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.

Zen Pipe Smoker

This guy was sitting in a three-piece suit on a hot day, seemingly oblivious to everything around him. I don’t know if he was posing or just practicing the art of Zen pipe smoking.

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Zen Pipe Smoker
A cool character on a hot Barcelona day

Nevertheless, he seemed content to ignore anyone who stopped to look. It was his clothing more than the pipe that struck me. It was hot and humid, he appeared way over-dressed.

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There are loads of street performers up and down La Rambla, which made me think he was posing, yet he wasn’t collecting money. Now that I think of it, he probably works at one of the boutique hotels and was just taking a smoke break. Mystery solved.

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.

Night Enchantment

You haven’t seen Barcelona until you’ve seen and heard it at night. The combination of light, shadows, and music create an exotic enchantment that keeps me coming back for more.

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Night Enchantment
A busker in Barcelona

The harpist played behind the main Cathedral, and it is here that, over the years, I have heard some of the most talented musicians. The night before, I listened to a couple of tenors belting out arias reverberating as in the best opera venues.

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Here is where the greatest from all over Europe and America come to perform in front of passing nighttime crowds. The echoing acoustics of the gothic cathedral walls remind me of the New York subway; only here they don’t get drowned out by passing trains.

Spanish Nights

This scene is typical among the towns of Spain. In particular, this is in Lloret de Mar along the Catalonian coast.

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Spanish Nights
A night scene in Catalonia

These types of street scenes are a favorite of mine because they convey a nightlife ambiance. I take photos like this by using a high ISO, (in this case, 2000), and a low f-stop, (in this case, 2.8). That combination allows picture taking as though it was daylight. Granted, I do post-processing to get the look I’m after – painterly is a word that describes this type of treatment.

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We stayed in Lloret de Mar on our first day of vacation. It’s a little over an hour from Barcelona airport and is an excellent way to decompress from an all-night flight. And, because the body clock was on North American time, it was easy to stay up late and get these scenes, despite the lack of sleep.

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.

Going Somewhere

I took this one of the times I was in Vancouver. As I recall, the weather was terrible most of the time, so I got a lot of practice wearing cold weather clothing.

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Going Somewhere
A dreary day in Vancouver, BC

I’m not complaining but, my wardrobe in Florida consist primarily of shorts and tee shirts. I am aware that most people who don’t live here are envious of that. However, when I do leave town, it’s fun to wear warm clothing. By fun, I mean for a week or two.

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Streets of Salerno

It was one of the hottest days of the year, and for the life of me, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would carry a sweater.

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Streets of Salerno
A summer day in Salerno, Italy

Maybe the stores were air-conditioned in the shopping district of this Italian port city. In Florida, we freeze going to a movie in summer. You dress in shorts and flipflops but then need a jacket in the theater.

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When I was here in Solerno, it rained cats and dogs in the morning, and within an hour the streets dried up from the heat. I got a wide range of pictures that day that included different types of weather. It reminded me of Florida summers but with a lot more to explore.

Ocean Drive

I cannot get enough of Miami Beach, although, to tell the truth, I’ve never hung out ON the beach. I prefer the excitement of Ocean Drive.

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Ocean Drive
Night life on Ocean Drive in Miami

When we moved to central Florida, we got a bunch of beach gear and went to the beach a lot. But these days less so. I still go to take pictures or sit at a beachside restaurant at sunset. But to actually go to the beach to swim and lounge? Not so much.

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So when in Miami you’ll find me here, walking up and down Ocean Drive or taking photos at the beach or, …whatever. There is so much to see you can never be bored.

Collioure

This picture is from a drive we took from France to Spain along the coast; we made so many stops that it was a minor miracle we made it anywhere.

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Collioure
A street scene from Collioure in the southern tip of France

One of our favorite stops was Collioure. We intended to stop only for a few minutes but lingered half a day. We walked around, sat in outdoor cafes, and mainly enjoy the Mediterranean way of things.

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This is a street scene along the main road through town. I was walking around taking pictures of the side streets. The buildings are painted every color of the rainbow which made it even more fun to take pictures.