About W Brian Duncan

HDR Photographer, techie, vegetarian, fitness enthusiast, dreamer, creative and all around nice guy. Lover of wine.

Sepia Night on a Pier at St Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy

Night in Venice

Venice is a city of many sides, but the setting of the sun turns the city of Venice into another other-worldly place. It is almost a magical transformation. Sunset seems to linger, bidding those that do not wish to see the cities darker side, go home…return to your hotel. Once the night takes hold, it becomes deathly quiet. The narrow walkways and close buildings bring a sense of extreme claustrophobia. Every path is a darkened alley holding the unknown. By day you are surrounded by visages of death…masks of the plague. These are gone by night, but their specter haunts you … as do the dead from that time still buried beneath the cobblestone streets. I didn’t stay long in the evening, but what I did see, told me it would make the best of photo projects.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 25 January, 2014
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Location: 45° 26.0117′ 0″ N 12° 20.4957′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 6s
  • Title: Sepia Night on a Pier at St Mark's Square, Venice, Italy

Washington Water Power

Random Travels

My travel locations tend to be to places most everyone has heard of…Tokyo, Paris, London, Shanghai. These are my personal travels, but I also occasionally travel for my desk job. These places tend to be smaller locations that fewer people have heard or, Berne, Friendship, Palmerton, Spokane (ok…most everyone has heard of Spokane, WA). I also take my camera on these trips because you never know what you are going to find. While we were visiting downtown Spokane, we found this huge hydroelectric power plant! It was cold and a bit of a walk to get to where I took this photo, but it was well worth the frozen fingers.

Photo Technical Info

Hindu Statue Bali

Relax

My time in Bali was relaxing. As I was leaving I saw this lonely Hindu statue meditating. I almost didn’t stop to take this photo, but for some reason it was the first I remembered while traveling home and one of the first I processed. I’m not sure why honestly. The statue just seemed at peace and I was on the move, headed to another place, while it wisely sat. Maybe that is why it grabbed me…Bali seemed to as a whole say to me, slow down.

Photo Technical Info

The Tower of London Baboons

Royal Zoo

At one time in England’s history, the Tower of London doubled as the Royal Menagerie. Court can be a truly dull affair, so one king brought in animals, another used them as specials having various creatures unnaturally fight to the death. Oh the cruelty of the bored. What I loved most about tower…ok…that was the jewels, so what I loved second best about tower was the wonderfully wire animal sculptures. Since real animals cant just roam around, someone did a WONDERFUL job of creating these wire-frame residents of the tower.

Photo Technical Info

Coral on Nusa Dua Beach in Bali

Battered Coral

This coral on Nusa Dua Beach in Bali, Indonesia reminded me of my life. It was beaten down, nearly warn smooth, but I found it beautiful. There is beauty in simplicity. There is an elegance that comes with age. I spent my time in Bali sitting on the beach, relaxing and being pampered. It’s something I never do. Never. Something I should do more. This “something” the coral seem to know instinctively and I always seem to forget. Though the sea throws you about, the salt water and sand polish away everything you are, eventually you come up for air…and lay in the sun.

Photo Technical Info

Villa Balbianello Pointing Statue

Traveling for a Photo

I said last week I sometimes travel just for one photo. The great thing is you find so much more along the way, but often singular things capture my imagination and pull me to them with some great unseen force. I saw another rendition of this scene on a travel website when I knew I was going to Milan. I was looking for things in and around the great fashion capitol to do and Lago Como caught my fancy purely BECAUSE of this scene.

Pointing Statue

The statue looks over the most lovely vista at Villa Balbianello and gestures; to the surroundings and almost to the heavens. He seems to say, perhaps here, they are the same. Italy is a long way to travel to see the view of an old statue. I stood in this spot, sat in this spot for hours, the warm sun penetrating the biting cold April Lake Como wind. I thought of all places I have been and seen; I agreed with the statue.

Photo Technical Info

Temple of Heaven Tile Details

Construction Materials

The Temple of Heaven is a massive site…one that can easily take a day of your time. It is also one of the preordained visits you have to make on your first visit to Beijing (though I have yet to visit The Great Wall…sacrilege, I know). Personally I enjoyed the Forbidden City more, but the Temple of Heaven honestly is like no historic site I have ever visited before. Today’s photo is one of the small exquisite details. I have so many more to share…

Photo Technical Info

Red Taxi in Hong Kong

Wanted Photos

If you take photos (and I hope you do), do you go places wanting specific photos? I do! I have been after a photo like this of one of the red taxi’s in Hong Kong ever since I first visited. This was taken on my most recent and forth trip to HK. I was only passing through and I didn’t expect to get much of anything useful, but I had a few hours in the morning before my flight back to The States. I walked down to the Avenue of Stars and milled around, feeling completely uninspired when it hit me I could try for a taxi shot! This is actually the combination and manipulation of a few photos, but it ended up being one of my favorite photos in recent memory…I hope you enjoy it!

Photo Technical Info

Supertrees and The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

Supertrees are Back!

I am not sure I will get enough of the Supertrees. From early in my travels, my friend David said…I want to see an HDR picture of the SUPERTREES! It took over two years to make it to Singapore. I ended up loving the country! There seems to be a LOT happening there!

Marina Bay Sands

The hotel looks like a giant cruise ship was delicately placed on top of three skyscrapers. I really wanted to get to the upper decks of the hotel. I understand there is an amazing cheese and chocolate buffet that happens nightly…I am not sure how I kept myself away honestly!

Photo Technical Info

Buddha Tooth Relic Shrine

Feeling

If you haven’t noticed I tend to visit quite a number of churches, temples and shrines on my travels. I love seeing how other cultures look at religion; how they react to their faith. I have a personal soft spot for Buddhism, for no particular reason, it just speaks to me in a different way than western religions. Something seems to draw me to the East, but alas my patience is poor which is no excuse. Today’s photo is where I entered the shrine. What I found inside was interesting and not unlike other Buddhist shrines. Except upstairs.

The Reliquary Room

On the upper floor of the shrine (you would miss the elevator if you weren’t looking) is a reliquary made of gold purported to contain a fragment of one of the Buddha’s canine teeth. It was rescued from his funeral pyre. I don’t know it the is true, but there is an eternal quality that surrounds the space. I sat for a long time and listened to the monk’s chants of blessings. People knelt, he blessed them. I didn’t ask for a blessing; I know not why. I pondered the place for a very long time sitting silently on a meditation cushion in full lotus. Perhaps if you are ever in the area … stop by, I would love to talk to someone else about their experience.

Photo Technical Info