Landmarks – August 22, 2011

A monday theme special edition

Joseph Leotta – Bronx, New York

Grand Central Station

It is probably one of the more well know train terminals in the world. Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger trains, it is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms 44, with 67 tracks along them. There is just too much to say about this place. You can ready more about it here:

Just a few of the highlights are that it was built inAmerica’s golden age with craftsmanship and grand design that cannot be duplicated today. In the main concourse shown below is perhaps the most photographed clock in the world, the golden clock on top of the information booth in the center. FDR (President Franklin Roosevelt) had a special rail siding and platform built in the basement. His polio had crippled him to the point that he was wheelchair bound. To avoid being seen in a wheelchair, his train would pull into the secret platform where he would get into this car which was on the train. A special elevator brought the car with him in it to the street level, so that he would never be seen using a wheelchair to get into it.      

    Tags: Grand Central Station, Metro North Railroad. New York landmark 

In 1947, over 65 million people, the equivalent of 40% of the population of theUnited States, traveled through Grand Central.  It was such an important part ofUnited Statestransportation that during WWII, The power relays and controls for the tracks were guarded around the clock by a large army contingent.  The tracks passing thru Grand Central carried a carried large number’s of military personal and supplies off to the war. Many changes in railroads have occurred over the years, Thenew YorkCentral became the Penn Central and them Amtrak. Amtrak removed all service from the station in 1997 and switched it over to Penn Station.  The remaining railroad, The Metropolitan Transit Authority took over the complete station and it was completely renovated and restored to its original glory during 1999-2000.   Beside the railroads, the NYC subway system has one of its largest subway stations under Grand Central and connected to it. This allows commuters to easily change from the subway to the railroad. 


Tags : Grand Central Station, Metro North Railroad. New York landmark 


Haig Tchamitch – Scottsdale, Arizona

Another one from the archives.. I hope it’s not one I posted before I got organized..

Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona.  Built right into the rock face.  This was shot about 20 min or so after sunset.

Pentax k10d + DA 50-200 @ 50mm, f/11, 25 second exposure, ISO 100.

                    Tags:  Sedona, Chapel of the Holy Cross



Emma Roberts – Coventry, England

This, whilst not exactly local to me, is part of St Paul’s Cathedral in London(about 1 1/2 hours drive from me). I took this in 2007 on a trip to Londonwith my husband to celebrate my birthday. We stayed in a hotel not even a minutes walk from the cathedral and despite it beign September we had beautiful weather and clear skies.
I have been back to the area quite a few times since but I’ve not been able to get photos against such vibrant blue skies.

Camera: Canon 350D F/stop: F/16 Exposure: 1/500 ISO Speed: 400 Focal length: 55mm                                                                                                                                                                            



Jens V Frederiksen – Elsinore, Denmark

 I am looking forward to a lot of stories from beautiful and historic places all around the world. Living close to a World Heritage, and a national landmark, I chose that for my story.  Her it comes:

Once upon a time:

Denmarkis geographically situated so it controls the sea traffic to and from theBaltic Sea, and at a time when sea traffic was the only way to transport large amounts of goods the Danish kings took advantage of that. Already in1429 aking built a fortress to control and demand custom from the ships passing one of three straits to theBaltic Sea. The two others were too dangerous to use because of piracy. As you can imagine it became a ‘goldmine’ for the treasury and in 15xx the present king builds a huge castle, at that time considered the greatest and richest inEurope. All ships had to stop and get their cargo evaluated and custom was depending of the value of it. If a captain thought the value was set to high and custom to large the king was in his right to buy the cargo to the price the captain sat! In the beginning of the seventeen century there was a huge fire in the castle and the present is the one rebuilt after that. Not so rich unfortunately. Every single ship passing the strait had to pay and in 1857 it became too much for the rest of the world and they paid the Danish state a large amount of money once and for all to end this practice.

In fact, that part of the story did not end until 2007 becauseBrazilnever paid its part, and their dept was deleted/reset by the Danish prime minister that year, when the Brazilian president visitedDenmark. As you can see, the castle still stands and is a major tourist attraction.

