A Survey of the Peruvian Countryside

Please Spay and Neuter Your Pets

I would say more photos of the people of Peru, but I thought today I would talk about the DOGS of Peru. I have never seen so many free roaming dogs in all my time on this Earth as during our visit to Peru. Since they seem to all be free roaming, they appear to also be free to mate. It brings me to an important public service announcement. Please spay and neuter your pets!

A Good Hard Look

This man was looking out over the field on the outskirts of Cusco. I only caught two of the three or four dogs that were following him around. It wasn’t that cold in Peru, but it was winter and we were at 11,000+ feet so it seemed like everyone local was bundled up WAY more then the 65 degree temperature mandated. Can I just say…I love all the hats in Peru!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 3 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/1600s
  • Title: A Survey of the Peruvian Countryside

Early Spring Flower at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Japan

Gardens of the Imperial Palace

I had not visited the grounds of the Imperial Palace on my previous trips to Tokyo. The Palace is not a site you can just visit. There are a limited number of tickets and you have to plan in advance which is not exactly my strong suit. I tend to like to go with the flow on trips and when you have an appointment for a site at 10am, you HAVE to be somewhere despite what wonders you find along the way. The East Garden is completely open to the public, but given that I couldn’t see the palace, I never bothered. After my visit, I am sorry this was only my first visit to the gardens. The site is a huge green-space and though I was too early for the cherry blossoms, other flowers were blooming. This flower was perhaps a bee’s paradise!

Photo Technical Info

Island in the Columbia River

Foggy Island

I sat in a car, riding through the fog. I would have preferred to fly…I always prefer to fly, but my colleague insisted. It was a long trek, but in the end I got to see part of the country I had never knew existed. The diverse landscape of Washington and Oregon is vast, it changes abruptly and in surprising ways. This stretch along the Columbia River was enshrouded in dense wisps of fog…not completely obstructing your view, only adding mystery.

Fog
By Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Photo Technical Info

Strong Lines in San Francisco

Strong Lines

Today’s photo is an exploration of line. I was talking about this with a work colleague this week…sometimes things grab me and won’t let go. While I was in Singapore recently I was walking through an MRT station and I hit a hallway playing a Burburry ad. I linked it below…I hit the hall and it stopped me in my tracks. Literally. I tend to walk pretty quick for someone with really short legs and I literally just STOPPED! A lady behind me nearly ran over me and I didn’t even have the presence to apologize. I finally stepped over to the side. What got me, besides the dazzling iridescent plexiglass walls was Joss Stone. Her rendition of I Put a Spell on You with Jeff Beck grabbed me and it still hasn’t let go. I rarely buy music these days and I immediately purchased this song.

Isolating a Subject

When something grabs you it can be helpful to understand it by breaking it down and isolating the element that most strikes you. I have been doing this with the Stone/Beck song. For me, these stairs in from the of the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco are all about line. The color is nearly removed, all other distractions are removed…you are left with the line. The geometry of this common piece or art.

Photo Technical Info

High Key Ramp

White Ramp

How much of your vacations do you end up leaving to chance?

I found MACBA Museu D’Art Contemporani De Barcelona within walking distance of my hotel in Barcelona. I just wandered to it the first day I was visiting. It was there and I just went in. The space is all gleaming white, I can’t imagine a better blank canvas to display art, but what caught me was the space itself.

When you travel have a plan, but don’t be afraid to abandon it on a whim. Your plan will be there when you return back from your mystical journey in the clouds.

There is a joy in discovery. There is surprise and wonder just waiting for you out there. It’s worth leaving flexibility in your travels. Serendipity is a wonderful muse!

Photo Technical Info

Veins of a Dark City

Dark City

I visited Tokyo almost a year ago and I long to return (spoiler I am at least twice in 2015). It is a vibrant place with more energy then one city should be allowed on its own, but I don’t think Tokyo could be any other way. This rendition is from the window of my hotel room, looking over a city that never seems to end. The highway struck me and I was looking for a way to make it stand out more in the photo as it did when I was there.

