Two Hotels in Barcelona

Rick Architecture, europe, minimalism, SonyAlpha, Spain, Sunset, travel, urbanexploration Leave a Comment

Here is a shot from atop the Grand Hotel Central in Barcelona. I took this in the morning on my first trip here. Morning is a better time for these kinds of shots because around sunset the pool will surely be filled with guests sipping martinis or sangria, as the case may be.

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Two Hotels in Barcelona

From the pool at the Grand Hotel Central looking towards the Hotel Arts

Looking at this I just realized that the second building from the left is the hotel I stayed at on my second trip, the Hotel Arts. I should have known because there are no other tall buildings in this section of town. Perhaps unknowingly I was seeing reflections into future, or some such thing.

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I did come up in the evening with my camera, but it just wasn’t the same so I’m glad I was here at sunrise. This hotel is in the gothic section and that other one is along the beach, two completely different areas with their own character. About the only thing they have in common are martinis and sangria.

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Old Church in Ucluelet

Rick Architecture, canada, clouds, SonyAlpha, travel, urbanexploration Leave a Comment

A couple of years ago I was in the small fishing village of Ucluelet, British Columbia. In the center of town on a hill, I noticed this old church that seems to be in need of a paint job. Its rustic appearance piqued my interest and I took a photo that I haven’t processed until now.

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Old Church in Ucluelet

This easily overlooked church is on a hill in the center of town

The reason I waited so long is that the church is actually obscured by all kinds of wires. What I did was to use Photoshop to remove all of the wires. Because there were so many it took me hours of detailed work to get this image. To get a sense of what the scene really looked like, take a look at this image from Google Maps.

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For me, I prefer the version without the wires. I know it’s not real, but I do these things because it resonates with me as I look for an aesthetic amongst the chaos. I think the image is more interesting now, even though it’s not completely real. And besides, the process of removing the wires was almost like a meditation on removing complexity. There is probably a nugget of wisdom in there somewhere.

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Sarasota Skyline at Night

Rick Florida, long exposure, Night Photography, Sarasota, SonyAlpha, Urban Leave a Comment

Here is another panorama of Sarasota from Bayfront Park. Last year I posted an almost identical image that was taken during the day but have been waiting to do it again at night. Back then that big building (third from the left) was still under construction and it wasn’t lit up. So, now that it’s complete I wanted to shoot it again since the scene seems more complete to me.

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Sarasota Skyline at Night

Sarasota Skyline at night taken from Bayfront Park

To take this I mounted my camera vertically on a tripod and took ten shots from left to right. With the resolution of the Sony camera, it will be about seven feet across when printed!

Here are some links to other panoramas I’ve taken in and around Sarasota…

Same perspective from the day
From City Island Day
From City Island Night
A different perspective from Bayfront Park

And here are links to other panoramas from all over

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Empty Beach After Sunset

Rick beach, clouds, Florida, Landscape, SonyAlpha, Sunset Leave a Comment

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Empty Beach After Sunset

This is what an empty beach looks like on Anna Maria Island

A couple of nights ago I headed down to the beach and just after sunset when most of the people had left. As I was driving towards the beach most of the traffic was in the opposite direction. Parking was super easy and I had the whole place to myself.

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This is what an empty beach looks like on Anna Maria Island. It’s not something I see too often so I took this shot to remind myself of it the next time I come here and can’t find a parking spot.

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Gondola at Night

Rick Bridges, europe, Italy, Night Photography, SonyAlpha, travel Leave a Comment

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Gondola at Night

Gondola at Night in Venice

If you go to Venice take a gondola at night. It is an experience that reminds me of a ride at Disney World, only it’s the real thing. The sounds of the oars in the water and the lights streaming from the windows overhead combine in the most exquisite way.

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Ladies in White

Rick europe, Night Photography, nightphotography, SonyAlpha, Spain, travel, Urban, urbanexploration Leave a Comment

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Ladies In White

I took this somewwere in Barcelona one night

I don’t recall exactly where I was when I shot this but it was probably close to the gothic quarter in Barcelona. I spent a lot of time shooting scenes at night there, just out having a good time. In the middle of summer, that’s what everyone does.

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The Divide

Rick clouds, drone, Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, urbanexploration Leave a Comment

This is a picture I took this last summer of the street I live on. Now it’s cooler and as I look this I think of those warmer months. But to be perfectly honest, summer is hot as hell and the cooler weather is a nice change.

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The Divide

This street divides the urban from the wild

On the left is a row of townhouses where I live. On the right is open land that is a little wild and not yet developed. The street in the middle divides the urban from the wild. I look out the upper window and see nature just doing its thing.

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Out there are all manner of wild animals. I’ve seen eagles, fox, coyote, and alligator to name a few. They all live literally within a stone’s throw; right over the fence. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that wildlife can live so close to our urban setting. If your someone like me that loves animals, I tend to worry about them and wonder how long they can hold out. My fingers are crossed.

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The Line Across the River

Rick bridge, clouds, Florida, Manatee County, SonyAlpha Leave a Comment

This is a spot I like to photograph. There are a lot of reasons but the main one is that the tracks form a leading line across the river. We are drawn to leading lines because they provide a sense of movement and direction. For some reason that’s important to us at an instinctual level.

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The Line Across the River

The line across the Manatee River in Bradenton

Maybe the rules of photography are based on some primal desire for survival. If that’s true it’s an interesting idea and, all the more reason to break the rules once in a while. That might mean considering compositions that will not lead us back to safety.

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I know I’m drawing a long bow, but writing about photos as I do forces me to think about these things. Let’s just say I do more than my fair share of introspection. In the end, I would really prefer to just get out and take pictures and worry about the intellectual stuff later. Or, not worry at all.

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Under a Rising Moon

Rick composite, Florida, Manatee County, Night Photography, nightphotography, SonyAlpha Leave a Comment

This is an area not far from home where sailboats moor along the intercostal waterway. Whenever I come here I wonder what it must be like to spend the night on a small boat like this. This is a composite image that represents what I imagine the scene is like under a rising moon. It’s not real, but then, what is these days.

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Under a Rising Moon

A composite image I created as an experiment

Speaking of which, I put on a VR headset the other day and the room I was in disappeared. I was immersed in a different reality that was visceral and compelling. We are on the threshold of an age when reality will become a matter of choice rather than circumstance. And all of this without drugs; unless you consider technology the new opioid. I don’t really know.

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Nevertheless, I concocted this scene of a nightscape near my home. In my imagination, this is a VR world that I would choose to visit. Maybe one day I’ll know what it’s like to spend the night on a small boat as it gently rocks under a full moon. And then I’ll dream of yet another place I want to be.

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New Years Eve Birthday Party

Rick Florida, people, SonyAlpha Leave a Comment

The other day we had some low-key fun at a Florida ranch known as Sun City Stables. It was a birthday party for three-year old Amelia, but because it was the day before New Year’s there was no shortage of fireworks.

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New Years Eve Birthday Party

A New Years Eve birthday party at a ranch in Ruskin Florida

The next night was New Year’s Eve and we watched fireworks from all over the world on YouTube. In my opinion, Dubai edged out Hong Kong for best show and that’s saying something. London was pretty amazing also and came in a close third. All of the displays were beyond belief and must have costs millions of dollars to produce. I wonder how many hours you would have to wait and much you had to pay to get a good seat at those venues.

some of my favorites

But that was on TV, thousands of miles away in major cities around the world. On the other hand, these here where in the small town of Ruskin which is a rural community on the outskirts of Tampa. I believe the cost of the fireworks was a little over fifty dollars. I preferred this display because I got to see them in person with a front row seat. All I had to do was turn my lawn chair around from the campfire.

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