We arrived at the Men’s Abbey in Caen and the wedding service was almost over. We stood near the back to for great Abbey, as the priest pronounced the happy couple husband and wife, and a great cheer was heard from the guest. As the couple were hugged and congratulated by parents and family the guest filled out to the front doors and waited patiently. As the couple left the church arm and arm the family and friends let out another big cheer. The wedding photographers were nowhere to be seen I am not sure what photos they would have taken, but I love this one. The first kiss on the steps of the church, the family and friends showering them with rose pedals.
The Men’s Abbey in Caen has a long history, founded in 1067 by William the Conquer it is described as a Norman Romanesque Church and I was left wondering how many generations of this couple’s family had been married here.
Inside the Church is a display of photos. The citizens of Caen took shelter there during the World War ll bombings. It was one of the few buildings left standing in the city. You can see from one of the earlier blog posts, the bombs, unfortunately, did not always avoid the churches.
The visit to the Abbey was a thoughtful one, many of the Churches we have visited have been like museums, with audio guides detailing the art and telling us of the history. While we are aware of that they are a Sacred Destination for many today we witnessed the role that many play in lives of their congregation. Each day brings us something new and wonderful.
Just a few images from the Caen Market, full of the most amazing food, fresh vegetables, flowers, seafood, cheeses and breads. Held every Saturday Morning, rain or shine. it had rained earlier in the morning, and everyone was carrying umbrella’s as well as their baskets.
It was wonderful to walk around, smelling and tasting all the fresh bread, crepes, cheeses, and of course the strawberries.
One of the great things about the trip we have been on is all the different Markets we have visited.Each one very unique from the last. This one outdoors, the vendor’s truck full of goods parked behind their stall.
My mother has been doing family research for years, as a result she has been able to find several members of her father’s family who come from Wales. One member of the family Richard now lives in the Aquitaine area of southern France. Mom first met Richard’s father George quite some time ago, and Richard has been kind enough to send mom a lot of his father’s family history research filling in blanks or branches in mom’s family tree, as well as an open invitation to visit his home if she was ever in the area.
We, Bill and I decided that we would pay a visit to Richard on mom’s behalf. It was a lovely visit to Aquitaine, and while there Richard took us to visit the Castle of Bonaguil, high on the hill just north-west of Agen.
Bonaguil Castle; copyright jmeyersforeman
Bonaguil Castle; copyright jmeyersforeman
We went out to a wonderful restaurant for dinner with some of his lovely friends, and watched the sunset over the beautiful valley.
sunset after the rain; copyright jmeyersforeman
Richard also took us for a ride in his 1954 Austin Healey.
Meeting and visiting with Richard was wonderful, he can’t thank him enough for the warm hospitality. It was a great treat to have someone show/drive us around the beautiful French countryside for a closer more personal view. Thanks Richard for a wonderful two days. We are off to Bordeaux!
Watching the towns roll by from the FEVE train: Asturias Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman
Just a couple of days ago we were travelling from LLanes to Leon Spain, the gentleman in the photo spoke to us as we boarded the train, the usual “hola buen dia” I greeted him in return, as this is common practise for people in Spain, to greet those as you enter the train or a store. But he continued to talk, and I had to apologized “lo siento, no entiendo” another little bit of Spanish I have picked up! He sat quietly through the remainder of the trip looking out the window and watching the towns roll by. The at one stop, he suddenly got up and began asking questions, the gentleman in from, told him the town we were at. The train was starting to roll forward when the conductor noticed him and pushed the button for the train to stop and helped the old gentleman off the train.
I have written about riding the trains in Spain before, there are at least a couple of different lines, each with their pros and cons for travelling, and the RENFE website provides lots of information and makes train travel through Spain easy and affordable. But that isn’t the best reason for travelling by train, that of course is the people you meet, and the countryside you will see. The train lines seem to be used by people travelling to work, shopping or to visit friends, school kids for outings, going to the beach or the skateboard park in the next town. I found a very relaxed pace to the people we meet on the train, and there is always someone around to help.
The weekly photo challenge on wordpress is between, so I have added this photo to the blog challenge, as this man is clearly between stations!
Tui to Santiago de Compostela 105k in under 22hrs.
We just leaving Praza Obradario, just in front of the Santiago Cathedral when we witnessed these 5 women march, with full packs and carrying their weapons, into the Praza. As they arrived the other military personnel that where already there welcomed them with a cheer and loud applause. It wasn’t until the next day when we went back to the square that we found out what had happened.