Nikon D700 24-70@70mm F/8 1/250s ISO 200 AP Matrix



Ken Yamamoto – Tokyo, Japan

Hi all, this is yet another one from my trip to Nikkolast month.  The Nikkoarea is located two hour north-bound express train ride from Tokyo.  This place is famous as there is the shrine for THE Shogun (Tokugawa) as its God.  There are several more shrines and temples around it and whole area is now designated as “World Heritage”.  And this is the marker of those temples and the shrine, and the stone on the far right blurred is the signage of “World Heritage”.  Not too vast area to walk around, but there are so many places to see in there.  This is one of the most famous tourists’ spots from not only Japan but also all around the world.  I had a very good time.
D700, 28-300 @28mm, f/3.5, 1/50sec, ISO200

   Tag: Nikko, Tokugawa, Ieyasu, Toshogu, “World Heritage”


 Peggy G – Tupelo, Mississippi

The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, straddles the border ofTennesseeandNorth Carolina.  This view is from Clingman’s Dome, which at 6,643 feet is the highest point in theGreat Smoky MountainsNational Parkand inTennessee.  It is the 3rd highest peak east of theMississippi River.  The observation tower at Clingman’s Dome offers 360 degree views.  The tower is a half mile from the parking lot and is a paved but steep trail.  Clingman’s Dome is about 7 miles off New Found Gap road down Clingman’s Dome road.  New Found Gap is the lowest pass through the mountains.  About 100 native tree species make their home in the park, which contains one of the largest blocks of old growth temperate deciduous forest inAmerica.  Here at Clingman’s Dome you can see a lot of dead Spruce Fir’s which is happening because of an accidentally imported pest called the Balsam Woolly Adelgid. 

Always beautiful, no matter what the season, but Autumn is usually especially beautiful.  The “Smokey’s” are a wonderful vacation spot.  The Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area is strictly tourist, and where you go when you take the kids.  When it’s just grown-ups, my favorite thing to do is just find a new road you’ve never been down before and see what you can find!

Nikon D5000, Nikon 18-55, 3.5 lens, 18mm, F/5.6, 1/400s, ISO200.                                                       



Stacy Pace – Allen, Texas


Took this shot on my way in toMississippifor 4th of July weekend (although this is on the East side of the bridge facing west). Unfortunately, I had set the camera on auto so someone could take a photo of my family for me, and never changed it. UGH! ISO1000?? Nikon Auto settings are not always optimal.

I love this bridge – I was born inMississippi(Flowood/Rankin County, for you Mississippians in the group!) and my dad still lives there on family land in McComb. We try to get out there at least once a year to enjoy the quiet nature ofSouthern Mississippi. I remember as a girl, travelling to and fromMississippifromTexasto see my grandma. I’ve always been fascinated by the bridges. I don’t think trains still use the northern bridge, but I remember seeing them when I was younger.

More info:

Nikon D90  70mm  1/1600 f/10  ISO1000 (everyone says, what?!?)                                                      



Jeannean Ryman – McAllen, Texas

I don’t think I’ve ever worked as hard on a photo assignment as this one. There are a few local landmarks, but none most people would know (excluding the Rio GrandeRiverand the infamous “border wall” separating the USfrom Mexico). I drove around, read local history, took photographs, etc., and then it dawned on me while I was photographing the historic HidalgoPumphouse… The World’s Largest KILLER BEE! I thought it would be the perfect subject for me. 😉 The full history of it can be found at this link or Google “world’s largest killer bee”, but the shortened story is this:

On October 15, 1990, newspaper headlines announced toAmerica, with no lack of sensationalism, that the Africanized Honey Bee, also known as the “Killer Bee,” had now invaded theUnited Statesand had made its first appearance in the remote South Texas town ofHidalgo. For a town promoting itself as a friendly destination offering convenient access toMexicoand a paradise to bird-watchers, this infamy was a huge blow to the desired tourist buzz. The town’s mayor, John Franz, conceived the idea for the largest Killer Bee statue and got the City Council to appropriate $20,000 to have it built. He proclaimedHidalgoto be the “Killer Bee Capitol of the World”; no one disputed it.Hidalgo’s Killer Bee has been written about in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Time Magazine, The Guinness Book of World Records, and featured in a Snapple commercial as well as The Oprah Winfrey Show. It is visited/photographed by thousands of people each year and is the star attraction during the Borderfest parade (it’s mounted on a float for the parade). The statue measures 20 ft long and is l0 ft high.The Killer Bees are still around, but they didn’t create half the buzz the Killer Bee statue has.Hidalgotook a lemon and made honey-flavored lemonade. 🙂

(Taken with Nikon D90/35mm 1:8G@1/800, f/9, ISO 200, -1EV) Tags: World’s Largest Killer Bee, Hidalgo, TX.



