Thursday, June 30, 2005

Southern France: Roof Rack Pattern

Roof Rack Pattern

I saw these roof capping tiles oraganised into this pattern all over the place during my visit to the south of France last week. This image just had to be captured - I had no choice.

Thank you for the lively discusson yesterday regarding altering images, manipulation etc. I found all the view most interesting. It would seem that the overwhelming majority view is that changing pictures in PS is perfectly OK for blogging, perhaps with a less strongly expressed caveat that most people mention it in their write up/caption.

It is definitely true that we never capture reality anyway since we are compressing a 3D world into 2D and being heavily selective in what we capture/show.

For me, most of my photographs will be 'as seen' with a little digital darkroom, but increasingly I will be uploading altered images - particularly in the colour department.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Southern France: Purple Rain

Purple Rain

This is a picture from above of the sun shade umberellas covering the outside dining area in the hotel where I stayed. Each one is big enough to cover a table set for about eight people. These umberellas are really white and whilst I liked the pattern, this colour suits me much better! The original white version looked a little grubby and flat.

This is the first picture I have blogged which has been altered, so I feel a bit guilty - all the rest received only what I call digital darkroom work such as adjusting saturation, contrast, sharpness (mostly only these) one or two have been straightened and/or cropped with my best endeavour to show what I actually saw, albeit from my particular perspective and to give a pleasing image.

What are your thoughts on this kind of manipulation where colours are changed or objects are removed or added? How does this differ from Solstice Jazz where a motion effect was obtained in camera? - I never actually saw this scene. I know several of you play with colour in particular to give great images - most notably Lara.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Southern France: Tile Study

Tile Study: Intersection
Tile Study: Intersection

Tile Study: Diagonal
Tile Study: Diagonal

Tile Study: Straight
Tile Study: Straight

Whilst in the South of France last week I got the opportunity to look down on a roof top so I took three photos to show aspects of this.

Somebody asked about my thought procees and how I make pictures. For yesterday's I saw the shot and thought about is for a day or two then took several shots using a tripod and a variety of shooting conditions to get the best shot - the lighting was not the simplest. For today's I saw the intersection which I took first and thn took Digonal and Straight in that order. These were the only three frames I took without tripod and then moved on to something else. Hope that helps.

I am pleased with the intersection and the straight since they both have points of interest; intersection with the strong diagonal and the straight with the broken tile optimally placed within the frame. The diagonal ought to be a stronger composition than the straight, but I was careless and misplaced the broken tile - shame really.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Southern France: Seat of Many Colours

Seat of Many Colours

This is a sofa in my hotel room on my recent trip - I could not resist it!

This one is for Rock who did as painting like this a few years ago :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Southern France: Solstice Jazz

Summer Music

By popular :-) request, this week's theme is photos taken on my trip to the South of France last week. I was mainly trapped in the hotel/conference centre so this is really a collection of quirky pictures that I snatched between meetings.

We were able to get out into the local town on Tuesday - the evening of the summer solstice - the tradition is to make music in the streets. I had a fabulous meal with my colleagues followed by several hours wandering from bar to bar listening to all kinds of music; in particular, jazz.

I took this picture without flash and on low ISO to deliberately blur the image - to be honest, I made several attempts before getting this one which is quite pleasing. I moved the camera to avoid it being a little bit blurred which just looks out of focus.

There is another of my photos from the South of France blogged today by my good friend Frédéric over at Nomad Photo. He asked me for a picture to post, so I took this one (Neapolitan Shadow) because it is the closest I can get to Fred's own distinctive style. This picture is my gift to him - Thank you Fred.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Eiffel Tower: Reward

Paris View

This is part of the reward for climbing the tower - I climbed up it because the queues were too long.

There were a number of great views from the top, though it was a little hazy in the distance. I have chosen this one because it shows a small piece of traditional Paris contrasted with the march of modernism in the towerblocks beind - the latter could be anywhere in the world.

Not sure what to start tomorrow - perhaps I should put up some pictures of my visit this week to the South of France after this brief microcosm of the North. What do you think?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Eiffel Tower: Elevator Machinery

Elevator Machinery

This image shows part of the Eiffel Tower elevator machinery - I never used it - I walked up :-)

Again striking red colour in amidst the drab beige. I liked the curves contrasting with the main structure which is essentially straight lines.

I am returning from the South of France today and I will catch up with the blogs I have missed

Have a great Friday.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Eiffel Tower; FIre Suppression System

FIre Suppression System

I saw this which I assume is some kind of hose connection point to water ring main to help combat fire. I am not really sure, but it is probably related to the large vessels I posted on Monday in the picture Red & Yellow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Eiffel Tower: Outsized Nut

Outsized Nut

A very large nut holding down the lid of a pressure vessel half way up the Eiffel Tower.

It would have been rude not to take this photograph!

