About W Brian Duncan

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

Art Nouveau Parisian Metropolitan Station

Art Deco Paris

You can find more exquisite examples of Art Nouveau in and around Paris that just about anywhere I have been. There are whole areas of museums sure, but even walking around the city you find beautiful organic utility. This metro station is just across the river from Île de la Cité. I suspect it’s been installed or restored because of the prime tourist location, but that doesn’t at all detract from the beauty. I am headed back to Paris next year and cant wait to sit in its cafe’s just taking in the atmosphere.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 8 October, 2011
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Art Nouveau Parisian Metropolitan Station

On Living and Dying

Constant Struggle

I miss the sea.

I find a certain solace just being near her. I often just sit and think. Ultimately this leads me to wonder about birth, life and death. I consider the island, born of the conflict of fire and water, made solid into land. The ocean though, does not forget and slowly begins reclaiming the land to its watery depths.

This was once a solid piece of land. The ocean began eating it away, leaving a spike of land that eventually collapsed. Slowly, the ocean will completely devour this too and return it to where it started. The circle is all around if only you wish to see.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 May, 2015
  • Focal length: 24mm
  • ISO: 1250
  • Shutter speed: 1/6400s
  • Title: On Living and Dying

Before Congress Comes to Work

WAKE UP CONGRESS!

I took this one early morning on my first trip by myself. I wanted to see if I could really “do it”. In retrospect, being afraid of solo travel is natural, but also a little funny at this point having been all over the world by myself. It’s really peaceful on the Capitol grounds before all the tourists and Congress men and women come to work. Really it was only me and a few cranky guards upset about my tripod! I though this really illustrated what they mean by Capitol Hill!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 28 May, 2012
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: Before Congress Comes to Work

A Walk Above the Clouds in Maui

Higher Then the Heavens

My parents are planning a trip to Hawaii which made me latch onto this photo of the first time Pamela and I went to Maui. One of the MUST do things is a sunrise atop Haleakala. After the light show, Pamela and I visited the visitors center. Then we set out for a hike around and into the volcano’s crater. There are periods up there when you are outside, the sun beating down on you and the clouds roll in and you realize, you are looking down on a part of the heavens.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 22 July, 2012
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: A Walk Above the Clouds in Maui

Temple of Heaven Fire Baskets

Favorite Historical Sites

If I had to pick between the big three UNESCO sites in and around Beijing my preference, BY FAR would likely be with the Temple of Heaven. While in antiquity this was a temple for the Emperor of China, today its is an expansive and exquisitely beautiful park near the heart of Beijing. There is a majesty in walking up the path reserved for only the emperor. There is a grandeur and elegance that masks (along with modern perception) the religous rites preformed here to bring a good harvest. If for some reason you have to choose between The Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City and The Great Wall, I would chose in that order.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 6 September, 2016
  • Focal length: 31mm
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/1000s
  • Title: Temple of Heaven Fire Baskets

The Forbidden City Roof Details

Plans Already Defined

When you visit Beijing for the first time, or go with someone who is going for the first time, your itinerary is almost designated for you by the historical and cultural significance of the region. You have to see:

  1. The Great Wall
  2. The Temple of Heaven
  3. The Forbidden City

All three are UNESCO World Heritage sites and all three are AMAZING! It’s honestly a wonder The Forbidden City wasn’t destroyed during the cultural revolution in China, but lucky for all the world, it is still very much waiting for your visit!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 5 September, 2016
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s
  • Title: The Forbidden City Roof Details

Badaling Section of The Great Wall

7 Wonders

With our most recent trip to China, I realize I have now seen three of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Here is the completely list:

  • Christ Redeemer: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Great Wall of China: China
  • Machu Picchu: Peru
  • Petra: Jordan
  • Pyramid at Chichén Itzá: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
  • Roman Colosseum: Rome, Italy
  • Taj Mahal: Agra, India

Of course technically the wall is really multiple walls, and I only saw one very touristy section. It was very well restored, but personally I think I tend to like the less populated and more rugged hiking that might be involved in visiting one of the less visited sections. Here are a few tips, bring a hat, sunscreen, water and snacks! If you plan on going to Badaling (one of the “easier” sections to get to from Beijing) bring patience. There are over 1.35 billion people in china and I think about 1 billion visit the Badaling section of the wall each day (this maybe an exaggeration). Keep in mind despite not being “rugged hiking” it is a VERY steep climb!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 5 September, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 250
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • Title: Badaling Section of The Great Wall

Instagram Favorites May – September 2016

Less, but Longer Travels

With the demise of some of my favorite travel schemes, I find myself in unknown territory as of late. In years past, I would have had to make a HUGE number of these instagram favorites posts, but this year I have only been on three international trips. I realize to many thing sounds like a LOT, but when you are used to doing six to ten, three is peanuts! The future for me seems to involve less loyalty to one airline (they seem to no longer care about this as a business decision) and less frequent, but longer trips. As always things change so maybe a new scheme will soon present itself to me! Pamela and I just returned from Beijing, China so here are a few of my favorite photos!

Chicago Stock Exchange Building

Troves of Treasure

It not an inexpensive prospect to visit The Art Institute of Chicago. One of the best options is Bank of America’s Museums on Us program (assuming you are an account holder and the museum is participating). This arch from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building is but one exquisite piece of history contained inside. If you do go plan on at LEAST a half day for a quick breeze through. If you love art and history, be prepared to spend as much time as you can!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 12 October, 2012
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Chicago Stock Exchange Building

The NBC Rainbow Room

Surreality

The first time you visit New York City, I think you can’t help but feel like you are in a television show (or movie). So much of film and television history is set in The Big Apple, it’s a bit like a world that is only in the fantasy box called the television is somehow magically brought to life. Spending most of the early 90’s watching SNL, I am always excited going to Rockefeller Center. First because of the amazing Art Deco archatecture and second because its the home of NBC studios! On one trip, the street was shutdown and Tracy Jordan was outside filming a scene for 30 Rock. Again, NYC is at time EXACTLY like a television show…because it is!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 22 October, 2012
  • Focal length: 28mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: The NBC Rainbow Room