My 7 Super Shots

Aaron of The Adventures of the elatlboy tagged me to participate in HostelBooker’s 7 Super Shots. (Thank you, Aaron!) I’ve chosen seven photos, one for each category, from my travels over the years for this fun little project. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did!

1. A photo that takes my breath away.

This is Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park. It’s not so much the photographic quality of this shot that takes my breath away. It is an old photo, one taken with a 35mm camera, scanned, and uploaded; therefore, some of the luster and the color have been lost. But Yellowstone is a very special place to me, and Hayden Valley is one of my favorite spots in the park. I have such a strong connection to Yellowstone because I got to live and work there during the summers of 1996 and 1997. I was 22, a year out of college, and I drove out there all by myself, without knowing anyone else. It was a time of exploration and realization, of adventure and excitement. I look at this photo and my others from Yellowstone and I get so caught up in the emotions they stir up that I seriously become breathless.

2. A photo that makes me laugh or smile.

The site of this photo, Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy, is enough to make me smile. But throw in my daughter, flocks of pigeons, and some early Spring sunshine, and I can’t help but beam. I was trying to spend a few minutes to take in all of the activity and the medieval splendor of Piazza del Campo, and all my daughter wanted to do was chase the pigeons. My attempts to stop her from doing so were futile, so I just let her go. Watching my daughter laugh her head off and squeal with excitement is always a joy, but with the Piazza del Campo as a backdrop, it was insanely adorable and unforgettable. I do hope to make it back to Siena one day, hopefully with my daughter so I can make her chase pigeons across the piazza again – no matter how old she is!

3. A photo that makes me dream.

It should surprise no one that the photo I chose for this category is of someplace in Italy. I could have chosen any photo from my trips there, but this one really strikes a chord with me. This is the entrance to someone’s home on a little side street in Assisi, a town I fell absolutely in love with on my first visit in 2006. I wanted my family to see Assisi so we included it in our Italy trip itinerary last year. I spotted this home as we were strolling down one of the town’s steep hills, and I just stopped. I said out loud, “I want to live there. Right there.” How cute is the entrance? The flowers, the curtains… I don’t even need to know what the inside looks like because, in my dream, it’s simple and comfortable and my family is there and we are laughing and eating and drinking wine, all under the protection and blessing of St. Francis (San Francesco).

4. A photo that makes me think.

This is a dock on the Wolf River in Winneconne, Wisconsin, the town my family has been going to on fishing trips for the past few decades. My aunt and uncle, my cousins, my father, and my brother take multiple trips up there every year. The real party is each July when the town holds its Sovereign State Days festival; we all make the trip up for the weekend-long celebration. So, needless to say, Winneconne has become a special place for my family, especially my aunt and uncle. It has been their main vacation destination for as long as I can remember. When my uncle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, it hit all of us pretty hard. We know how much being in Winneconne with the whole family means to him so we all made it up for the festival weekend last July. Seeing this picture, or any from Winneconne, makes me think: with my uncle being gravely ill, will we get another chance to all be there together again?

5. A photo that makes my mouth water.

I could have chosen any of my food photos from Italy but I figured I should share the love with my other travels. The deliciousness we see here is warm Anatolian bread with dill butter at a restaurant in Istanbul. Oh my goodness, it’s delightful. The loaf is hollow but crunchy, and the toasted sesame seeds are super delicious. Cover the warm bread with the creamy dill butter and I’ve just died and gone to heaven.

6. A photo that tells a story.

The story is about a twenty-one-year-old woman, away on her first trip abroad – solo, at that – anticipating her upcoming college graduation and wondering just what the future might hold for her. She didn’t know it yet, but it was on this trip that she was bitten by and permanently infected with the travel bug; she would never be the same. That woman is me, and this photo was taken as I sailed Australia’s Whitsunday Islands.

