The Enchantment of Rovinj and the Allure of Venice

After Dubrovnik, Rovinj would be another “must see” city in Croatia. A historic harbor town located along the Adriatic Sea on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula, it is very reminiscent of a number of quaint Italian villages. Travelers will appreciate the abundance of varied, colorful scenes that project charm and romanticism.

Below is a view of the Old Town looking north from the Rovinj Marina at Luka Rovinj. The Church of Saint Euphemia’s spire rises above all other structures.

Here is a closer view

The hilltop location and weathered cobblestone streets provide an array of old world venues to investigate.

In destination cities, there are usually cafes, small boutiques and unique emporiums and Rovinj will not disappoint. Rovinj is made for walking. As a mostly car-free town it invites visitors to explore the narrow alleyways and traverse up and down the stone stairways. Pedestrians stop often to admire the old world architecture and colorful facades.

Don’t get the wrong idea however, Rovinj has also evolved to appeal to the more contemporary taste of savvy travelers. There are interesting eateries and shops with up-to-date color schemes and modern offerings.

Tourists may have a tendency to forget that daily lives swirl about as they visit surrounding streets, but somehow mundane images seem to take on additional appeal in a setting such as Rovinj.

The dominant building and a favorite tourist stop is the Church of Saint Euphemia built on the highest hilltop between 1725 and 1736 .

*The bell tower bears a strong resemblance to St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and serves as a platform for the statue of St. Euphemia, the Patron Saint of Rovinj. The bronze sculpture is constructed on a spindle which enables it to turn indicating the direction of the wind.

The statue of St. Euphemia can be seen on the top of the bell tower in Rovinj.

The colorful buildings against the blue water and stormy sky provided plenty of opportunity for beautiful photographs.

To relax a bit and take in the ambience of the town, a stroll along the harbor is a top choice.

Walking around Rovinj, one is easily reminded that this is a seafaring locale relying on the Adriatic for its livelihood, tourism and recreation.

Reminders of the daily work

The rustic buildings pointing toward the sea have satellite dishes on the roofs providing a mix of the old and the new.

A number of marinas draw fishing and boating enthusiasts to the area.

A small ferry transports passengers between the town’s perimeter and the old section. A fine place to bid farewell to hard-to-forget Rovinj.

To catch the flight back to the United States, our tour group made a one-day stop over in Venice. Although we had been there before, the contender for the moniker, City of Love, still had plenty of charisma to offer.**

San Giorgio Maggiore island and church in Venice viewed from the Grand Canal walkway

The canals of Venice frame many interesting sights such as the Bridge of Sighs (left) and the San Giorigio del Greci Church (right)

If ever there was a location made for a romantic evening walk, it would be in-and-around the Grand Canal of Venice.

Early evening view of the famed gondolas with San Giorgio Maggiore island in the background

As darkness falls, the magic of the night unfolds in Venice

One of our favorite all-time great evenings was sitting in St. Mark’s Square with a glass of wine listening to the various orchestras compete in a make-shift “battle of the bands.” An evening in the square is a good place to cap off our great adventure.






See Previous Posts in this series:

Dubrovnik, Croatia – Pearl of the Adriatic

Old Town Dubrovnik – Above it all

Old Town Dubrovnik – The Low Down

Dubrovnik from the Adriatic and Mt. Srd

Montenegro & The Walled City of Kotor

Mostar – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Coastal City of Split, Croatia

Zagreb – Capital City of Croatia

Ljubljana – Capital of Slovenia

Slovenia – Cookies, Castle, Caves and Cuisine

Pula’s Ancient Heritage


Vide-Oh: Extreme Amusements (Fun?)

While the pandemic is raging across the world, amusement parks have been mostly closed. The video below depicts some of the more extreme “amusements” around the world.

I have to admit that most of them don’t seem too much like fun to me and I am sure they are a bit pricey as well; given the cost of insurance, etc. Do you think these are fun and enjoyable?



More Vide – Ohs

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged #please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 –

Caught by Fire While Hiking

In mid September we traveled to the White Mountains in northeast Arizona near Pinetop/Lakeside for some hiking. After much research, one of of the daily hikes we selected was the Los Burros Trail in the Apache Sitgreaves Forest.

“Killer hike” is how you’d describe Los Burros if you were writing a postcard. Even the historic red barn, which greets hikers at the trailhead, is alluring. Or maybe “mystical” is a better word. It’s the kind of place Django Reinhardt might have hunkered down with a bottle of Château Margaux, despite the “no trespassing” sign.


