Cunningham Falls

The colors are here in the Northeast, so a few days ago, I drove to this random park called Cunningham Falls; it turns out it’s not so random.

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Cunningham Falls
An autumn scene in Maryland

I don’t know the area, so; I picked a random place to visit on Google Maps. Little did I know this is a popular spot because there were a lot of other photographers that showed up as well. I took all kinds of shots from different angles, including this, which is a twelve-shot panorama.

more from the landscape gallery

The scene consists of twelve shots, four groups of three that I processed in AuroraHDR, and stitched in Lightroom. The result is a very high-resolution landscape of a not so random Maryland park.

Zen Pipe Smoker

This guy was sitting in a three-piece suit on a hot day, seemingly oblivious to everything around him. I don’t know if he was posing or just practicing the art of Zen pipe smoking.

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Zen Pipe Smoker
A cool character on a hot Barcelona day

Nevertheless, he seemed content to ignore anyone who stopped to look. It was his clothing more than the pipe that struck me. It was hot and humid, he appeared way over-dressed.

more from the monochrome gallery

There are loads of street performers up and down La Rambla, which made me think he was posing, yet he wasn’t collecting money. Now that I think of it, he probably works at one of the boutique hotels and was just taking a smoke break. Mystery solved.

Fishing Village

These boats are in Collioure in Southern France. It’s a Catalonian village known for sardines, among other things.

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Fishing Village
Small fishing boats along the French Mediterranean.

After I took the photo, I saw a couple of street artists selling paintings of these same boats. They seem almost picture-perfect, almost as though they were placed here for effect. But that could just be my jaded view of things, and it’s not something the French are prone to do.

more from the gallery

One of the primary industries here is sardines. The last time we came through, I ordered a plate of them at a seaside cafe. For all I know, these may be sardine boats that returned in the morning. The rest of the day, they are click-bait for photographers like me. That was a lame joke.

Rooftop with a View

When in Barcelona, the last thing on my mind is taking photos of the sunset. However, if one presents itself, I’m more than happy to oblige.

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Rooftop with a View
Sunset during happy hour

This photo is another that I took from atop the Fira Renaissance. The hotel is outside the main tourist area, so most of the people here were attending conferences. They would come up to the rooftop pool to socialize during happy hour.

travel photography gallery

It still amazes me how structurally sound these buildings must be to support a pool on the top floor – water is so heavy. There is also an indoor pool on the floor below. I guess there is no limit to what people can dream and build.

Taller de Tapas

Here are some people in the gothic quarter of Barcelona sitting outside at a tapas bar, talking late into the night.

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Taller de Tapas
A typical night scene in the gothic quarter of Barcelona

Scenes like this occur over and over, and I think, are typical of Catalonian culture. Not that I’m an expert, but it seems quite friendly and puts a lot of value on spending time with family and friends.

more night photography from the gallery

It’s not difficult to see the appeal, especially in places like Barcelona. Sure, every area has its problems, but it’s fun to see different lifestyles and wonder what it would be like to live there, if only for a spell.

Lighthouse of the Mediterranean

I’m aiming straight up at Phare de la méditerranée, which translates “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.” Despite the name, it’s not a lighthouse.

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Lighthouse of the Mediterranean
One of the attractions of Palavas-les-Flots in Southern France

The top of the tower is a revolving restaurant with views of, you guessed it, the Mediterranean. There are a few touristy places like this because Palavas-les-Flots is a French vacation town. But it’s not over-the-top commercialized as you might find in other areas. There is a casino, but it’s low-key, not overly flashy.

more architecture photography in the gallery

One thing you will find a lot of though is ice cream. For whatever reason, they are crazy about ice cream, and in tourist towns, you’ll find it on every corner.

Carnon Plage Scenes

Depending on the time of day, the scene at this beach is entirely different. I’m not sure which one I prefer better.

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Carnon Plage Sunrise
Sunrise at the beach in Carnon
Carnon Plage Midday
Midday at the same beach.

Having spent almost a week here, I had plenty of opportunities to take in the view. I think perhaps that I like the early morning view for the stillness of the water. If I think about it much longer, I’ll probably change my mind.

be sure and visit the beach gallery

The defining characteristic of Carnon Plage is the circularity of the shore. (BTW: Plage is the French word for beach.) Breakwaters were constructed to prevent erosion such that waves passing through form rings. The beach is therefore circular and, there is more of it than if it were merely straight. In the end, it makes for good picture taking, which for me, is all that seems to matter.

Melanie De Biasio

Probably the biggest festival of the year in Barcelona is La Mercè. Of course, we knew nothing about it until we were right in the middle of it.

Checkout Melanie De Baisio
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Melanie De Biasio
A midnight concert in from the Barcelona Cathedral during La Mercè
Here is a perspective with the cathedral that I took with my iPhone

We were walking around and stopped to listen to Melanie De Biasio perform a midnight concert in front of the main cathedral. Her music is a hypnotic jazz fusion that’s right down my alley. Like everything else, I’d never heard of her, but now she’s at the top of my playlist. 

During the La Mercè, many of the major plazas host outdoor free concerts, plus there are fireworks and parades each night. It’s called the festival of festivals for a good reason. In my case, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart. 

School Night in Montpellier

In my next life, I’ll be born in France and, when I go to school, it will be in Montpellier. They have by far the best nightlife.

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School Night in Montpellier
Medical students hanging out in Montpellier, France

Not that I am suggesting one should go to school because of the nightlife, but if one did, this might rank high on the shortlist. But to be fair, I’m rating it more on aesthetics than academic qualities. In fact, the medical school is quite good; it’s the oldest in Europe.

more from Europe in the gallery

Anyway, I wandered around the narrow streets shooting scenes on a school night. There were a lot of people out, and I’m sure some of them had to be up for class the next day. But, I suppose that’s just training for the sleep deprivation they’ll experience the first years of residency.

Night Enchantment

You haven’t seen Barcelona until you’ve seen and heard it at night. The combination of light, shadows, and music create an exotic enchantment that keeps me coming back for more.

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Night Enchantment
A busker in Barcelona

The harpist played behind the main Cathedral, and it is here that, over the years, I have heard some of the most talented musicians. The night before, I listened to a couple of tenors belting out arias reverberating as in the best opera venues.

more night photography from the gallery

Here is where the greatest from all over Europe and America come to perform in front of passing nighttime crowds. The echoing acoustics of the gothic cathedral walls remind me of the New York subway; only here they don’t get drowned out by passing trains.