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Poll
Question: At which location would you like to hold a photoshoot of your character before you die?
Train Station / Locomotive / Railway Related - 0 (0%)
Airship / Hangar / Aircraft Related - 3 (30%)
Desert Location (e.g. Wild West / Outback) - 0 (0%)
Mountain / Forest / Alpine related - 1 (10%)
Ocean / Ship / Submarine / Naval-Themed Location - 2 (20%)
Factory / Industrial Location - 0 (0%)
Extraterrestrial Location (e.g. Mars) - 2 (20%)
Cityscape / Urban Location - 0 (0%)
Polar location (e.g. Arctic / Antarctic) - 0 (0%)
Tropical Region / Jungle - 0 (0%)
Other - 2 (20%)
Total Voters: 10

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Author Topic: Photoshoot Bucket List  (Read 8098 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: December 17, 2018, 04:43:55 am »

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have been watching YouTube videos lately on the subject of travel and life outside of the United States, and as my personal interests and goals turn outward from my present country of residence, I realised that there is a whole world out there to explore. Normally Steampunks focus on their home country for a Steampunk setting, and I guess that is normal, as for most English speakers the Golden Era of the British Empire and the Wild West coincide with the Industrial Revolution.

But since you know me well, I have long argued against and UK-US-Centric Steampunk, making the point on this forum that other countries like Japan, Russia and Mexico (not forgetting British Empire Territories such as India) were the recipient of the benefits of the Industrial Revolution as well, having been influenced culturally by the British - perhaps with a delay of one or several decades into the Edwardian Period.

The Victorian age, put simply, reached around the globe, literally and rhetorically. Hence there is a Whole World Out There to ExploreTM, For those of us who have characters and personas, whether literary or simply avatars, I would like to extend an invitation to fire up your imagination and try to visualise which location on this planet you would like to use for your "last photoshoot." That is, if someone were to tell you that you would be paid to go *anywhere in the World* before you die, where would you go to have a photoshoot or snap "selfies"? You may include your home country, as I'm not trying to exclude the US or UK, but surely there are some exotic locations you'd love to visit. Where exactly are those regions, and why?

So... My aim in this thread is to extract from your brains whichever location you’d love to visit. You may not have the money to go there but at least you can dream about it. I want to know what type of place tickles your fancy. You are encouraged to use photos, videos and any other material you want from the Interwebs. There is a veritable Cornucopia of photos and videos available online. You have no excuse. After all, this is the Geographical Section, and nothing is more Victorian than geographical exploration!

Try to explain your character/persona in relation to the location. Tell me why your character is there. This thread is as much about your character as it is about the geographical setting.

And with that I await your replies.

I remain AYS

Adm. J. Wilhelm

« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 07:20:10 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 07:13:40 am »

I will start with one of my two characters, my Airship Angel (Luftschiffengel) Persona, Union Officer and Chief of Staff, Lt. General Julin W. Bahlmann (I'll leave Admiral Johannes Wilhelm alone for now).

The character is a type of Airship engineer with a cultural twist; a gender neutral elf-like human from Austria-Hungary in the mid-19th C, Bahlman and an entire crew of his people were captured aboard an American Confederate+Austrian Airship (CSAA Alamo nee KuK Die Walküre ) during the Franco-American Aerial Battle of 1867 over the Desert of Sonora in Mexico. The battle over Sonora was the culmination of a large transatlantic conflict which emerged when the Confederate States involved in the American Civil War (1861-65) asked for help to fight the American Union from Emperor Maximilian (nee Prince Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria), who had been installed as Emperor of Mexico during the 2nd French Intervention (1861-67) in Mexico.

The alternate timeline argument is, that Emperor Maximilian had better relations with his brother Emperor Franz Joseph in Austria than in real life, and the French Emperor Maximilian III was far more of a megalomaniac in real life, with a willingness to intervene in the American Civil War. That would have required massive amounts of personnel, war "materiel", and an above all, a terribly advanced transportation system capable of transcontinental transportation of troops at speeds unheard of in the 19th C, namely a Stratosphere-capable airship technology provided by Austria.

The Austrian airships would climb to over 30 000 ft of altitude and ride the - always westerly- tropical stratospheric jet stream which traverses 3/4 of the globe in as little as 5 days. While the idea sounds impractical, it would provide for a fast surprise attack over North America, by way of flight over the Californias and Southern Mexican territory toward Texas and beyond. With ground support from the Mexican side, the Austrians could join the Confederate forces and apply a Pincer Manoeuvre over the Deep South and Mid Eastern coast of the United States.

The price for such wonderful help? The Confederate States would have to cede California and the Arizona plus New Mexico territories back to Mexico, thus placing Emperor Maximilian in the good grace of the Mexican people, and providing France with very lucrative control over the Deep South's cotton industry.

