A closer look at Yellowstone National Park

An earlier post I wrote about the road to Yellowstone, I shared the stop at the Crazy Horse Memorial.  Here I have selected a portion of the hot springs, geysers and a waterfall that captured my photographic eyes at Yellowstone. 

The colors are amazing.  I did enhance the waterfall to bring out the colors.  The other images were so vibrant and colorful, I could hardly believe my eyes. 

With tons of people in these parks, it’s also a wonder, I can capture these images without many of them near me. 

When I did stop to carefully compose a photograph with my tripod, I attracted other photographers and people with their phone cameras who positioned their cameras above me, next to me and around me. Ha.

One photographer and I laughed, yet we didn’t share a common language. He followed me around and he stopped whenever I stopped to set up my tripod as he captured his photo alongside me.

“With photography, there doesn’t have to be a similar language to enjoy the beauty of what comes out of the camera and the craft of the creations.” ML

“Geysers are hot springs that intermittently spout a column of hot water and steam into the air. This action is caused by the water in deep conduits beneath a geyserapproaching or reaching the boiling point. At 300 metres (about 1,000 feet) below the surface, the boiling point of water increases to approximately 230 °C (450 °F) because of the increased pressure of the overlying water. As bubbles of steam or dissolved gas begin to form, rise, and expand, hot water spills from the geyser’s vent, lowering the pressure on the water column below. ” Quoted from:


Yellowstone is amazing place to visit, even with barren forests from past fires.

Waiting for Old Faithful to erupt or waiting for Bison to cross your path, it is all worth seeing. It’s a park my mom visited before my time and the visit I longed for remains a special memory in my heart.



Waterfall on hike


Colorful hot spring


Hot spring along a lake

Earth tones of Yellowstone


Skeleton remains from fires past


A look into the hot spring

Natures's majesty

Reflections into crystal clear hot spring

Hot Springs at Yellowstone

Waiting to be photographed


Bison at Old Faithful


The most iconic site of all the Geyers


Excelsior Geyser


Excelsior Geyser Crater


Closer look at the scenic Geyser


Fascinating wonders


Hot Springs of steam


Nature’s scenic wonders 

Posted in landscapes, National Parks, nature, Photographic art, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Spring Time…

Some happy colors to cheer you up since most of you are inside….

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Wired to Wear

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has an interesting “special exhibit” about the future of clothing items. Some pieces featured can generate dog barking sounds, detect lying, protect athletes from harm and react to your emotions. To name a few.

Here is a sneak peek at the uniquely interesting fashion pieces which educated my curiosity.

WIRED TO WEAR exhibit, where technology meets functional fashion.

“Eye of the Storm – Thunderstorm dress” This dress is one of my favorite items in this exhibit.

When loud noises are made the dress lights up. We had fun clapping to light up the skirt.

“Light Head -Electric Dreams”

Artfully displays your state of mind. Electronic dreams monitors your brain waves, turning them into a colorful light show. This shows how the human nervous system is networked across the whole body, not just the head.

“Getting Territorial -Spider dress”

Be careful approaching someone wearing this dress. If someone is getting nervous, the legs will push you away.

“Suit Up, Lift off – jet suit”

Strap on Mini turbines, steer using your arms and soar at top speeds of 32 mph. “It’s like learning to ride a bike.” The inventor says.

“The shocking Truth – the holy dress”
The wire covering is meant to detect if a person wearing this is lying as it sends an electric shock to the body.

“More power to you – powered clothing” If you are injured or aging with weak muscles, then this piece fits under your clothes and keeps you active. The electric controlled muscles assist your back and hip with standing up.

“Stress Dress- Adrenaline Dress”

Here the dress will expand to scare off enemies if the emotions of threat are detected from the Person wearing the outfit. Another moving fashion piece which can expand

” See and be Seen – Iridescence”

Lovely colors of this top moves and flickers as it recognizes facial expressions of moods and Movements.

The design was modeled after hummingbird wings:

“Grand Gestures-Sign Aloud Gloves”

If you talk with your hands, turn that into a new way to communicate using motion tracking gloves. The sensors record hand positions then send the data wirelessly to a computer whose speakers communicate your message out loud.

“Leading Light- The Marlene Dress”

This Dress was a vision of Marlene Dietrich in 1958. Sixty years later a fashion designer made it a reality.

Combing lighthouses that sparkle & blue tooth technology, it’s lights flicker on and off creating a subtle beautiful dress.


Pretty neat isn’t it? There were a Lot more functional gadgets on display here.

