Category Archives: Photography

2015: The Year in Travel, Instagram Style.

2015 is almost in the rear view mirror. Its been another fun year out on the open road.

It’s hard to believe, but I finally experienced Las Vegas this year. Lots of fun walking and hanging out along The Strip during the day and at night. During the same trip I loved stepping back-and-forth between Arizona and Nevada at Hoover Dam. Unfortunately I didn’t run into Clark Griswold on this trip.

The Strip, Las Vegas

Out on the open Las Vegas strip at night.

Hoover Dam in Nevada and Arizona

Hoover Dam crossing back-and-forth between Nevada and Arizona.

April was a busy travel month providing experiences in Atlanta, Southern California, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I’m always drawn to the Pacific Ocean when in California, this time checking it out in San Diego.

Atlanta, Georgia skyline

Out on the Midtown Atlanta, Georgia open road. Skyline straight ahead.

Seal Rock, La Jolla, San Diego, California, Pacific Ocean

Seal Rock along the Pacific in La Jolla, San Diego, California.

Out on the open Grapefine, Texas road

Out on the Grapevine, Texas open road.

There is one spot within driving distance of home that I try to get to once a season. I made it back to Edgewater Park along Lake Erie in Cleveland in winter and summer this year.

Winter, Edgewater Park in Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park in winter. Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie straight ahead.

Lake Erie, Edgewater Park in Summer, Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park in summer. Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie straight ahead.

Every year brings lots of Pure Michigan adventure writing for the Awesome Mitten and also for my own personal exploration. This year the Michigan open road took me from Detroit to Lake Superior and Sault Ste Marie and from Lake Michigan, Ludington and Grand Rapids to Port Huron.

South Haven Lighthouse, Lake Michigan, Michigan

South Haven Lighthouse along Lake Michigan during the heart of winter.

North Pier Lighthouse, St. Joseph, Michigan, Lake Michigan

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan during the heart of winter.

Awesome Mitten Selfie, Soo Locks, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan

Selfie from the Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

The 2015 Tulip Time Festival - Holland, Michigan

You’ll find many tulips as part of the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan.

Russell St, Eastern Market in Detroit

Russell St. goes through the heart of the historic Eastern Market in Detroit.

Autumn at Hidden Lake Gardens, Michigan

Autumn is taking over at Hidden Lake Gardens in Mid-Michigan.

Grand Rapids, Michigan downtown architecture

The colorful Downtown architecture of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Out on the Open Road on M-22 in Arcadia, Michigan

Out on the open Michigan M-22 road in Arcadia, Michigan.

Frankfort Light, Michigan

Sailing past the Frankfort Light in northern Michigan.

Flint Farmers' Market, Michigan

Flint Farmers’ Market, a foodie haven in Mid-Michigan.

Buckham Alley, Flint, Michigan

Buckham Alley, a part of the revitalization of downtown Flint, Michigan.

Every year brings more and new experiences in Ohio and Chicago and this past year was no exception.

Marblehead Lighthouse, Lake Erie, Ohio

Marblehead Lighthouse along Lake Erie in Ohio.

Ohio road trip, Tiffin and Findlay

Out on the winter, countryside Ohio open road.

Chicago skyline, up-top the Pump Room

You could say there are Chicago skyline views from up-top the Pump Room.

What a great year in travel it was. I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Years and start to the new year. Instagram and my camera will be roaring to go for more travel adventures and to help feed my everlasting wanderlust in 2016.

Cheers! πŸ™‚
Aaron & The Adventures of elATLboy

#ExploreTheElements: A Photo Challenge.

It had been awhile since I took part in a travel photo contest, so my face it up when Francesca of Working Mom Travels nominated me to take part in the Thomas Cook Explore the Elements photoblogging competition. Thank you! πŸ™‚

I have to choose photos, one that represents each of the four natural elements of earth, water, fire and air.

If my photo wins any of the four categories I will receive either a MacBook Air, a Fujifilm X-T1 camera or an iPhone 6 with Bose noise cancelling headphones. There will be a best photo chosen between all of the categories, with the winner receiving a Β£5,000 travel fund.

