I took this about six years ago while staying at the Banff Springs hotel in Alberta. This was out back facing the conference area.
The Banff Springs is a massive property with majestic views of the Canadian Rockies on all sides. While there I walked around taking shots of everything. This image has a nice leading line and captures some of the environmental elements. I’ve had three bracketed frames in my archives for a long time. Now that I have the newest Aurora HDR software from Skylum, processing it is easier than ever.
I’ve been going back into the archives a lot lately. It’s funny how you see things in a different light over time. I wish I could go back and change my camera settings, but it’s also good to notice how my technique has improved. The mountains, on the other hand, have not changed, they are just as majestic as ever. Time for another road trip.
This is a street scene along the main road through town. I was walking around taking pictures of the side streets. The buildings are painted every color of the rainbow which made it even more fun to take pictures.
One of the things I like most about Sarasota is their public spaces. This is a good example of that, an oasis in plain sight.
I took this in the middle of summer when we get amazing clouds. I don’t normally take pictures of city parks but this one is situated right on the inter-coastal waterway so I couldn’t resist.
Every time I drive by this park seems empty. I’m not sure if people just aren’t aware of it or what, but it’s the perfect spot. Just stop the car, walk over to the water and sit on a bench. As far as parks go this is one of the prettiest in the area.
This is an HDR image; I took three photos with different exposures and combined them in AuroraHDR. It makes it possible the show the whole range of light when there are extreme ranges like this. It’s hard to take an image like this any other way.
This is a sunrise from the Fort Hammer Bridge in the town of Parrish, Florida. The western part of the county is all beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, but the eastern part is all farmland and natural surroundings. I took this while standing on the new bridge that opened just last week.
If you look carefully you can see smoke rising from a fire in the horizon. It’s brush being cleared for another development. The inland communities of Florida are growing and new home construction is continuing out where only farms existed. It makes you wonder where all the farms will be in the future.
This view is of the preserve below the bridge that is protected and, a sanctuary for wildlife and migrating birds. It’s also a place to kayak and row, the local rowing club is just behind my vantage point.
Walking to the train one morning in Vancouver I noticed this cruise ship at dock. It arrived a few hours earlier and was preparing for another voyage to Alaska. A common site in the summer but nonetheless it looked awesome in the morning light so I took a few photos; this is what I saw in my mind. Let me explain…
I spent a lot of time on this photo to make it look like what you see here. The original photo didn’t look so pretty. It had a lot of distractions, including other boats and a parking lot in the lower right. So I manipulated it to make it look like what I thought I saw. What we perceive is usually different than what we see. In other words, we perceive what we want to see and have a tendency to screen the rest; so this image is now closer to what I thought I saw.
At the time I only noticed the boat, it stood out because it wasn’t there the day before. I also noticed the soft light of the morning sun reflecting on the side. I thought to myself that it was an awesome scene, but when I looked at the image later there were other things I didn’t remember seeing, like the parking lot for instance. Rather than get disappointed and throw it away, it became a challenge for me to see if I could replicate my initial impression.
To my way of thinking the practice of photography is an expression of art. If I just want to record an event I snap a photo with my phone. But “photography” can be more than that. That doesn’t mean it should always be manipulated, but it should tell a story. In this case I did indeed manipulate it so that I could convey the story what I perceived in my mind on that summer morning in Vancouver.
This is from one of the many terraces at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. We arrived here in the morning after an overnight flight from DC. In fact we were too early, so while waiting for our room I walked around to explore and take a few pictures. The hotel gets its name from the collection of public art in and around the hotel.
Unlike other areas, this is in a modern section of town and the outdoor art accents the area to give it a unique feel. It’s in contrast to an area like the gothic quarter, but like any big city there are distinct districts with completely different atmospheres.
Even though we couldn’t check-in right away the terraces and patios were nice places to decompress after a long flight. It didn’t hurt that they seemed to have an endless supply of complementary champagne while we waited.
This is at Siesta Key where we went to see a sand sculpture exhibition. However the most iconic thing about the beach is the portable lifeguard stands. They’re painted in primary colors and spaced every hundred meters. This time I hung around the yellow one because it’s where the sand sculptures were.
The beach is situated so the sun set on one end. Normally in central Florida the beach faces west. I am heading up to the Florida panhandle in a few weeks and it will be a similar experience. From a compositional perspective each has its advantages. Forgive me; I’m always relating everything to photography.
This beach is consistently rated one of the best in the world. That’s on account of the white powdery sand. It’s also located next to a little village with all manner of outdoor establishments. My wife and I had dinner and wine before wandering down to the beach for sunset.
I’m always looking for new compositions in familiar places. Because of the number of people here there will always be something new or different, even though the scenery is the same. There is everything from memorials to drum circles taking place depending on when you happen by. I just happen to come on a day they had sand castles.
I don’t know what I was thinking when I showed up early one morning at Lido Key. By Florida standards it was freezing with a cold wind. I almost turned around to leave but forced myself out of the car to get a few images. I ended up liking this image enough to save it from the dust bin.
Normally this is a beautiful beach, a secret hideaway. Its close to an inter-coastal inlet and has trails and mangroves to explore either on foot or kayak. And being at the end of the key it’s less crowded. All that aside there was not a single soul in sight on this morning.
I took this early in December, ever since then we’ve had warm weather, so I just picked a bad day. I’ll come back and look again for a nice sunrise shot from here. Persistence is my co-conspirator.
Even though this somewhat remote, its just a few blocks away is the Ritz Carlton and St Armonds Circle. That’s the nice thing about Sarasota, it has a mix of low key and upscale. You can pick and choose what you want.
If I had to sum up my impressions of Amsterdam in three words I would say bikes, umbrellas and canals. There were a lot of each. To take it a step further, operating a bike shop here is steady employment. As well, I think that selling umbrellas might also be big business.
I stood on an adjacent bridge taking photos of people as they crossed this bridge. This scene typifies the central canal district and is repeated hundreds of times from one bridge to the next.
Because I was carrying a camera I didn’t have an umbrella, otherwise it’s a good idea to have one. It got me thinking that umbrellas haven’t changed much in a hundred years, they still look and operate the same.
Lo and behold, a few weeks later I started seeing ads on TV about new type of inverted umbrella. Without going into all the details I think it’s an amazing idea and the only thing I can’t figure out is why nobody invented / inverted it years ago. My wife was so impressed she bought four and gave them away as gifts. So here is a tip, someone needs to open up an inverted umbrella stand in Amsterdam, I think it will be license to print money.
What do you see when you look into the future? I think looking into the future is a bit of a fools errand. You think you know what will happen but it doesn’t. And it takes attention away from the present moment, the here and the now. Not that I don’t dream, set goals have a New Years resolution or two. Living in the present while not losing track of the direction of our lives is a balancing act.
This image makes me think of those kinds of things. It’s a metaphor for the uncertainty in the sea of possibilities. We sit on the precipice and look out at the year ahead. We each see something different.
This is an image I took in California as I headed home. The original image looks different, a little more concrete and realistic. But for me photography will often evoke metaphors and I am easily attracted to them. Art is metaphor, a representation of something in our psyches, collective and individual. Artists become immersed in the exploration of metaphors, representing deeper meanings on the canvas.