Which one of these here do you like and why?

Posted in Museum of Science and Industry, MSI special exhibit, Museums, technology, innovation, fashion, future, photographic messages, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Veteran’s Day 2019 in America, November 11th

As a child I would hear stories of wars from sound bites coming from the TV news stations, from my parents personal stories, and from other people around me. A personal witness came directly from my mother (who lived in Germany as a child) when she lost her father in WWII. How sad for her, it made me forever long of a grandfather I would never know.

My mother eventually immigrated to America as a young adult. I would not be alive in America today if she was not allowed to cross the Atlantic. The war was not her choice which forever impacted her life.

My post is about Veteran’s Day in America. Photos were taken at Rotary Hill 2019 in Naperville, IL, honoring those who protected us in this country,

At a child, I didn’t understand wars. This thought hadn’t changed much as I grew up and learned what school history books were teaching at the time. My view points, my education, my living experiences in this world has enlightened me more than I wish I knew….,Tragedy does not just come from wars.

Short Bit of history from Wikipedia:

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United Statesobserved annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces(and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable…It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954″

“If people keep doing what they were doing then they would keep getting what we always get.” Repeat history. Conflicts continue to arise and they seem more prevalent today than ever or maybe our social media communication devices bring it faster at all angles? The world is dividing not uniting, I doubt global peace will ever see the light off day.

If it wasn’t for the brave men and women having the courage to join the military and defend America’s freedom then where would this county be? I’m not a war expert, part of me blocked out traumatic stories. My own life lived more like a tragedy, and adding more devastating news of death broke me.

I don’t advocate for war, yet it may be the only solution to combat evil and stop it in its tracks. To the American military men and women I don’t know and for those I do know who served or have been part of my family, I am grateful.

Not sure saying ” Happy Veterans Day” is apropos, yet the “Happy” part relates to the gratitude we all experience thanks to those brave American soldiers.

May the troops come home sooner than later to reunite with their home and their loved one.

Never Forget…never forgotten! 🥰

(all photos by (c) Martina 2019)

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LA LA LA Land…

My recent trip in July to Los Angeles for a conference was going to be just another hotel stay, see the same four walls, drink the same coffee and connecting with people from my conference tribe.

I made a different choice this time, I saved one day to be a tourist in the LA area. The small tour bus I got on carried about 9 people and planned to stop at 5 places before calling it a day on the hectic highway. Each location we were allowed to get out, walk around for 45-60 minutes.

This yellow stretch cab 🚕 was not the one I rode in.

I spent 90% of that time photographing all I could between the crowds and in the crowds.

Can you see the HOLLYWOOD sign to the far upper right of the photo ? Our guided tour bus driver said if we walked up the hill we could get a closer look. Not really. You can barely see it unless I mentioned it. He didn’t want to stop at Rodeo Drive since we spent a lot of time driving. I don’t think he wanted to go. Our second option was to see this sign. We wanted to see the sign only to be disappointed with the view. We would only “window” shop at Rodeo, but it would be cool 😎.

A modern star ⭐️ seen everywhere you walk, I was lucky to capture one without people standing all over it. Plenty of artist selling unique paintings and other items like CD’s that they put in your hand as you walk by, and expect you to buy it. I kept my hands on my camera.

One of the old fashioned star squares found closer to the inside of the theatre area.

The Famous Mann’s Chinese Theatre where the walk of stars⭐️ are located. The area has gotten a ton of new Star names along with a makeover of a more attractive landscape and stores nearby. It’s changed for the better in the twenty years since I’ve been there.

I became the unofficial “photographer” for taking other family/ couple photographs. Hummmm, how did they know? Maybe that bigger camera around my neck was the clue. One couple from my bus thanked me for the photos.

Colorful decorated palms on Venice Beach.

Artists selling to whoever walked by them.

A small token bracelet I bought from a persistent seller at a good price. I was just looking from a distance after that so my time wasn’t misused on shopping rather than photographing.

An expensive residence for sure! Would love to photo some real estate here.

A strange looking palm tree on my Santa Monica walk.

Overlooking Santa Monica Beach. A bit hazy at this time of day, you can see the pier in the distance.

My favorite walk was the one in Santa Monica, very pretty, lovely pier and beach. Expensive homes on the hill. Sadly the poor live all along the grassy hill with “what appears to be their suitcases containing their entire belongings.

