Posts tagged ‘travel’

June 11, 2014

Orthodromic pass

Shortly before five in the evening numerous planes leave O’Hare and make a northeastern arc toward Europe. It’s fascinating to watch them, one after another after another, all in a line. The paint jobs on the aircraft change, but they each follow the exact pattern on the way out. I watched this plane through a gap in the skyscrapers in the center of Chicago. As it cleared the eastern edge of the city it bent to the north, as expected. With only twin engines, however, I’m assuming it was headed to Toronto or Montreal.
Orthodromic pass
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March 22, 2013

Light clouds, dark ocean

This is a Florida sunset on the eastern side of the state. When the sun goes down on the opposite coast it leaves a lot of color in the sky over the ocean. Because the water is getting less light it comes off so much darker than whatever is up in the air above it. These storm clouds had just enough lighter pieces to catch the pink light and reflect it back.
Light clouds, dark ocean
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December 11, 2012

Precarious stacking, Amsterdam

I only caught a glimpse of this building. Riding along one of the canals the boat captain pointed at things in the opposite direction, and by the time I had wheeled around to see what we had missed I almost missed this. It looked like it could topple over at any moment, and my memory tells me that top portion is actually slightly skew. Makes you wonder if the floors are level or not.

Anyone can take this shot! It’s a single digital negative over and underexposed to build more contrast and depth. With the boat moving and running away from the building a true HDR photo would be impossible. This is taken on a point-and-shoot almost two years ago when I was only dabbling in high dynamic range.
Precarious stacking, Amsterdam
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November 27, 2012

Horse & carriage & concrete & traffic

I’ve noticed more horse-drawn carriages in the past week. I’m not sure if I should be surprised they’re still around. It must be romantic to roll around a bustling city in such an austere means of travel, but I’m guessing the horse doesn’t think so. That concrete is hard, and the traffic relentless. This horse stood there in the cold unfazed, staring straight ahead. When they put him out to pasture does he get to just wander the streets?
Horse & carriage & concrete & traffic
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November 5, 2012

The endless conversation

She was asleep, and so I was alone on a near-empty train between Lilystad and Amsterdam. This places me in the Dutch countryside on a wet night void of any rain. It was one of those heavy nights where the air was cool and thick and still somehow refreshing. The train was stuffy.

Ahead in the car, maybe six seats up, backs turned, sat two strangers. They were strangers to me and strangers to one another, but they struck up this odd and winding conversation. I think one was clergy. Neither spoke English as a first language, but both were attempting English, and it was all awry.

“What!?” The man shrilled in this unearthly mess of a throaty froth.

“You know what I mean!” She shot back awkwardly and unabashed. “You know. You know what I mean! You know!”

“I do, I do not. I do not!”

It was like this for 40 minutes, this explanation and misunderstanding. After awhile they bled into the metal and plastic of the train car. They became the contrasting greens and yellows and oranges inside and all around us. I never saw their faces, but as we pulled into another station and they wailed away the acidic scene became perfect for a photo. Here was more dissonance in front of me, slightly to my right. The wait was forever, but as the train finally rocked again and they continued to bark like children over a toy the view slid into frame. I caught this whilst rolling away.
The endless conversation
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October 13, 2012

Hide from me

Ever chase something, but it keeps getting away? I’ve been running out of things to say lately. I guess that’s how it goes when you post a photo every day – it’s just impossible to keep the wind in your sails words-wise. Sometimes you put every last drop of effort into the image and it’s worth only its title, because the photo can’t be explained very well outside of a handful of words. The things you’d say are tucked on the other side of the horizon, just out of reach. In this photo the sun so desperately wanted to slide behind the building. That may or may not be true, but it comes off that way, and it’s all I have to say.
Hide from me
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October 10, 2012

Over Keswick (with a point & shoot)

I love this photo. There are all sorts of problems with it, but I still love it. You have to hear the story to understand why. The other day I posted a photo looking the other direction from this site – back at the lake behind me as a ferry raced across my frame. This is the view back at town from on top of the little hill I was laying on. Yes, I had to lie down to take the shot, because I didn’t have a tripod. I was forced to nestle my camera in such a way that the blades of grass didn’t defeat my view. They still obstructed things in a very obvious way – a way I feel works for the photo.

