Skyway All Lit Up

Crews recently finished working on the bridge. Only afterward did I realize what they were up to.

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The Sunshine Skyway Bridge over the opening to Tampa Bay

I photographed this from the adjacent south fishing pier. I was here early on a Sunday morning hanging out with some fishermen while I took a bunch of photos.

The colors are always changing, so I’ll probably post another one with a different color. I used Skylum’s Luminar 4 to process this. As part of that, I used the new AI sky replacement tool to add stars. Typically there’s too much light pollution to see the sky in all it’s glory. But in the days of AI, that’s no longer a problem, at least concerning post-processing.

Sitges Street

Walking along the streets of European coastal towns is an exercise in leisure. And if that’s not an oxymoron, I don’t know what is.

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Sitges Street
A leisurely stroll through the streets of Sitges in Catalonia, Spain

Actually, that goes for a lot I do on vacation – leisure and moron. Relaxation when traveling is a state of mind, sometimes easier said than gained. I do what I can.

more images from the Mediterranean in the gallery

In this case, I was in the town of Sitges, walking around on a Sunday. I was next to the main church that sits along the sea. Sunday notwithstanding, nobody was going in or out, just tourists, like me, walking around it, taking pictures, and practicing leisure.

Lighthouse of the Mediterranean

I’m aiming straight up at Phare de la méditerranée, which translates “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.” Despite the name, it’s not a lighthouse.

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Lighthouse of the Mediterranean
One of the attractions of Palavas-les-Flots in Southern France

The top of the tower is a revolving restaurant with views of, you guessed it, the Mediterranean. There are a few touristy places like this because Palavas-les-Flots is a French vacation town. But it’s not over-the-top commercialized as you might find in other areas. There is a casino, but it’s low-key, not overly flashy.

more architecture photography in the gallery

One thing you will find a lot of though is ice cream. For whatever reason, they are crazy about ice cream, and in tourist towns, you’ll find it on every corner.

School Night in Montpellier

In my next life, I’ll be born in France and, when I go to school, it will be in Montpellier. They have by far the best nightlife.

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School Night in Montpellier
Medical students hanging out in Montpellier, France

Not that I am suggesting one should go to school because of the nightlife, but if one did, this might rank high on the shortlist. But to be fair, I’m rating it more on aesthetics than academic qualities. In fact, the medical school is quite good; it’s the oldest in Europe.

more from Europe in the gallery

Anyway, I wandered around the narrow streets shooting scenes on a school night. There were a lot of people out, and I’m sure some of them had to be up for class the next day. But, I suppose that’s just training for the sleep deprivation they’ll experience the first years of residency.

Platja de Sant Sebastià

In case you were wondering, Platja is the Catalan word for Beach. This particular platja is in Barcelona.

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Platja de Sant Sebastià
Panorama of Barcelona Beach

I took this panorama on a previous trip to Barcelona in 2017. On my most recent trip, I spent time at other beaches, North and South of here. I created this by stitching together four photos in Lightroom and then worked on it with various other tools such as Luminar and Photoshop.

panorama gallery

I intended to post this last month but ran out of time before my vacation. Some of the photos I publish represent many hours of work, spread out over time. I thought this was ready last month and then, after getting back, worked on it more before posting it this week. If there is a point in any of this, I suppose its that the end can be a moving target.

La Grande-Motte

What do you get when an architect designs a city? A collection of eccentric-looking buildings along the Mediterranean.

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La Grande-Motte
The unique architecture in Southern France

La Grande-Motte is a French beachside resort town. Spain has dozens of these that attract their French neighbors. However, someone got smart and built this town in France about fifty years ago. Now there are many beach towns along the French Mediterranean, and no need to cross into Spain for a holiday.

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Not that there is anything wrong with Spanish beach towns. Before I took this, I was in Lloret de Mar, which is just outside of Barcelona, and it was just as fun, and just as full of French tourists.

Passage of Time

Everything that has ever happened is in the past; we only have the present.

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Passage of Time
Time passes with a long exposure

Smarter people than I have put a lot of thought into this, the prevailing wisdom is that time is not real; it’s just something we made up to record or coordinate. I agree with this intellectually, but when I’m waiting, time seems genuine, if not slow.

abstract gallery

Attention is like a sail. When focusing on something, we move through time quickly. Maybe that’s why time seems to move faster as we get older. The more our attention is focused, the more time seems faster. If now is all we really have, it stands to reason that awareness at the moment is more precious than we think.

Cool W

This is a fashionable hotel at the end of the beach in Barcelona. It’s a cool beach with a cool hotel and cool people walking cool dogs.

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Cool W
The W Hotel on the beach in Barcelona

It’s so cool that I was starting to feel a little self-conscious. But I know that’s silly because the people in Barcelona are not so pretentious. They just have that way about them that seems fashionable to me.

more from Barcelona in the gallery

By the way, this photo is heavily Photoshopped. There were hundreds of people here. But, I picked out the most interesting and turned the rest to sand. If you zoom in, you’ll see some quirkiness. That’s just me and my less-than-cool sense of humor.

Old Church

Here is a pro photographer that used only an iPhone for 6 months. I love this…

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I took a picture of this church along one of the lesser-known highways in Florida. I just thought it looked kind of old-school.

Old Church
An old church along state road 50 in central Florida

When driving in the country, I look for things that stand out, and this fit the bill. It was, in fact, a Sunday but late enough that it was empty. It doesn’t look to me like it has airconditioning so, on a summer day in Florida, it’s probably hotter than purgatory inside, give or take a few degrees.

more churches in the gallery

Not long after this stop, I started entering the suburbs of Orlando, and from that point on, everything is new-school. The only things that look old are facades made to look that way. So, getting out of the city to see throw-backs is pretty cool, even if it is hotter than the devil’s den.

Neighborhood at Sea

This photo is the Central Park neighborhood aboard Oasis of the Seas. Personally speaking, it was my favorite place to hide.

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Neighborhood at Sea
The Central Park neighborhood on Royal’s Oasis of the Seas

For whatever reason, this area gets less traffic than the other neighborhoods, and if you want to find a quiet space during the day, this is it. At night we had tapas at the wine bar and listened to live music in the courtyard.

more night photography in the gallery

The setup of these mega ships are no different than cities; there is every facility of a small town and more. If we ever figure out how to make big spaceships, (and I’m sure we will), this is an early example of how to design one. Now fast forward two-hundred years into the future, and it would not be surprising to see Royal Caribbean cruises to Mars.