7. A photo that I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot).

I’m sure the United States Marine Corps Memorial has been photographed hundreds of thousands of times, at all times of year, and at all hours of the day. So, why is my shot of the memorial so special? The first reason, for me, is sentimental: my grandfather (Papa) served in the USMC during World War II and was damn proud of it until the day he died. This was my first trip ever to Washington, DC, so I had to make sure I saw this memorial; I know my Papa would want me to. It was the last stop on a nighttime memorial/monument sightseeing tour of DC. At the time, I was just beginning to learn the ropes of digital photography – understanding aperture, shutter speeds, etc. Until then, my photos were taken on auto with a point and shoot. We arrived at the memorial and instead of rushing and wildly snapping photos, I took a few minutes to analyze the lighting. Then I adjusted the settings on my DSLR to what I thought would work best, snapped a few shots, and this turned out to be the best of the lot. I’ve always been proud of this shot because seeing the final result made me feel like a real photographer, not just a tourist with a digital camera.

Now it’s my turn to tag some fellow bloggers so they may share their 7 Super Shots. I hereby tag:

Amber of Tickling My Fancy

Heather of Heathers Harmony

Katrina of DOTS.connected

Annie of Head In Knots

Clare of Earth Travel Unlimited

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0 Responses to My 7 Super Shots

  1. Amber Roth DeGrace May 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    I love your shots and choices! I especially like the one of you on the boat – how inspiring and special. Thank you for choosing me to pick my own 7 Super Shots, I’m looking forward to it!

    • Francesca May 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Thanks so much, Amber! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  2. Jetting Around (@jettingaround) May 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Francesca – I enjoyed both the photographs and the lovely stories associated with them.

    I was in Assisi two times, but briefly, but I do remember how lovely it was. They house you photographed is so charming, loved the shot. And your daughter with the pigeons – too cute!!

    • Francesca May 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Thank you, Pola! I seriously dream about Assisi… I made it a priority to visit the town since I’m Catholic and it’s where St. Francis is from… but I didn’t expect to fall in love with it like I did! I’m completely enamored. My daughter and those pigeons… she is something else!

  3. Leah Travels (@L_e_a_h) May 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Spectacular! I really love the one of you at 21. The stories attached make all of the photos come alive. Your National Geographic shot is one to be proud of. Well done on all accounts.

    • Francesca May 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Leah! I do love that picture of 21-year-old me… barefoot and carefree. I wish I still looked that young! 🙂

  4. Holly Chase & Skip Lombardibb May 11, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Ciao, Francesca— you are surely the same FF as the creator of the Folinazzo Famiglia blog— we wanted to ask you ( privately) for permission to to use one particular photo ( we’ll bet you know which one it is… :- ))

    Please send us an email ( or phone so we can do that).
    the blog-as-a-book in about to become a fully illustrated color eBook with recipes….

    Re the permission—you can also send a tweet to Skip; he is @skiplombardi

    If you do grant permission, please let us know what sort of caption or credit you would like.

    I also wanted to say how nice it is to see your Southeast Anatolian sesame bread shot from Istanbul above here. ( As you may recall, I have a life apart from– I’ve designed custom trips to Turkey for over many years— for individuals, alum groups, families and write extensively on the foods and culinary history of Turkey & the eastern Mediterranean. ( so, not just Italy…)

    Anyway—as we say in Turkish– iyi yolculuklar– happy travels.
    We hope to hear from you soon. ( Also– if you prefer, I can phone you if you give us a number or Skype ID.)

  5. Raul May 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Francesca, great pix! The Natl Geographic one is not only an impressive photo but you have managed to take that well known statue and make it much more moving. BUT, I have to say, my favorite picture is that of your daughter enjoying the pigeons! 🙂

    • Francesca May 14, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks so much, Raul! Your kind words mean a lot to me. It warms my heart that your favorite shot is the one of my daughter 🙂 That afternoon in Siena is unforgettable!

  6. blog September 5, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Second picture is so cute, i like it. I invite you to take part in another photo game, i am sure you will like it.

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