Photography: A Pathway to Creativity

It is hard to explain how fascinating and interesting photography is for me. I have discovered that it is one of the most flexible creative outlets. Most people I meet don’t appreciate the depth and variety of photography and related graphic art forms. For now, let’s not discuss whether or not photography is a true art. In my opinion it is!

This is a photograph I took at Europa Point in Gibraltar. It was a beautiful clear day with one of the bluest skies I have seen. On a day such as this, onlookers can see Morocco across the Mediterranean Sea. It is the closest point between Europe and Africa.

The lighthouse juxtaposes beautifully against the surroundings of the ultra blue sky and Mediterranean Sea. I find it very striking.

The above photo stands alone as a nice rendition of the scene, but perhaps it would be even better if rendered more like a line art painting or drawing.

There is software available the allows the photographer to express his or her artistic vision in a variety of graphic formats. This is a hybrid of photography and painting albeit via digital manipulation.

Perhaps the artist’s real concept of the scene lends itself more to a watercolor.

The landscape has such contrasting colors of lights and darks. Would a black and white interpretation be interesting?

With a bit more training and skill, the photographer can add a slightly different yet compelling artistic vision of the lighthouse.

I have tried to explain how photography has opened my creative flow and I believe it can do the same for others. If you are trying to find a tool to unleash your imaginative powers and that can develop into a passion, you might want to pick up a camera and start creating!


One of the beautiful aspects of digital photography is that the photographer can see the results very quickly. There is no film to send to the developers. A version can be seen on the camera’s LCD immediately (in most cases) and a true rendition later on a computer.

Once I retired, I began to apply myself to photography. It has always been of interest to me and now it has grown into a serious hobby. I am not a professional, just a photography enthusiast.

So…where is Gibraltar and Morocco?

Map Via



Original Photo

File Name: 000029_Europa Point Lighthouse, Gibraltar_0971.tif
Capture time: 12:30 PM
Capture date: May 14, 2018
Exposure: 1/350 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 44mm
ISO: 200
Fujifilm X-T2
18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

Edited in Lightroom & Photoshop


Check out Jeff’s Instagram account for more interesting photos!

Read more photography 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 2014 – 2020

Gibraltar – More than the Rock

Map of trip from Jarez to Gibralter to Marbella
Via Google Maps

The day was still young when we once again boarded our bus leaving Jerez and heading toward our overnight destination; the Mediterranean seaside town of Marbella, Spain. This was a very busy travel day which began early.

Before we would arrive at our accommodations for the next two nights, we were going to take a quick tour of picturesque Gibraltar.


Gibraltar was captured by the British Fleet in 1704 during the war of the Spanish Succession. On 4th August 1704, an Anglo-Dutch fleet under the command of Admiral George Rooke took Gibraltar from the Spanish. From dawn on that day and for the next five hours, some 15,000 canons were fired from the fleet into the city. The invaders, led by the English majority, landed the same morning and not surprisingly encountered little opposition.

Under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 Gibraltar was ceded to Britain. This treaty stated “the town, castle and fortifications were to be held and enjoyed for ever without any exception or impediment whatsoever.” This treaty was renewed again in 1763 by the Treaty of Paris, and in 1783 by the Treaty of Versailles.

Via Historic UK – learn more at the link!

As we approached Gibraltar, the famous “rock” came into view and the waters of the strait of Gibraltar provided a fitting backdrop.

Strait of Gibraltar

The shipping lane was busy with ships laden with their various cargoes. From the same vantage point along the road, we were able to view the Rock of Gibraltar in all of its glory.

Rock of Gibraltar - First View

Once our traveling companions had snapped their share of the landmark. photos, we quickly made our way back to the bus and headed for the entry checkpoint with passports in hand.

Crossing the Border from Spain to Gibraltar

I must confess that I knew nearly nothing of what tourists might want to see prior to our tour of Gibraltar and I was pleasantly surprised. Once across the border and after we connected with a local bus driver/guide, we pulled into a waterfront rest stop known as Europa Point.

Forget the sodas, snacks and ice cream! This is a beautiful, photogenic landscape at the very tip of Gibraltar overlooking the strait. On a clear day, visitors can see Africa as we did. Apparently this is the most narrow stretch of water separating the two continents.

