Mechanized Horror

It’s Why I Love Art

I, like everyone, am drawn to certain kinds of art. I generally am drawn to, photography, abstract expressionism, impressionism, expressionism generally. I tend to dislike realistic depictions and prefer abstract, often obtuse allegory. When I go to museums, I tend to spend most of my time in these areas, but I try to spend time leisurely perusing though other galleries seeing what strikes my fancy. I especially tend to appreciate the depth afforded to special exhibits, but I always to the same thing. I see something I don’t care about and start to discard this event as boring. Almost always I push though this and am nearly universally rewarded with the unexpected. So was the case when I visited the Stedelijk and saw this massive collection of animated sculptures and automated art machines by Jean Tinguely! Not only was this show incredibly put together with a HUGE space dedicated to so many of his Machines, it was also interesting to see the decay of these monsters.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 6400
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
  • Title: Mechanized Horror

Arts et Metiers Paris Subway Station

Steampunk Subway Station

I have been to Paris a number of times. I knew about this subway station. I LOVE interesting subway stations. How have I not been here until recently? It’s a bit like Jules Verne and some Steampunk designer got together and designed this place. It’s a fun place to gawk and there are always a bunch of artists photographing, sketching, thinking…tres Parisian!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 27 January, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 6400
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: Arts et Metiers Paris Subway Station

Phantom From Afar, The Vienna Opera House

Hopping Over

It seems a world away now. It wasn’t long ago that I would pop over for a night or two in a far away land. A stranger, visiting ever so briefly, that you might not even learn my name. These days, I seem spooked to go. Not because of anything specific, but more because the world has changed. I am still trying to feel out where and how I fit in it, but I yearn to once again find my music.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 March, 2014
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 2.5s
  • Title: Phantom From Afar, The Vienna Opera House

Ghosts of Gondolas in Venice

Ghosts

You know that feeling you get…only sometimes, in the absence of the light. I have tried to explain how Venice changes once the sun goes down. I never explain it right. I always make it seem sinister, or like some corny spook house. Boo! That’s not it at all. It is more like the veil between realms is…more delicate there. Maybe it’s just the history. Often the oldest of places have more…personality. I love taking these long exposures at night. Despite my near von Aschenbach respiratory malady I stayed out past sunset. Even the January cold (and rain) could not keep me from the Venetian Night.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/3.5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 25 January, 2014
  • Focal length: 23mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 10s
  • Title: Ghosts of Gondolas in Venice

Trains and Jules Verne in Paris, France

Missing Jules

The month of photo experimentation continues! I have been to Paris, France a number of times and I always seem to miss the Arts et Metires station. It’s a steampunk revival seemingly dedicated to Jules Verne. I have been in a number of really cool Subway and train stations around the globe, but this one pretty much takes the cake!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 27 January, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 5s
  • Title: Trains and Jules Verne in Paris, France

Dark Canal in Amsterdam

Stepping Out of the Conventional

People who know me would likely never call me conventional. It’s almost a laughable notion, one in which I happily participate. I have been reminded of this over and over again trying to “find myself” (as if I really went anywhere other than where I am currently). In honor of these notions, I decided to dedicate the month of May to experimental work. The odd stuff I assume nobody but me with enjoy. I always seem drawn to the mistakes of the world. Somehow there is an purity most miss when all that can be seen is the difference. This photo is out of focus. It’s too highly contrasted. It lacks color. These are things you could say…but I see honest feeling, beauty and hope.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1s
  • Title: Dark Canal in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canals at Sunset

Sunsetting

This is one of the last trips I have planned this year. It’s sad really. I’ve been trying to wrap myself around the notion of traveling fewer places, but for longer trips…I’m having a hard time adjusting. Regardless, Amsterdam is a beautiful city. Not just physically, but the people here are so kind and accepting. Amsterdam quickly hit the top of my favorite places list. To get an idea of the beauty, I give you a sunset.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 20mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
  • Title: Amsterdam Canals at Sunset

Ancient Armaments

War

I often find the fascination with the tools of war sort of morose. To me, war is the worst of humanity. Even in conflict of purpose or humanitarian resolve, that genesis is to battle some horror, some Inhumanity. Art, and again this is to me, is the exact opposite. Art, and I mean art very broadly, is the greatest of our achievements. I am very often acutely aware of these feelings when visiting a museum like Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam which houses relics of many themes. Perhaps, this is a more balanced view, the best of worst of what we do as a species. Reminders that humans can disembowel someone they don’t know for an unknown reason, or paint “Night Watch”.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s
  • Title: Ancient Armaments

Inside Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, France

Parisian Opulence

A quick photo today from Paris. Pamela and I made a rendezvous while I was on a trip around the world. She didn’t want to go on the entire jaunt, but when I said I was ending in Paris, she cashed in some award miles (January in Europe tends to be cheap as mileage awards go)! This is one of the many museums in Paris and is housed in a gorgeous mansion. I absolutely LOVE opulent home tours and this was absolutely beautiful!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 January, 2017
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • Title: Inside Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, France

Begijnhof, Amsterdam

Perfect Timing

I have this theory of travel. I believe trips come to us, sometimes in unexpected ways, just when we need them. That is probably less metaphysical that it first sounds. We are often drawn on some subconscious level to the things we need, real or perceived. Amsterdam has been a city high on my list for years but I had yet to visit until last week. I was drawn there (though largely by an airline fare sale) but it fed my soul all the same.

There is a constant question that plagues many and it can take many forms. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Who am I? These essential musings on our very nature are often lost in the wanderings of day to day existence. Travel helps us see though the daily haze and wonder at the incredible beauty in the world. It helps us question our place and seek new possibilities. It helps us see the universality of pain and see our own pain through the lens of others suffering. It helps remind us of the amazing talent and beauty people share every day, and the genius of artists of the past that still make us cry in joy that such a thing of beauty could even exist.

Many of the residential areas in Amsterdam contain a wonderful courtyard called a hof. Begijnhof is perhaps one of the most famous, but hidden from view behind a door. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is one of the great lessons Amsterdam taught me.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • ISO: 1000
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s
  • Title: Begijnhof, Amsterdam