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.

Eric Island

Come to Eric Island, an all-inclusive paradise where your every need will be attended to by our world-class staff. From five-star chefs to breathtaking views, we have it all.

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Eric Island
Legend has it there is gold buried on that island.

Actually, this is between the Port of Manatee and the county jail. Legend has it that pirates used this for launching raids on either. And a little known historical fact; Captain Morgan stored his gold here before retiring to start a rum business. He’s not a bad chap once you get to know him like I do.

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I was thinking of about mounting a raid to claim Eric Island for myself. I plan to turn it into a tax-free haven to rival the Camen Islands. As well, it will become a hub for cryptocurrency mining on account of the free water for cooling. I am full of all kinds of ideas. This and Florida swampland are the next big things.

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.

Common Threads

This is a section of the Arthur Erickson designed Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. To be clear, I didn’t know about the architect until just now when I looked him up. But if you’re like me, you’ll recognize his work in other major cities. He even has a blog on Tumblr. Say what?

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Common Threads
This is the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver

This makes me realize there are so many things I don’t know. It’s a revelation to learn that things I’ve regularly seen have something in common. Each one is so unusual that I’ve wondered about it, only to become aware of the threads when pointed out.

more from Vancouver

It makes me wonder how many other things have unseen associations. Intuitively I feel this must be the case on many levels; there are more associations in life than we will ever consciously know. For me, one of the little pleasures in life is the revelation that comes with seeing the bigger picture.

Design Museum of Barcelona

This is one side of the Design Museum of Barcelona (Museu del Disseny de Barcelona). I was lucky to have been stranded in Barcelona for a few days and just happen to get a hotel right next door to this. While the city has more than enough ancient architecture, it is also a center for modern design and architecture that, beginning with Antonio Gaudi, spans the full breadth of imagination.

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Design Museum of Barcelona
Design Museum of Barcelona I took while stranded in Barcelona

On the day that I took the clouds reflected on the windows of the building creating this unusual effect. This is an example of why I am just happy to walk around with a camera; unexpected things will appear all around.

more architecture photography

I can get hyper-focused on small details and so I try to be aware of that with this particular type of photography. For instance, I might look at the shapes of the windows and miss the clouds reflected in them. Sometimes it takes a little effort to see interesting compositions right in front of me. Nevertheless, just by getting out and looking around it usually happens, like this, in unexpected ways.

Hilton Molino Stucky

This is the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice. I took this in the evening from a water taxi as we passed by. The moon was full and I managed to snap this just as it appeared over the spire. The clouds created a dramatic effect and I was actually surprised this turned out at all.

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Hilton Molino Stucky
Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice Italy

I used an aperture of f1.8 and an ISO of 10000 and a shutter speed of 125th of a second. All that translates into an ability to take hand-held photos at night from a moving boat. I’m still amazed that this is possible even though I’ve had my Sony camera for a couple of years now; compared to what was possible just a few years ago it’s phenomenal.

the european gallery

The hotel is on the island of Giudecca and there is a lot to see here including art galleries, ancient churches and, of course, the city of Venice right across the water. I can imagine that the night view of Venice from the roof top bar is well worth whatever they charge for a gin and tonic. I think the hotel also has its own water taxi for guests.

As for me, it’s all on my list for the next time I return.

Architectural Appreciation

I took this on Architectural Appreciation day. That’s a joke, there’s no such thing, at least that I’m aware of.

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Architectural Appreciation
Architectural Appreciation

This building is in central Amsterdam. It struck me as a statement of architecture. It was cold and I had competing thoughts that there wasn’t anything worth taking a picture of. That’s how my mind works, it’s always looking for an out when the weather is not good. I looked straight up and decided I better setup despite the protestations of my body and complaining mind.

I think that if I lived in Europe I’d shoot a lot of architecture. Even so there are opportunities closer to home. I know its cliche but it really is a matter of perspective. 

The idea with architecture photography is to reduce some design to a simple box. Sometimes when we look at things we see too much to appreciate the details. Architecture photography is about appreciating details. Focussing the lens on a single aspect of a building is, believe it or not, an act of appreciation. Think about it, the person who designed this building has surely considered this perspective in his or her mind many times. However most of use walk right by, never looking up to notice. Now imagine you are that architect and you see and read this post. You might smile and think someone actually noticed and appreciated it.

architecture images

It’s about being present and open to little things all around us. It could be a little animal, a tree or piece of architectural design by someone with a vision of symmetry and lines.

Anyway, after I took the shot I went back inside. It was damn cold.

Iconic Morning

Iconic Morning
An iconic morning in Vancouver BC                                                    Obtain a high quality framed print for home or office

I can be such a tourist at times, like when I took this shot of the Vancouver Convention Centre against the back drop of the harbour, bridge and mountains. It would not surprise me if there are a thousand of these photos taken everyday. To prove my point there was a little plaque where I stood to describe the scene. One minor difference is that I took this at an ungodly hour on a Sunday morning before any self respecting tourist was out of bed.

Check out more images from the Vancouver gallery

But its karma, or something like it. I live in an area of Florida where there are a lot of tourists, so it’s only fair that I should get to be a tourist once in a while. Actually, it’s not karma, its more like tourism payback, serious payback. That makes no sense.

Off to the right is the Lions Gate Bridge, beyond that are the mountains and at the tops you can make out the lights of Cypress Bowl, a local ski area. Between the bridge and the convention centre is Stanley Park and to the foreground of that is the sea plane port. But the one thing that catches my eye, and everyone else eye, yet gets left out of the tourist plaques is the gas station. Why on gods green earth they decided to put a gas station in the middle of Vancouver Harbour I’ll never know. But there it sits, along side all the other icons of Vancouver. Interesting.

Koerner Library

Koerner Library
The Koerner Library at the University of British Columbia                       Buy a mounted print

This is the Koerner Library building at the University of British Columbia. I walked through UBC on my way back from taking pictures along the shoreline. I was amazed at how big the UBC campus is. To me, coming from a small town, it seemed enormous and I suppose this is just one of many libraries scattered throughout. The sun was setting behind the building so it added a dramatic flare, at least to my eyes which never saw this building before.

I think that faculty and students don’t even bat an eye, and the thought of taking a picture of this might seem trite. That’s the value of having fresh eyes. This happens to me all the time back in Florida. I can walk somewhere and not see a thing I’d consider remarkable, but someone from out of town would. We all become blind to things we consider commonplace. In fact, I almost didn’t stop to take this picture because I noticed it was a library, what could be interesting about a library? I’m glad I did.

After taking the shot I continued back to the bus stop to catch a ride back to town. It was Saturday night and sure enough it was full of students heading into town to hang out. It was still pretty early so the bus wasn’t that full, but I’m sure had I left a couple hours later this library would have been empty and all therein lined up at the bus stop for a night away from the library. Not that I know that to be a fact, I’m just sayin.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia                                 Obtain print

I took this iPhone photo of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona rather than with my normal camera. It was the day before I went inside and was traveling in an open roof tour bus. I used photoshop to remove the construction cranes towering above. I did it as an experiment to see what it would look like without the distractions. Little did I know the cranes have been there for years and will be for about another ten years until construction completes in about 2030. In the meantime this is my idea of what it might look like when complete.

Sagrada Familia Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia the chief architect Jordi Fauli announced in October 2015 that construction is 70 percent complete and has entered its final phase of raising six immense towers. The towers and most of the church’s structure are to be completed in 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death; decorative elements should be complete by 2030 or 2032. That is one long construction project. But perhaps, compared to some of the great cathedrals of old, it’s right on target.