The colorful lighthouse against the green-blue waters caught my immediate attention; stunning!

Lighthouse at Europa Point

Also picture worthy was the ongoing construction of the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque. Not only is it the the southernmost mosque in Europe, it is reportedly one of the largest Mosques in a non-Muslim country. King Fahd Al-Sau gifted this holy shrine to the people of Gibraltar and the world in tribute to the Moorish influence in the area.

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

Since our visit a year ago, the mosque has been completed. You can read more about it and see current photographs HERE.

After our rest stop, it was back on the bus with our very clever, funny and informative driver/guide. Our target was the Cave of St. Michael and the famous Barbary Macaques (think monkeys) that are protected and roam the area.

Here is a brief history of the Macaques in Girbaltar:

“The macaques’ presence on the Rock gained popularity during the Great Siege of Gibraltar between 1779-1783, during which Spain and France launched an ongoing assault upon British Gibraltar by sea and land. One surprise attack – so the legend goes – was thwarted by the monkeys who were disturbed in the night, and in turn alerted the night watch to the attack. This legend gave rise to the saying that as long as the monkeys remain on the Rock, so will the British. It is also known that General George Eliott, a governor of Gibraltar in the late 1800s, would not suffer apes to be molested or taken.”

via The New Statesman – learn more at the link.

Barbary Macaque

We were rightly warned to keep our belongings close as these clever denizens are quick to “steal” sunglasses, candy, ice cream or anything else they can get their hands on. One driver was very familiar to these macaques as they climbed on his window ledge to greet him as he passed by.

Visitors will want to take many pictures of the tribe as they are very cute and nonplussed by all the visitors. After all, they are the land barons at this location.

After taking several pictures, we ascended the walkway to the cave entrance. This is a beautiful cave HOWEVER, the natural structure and beauty of the attraction was, in my estimation, diminished by the use of strobe-like lights that continually changed color and cast hues across the cave formations. In addition there was music blaring in the background.

Cave of St. Michael

There really was no need for this as the natural beauty of this cave would certainly “speak for itself.” It was something to behold, but denigrated to a gaudy status. Sorry, but that is how I feel.

I was able to capture slightly more natural pictures during the lighting changes. You can see the color change shifting at the bottom of the frame.

Cave of St. Michael

After exiting the cave via a series of well constructed pathways, there was a bit more time for additional monkey business.

Barbary Macaque

This was a fun stop and I recommend it if you have a chance. The history is unique and interesting and the natural attractions are certainly worthy.

Barbary Macaque

Perhaps one of the best angles of the Rock of Gibraltar was from our bus window as we passed along the roadway traveling toward Marbella and a well-deserved rest!

Rock of Gibraltar - Best View


Continue reading about our trip to Portugal and Spain.


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 2014 – 2019 –

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Sign

I knew little about Tillamook, OR except that it was a dairy town and I only knew that because our grocery stores have Tillamook cheeses and ice cream. The town of Tillamook itself wasn’t a major stop on our itinerary, but served more as a jump off point for the hiking areas relatively nearby.

Our first adventure outside of Tillamook was to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

As you can see in the picture below, there is a clear path from the parking lot to the lighthouse area. It was a dreary day, but the seaside’s dramatic ambience was enticing. Ocean storms can be dramatic!

The top of the Tillamook Lighthouse
The top of the Tillamook Lighthouse seen from the walking path

I hadn’t appreciated the fact that lighthouses have lights with different color patterns. The red and clear glass created a “signal” to let captains know that this is Cape Meares. Not only are there different color patterns, but the duration that each color is visible is very precise.

Color glass pattern of the lighthouse lens
Clear and Red glass create the signal that this is Cape Meares

Before taking the lighthouse tour, we walked to the edge of the visiting area to capture a few stormy photographs of the picturesque rock formations and the choppy waters of the Pacific.

The rocky coastline was stormy this day
The rocky coastline was stormy this day

Here’s a closer view…

A closer view of the rock formations offshore

The lighouse was near the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean and therefore did not have to be too tall for the sake of visibility.