While the hike was nice, it was somewhat rocky with little else to see except trees and a couple of meadows. There were no distant mountain vistas or breathtaking mountain views. Having said that, it was a typical forest hike with plenty of canopy. It was a good forest hike if that is your goal.

During our hours of hiking we passed one trio of horseback riders and a cyclist; that’s it!

Little did we know what an adventure this would ultimately become. According to our Garmin GPS device, we had hiked a bit over eleven of the 13.8 (+/-) miles and we noticed that the sky was turning dark. Initially we thought a storm was brewing.

We heard helicopters circling the area several times. We saw them and they should have seen us as there were many times they passed overhead and we were in clearings along the path.

We continued along the trail and then we saw this…


There was a tremendous amount of smoke and haze. Part of the forest was on fire. It was nearly four o’clock on what was a sunny day.

Luckily, we were close to a rather wide service road. As we began to walk along the road to get to where the trail continued. At this point, flames were clearly visible.

see detail with flames below

detail from photograph above

We were really in a quandary regarding what would be the “best” strategy; especially when we saw exactly where our trail led…

The trail continued directly behind the sign along that path!

At this point, it was obvious we could not take the trail so we began to walk down the service road in the direction of the trailhead. We knew then and there that this had the potential to be a very long day.

We were prepared with headlamps, extra food, water, etc., but we had no firefighting mechanism and we were breathing smoke from the surrounding fires.

A fire truck came rambling along the road and after being flagged down, the driver was able to shout some vague directions to us, but it still left us guessing. We had a map and to the best of our knowledge of the area, we continued to walk.

After ten minutes or so, we caught a lucky break. A woman on an ATV was approaching along the road. She heard about the fire and wanted to see what was happening. After some conversation, she agreed to drive us back to the trailhead; apparently we were going to be spared an ordeal!

NOTE: We learned that the fire along our trail was set deliberately to prevent a lightning induced fire farther south from ravaging the area.


The story has a happy ending, but it still leaves me with some interesting thoughts:

    1 – If the firefighters knew they were going to set a backfire, shouldn’t they have considered that there might be hikers along the Los Burros trail?

    2 – Shouldn’t the helicopters have reported that there were hikers on the trail and request help/rescue?

    3 – Wouldn’t it have been nice under the circumstances for the firemen on the truck who offered us “directions” to have given us a ride to the campground? We later saw firetrucks and firefighters at the trailhead just yards from where we parked. I can’t be sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the driver of the truck that stopped was among them.

    4 – Couldn’t the men on the truck call to get someone to help us get safely back to our car?

In the end, it all worked out and I thank that wonderful woman for giving us a ride to the trailhead. She wanted no reward, just to be remembered for a good deed. We thank you Susan! You saved us much anguish and consternation!


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 –

Photography: My Shot – The Alhambra from the Hill of the Sun

The Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, Spain is one of those locations that is so monumentally beautiful and interesting that it defies description. Not only is the ancient architecture magnificent, the castle grounds and gardens are also magnificent.

The photograph below was captured looking back at the Alhambra from the Generalife gardens located on the Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun). We toured the facility for three hours or more and there remains more I would like to have seen.

Perhaps one day we shall return!

The Alhambra palace as viewed from the Hill of the Sun.
“The Alhambra palace as viewed from the Hill of the Sun”

Photography enthusiasts who visit the Alhambra be warned: You will not be able to stop taking pictures. One scene is prettier and more captivating than the last!

NOTE: A complete pictorial essay of the Alhambra will be published on in the near future!



File Name: DSC_3226.NEF
Capture time: 1:38:34 PM
Capture date: May 17, 2018
Exposure: 1/320 sec @ f/9
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 –

Hue wouldn’t believe my Fuji X T-2 Mishap

“Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.”   —   Minna Antrim

My adventure with the Fuji X T-2 started almost a year ago. I use the word adventure deliberately because that has been my experience. I have read two books about how to set up and use the X T-2, but like much technology, all the books in the world often cannot prevent the unpredictable from happening.

What I am about to explain is not technically the fault of the camera and I have to admit that all errors of the sort I am about to explain are clearly on the shoulders of the user; ME. I am merely writing this article so that perhaps others can avoid the frustration and/or disappointment that such occurrences can cause.

OK, by now you are probably wondering “What happened already!”