Alejandro Held – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hello all

Thanks for the comments!! thanks to Gej, very kind to remember my pic!!

For the landmark special I post a picture ofLondontaken in 2006. I love to stroll by Albert Embankment and Tames path every time I’m inLondon.

Canon A620  12.56 mm? f 3.5 1 sec                                                                                                                                            

Tags:London, Embankment, Thames,LondonEye  


Matthew Brennan – Birregurra, Victoria, Australia

All the properties I work on are located on or beside an expansive, flat volcanic plain which geographically is largely devoid of many distinguishing topographical features other than the remnant volcanic cones and craters which are few and far between..  This isMountGellibrand, a local landmark and the closest volcanic cone to my home town Birregurra at approx. 12 km away. MountGellibrandwas named after J.T. Gellibrand, an early explorer of the district.  AlthoughMountGellibrandis on private land it can be seen from as far as 40 miles away in most directions and was used as a navigational marker by early settlers moving through the district.  AlthoughMountGellibrandis only

261 meters above sea level and has a prominence of less than 100 meters above the plain, the flat nature of the surrounding topography means commanding 360 degree views to the horizon are found on top of the mount which has a flat top summit large enough to house the playing surface of just over 4 soccer pitches.  There is a Government weather station and a multi-function communications tower on the summit as well as a fire spotting tower which is operated by my partner Susan every summer.

This is a photo taken on the way to work in late winter last year from the east side of Mt Gellibrand with a layer of mist at the base of the mount.  Captured hand held with my trusty D700 + AF-D 85mmf/1.4 Nikkor @ f/3.5, 1/250th sec,  ISO 400  I deliberately framed the exposure with too much foreground for a more elongated crop to accentuate the horizontal lines of the mountain’s profile above the plain.



Stanley Beck – Jackson, Mississippi

“Brulatour Courtyard” in theNew OrleansFrench Quarter. This iconic view is probably as recognizable as the front view of the St. Louis Cathedral atJackson Square. It is no longer open to the public, but was until about 1996. It was part of a private residence area by the house stables dating to the very early days of the city. During the 1930’s, it was home to the New Orleans Artist’s League, and the numerous paintings made it well known. By the end of the 1940’s, it was part of the complex of buildings that housed the WDSU-TV offices and studios, which made the image recognizable to millions more, and was accessible to the public.

This was shot on 35mm film, about a 15 years ago, and scanned. It’s my good fortune that I still have it.




Rick Dohme – Tampa, Florida

This is world famous Pier 60 onClearwaterBeachFlorida. This is about 5 miles from my house. This is a fishing pier but most nights half of the pier has street venders selling there goods. There is a real nice kids play ground. The pier attracts thousands of visitors each day and night. If you come visit me this is one of the places I will take you.

Nikon D3, Nikon 24-120, 120mm, F5.6, 1/8 sec, ISO 3200.                                                                                      



Filip Lucin – Cakovec, Croatia

 Hello all!

I think I’ve sent our castle, “Old town” as we call it here to this group, but hopefully not this photo.Let me briefly introduce you to the castle and history of it. It was built in 13 Cent. by count Chak as wooden fortification, and since then it was destroyed by fire and earthquake, and of course rebuilt and changed after that events. Our town Čakovec (The first letter is pronounced CH like inManCHester) got it’s name from Chak, in the meaning of “Chak’s town”. The most known noble family that lived here was family Zrinski who were well known all over medievalEuropeas fierce fighters against Ottomans in 16 Cent.

