Gigondas is a town in southern France known for its wine. But then, we could say that for just about every village in France.
They are sticklers for doing things the old way, and the wine from here is famous around the world. A funny little story: about a week after I returned home I was in a small store in my hometown, and they had Gigondas wine. I wasted no time bragging that I had just been there.
Nevertheless, this image is a three frame HDR that I processed in the new Aurora HDR 2019 from Skylum. I prepared it in color so that the details weren’t washed out and then, for the last step, converted it to monochrome. For me, the memories are of the textures in the walls, gardens, and walkways.
Sarasota is growing, and the skyline changes about every six months or so. That means I need to get my behind down to this spot at least once a year to keep up. But I’m pretty sure nothing has changed in this one particular section.
On our night in Kansas City, we drove around after having dinner in the Plaza area. I took this photo in front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. There were sculptures all over; can you find one in this image of the Bloch Building? Maybe this Google Map link will help.
From a quick observation, it appears that Kansas City has a thriving arts community. There were signs of it everywhere; galleries, public art, murals and of course, music venues all over the place. I would love to come back to explore and take more photos.
I have mixed emotions about taking photos of public art. By itself, it’s not very original to take a snapshot of someone else’s art. But if it can be a part of a larger narrative, then maybe I’m okay with it. For instance, I think taking a picture of a mural is a step away from photocopying. However, perhaps it can be framed to tell a different story. That’s still derivative art, but I’m a little bit more okay with that. So going forward, I’ll have to decide whether it passes the sniff test on a case by case basis.
I was down in South Beach for a couple of days, and the first thing I did was walk over to the pier. Looking back at the land seems to help me set my bearings.
It was my first time to this spot; however, I’d seen it from cruise ships in the past as we sailed in and out of the Port of Miami. Now that’s it’s summer most of the ships are in Europe. With the hotter weather, the Miami Beach area is in low season. For me, it’s the best time to visit because prices are low and wait times are non-existent.
I came here to take photos, so I just wandered around. It’s hot, but you expect that. Ice cold refreshments are at every turn, so it’s easy to stay hydrated. I drank twice my usual amount of water without even noticing. Even so, I prefer to be out in the morning or evening. This photo is the evening of the first day as the sun sets over the Miami downtown section.
When in big cities I’m usually quite happy with rain. It creates scenes and situations that are interesting to observe.
First of all, people are carrying umbrellas which by itself creates a certain aesthetic. Then there are the motions people go through to keep out of the rain, like running from one source of cover to another. However, in places where it rains all the time, you will also notice how well people ignore it. Amsterdam is one of those cities where people are always outside, rain or shine. So it’s just as interesting to see what they don’t do as what they do.
In this case the couple were taking selfies and the gentleman was texting the pictures on his phone, oblivious to the precipitation. I noticed that in Amsterdam people are always riding bikes regardless of the weather, in some cases holding umbrellas as they go.
I haven’t quite perfected the art of ignoring the rain. I’m a duck and cover kind of guy. But from a temporary shelter I can stand there, observe and take photos of things around me. The best part of that is stepping into a bistro and waiting it out with a hot chocolate. Then, sufficiently refreshed I head back out for more fun.
When I was in Salerno it rained like cats and dogs. Italy had been in a drought that was just broken with a few days of heavy rain. Despite that I was happy to walk around looking for compositions while sheltering under entryways.
I took this during one particularly heavy downpour. I was forced to stay in one spot for an extended period, which in retrospect was a good thing. It’s sometimes better to pick a spot and let the world come to you. If you wait patiently, all kinds of interesting scenes will appear no matter where you are.
This is in an old shopping district of Salerno. The buildings and shops looked like they haven’t changed much in a hundred years. I got the sense that some shop keepers carried on traditions from one generation to the next.
As the rain let up I continued to walk and eventually the narrow streets opened up into a newer section of town. The shops there were brand-name boutiques you’d recognize in any mall. As for me I preferred the character of the old section much more.
We were standing outside in Vatican City when it started rain like cats and dogs. We wanted to see the basilica but that meant waiting in line for over an hour under an umbrella. So, as the rain wasn’t stopping we decided to hail a cab and head over to Rome’s shopping district. I have no idea where the “shopping district” is, but this is from there.
I’d recently been out taking photos in the rain in New York City. Doing it again in Rome felt a little familiar and I was glad I carried a plastic bag to keep my camera dry. I know this doesn’t sound fun, but I like these kinds of rainy day urban photos and I can’t help but get a little carried away.
It was one of the last days of summer holidays for Italians so the streets were already empty. Add to that the unexpected rain and the shopkeepers were standing around looking bored with nothing to do.
I took a bunch of photos there and ran for cover when the rain got too heavy. Sometimes we ran into a shop, other times it was an amazing cathedral, there are so many in Rome. Regardless, it was a much better way to spend the afternoon than standing in line under an umbrella.
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.
I’ve seen this guy playing the saxophone in Central Park several times before; he’s what I’d consider a permanent fixture. I stopped to take his picture and then left a few dollars in his case. When I was here about five years ago I saw another guy playing the guitar. I was at a train station in another city and someone was some guy playing a didgeridoo. No far beyond were other musicians waiting their turn.
That got me thinking about how they stake out these popular spots. I imagine it’s first come first serve. For prime locations like this in Central Park you probably show up early and once you start playing you don’t stop until you’re done, then the next guy takes over. It’s a dog eat dog world for buskers.
Recently I was walking along a street and there was a lone piano chained to a lamppost. When I walk back later a lady was playing a sonata as only an accomplished musician can do, it was stunning and several of us were stopped in our tracks listening to a recital.
Subways and tunnels are the perfect location because they concentrate people in confined spaces and you have a captive audience. Quite frankly it’s where I’ve heard some of the most talented musicians. What better way to practice than to perform in a public space? If I could play music I’d be out there too, but I take photos so I’ll just stick to what I know.
This is a view of two bridges to Brooklyn I took from the One World Observatory. I thought it was called the Freedom Tower but I guess the name was changed a while back. Nevertheless it’s a great place to visit when you’re in town. And if you’re a photographer, the sky is the limit, literally. It probably took me an hour and a half to walk around the main observation deck. I stopped every few feet to take photos of some different angle on the city. I can’t help it; I get carried away.
I used a lens skirt to block the reflections you normally get when taking pictures through windows. I mentioned this a few days ago on another post. It takes a little extra time to get it all setup but it’s worth the effort.
I’ve been on the other side of those bridges shooting back at the tower, but this was my first experience shooting towards Brooklyn.
With shots like this there is so much detail packed into the image. When I’m there I’m concentrating on focus and composition. Only later when processing the image do I really get a chance to take it all in. Thanks to the high resolution of the Sony sensor I can zoom in and examine all kinds of interesting details.
I was shooting in the middle of the day so I had no need for a tripod. However I’d like to come back in the evening for images with city lights. Hopefully I’ll be allowed to bring a tripod then. My fingers are definitely crossed on that one.