Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The dunes in Death Valley are famous for several reasons; they form a sandy island in an otherwise "empty" desert landscape, and they move all the time as the wind pushes the sand around.

Mesquite Flat Dunes
These dunes are the best known and easiest to visit in the national park. Located in central Death Valley near Stovepipe Wells, access is from Hwy. 190 or from the unpaved Sand Dunes Road. Although the highest dune rises only about 100 feet, the dunes actually cover a vast area. This dune field includes three types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star shaped. Polygon-cracked clay of an ancient lakebed forms the floor. Mesquite trees have created large hummocks that provide stable habitats for wildlife.

The climb to the summit of the dunes is not an easy walk. All the slopes are steep and the loose sand gives way beneath your feet. At the top, the sweeping view seems reward enough for your efforts, yet if the sand is completely dry, you may experience one of the strangest phenomena to be found in the desert, singing sand. When the sand avalanches down the steepest face of the highest dune, a sound like a bass note of a pipe organ or the distant drone of an airplane can be heard emanating from the sand. If the dune is at all damp (even though it may not feel so to the touch), no sound will be made. Why this occurs is not fully understood, but it may have something to do with the smooth texture of the sand grains and the friction of those grains sliding against each other.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We are so lucky with the 16.4 inches of snow that came our way last Saturday! I love the "white silence" this layer creates, the air is crisp, I only hear the weird "WROMP, WROMP" under my snow boots...LOVE IT!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


It has been a while since I posted on this blog. I tried to post every day and even though I stopped my Dutch blog because my Dutch friends and family can follow me on Facebook, I still have a hard time to keep up with it.

I moved my personal blog now called 365Muses to WordPress and soon this blog will have it's own url www.365muses.com to make it more professional. For the new year my photography website will get a make over and this blog will be integrated into my photo site.

In Spain people take a siesta, I nice long nap in the afternoon, stores close and streets are deserted, except for this cute little dog looking for a treat. I've always wondered if pets speak different languages...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


During a camping trip near Frederick, Maryland we were cruising the back roads and stumbled upon this pond near mount saint Mary's university. Interestingly 90% of the devotees praying and singing at the chapel were Asians!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I encountered this basketball window in a small village in Northern Spain and just wondered how many balls actually went through the window instead of the basket.

Friday, December 4, 2009


It's almost over, my favorite time of the year. Most trees are "empty" and leaves on the ground have turned into a brown mash, becoming the food for new trees. Bare trees have their own charm, they often show an interesting architectural structure.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


As I traveled back last Sunday from a 3 day conference in Utah, I contemplated all the things I had learned and where I should start with implementing some of the great tips we had received. One of them was a preference for another blogger service so I started to move my content from here to there. This service has a trackback feature that Blogger does not have (yet??). But I must say that Blogger is very user friendly and allows for easy integrating of third party links and other widgets. So I have decided to continue here with MO FOTO until I have my Photography website re-designed and this blog will become part of that site.

Friday, November 13, 2009


A favorite hang out for hikers, bikers and locals. Also the place to launch your canoe in the Potomac river. Watching the crowds here is like walking into a Fellini movie...

Thursday, November 12, 2009


On the way to Lone Pine, California we encountered this rusted wreck on the side of the road. Tumble weeds were flying around as a storm was moving in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I forgot the exact location of this old village somewhere in the suburbs of Tokyo. I do know it took me almost 2 hours to get there from the other side of Tokyo. The Tokyo area is about 845 square miles.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Cruising along the Pacific coast, we stopped for lunch near this site. Highway 1 is a beautiful ride along the California coast with many breath taking views. Getting more South you'll see more and more Mexican influences.

Monday, November 9, 2009


One interesting aspect of a window is that it reflects either the inside or outside. If I remember well I took this picture in a Basilica in Paris. It is actually reflecting a door, to make things more complicated lol ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2009


