I'm Tamera Goldsmith, a portrait and wedding photographer based in Colorado Springs and serving the Front Range: the Springs, Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Pueblo and the world. I specialize in wedding photojournalism and creative lifestyle portraiture, including maternity, babies, children, families and high school senior portraits. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Europe Day 3

On our third day we got back on track with the itinerary, so we were able to see more things we wanted to see and in a less haphazard fashion. We started off by checking out #10 Downing Street again because we had only seen it in the dark (the night before). Unfortunately it's so well-guarded and fenced off that you can't really see it, you'd have to have a telescopic neck. But it's still cool to see.

From there we strolled past Westminster Palace (the houses of Parliament) and Big Ben. We didn't go in, we just took lots more pictures. Westminster Abbey is just across the street from there and it was a big one on our list, so we spent quite a bit of time admiring it and photographing it from every angle. It was magnificent! Since it was Sunday morning they were having services and no tourists were allowed inside, but we were happy to stay outside. I really couldn't capture the whole of it very well with my camera since the structure is so huge, but I did get some nice detail photos of it.

After Westminster Abbey we made our long-awaited pilgrimage to Abbey Road Studios. All four of us were extremely excited to go there. We found it in a very quiet and elegant neighborhood. The building housing the studio was fenced off but there was a lot of graffiti on the wall surrounding it. They must have to repaint it constantly! We didn't do any graffiti ourselves but we took some pictures. Then we took turns walking across Abbey Road and getting our picture taken, just like the album cover. I can't tell you how fun and exhilarating that was! A lifelong dream come true! If you're not a Beatles fan you wouldn't understand, but for me (and the rest of us), seeing Abbey Road was almost like a religious experience. Wow.

We decided to split up after our adventures at Abbey Road. Chuck and Gene headed off to the
Ace Cafe while Pat and I sought out Baker Street and then Camden Market. Lately Pat has this thing for that song "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty (you know, from about 1977). Don't ask me, he gets on these weird kicks sometimes. Also, Baker Street was the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, so why not? We took the tube to the Baker Street station, walked out onto the sidewalk and took a few pics, then went to Camden Market.

If you've ever been to Venice Beach in L.A., just imagine Venice Beach x1000 and you've got Camden Market. It was insane! Booth after booth after stall after stall of shops selling crazy clothes, music, tchotchkes, doodads, purses, shoes, jewelry, you name it. You can bargain with the stallkeepers and they prefer cash. It's a lot of fun but it's shoulder to shoulder hordes of people and notorious for pickpockets, so I didn't even bother to take out my big camera. Pat grabbed a few shots with his little Stylus though, so you can see exactly how crazy it is there. It just goes on for blocks and blocks, you could spend all day there. I ended up buying some pretty cool clothes and Pat picked up some funny t-shirts.

By this time we were getting pretty damn tired. We had agreed to meet Chuck and Gene at the British Museum but we were running behind schedule. When we got to Euston Station it was getting dark and we were too pooped to move, so we sat down and had a quick bite and enjoyed the sunset. When we finally got to the British Museum it was near closing time. Poor Chuck and Gene had been there for quite a while waiting for us, but at least they got to see a lot of very cool stuff (more on that later).

It was a great day. Just seeing Abbey Road made my whole year. Enjoy the pictures...

To me English taxicabs look like something right out of Yellow Submarine.

London lends itself so well to black and white photography.
Westminster Abbey

A bust on Westminster Abbey. I assume it's a monk or abbot, or that's what it looks like anyway. I thought it was cool!

A very cool dragon on the front facade near the doors.

During our stay it was Remembrance Day, much like Veterans Day here in the US. There are vendors all over the place selling red poppies for whatever you care to donate, and you pin them to your lapel. I went through about 10 poppies during our week there because mine kept falling off. Above you see a giant row of poppies on tiny crosses in front of Westminster Abbey.

I know most people think of pigeons as flying rats, but I'm rather fond of them and I like to photograph them.

If you don't heed this warning you'll promptly be run over by a lorry. This is painted at every intersection for good reason!

A Margaret Bourke-White moment, I couldn't restrain myself. This is inside Westminster Station I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong). I thought it was beautiful.

Abbey Road, yippee!

Chuck and Pat wondering if Paul McCartney is in the house.

I like this graffiti because I have a friend who has two kids, one named Zoe and one named Tyler.

The white building is Abbey Road Studios.

I think this Clash fan is confused.

Chuck, Pat and Gene walking across Abbey Road.

Pat and me walking across Abbey Road. That was fun!

The tiles in the Baker Street tube station feature silhouettes of Sherlock Holmes' profile.

Me 'n' my homey Sherlock.

Some of the wares for sale at Camden Market (all the Camden Market pics are by Pat). Those are David Hasselhoff and Mr. T toilet seat covers.

From this photo you can kind of see the number of people and shops. It's so much fun to shop there.

