was 10 years old when the Columbia made its first flight, I remember finding out in sixth grade while sitting in the school nurses office about the Challenger disaster, and feeling melancholy seeing the Endeavor rolling through Los Angels to its final resting place in a museum. So there was a bit a emotional reaction when I saw the Discovery at the Smithsonian Steven Udvar-Hazy center that made me wish for the resurrection of the space program in the US.
The Grand Show
“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” – John Muir
I woke up early this past summer just in time to see the sun rise over the Smokey Mountains and see some of the most beautiful colors. It is amazing to see the sun rise and how quickly the sun comes over the horizon.
My Thoughts About Processing
The age old debate in photography is to process or not to process. Some photographers think processing a photo is blasphemy and what you shoot is what you get. While others will argue that photo processing helps to bring out an artists vision. Personally, I fall in the latter category of photo processors. One of my photography hero’s, Ansel Adams, is known for his landscape photos of the US national parks. He heavily processed his photos to help the viewer of his works see his vision. In case you are interested, I use Adobe Lightroom and Nik Software Plug-ins for Lightroom.
Smokey Mountains Redux
Think twice before you delete a photo. I shot this photo in the Smokey Mountains and never did anything with it, the original composition was ho-hum and not very exciting. However, this past weekend I was in a bit of a mood and I wanted to do something a little edgy processing wise. So I picked a mundane photo and went to work to see what I could do with it. I think the results came out pretty good.
With about a foot of snow still on the ground this Presidents Day weekend in February, I have warmer times on the brain. I thought I would share a quote from the former Black Flag front man instead of lamenting. ”We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.” - Henry Rollins
Through The Window
I took this photo last summer while touring Fricks Lock, which is an abandoned ghost town on the Schuylkill river in southeast Pennsylvania. The town had historical significance as a lock town along the Schuylkill river canal system that allowed goods to flow along the river valley into Philadelphia. The town went into a slow decline when the railroads moved in the mid 20th century and was finally abandoned in the lat 1980′s when the Philadelphia Electric Company completed the purchase of the remaining land when the Limerick Nuclear path came on-line just on the other side of the river. The photo below is from the inside the lock tenders house that was built in 1817. Unfortunately, the building caught fire and all that remains are the stone walls. Occasionally, tours are held that allow visitors to walk through the restored village.
I’m a fan of street photography, although I don’t shoot a lot of the style myself. To be a street photographer takes a lot of guts in my opinion. In my few attempts, most folks don’t like their picture to be taken by random people and sometimes can be flat out rude. So hats off to you few and brave street photographers of the world.
Ghost In The Machine
Street photography is one of those fickel things when you wait a long time for what Henri Cartier-Bresson calls the Decisive Moment. In this case, the decisive moment was for a guy to walk right into my photo during a long exposure. This shot is not typical street photography where people document their environment in photos; however, I think this photo works. The streaking person adds an odd element to an otherwise mundane photo of a door at One Penn Center in the heart of Philly next door to the Comcast building.
Click on the photo to buy a limited edition of this picture
Counting My Lucky Stars
It’s been an interesting day here in the Philly burbs with a large ice storm hitting the area. Traffic is snarled, everything is covered with ice and trees are falling all over the place. This morning I was sitting in my office when a very large mature tree came down very nearly hitting our house. In fact, if it fell another two feet the other direction the tree would have come crashing into my office where I was sitting. So right now I’m praising the Lord almighty for keeping me safe. Psalm 16:1
Smoke Over Water
It’s not a Deep Purple song, but mist rising from Lake Wheeler in Raleigh NC. I’m not really sure what the structure is jutting out into the middle of the lake, but if you are from the area I would be interested to know. I shot this with my trusty 75-300mm Canon lens from a distance 180mm. I really liked the structure juxtaposed against the trees in the background, creating straight lines against the randomness of nature. I used Nik’s Color Efex Pro to bring out the contrast and give it a bleached look.
I had a great time with my family on Sunday hiking both peaks of Mt. Joy in Valley Forge National Park. It was a tough hike as the trail was snow and ice covered, making the trip a little slippery; as a result I think I’m going to invest in some crampons. For those of you who follow me, you know I spend a lot of time in the park. I love the park and it’s a great asset for the Philadelphia metro area.
I was lucky to get this shot of Lake Wheeler near Raleigh North Carolina recently. With the rough weather this year and winter vortex, Raleigh was slammed with a lot of snow (a lot by southern standards) the day I arrived. Many of the roads were closed, as was the park, because roads were covered with ice and snow. Luckily, there was a great view of the lake close to the entrance, so I parked the car and walked around the gate and set up for this shot.
It Sure Is Cold
I’m in North Carolina this week, and old man winter has decided to take a southern vacation. I was out early this morning in single digit temperatures to take some photos of Wheeler Lake in Raleigh. I’m really starting to miss summer and warmer weather.
Shades Of Late Summer
I love late summer when the colors start to turn from green to browns, just before the full fall color pallet shows. When I took this shot, I really wanted to focus on the reeds in the foreground, and introduce a lot of bokeh to help stress the sun setting in the background.