Also known as lady slippers, one of my favorite type of orchids. Orchids can impart a wide variety of messages, but historically the meanings of orchids have included wealth, love, and beauty. To the ancient Greeks, orchids suggested virility, and after the rise in popularity of orchid collections in Victorian England, the meaning of orchids moved towards being symbolic of luxury. Orchids have also been believed to carry various healing and protective properties, allowing them to ward off disease. The Aztecs were said to drink a mixture of the vanilla orchid and chocolate to give them power and strength, and the Chinese believe orchids can help cure lung illnesses and coughs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The border between France and Spain is subject to many wildfires every year. I remember the huge air planes scooping water into their belly, from the Meditarenian see, dumping their loads on the burning slopes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We were on our way from Irvine, California to Death Valley and as we were crossing the desert this awkwardly shaped cloud followed us. At a certain point we had to stop and take in the scene of the clouds trying to reach out to the mountains.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I love window displays, or etalages as we call them in Holland (actually a French word). Especially when they're "designed" by the shop owner them selves. This is an Arabic grocery story in Paris.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I love visiting ghost towns. I admit it is somewhat eerie, but also very interesting to see how people lived during a certain time, without the presence of any current habitants. Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners, and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region's biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.

Friday, October 30, 2009


The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I've stumbled upon many objets trouvé (found object). Like this elephant shaped water can on a table in a Tokyo garden. I think the Japanese must like the elephant because I've encountered it on many occasions for several different purposes, including a slide at a playground.

Here's an elephant washing urinals!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


As we say in Dutch, my homeland is The Netherlands also called Holland. Only one third of my country is above sea level. That's why there are dikes and canals everywhere, to keep the water out. The Dutch are great "water" engineers and built enormous dams and river "doors". This image is near the small town called Spijkenisse where I grew up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Is another name for Thailand. One of my favorite places on this planet. I've visited 4 times and stayed often on this island called Koh Phangan, famous for its Full Moon parties (which I never attended because I don't like huge crowds). We stayed at a small resort in the South, close to a monastery. I had no tripod with me, so taking this picture of two monks during dusk was quite a challenge.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Just back from another camping trip just South of Richmond, VA. The fall colors here are absolutely fabulous. I have to be careful while driving my car because I can't keep my eyes from the intensely colored foliage along the road. I always wonder: "what is the purpose of all these colors?" Is it nature having fun being an artist?

Friday, October 23, 2009


Always intrigued by the pure perfection of nature. This fern somewhere in the jungle near Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii just stunned me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Venus was born from the sea. Venus was commonly associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Etruscan deity Turan. The early, Etruscan or Latin goddess of vegetation and gardens became deliberately associated with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. Company that sells garden statues and pools near Camallera (Spanish Catalonia) Spain.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Window of a barn at a tiny village in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands. I love visiting old barns and ruins of any kind. I guess that's why I have visited so many ghost towns lol

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I was reluctant to peek behind the curtains so I really don't know what kind of entertainment this theatre features. Georgetown, Washington, DC.

Monday, October 19, 2009


If there is one town I would love to visit again it is Hongkong. Roaming through the narrow streets, peeking into obscure shops and bumping into the most awkward situations like this multiple chair configuration.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I love visiting my local nursery and roam around from plant to plant like a busy honey bee. Sometimes I forget to note the name of the plant, so please let me know if you know the name!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I've been a long time fan of Salvador Dali. As a young teenager I thought it would be cool to have a father like him ;-) While sailing from France to Spain during one of my first vacations without my parents (I was 17) we anchored in Port Lligat to get some water and groceries. This picture is actually the neighbor's house across the street from Dali's house. Little did I know then that he was still alive and would usually welcome unexpected visitors, I just did not have the courage to knock on his door, something I have always regretted. Only a few months later he died.

From Wikipedia: Port Lligat or Portlligat is a small village located in a small bay on Cap de Creus peninsula, on the Costa Brava of the Mediterranean Sea, near the city of Cadaqués in the Alt Empordà comarca, in Girona province, Catalonia, Spain. The Island of Port Lligat (or Island of Portlligat) is located at the entrance of the bay, separated from the mainland by a narrow 30-meter-wide canal. Salvador Dalí lived in the village and his house has been converted into the Casa-Museo Salvador Dalí. Both the bay and the island have been represented in several of Dalí's paintings, such as The Madonna of Port Lligat and The Sacrament of the Last Supper.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We were camping at the Cunningham Falls State Park in Maryland. It was late in the afternoon and people were getting their campfires ready for dinner. As I was enjoying an aperitif this ethereal scene evolved before my eyes. The crown on a beautiful Fall day in the mountains.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Yesterday we came back from a wonderful Fall camping trip near Little Orleans in Maryland. They had a Halloween day for the children including a costume parade, our two witches took a break while pumpkin carving...


