Night Scene in Lepetane

Rick cruise, europe, Night Photography, nightphotography, SonyAlpha, travel 0 Comments

This was the night scene in Lepetane Montenegro as we passed by on a ship. We were leaving the port at Kotor and passing through a narrow channel lined with houses on each side. We could see people sitting on their balconies watching as our ship passed by on a warm summer evening.

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Night Scene in Lepetane

Night Scene in Lepetane Montenegro

To me the scene was like a painting; so I decided to process the photo with that idea in mind. I used Topaz Studio to create an impressionistic rendering and then blend it with the original photo. While the image now looks like a painting, in some places it’s more realistic. It plays a little trick so we are not sure which it is, however it’s a little of each.

It’s amazing that software can “paint” a scene from a photo. But course its called digital rendering and not painting. Yet the software can be configured to use all manner of brush strokes, paint volume and even mimic styles of the masters. This is a case where computers are approximating art; which for me is amazing.

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The image represents an impression of a small coastal village at night, which for me is how I remember it. In my mind this type of rendering creates a feeling of the place that is easier to recall than with the unaltered realism of a plain photo. Stay tuned, I’ll be experimenting more with this amazing technique in the coming days and weeks.

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Village of Dobrota

Rick cruise, europe, Landscape, landscapephotography, SonyAlpha, travel 0 Comments

This is a photo of the village of Dobrota in Montenegro that I took from a ship in the Bay of Kotor. We spent an amazing day in Kotor and were leaving when I took this. The geography of the area reminded me of fjords. There are narrow inlets surrounded by towering peaks and the view is amazing.

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Village of Dobrota

Village of Dobrota in Montenegro

In Kotor we rode in a bus up an impossible single lane road to the top of these mountains. Even though the bus drivers are some of the best in the world half the passengers were praying fervently. It’s said the bus drivers in Montenegro bring more people to religion than the priests. After twenty-nine hairpin turns, I believe that to be true.

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I also have some images looking down at the water from these peaks. Either way you look at it this is one of the most scenic areas of Europe.

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Old Section of Salerno

Rick Architecture, B&W, Italy, monochrome, SonyAlpha, streetphotography, travel, Urban, urbanexploration 0 Comments

When I was in Salerno it rained like cats and dogs. Italy had been in a drought that was just broken with a few days of heavy rain. Despite that I was happy to walk around looking for compositions while sheltering under entryways.

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Old Section of Salerno

Old Section of Salerno Italy

I took this during one particularly heavy downpour. I was forced to stay in one spot for an extended period, which in retrospect was a good thing. It’s sometimes better to pick a spot and let the world come to you. If you wait patiently, all kinds of interesting scenes will appear no matter where you are.

This is in an old shopping district of Salerno. The buildings and shops looked like they haven’t changed much in a hundred years. I got the sense that some shop keepers carried on traditions from one generation to the next.

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As the rain let up I continued to walk and eventually the narrow streets opened up into a newer section of town. The shops there were brand-name boutiques you’d recognize in any mall. As for me I preferred the character of the old section much more.

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Night Scene of St Marks Square

Rick Architecture, europe, Italy, SonyAlpha, travel, Urban 0 Comments

This is another night scene of St Marks Square. There were a lot of people here and I wanted to capture the energy of it. There are so many different perspectives you could take of this place, but this time I chose to include the crowds. The architecture makes the scene but I find it more interesting with people.

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Night Scene of St Marks Square

High-resolution photography creates an opportunity to go back and people-watch. Often when I’m reviewing photos I’ll zoom in to observe some detail that was lost on me at the time. When taking photos I’m composing so even though I’m recording a scene I’ll miss a lot of details. Through the image I can go back and revisit much more of what was going on at the time.

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In that respect photography is a little like time travel; it takes us back to an event in a vivid way. Reviewing photos is not for our memory, but it fills in details we may not have been aware of at the time. In the end I’m left with a richer experience altogether.

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Inside Le sette Chiese

Rick Architecture, europe, Italy, people, SonyAlpha, travel 0 Comments

I took this inside the 8th century Le sette Chiese at the center of Bologna. It’s a complex of buildings including a seminary, cathedral and museum. It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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Inside Le sette Chiese

Inside Le sette Chiese in Bologna

I will say that Italy has a lot of is Catholic churches and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so may. Before you know it they all start running together and you can’t remember one form the other. At least that happens with me, so I look for things to take pictures of to remind me of something unique. In this case there were monks walking around attending to duties and I thought that was interesting.

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I try to be as discrete as possible in situations like this by putting the camera into silent shutter mode. That’s a camera setting and a way to take photos without any shutter noise. More and more cameras have that these days because it’s useful in a lot of settings, not just churches. Think for a moment of a golf swing or a recital and you can imagine how any sound might ruin the moment. Anyway, I’ve even set a button the camera to turn on silent shutter mode so I can quickly and quietly capture moments like this.