I recently returned from a trip to Portugal and Spain and of course I could not wait to download my photos to my computer once I got home. Imagine my surprise when all the JPEGs I shot with the X T-2 had a strong magenta cast to them. I was amazed since I had just used the camera prior to the trip without any problems. I couldn’t figure out what went wrong.

Here is what the JPEGS looked like once imported into Lightroom:

I don’t do much international travel. Usually I am headed for landscapes in and around national parks or similar venues in the United States. When I do that, I often take a computer with me and each evening I download and review the files to double check that all is working as anticipated. I can then see if there is dirt on the lens or sensors and whether the settings are basically correct.

Since I would be with a group on this trip and I was concerned about securing a computer when it was not with me and traveling light, I decided to leave the computer at home.

There was another aspect that should have been a clue to me, but I didn’t pay enough attention to it. I was “lulled” into a sense of security.

Let me explain: When looking through the viewfinder (EVF), there was a color cast to the live view image. I ignored it under the assumption that I had inadvertently adjusted the live view setting and that the pictures would not be affected. In the X T-2 references, I read about adjusting the EVF Color so I thought (my bad again!) that I had adjusted the EVF color inadvertently. This was a clue that I should have investigated further.

What “lulled” me into this mindset was the knowledge that the white balance was set to AUTO so how bad could it be? When I would quickly look at the LCD, it wasn’t that obvious to me that there was a color shift.

So imagine my surprise or disbelief when I arrived home and downloaded the pictures and saw that every JPEG had this rather overwhelming magenta color. I was truly puzzled. Trying to correct the JPEGs in Lightroom was very difficult, but what saved me in this instance was shooting RAW plus JPEG. The RAW files, although the finder images showed the same cast, were rendered perfectly once developed in LR.

I tried searching on the Internet and through two books and the owner’s manual to see what the problem might have been. I was like a sailor lost at sea. I really didn’t know what I didn’t know. Thank goodness Fuji has an excellent support team. I called them and within five minutes I had the answer to my problem and learned how to avoid it in the future.

APPARENTLY one of my settings was accidentally changed so that the white balance, although set to AUTO, was manually altered to change the hue of the light when a photo was captured. Like much advanced technology, the X T-2 provides a multitude of choices and with choices comes the possibility of more user errors or “accidental” system changes.

This is what I learned after my call to the support center:

The right selector button (see arrow above) surrounding the rear menu botton is set to change white balance hue by default. There is no lock on this button so when removing the camera from the camera bag, pressing that function button launches an option to change the white balance default color. If not noticed the user can be into the indavertent change for two or three unintended presses before taking the next shot. If it happens when the camera is being placed into the bag and being turned off, it may go unnoticed.

Here is my Tenba bag with my cameras in it.

A closer look shows the arrow pointing to the area of the X T-2 where the selector button in question would be directly on the top side (see arrow below).

You can imagine how it was possible or perhaps probable that the selector button would be pressed when grabbing the camera to take it out of the bag for shooting which I did several times a day.

The technician at Fuji recommended that I change that partuclar function button to provide playback (a safe choice) which would remove that potential problem from my shooting workflow. Of course I also rebalanced the hue to the neutral position while I was making that change.

This was my fault for not knowing what options these buttons controlled and what pressing them can do. You can bet that I will be checking them all before my next shoot! Would it be better perhaps for these buttons to be undefined by default and allow the users to program them as they see fit once the camera arrives at their door?


The Good:

I was shooting RAW plus JPEG which saved the pictures for me this time. I lost the ability to rely on the JPEGs for color reference, etc., but that was only a small price to pay (IMO) compared to what could have been.

I had a second camera with which I was much more familiar and I took “near duplicates” of the important shots so I had many more pictures to cover myself if the Fuji pics fell short. This goes back to my analog days of doing some professional gigs where I always had multiple cameras “just in case!”

The Bad:

I should have…

Spent more time and care assessing the photos via the LCD to check for color balance, sharpness, etc.

Understood the purpose of the function buttons before going out into the field. Interesting that I have been using it for several months and haven’t had this problem before.

Checked both cards in playback mode from time-to-time before getting home just to check on things.

Given more importance to taking my laptop with me. Perhaps this would have been the wiser thing, but I am still not certain about this one.


Overall, this was not a disaster and I did capture some nice shots. To paraphrase and borrow from an Oprah Winfrey quote:

“I am a photographer in process. I’m just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it. Life and photography is never dull.”

