Big Banks

The big banks in Canada have done quite well. I know that because I see them everywhere in the United States.

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Big Banks
A Bank of Montreal building in Vancouver, BC

This image is from downtown Vancouver, BC. It’s another one of the photos that I’ve reprocessed. Below is the first image from about six years ago. Boy, I miss that Nikon 14-24mm lens. I think the Sony version is next on my list.

Bank of Montreal
Here is another version I posted about six years ago.

more architecture images in the gallery

The distortion of the monochrome image is very close to how it appeared in-camera. In the color image, I corrected the tilt in Photoshop so that it is less warped. I’m not aiming for realism, rather the architecture and the visual elements like reflections. The sense of confusion is what I’m going for here if that makes any sense.

Crew on Deck

The Platypod is a mini holder for the camera that allows you to get these low angles. If nothing else that provides a different perspective.

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Crew on Deck
The crew washes the deck on the Symphony of the Seas

The crew of our ship would wash the decks with hoses each morning. Because I have a habit of waking up before dawn, I’d see them and then use the Platypod to take photos like this. I guess we can call these types of shots low angle studies.

more images from cruises

There are a lot of things to take pictures of on a ship, but after a while, I was wracking my brain for something new. Once I discovered this little trick, I made a ton of these studies. Eventually, it got old, and so the next time I go on a cruise, I’ll be looking for something else to keep me interested.

Park Scene

On a typical evening at Bayfront Park in Sarasota, people are walking along a scenic path or merely sitting on a bench. Given the view, can’t say that I blame them.

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Park Scene
Bayfront Park in Sarasota

Sometimes I come here to take sunset photos; other times I prefer to take pictures of people watching the sunset. I’m not sure which I like more, it depends on my mood I suppose.

more monochrome from the gallery

This is street photography, even though it’s in a park. The idea is to freeze a moment in time to preserve the essence of movement, place, and people. Street scenes are studies; they take something fluid and solidify to be examined in detail later. In scenes like this, I see things that were not apparent at the time. I think there is value in that, like maybe an appreciation for the multitude and beauty of things unnoticed.

Timeless Scene

In one sense, the scene of children on the beach is timeless, it could have been taken a hundred years ago. However, the landscape might have changed quite a bit.

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Timeless Scene
Lands End in San Francisco

Mechanically speaking, beaches are the act of erosion. The beach here probably looked quite different a hundred years ago. Because changes happen slowly, we don’t notice much of it. But take a picture of anything year after year, and we begin to see changes.

more from the monochrome gallery

With technology, and from this point forward, we are recording the transformation of our landscapes accurately. Assuming we’re around in a couple thousand years, we should have a high-resolution time-lapse recording of all the changes. That should be pretty awesome to watch because it will show the changes that span a human lifetime in just a few seconds. Then, maybe, we will have an appreciation for just how dynamic the changes on our planet really are.

NBA Cafe

It’s odd seeing an American sports bar in Spain. Maybe the NBA is popular here, what do I know? Or perhaps it just caters to American tourists.

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NBA Cafe
An American sports bar overlooking La Rambla in Barcelona

I was in Barcelona for only a day, so I took pictures of everything and anything. These are the windows of the NBA Cafe on La Rambla.

monochrome gallery

Anyway, I just thought it was cool how the windows were outlined with neon lights. Like I said, anything and everything.

Plaza de la Merced

It might be an understatement to say it was raining cats and dogs in Malaga. But that’s of little consequence when you traveled over four thousand miles to get here.

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Plaza de la Merced
It was raining cats and dogs in Malaga Spain.

I was determined to go out, come hell or high water. The universe obliged and gave me high water. I wore jeans, a light rain shell and got utterly soaked. The bus pass in my pocket was unreadable and plastered flat against my iPhone. When I showed it to the driver, she seemed more worried about my phone than the pass. Thankfully, iPhones are water resistant these days.

see European gallery

Speaking of which, I’ve read a lot about how the Sony a7RM3 is “water resistant,” so I decided to put it to the test. Imagine standing under a sprinkler. A little moisture got onto the lens mount, and the camera started giving me error warnings; however the camera and lens continued to operate, and I didn’t lose any shots. The camera got soaking wet. When I got back to the ship, I let it dry for a few hours, and it was perfectly fine. I suspect a tighter lens fit of a pro-grade GM lens would have eliminated that issue, but I was using the consumer grade 85mm f1.8, which I love as a lightweight travel lens.

All in all, I had a blast and, it was a good test of equipment and perhaps, my own craziness.

Ocean Drive

When I was last in South Beach, I hung around Ocean Drive. This is one of the many spots where they serve those half-gallon Margaritas. Only in Miami.

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Ocean Drive
A night scene on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach

This colors on this were so loud and crazy that I opted for monochrome to focus more on the people. These kinds of street scenes are fun to look at later, away from the sounds and heat of the moment. It’s taking a glimpse into a snap of time and spinning a tale in our mind of what was going on.

more from Miami

Sometimes, I get looks from people that make me a little self-conscious. I don’t mind if it’s just people looking at me and wondering, but in places like this, there are quite often celebrities. I’m not into the whole celebrity thing and am really bad at recognizing faces. But I do occasional snap a star, so I hope they will realize that I’m just some guy without an agenda that probably just finished one of those half-gallon Margaritas.

Gigondas Village

Gigondas is a town in southern France known for its wine. But then, we could say that for just about every village in France.

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Gigondas Village
Up upon the hillside village in Southern 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.

more from France in the gallery

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 Reflections

When there is no breeze, the water on Sarasota Bay turns to glass. I was fortunate enough to show up one night two years ago when the conditions were just right.

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Sarasota Reflections
Apartment buildings overlook Sarasota Bay, as seen from Island Park.

Everyone likes the views from Island Park which is why folks come here to walk and take photos. I’m particularly fond of the perspective it provides for nighttime cityscapes across the water.

more from Sarasota

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.

Bloch Building

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.

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Bloch Building
Outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

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.

more in the monochrome gallery

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.