Well without further ado my choices with a New Zealand twist:


Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth. Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness, physicality and gravity.

Explore the Elements - Earth - New Zealand

Kia Trail, Mount Cook Village area, New Zealand

Walking or hiking on the Kia Trail, you just want to stop and stare at the scenery in front of you, in awe of all the natural beauty that exists on this Earth.


Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism.

Explore the Elements - Water - New Zealand

Owharoa Falls, New Zealand

There is something about water and relaxation. Watching water flow from one spot to the next no matter the sound, puts the mind at ease, even in the case of a waterfall.


Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world. Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit.

Explore the Elements - Fire - New Zealand

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand

A natural hot thermal pool, like at Kerosene Creek, can get hot in a hurry like a fire, depending on whether it’s raining a lot or not.


Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom.

Explore the Elements - Air - New Zealand

Piha, New Zealand

Being up-top somewhere, like here overlooking Piha Beach, leads to lots of air between you and the ground straight ahead.

As part of the challenge, I need to nominate five other travel bloggers to take part. Below are some great travelers whom I invite to share their photos representing each of the four natural elements.

Anis of Five Foot Traveller
Amanda of UnrestingSea
Cheryl of
Holly of Holly Dayz Travel
Arnette of Round The World Girl

2014: The Year in Travel, Instagram Style.

It’s hard to believe the end of 2014 is already upon us. A great year it has been with lots of time out on the open road. I’m going to highlight the year in travel by picking my favorite Instagram photo from each month.

Winter in Michigan brings snow, cold temperatures and way to early in the day sunsets. Those sunsets though with snow and ice in the foreground never seem to disappoint as on this January evening roaming around Kensington Park in Milford.

Kensington Park, Michigan, sunset

There are many places I try to get to once a season to capture photographs. Edgewater Park just west of Downtown Cleveland is one of those spots. The camera is always directed back to the east and the Cleveland skyline, with February usually bringing piles upon piles of lake effect snow.

Edgewater Park, Cleveland, Ohio skyline

College town Ann Arbor offers many architectural marvels on-and-off the University of Michigan campus. One such place, a favorite of mine to walk through, is Nickels Arcade. On this March day, I hung out on the ground to get a different feel of this gem.

Nickels Arcade, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The end of April brought lots of time out on the Michigan open road along Lake Michigan. Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon brought picturesque views, a remote beach and made me feel like I was hanging out along the Pacific. My hand in the photo was showing off that I was indeed in The Mitten (Michigan’s Lower Peninsula). I was also up to something else in that photo. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Hoffmaster State Park, Muskegon, Michigan

May brought lots of time in Niagara Falls and not just a trip or a vacation, but also my honeymoon. The Ontario, Canada tourist town served as the first place I got to experience with my wife. While there we passed by scores of flowers, including these yellow daffodils which were guarding the American and Bridal Veil Falls.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The beginning of summer and June brought me to the Windy City. One of my favorite spots to walk when in Chicago is Grant Park because of the greenery and skyline views.

Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois skyline

Another month, another honeymoon. Niagara Falls wasn’t enough, so my wife and I decided to take another trip, this time to St. Pete Beach, Florida. Every evening it didn’t matter what we were doing, as long as it involved being on or along the beach at sunset. Watching the sun go down into the Gulf of Mexico night after night was one of the more beautiful scenes I have seen.

St. Pete Beach, Florida sunset

August brought me back to roaming Michigan, this time the Lake Huron coastline. It’s not just sunsets with me. Getting up and on the road super early leads to scenes like down below. The beautiful sunrise near Tawas City opened a new day of travel possibilities!

Lake Huron sunrise, Michigan

I have spent a lot of time in small-town Findlay, Ohio over the years, but it took until this September to visit the Findlay Reservoir just outside of town. So close to civilization, yet this gem gives off the feel of being far away from everything. I climbed the stairs to reach its vast body of water. It was a relaxing morning with just me and reservoir hanging out.

Findlay Reservoir, Ohio

It being October in Michigan and the Midwest meant I was out roaming and capturing as much Autumn color as possible. The most memorable spot I found was Parker Mill County Park in Ann Arbor. The variety of colors, along with the piles of leaves decorating the ground made for a great place to relax and enjoy the season.

