At the Waters Edge

I took this in front of a beach restaurant last Sunday. We like coming here because we can eat at the waters edge and stare out to sea. We arrived for a late lunch that turned into an early dinner and then decided we might as well stay for sunset. Sometimes its best to go with the flow, especially on a weekend.

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At the Waters Edge
At the Waters Edge in Bradenton Beach

Staring out to sea is like staring at a fire. It’s something that speaks to our subconscious. Once you start it’s hard to stop, like a long hot shower.

This is my interpretation of the scene that evening. By that I mean I imagined the girl on the beach was soaking in the sun and that it was rejuvenating her. I removed people because in my mind this is not about a busy beach. In this story she is alone with her thoughts.

A lot of people come here from all over to escape the cold and soak up the sun. Our heroine is surely one of these people.

I am glad to see the reaction of others because it reminds me of how fortunate I am. I spend a lot of time on photography and that takes me to the waters edge. I try not to take it for granted.

More Beaches

I just read that the Gulf of Mexico will be warmer than usual this summer, that the water temperature has remained high this winter. That’s good for the visitors here now; however in summer we’ll have more storms and the scene will look very different. Regardless, I’ll probably come back to capture someone else staring at the sea. The weather may change but our need to sit at the waters edge will not.

People Watching at the Beach

I headed over here for a walk and do some people watching along the beach. I’m glad I did on account of the scenery and the spectacle people that where there to watch the sunset. I’ve mentioned before on the blog about how these crowds of people come to watch the sunset, but I still find it fascinating. Most of the people shown here are from out of town and just the thought of standing by the water watching a sunset is like a dream. Maybe even a dream come true.

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People Watching at the Beach
People Watching at the Beach in Holmes Beach, Florida

Its fun to take random shots of crowds. I didn’t particularly know everything that was going on around me as I worked with my camera. Nevertheless I find it interesting to go back and look closer at the scene. There is no way to take it all in when there, everything changes from one minute to the next. We can see what each person is doing. An interesting study, so many lives and the only thing in common is the location.

Anyway, it was an experience to remember because the next day I was on a plane for Vancouver where its pretty much the opposite of this; cold, dark and rainy. Even so there are a lot of cool things to see in Vancouver and the change of scenery provides contrast. It also reminds me of how fortunate I am to live where I can go to the beach in the middle of winter.

beach gallery

The long hot stormy summers seem like a distant memory now. I will enjoy my time in the cold, dark rainy North almost as much as these folks enjoyed the beach. Almost.

Reflections in an Image

A snapshot of a moment in time from Montpellier France. Even in the middle of a city I look for water or glass and the reflections in it. This is part of an ancient Roman aqueduct. As I noticed the reflections in the pool I positioned myself and waited for the right moment.

Reflections in an Image
Placing reflections in an image is for me a source of inspiration and meaning.

I’m drawn to reflections in images and am always on the lookout for them. They can be metaphors for so many things, even life in general. When I see a reflection it immediately grabs my attention and sometimes I find it more interesting than its source. At a psychological level reflections are rich with meaning and fuel for interpretation.

Perhaps at the very core of it, many things in life are derived from reflections of ourselves. I attach meaning to things based on my own values and life experiences. What I think about things is a reflection of me.

More images from the street photography gallery

I think there’s a little truth to it. Regardless, I’ll continue the hunt for reflections with my camera and maybe, with a little time, I’ll figure it all out.

 

Markets of Collioure

Markets of Collioure
Markets of Collioure France                                           Click here to purchase a framed print

The markets in Collioure are on narrow streets that lead to courtyards filled will shops. This is a fishing village along the mediterranean that’s also a destination for French and Spanish vacationers on the account that its close to the Spanish border. In fact its part of Catalonia, a region with a separate language and customs that crosses the borders and envisions itself as an independent state.

More travel related images here

The border crossing between France and Spain is up a mountain road at the very top. As I drove past I mistook the boarded up buildings for a tourist attraction, but in fact it was the old border checkpoints that were used before the EU. When you see those old stations it amazing to think that there are no more borders within the EU.

Anyway, I loved the colors of the houses here, they reminded me of homes in tropical regions where colors are used freely and in excess. I suppose that’s an earmark of a warm climate, colorful houses that reflect the atmosphere. Further north we tend to stick with muted or darker tones to endure the winter. The feeling here was almost magic as we sat at outdoor bistros and meandered along the narrow streets looking for bargains. I was too busy taking pictures to shop but my wife found a couple of dresses by a designer dressmaker at the little shop on the left.

La Promenade du Peyrou

La Promenade du Peyrou
La Promenade du Peyrou in Montpellier France                                                        Purchase a fine art print

La Promenade du Peyrou is next to the old city centre in Montpellier. Bordering the promenade on two sides are these tree lined walkways. I was here on a rainy day but on a sunny day they provide shade and a place to sit. By using a telephoto lens I created compression in the scene which adds to the sense of a tunnel or covered walkway. In situations like this where there is a line of repeated elements this technique can work pretty well.

I had been walking for hours when I got here so I was happy to sit on one of the benches. The city itself is quite busy but this spot was a nice respite from the commotion. Right next to where I was sitting there was a British rock band packing up their van. From the look of the equipment they must have been filming a music video. The scenery here must be popular as a film location for all kinds of productions; from music to feature film. It’s the perfect european backdrop.

Actually, now that I think of it, this would be a good location for a photowalk. The Promenade is a good meeting point and from here you could walk through the old streets and alleyways of the ancient city. In the other direction is an old Roman aqueduct and plenty of other architecture. In any case, I was on my own one man photowalk, stopping only to rest on a park bench or sip a cappuccino at a bistro or have a glass of wine in an outdoor cafe. That’s the typical pace of a Rick photowalk, slow and easy wins the race.

Check out my European gallery.

Brisk Morning Walk

Brisk Morning Walk
Brisk morning walk along the Manatee River in Bradenton Florida                                     Purchase a gallery quality framed print

These people are on a brisk morning walk along the river a couple days ago. We don’t get a lot of cold days in winter, but when we do we wear sweatshirts and jackets that sit in the closet most of the year. Having endured the long hot seasons of Florida, you won’t hear me complain about a spell of chilly weather. Bring it on baby.

This is taken in Bradenton and that’s the Manatee River. It’s a half mile wide here and a couple miles downstream it empties into the Gulf. It’s not uncommon to see dolphins or manatees around here.

I live on the other side of the river in the little town of Palmetto. Locally the towns across the river are known as north river; simple enough eh?

I was walking my dog this morning as I took this image. He sits patiently as I crouch down to get this low angle and perspective of the brick walkway. I take my camera on many of our walks and he’s gotten used to my stopping at the oddest times. But come to think of it, this is probably the same view that he sees all the time. Hmmm, maybe I’m on to something.

Approaching Howe

Approaching Howe
Approaching Howe Street on a rainy night in Vancouver                                                    Click here to purchase a limited edition framed print

A street scene as I was approaching Howe Street on a Saturday night in Vancouver. I’m waking along Robson which is where a lot happens, it’s the nerve center of shopping in Vancity. The rain is never a reason to stay indoors and from what I can tell people ignore it. That’s a good policy and it will serve you well. If you can’t beat it, join it with a raincoat and umbrella.

It was kind of funny actually. I found myself here with these amazing conditions early in the evening and got pretty excited. This is a street photographers dream because of the lights and rain slicked surfaces. I shifted into the zone as I looked for things to unfold all around. At one point I walked up and down this block several times just taking photos.

To get these street scenes at night it takes a very high ISO, especially if I’m shooting without a tripod. I used my Sony A7RII and set the ISO to 10000. That’s a lot of zeros and up until recently, this just a dream and nighttime photography like this was not even possible. Thanks to the advances from Sony new possibilities have opened up for people like me that like shooting in very low light.

Tech talk aside, just getting out with my camera on a raining day, no matter where, is likely to provide a lot of subject matter to explore. Fortunately for me there is no shortage of rain in Vancouver and, I have both a rain coat and an umbrella.

Keeping it Real

Keeping it Real
Keeping it real on Fort Lauderdale Beach                                        Purchase a fine art gallery print

Keeping it real can be harder than it sounds. Putting aside all the things that we think are important, a little quality time is a pretty good way to start. In the end all we really have are connections. The rest can come and go, it’s connections that define us, or so I think. But when I think of the people that have made an impression on me, it was their gift of time that made that possible.

This is another photo from Fort Lauderdale Beach. I could just stay at the beach and take photos all day long, it’s a natural place for images to just happen, especially if you know what you’re looking for. I take a lot of photos of people walking on the beach. The initial snapshot is a reminder of what I saw in my mind and the idea that I had. Only later when the time is right do I express it, sometimes artistically like this. This image conveys the idea I had in my mind. I never really know how the image will turn out, but if I work at it enough I get close. Close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. Bad reference, scratch that.

I’m going to go back to the beach sometime this week. Who knows what I’ll see or which beach I’ll go to. The main thing is to go and then just let the rest happen; kind of like keeping it real. I think that a lot of things can happen if we just let them. I rarely know what way the wind will blow, I just keep doing my thing and somehow it all works out.

Solitude at Dawn

Soltude At Dawn
Solitude at Dawn on Fort Lauderdale Beach                                                   Buy a fine art gallery print for your wall

I get up early because I find solitude at dawn, more so than any other time of day. The energy is fresh and going for a walking or doing something alone informs the rest of my day.

Like this picture, I think each day we have some place to go. For me, having quiet time is setting aside the space to contemplate my next steps and put in motion a direction of travel for the remaining hours.

Sometimes I don’t go very far in a day, but that’s okay. I might look back and think I didn’t accomplish much and then feel stressed or disoriented because I’m not where I thought I’d be. But my thinking is that I learn from my missteps or detours just as much as anything else. That’s part of growing, learning to take stock and continuing to persevere. So even if I don’t reach the far end that day, something was gained in the journey. That’s what I tell my self, and in truth, that’s what I believe.

I took a picture of this lady walking along the beach in Fort Lauderdale just after dawn. I could tell she was enjoying her alone time and I felt compelled to capture it. However in my minds eye I thought of this dreamscape as a metaphor for solitude and what that means to me; that we each must find some time alone to set and / or readjust the course of our day, and possibly our lives.

Into the Light

Into the Light
For me this represents someone walking into the light, for you, perhaps something different.                               Purchase a fine art gallery print

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.

In any case, Happy New Year everyone.