Amazing footwear to be had.

More Camden Market. It goes on for blocks.

Sunset from Euston Station.

To read about Day 2 click here

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Europe Day 2

Saturday, November 4th was our first full day in England. We had a specific list of things to see in London that day, but once we got into the city we just ended up ogling whatever was in front of us and totally ignoring our itinerary! The general plan was to spend every day in London except one, and on our "non-London" day we wanted to either stay in Kent and see the sights (such as Hever Castle or Canterbury Cathedral), or find a way to get to Stonehenge. We never did have a "non-London" day because there was just too much to see in the city, but that's okay. I'll see Canterbury Cathedral next time.

Hever is pretty much isolated so the only way to get to the train station was via taxi, it's about a six-mile drive. It's not exactly New York City if you know what I mean -- we got to know all of the local taxi drivers that week! Paul was our favorite, he's the guy who picked us up from the airport and gave us our first tutorial on English culture. What a nice fellow. That taxi ride to the train station was six quid one way, plus two quid tip, so $16.40 one way. Don't forget we needed to take a taxi back every night as well, so each day we spent $32.80 just getting the six miles to the train station and back! Anyway, the train ride into London is about 40 minutes. There are lots of commuters in the early morning, so we waited until the 9:08AM train every day to avoid the crush. The train is expensive but thankfully you can buy a 7-day pass that covers all of your public transportation costs (train, tube, bus) for much less than it would be to pay as you go. You just buy it from the conductor on the train.

The train dropped us off at London Bridge Station and once we deboarded and walked into the station it was like, "Whoa. We. Are. In. LONDON." Just complete disbelief and amazement! We were so excited! We wandered over London Bridge (walking over the Thames -- holy crap!) and in no time we found ourselves standing in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. Theoretically we weren't supposed to visit St. Paul's until later in the week, but itinerary be damned! It was really just gorgeous, and for me it was exciting because St. Paul's is where Lady Diana and Prince Charles were married. I remember my mom waking me up in the middle of the night to watch the royal wedding long ago, it's still a treasured memory for me as I'm sure it is for many other people.

After St. Paul's we walked around quite a bit and ended up in Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. At Trafalgar Square there was a demonstration going on, something to do with global warming (I've learned that the English are way more environmentally concerned than we are here). I guess there are demonstrations in Trafalgar Square all the time, it's sort of "demonstration central" for Londoners. The National Gallery was amazing, such beautiful art. We spent hours there. Thankfully it was November so there weren't all that many tourists. I didn't have to wait in line to see Van Gogh and da Vinci. My first da Vinci! I was overwhelmed.

When we left the National Gallery it was dark out, so we wandered around and saw London by night. Beautiful. We saw the London Eye and Big Ben, and we wandered over by #10 Downing Street (there were more protestors across the street but I couldn't quite hear what they were yelling, I think they were against the war). Then we stumbled back to the train station and straggled back to Hever. What a great day! Pictures below...

Our cozy hotel suite.

The view from the train platform at Edenbridge Station. Notice the morning fog.

This is me standing outside London Bridge Station. I was so excited to see the red double-deckers!

St. Paul's Cathedral

On the grounds of St. Paul's.

Pat taking a photo of the giant columns of St. Paul's. To give you some perspective, Pat is 6' tall. St. Paul's is gigantic!

Pat and me standing at the front of St. Paul's.

The front doors. Lady Diana walked through these to marry Prince Charles. Actually there's quite a bit of graffiti carved into the doors, too bad. (People are idiots.)

Pat looking very cool!

Everything is painted in such bright, deep colors. I suspect it's because of the soft light there. Colors look so much more saturated in cloudy weather.

We had a friend named Sean O'Neil who passed away a few years ago. Sean was very proud of his Irish heritage. He would have loved this!

Typical rustic London street.

Cleopatra's needle. I grabbed this shot from across the street during a millisecond gap in the traffic.

Another beautiful London street. It seemed to me that the whole city was right out of Dickens.

Cool old Vespa

That's Admiral Nelson standing on his column in the background. I don't know who the guy on the horse is. I just thought it was a neat perpsective.

Part of the protest going on in Trafalgar Square that day. The English have no qualms about expressing their feelings for George Bush.

Pigeons flying over the National Gallery

This woman had created this amazing chalk drawing on the sidewalk in front of the National Gallery.

One of the protestors in Trafalgar Square

Admiral Nelson as seen from the (pricey) cafe inside the National Gallery. Funny story: when Gene ordered a hamburger the waitress took great pains to explain to him that there was no ham in it! I guess they just call them burgers there. I ordered the same thing and at eight pounds it came to $16.40! It was delicious though.

Another view of the same thing. I couldn't decide which image I liked better, so I'm showing both.

The London Eye and the full moon

Those double decker buses again!

Another view of the London Eye

Big Ben by night

To read about Day 1 click here