Lucky for me I drafted this post with the photos because I recently lost my smartphone and some photos that did not make it on iCloud.  That will make another interesting blog. I’m going to have to “bite the bullet”, so to speak and buy a newer model once they are released soon. Ouch.

About my business venture….I am working on documenting my project plans for a workshop to help women become more self-knowledgeable, self-confident and speaking their inner voice using photographs as one of the two mediums to accomplish this task.

Stay tuned…I plan to be back more often.

Posted in landscapes, nature, objects, outside, parks, Photographic art, photography, summer, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

A guest blogger offers to highlight my business venture

Judy is a successful entrepreneur who has a tremendous amount to share about time management tips and tricks to getting things done in less time.

She graciously offered to work with me and my new product launch. More about that product soon…..Here we are at a conference in Los Angeles:

She’s so happy and successful to boot. While she offered to be my guest here, I certainly learned a lot from her words of Advice.

Me: Did you enjoy taking the photos? Why? ( I assigned a task for Judy to take a photo or more and submit to me along with a few questions):

Judy: I was distracted with the event so took only one photo. I don’t know if I would describe it as “enjoy” because this is my first one and I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t NOT enjoy it. I felt curiosity and interested about how this exercise would unfold.
Me: What inspired you to take this particular photo below?
Photo by Judy Dang – 2019
Judy: I reflected on what several people during the weekend had suggested to me: “you need to speak up more” so I was using that as my guide. So as I was watching the presenters, I noticed the two steps leading to the stage. This inspired me to look at the stripes on the steps and my pants.
Me: What does this photo say about you?
Judy: That I’m ready and willing to “take the stage” in my life. This photo marks this moment that I’m stepping up to my potential, stepping out of my shell, and stepping way from being passive as an audience member.
Me: Did you have fun and enjoy taking a photo in a new perspective?
Judy: Yes. I liked that I was the one to take this photo and not someone else taking a photo of me. That symbolizes that I have control over how I “compose” my life. I only took one photo. That is an interesting observation. I think I have a bit of fear of making mistakes. Because if I take a bunch and they all suck, then that’s a ton of evidence that I take bad photos. Very funny to write this out and get it out of my head; shows how silly those limiting beliefs can be.
Me: Tell me a little bit about yourself in relation to photography. 
Judy: Never taken a class. Had several film cameras throughout the years. I occasionally take photos with my phone now but not many. When I go camping I enjoy taking close up photos of leaves, spider webs, tree bark. I like unusual patterns and take lots of those in nature. I don’t take photos of landscapes because I figure if I wanted a photo of the Grand Canyon, I’d buy a postcard; leave it to the professionals. Here’s a slide show of a trip I took with my friend Gwen and my husband Andrew. 
Best wishes with your blog and business. Look forward to seeing your business grow. 

Me: Thank you Judy for your willingness to be my first guest blogger. You are amazing. Your timeless management tricks can teach me techniques to improve my processes going forward.

Note: To learn more about Judy’s amazing business:

Judy Dang


Thank you!!

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What comes my way…

Lately, over the past couple of months, I have crossed paths with the wind, the rain, the hail, the snow, the sunshine, the night owls and nature’s musical dawn awakening.

Spring brought a flood of water standing in the neighbors yard when the drain clogged.

Rain kept coming and going as I photographed images in between the raindrops.

Rain brought the hail which was larger than life, causing damage to roofs, house siding, cars and whatever it came in contact with.

Kayaking by the rivers edge shows evidence of erosion caused by flooded waters along the Illinois River.

Of course living in the Midwest, I have witnessed how much nature does not keep a calendar on the weather patterns. We saw snow fall in the typical Spring months this year on April 27th.

And… of course after the rain, the rainbow…..

Nature’s musical dawn awakening came from the singing birds of feathers and other prey from the skies above or on the ground. The mosquitos were quiet 🤫 and did the most damage. “Wake up,” they must have been thinking.

You can see evidence of the snow from up in the air at the end of April 2019.

Plenty of unexpected weather around the globe has wreaked havoc, destroyed homes and caused casualties.

Here in my area, when you hear a tornado siren warning or emergency alert to take cover, please do so.



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Gotta Get Away

Change of scenery brings change of thoughts, ideas and visions for my future year of entrepreneurship. The wheels are still turning around in my head with awesome details. When my thoughts start, then a circle forms– essentially there is no beginning or end, just a new twist to something evolving.

Now I’m relaxing from doing household chores or working on too many projects. This week my focus is on brainstorming a new business idea, one that will enrich the lives of others and give them a hand.

