About W Brian Duncan

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

Entering the Gate at Meiji Jingū

Always a Stop

I have been to Meiji Jingū every time I have visited Tokyo. There is a peacefulness to the place that I love taking in, its also suffused with Japanese spiritual practice. Shinto is fascinating to me, and I love to watch all the comings and goings…especially the marriage ceremonies. This is one of the outer torii gates on the east side of the expansive park the Shrine is built on.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 11 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • Title: Entering the Gate at Meiji Jingū

Everyday Florence

What Places Look Like…How it IS

This is an odd photo for me. Truth be told, I tend to show photos of the exceptional. The things people create, the MOST beautiful things in the world. I love these achievements because they are perhaps the most wonderful expressions of our shared humanity. I will also admit, these are often not my favorite things about the places I visit. To me, the variation if every day is invigorating. From the heart filling songs of birds I have yet to ignore. From the smell of spice I have never once tasted. From the flourish of a language I cannot comprehend. The feel of breathing in new pollen, yet rejected by my body. All of these are more are foreign to me, but yet SO familiar. This view of rooftops in Florence made me think of all of this. How familiar, this everyday scene, and yet how beautifully…new.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 15 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Everyday Florence

555 in Amsterdam

Bicycles and Row Houses

This scene caught my eye walking back “home” (hotel) while in Amsterdam from Anne Frank Huis. The yellow bicycle against the mostly monochrome row homes really stood out in my mind in this way. It was only later that I noticed how fun the most prominent home number is here. I also saw my first Banksy in the wild nearby. Amsterdam is a wonderful city for cycling and walking, you can’t get away from the general humanness of the place…which I just adore.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 19 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 20mm
  • ISO: 320
  • Shutter speed: 1/1000s
  • Title: 555 in Amsterdam

Red Room in Amsterdam

Draped in Satin

I visited Amsterdam earlier this year and found a new member on my short list of favorite cities. It’s an amazing city in many respects with a rich and interesting past. I was taken by this scene…I’ll let you guess WHERE the red room is located and WHAT its propose is, but it oddly made me thing of death; and a little person speaking backwards in riddles (thanks David Lynch). It turned out not the greatest of photos, but I like it all the same. How do you feel about the red room?

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 20 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 3200
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Red Room in Amsterdam

Outside the Colosseum in Rome

Colossal

Rounding off the month of BIG PLACES, how about a place with “big” in the name…the Colosseum in Rome! I was standing outside after my visit. I was truth be told gawking at all the people in line and smiling ever thankfully that I got up early for my visit. The sun was behind part of the facade and I snapped this quick shot of the massive structure!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 26mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: Outside the Colosseum in Rome

Tomb Raiding in Cambodia

Temple Complex

Continuing my theme of BIG PLACES, I give you the temples of Cambodia! This one I believe is Ta Prohm, but given the maze-like winding I did at somewhat breakneck speed, I am doing good to recall where I was at all! There are throngs of tourists, but you still can’t help but sometimes seeing the place through the lens of western video games.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 22 January, 2017
  • Focal length: 22mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s
  • Title: Tome Raiding in Cambodia

Fingers of Light Inside St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

FAR to Big

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is HUGE! Continuing my series of places too big to capture in a single frame…I just love the light in these churches, the broken rays shining down on visitors to the Basilica is a great experience! It also happened that I visited when I was able to enter through the holy door, a timing that I think makes my Catholic friends a bit green.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 3200
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: Fingers of Light Inside St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

Outside Santa Maria del Fiore

Places Too Big

I have a pretty wide-angle lens on the camera I generally travel with. 16mm on a full frame sensor can take in a huge landscape! Sometimes, however, because of the distance, or sheer number of tourists in a location I cant take everything in I would like. This month I am sharing photos of places too big to be contained in a single frame. Santa Maria del Fiore is a magnificent structure and one that American audiences know from the books of Dan Brown. Giotto’s bell tower is a great climb and near impossible to get in a single shot. Throw in the church…forget about it!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 15 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 21mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: Outside Santa Maria del Fiore

The Usonian House at Crystal Bridges

Homes

I love homes, old ones…the one’s people design with intent and artistic panache. Pamela and I first learned an original Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian home was coming to Crystal Bridges on a trip to visit the museum over a year ago, it was a brilliant surprise! Wright, a native of Chicago (Oak Park is a complete Joy) didn’t often visit my part of the country. There are a few notable exceptions like Price Tower in Oklahoma (Wright’s only skyscraper), but the best work is not close…until now! There are obvious restrictions, but you can schedule (you need an appointment before hand complete with time of entry) a tour of the Bachman-Wilson House, either guided or self-guided. The symmetry and detail here are completely thought out and elegantly executed. The engineering feet to completely deconstruct a home and build it a new is also quite impressive. I say it all the time, but Crystal Bridges is a Gem of the Ozarks!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 4 June, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: The Usonian House at Crystal Bridges

Orchid in Bloom at the Philbrook Museum

In Bloom

Orchids are one of my favorite flowering plants. They are so unique, so diverse. One of our early trips together, Pamela and I went to Tulsa, OK and visited the Philbrook Museum. If you haven’t been, it’s another of those treats in the mid-west. Anytime you blend the 20’s with Italian Style villa’s and sprinkle a ton of art and nature on top, you will find me having a brilliant time. This orchid was found in bloom inside the greenhouse on the grounds.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 20D
  • Taken: 4 July, 2010
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s
  • Title: Orchid in Bloom at the Phillbrook Museum