Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta, jmeyersforeman

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta, jmeyersforeman 

Visiting my home town over the last couple of weeks has been great. Visiting family and friends of course the best part, but I have also had a chance to play tourist and see some of the city where previously I was too busy with work to see and enjoy. The Olympic Plaza just one the great gathering places downtown. It was built and used for the medal presentations when Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympic Games, and is now used for festivals and events. the pool is drained and bands play on the stage, there is square dancing during the Stampede, and during the winter the water is frozen and we can ice skate there. 

I used a fish-eye lens to capture as much of the skyline as possible, most of the high rise office towers in Calgary’s downtown core are to the west of the Olympic Plaza so we get a peek at the great Alberta sky, as well as the new Bow Building on the left side of the frame. The Bow Building is currently the tallest building.  

For the photographers who read the blog, to process the image I used Camera Raw, Lens Correction, Manual, it does an amazing job fixing lens perspective, and straightening lines. I was surprised! I also increased clarity and vibrance, and burned a little more detail into the clouds, but the work on it was very minor. 


 

 

Caerphilly Castle; Caerphilly Wales

Caerphilly Castle; Caerphilly Wales, copyright jmeyersforeman

Caerphilly Castle; Caerphilly Wales, copyright jmeyersforeman 

After Bath England we travelled by train to Caerphilly Wales. The Caerphilly Castle is the historic site in this lovely little town, built-in the 11 century in just 3 years, it occupies 30 acres of land, the river had been diverted  to create the moat.

The castle was fun to visit, many of the rooms have exhibits set up telling visitors about the building, the weapons and life in the 12th century. It is now used for events and weddings.  It would have been wonderful if the water had been still we would have had a wonderful reflection! oh well, maybe another day.

I hope your weekend was a wonderful on.

Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux Church; Caen France

Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux Church; Caen France copyright jmeyersforeman

Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux Church; Caen France copyright jmeyersforeman 

While trying to find the Abbaye aux Hommes, we came across the St. Etienne le Vieux Church. A large church built by William the Conqueror and partially destroyed in the 1944 bombings during World War ll. It was quite amazing to find in the middle of the city these old ruins left as a reminder to the damage done during the 2nd world war.

The timing of our visit could not have been better, from a photographic point of view; the storm clouds were starting to move in, giving the sky this great sense of movement and character, it was late in the day and the sun was still over the western horizon was bathing the ruins in the warm sunlight.

The Aljafería Palace; Zaragoza Spain

The Aljafería Palace; Zaragoza Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

The Aljafería Palace; Zaragoza Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

The Aljaferia Place in Zaragoza, a fortified medieval Islamic palace built during the second half of the 11th century in what is now Zaragoza Spain, a wonderful example of Moorish Architecture in Spain. While much of the building has been restored to its original beauty, with the intricate doorways and arches, many of the interior doors have been left in untouched. Much has been written about the history and can be found on-line, I have provided a few links. Sunday morning has free admission, and consequently it is a busy time to visit. Guided tours are available in several languages.

I wanted to show several examples of the different arches and doorways; giving me an opportunity to experiment with a different layout, and to create a triptych, toning the background to the same colour in the images. While I like the overall effect, I used web-sized images, for my experiment and consequently have a small finished product for my blog post. Next time I will use the original images and then size for the triptych to the desired size for my post. That should give me some flexibility for my blog post. Unfortunately I am running short of time, too many things to do and see, people to visit with to redo the triptych at this time!

I hope your week is going well.

Santa María de León Cathedral; Leon Spain

Santa María de León Cathedral; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Santa María de León Cathedral; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Re-visiting the Leon Cathedral. We spent a couple of days in Leon in the fall of 2012 when we walked the Camino Francis from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela, and we knew that this was one place in Spain that we wanted to return, and to spend a little more time exploring the city and the historic sites.

It is festival week here in Leon Spain, with plenty going on in the street day and night, and we have been busy enjoying as much as we can!

 

Circular Staircase

circular staircase

circular staircase 

Staircases are, at least for me, visually interesting. The have rhythm of line, and a symmetrical balance that is pleasing I suspect because predictability, and ease at which the eye can move around the photo. Circular staircases have an added interest a vanishing point that draws the viewer’s eye in so naturally to the focal point. This staircase seems to be two stair cases wrapped into one, and one of the more interesting staircase I have seen in a while.

