I never saw the old one, but this is the new Path Station at the World Trade Center. I used to ride the Path train every day from Jersey City to Penn Station. That was years ago when I worked in midtown. On a recent trip I walked by this station after visiting One World Observatory. The new station is amazing to look at under the massive ribs of Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus.
Santiago is a Spanish architect and you should check out his work. I first became aware of him through a building in Lakeland Florida that I’ve driven by many times. I stopped by once to take a few images of that as well. Then, several years ago when I saw the construction of the Oculus I knew it must be the same architect. By the way, I added the red color in post-production just because I liked the effect, in reality it’s white.
This station is connected to a mall with high-end shops. There’s a nice bistro where I had a coffee before checking out the two-level Apple store. If there are two things New York has no shortages of, it’s coffee and Apple stores; and I mean that in a good way. My first Mac was purchased from the flagship store on 5th Avenue. There’s something fun about getting a Mac from one of these big stores. However these days I just order it online because it seems like less hassle.
The mall is impressive whether you shop or just walk around and take pictures. I came here on one of the hottest days of the year so just having an air-conditioned place to hangout was a bonus. I’m due for a new Mac soon so maybe I’ll use that as an excuse to come back up here and go to the Apple store. Not that I really need an excuse but it sounds like a fun idea.
This is the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, Italy. I took this from a cruise ship as we pulled out of Venice in the evening. One advantage of coming and leaving on a large ship is it provides an aerial perspective of the city. The ship I was on is about twelve to fifteen stories high so it easily rises above the buildings of the city. The only other way to get such a perspective would be to use a drone but they are illegal here.
There is a lot about this sixteenth century church that I should probably know but my short stay prevented me from exploring it. However I do know that it was built after the plague when nearly a third of the population died. When I hear things like that it makes me feel fortunate to live in an age of medicine, technology and science.
It boggles my mind that such buildings were even constructed. What would it cost to build something like this today? The closest example we have is the Sagrada Familia in Spain and construction for that has been ongoing for decades. We are now a quickly evolving society that is constantly in a race with obsolescence. The commitment to build a structure like this is counter to our planetary pace.
So maybe that’s why we find these old architectures so fascinating. They are monuments of a time when progress was measured in decades and the order of things did not change much from one century to another. I am happy I live in the present time but the artifacts of our evolution as a society also fascinate me.
I was stranded in Barcelona for a few days due to bad weather back in Florida. If there was ever a place I would want to be stranded, it’s Barcelona. On my last night I went out late and took a bunch of photos of street scenes. It was well past midnight yet the narrow streets were full of people.
I stayed mostly in the gothic quarter between La Rambla and Via Laietana. After two or three experiences like this I would have to say that Barcelona is my favorite place for street photography at night. People are contrasted against by the old world architecture and it creates scenes that are not possible in North America. Some of the buildings have been around since before America was founded so the feeling is exquisite. When I’m here I shoot as many street images as I can, even if they don’t all turn out. At least I’ll have a record of how much fun I had. I cannot get enough of Barcelona.
On this weekday night there were musicians singing in alleyways with the sound of their songs reverberating against the high stone walls. Bistros and cafes were open with people talking until morning. Others were just walking around having fun and laughing. Maybe it’s the Catalonian culture I witnessed but it sure was awesome to be out taking photos of it.
Probably the best way to know if you like a place is to gauge how you feel when you are about to leave. I feel a little bit sad when I leave Barcelona. There are not many places that do that to me. I know I’ll just have to go back and plug into that Catalonian vibe again soon.
The day I was in Rome it rained for the first time in over five months. It was a miracle for at least two reasons; the region desperately needed the precipitation and I desperately needed to take pictures of people in the rain. If you read the blog you know street photos in the rain are high on my list. People carrying umbrellas, reflections, sheen of the pavement and actions of people trying to avoid the rain all combine to make for interesting studies.
Of course being in Rome is a bonus too because people are likely to be dressed in interesting ways like these three nuns. I have no idea who they were or where they were going but it doesn’t matter, they made the scene. In fact when I saw them I was across the street I ran through traffic in the rain to capture them as turned into this alley. I get a little carried away, but that’s part of the fun of capturing these types of images.
It’s exciting for me because where I live people don’t walk around in the rain. But small towns in Florida and big cities in Europe are two different things and it’s no use drawing comparisons. When I was in New York City it rained as well and I spent hours in it taking pictures. My camera is not waterproof, but I carry a plastic bag with a hole in the back so that the camera stays dry while I shoot. It’s entirely low-tech but it works. If I could only manage to keep my shoes as dry then that would be a miracle.
This is Salerno where I recently spent the day walking around in the rain. I was on a cruise of Italy and this was our fourth stop. Normally we booked tours of the port cities but this day I just walked around taking pictures. However it rained hard so there where periods where I was huddled in an entryway waiting for a break.
During the downpours, vendors would appear out of nowhere with an armful of umbrellas. Out of necessity I bought one for five euros, which was way too much, but I was in no position to complain. I saw the same ones later in a shop for less. To add insult to injury, I lost it on a bus later in the day and ended up having to buy another one for the same price.
Obviously I’m not a great shopper and normally I don’t shop at all on trips. But, I had it in my mind that I wanted to buy a pair of leather shoes. My first thought was to buy them in Spain but I didn’t find anything I liked. Mind you, I didn’t look very hard. While waiting out one of the downpours it happened I was standing in front of a shoe store. So I went in and found a pair I liked on sale for twenty euros. The shoes said they were made in Italy with Italian leather so I felt happy about it. At the end of the day I ended up with one pair of shoes and one umbrella for thirty euro. For a reluctant shopper like myself it seemed I did okay on average. It took two days for the shoes I brought from home to dry out, so it was good that I had an extra pair.