Well I am now here in the South of France - it is fabulous. We had, a superb meal in the local town yesterday evening and then listened to street musicians at the summer solstice festival.

As you see there is a wireless LAN at the hotel which means I have fast internet access to get my work email and streaming UK Radio 4 (though I have fluent German, my French is somewhat shaky so the TV is a non starter) - the plus side is that I can post and visit your blogs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Eiffel Tower: Tangle

Tower Tangle

Another perspective on the Eiffel Tower showing the amount of steel in this structure.

Close up it is mainly this buff colour.

I love this one because it looks such a mess, though it is really an ordered structure with symmetry - if you look long enough it is possible to see this (the engineer in me coming out!) here were many advantages to walking up.

I am flying off to a business conference in the south of France today at a posh hotel (tough but someone has to do it!). I am hoping there is internet access and I will be able to post. It may be difficult for me to get round to comment on your lovely blogs for a few days - if so, I will catch up at the weekend.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Eiffel Tower: Red & Yellow

Red Pressure Vessel

Yellow Pressure Vessel

On the way up I saw these two pressure vessels. I am not sure what they are for, perhaps for fire prevention or hyraulic fluid for the elevators.

Whatever they are, they provided me and my pocket camera with a photo opportunity.

The red one was near the bottom (from memory) and the yellow one part way up - you can see some steps in the background.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

I went to Paris for an interview for my current job mid 2004. ALthough I travel quite a bit in my profession, I rarely get to see anything!

It was great to have a bit of spare time to get up this beast.

Due to the enormous queues, I decided to walk up which provided me with the opportunity to take a number of pictures on the way up and down with my pocket digital camera.

I got the job which bizzarely is as an English employee working in Germany for a French company - you cannot get more European than that! As a gift to myself for getting this job, later that July, I bought my first Digital SLR.

This one is a typical tourist shot from the ground.

I decided on the theme this week because of a request by Potpourri who claims to be sweet, smart and sexy!!

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Journey: Luggage Rack

Luggage Rack

This is the luggage rack in the Frankfurt to Wiesbaden S-Bahn train. It looked like it would make a neat abstract. Being in the carriage on my own, it was easiret to take pictures of oddities without attracting attention to my self in a foreign country.

I work in Germany and most of my colleagues think I am completely nuts anyway - they put it down to me being English - what they do not know is that I am nuts, even by English standards.

New series tomorrow, not sure what I might do yet, perhaps the Eiffel Tower, perhaps something else. I will decide in the morning.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Journey: Roof Strut

Roof Strut

This is a roof support at Frankfurt Main Railway Station.

I love this sort of metal work, it makes me think about a number of issues:

  • Who designed this - some giant embroiderer?

  • Why does it look like an upside down Eiffel Tower?
  • Who were the guys who built it, placed every rivet, risked their lives?

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Journey: Blue and White

Blue and White

The corner of the smallest room in the railway station. ;-)

I have deliberately severely under exposed it (using manual settings) and then used my raw converter to put the exposure back to nearly where it should be to create this form of noise.

The attempt was to create a feel of a snatched shot with a cheap concealed camera.

Just playing really.

I love minimalist shots and blocks of colour - the way this creates an optical illusion intrigues me - is this corner inward or outward facing?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Journey: Packing Boxes

Packing Boxes

These packing boxes were stacked outside a flower shop at Wiesbaden railway station.

The combination of straight lines nd circles together with the minimal colour set attracted me to it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Journey: Blue Seat

Blue Seat

This is a picture of a blue seat in the Wiesbaden to Frankfurt S-Bahn train.

I thought Frédéric over at Nomad Photo might like this one since he is seriously into minimalist art - check out his picture from yesterday!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Journey: Cleaning Up

Cleaning Up

A squeegee mop left at the end of the railway line in Frankfurt. I think it is used to clear the windscreen of the train before it leaves the station.

It caught my eye, looking like a brightly coloured planted in amidst the foliage.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Journey: Train Reflection

Train Reflection

A couple of weeks ago, I took a railway trip from Celle in Germany, where I am currently working, to Wiesbaden for a business meeting. I had my trusty D70 with me and took the opportunity with the various changes of train to take some photographs.

This set is a different style to those I have posted before, a little more abstract and odd than some of the chocolate box stuff I have presented previously.

The first image is a train standing in Wiesbaden railway station reflecting the surroundings - it is difficult to see what is train and what is the world.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Barcelona: The Watchmen

The Watchmen

This is the last of the photos from the Barcelona series that I am currently posting.

It is my take on the famous chimneys by Gaudi. This is a set of chimney stacks on top of a building several stories high designed by Gaudi. Not sure they are actually used as chimneys (I doubt it).

The masks are about the right size to fit over a human head made from a ceramic material. Several correspondents in Flickr have suggested a similarity to Star Wars characters; I can see their point, if there is any plagurism going on here though, then Lucas copied Gaudi not the other way around!

Imposing n'est pas?

