Near And Away

A canvas to share photos and notes of our travels

About Us

My name is Robena Weiss. Dear hubby, Joe, and I currently live in the central United States (Missouri), and we have always loved the idea of travel, particularly to tropical island destinations. Some of our friends joke that they vacation vicariously through us.

While there are several contributing factors that enable our lifestyle, such as careful financial planning and open minds, we do consider ourselves extremely fortunate to be able to take trips as we have. For many years we didn't vacation at all, but in 1998 life threw us a new mix that caused us to reevaluate our priorities, and we've been flexing our travel muscle as frequently as possible since then.

I do not consider myself to be a particularly creative individual, but I do enjoy trying to capture - in my own way - the unique sights and textures of places we visit.

I am a traveller who photographs things,
not a photographer who travels.

I wish I could remember where I first read this self-description (if you know, or are the originator of this statement, please let me know)... but when I saw it, I immediately said "That is me!". I travel with my husband and sometimes in company of others. We visit most of these destinations once only, maybe never to return. As a result, it is difficult to arrange to be in the best place at the best time, with the luxury of ideal lighting or the time to truly set up the best conditions for a shot. Many is the time I have been reviewing the results thinking of how I could have done it better (indulging in wishes of "if only...").

In spite of all that, I occasionally have moments of serendipity and I succeed in capturing what my eye sees. This site showcases the result of some of these such moments, and others that were perhaps not so fortuitous. :-)

I ask that when you visit, you will respect the purpose of this site, abiding by all copyright laws and Terms of Use for this site.

Equipment Used

The majority of the still photos you see here on this site have been taken with my Minolta Dimage 7i digital camera.

Others have been taken with disposable waterproof cameras (Fuji or Kodak, take your pick); although I am becoming less and less impressed with their results.

Photos prior to 2003 were captured with my trusty old Minolta Maxxum HTsi Plus 35mm using either the Sigma 100-300mm or 28-105mm zoom lenses - my first "true" camera. I love this camera for its light weight and easy handling, but I find myself leaving it behind more and more often as I am romanced by the lure of immediate feedback and results from digital methods.

The videos were captured by Joe with our Panasonic VDR-M50PP DVD Video camera. Joe also does all the editing of the videos.

And, of course, where would I be without Adobe Photoshop to manipulate the still images and stitch together my panoramic views.