As we pulled out of port the rain stopped and the clouds parted. I looked back at Salerno and took this image. Maybe the umbrella merchants moved on or switched to some other product. However I got what I wanted and, more importantly, got a bunch of photos. Most of them are just people walking through the rain while I waited under an entryway. I think this one looking back from the ship at the end of the day is a little more interesting. Anyway, that’s the story of my short visit to Salerno on a rainy day.
Here is section of the town where I live taken with a drone. This is Palmetto along the north bank of the Manatee River as it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Having just spent a few weeks away I’m happy to be getting back to the routines of life close to home. One of those routines is getting out to take images of the sunset like this.
About a week ago Hurricane Irma passed by and this river nearly flooded. We were fortunate it did not and that is something everyone here is thankful for. The shared experience of having come so close has brought the community together. As the tide subsided and the river receded, there was a collective sigh of relief, almost festive; yet keenly aware that it could have gone either way. There is also the undercurrent of posttraumatic stress in the wake of the adrenaline-fueled week.
Life is returning to normal; power restored, schools reopened, shelves restocked. Most of us are left with simple assessments, cleanup and repairs. But that’s nothing compared to those further south. That we did not experience the same tragedy is pure chance, leaving us humbled and taking nothing for granted.
I’m philosophical, if not a little superstitious about all this. The way I figure it; we have Mother Nature to thank for calm idyllic scenes like this. As much as we love what she has to offer, we try to remain mindful that moods change and sometimes tempers flare. And in those rare cases, we are at her mercy.
We had just passed this way a few hours earlier and it was dry, now it was filled with puddles. I like taking pictures in the rain but in this case there was no rain in the forecast. From a photographic perspective it was a nice surprise so I stopped to take pictures of the reflections in St Marks Square.
Before visiting here I never knew that Venice was actually sinking. But it’s true and the rate is about a tenth of an inch per year. Basically the soil that the city is built upon is slowly compacting. When we walked through the central square at night the tides had risen up through the square to form puddles.
At this time of year Venice is super busy with visitors. I thought about that when approaching the city and I decided to include the crowds, making them part of the scenes I was capturing. There is a fun kind of energy late at night when so many people are walking around within the ancient lamp lit architecture.
I was only here for about a day and a half; if I had been here longer I might have walked around in the early morning hours to get images without people. But that’s okay; I can save that idea for another day. Hopefully that day will be sometime soon before Venice goes the way of Atlantis.
This is another view of Burnaby BC that I took from about ten miles away in downtown Vancouver. I think they refer to it as a bedroom community but that sounds strange; Burnaby is anything but sleepy. There is a lot of construction going on and it seems every time I come back the skyline has changed.
Speaking of skylines, what looks like a hill to the right of the buildings is Central Park, something I posted about recently. It’s not really a hill, what you see is the contour of the tall cedars against the skyline.
This type of view is what I call my rule of tenths. In photography there is a “rule of thirds” which recommends segmenting the composition into thirds. I use that a lot but sometimes I feel that the sky deserves more than just a third, in cases like this I give it about nine-tenths.
The reason I do that is my own sense of perspective. I have a habit of drawing back from a subject, be it in photography or life, and trying to see things in relation to how it fits in. With something as big and complex as a city, it helps to get a little distance. At least that’s my theory; it works for me, …usually.
While in Spain we were told by several people that we should visit the Abbey of Montserrat about an hour north of Barcelona. It’s built in an impossible location on a steep mountainside and has stunning views of the region. It’s a great place to take photos and this is one I took of the cafeteria built on a rock.
To drive here you take a series of steep switchbacks up the mountain. But if you don’t like hairpin turns over cliffs, you can also take a train or gondola from the valley floor. In that respect it reminds me of locations in Switzerland or Germany. However the red earth and unusual rock formations also remind me of the southwestern United States. Perhaps it’s a combination of both, yet entirely unique.
This is a popular place because there were a lot of people here when we arrived. And there is a lot more to see than just a cafeteria, but this grabbed my attention when I first arrived. It’s no ordinary cafeteria, at least not the kind that comes to mind when I think of my old high school. If you did nothing but drive up here and buy lunch, it would be well worth the trip as you gaze out at the valley and Barcelona in the distance.
My only regret is that I didn’t know about this place sooner. I will come back and explore it more thoroughly on my next visit, especially at night. And there is way more to see than just the cafeteria, so plan a day of it the next time you’re in the area; I know I will.
As an American, one thing I will say about Europeans is they have an evolved sense of style. I took this in central Bologna around noon while I was busy snapping pictures of people. Most of my people pictures were not very good but this one I liked. It makes me think of the differences between Europeans and Americans.
I could have spent my time taking pictures of the architecture and ancient landmarks, but the Europeans and their culture intrigue me. It’s instructive to observe how they carry themselves in everyday settings. By taking pictures of people in different places I am recording something a little more ephemeral than a ninth century church. Not that there’s anything wrong with ninth century churches.
If you walk around and observe things around you, interesting things appear, they happen all the time. This lady has a delightful style and, she’s using a bike. The scene is reminiscent of something I’d expect to see in a fashion ad.