The next day, in the square was a big celebration, with a military band, bagpipes and all, we learned that the women were part of a group who had walked the Camino Portugues from Tui, Spain, a city along the Spanish Portuguese border, 105 kilometres to Santiago de Compostela in under 22 hrs! The four teams, three men, and own women’s team, that had completed the camino received medals.
The ladies didn’t speak any English, but were happy to pose for a photo, it was one of the other officers who told me of the events. He also said many who walked ended with injuries, and a few who started didn’t finish.
Sol Souvenir was performing on the streets of Granada while we were there, we like his music so much we decided to by a cd/dvd. This has to be a tough way to make a living. He was collecting a bit of cash in his guitar case, and had a few cd’s to see. But like most artists, and it doesn’t matter if you are a singer, dancer, painter or photographer, you are one of many. For some it is enough to just be doing the thing we love with the hope that others will also like what we are doing.
Sol Souvenir seemed to be just that type of artist, happy to be out on the street singing with his heart, and entertaining those who stopped to listen. I did find is Facebook page, but there was no music to share. As far as I can tell he hasn’t loaded anything on to you tube, and since we have no cd/dvd player on the laptop there is no way to share his music with you!
I choose to process the image with Nik Silver Effect’s Pro, Film Noir, with several changes to the preset, I wanted to the old gritty rock n’ roll look, and with the high contrast I was able to reduce the background to a few minor shadows that were less distracting than in the original image.
Sol Souvenir, if you see the blog, let us know where we can find your music and I will share it with my blog readers. We would love to hear from you.
Continuing with my series of Portraits of Street Performers, it was easy to be captivated by the music this gentleman was providing on a beautiful warm afternoon. Unfortunately for me, fortunately for him, he was on the a very busy corner of a very busy flea market. For me the streets were jammed pack and there was no place to sit down and just enjoy the music, fortunately for him, plenty of people were enjoying his music and his violin case was seeing lots of use as people dropped a few coins in.
I moved in close to isolate him from the busy background, and used a narrow depth of field to limit focus on his hand rather than his face, even with that choice we can still see his face clearly enough to know he is concentrating on the job of providing music to the crowd.
I love to wander the street markets, there is so many things and people to see and watch. One thing I have never seen in any other market is a guy with a grinder wheel sharpening knives. It was interesting to watch, and getting a good photo was with the lighting conditions was difficult, sun was high over head creating harsh deep shadows on his face and patchy light spots on his hands.
He was busy doing a job that I didn’t want to interrupt! But in keeping with my challenge to do more people, I decided that street performers is a good place to start. As mentioned by a couple of the readers about a previous post “Lady in Red”, street performers are on the street and are likely to have some expectation of having their photo taken, although I usually try to make sure they seem me and have an opportunity at least to shake their head “no”.
I am not sure if anyone wants to hear about the magic behind the images, the original photo had some heavy shadows on his face and across his chest, while his hands had some burnt out light spots. But with a little work with Nik Software; using the HDR Effects Pro I was about to bring back some of the highlights and open up the shadows, they have some great presets as well as adjustable controls allowing me to be able to finish the image as I want. I always do this on a duplicate layer in Photoshop giving me even more control over the HDR effect. Finally finishing off the image with Silver Effects Pro I can get just the black and white that works best for each images.
Using these tools in my virtual darkroom, I feel a little as I did so many years ago in my basement darkroom. Picking just the right images to develop, then dodging and burning, testing different papers and chemicals to see the different results. Next thing I know hours have gone by and rather than going to sleep I should be going out to photograph the next sunrise.
We were walking around Park del Retiro and we found this young man (young being relative to my years on this earth) he had a camera and a darkroom in a box. he was taking photos using a paper negative inside the box. He then developed the paper negative, then photographed the negative and created a positive image, developing it in the box as well. Below are some of the images I shot while Bill and Niki were getting their photos taken.
It was fun to watch the process. Two things I didn’t do that day that I wish I had done, while I did get a business card, and the name of the company but I didn’t get the photographer’s name (I assumed his name would be on the card!) and I didn’t get a chance to look in the box. The photographer was busy, people began lining up for pictures after we arrived, and I am not sure he would have shown me his process, but I didn’t ask and I think I regret not asking more than not seeing!!! Well we have a great photo of Bill and Niki, one that will never be repeated.