Posts Tagged ‘plants’

Reuniting (in the park again)

Monday, March 14th, 2011

It’s been an exciting and hectic week, punctuated by Catie’s arrival to NYC as well as major interviews at both Parsons and SVA. The tennis season at Trevor is in full swing (ha ha), and whenever I’m not coaching on court or doing conditioning runs around the Reservoir with my players, Cat and I have been trying to “do” as much New York as possible to get back into the rhythm of the city.

We’ve also been trying to reconnect with all of the friends we still have here, and we were able to hit a couple more of those proverbial birds with one stone yesterday by meeting both Tristan (whom Catie had not seen in quite a while) and Mitch (whom neither of us had seen in quite a while) in Manhattan and spending the afternoon wandering around Central Park. (Two Minnesotans + two Alaskans = a day in the park, invariably.)

New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)

Photo taken in New York, NY on March 12, 2011.

My obsession with black and white photography carries on. I tried to switch my camera’s picture control settings to vivid color again, but I hated the look of my first captured image on the LCD screen, and quickly switched back. I’m addicted to the visual acuity and drama of high-contrast black and white, and color just seems to take away from that punch.

New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)

Photos taken in New York, NY on March 12, 2011.

Les rives de Saone

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Last Tuesday, Catie and I had planned to go with a small group of friends to Pérouges, a small Medieval walled town about an hour’s drive northeast of Lyon. Unfortunately, the trains (and subways, and trams, and busses it seemed like) were shut down due to the strikes currently going on in France (contesting a motion to shift the retirement age from 60 to 62). Things have actually gotten pretty intense here at times (as can be read in news articles and especially seen on YouTube), but Catie and I have avoided almost all of the rustle. In any case, we could not make it out to Pérouges, so instead we all decided to spend the afternoon walking up the Saône all the way to Ile Barbe, which happens to be the only inhabited island in all of Lyon. We were able to walk almost the whole way directly along the river, and the journey really was lovely with Autumn in full force.

Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 19, 2010.

Up the hill again, with a different lens this time

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

About a week ago, Catie and I met up with a couple friends and headed up Fourvière Hill once again to visit the ancient Roman Theatre and the Basilica. We took a different route along Montée du Gourguillon, a charming street that winds up the hill through the Renaissance neighborhood of Vieux Lyon.

I had been feeling lately like I wanted to shake my photography routine up a bit, so I decided to show some pity for my old 60mm macro lens and use it for the day. In fact, I used it exclusively and left the rest of my equipment at home. Sometimes it is nice to have my camera bag and its full contents with me for a trek as it provides the tools to ideally capture just about anything, but a lot of the time I find this ‘ultimate flexibility’ to actually detract from the quality of images that I generate. I get so consumed wondering if one lens might be better than another for the subject that I spend more time swapping lenses back and forth than I do actually shooting (and more importantly, looking). In the end, I almost always just get frustrated with myself and stick my favorite 70-200mm on the camera body and ignore the heavy backpack for the rest of the day. So, I have decided recently that I am going to try to leave the bag at home and commit to a single lens shooting experience over the course of a day as much as possible. This is what I did most of the time in Bangladesh anyway (because the weather was too hot to carry a bag, the air too dusty to switch lenses, and I too conspicuous to relish flashing expensive equipment to everyone on the streets) and I think my images were the better for it.

So far, this decision is working out great. Sure, maybe I lose the ability to capture a potential photo or two because I don’t have a long telephoto or extreme wide-angle with me, but I can focus my creative ability on making the images that I can create the best that they can be. I live here, after all, and I constantly have my GPS tracker with me, so I can always go back to some particular location another day with another lens!

Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 17, 2010.

Walk up the hill

Monday, September 13th, 2010

This weekend Catie and I decided to make the trek up Fourvière Hill to visit the basilica at the top. We took a long ambling route and walked a good six miles along the way. There is so much of Lyon to see! I am sure we have not even begun to scratch the surface. Mass was underway when we arrived, so we took a seat near the back and enjoyed the splendor of the cathedral and the beautiful French scripture, singing, and organ music.

Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on September 11, 2010.

Religion is not a part of my life, but I could see myself enjoying going to Mass in such a beautiful setting once a week here in Lyon. Perhaps the fact it is all in French and I can understand nothing they are saying aids in that feeling for me here.

After the church bells marked the end of Mass at the Basilica, we continued on to visit the Théâtres Romains de Fourvière, an ancient Roman theatre built originally around 15 BC. The scale was impressive to say the least – it seats about four thousand people now, but it used to house over eleven thousand. Usually “old things” in Europe just sort of get filed away in my brain with all of the other innumerable “old things” I have seen on this continent previously, but I found this theatre particularly awe-inspiring and moving. I wish I could catch just a glimpse of that theatre in all its glory, and see what a production two thousand years ago would have been like. Catie said she thinks they still put on shows in the venue, so maybe we’ll at least be able to have a modern day rendition of the experience.

Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sept 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on September 11, 2010.

Wandering around the neighborhood on Eid al-Adha

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Back at the end of November there was an important Muslim holiday called Eid al-Adha, known in English as the “Festival of Sacrifice”. It is called this because it is traditionally celebrated with the slaughter of an animal: usually a cow or maybe a goat. Catie and I had been told that when this holiday occurs in Chittagong that “the streets run red” with the blood of all the sacrificed animals. Upon hearing this most people at AUW decided to get the heck out of the city for a few days or at least shut themselves up in their apartments temporarily, but quite on the contrary I was very excited to go out and see (and yes, photograph) the festivities for myself. Catie and Denise were up for the experience as well so on the morning of the day of sacrifices we wandered out into the streets to see what we could see.

We started off quite early (around 8AM) and there weren’t very many people out. Rickshaws and CNGs were scarce and all the shops were closed. There was more activity and prayer than normal at the nearby mosque though and we saw a number of men heading that way. Eventually we wandered into a somewhat upscale neighborhood in the hopes that we might be able to see some decorated cows there before the sacrifice. This turned out to be rather easy as on every street there was cow after cow (after goat) after cow each tied up in front of individual homes. We kept walking deeper into this bovine maze until we hit something of a dead end, at which point we were greeted by a large number of people who lived along that street. They were happy to see us but also curious as to why we were wandering about that morning. We communicated to them that we were interested in the holiday and had come out early to admire the cows. We were about to say our goodbyes and continue our aimless wandering, but a couple of young girls got excited about our quest and took it upon themselves to be our guides in finding all the biggest and most impressive cows in the neighborhood. (And I must say, they were most satisfactory guides indeed!)

What with a group of three tall white people and two young Bengali girls strolling about gawking at and taking pictures of cows, it didn’t take long for the snowball effect to occur so that we had an immense following of local Bengali people walking around with us. The kids would amuse themselves at our interest in the cows and the men would beckon us over to photograph them with their particularly impressive animal (or with their family, friends, and neighbors at large).

At one point a boy of about 10 years excitedly waved me over towards a car parked on the side of the street. I wasn’t sure what he wanted but I followed him to the front windshield of the car where he had started to point at something on the dashboard. It turned out to be a little toy dancing flower, and the boy was gesturing at me to take a picture of it. I happily obliged and showed him the image on the back of my camera, and he looked, smiled, and laughed before running back to the group. That moment felt so pure and positive; it reminded me of being a kid and getting my hands on a camera for the first time and promptly “wasting” a whole roll of film photographing my ninja turtles and matchbox cars. I wish I could have followed that boy to all of the other things in his world that he thought would make good photos.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)

Photo taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on November 28, 2009.

This post contains general photos from our exploration throughout the day – of some of the people we met and things we saw – but does not really include any images of animals (living, being killed, or dead). I’m going to save those for another post or two. (Consider this your first fair warning of some imminent violent imagery to come…)

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 28, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on November 28, 2009.