They also created large park around castle that still exists today and is protected by law as cultural heritage. The castle got it’s current look in mid 18.Cent. Nowadays, there is a museum inside, and the civil wedding ceremonies are held there. (When saying civil, I mean those that are not married in Church). There was a lake around the castle but it was dried out some 50 years ago. The lake is place where sport events now often take place, and of course, slopes of it are perfect for kids in the winter. Me too was spending lot of time there as a kid. 🙂 The panorama I’m showing you was taken two winters ago rather early in the morning after it snowed whole night. But, as you can see, the children had already left their marks in the snow, creating what I thought would be and interesting foreground to the castle.

I’m curious what kind of landmarks will be presented from our group, all over the world.

Greetings, Filip!   


tags: snow, winter, castle,Cakovec,Croatia, Zrinski



Joseph Leotta, Junior – New York, New York

Disney World,OrlandoFlorida

Main Street USA and the landmark Cinderella’s Castle which is used at the beginning of every Disney movie, video and show.                                                                                                                     



 Greg Kowalczewski – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

My landmark is a shot of theHawthornTown Hall(inVictoria,Australia) which dates back to 1888, some 123 years ago.  It is a free classical hall constructed of brick and stuccoed and features a large second empire styled clock tower.  The architect was John Beswicke.  The town hall was originally used by “the government”.  Its current use today is threefold with the local library, museum and gallery all housed under the “same roof”.  This is my first ever wide angle shot and hopefully the start of a new journey at the other end of the spectrum (I normally shoot telephoto).  If it were not for these challenges this image would never have come into existence, so thanks to Joe (and the group) for the inspiration.

D300+14-24 f/2.8 shot at 15mm (hand held). 



Wayne Ervine – Johannesburg, South Africa

I got invited to join a group called theJohannesburgphoto walkers this morning. The outing this time was the CBD of Johannesburg. Now while things have been improving, you normally wouldn’t walk around these areas on a Sunday alone. But in a group of 40 plus togs, no worry. We did create alot of interest and odd looks though.

The 1st pic is a corner facade from one of the older buildings in Jhb.

Sadly as they were shooting a car add in the street we got chased before I could get more details. Nice to see some heritage is being maintained.

The 2nd photo is the reflection of one of the taller buildings (about

35 stories) reflected in what is called the glass diamond building, Both found in the financial district. The reflected building is clad in a huge ad for a softdrink. The skyline is very quickly becoming 1 big bill board these days.

It was nice to see that both old and new co exist and efforts are being made to revitalise the CBD. Hopefully in another 10 years things will look even better.

Both photos taken with a Nikon D300 and Tokina 20-35 f/3.5-4.5 lens.




Roberta Davidson – Destrehan, Louisiana

Hello Everyone.     

There are many things that come to mind about my home townNew Orleans,LA.  Bourbon Street,St. LouisCathedral and the French Quarter are just a few. ewOrleansis world-famous for its food and it is really hard to find a bad meal around town.

The  cuisine is distinctive and has been influenced by centuries of local culture from Creole, French, Spanish, Italian, African , Cajun, Native American,Caribbean.  All have combined to produce a truly uiqueLouisianaflavor. ne of the local unique specialities is  beignets (locally pronounced like “ben-yays”), square-shaped fried pastries that could be called “French doughnuts”.  These would be served with cafe au lait, which is coffee with chicory and hot half and half! Cafe Du Monde, is located across the street from St. Louis Cathedral on the banks of theMississippi Riverin the heart of the French Quarter.

A visit to this landmark is essential not only to enjoy these tasty treats, but to watch the staff balance the heavy trays loaded with the goodies.

Hope you enjoy and hope you get the opportunity to visit this truly unique city!                 



 Sandi Mahncke – Snellville, Georgia

This landmark is not in my immediate area but it is in the Southeast so I thought I would use it -we went toCharleston,SClast weekend to visit friends- one of my favorite places!  This is a night shot of the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge – just a handheld shot when we returned to the marina from dinner.  It’s a really beautiful bridge and I liked this shot.                                                                                                                                                      



 Ertugrul Kilic – Paramaribo, Suriname / South America

This is year 2007 capture  of Presidential Place (AKA White House

locally) ofSuriname, located at the edge of Onafhankelijk Plein (Independent Square) inParamaribo  -South America. The place was used as governor building during Dutch colonization period and its now Presidential Place sinceSurinamegot freedom fromNetherlandsin 25 November 1975. The Onafhankelijk Plein (Independent Square) also one of important place because almost all cultural, religious ceremonies, celebrations, events inParamariboruns or ends here. Even most of new couples stops here for memorial photos before their marriage ceremony.