Parker Mill County Park, Ann Arbor, Michigan

I gravitated to Atlanta, Georgia in November, where the Autumn color was still in full swing. That meant going to my favorite place in the city to walk around, Piedmont Park. Right in the heart of Midtown beautiful color and ATL skyline views awaited me at every turn.

Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, Autumn skyline

In December I figured to finish the year out right by visiting arguably my favorite spot in Michigan. I climbed up the sand dunes at Grand Haven State Park along Lake Michigan to checkout the lighthouses, catwalk, pier and vast body of water. A romantic spot and view if there was one. πŸ™‚

Grand Haven State Park, Michigan, Lake Michigan

2014 brought lots of roadtripping and being out on the open road but ultimately when I think back on the year travel won’t be the first thing that comes to mind. That special day in the Spring when I married the love of my life, Erin, will always be front-and-center! πŸ™‚ My favorite Instagram shot of the year, look The Mitten now has a ring. The picture earlier was taken a week before, my last trip as a single guy.

elATLboy Wedding, Wedding Day

The elATLboy is wishing everyone a safe and happy start to the holiday season. Almost time to get Instagram and my camera ready for some 2015 travel adventures. πŸ™‚


Niagara: The Flowers Are Guarding the Falls.

When looking to photograph large scenes like city skylines I’m always on the lookout for something to capture and view in the foreground to give it a more unique look. While walking along Niagara Parkway in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side recently, I was capturing the different Falls by themselves straight on.

Being the beginning of Spring, flowers were popping up and being planted everywhere along the riverfront drag. I found my foreground object(s)! The scores of yellow daffodils made looking at and capturing the American and Bridal Veil Falls that much more scenic. It looks like the flowers are guarding the Falls.

Niagara Falls, Canada flowers

Niagara Falls, Canada flowers

Niagara Falls, Canada flowers

Niagara Falls, Canada flowers

Niagara Falls, Canada flowers

Do you look for foreground objects when capturing a large scene? If so, what kinds of objects do you like best?

#CTC13: Capture The Color.

It’s time for the Travel Supermarketβ€˜s Capture the Color photo competition 2013 edition. This year I got tagged by Karla of Traveller soul and Ted of Traveling Ted. Thanks guys!

This year I decided to find photos with the colors yellow, red, green, white and blue with a little Alaskan cruise flavor. Well without further ado:


When cruising of course you’ll see the blue of the water and the sky, but in Alaska you’re bound to see the blue of a glacier or two as well. We parked for a while at Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord of the Inside Passage. Lots of staring going on. The rain jacket of the person right in front of me was a nice blue bonus.

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Inside Passage, Alaskan, alaskan cruise


Up-top of the Celebrity Solstice you’ll find vast green lawns to run on, play some croquet or to lay down and relax and checkout the scenery. It doesn’t get much better than the Seattle skyline staring right back at you.

Seattle from aboard Celebrity Solstice, Alaskan Cruise


If you’re not relaxing on the lawns of the Solstice you could be lying low with a cocktail at the stern of the ship. Red chairs aplenty at the outside Ocean Bar.

Celebrity Cruise, Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Ocean, Alaskan Cruise


If the above two don’t do it for you, just find an open railing at the stern, lean forward and get a better view of the white water, a part of the ships wake. The trail is heading right for the white clouds off in the distance. πŸ™‚

Celebrity Cruise, Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Ocean, Alaskan Cruise


Our ship was too big to dock in Juneau, so we had to take a small boat into town once in port. It was dark on the way back, so we got to see the Celebrity Solstice all lit up. Amongst all the lights is the yellow of the state and concierge rooms.

Celebrity Solstice lit up in Juneau, Alaska

Now’s the fun part. I’m nominating the following great travel bloggers to take part. Your it! πŸ™‚

Karen of Flavors of Bogota
Anis of Five Foot Traveler
Amy of The Wherever Writer
Ellen of Feugomania
Marian of Travel Shop Girl

Have a look at the official rules of the competition. Checkout my post Capturing the Color of My Travels from last year.

Cheers! πŸ™‚