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.

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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.

Early Walk

This is a section of the Riverwalk in Bradenton. I’m not sure why people wake up before dawn on the weekend and come here. Nevertheless, there we were.

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Early Walk
Predawn along the river in Bradenton

Come to think of it, there are always people here, at any time of day. It’s just one of those places people like to hang out. I’m surprised there aren’t more restaurants here.

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Often, I operate with a sleep deficit. I should stay in bed on the weekend to catch up a little. But it’s also the perfect time to get out and take these kinds of photos. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I die.

Stern Morning

Crossing the North Atlantic in a straight line, each morning you could watch the sunrise from the stern of the ship. Without this constant, there is little else for orientation.

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Stern Morning
Watching the sunrise from the stern of the ship

Admittedly, getting up early on vacation to watch the sunrise sounds insane. But crossing the ocean on a ship leaves plenty of time to nap throughout the day. Trust me; sleep is not a problem.

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Likewise, in the evening you could see the sunset from the bow, but, at that time it seems you’re always busy getting ready for one thing or another. So early mornings and late evenings are the best time to take pictures on a cruise ship. And that, my fellow travelers, is your cruise ship tip of the day.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Old Section of Salerno

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.

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Old Section of Salerno
Old Section of Salerno Italy

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.

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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.