New theme tomorrow, not sure what it will be yet, but I am open to suggestions.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Barcelona: Gaudi Park

Gaudi Park

A Gaudi sign to a Gaudi Park and Gardens.

In many ways this sign is not typical Gaudi - what is typical is that we do not get a square sign with a boring typeface.

Tha park is a joy to behold - have a great Friday :-)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Barcelona: Reflected Bar

Reflected Bar

Wandering around Barcelona with my wife, I saw this reflection of a bar in the port area of town.

The bar/restaurant was outside and there was a curved window/mirror on the building behind it which has made for a fantastic reflection - if you look you can see the individual panels of glass.

This photo was taken at 10:40am according to the EXIF data - but I remember there were very few people around yet so I waited until this one person moved to a corner of my frame to add a point of interest. This is my first blog that contains a person (other than my eye logo).

As I said in a comment yesterday I am normally nervous of having people in my photographs, particularly recognisable individuals, for a nuumber of reasons.

a) I worry I will not do them justice
b) I worry they will not like it - trees and stuff do not complain!
c) I would like to take candids, but am a coward at heart - I love sidney's stuff for example.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Barcelona; Old Town

Barcelona Old Town

Part of an older tourist area in Barcelona. Not sure where it is exactly (perhaps you know).

The buildings, the curve of the road and the arch appealed to me as compositional elements. I had to wait quite a time for a clear shot!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Barcelona: Canadian Transition

Canadian Transition

This leaf which I saw on the pavement looked interesting on the patterned pavement below.

It was autumn time in Barcelona (October 03). I have rotated it following a suggestion from Wilk on Flickr that it looked like a symbol of Canada.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Barcelona: T-Shirt Art

T-Shirt Art

Took this shot in a souvenir shop and liked the t-shirts hanging there.

I believe they all represent the work of famous artists - the just looked great hung there to me!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Barcelona: The Thinker

The Thinker

In October 03 Judi (my wife) and I managed to get a weekend away together in Barcelona. The children were on a school trip to Germany and there are now many cheap flights available in Europe so it seemed like a good thing to do. We had a great time!.

This week I am taking Barcelona as my theme, though I am not necessarily going to put up pictures of the city itself, rather some interesting (to me) photos whic I took. Of course I got lots of the normal ones to bore the family with as well ;-)

This is one of the many statues adorning the partially complete Gaudi designed cathedral in Barcelona. I found it attractive and the pensive nature of the sculpture made me think as well!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Scrapyard: Extinguished Extinguishers!

Extinguished Extinguishers!

This is the last of my series of scapyard photographs - a week has gone by already!

A similar subject to the opening one (It's a Gas) in some ways with a view of pressure cylinders. I like this with the red colour.

These are most likely collected together because there are some kind of rules on their disposal. I wonder if these were cylinders spent in action and what great fire was prevented by them sacrificing themselves to save life and limb. More likely, their useful life came to an end due to being out of date after a lifetime of service waiting, waiting, waiting ... for a chance to show their mettle. Now discarded for shiny new ones with, perhaps, more modern contents which are more environmentally friendly (but not as good at putting fires out!).

Tomorrow a new theme begins, a couple of ideas present themselves to me and I will choose on the spur of the moment when I load the first picture. This whole blogging thing has been good for my photography since I have begun to take a few more pictures. If anyone has a suggestion for a theme, I would gladly hear it and perhaps try to take a series of photographs to present my cut on that theme.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Scrapyard: Let's Make Tracks

Let's Make Tracks

This is what delivers the Grim eaper to his victims.

I loved this detail and the perspective it engenders.

The small pieces missing show how some of our friends in the scrapyard have fought back in some small way before the inevitability of death in the powerful mandibils of the reaper.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Scrapyard: The Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper

Smash them, bash them , break their bones. Swoop without warning like a monster in the night. There is no hope you are in my grip!

This is one of several machines in the scrapyard used to move, break up, crush and stack the scrap.

I have tried to picture it to show a menacing sinister side to its character with respect to the scrap in the yard. To me this has worked to some degree with a kind of gothic horror feel. Though it was a beautiful day, the sun popped behind this one black cloud and created the atmosphere of an electric storm brewing which is of course deadly to machinery, presenting this silhouette.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Scrapyard: Car Heap

Car Heap

Discarded cars forming a tower, stacked like some colomn of child's toy bricks. These were once somebody's pride and joy as they drove them home from the showroom with that all new smell and painted tyres.

For the first few weeks proudly displayed to neighbours and friends, lovingly cleaned and serviced and carefully driven - mum dad and 2.4 kids.

Over time taked for granted as a tool for getting from A to B, hardly noticed. Eventually sold on several times, owned by many, sometimes roughly handled, sometimes gently treated.

Ending life at the hands of a boy racer. Old age was no fun, incontinence of fluids, breath smelling toxic, struggling to keep up.

The car graveyard beckons.