Hope you like it. Take care and many cheers you to all my dear friends.


Ertugrul Kilic                                                                             

Nikon D2Xs, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC, Normal Program, @20mm, f/5.6, 1/40sec, ISO100



 Suzanne Bauer – West Dover, Vermont

This ‘landmark’ is located inBennington,Vermontand although it’s not a famous landmark it’s pretty well known.  Many people talk about it and come to see it for themselves. 

Oh, and don’t ask me how they got that barn up there!!

Enjoying everyone’s photo, beautiful work, I haven’t had the time to comment lately, hope to catch up on that real soon.



 Ken Papai – San Rafael, California

TheGolden GateBridge

I had a few chances to fly in a small plane directly above theGolden Gate. This is one of those times – loaded with my Canon EOS 10S camera and a not-so-fancy lens at the time I got a very clear shot. This bridge opened to auto traffic in May 1937. I cross it a few hundred times per year bike commuting to and fromSan Francisco. The westside sidewalk (ocean facing) is bicycles only while on the eastside pedestrian and bike traffic mix. There are six narrow lanes on the bridge for car & truck traffic – the middle two lanes can be reconfigured for north-south traffic depending on the demands of the commute for those still dedicated to their cars.

Between the two spans the bridge is 1280 meters across, or 8/10ths of a mile. It’s foggiest between May and September with October probably being the nicest, clearest month. I first crossed this bridge in a car back in 1967, last time I crossed was last Thursday – two times then, on my Trek road racing bike (morning and afternoon).  I have taken many 100’s of photos of this bridge and like this one mostly for its fairly rare appearance.




 Joshua Fahler – Jhubei City, Taiwan

This is a landmark not fromTaiwan, but fromThailand. The Erawan Shrine inBangkokis dedicated to the Indian god Brahma, who is honored in Thai Buddhism as well. While these shrines located in and among daily life are normal inThailand, this one is special for its popularity. While we were visiting it, a Thai dance troupe was performing – probably hired by a wealthy adherent.

Taken with the P7000. f/3.2 at 28mm with a shutter of 1/1000. 




 Gladys Millman – Westport, Connecticut

Okay, so my shots may not be readily recognizable to all, but here goes…

I was recently inRhinebeck,NYand visited FDR’s home there.  There were statues of FDR and the First Lady.  These head shots are taken in the garden where they are perched on park benches engaged in a conversation.

FDR: IOS 100, 65mm, -0.67ev, f/22, 1/10

Eleanor: ISO 200, 70mm, -0.67 ev, f/2.8, 1/800



 Special Bonus Photo Section

The bonus photo is a current event of interest from somewhere in the world

Traveling Man: Walking TallStacy Pace

“Born of Deep Ellum, the traveling man stands 38 feet tall…”

Commissioned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, created by Brad Oldham and Brandon Oldenburg. Located at the Deep Ellum DART Rail Station inDallas,Texas.

I shot this photo in January when my boyfriend surprised me with a VERY cold day of walking and phtographing in Downtown Dallas together. I had NO IDEA what i was doing with my fairly new Nikon D3000 and my unchristened Sigma 70-300mm lens…I can’t believe this was only 8 months ago. I love the shot, but if you’re able to see the metadata on the photo — I didn’t even know how to set my date yet on this one!! 🙂  If you look closely at the little bird, you can see some of the Dallas Skyline reflected. I can’t wait to get downtown and shoot this fella again with my last 8 months of knowledge and learning behind me. 🙂

This is one of a few different sculptures of this robot man. More info:

 Nikon D3000  85mm  1/4000 f/5.6   ISO800 (Have I mentioned that I LOVE Lightroom!!?) (see note  regarding settings info)                                                                       



Divinity School – Alejandro Held

Here another pic from my 2006 trip. This time inOxford. Here the Divinity School, one of the buildings part of the Boedlian Library. It is a cinema landmark since it featured in some of the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts hospital wing.

Canon A620  7.3 mm  f 2.8  1/60 sec


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