Photo Technical Info

Dark Visage of Poseidon on the Streets of Vienna, Austria

Noir Europe

It’s funny…all of the photos of my overnight stay in Vienna are in black and white! I never intend it and I am purposefully working on a very colorful and fun photo for Thursday to show a different side of the city. This photo Poseidon on the streets of Vienna, however, HAD to be noir. Vienna and night, black and white, it all seems to flow perfectly in my mind.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 March, 2014
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/3s
  • Title: Dark Visage of Poseidon on the Streets of Vienna, Austria

Early Morning View of the Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

Sighs at the Bridge in Venice

One of the most recognizable symbols of Venice, Italy is the Bridge of Sighs. We have a black and white poster framed on our wall of this monument, and I have wanted to replace it with my own photo since I bought it. There is something about the light in that other artists rendition that is too harsh. Perhaps the severity is appropriate given that this “bridge” connects the Doge’s Palace to the prison across the canal. Lord Byron allegedly gave the passage its name suggesting, “that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells.” (wikipedia).

To me the architectural beauty of the bridge needs to be highlighted rather than its function. I’m not sure if this one will be “the one” to end up on my wall, but I really love the romantic morning view. Morning is also about the only time you can see the Bridge of Sighs without a mass of tourists in your shot!

Photo Technical Info

Noir Scene at the Vienna Oper House Cafe

On Alert

Traveling all over the world, you have to be alert! Some people are up to no good. Fortunately I have only had two odd experiences that didn’t escalate into something more serious. One was in Buenos Aires, the other was in Vienna. The only time someone has tried to pick my pocket was in the heart of Vienna! Luckily she was a TERRIBLE pick. Her first attempt was an announcement she was interested in my wallet (which was in my front pocket) and not the back pocket she tried to retrieve it from.

The big problem, was she must have decided I was worth the trouble because she kept following me. I was never in any danger in the crowded tourist streets, so I sat down on a bench. She likewise sat down across the street and started begging for money, and watching me out of the corner of her eye. I stared straight back at her! She finally realized I was on to her and let me be. Anytime you travel, you need to be prepared. This particular situation for more comical/sad than anything, but you never know when things might get more serious. I recommend a great book called The Gift of Fear. The world in general is pretty safe, but always listen to your gut and stay safe!

Noir World

It’s no secret I love Noir. Literally meaning black in French, the term Film Noir has been used to describe mostly crime drama’s and have had a number of notable hits including one of my favorite Orson Wells films, The Third Man. I couldn’t help but conjure up gritty black and white fantasies as I wandered the streets of Vienna. My only regret was that the streets weren’t a glistening with a never seen rain. Somehow that would have made the night perfect…along with the running of hard soled shoes across the inky wet desolate cobblestone streets as I was chased into the sewers…but I digress.

Photo Technical Info

Old Bicycle on the Streets of Milan, Italy

Thinking about Old Bicycles

Bicycles are all over Milan. The tourists never seem to be riding them, but the locals use them to speed past all the transient gawkers that visit their beloved city. I was surprised at all the bikes I saw and by their relatively old ages. I for some reason never took the ultra fashionable Milanese to use this mode of transport. If they did, I feel like any bicycle they SHOULD be riding must be embroidered with the LV logo.

This old bicycle stopped me for two reasons. First, it’s old, secured with an old chain and a much newer lock. The texture of the building and the rusty security gate on the window were the other. Throw in a harsh shadow, the wonderfully textured sidewalk and the simplicity, you have photo magic! Scott Kelby said something recently in a random video (and I am wildly paraphrasing)…if something stops you, there is something there. Work the scene! I have been trying to keep this in mind as I travel all over. I am working on paying attention to things that stop me and asking why. There is beauty all around and sometimes it’s nice to simply pay attention.

Photo Technical Info