Tillamook Lighthouse is located on the edge of a cliff
The roofline to the right helps point to the short stature of the lighthouse

From the inside, visitors can appreciate the lens arrangement and all of the mechanisms required to operate and maintain a lighthouse

Colorful glass seen inside the lighthouse
The colorful glass seen against the dark metal provide visual appeal

The polished gears gave evidence to the excellent condition of this lighthouse and the machinery needed to operate the turret.

Gears used to rotate the light
Gears used to rotate the turret

This picture gives a good representation of the size of the main tower of the lighthouse.

A picture of the vertical portion of the lighthouse
The vertical portion of the lighthouse

The tour was very interesting and the docent was very knowledgeable about lighthouses in general and of the Cape Meares structure specifically.

There were a few more stops we could have made in the park, but the weather was not conducive so we decided to head back to town. On the return path, we came across a very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus). I placed a quarter next to it to help viewers understand the size of this animal; impressive for a slug.

A very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)
A very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)

One last look back at the coastline before the trip back to Tillamook.

The coastline near the lighthouse


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


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 – 2017 –

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

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

After our exploration of Warrenton and Seaside our next stop was Ecola State Park located between Seaside and Cannon Beach, OR.

Map showing Ecola State Park

As you will note from the following series of photographs our day at Ecola State Park’s Indian Beach started off with clouds and rain.

Surfers along the stormy beach
Surfers welcomed the waves created by the storm

The rain didn’t bother the surfers who were sure to get wet anyway, but hiking in the rain can create some challenges. We were not to be deterred however.

Other adventurers also wanted to experience the more dour mood the ocean would offer this morning.

We were not the only people intrigued by the rumbling waves
A number of beach lovers were attracted to the stormy shore

And there was enough wind and surf to accomodate those seeking the more somber beach experience.

Dark, craggy rock formations just offshore
The grey day gave a more severe appearance to the rock formations

We decided to investigate the beach area while the rain was only a drizzle as we did not know what the rest of the day would portend. We came across this sign which is not one seen on most of our hikes.

Unusual shark sighting sign
A sign not seen on a normal hiking day

In spite of the weather or perhaps because of it, the beach scene was starkly beautiful.

Stark beauty of the shore and cliffs
The cliffs and shore radiated their stark, stormy beauty

Most of the gulls tolerated the humans and did not scurry until a relatively close approach.

Seagulls gathered along the beach
Seagulls seemed to be enjoying the misty morning on the beach

The sand was covered in a palette of light browns which played well against the darker brown and black rocks.

Sand and rock created a brown palette
The storm induced palette of browns and blacks was attractive

Here the barnacles added texture to the rugged rocks.

Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings
Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings

I can’t say whether or not these anemones would be as pretty on a brighter, drier day, but they were jewel-like in their emerald green tones.

Green anemone among the rocks
Emerald colored anemone among the rocks

After wandering along the beach, we decided to take a seaside hike. The description of the Clatsop Loop sounded appealing with a promise of a potential sighting of the Tillamook Rock Light (lighthouse). While we like hiking in general, the trips we enjoy most are those which have us close to the sights and sounds of nature. We did not realize the the Clatsop Loop trail would take visitors along an access road uphill. The footing was good, but we prefer wooded, non-paved terrain.

The one snap I did take along our hike uphill, was of this radiant fern among the other green vegetation and forest floor mulch.

A radiant fern along the Clatsop trail
A radiant fern seen along the Clatsop Loop Trail

The return part of the loop was much more picturesque as parts were near the shoreline or through the woods. We arrived back at the trailhead and were once again drawn to experience the changeable atmosphere of the ocean on this morning.

PS – The fog and cloudy day precluded any view of the lighthouse from the trail.

A large rock formation lined the ocean's shoreline
An abundance of large rocks along the shoreline

The seagulls continued to take advantage of the wet weather
Gulls continued to enjoy the stormy morning


Read more about Ecola State Park HERE

Read more about the Clatsop Loop Trail HERE


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


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 – 2017 –

STATUS QUOtes — Picture Quote — 20161206

Today’s Picture Quote

You may be someone's lighthouse in the storm
“Don’t forget that maybe you are the lighthouse in someone’s storm”

Original attribution for the photograph/quote could not be verified. If you can provide the original creator, please send to so that appropriate credit can be provided. You can use the comment section if that is more efficient.

See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE