I took this a few years ago at Elk Lake in Victoria BC. We had just arrived on the ferry and stopped several times on the short drive into town. The scenery around Victoria is pretty awesome and you don’t have to go far to see something. In this case the sun was setting as it highlighted the trees along the lake. A tranquil scene that I tried to capture with my camera.
I’m going back to Vancouver shortly so I may hop over to the island and have a peak around. I was here in summer last so the change of seasons always shows things in a different light. Obviously it will look very different.
This is an old picture that I happened to notice as I was browsing my archives. It brought back memories and it reminded me of that trip. The other night I decided to scroll back on my iPhone images. The iPhone is ten years old and sure enough I have images going back to 2007. As I scrolled through I took a walk down memory lane and before you know it an hour had gone by, and I only made it to 2010.
The Sarasota skyline from afar is something I never get tired of. This is about a mile away. I took this while standing near a boat launch on City Island.
This happened to be one of the few times of the year it was cold and windy. That’s great for this type of photography because the air is crisp and the clouds blur against the sky when the exposure is long. The only difficulty is getting the camera to remain steady against the winds. I have a good tripod but sometimes that’s not enough. In this case I shielded the camera on one side of my SUV so that the car acted as a windbreak.
I take a lot of pictures of Sarasota. Its close and has views across the water, something I favor. A long time ago I made up a rule, let’s call it the rule of fourths. The idea is to get as many of the four elements in the picture as possible. Using fire, air, water and earth, I compose an image, the more the merrier. The rule doesn’t always work, its more of an idea than a rule. However I’ll find myself working with it in an image almost subconsciously.
Each time I come here to take a photo the conditions are different. The last time I came it was in the morning, it’s a good sunrise spot because it faces east. Once I captured a big thunder cloud over the city on a summer afternoon. Each time I show up at the same location there will be something different, the trick is to notice; that’s the idea, not a rule.
A darkened central Amsterdam underpass creates a setting that is best described as a scene. Scenes are a combination of things that together make it more than just a place. Looking for scenes is a pastime of mine especially when walking through cities at night. Textures, light and motion combined to evoke imaginary scenarios rarely rooted in reality. As I took this the trains rumbled overhead completing the urban soundtrack of this vignette.
This underpass was something of a mystery to me when I first arrived in the city. It is across from my hotel and as I timidly explored I couldn’t see where it ended. As it was late I shied away from following it to the other end. Later I discovered it led to a busy neighborhood full of shops and bistros. But my initial trepidation contributed to a state of mind (erroneous as it was) that created this foreboding subterranean scene in my mind.
When I was a child I saw this cathedral from the outside because my aunt had an apartment directly across the street. The architecture made an impression on me that has remained to this day and the area around the cathedral occasionally appears in my dreams. With this in mind I was driving by a few weeks ago and thought to stop and look inside. I’m glad I did.
On a Monday afternoon it was empty save for an attendant. It’s a cavernous space infused with refracted light from the stained glass ribs of the spier. However what struck me most was the silence of the enormous space.
There is much to take in, but as for my camera I look for rectangles that convey one aspect. As I could not help but look up at the light coming through the windows I chose this perspective. It was late in the day and so the west facing windows conveyed the greatest light.
Just happening in on this the way I did was a complete surprise. Whatever I expected was surpassed by the combination of ambience, light and architecture. This is without question a place of inspiration.
I recently created this dreamscape from Redington Shores. The last shot I posted was facing north, however this faces in the direction of my home which is about twenty miles south as the gull flies. Not that gulls fly straight, but I digress.
Right now the weather is perfect, not too hot or too cold. But in winter the waters of the gulf have cooled. It’s a good thing because warm water in the gulf creates severe storms. Seven months of that in summer is enough. Winter is a break from all the thunder and lightning.
You can always tell the visitors, they’re the ones in the water. I prefer the water in summer when its warm like a bath. But then we always have to be on the lookout for the rapid formation of thunderstorms. I’ve grown soft living here. When I used to live up north I’d consider the cooler water in winter perfectly fine.
There is always something to see when walking along the beach. One thing I do a lot of is take pictures of piers. There is something about a leading line ending in the sea. Another metaphor perhaps, one that I find intriguing. This is a different perspective. The pier provides a sense of distance and perspective.
This image is a common theme I repeat from time to time. It’s about solitude in an idyllic setting, something just beyond this world. Of course it can mean anything you like it to be. But for me it’s about something just out of reach. This is what I call a dreamscape.
I don’t know what I was thinking when I showed up early one morning at Lido Key. By Florida standards it was freezing with a cold wind. I almost turned around to leave but forced myself out of the car to get a few images. I ended up liking this image enough to save it from the dust bin.
Normally this is a beautiful beach, a secret hideaway. Its close to an inter-coastal inlet and has trails and mangroves to explore either on foot or kayak. And being at the end of the key it’s less crowded. All that aside there was not a single soul in sight on this morning.
I took this early in December, ever since then we’ve had warm weather, so I just picked a bad day. I’ll come back and look again for a nice sunrise shot from here. Persistence is my co-conspirator.
Even though this somewhat remote, its just a few blocks away is the Ritz Carlton and St Armonds Circle. That’s the nice thing about Sarasota, it has a mix of low key and upscale. You can pick and choose what you want.
I took this on a train to Anchorage Alaska as I stood on the platform of a rail car just behind the engine. It is fair to say I got a good dose of diesel fumes that day, especially in the tunnels. But I wouldn’t have traded it for anything, it was an awesome experience. The more I ride trains the more pictures I have of coming through tunnels. It invariable evokes the metaphors of pulling through and the light at the end. These are things we all experience and it’s natural to find corollaries in the world to represent our inner thoughts.
As such I wax philosophical about images because sometimes I find it more interesting that what my camera settings were or what I was doing at the time. I’m interesting in interpretation and how we relate to images.
I prefer to find a hopeful meaning in an image. For me it’s important to be open to the possibility of good things. I think good things are not by chance, rather a state of mind; that’s what optimism is.
If I had to sum up my impressions of Amsterdam in three words I would say bikes, umbrellas and canals. There were a lot of each. To take it a step further, operating a bike shop here is steady employment. As well, I think that selling umbrellas might also be big business.
I stood on an adjacent bridge taking photos of people as they crossed this bridge. This scene typifies the central canal district and is repeated hundreds of times from one bridge to the next.
Because I was carrying a camera I didn’t have an umbrella, otherwise it’s a good idea to have one. It got me thinking that umbrellas haven’t changed much in a hundred years, they still look and operate the same.
Lo and behold, a few weeks later I started seeing ads on TV about new type of inverted umbrella. Without going into all the details I think it’s an amazing idea and the only thing I can’t figure out is why nobody invented / inverted it years ago. My wife was so impressed she bought four and gave them away as gifts. So here is a tip, someone needs to open up an inverted umbrella stand in Amsterdam, I think it will be license to print money.
What do you see when you look into the future? I think looking into the future is a bit of a fools errand. You think you know what will happen but it doesn’t. And it takes attention away from the present moment, the here and the now. Not that I don’t dream, set goals have a New Years resolution or two. Living in the present while not losing track of the direction of our lives is a balancing act.
This image makes me think of those kinds of things. It’s a metaphor for the uncertainty in the sea of possibilities. We sit on the precipice and look out at the year ahead. We each see something different.
This is an image I took in California as I headed home. The original image looks different, a little more concrete and realistic. But for me photography will often evoke metaphors and I am easily attracted to them. Art is metaphor, a representation of something in our psyches, collective and individual. Artists become immersed in the exploration of metaphors, representing deeper meanings on the canvas.