One of my favorite things to do in Barcelona is to take pictures of people walking around the gothic quarter at night, especially next to the main cathedral. The architecture and lighting creating a setting that is good for night photography.
As write this I am in Barcelona by accident; I was scheduled to return home but my flights were cancelled. That gives an extra day to explore one of my favorite cities at night. Images like this illustrate my preference for shooting scenes at night. In my mind it’s more interesting than daytime.
It’s not just the time of day but the location. In Barcelona there are people out walking around at all hours. Those people and their sense of style surrounded by the ancient architecture create the perfect settings for this type of image making.
One thing that helps is a fast lens. I used an f1.8, which lets in more light. That’s necessary for handheld night photography without a tripod. That in turn allows me to quickly capture scenes with little setup. In this case I am using an ISO of 1600, which is high but well within the means of today’s cameras. The technology will only get better and these types of shots will become easier to capture. Having that combination in a city like Barcelona is a very good thing.
I took this while walking aimlessly around Venice one afternoon. It’s easy to get lost among the narrow ways and canals, but at the same time it’s easy to find your way back. Every building has a sign on the corner pointing to St Marks Square. In this manner I headed out, got lost, and found my way back with little trouble. Along the way there were dozens of scenes like this.
I walked far enough out from the central square that the streets were quite and life returned to the normal sights and sounds of an old world village. Shopkeepers leaned against doors, people lingered in cafés, and an old woman carried groceries. It was in contrast to the crowded tourist center where I started.
This is my first time in Venice. It’s one of those places that immediately struck the photographer in me with endless possibilities. I have seen many images from here, yet the experience of being here is beyond the clichés.
Like other iconic locations, the beauty of it inspires artists, and has done so for centuries. I was here only briefly but captured many images that I can go back and enjoy for a long time. I will share some of my favorite, but for now this is my first. And I have no idea exactly where I was when I took it.
This is just before sunrise at the port in Livorno Italy along the western coast of Tuscany. I took this from the deck of the ship as we pulled into port. On a cruise you wake up in a new place each morning so sometimes I like to get up and have a look around while the ship docks. On this morning there were colors on display as the ship entered port.
Come to think of it, if it wasn’t for the sunrise and sunset I’d loose all sense of direction while travelling. A geographic sense is one thing, but being able to point east or west is entirely another. I had the same problem in Florida because the ground is so flat; there is no point of reference.
Where would we be without a GPS? I’ve become attached to using it. I used to read maps and a compass but it’s no longer necessary. Maybe one day we’ll have GPS chips implanted in our brains and we’ll never lose our way. Even then we’d be inferior to starlings that use the magnetic lines of the earth. It seems we need a lot of technology to catch up to what is already in nature.
This is a multi-exposure composite of downtown Vancouver. I took this while staying on a high floor at the Marriott Delta Vancouver. My Marriott profile indicates a preference for a high floor. About half of the time, depending on availability, I end up with an amazing view like this.
To get this I setup the camera on a tripod next to the window and left it there for about twelve hours. I took exposures in the afternoon, evening and then upon waking in the morning. I also used a lens skirt so that there wouldn’t be any reflections on the window coming from my room. Later I blended them all together to form this composite image.
The technique is my attempt to counteract my indecision. Often, the images I post are just one of many that I took of the same thing. I suppose I could post them all but that would get boring, so I pick just one. That’s where indecision comes in. I’m left with ten or twenty images of the exact same thing, but in different light.
A composite allows me to pick and choose my favorite aspects of each photo and combine then into one image. It’s a little like seafood gumbo; it can be tasty if all the ingredients are nicely blended. And for desert, I get to have my cake and eat it too.
I recently arrived here in Monterosso al Mare by boat and spent the afternoon walking around, taking photos and tasting the local cuisine. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. Actually I was on a tour and so my time was not as leisurely as I make it seem. However I did have a couple of hours to enjoy a meal of antipasti and explore the village. I took this on a walkway that is carved into the rock overlooking the Mediterranean.
This image is comprised of 12 high-resolution photos in a six by two grid. Panoramas like this are extremely high in resolution and, as it turns out, can be difficult to work with. The reason for that is two-fold; first is the size of the individual images and second is that I shoot in RAW format which adds even more size and processing requirements. It pushes the limits of what we can do with normal computers and software. But as with all things technological, this is only a short-term problem.
Speaking of problems, the biggest one this day was the hour hand on my watch. I love tours but they only give you a taste. There’s a lot of information coming at you in a short period. Its like wine tasting, you sip of different vintages but never fully enjoy one. The taste I had of Monterosso al Mare was just enough to whet my palette and make we want to come back; for a full glass of course.
In one sense the day we spent in Rome was anything but typical. Our first stop was at Trevi Fountain where there was no water running. I figured that on account of the five-month drought the water had been turned off. I was wrong, it was under maintenance and within a few minutes the water was flowing again. Amongst many of the tourists there was a sigh of relief at Trevi Fountain.
There were hundreds of tourists, many standing with their backs to the fountain taking selfies. After I took this picture I switched to a normal lens so I could take pictures of people taking pictures of themselves. It was surreal, I’m pretty sure I was the only one doing that. However I took this with an ultra-wide angle lens. The unusual effect of the distortion adds to the drama of the scene.
One look at the clouds and it was apparent we were about to get hit with a deluge. I’m familiar with this from Florida, but it hadn’t rained in Rome for nearly a half a year so there was a real sense of anticipation by the locals. When it started raining the tourists scattered but among the locals there was a big sigh of relief.
As for me I’m not that keen on taking pictures of monuments, it’s been done countless times and I don’t think I have much to add to the public record. However, once it started raining I knew it would be a good day. The even light, reflections on the pavement and all the umbrellas make for good photography. At the thought that I didn’t have to take yet more pictures of monuments, I too breathed a big sigh of relief.