I had to take a picture of these steps in Chicago’s Union Station recently.
If you’ve seen The Untouchables, you’ll know why. The ‘pram scene’ is a brilliant piece of cinema; you can see it here, though this clip is missing the long build-up which is part of what makes the original so effective.
Of course, it is itself an homage to the scene in Battleship Potemkin at the Odessa steps, but I didn’t know until today that it too had inspired a later cinematic tribute.
One thing I haven’t generally had to pack when going for walks in the countryside – until I went to Montana – is bear repellent.
These are standard issue in that part of the world – you can buy them everywhere.
To an Englishman, an aerosol seems more appropriate for dealing with a small insect than a charging grizzly, but since the usual alternative advice is to lie down and play dead in this situation (which may cause the grizzly to ignore you), I can see why these are popular travel accessories.
Well, one quick transatlantic flight, and I’ve lost even more degrees of centigrade than I have hours of sleep!
But the highlight of the trip was definitely the hikes we did in Yellowstone and in Glacier National Park. I leave you with my favourite picture from the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.
(Click for a larger version.)
I was quite pleased with this shot, taken by the Marathon Petroleum plant in Dearborn, Michigan last night.
(You can click it for a larger version, which looks much better)
This was handheld – I wish I’d had a tripod, but at this point the security guards pulled up and asked us to move on…
Part of what makes it ‘pretty’ is the use of two different types of lighting – given the industrial location, I imagine the golden light is sodium and the silver is halogen – and the camera’s auto white-balance did a good job of reproducing what I saw.
But when I got home and loaded it into Lightroom, I thought it would be fun to try calibrating the white balance based on a chimney lit by the sodium light. (I could have achieved a similar effect by selecting tungsten white balance in the camera.) The result was also pretty. Can’t quite decide which I prefer…
Complete with fashionable headgear, knobbly knees, trusty hound, and Brompton (on kind loan from John)
Even mad dogs and Englishmen have been choosing early evening for cycling excursions here: it’s been very hot over the last few days. Light showers have made for a more autumnal climate today, though, which makes a nice change.
You’ll notice that, despite this being prime Tour-de-France country only a few miles from the Col de Tourmalet, my parents and I have somehow managed to cycle in the one flat valley in the area.
That’s just for our warm-up training, of course…
A good holiday is when you can't remember whether it's Sunday or Monday.
© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser