Old Guard House of Japan’s Imperial Palace

A Preferred View

This is the view of this particular guard tower I prefer. It sits in stout defense of the unseen palace behinds its wall. It, guarded by a moat that would leave attackers undefended in crossing. The think is just outside the frame is a mass of new Japan. Big buildings and construction equipment abound. Behind is a massive parking lot. I don’t show you these. This photo looks old, but was taken in 2016. I guess in many ways our fortresses and our photographs aren’t unlike ourselves.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 11 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 30mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/50s
  • Title: Old Guard House of Japan's Imperial Palace

Instagram Fav’s January – April 2016

On Fleek

The other day Pamela asked my what “on fleek” meant. I guessed on point would be close, but had to look it up in truth to confirm my guess. Something that looks good, is sweet, perhaps it’s a stretch, but this is how I am feeling about being up to date with my Instagram Favorites posts! Maybe I should make up some new vernacular to express my pleasure at having my posts shared, like “mmmhum, we instage”! Regardless, these are a few of my favorite images posted on Instagram from January to April of 2016! Please hit up your favorites with a Heart!

Florence, Italy – January 2016

Rome, Italy – January 2016

Vatican City – January 2016

Tokyo, Japan – April 2016

Takaosan (Mount Takao), Japan – April 2016

Instagram Fav’s Sept – Dec 2015

Instagram Favorites

Catching Up

More favorite posts from Instagram today and with this posting I have all of last year online! I am going to make a calendar point that three times a year I need to get these sorts of posts together. I really feel like the mobile phone camera revolution is one of the most important artistic exploration tools of our time. The iPhone and Instagram, for me, are a sort of sketchbook. You will often see some of my best Canon 5D images on the blog, first explored in real-time on Instagram months be they even make into a fully realized blog photo. I can play and explore, try things I wouldn’t, but on Instagram I feel more spontaneous and free.

Sept 2015 – Machu Picchu, Peru

October 2015 – Oahu/Maui/Kauai, Hawaii

Kyoto, Japan – November 2015

Instagram Fav’s May – Aug 2015

Instagram Favorites

WAY Behind

I realized I am WAY behind on sharing some Instragram images on my blog! Here are some from earlier in 2015. Please like your favorites! I think it’s so important to promote mobile phones as an excellent camera they are. So many people think you have to have an expensive camera, but the best camera is the one that is with you!

May 2015 – Kauai, Hawaii

June 2015 – Shanghai/Hangzhou, China

Hong Kong S.A.R- July 2015

New York, NY – August 2015

Broken Chair

Survivors

The sculpture sits in front of the Place des Nations (United Nations) in Geneva, Switzerland. It was one of my favorite pieces of art I saw on this trip. It is a dozen meters tall (39 feet) and is quite a sobering welcome to the U.N. It serves as a reminder to all the diplomats and politicians who visit United Nations headquarters of the atrocities of landmines and cluster bombs, not only to soldiers but to the common people, who will stay around far after the conflict is won, lost or abandoned.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 January, 2013
  • Focal length: 23mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/13s
  • Title: Broken Chair

Lanterns on Display for Sakura

Cherry Trees!

I have wanted to visit Japan in late March or early April some time for the Sakura. There are numerous places in the world that have flowering trees. Our own state is gorgeous with dogwood, redbud and apricot trees, but getting to experience Hanami (flower viewing) in person is something a bit otherworldly. This location is in Ueno Park, a part of Tokyo I had not yet visited. Lanterns had been strung to keep the viewing going even after dark and there are hundreds of people and groups having a picnic under the falling petals.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 9 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 23mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Lanterns on Display for Sakura

The Seat of Knowledge

Travels Through Time

I don’t mean like H.G. Wells, but often my travels involve investigations of antiquity. Looking back near and far, my investigation is not only of other cultures, but other times. This 18th Century medical theater in Barcelona is an great example. Sala Gimbernat made me think, how there are aspect of medicine and science I probably understand better than these experts of their time. Of course our today knowledge is owed to these explorers. I think too of how much we “think” we know of science and the universe in which we live. In 200 years, our crude “contentedness” will seem positively prehistoric in the wake of the Singularity. In many ways our knowledge is perhaps entwined too closely with our vanity, which may only cloud our perception and lead to stagnation. Our hope is to keep on exploring, moving, learning and one day pass on our knowledge to future generations so that we may, in a way, gain immortality.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 19 February, 2013
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 30s
  • Title: The Seat of Knowledge

Kyoto Temple

Not All Who Wander are Lost

I went on a walk searching for a temple. I got lost and it started to rain…hard.

It often happens to me during my travels. I tend to get lost, I even TRY to get lost. Sure I have my phone, so I am never TRULY lost, but believe me…I get lost. I also like to walk places. I feel like I get to see more and see the color of places if I walk. Sometimes I am detrimentally stubborn about it, but the wander is hard to satisfy.

This day, my wandering soul found this beautiful place at the top of a small hill. I am not entirely sure where in Kyoto it is, but this entry was very beautiful and nestled quietly away allowing for reflection. I generally don’t care for people in my photos, but this couple seemed to fit.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 15 November, 2015
  • Focal length: 17mm
  • ISO: 2000
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s
  • Title: Kyoto Temple

Domed Ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Up with Ceilings

A quick photo for today, another ceiling. Perhaps not as overwhelming as Monday’s photo of La Sagrada Familia, but beautiful. I very much enjoy the idea of finding beauty that is often missed. All around us are items that seem unimportant, but someone spent thought and time to design something that is not only practical (function) but also beautiful (form). What in your life, a thing you use every day…was made to make your day filled with a small bit of beauty?

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 2000
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Domed Ceiling in the Vatican Museum

I am also fond of hidden elements.

The Nave Ceiling of La Sagrada Familia

The Madness of Genius

It’s likely hard to conceptualize what you see in today’s photo. Even when I tell you it’s a ceiling. Even when I tell you it’s the Nave of La Sagrada Familia. Honestly, its difficult standing in the place (or around it). It makes everything in and out see insignificant, puerile even. The brain (soul) that conceived this was far beyond most of our mortal-ness, and must have existed on another plane…perhaps, Gaudi was functionally mad.

The completely overwhelming thing is this is but one SMALL part of an overwhelming creation that will take nearly 144 years to build (even with modern techniques like cranes)…IF they complete on the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death as they currently expect. The minor basilica is not my favorite of Gaudi’s works, but no one can deny it’s one of the most significant of his creations and succeeds (and fails) in ways that we might never fully comprehend. It is the manifestation of a truly divine dream, one I am grateful Barcelona has supported and that I have been honored to witness.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 19 February, 2013
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: The Nave Ceiling of La Sagrada Familia