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.

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.

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.

Reminiscing BCN

This is a repost of an image of Barcelona from a few years before. At least for me, it captures the juxtaposition of the new and old.

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Barcelona City Center

I’m coming back here in a few months, and I was reminiscing. Like any big city, there are different vibes for different neighborhoods. This is from the gothic section with the main cathedral as the centerpiece. I’ll come back here but also explore different areas.

more from Barcelona in the gallery

While walking back to the hotel, I noticed this street framing the central spire. Down every road, there is something different to see. It’s a city people want to live in. It has culture, art, history, architecture, sports, and, of course, food. What’s not to like?

The Nest

This newly constructed building is a wedding venue at Robinson Preserve. If anyone objects to the union, they fall through a trap door and come out the bottom.

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The Nest
The Nest at Robinson Preserve in Bradenton

When not used for weddings, it’s available for corporate events or education. It’s called the NEST which stands for Nature, Exploration, Science and, Technology. It’s one of the more compelling structures to come along recently, so naturally, I had to take a photo.

more architectural images in the gallery

The preserve borders on the Gulf of Mexico so it’s built up high on legs to avoid a tidal surge. I’ve seen a lot more of this type of construction lately. With the new summer storm season starting shortly, it’s probably a wise idea.

Streets of Nice

Here is another photo from Nice France. I took this as I walked around the streets above the harbor on a hot August morning.

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Streets of Nice
A small street in Nice, France

The hill above the harbor is steep, and I remember thinking to my self that I didn’t want to get too hot first thing in the morning. So I paced myself and took slow steps, trying to avoid exertion. That was a fool’s errand because I quickly became covered in sweat no matter how slow I walked. I ended up getting ice cream for breakfast to cool down. That’s just how I roll.

more bicycle images from the gallery

Nevertheless, I prefer to walk around these little streets as opposed to the more famous beaches of Nice. Beaches I have all around me in Florida, so when in Europe, I like unique places like this; even when covered in sweat and eating ice cream.

Raygun-Looking-Thing

So now they are outfitting the Royal Caribbean ships with these rayguns to shoot down alien invaders. Or, maybe it’s just an odd looking crane.

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Raygun-Looking-Thing
The deck of the Oasis of the Seas

On the last night of our cruise aboard the Oasis of the Seas, I walked around late at night getting all kinds of pictures on the empty deck. Most people were packing or living it up one last time before we docked.

more artful cruise images

Actually, the raygun idea was not mine. Earlier in the year, we were on Symphony, a sister ship, and during the Captain’s talk, one passenger asked what the raygun-looking-thing was. The instant deadpan reply was that indeed it was a raygun to shoot down aliens, which was followed by a short silence and then audience laughter. So when I saw this on the Oasis, I chuckled as I was reminded of Captain Rob’s wit and dry delivery.

The Palace

Here’s an early morning shot of the Palace of Fine Arts. I came early because I wanted to see it lit up, and, I was still on eastern time.

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The Palace
The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

Because I was on a different time zone, it felt like mid-morning to me. Disassociation with local time is something I try to take advantage of when traveling. It allows me to get out early or late without much effort. Maybe that makes me sound a little lazy.

more from San Francisco in the gallery

A couple of years ago I worked on a panorama of this, but I can’t find it now so I must have deleted it. I vaguely remember not being too happy with it. Nevertheless, I’ve taken another stab at it, and this time I’m satisfied. This is only one frame, but it looks a little like a pano. I didn’t do much other than a bit of color balancing and a crop. I guess I just needed time to forget about it and try try again.

Picture This

Here is another shot aboard the Oasis of the Seas that I took with the Platypod. I really like the low perspective it provides.

Picture This
Picture This
Taken with a Platypod on board the Oasis of the Seas

These days I carry it everywhere I go. I never know if I’m going to need it, but it’s so small I’d rather carry it. I can get the same perspective with a tripod, but it takes way longer and way more effort. So much effort that I usually don’t bother. The Platypod Ultra is small enough that sometimes I just leave it attached to the camera as I walk around.

more architecture images in the gallery

Anyway, this was taken in the ship’s area known as Central Park. It’s my favorite place on the boat because it creates the perfect illusion of being in a tree line park. And when I’m on vacation, I don’t mind a little fantasy, especially when it’s lined with cool restaurants and a wine bar.

The Fritz

Ocean Drive in Miami Beach on a Monday night. And the later I stayed, the busier it got. I repeat, it was Monday.

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The Fritz
The Fritz on Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami

But then I shouldn’t be surprised, because when I’m on vacation, every day is Saturday and most of the people in South Beach are on vacation. So it could be Sunday, Monday or Tuesday night and the place is still going to be full of life.

more from Miami in the gallery

As I look at this photo, I wonder why they had two TVs set up outside? I get it with TVs in restaurants, but to set two up on the sidewalk seems a little extreme. It’s not enough that we are continually communing with our phones. I’m as guilty as anyone. But maybe it’s a good idea to get unplugged, if even for a couple of hours while we eat. Perhaps I’ll try that tonight, as long as there’s nothing important on.