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

The Back End of the Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Flight

The impressive Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the incomparable collection of the Smithsonian, has this beast as one of its central attractions. The are bigger planes, more historically significant flying machines, few hold the mystique of the space shuttle. This is the back end of Discovery, who’s history is chronicled through the display. Seeing a shuttle that close, seeing what are the scars of it battle on re-entry, is a truly a huge bit of awe that I hope anyone interested in flight gets to witness.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 29 May, 2012
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/100s
  • Title: The Back End of the Space Shuttle Discovery

Domed Ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Up with Ceilings

A quick photo for today, another ceiling. Perhaps not as overwhelming as Monday’s photo of La Sagrada Familia, but beautiful. I very much enjoy the idea of finding beauty that is often missed. All around us are items that seem unimportant, but someone spent thought and time to design something that is not only practical (function) but also beautiful (form). What in your life, a thing you use every day…was made to make your day filled with a small bit of beauty?

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 2000
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Domed Ceiling in the Vatican Museum

I am also fond of hidden elements.

Minor Treasures of the Vatican Museum

All About Light

Photography really is all about light (and sometimes its absence). Once you start exploring this, you find photos in the most unlikely of places. Ok…in fairness, the Vatican Museum is a bad example of a place where you might be unlikely to take a photo. True you might become overwhelmed so that you simply forget to even try to make a picture. This hall is enormous (hundreds or thousands of sculptures), and the time I visited the Vatican Museum (morning) it was a gloomy, unlit place…except this single pool of glorious light.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s
  • Title: Minor Treasures of the Vatican Museum

David

Beauty

There is a line from some movie that goes a bit like, “and they remain to this day, the most beautiful girls you have ever seen close up.” I am probably recalling that totally wrong, but this is exactly how I felt seeing David. I have always enjoyed sculpture, it’s a demanding and frenetic art requiring so much planning and forethought. I planned an early morning to the Accademia Gallery and once I found him, I stayed for several hours soaking one of Michelangelo’s greatest gifts. David is like no other sculpture I have ever seen.

I hesitated even posting one of the many photos I took. They do no justice to his presence or intricacies. Depending on where you stand, you see his myriad emotional states as he confronts the invisible Goliath. You see his determination, you awe at his enormous hand infused with the might of God, you see the paralyzing fear in his eyes. Every glance and slight change of your location brings a new view into his complex soul. He stands firmly in place, larger than life, but you can feel too, the struggle he faces.

David is the most beautiful man I have ever seen close up and perhaps one of humanities greatest treasures.

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

The Great Sequoia

Giant Specimen

One of my favorite places in London is the Natural History Museum. It looks like something out of a movie and it have one of the most spectacular collections of the natural world that I have seen! One of my favorite parts was a cross section of a giant sequoia from the USA. Though it saddens me to see even a part of one of these ancient spirits no longer standing…I am glad the world can see of of America’s greatest treasures. This particular tree was around 1300 years old when it was felled.

Hiding from a Monster

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a spooktacular Halloween…are you dressing up or handing out candy? I don’t think I will be doing either this year.

The Monster

I could only imagine what it must have been like to hide from one of these beasts. This relic can be found in the Natural History Museum in Paris. They have a wonderful collection of bones, but if you have dust allergies be forewarned this place smells as old as the bones it contains. Somehow that seemed really fitting when I was there.

The Natural History Museum London

Old Bones

I love natural history museums…they usually feel old and the Natural History Museum in London is a treat. It’s a beautiful and honestly HUGE museum. I was familiar with the great hall in today’s photo, but I was not at all familiar that you could go on and on through the rooms and endless exhibits. Pamela and I had limited time here and missed two entire sections of the complex, but still it was one of my favorite places we visited while in England.