Just as difficult as self reflection is taking a picture of a reflection. The surreal quality of the reflection makes it hard to understand what it is you're looking at. This image (scanned from a positive film) I took at a shallow pool at the Pulgas Water Temple, terminous of Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct, near Woodside in the Bay Area. It looks as if there is dust on the film, but these are leaves and rocks on the bottom of the pool.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The town of Bodie in California used to be a flourishing mining community, until the last person left 50 years ago. It seems like they left with the intention to return one day, many buildings contain furniture and personal belongings. It is a pretty setting high on a plateau in the mountains, and when we visited it was covered with a dusting of snow...

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Since the first day I picked up a camera I have stumbled into lost or lonely shoes. Next to the highway, in the dense bushes of a park, dangling in a tree and like here on top of the trash cans in the city of Prague. In this situation it makes sense, the former owner hopes to make someone else happy with their shoes. But very often it was just one shoe, or both shoes, still in good shape! So how does this person walk home and explain their bare feet?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


North East of Spain, tiny village in the mountains. This cat has found the source of life and decided that it was the perfect place to take a nap! Made with my old Pentax ME Super on positive film.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I love leaves and I know that sounds weird but who cares? Mike Dooley did! A few years ago Mike contacted me because he wanted to use one of my leaf pictures on the cover of his book 'Totally Unique Thoughts: Reminders of Life's Everyday Magic'. This is one of many Banana leaf pictures I made in Southern California.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Fall in Virginia is magical, the colors are just unbelievable (no Photoshop touch up on this image). I feel like a kid in a candy store! Want more of these? Let me know!

Friday, October 2, 2009


During a recent camping trip in Cunningham Falls State Park in Maryland I snapped this image while laying on the forest floor with my Nikon D300. I don't always carry a tripod and the sunlight was disappearing so fast I didn't have time to walk back to the tent to get it, so I used a rock instead.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


That's right! All contents copyright © 2009 by Monique DiCarlo. All rights reserved. No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. But the good news is that my images are available either in print or licensed for your own print, just drop me a note!

Today I'll start with my first "Window" images. The moment since I picked up my first camera (more than 30 years ago) I have made pictures of windows. From inside looking out and from the outside peeking inside. I like the fact that the image is automatically framed by the window frame itself. Sometimes the inside or outside view is reflected in the glass, which adds an extra layer of interest. These windows are in a bed and breakfast in Belgium. During my studies at the Art Academy we stayed there with a bunch of girls for a short hiking vacation.

"Art is the window to man's soul..."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The most memorable new years eve I've ever had was the one we celebrated in the middle of nowhere, the desert called Death Valley in California. There are two small settlements where you can stay, we stayed at a motel in Stovepipe Wells. Death Valley National Park is a huge park and it takes several visits or days to cover this space. The actual valley is 140 miles long, the lowest point is 282 feet below see level and the highest temperature measured was 134°F (57°C). Never come here unprepared and with a full tank of gas! This natural bridge picture was taken near the Artist's Palette.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I once heard someone saying that it is too easy to make a nice picture of a pretty flower...
I captured these twin Datura flowers in the Volcano Park on the Big Island of Hawaii.
I was just intrigued by the fact that the flowers were so big! The Datura belongs to the classic "witches' weeds," along with deadly nightshade, henbane, and mandrake. Most parts of the plants contain toxic hallucinogens, and Datura has a long history of use for causing delirious states and death. It was well known as an essential ingredient of love potions and witches' brews.
It was raining and my Olympus Camedia (my first digital camera of 1.3 megapixels!) was running out of juice...I kneeled to see the inside of the flowers and made this image.


Monday, September 28, 2009


Some people might ask? Don't you have anything else to do? Or something better to do?
Well...I just love writing and photography so this blog is the perfect way to show my favorite images and tell a little about them! I do have my official website www.moniquedicarlo.com for serious customers ;-)

This is also a place where I can show any picture I want without censoring myself. It could just be a memorable moment, subject, object, or a favorite place. For example: sunsets are considered "tacky" in the "professional art photography" world, so lets start this blog with my most impressive and favorite sunset!

This picture was taken in the South of France in a village called "Le Barcarès", overlooking the lake "Étang de Leucate", with the mountain "Mont Canigou" in the background. This is just one of many pictures I took in about 30 minutes, it started with a faded blue, changed into a pink and became soooo red I could not believe my eyes! This image has not been touched by Photoshop! It was shot on a positive film with my old Pentax ME Super camera.