Friday, April 30

Who is your Daddy?

Trace Your Family Tree on They are offering a 7 day free-trial of their website.

Websites and on-line searches have made tracing your family tree a lot easier. As a history buff, it is interesting to find out additional information about my ancestors and to try to find that missing link that proves that we came over on the Mayflower, or that I'm really related to Robert E. Lee or George Washington.

I haven't found THAT link yet.. but the software sure helps make the searching easier.

Wednesday, April 28

A great way to store your pictures on-line..

Turn Your Passion into Business

Zenfolio - premier showcase for your images which is like a professional version of Flickr. I've been checking it out and I'm going to be setting up an account there for my photos this evening. I set up my free trial account! I'm using it for my new on-line portfolio (

They are offering a 14 day Zenfolio Free Trial subscription that provides access to all the Premium features including uploading full size photos, printing and selling.

Hope you'll check it out and try out the free trial offer.

Tuesday, April 27

Columbia, SC from the Amtrak Depot

The capitol dome is visible to the left up the hill.

Of course, when the trains arrive you'll see it lit up as the trains run at 10pm and 2am

Monday, April 26

St. Michael's Church, Charleston, S.C

Charleston after the war was a haunted place... and many still believe it is!

Read about Fort Sumter- Flashpoint of the Civil War which is located in Charleston Harbor.

Original Caption: St. Michael's Church, Charleston, S.C

U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: NWDNS-111-B-97
From:: Series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes, (Record Group 111)
Photographer: Brady, Mathew, 1823 (ca.) - 1896
Coverage Dates: ca. 1860 - ca. 1865

American Civil War, 1861-1865
Brady National Photographic Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.)

Persistent URL:

Friday, April 23

Flower detail (Photo)

Flower detail BW, originally uploaded by Gene Bowker.

Spring time is here and the flowers are blooming everywhere.

Take the time to appreciate them before they fade, or you'll have to wait until next year

Tuesday, April 20

Your pictures into posters.. cool!

Your Pictures As Posters. Addictively Easy.

I'm always looking for something new that can help photographers. is something that I can see a use for. A lot of times, I look at posters and think that I'd rather have one of my train shots or a Black and White photo that I took as a poster. allows you to choose a photo and have it made into a great quality poster.. and even get it delivered the next day.  I'm not sure I need the next-day delivery.. but the concept is great. Check them out.

Monday, April 19

Toyota To Recall Lexus GX 460

Toyota plans to recall the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV to address potential rollover problems, a source tells The Associated Press.

Just when you think that it can't get worse for Toyota.. it does.

Friday, April 16

Ansel Adams takes on Carlsbad Caverns

Rock formation with women, dark background, 'The Rock of Ages, Big Room,' Carlsbad Caverns National Park," New Mexico. (vertical orientation)

Series: Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, compiled 1941 - 1942, documenting the period ca. 1933 – 1942

The Ansel Adams national parks series is probably my favorite work of his outside fo the extended work he did in Yosemite over the years. I especially love his Carlsbad Caverns series.

Adams is a big reason that I enjoy shooting black and white landscapes. I was really happy when I got to see the Adams exhibit recently here in Columbia. Seeing the prints brought his work even more to life than it was from the photos reproduced in books I had seen.

Next week you can visit Carlsbad Caverns or any other national park for free.

Thursday, April 15

Though we travel the world - Emerson

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Modern Library Classics)

Monday, April 12

CSA Memorial Day #photoblog

CSA Memorial, originally uploaded by Gene Bowker.

April 12th is Confederate Memorial Day and also the anniversary of the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor which happened 149 years ago today.

The day is given to remember the sacrafice of the soldiers who died in the war. It's NOT about the causes, or the "justification" for the war. The individual solider was just doing his duty as he felt it.

The memorial at Rivers Edge State Historic Site is a tribute to the dead of the "lost cause"

Thursday, April 8

Old Post Office- Aiken, SC

Old Post Office, originally uploaded by Gene Bowker.
All a matter of timing...

Beautiful morning in March.. nice clouds behind the building and the flags stretched out by the wind.

All around the fountain in the center? Traffic barriers and cones...

At the time I was sure they were going to "square" the circles as the city had just spent a ton of money to change the traffic lights and put in No Right Turn on Red signs.

Well.. guess what.. the cones and barricades are now gone as the traffic system was a flop and caused more headaches than it ever solved.

Guess I'll have to go back up there to get a new photo without the cones in it.

Wednesday, April 7

“Common Sense” around railroad tracks can prevent needless tragedies.

Yesterday, Jerry Williams, a 55 year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a train in downtown Tucson, Arizona when he ran through the crossing gates trying to beat the train.

This unfortunately is not an isolated event. Every day, we hear about pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists who are killed along the railroad tracks while either trespassing or not paying attention at grade crossings. Unfortunately, many of these incidents involve young children and many of these accidents can be avoided with common sense and some instruction in railroad safety.

Operation Lifesaver has teamed up with Amtrak and the Class One US railroads to promote “Common Sense” around railroad tracks. As their new website states,

“The Common Sense public safety campaign is designed to remind each and every one of us to use this often overlooked and underrated human faculty, especially around railroad tracks.

Each year, too many people are hurt or killed by not exercising caution around railroad tracks, and this joint effort between CSX, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver is our attempt to promote common sense and to save lives.”

Using “Common Sense” and acting safely around the tracks, hopefully deaths such as Mr. Williams can be avoided.

Operation Lifesaver ( has working to instruct the public about railroad safety since 1972 when it was began in Idaho. Sponsored by the Railway Supply Institute, Amtrak, and the Association of American Railroad; Operation Lifesaver is now active in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Visit their website to arrange for a presenter to talk to your group or to volunteer to help teach safety to others.

Have you always wanted to write? Here's your chance...

Have you always wanted to write and see your work on-line, being seen by others everyday as you get the chance to share knowledge about topics important to you? I write about trains, history, and road trips. All things I enjoy and love to share with others.

Are you going to get rich and retire from this position? Probably not.

Can it open doors to other writing positions. Yes.

Does it take a lot of your time? It really depends on how much you want to spend at it.

Want to find out more, or apply today? Here is the link.

Make sure to tell them that Gene Bowker, recommended you.

I wish you the best as you start your writing career too.

Thursday, April 1

"We're ready for a big fire"

Yes it is real.. you can read more about it here at

"We're ready for a big fire..." introducing the world's largest fireplug