Gallery of Landscapes

Posted on 12th January 2015 in adventure, explored, nature, wandering

Why not cure this severe wanderlust with a collection of landscapes I’ve shot from 2012 to 2014… That’ll do the trick, right?

Many of these photographs have had a whole fotoblog dedicated to them. If you do a search on the left you should be able to find more about the location. Some of these I haven’t released until now.

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions about any of the journeys in the comments below or email me. I love to share stories.

Oregon Coast, USA

Oregon Coast, USA

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Statues of Riga, Latvia

Posted on 29th November 2014 in adventure, explored, wandering

I still believe I fell in love with Riga. A little piece of my soul exists there, and I hope one day to go back.

One day while out roaming around, I stumbled upon some statues just outside of a museum. The exact museum slips my memory, the but statues I’m sure still live there.

These statues really make you feel the Soviet/Russian influence, doesn’t it? I would like to know who they are depicting.

For the previous posts on Riga’s architecture see:

Architecture of Riga Part I
Architecture of Riga Part II

Riga - 201209 (576 of 605) Click here to read more.. »

My Family History Tour of Latvia, 2012

Posted on 4th March 2014 in adventure, architecture, explored, photojournalism

Latvia is a very special place in my heart, for many reasons.

One of those reasons is that my family has a very long history there. If you’re not familiar with Riga, I’ve made two posts on the architecture there (Part I & Part II). Riga is a very beautiful old city in an old country, with a lot of amazing history over the centuries, and a lot of very sad history too.

My family had estates scattered around Latvia that were lost sometime around the Russian Revolution(s) ~1917. For so long Latvia was behind the Russian Iron Curtain, but within the last 10-20 years everything has changed making it accessible to us foreigners. While I was there I rented a car and tried to visit as many of the old family estates as I possibly could.

I received such beautiful hospitality when I was there in 2012 from a few people who made my family history tour possible: Gerda Berzina, Imants Lancmanis, & Ojars Sparitis, who all went out of their way to extend their services to me. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities they presented to me, and in fact I’m a little ashamed it took me so long to write this post as a token of my gratitude.

If you’re interested in seeing a map with pins (markers) where I visited, head to my family genealogy site, tobyns.com,where I’ve made an interactive map.

My trip went from Riga -> Schleck -> Edwalen -> Pope -> Ugale -> Riga on day 1. On day 2 I went to Mežotne -> Rundāle -> Elley -> Vilce -> Jelgeva -> Riga.

This is what I saw.

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

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Architecture of Riga | Part II

Posted on 19th March 2013 in architecture, wandering

Previously I’ve explored Part I of the architecture in Riga. In this part, I further explored the Ghetto, and some more of downtown Riga. The bridge you see is the main bridge of the city. I found it a beautiful bridge, and had to bike over it a few times on journeys. Happy memories for me there in Riga, I hope one day to return again.

I was going back to my place late one night as the sun set, and was heading over the bridge and caught the moon raising up between the towers in the town. The towers actually belong to the Riga Castle.

Just after those photographs are a wall that made me laugh every time I walked by it (multiple times a day). Most of the wall was perfect and arranged beautifully, then it came along these sections and it all just went to shit! Perhaps it was a new genious wall maker man who took over and did the abstract wall? Perhaps they got into the bottle? Perhaps they were angry at their wife? 🙂

Riga - 201209 (165 of 605) Click here to read more.. »

Architecture of Riga, Latvia | Part 1

Posted on 19th February 2013 in architecture, wandering

I have spent most of my life learning about my families history, or at least one branch of it. Those of you who don’t know me, I’m extremely fascinated with genealogy, and boast a family tree of over 2000 relatives. But, that’s a glory story for another day.

I had the opportunity to visit one of the most mentioned places in that part of my families history, Riga, Latvia, in the summer of 2012, and early fall. It was amazing because due to my family connections, I had many places to see, and was also invited to see many more.

I made two trips there. The first came as a half trip for the Mid-Summer festival I was invited to. Fun times. The second came at the end of my European tour, just after Stockholm, Sweden.

Riga is known around the world for boasting one of the most magnificent displays of Art Nouveau architecture, which I was so lucky to catch on a sunny evening walk. The final photograph is taken inside the Ghetto museum, which has the actual lampposts and cobblestone bricks that were transplanted from the ghetto of Riga, a few blocks away, to the museum. Just remembering the stories I read about it shake me to my very foundation.  This holocaust and WWII history is very tragic and not to be taken lightly, but if you’re interested to read more about it, wikipedia has a page on it.

This is Part I (find Part II here) of a II part exploration of the architecture in Riga.

Well, this is what I saw:

 

Riga - 062412 (6 of 20) Click here to read more.. »