Unfortunately for the British, that meant losing control over American cotton, thus forcing Queen Victoria to hush the British impresarios in favour of secession, and seeing as the Austrians were involved in Mexico, Prussia would want to humiliate Austria in front of a Greater Germany by joining the war with the Americans. And thus, the war devolved into a global conflict. Perhaps Russai would join the melee at some point - or not.

The story requires adequate settings, and in looking at the @KineticKennons channel on YouTube, I realised that there were ideal settings for this storyline, very close to where I used to live, in Mexico City. The geographical location would be ideal to serve as a station for Austrian and French troops landing on Mexican territory by way of airship.

The military stations would benefit from being at a high altitude location, shortening the descent of the airships, also, the French and Mexican troops needed to acclimate to temperatues more akin to service at stratospheric altitudes, So the Austrian crew would arrive at a suitable location high on a mountain in Mexico before joining French and Mexican troops in order to train them in the art of airship warfare.

Likewise the high altitude location would provide cover for the high flying airships, since Mexico City would already be one of the larger (if not the largest) cities in the world, and surely British and American spies would be present in the guide of businessmen in the affluent burrows of Mexico City. Yet it would be desirable to have the military base locations close to Mexico City, where French, Austrian and Mexican troops could meet.

It tuns out an abundance of such a places exist in Central Mexico, and at a stone's throw from the capital city. Mexico City is in fact located at an elevation of 7380 ft of altitude, or about 2200 ft (43%) higher than Denver in the United States. Moreover Mexico City is contained within a giant valley basin, with a rough diameter of about 100 miles. The basin is surrounded in the lower II and III quadrants by three volcanoes, two adjacent to one another: Popocatepetl (17800 ft) , Iztaccihuatl (17160 ft) on Quadrant II, and the third one Xinantecatl (Nevado de Toluca, 15350 ft) on Quadrant III.


View from the Southeast part of Mexico City (approx 45 mile radius):
Background from left to right: Iztacciuhualtl Volcano 17 kft, Popocatepetl Volcano 18 kft
Mid-ground centre: Ajusco Range, a volcanic dome 13kft
Foreground SE (QII) of Mexico City


Aereal view of Popocatepetl (foreground) and Iztaaccihuatl (background)

View of Popocatepetl from Ixtaccihuatl (right click to zoom)

View of Popocatepetl from Cholula, a town next to City of Puebla
"Nuestra Señora de los Remedios" ("Our Lady of the Remedies") Church in the foreground

View of the Ajusco Range's summits from the National University


All of these volcanoes are at an elevation more than half the average cruise altitude of the stratospheric airships, and are very close to Mexico City (as close as 50 miles can be). In addition to the volcanoes, the Valley of Mexico contains two small cities besides Mexico City, Toluca (Quadrant III) and Puebla (Quadrant II). In between the volcanoes and the city there is a smaller mountain range (12800 ft) which is a volcanic Lava Dome. There are several national parks at the feet of the volcanoes, and the views and local vegetation are nothing short of spectacular:

View of Xinantecatl / Nevado de Toluca from Mexico City's Southwest (QIII)

One of two lakes at 12kft near the summit at Xinantecatl/Nevado de Toluca (15kft)
The other lake. Right click to zoom in

Views of "La Marquesa" a/k/a "Miguel Hidalgo-y-Costilla " National Park at the foot of Nevado de Toluca (above)
Right click to zoom

Now just look at the Nevado de Toluca and the national park! This is the place to hold a photoshoot of disembarking Austrian airship personnel!  The Popo and Izta are much more difficult because they are a hard climb - and surely you need oxygen as you approach 15 kft. I'd love to hold a photoshoot near the summit of the Nevado de Toluca where the lakes are located! Suffice it to say that the central Valley of Mexico can be very alpine. This may be a surprise to the reader, but for me it was something I took for granted when I was a child.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 09:44:09 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2018, 01:18:46 am »

Those do look like beautiful locations and fabulous places for a punknick  Smiley .

I can tick off a few from the list - train station, aircraft hanger, factory and urban. So my vote was for marine; I'm imagining a Steampunk cruise (first class of course in the lap of luxury) to somewhere exotic and so ticking off another location from the list. Oh well, one can dream... More likely it'd be a quick selfie in a leaky rowing boat.

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2018, 05:58:03 am »

Those do look like beautiful locations and fabulous places for a punknick  Smiley .

I can tick off a few from the list - train station, aircraft hanger, factory and urban. So my vote was for marine; I'm imagining a Steampunk cruise (first class of course in the lap of luxury) to somewhere exotic and so ticking off another location from the list. Oh well, one can dream... More likely it'd be a quick selfie in a leaky rowing boat.

