A few years ago I was wandering around the old section of Montpellier. This image is from a day when I walked around taking random photos of people walking past shops.
What’s relevant is I took this photo during the day, and the original looks much different. However, I wanted to recreate a low light look, so I’ve manipulated the lighting with photoshop and other tools, like Luminar from Skylum.
I took this when I was on vacation. However, no one likes looking at vacation photos, unless maybe they’re our own. However, I do like looking at pictures that have a sense of mystery to them. That’s what I tried to do here, create a sense of something I saw in my head but wasn’t there.
Here is another image from Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. I cannot fathom living eight-hundred years. Imagine the stories these trees could tell. After that length of time, I suppose the stories would go on and on.
After looking at these images, I am pining to go back. Knock on wood I’ll have a chance soon. Short of that, I’ll just have to lumber along here in Florida. Forgive me dear blog reader, you do not deserve to be pun-ished this way.
One good thing about living eight-hundred years is that the statute of limitations is on your side. Whatever you did in the last century is forgotten, unless, of course, you’re a tree. In that case, your neighbors know your business. Do trees forget?
If you’ve found this blog post informative, then I’m clearly not doing my job today.
This is from Cathedral Grove in British Columbia. It’s a relatively small area filled with Douglas Fir and Red Cedar. Some of the trees are 800 years old and 250 feet high. The forest is considered rare and endangered, the trees are prized by the logging industry. You can find out more about that here.
Having walked through it on a couple of occasions I can say there is a special feeling you get. There aren’t many places like this remaining on the planet, so I hope we can preserve it and the forests around it.
We passed by here on our way to Ucluelet from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. We were so moved by the size and grace of the trees that a week later we stopped again on the way back. On each occasion, we walked in quiet reverie induced by our surroundings. I took a lot of pictures and am just now getting back to some of these images that remind me of this special place.
I took this inside the 8th century Le sette Chiese at the center of Bologna. It’s a complex of buildings including a seminary, cathedral and museum. It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area.
I will say that Italy has a lot of is Catholic churches and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so may. Before you know it they all start running together and you can’t remember one form the other. At least that happens with me, so I look for things to take pictures of to remind me of something unique. In this case there were monks walking around attending to duties and I thought that was interesting.
I try to be as discrete as possible in situations like this by putting the camera into silent shutter mode. That’s a camera setting and a way to take photos without any shutter noise. More and more cameras have that these days because it’s useful in a lot of settings, not just churches. Think for a moment of a golf swing or a recital and you can imagine how any sound might ruin the moment. Anyway, I’ve even set a button the camera to turn on silent shutter mode so I can quickly and quietly capture moments like this.
A darkened central Amsterdam underpass creates a setting that is best described as a scene. Scenes are a combination of things that together make it more than just a place. Looking for scenes is a pastime of mine especially when walking through cities at night. Textures, light and motion combined to evoke imaginary scenarios rarely rooted in reality. As I took this the trains rumbled overhead completing the urban soundtrack of this vignette.
This underpass was something of a mystery to me when I first arrived in the city. It is across from my hotel and as I timidly explored I couldn’t see where it ended. As it was late I shied away from following it to the other end. Later I discovered it led to a busy neighborhood full of shops and bistros. But my initial trepidation contributed to a state of mind (erroneous as it was) that created this foreboding subterranean scene in my mind.
When I was a child I saw this cathedral from the outside because my aunt had an apartment directly across the street. The architecture made an impression on me that has remained to this day and the area around the cathedral occasionally appears in my dreams. With this in mind I was driving by a few weeks ago and thought to stop and look inside. I’m glad I did.
On a Monday afternoon it was empty save for an attendant. It’s a cavernous space infused with refracted light from the stained glass ribs of the spier. However what struck me most was the silence of the enormous space.
There is much to take in, but as for my camera I look for rectangles that convey one aspect. As I could not help but look up at the light coming through the windows I chose this perspective. It was late in the day and so the west facing windows conveyed the greatest light.
Just happening in on this the way I did was a complete surprise. Whatever I expected was surpassed by the combination of ambience, light and architecture. This is without question a place of inspiration.
This is the cargo dock in Vancouver Harbour. I’m standing at Canada Place facing east towards Burnaby. Half of this photo is a painting of sorts. I’m not really a painter but all of the reflections are my own doing, an example of an idea I get and then working to bring it out. I do it for no other reason than I get a enjoyment from it. The waters of Vancouver Harbour are not nearly this glassy, but that doesn’t stop me from imagining what it would look like if they were.
This looks almost like a lake with fresh water. But then there would not be such big cargo docs. Mr. Rational says things don’t make sense and deconstructs the scene. However in the world of my imagination I get to mix things up a bit and play what-if scenarios.
In fact the waters of this bay are really clean, especially for a port with so much shipping. It’s not uncommon to see otters and seals swimming about. Compared to other port cities this is probably one of the cleanest. Maybe that’s where I got the idea from. I’ll take it up notch and make it appear like a lake. One thing is for sure, this is the only image like this you’ll see because it’s one part reality and one part dose of my imagination.
Out from the dark and into the light. This image could be a metaphor for all kinds of things. It’s a new year and so maybe this is a metaphor for new beginnings, or perhaps nothing at all. Meaning is in the eyes and mind of the beholder, so whatever this makes you think of is cool.
In one respect images are like a Rorschach Test. We each look at the ink blot and see something different, something constructed from our inner world of associations, thoughts and emotions. I just happened to snap this while standing under the bridge, it’s just a picture. But now that I look at it, it reminds me of other things completely. For you the thoughts invoked are surely different.
These are my favorite kinds of images, those that bridge the gap between mundane and metaphor. I think having a person in an image allows me to project myself into the scene, either as the observer or the observed. It’s a matter of perspective. I project myself as the person with the bike which is kind of funny because in real life I was the observer with the camera. In a manner of speaking, I switched roles between the time I took this and the time I viewed it. Maybe this is a lot of gibberish about nothing, or maybe there’s an insight. I suppose that depends on what we choose to take out of it. For me perhaps it’s a metaphor for going into the light.
I took this in Barcelona inside the Sagrada Familia. The light shining through the stained glass was nothing sort of amazing. Even though the cathedral was plenty crowded you could easily get lost in contemplation as though you were all alone.
In the morning I was at the other main cathedral in the Gothic quarter, but this Antoni Gaudi masterpiece transcends traditional concepts and takes architecture and design to a new level that is quite frankly beyond belief. Regardless of religious persuasion, this is worth seeing.