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Section of the Agbar Tower

Rick Architecture, europe, Night Photography, nightphotography, SonyAlpha, Spain, travel, Urban 0 Comments

This is a small section of the Agbar Tower that I took one night while in Barcelona. I wasn’t even supposed to be there but the flights got cancelled due to weather back home. The tour company picked up the tab and I was fortunate to have a few extra days.

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Section of the Agbar Tower

Section of the Agbar Tower in Barcelona

Something I love about Barcelona is that people are out at all hours of the day and night. This was taken after midnight on a Sunday. No matter where I went I found people out walking or just hanging out.

The colorful Agbar Tower is an iconic landmark and we stayed next-door at the Diagonal Barcelona. You can see it to the right with the Barcelona sign. It’s a hip hotel with nice spaces to chill like a rooftop pool and bar that provided great views of the city.

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Being so close to the tower made it easy to get back to the hotel. Whenever I took a taxi back I could just say, take me to the Agbar Tower. I’d definitely stay here again on my next visit, because even with three extra days it’s not nearly enough time to take it all in.

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Sutro Baths at Lands End

Rick beach, california, clouds, cloudscape, Landscape, landscapephotography, Nature, Night Photography, nightphotography, san francisco, SanFrancisco, SonyAlpha, Sunset 0 Comments

This is from my last time here at Lands Ending in San Francisco when I must have taken a million photos. I like how the pool reflects the light of the sky against the sea. It’s what remains of the Sutro Baths from about a hundred hears ago and there is a history of it you can look up on Wikipedia. Speaking of which I just made my yearly donation to Wikipedia. I use it a lot and feel a sense of obligation to contribute.

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Sutro Baths at Lands End

Sutro Baths at Lands End in San Francisco

The west coast of California is something I took for granted when I grew up here. That, and I was more of a mountain boy spending time skiing and backpacking in the Sierras. Whenever I’d mention to someone that I was from California they’d assume I surfed, but to this day I’ve never rode a single wave.

Now that I’m into photography it’s renewed an interest in my homeland of California. So when I’m here, usually for other reasons, I take time for photography.

California Gallery

I had a flight back to the east that night and so I had time to kill and plenty of space on my memory card. So I stayed long after the sunset composing a million images until it was completely dark.

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Pulling Out of Port

Rick clouds, cloudscape, cruise, SonyAlpha, Spain, travel 0 Comments

Here we are pulling out of port in Barcelona being followed by a flock of gulls. It was amusing because they seemed to know the routine and followed the ship quite a way out. It was an excuse for me to get some funny photos.

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Pulling Out of Port

Pulling out of port in Barcelona

When it comes to animals I anthropomorphize them; I assign human traits to their expressions and actions. I think we’ve had it wrong all along. Perhaps I see the animals in a different way, like maybe there’s more them.

I always try to show animals respect and never assume I know how intelligent they are or what they’re thinking. On the other hand I eat meat, so that’s something to reconcile. That’s my inconsistent sense of things and if you asked me to explain better I probably couldn’t.

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Nevertheless, I still think our co-inhabitants on this planet deserve more respect than we give them. And for that I am happy to feed the gulls.

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Houses in Nassau

Rick Architecture, bahamas, clouds, cruise, island, SonyAlpha, travel 0 Comments

I was on a tour boat when I snapped this row of houses in Nassau. It was my first time to the Bahamas and it pretty much lived up to expectations. At least as far as what I saw on the tour, which included some amazing waterfront homes.

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Houses in Nassau

Houses in Nassau that we saw while on a tour of the island

Our tour took us to a beach where we sat under umbrellas and watched the waves. I know that sounds great, and it was, but I’m from Florida and I get that at home. Since then I decided to visit places unlike where I live.

Nonetheless, what I saw is still quite nice. We took a last minute weekend cruise and this was the destination. The Bahamas are very close to Florida yet a different country all together. In that respect it’s something fun to explore without needing an airline ticket.

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After the tour we walked around town and took a taxi to a famous fish house for some proper Caribbean food. And that is something we don’t get much of at home.

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Cruise Ship Leaving the Port of Venice

Rick clouds, Italy, Macphun, SonyAlpha, travel 0 Comments

This was taken from a water taxi as we passed a cruise ship leaving the port of Venice. I’ve been on several cruises and the port of Venice is the most scenic I’ve seen. This was not the ship I was on but if you look close you’ll see all the passengers lined up along the rail. They’re looking out at the city of Venice.

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Cruise Ship Leaving the Port of Venice

Cruise Ship Leaving the Port of Venice

I was on an even larger ship that left a few hours later and the scene must have looked similar. There were so many people standing on one side that the hull tilted towards the city. It was the most amazing feeling; the ships are so large it never occurred to me that the weight of the passengers could make it tilt.

The procedure for docking a cruise ship in Venice involves being towed by two or more tugboats. The tugs are massive machines. There is one that pulls from the bow and one or more that guide the stern. Because they move so slow you have a perfect vantage of the city. I stood on the thirteenth deck and looked down upon the rooftops. It was one of the highlights of the cruise.

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In any case, this was just a random shot with an interesting perspective. It’s one thing to stand on the top deck and look out, and quite another to see it pass by from the water level.

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