Yours,
Miranda.
The problem with modern cruises is that the ship is a floating sky scraper! One longs for the old style pre-1940 Cunard ships


RMS Persia, 1856



RMS Campania 1892


I wonder who picked "Extraterrestrial"?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 06:05:19 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Banfili
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Australia Australia



« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2018, 09:31:28 am »

I wonder who picked "Extraterrestrial"?

I was sorely tempted - space opera as a genre is a particular favourite of mine, marine was tempting, because I am a water person who loves boats and sailing, and in the air, as my dad was a pilot, & I have a great love of flying and air travel! I went with "Other" because I also love a ruin, especially when shot in a B&W photoshoot! My persona/character is an archaeologist a la Amelia Peabody (I have qualifications in that field), so ruins are a given!
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Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2018, 01:22:43 pm »

The problem with modern cruises is that the ship is a floating sky scraper! One longs for the old style pre-1940 Cunard ships


RMS Persia, 1856



RMS Campania 1892


I wonder who picked "Extraterrestrial"?


Oh, absolutely a vintage cruise ship; really up to RMS Titanic era. It makes me wonder if there's ever been a Steampunk visit to Brunel's Great Britain down near Bristol. As an afterthough, I can 'sort of' tick off extratarestrial too, at least for backdrops, from Steampunks in Space at the Leicester Space Centre. By the same token I could maybe include jungle too, provied the tropical house at the botanical gardens counts...

I wonder who picked "Extraterrestrial"?

I was sorely tempted - space opera as a genre is a particular favourite of mine, marine was tempting, because I am a water person who loves boats and sailing, and in the air, as my dad was a pilot, & I have a great love of flying and air travel! I went with "Other" because I also love a ruin, especially when shot in a B&W photoshoot! My persona/character is an archaeologist a la Amelia Peabody (I have qualifications in that field), so ruins are a given!

Ruins are so romantic and make for such intersting images. If it wasn't for the Georgians realising this (and the Victorians following on) we'd have vastly fewer historical buildings left in the UK; by the 18th century most of the medieval or earlier structures were about ready to collapse into oblivion. Anyway, definitely a fantastic backdrop for a picture.

Yours,
Miranda.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 03:58:34 pm by Miranda.T » Logged
Hurricane Annie
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2018, 05:31:32 pm »

 Ooih. I can't make up my mind.

Factories have so much industrial energy and aesthetic potential. They could lend structure to a shoot




Maybe an extraterrestrial factory
 

 I have a long held fascination with Airships. A hangar and craft  could create a powerful moment.
While soaring, still, landing or launching,  they are an awesome sight.

Maybe a moon base
.



  Most of the photos on my phone and on my pinterest  involve gardening and gardens, jungles and rainforest. It's where I feel most at home. In fact I've built a few of my own private jungles, that the public have enjoyed to share.

I can't take credit for these ones


This one though gas a family connection. My GT grandfather's cousin planted out this one. Hollard Gardens, Kaponga


 And my people would remember riding down this Forgotten Highway


 Then there is the extraterrestrial landscape to explore. It could be an out of this world tripn Moon Base Alpha or a Mars mission

There was a factory manufacturing  these herev in New Zealand


 

 Imagine if they were built  on this N. Z. field of volcanic dunes








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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2018, 07:38:18 am »

Ah! Yes! Cruises, Aiships! One way or another we will get there and it's not worth it unless we travel in a grandiose manner!!
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2018, 03:20:00 pm »

Ah! Yes! Cruises, Aiships! One way or another we will get there and it's not worth it unless we travel in a grandiose manner!!

 In my late teen I took a cruise on a liner.  It was a fabulous time. There is something special about the motion of the ocean. It was 5 days around the Pacific. Including Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. I've always promised myself I'd do it again
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 03:21:32 pm by Hurricane Annie » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2019, 10:21:39 pm »

Ah! Yes! Cruises, Aiships! One way or another we will get there and it's not worth it unless we travel in a grandiose manner!!

 In my late teen I took a cruise on a liner.  It was a fabulous time. There is something special about the motion of the ocean. It was 5 days around the Pacific. Including Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. I've always promised myself I'd do it again
I only have a couple of experiences, only one on the open ocean (Baja California to the western coast of Mexico, and the other is just a cruise on the Rhine from France to Germany. I think you have to be an adult to appreciate cruises, I found them tremendously boring... I won't complain about disembarking though, visited very nice places. Still, the fun part was getting off the ship!
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 09:19:02 am »



 I come from a long line of sea going people. The  yen for salt air and being rocked by the waves  is in the blood. I am quite happy, as long as its a larger bot. I cannot abide row boats
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 01:33:14 am »

No Wild West people around here? Maybe some Mormon explorer, or something along those lines? The US is nothing if not scenic...

Zion National Park, State of Utah, US.


Zion Lodge
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2019, 05:11:21 am »

No Wild West people around here? Maybe some Mormon explorer, or something along those lines? The US is nothing if not scenic...