See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 –

Adventures in Oregon: Adventures in Oregon: Cape Lookout, South Trail

It had been raining the day before and we had previously had our share of grey, misty days so we were excited to find the clouds lifting and the sun breaking through.

The majesty represented by a beautiful tree and a well-populated forest always resonated with my spirit and the South Trail on Cape Lookout did not disappoint in this respect.

The trail begins very modestly.

A trail through the woods
The South Trail of Cape Lookout Begins

Soon the coast appears to add interest to the hike. The fog was still rather low, but was beginning to lift.

Fog was lifting as we began our hike.
The fog was lifting to reveal more of the ocean

As we moved further inland, the forest began to reveal some of its interesting sights. The ferns growing in the nooks and crannies of the tree limbs are known as basket ferns. This area is close enough to the shore to provide ample moisture for these plants to thrive.

Ferns growing in the crooks of tree limbs
Ferns growing in the crooks of tree limbs known as basket ferns

As the trail meandered through forest and intermittently along the coastline, we were treated to vistas of the ocean and shore.

Coastline vista
The trail reveals vistas of the coast

This was a picturesque cove that we stopped to admire both coming and going!

A picturesque cove
A picturesque cove shows can be seen through a break in the tree line

The path was very muddy in places because of the recent rains.

A muddy path
The path was muddy from overnight rains

On the return trip, we began to encounter more hikers. Luckily we started early enough to have the trail to ourselves during most of the hike to the cape. In season, I would anticipate larger crowds.

This (below) was one of my favorite stops along the trail. The colorful browns and greens and the mist-laden atmosphere was very captivating.

A serene landscape along the trail
A serene landscape along the trail

Here is another shot of the coast showing one of the panoramic views from the trail.

A panoramic view of the coast
A panoramic view of the coast

Not actually a flower, this Chicken of the Woods wild mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus), was as nice as many wildflowers.

beautiful wild mushroom
Nature’s art seen in a beautiful wild mushroom

As we neared the parking area, we came across yet another Banana slug. They grow them big in this wooded area as the quarter coin next to it demonstrates!

Large Banana slug
Large Banana slug

While some may feel that the South Trail of Cape Lookout does not have a remarkable payoff at the end, it is a nice vantage point for whale watching and looking at the ocean. Keep in mind that getting there is more than half the fun!


Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 –

Cape Meares, lighthouse, ocean, pacific, beach, scenery, history, landscape, pacific ocean

STATUS QUOtes — Picture Quote — 20170730

Today’s Picture Quote

Not all classrooms have four walls.

“Not all classrooms have four walls.”


See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

STATUS QUOtes — Picture Quote — 20170723

Today’s Picture Quote

Inside us all patiently waiting, sits a tiny little adventurous bird. - Unknown
“Inside us all patiently waiting, sits a tiny little adventurous bird.” – Unknown
Original Photograph Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross – 2014 – 2017

Photo Meta Data

File Name: wyoming GTNP-1217-Edit.tif
Capture time: 1:10 PM
Capture date: August 22, 2014
Exposure: 1/250 @ f5.6
Focal Length: 70.5mm
ISO: 320
Canon Powershot SX50 HS

*Edited: Lightroom with text added in Photoshop

NOTES: This photograph was captured during a cloudy, rainy day at Jackson Hole, WY. These are two immature red wing blackbirds eyeing a bird feeder. The photograph is a bit grainy because of the ISO and the lighting conditions. I do think the photograph and the quote combine well.

See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Loki the Wolfdog

Loki in 2012 as a Puppy
**Loki in 2012 as a puppy

Loki full-grown bundle of joy
**Loki full-grown bundle of joy with owner Kelly Lund

Loki -  Hammock Happy
**Loki – Hammock Happy

**Photos above are from Loki’s Facebook Page

If the truth be told, and why not, I like cats, but I love dogs. In my experience dogs have personalities with depth. When I say I love dogs, I mean dogs like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Huskies, German Shepherds and other similar large breeds. I love to look into their eyes when you can actually visualize them “thinking.”

The Internet has had several articles about Loki recently and I wanted to share his story with visitors to

The UK’s Daily Mail has an article which will fill in some of the details, but the real story is told through the multitude of photographs. As you look through the pictures you will see that Loki looks very happy?!

If you want to see more photos that weren’t in the above article, you can check “Loki’s” Instagram Page

The short clip below shows Loki enjoying some Colorado winter fun, watch the YouTube video below; smile!