Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Istanbul Street Photography

For me, all of these photographs have a real sense of place. I didn't think that color added anything to them, so I converted them to B&W in Nik Silver EFEX. The guy walking around the Hagia Sofia was interesting to me. He was all in black, with a fancy ascot/scarf around his neck, two Leicas draped around his neck. I also like the pairs of women in three of the last four photographs; #4 in the Topkapi Palace, #5 outside the Palace, and #7 in the Blue Mosque.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Downtown Palo Alto

This past weekend was the Palo Alto Art Festival on University Avenue just down the street from Stanford University. It is a street of restaurants, chic shopping opportunities, and a movie theater which now shows old films, unable in these times to compete with the multiplexes and Netflix. University Avenue also featured  a great Borders bookstore, housed in the former Varsity Theater where I saw a number of great rock and roll shows, like Van Morrison and Steve Forbert, before it morphed into the bookstore where I spent many happy hours looking for something interesting to read. Photograph number two shows the chained off entrance to the Varsity Theater. There's also the new Apple store. All photographs taken with the Sony RX 100.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale is one of the world's most innovative and eclectic art shows. While the main exhibits are located in the Giardini in the eastern part of Venice, there are also large exhibits in the Arsenal, on the Lido, where the Venice Film Festival is held, and at numerous other venues around the city. Some people come every year and set up their own non-sanctioned art in parks and streets, one example being the underwear in the fifth photograph. We stopped and spoke to the artist, an English lady who comes every few years. Many countries have a presence here as well. If you simply walk around, you will run into art constantly. In the third photograph is the Restaurant/Bar Paradiso. It's located in the Giardini and we used to go there to relax and have a beer, as well as get away from the students we used to take on European trips. It was closed for a few years, but its back and looking better than ever.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Covert Portraits in Croatia

All of these photographs were taken in 2008 when my wife and I spent two weeks in Croatia. I was using the Nikon D300 with the Nikkor 18-200 lens. We visited Dubrovnik, flew to Rovinj up near the Italian border, took a ferry to Hvar, and another ferry to Korcula before heading back to Dubrovnik for our flight home. It's a wonderful country with great food, fantastic water and weather, and open, friendly inhabitants. I call these "covert" portraits because they weren't taken with the active participation of the subjects. I have gone through a few cameras since the D300, but it did a fine job while I had it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

La Passeggiata

La Passeggiata is a gentle stroll through the main streets of the old town, in this case Santa Margherita, in the centro storico. It's certainly one of the many aspects we love about this place. It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with airports. If we are flying business, I am in love. Coach, not so much. On our trip to Istanbul and Italy, we did both. I just try to take advantage of photographic opportunities to pass the time in otherwise identical airports around the world. At the top, Munich, Germany. Next is Milan's Malpensa Airport, an hour's train ride from the train station. Carla Zett was our mixologist in Chicago en route. Malpensa again with Chicago next. A very good hot dog in Munich in the business class lounge,  young boys impressed by the huge jet that will take them to Germany, and the Airbus ready to receive its passengers. All shots taken with the Sony RX 100.

Images of Istanbul

One of the best things about staying in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul was access to roof-top restaurants where one could get spectacular views of the two important mosques in this section of the city: the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, which sit about two football fields apart with Sultanahmet Square in between. The fourth shot of the Blue Mosque was taken on a tripod with the Sony NEX 5n and the 10-18 Sony lens at 30 seconds. Photographs one, three and five were taken atop the Blue Restaurant at various focal lengths. The pigeons were taken at the New Mosque near the Golden Hind, a body of water which separates two distinct areas of this vast city.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Really Like Train Stations

There's something about train stations that really appeals to me, but that I cannot explain. The top two photographs are of Sirkeci Station in Istanbul, the final stop of the Orient Express, a trip I would love to take sometime. The next two are from Venice. For the first time visitor, coming out of a rather ordinary train station and practically falling into a canal has to be an extraordinary experience. Milano Centrale is anything but ordinary architecturally, as well as offering a great dining option. Next up is the station at Santa Margherita, about a three minute walk from our hotel. At the bottom is Camogli station, the first station north of Santa Margherita.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Laundry in Venice

I can't help myself from taking pictures of laundry blowing freely in the wind. What's unusual is to find laundry drying over a canal. I think it's nice that neighbors share lines, or so it seems. People would scream bloody murder in the US if someone attached a laundry line to their house. All photographs taken with the Sony NEX 7