Palacio Carlos V, Albambra, Granada Spain

Palace of Charles V; Alambra, Granada Spain

Palace of Charles V; Alambra, Granada Spain  

Charles V, King of Spain, elected Emperor of Germany, decided to build his royal palace in the Alhambra after the visit by a Granada after their wedding in Sevilla with Isabel of Portugal in 1526.  A circle inscribed in a square, and the use of architectural language of the Renaissance. His choice of location inside the Alhambra for its construction shows the king’s awareness of the beauty of the Arab palaces and his interest in preserving them for posterity. 

This was an interesting piece of architecture and a great place to use the 15mm wide-angle lens. Standing on the 2nd floor we can almost see the entire building in perfect perspective. I did try to sit on the ground, in the centre circle, but the building is too big to get the entire building in a single frame. Visiting hours at the Alambra limit the time of day photographs can be taken inside the buildings, and we had a clear sunny day resulting in a harsh shadows. I guess I am one of the few tourists who hopes for cloudy or possibly even rainy days!!!

 

Sunset, Ciudad of Arts and Science, Valencia Spain

sunset at the Ciudad of Arts and Science, Valencia Spain

sunset at the Ciudad of Arts and Science, Valencia Spain 

Along an axis of just under two kilometres that was formerly the bed of the River Turia, in Valencia Spain, this complex of striking architecture – designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela – and an endless capacity for entertaining and stimulating the minds of its visitors. In its various buildings, known as Ciudad of Arts and Science, people can get to know different aspects of science, technology, nature, and art.

I previously posted about the Oceanografic which is part of this Science and Art Park, it was unfortunately the only building we were able to visit. The building on the left of the image, L ‘Hemisferic is home to an IMAX theatre, a planetarium and a laserium, while the building to the right just behind it is the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is home to an opera house and performing arts centre.

Most nights when we head out to do sunset photos we are alone, the evening settling in around us and the lights of the city start to flicker, Last night it was quite different, while we were standing at the northeast corner of the “pond” that surrounds the buildings waiting and watching for the sunset we were joined by a small class of photographers, experimenting with ND filters and long exposures, tourists from various parts of Spain, Holland, and the US all chatting away, enjoying the sunset and the shared experience of the beautiful evening.

 

 

The Medieval Walls of Toledo Spain

Moorish Walls of Toledo Spain

The Medieval Walls of Toledo Spain 

Toledo Spain, only 30 minutes by train from Madrid, is one of the most visited cities of Spain, and inside the city walls of this old city the buildings and winding streets hold hundreds of years of history. Many of the buildings are made of brick, rather than the traditional stone as in many Spanish cities, a reflections of the Moorish history.

Wandering from historic site to historic view points, we walk the narrow streets filled with restaurants and tapas bars keeping an ever alert our eyes and ears for cars and delivery vans also meandering down the narrow streets who are eager to get to their next stop. Built high on a hill the narrow cobble streets seem to be either going up or down, but never flat.

Toledo_IMG_9484

Here is a view of our quiet street, after dark, and the tourists have headed back to Madrid.

From Madrid to Toledo

Toledo Cathedral, Toledo Spain

Toledo Cathedral, Toledo Spain

We have left Madrid and taken a 30 minute train ride to Toledo Spain. Some of you, who have been following the blog for a while might remember that the plan was to walk the Via la Plata, a medieval camino route from Seville to Santiago de Compostela. We had walked the Camino Francis about 18 months ago, and really enjoyed our time in Spain and walking. The Via la Plata is a different route, much further between towns meaning longer walking stages, fewer travellers or pilgrims on the road, and not as well accommodated. We found we were not really enjoying ourselves. We do understand that the idea behind a camino, and we don’t expect to enjoy everyday, but still, this is our journey and so we have left he Via la Plata route, and are no longer walking north towards Santiago de Compostela. We are taking sometime off the camino path, and we are going to get a little rest, travel by train and visit some of the world heritage sites in Spain. That is what brought us to Toledo, and this great Cathedral, more about it tomorrow.