There were sheep all around me scurrying about eating and bleating and attempting to defeat my photo, but I finally was able to crop them out. So imagine me laying there on top of this hill, sheep (and their dung – I had to contort to avoid any part of my body getting messy) strewn all about around me, while this amazing view unfolds thanks to the pools of sunlight breaking through a partly cloudy sky. I would’ve liked a slightly better crop job. A tripod would’ve been quite helpful. A DSLR could’ve improved the image quality and clarity a bit. In the end, however, it all came together and retains that impact of the quaint village in the beautifully picturesque mountains, which is undoubtedly Keswick. Is it OK to say you love your own photo?
Over Keswick (with a point & shoot)
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October 9, 2012

Where everyone has your same last name

My friend in The Netherlands took us to her family’s farm, and it was spectacular. Not in that way. No fireworks, no chrome skyscrapers nor flashing lights – but plenty of atmosphere. If I remember correctly, because this was now well over a year ago, everyone, or most everyone has the same last name in this little town. There are maybe 10 or 12 houses, and everyone assumed the name of the ancient monastery nearby. Something like that. I’ll have to ask her to fill me in the specific details again. Every now and again I completely create a story like this from scratch, so lets hope its actually true for the blog’s sake. I’m pretty sure…

Long story short, there were three things I loved about this place outside of the wonderful people, friends and family we had the privilege of visiting with. 1) The doors to the houses were all around five feet tall, which is interesting because Dutch people are on average quite a bit taller than Americans, Brits and the like. 2) Everyone wore traditional clogs, including myself, so we wouldn’t sink into the soft, muddy grounds. 3) This garage. It was like the cars were there first, and the structure was built around them. If the port itself was crumbling, the relics sat meekly underneath, happy campers waiting for a spin along the winding roads of the Dutch countryside. Roads that lead to endless and most interesting little villages like this one.
Where everyone has your same last name
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October 8, 2012

Keswick is a painting

I don’t like when people say a place looks like a postcard. It’s hard to explain. Believe me, I get the sentiment, but a postcard is too small and too derivative to appropriately transfer the energy you experience when in a special spot like Keswick.

In part, I believe my trip to the Lake District motivated me to purchase two DSLR cameras within 16 months of my visit. I had hacked my point-and-shoot Canon with software to allow for creating RAW files for HDR photography, but it was clumsy at best. Sometimes I got just two exposures when aiming for three or five. Other times I got the same exposure for all three frames (please excuse the photography talk). In short, I never knew what was going to come out of the camera, but I forced it to the edge of its capabilities in order to learn more about producing images. Most of what I wanted to do in Keswick fell far short of what was in front of me, and my little SX120, try as it might, strained to grab the detail, light and color that completely overwhelms you here.

Ever since, I’ve gone with a T3I or 5D Mark II to make my HDR photos. While still being a full believer in almost any camera (that actually works) being enough to produce quality images, that little extra something is often needed to recreate ambiance or atmosphere in order to put you back within the place. I overwrought the detail in this double HDR photo from my point-and-shoot. A painting treatment was what saved it from the scrap heap in the end. I’m happy it found its place in the blog.
Keswick is a painting
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September 28, 2012

Dock under

Whenever I’m here I keep my eyes peeled for alligators. The first time I ventured out on this dock, I looked to my right, and there was a five-foot gator exactly where I stood on the next boardwalk over. That’s not very big as far as gators go, but it was enough to remind me that something could be standing between me and land on my way back, which is never a good thought. It hasn’t happened, thankfully. I always peek under the docks to see if any are in the area. People actually swim here in between the reeds and the danger. No thanks.
Dock under
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