Zion National Park, State of Utah, US.


Zion Lodge

 I also come from a long line of missionaries  [albeit Antipodean  evangelists] Journeys they woill have made, below.

Forgotten World Highway, Bridge to Nowhere, King Country



 Rimutaka Ranges



At peak snow


Wanganui River

 

Jerusalem, along the river


 Otaki Beach


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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2019, 12:02:37 am »

No Wild West people around here? Maybe some Mormon explorer, or something along those lines? The US is nothing if not scenic...

Zion National Park, State of Utah, US.


Zion Lodge

 I also come from a long line of missionaries  [albeit Antipodean  evangelists] Journeys they woill have made, below.

Forgotten World Highway, Bridge to Nowhere, King Country



 Rimutaka Ranges



At peak snow


Wanganui River

 

Jerusalem, along the river


 Otaki Beach




The snowy scenes in NZ are impressive though. The variety in landcape is something special.


Mount Cook and Pukaki Lake, New Zealand


It reminds me of the Vally of Mexico. I was very impressed when I saw the recent posts in YouTube/Wiki on the volcanoes in the Valley of Mexico, which I had never seen in person when I lived in Mexico City. I did know the forests though (see 2nd top post)... There was one forest oddly named "Lions' Desert" (which has no lions and is not a desert  Cheesy) near "La Marquesa" Park above"  and I lived nearby that area in a somewhat forested area as well.

It's a crying shame no one ever took me there when I was a kid. 17 years and I never saw them (not that I would climb them at that age). Pollution in the 1980s was so bad you needed a very clear day to see the volcanoes at a distance of 45-50 miles. I just heard the adults speaking about the days when you could see them from the city... I have to go back and climb those three (though I think they don't let you climb the "Popo" anymore due to volcanic activity)
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2019, 06:04:33 am »


  Mr Wilhelm thank you for imparting that information on the Valley of Mexico. I will check out YouTube. Being from New Zealand I love a good volcano. I have always lived in  the volcanic fields. Not near any of the fiery topped lava throwing  type.  More the presumed extinct  hillock type.  I did live in the Auckland ring of 52 volcanoes, where ever 2nd suburb seemed to be  a "Mount ".  I lived in the place most likely to have a volcano spring up. I trade that for one large  volcano out the back  of us. Its a beautiful view when it shows itself. Quite surreal and ethereal.

 Mt Taranaki
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Taranaki

They are always scaring us with  warnings  of eruptions and quakes
https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/104926166/taranaki-probably-the-nz-volcano-most-at-risk-of-large-eruption-in-next-50-years

 Auckland. New formation risk
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11444436










« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 06:09:15 am by Hurricane Annie » Logged
Banfili
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2019, 01:23:12 pm »

We are too worn down and eroded with old age to have volcanoes, especially active ones! I would consider this a good thing!
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2019, 04:11:41 pm »

We are too worn down and eroded with old age to have volcanoes, especially active ones! I would consider this a good thing!

 You do how ever, have wonderful primeval scenery   on your door step
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Banfili
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2019, 11:55:44 am »

True enough - those stromatolites would be something to see! Too far away for a quick day trip, though!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2019, 09:09:29 pm »

True enough - those stromatolites would be something to see! Too far away for a quick day trip, though!


A little farther away  Roll Eyes there is this hidden gem in the border between the State of Quintana Roo in Mexico, and Belize, called Bacalar, where you will find a semi-fresh water lagoon of the same name. The lagoon is a relatively new attraction, and it probably wasn't on the map 20 or 30 years ago. Around the area you will find stromatolites and some of the clearest water in the world. Today it's treated as a spa of sorts and the stromatolites are protected by the government.

Bacalar


The Maldives of Mexico: Our First Day in Bacalar!

Hillary mentions stromatolites on "Bird Island" in the video below at 9:38
The Lagoon of 7 Colors: Bacalar, Quintana Roo
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 09:37:52 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2019, 12:46:19 am »

Here's another spot if anyone of you are interested in Weird West settings: Copper Canyon in the northern state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The canyon is 1.8 times deeper  (4 times larger by volume) and slightly longer than the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Features an "Orient Express" style train called "El Chepe," and it's depp inside Tarahumara Native land, noting that the Tarahumara share a much more cultural closeness to Native American, rather than Mexican Native people. A reminder that there really is no border between the US and Mexico.

The vastness of the Copper Canyon, and the Tarahumara Native town of Urique at the bottom

BIGGER Than the Grand Canyon!? (Visiting Mexico's Copper Canyon)


Greg also participates in the "Temascal" Native Tarahumara ceremony see at time index 9:20
Note the similarity to customs and dress to the North American tribes in the US

Hiking in the Copper Canyon
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 12:48:16 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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