I’m excited to be developing details for a program to help transform the overall physical and mental mindset for someone using visual arts.

See you on the other side…..

Posted in outside, Photographic art, photography, spring, water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hurry up and Wait

Waiting…it can have its benefits, but like most people, it’s sometimes difficult to wait for something you truly want.  I see this, especially with the younger generation.  Perhaps their lack of time management and understanding what’s involved or lack of experience become the road blocks.

As I grew up, I often had to wait for something and often, that waiting just became a waste of time since we were not raised in a family with immediate access to the latest and greatest styles of clothes, toys, games or electronics.  This was simply something I had to accept. Wait… forget it, or find a way to get it myself.


When I began working straight out of high school, I earned enough money to live on my own and eventually go to college.  Here, the waiting for a degree became ever so paramount the closer I got.  I was promoted in my work several times and somehow that brought me more responsibilities and more money but came with a price tag far beyond the dollar figure. I wanted my degree,  I wanted a new career, I wanted to do many things, but this wait kept interfering with me.

Today, after many years of hard work, persistence, and patience, that waiting game brought me two college degrees, a house, a family and more tasks than I can complete in a single day.


“Hurry up and wait” I often heard my Dad say to me on more than one occasion. Sometimes the wisdom of the older generation actually had merit to it.  While being young and waiting for things or situations, I realized that I had to take action in order to make things happen for me.  While my college degree could not be rushed, I went to summer school in my graduate degree and traveled internationally to speed up my wait.

While my priorities may have shifted to my children and family duties, I still have a desire to make things happen and waiting isn’t going to bring me closer to that goal. I have to be patient and understand that life happens, but if I don’t take action and push myself when I have to, then all I will be doing is waiting for that next train taking me to a job downtown like it used to several years ago.

Today my “Wait” is now in my background and “take action” is in the foreground.



Posted in children, Hurry up and Wait, outside, photographic messages, photography, Reflections, Trees, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Road Trip Stop to Crazy Horse

“Never Forget Your Dreams”  – Korczak Ziolkowski

Heading out West for a road trip to Yellowstone was more than the 40+ hour round trip adventure as stated on google maps.  With all the rest stops and additional sights to see, it was more like 50+ hours of rubber meets the road and camera finds a cure.  That cure would be found in clicking the camera taking images of historical sights and breathtaking landscapes that released the creativity inside of me. (All photographs on this web site are  (c) Photos by Martina, unless stated otherwise.)

Major road trip stop one:

Reaching the Black Hills of South Dakota seemed like forever, yet the destination to see Crazy Horse was like a dream come true.  The granite sculpture in the background is the world’s largest working sculpture in progress.  Blasting of the rocks can sometimes be seen by visitors. The white carving is a model that the sculptor, Korczak used to help map out the stone carving. This memorial is open all year long.


The quote below the statue says ” My lands are where my dead lie buried.” – Crazy Horse 1877


A closer look at the Crazy Horse carving


A traditional Indian dance

Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear actually chose the main sculptor who also worked on Mt. Rushmore, only 17 miles away, to carve the Crazy Horse Memorial. Lakota wanted to show that the red man had great heroes too.  In order to pay tribute to the Native Americans whose legacy was important to the world, the Chief discovered and selected Korczak to help him. The sculptor dedicated 36 years working on the mountain rock memorial. His children are still a big part of organizing the Foundation. Interesting fact is that the sculptor, Mr. Korczak Ziolkowski, lived on the East coast in Hartford, Connecticut where he built a 13 foot model of what was to be the Crazy Horse Memorial. He never accepted Goverment funding.


More information on Crazy horse can be found at: Crazy Horse of South Dakota

This message was found on a postcard, as I quote:

  • When the course of history has been told
  • Let these truths here carved be known:
  • Conscience dictates civilizations live
  • And duty ours to place before the world,
  • A chronicle which will long endure.
  • For like things under us and beyond
  • Inevitably we must pass into oblivion.
  • This land of refuge to the stranger
  • Was ours for countless eons before:
  • Civilizations majestic and mighty.
  • Our gifts were many which we shared
  • And gratitute for them was known.
  • But later, givien my oppressed ones
  • Were murder, rape and sanguine war.
  • Looking east from whence invaders came,
  • Greedy usurpers of our heritage.
  • For us the past is in our hearts,
  • The future never to be fulfilled.
  • To you I give this granite epic
  • For your descendants to always know –
  • “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”


Posted in landscapes, parks, photography, sculpture, shape, structure, texture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments