Why do we call it a bank of elevators? My guess is that at one time, only banks had lifts. Rest assured, this is no bank.
Royal Caribbean ships have elevator banks that are functional, stylish and serve as a showcase for hanging art. No two banks are the same which is not only refreshing but helpful. Helpful, in that, on some of the larger ships, it’s easy to get disoriented. Having distinct elevator banks helps with getting your bearings. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot whether I was at the front or back of the boat. Unless you’re up top or by a window, it’s almost irrelevant, but knowing which direction to walk for a meal is an acquired skill.
Also, each night the crew replaces a floor tile in each elevator with the name of the day. So not only do you know which part of the ship you’re on, you’re reminded the day of the week. Little orientation hist never hurt anyone. Anyway, if memory serves me, this was at the back of the Oasis of the Seas, or was it the front?
I used to live in Canada and wondered what it would be like to live in a place like Florida; now that I’ve been here fifteen years I know, hot as hell.
It’s called the sunshine state for a reason. The sun is white, hot, and intense; which is why I remain most of the time indoors. I look forward to the few months I can wear a sweatshirt.
Like anything, you adjust with light clothing, hats, and sunglasses. If however, you work outdoors, then you cover up. Outdoor workers cover from head to toe in the most intense heat and humidity imaginable. Think about that.
Here is another balloon from the festival last week. If nothing else, it whets my appetite for doing more of these. This kind of image checks a lot of boxes for me: it’s at night, colorful and simple.
It’s an example of how I try to simplify a subject to give it a stronger voice. At an event like this, there are a lot of people walking around, other balloons and basically, a bunch of commotion. But I walked around this one balloon looking for an angle that would minimize the distractions. I also used Photoshop to blackout a bus and truck. So, the combination of composition and post-processing allowed me to create a simpler scene that focuses on just the main subject.
I gravitate towards simplicity in photography. I suppose it’s a form of meditation and a break from the barrage of daily life. So, there you have it, one big reason why I like balloons. And you thought they were just for flying.
Yesterday was the first day of the Sarasota Balloon Festival. I’ve never been to one of these, so I wandered over in the evening. The wind was prohibitive but at the last minute a few of the rigs inflated and put on a little glow show. They were tethered with ropes, but as they inflated the wind caused them to tilt like this. Just the spectacle of it was kind of cool, such massive devices with nothing but air, glowing and blowing in the wind.
That was just the first night so I’ll check the weather and head back over to see more. Balloons are a great subject for photography. When I showed up there where no less than two dozen tripods setup and everyone else was snapping pics on their phones. Here’s a quick video I took with my iPhone.
There is also a carnival, so I wandered over to take some pictures of the midway with all the food vendors and rides. It reminded me of when I traveled all over the state of California from fair to fair selling magazines. I worked for a company that set up a booth and for a while I became a carny of sorts. That’s how I spent my high school summers and the smell of the funnel cakes brought all that back.
This is from St Paul de Vence near Nice France which is an art colony on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. It’s an ancient village with narrow streets lined with shops and studios of every type. I snapped this of a random artist as I walked around one day.
Having spent so much time processing photos, watching an artist at an easel seems a little familiar to me. What I do with photography is different, yet I think I get into a similar mindset as say a painter or sculptor.
As I work with photos I create something new, mostly from an idea I have of the scene. Even though it’s a photograph I alter it through post processing to achieve a certain look. So, while it’s very different than using paints, my head is probably in a similar space as other types of artists.
That’s the thought that struck me as I watched this artist quietly from behind. The solitary pursuit of his vision seemed very familiar to me; so, I took a picture and started the whole process over again.
I took this while walking around in the rain in the middle of summer. Even though it was raining it was warm and humid, not unlike Florida. However unlike Florida the energy of the city was entirely unique to me. I was very happy to be here, especially in the rain, because of the atmosphere it created.
For each image this week I’ve used Topaz to render part of the scene in an impressionistic style. In this scene all but the central subject has been “painted” by the software while I blended in the original image of the lady with the umbrella.
Having the ability to blend photos opens up choices in terms of artistic expression. I combine renderings of the software with realistic aspects of a photo. Then I work with color, saturation, contrast and shadows so I can re-create a scene more from my mind than actual event. In some cases that suits my preferences as it relates to photography.
Because I did not set the shutter speed correctly this image came out looking double exposed and blurry, like an impressionistic painting. This is not something I intended but looking at it now it feels a little like my memory of that evening in Venice.
In my short visit I experienced sights, sounds and feelings. The more I go back to look at the photos the more my memories are formed. But it’s totally subjective and what I remember is unique to me alone.
There is much in life I don’t remember because I never took the time to. If we don’t think about something it may not make an impression and is soon forgotten. However when we do, we build memories from our impressions.
Memories are like paintings, they are renderings, not true recordings. In the case of art, impressions are more important than fact.
The sounds of the oars in the water, the chatter of the gondoliers, the lights of the overhead windows and the evening shadows across the buildings; all of these combine into an impression that is so perfectly preserved with a simple camera mistake.
This image is based on the Vancouver terminal, or YVR as its also known. Each time I travel here I am intrigued by the construction. The architects created an exoskeleton with which they hung the functional necessities of the terminal. The form and function are indistinguishable from one another. I’ve noticed this elsewhere and it represents an evolution in how we build.
In the software industry we employ patterns to do basic tasks. Patterns are the analogs of load-bearing structures used in construction. Software has always drawn parallels from construction, and soon I believe it will occur the other direction.
We are evolving into beings that live as much in software as brick and mortar. The trend is accelerating and the boundaries between virtual and physical are becoming more tenuous each day.
The Matrix struck a chord because it explored merging of physical and software realities. I believe we are on some of the same trajectories proposed in the movie. In another generation virtual reality will be as commonplace as a cell phones are now.
When I see physical structures I think of their corollaries in software. Likewise when I build software I borrow construction techniques and terminology. Now opposite is beginning to occur with construction rendering which is an offshoot of 3D printing. We have begun to build physical structures with software as seen on this YouTube. We are now on the verge of yet another revolution in combining software and construction. The merging between software, virtual reality and construction and manufacturing are all but disappearing before our eyes.
This is part of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Naturally the design caught my eye and is another example of art in architecture. As unusual a shape as it is, the wide angle lens accentuates the effect. The surrounding buildings seem to bend into its gravitational pull.
Public art can evoke imagination transporting the thoughts of any who take the time to notice. I believe it subconsciously stimulates our inner worlds one individual at a time.
We all need art in our lives. Many of us live, move and age in a world without acknowledgment of art. We ignore it. I am no exception, racing at the feet of another god, unmindful of my surroundings. But eventually we tire of being disconnected from deeper meaning. Art is a portal to the place it was created. That’s an opaque way of saying it leads back to creative energy, because it’s the product of a creative.
I have never considered myself a creative. But I’ve come to appreciate creatives and their art. And through the practice of the craft of photography I begin to recognize creative similarities in my own and different mediums. If I, of all people, can become aware of the value of art, then there’s hope indeed.
I don’t need to tell you because everyone knows Ron is in Toronto. I ran into Ron the other day while wandering around Toronto. It was raining and not too many people were out, but that could have been because it was Sunday morning. In any case, as I said, I was wandering about in the rain and there, right in front of me is Ron. I was a little surprised to see Ron.
I’m a little shy, so I wasn’t sure if I should go right up to Ron or just hang back. I decided to hang back, safer that way. There were a few other people milling about but I’m not sure if they recognized Ron.
I was about to walk up and take a photo but then it happened. As I sat there transfixed I heard an incessant noise, or shout. I looked around and as I looked behind me there was a large group of Chinese tourist shouting for me to get out of the way. I was standing in front of Ron in Toronto and ruining their shot. I can understand that, I hate when that happens. Some people can be oblivious to others trying to get a perfect photo. At that moment the someone was me.
Anyway, just as quickly as they appeared they vanished into the grey morning drizzle of an October day. I was left wondering how so many could disappear so quickly. I must say these tourist are efficient in the extreme.
Finally I had my chance, it was just me and Ron in Toronto. I approached and took a picture. This is Ron, in Toronto.