Family Portraits; Calgary

Calgary Family Portraits; Abbey Family

Calgary Family Portraits; Lindsay and Family 

We have been back in Calgary for a little while now, 10 days to be exact, and I am not sure where the time has gone. I bet you have been wondering what we have been up to! It has been great to see so many friends (still so many to see), getting some business organized, and even shoot some family portraits!

I have photographed Lindsay and her family before, and it is fun to see them again, and to see how much the children have grown during the year. This is one of the first photos we took, and one of the first photos I looked at when I opened the file. I was so excited I had to share it right away, now I have to go back to the file and see how many other great photos we have.

Lindsay – it won’t be long and I will have the proofs to you!

Re Carlson, Abtek Media; Calgary Portrait Photography

Re Carlson, Abtek Media

Re Carlson, Abtek Media

I first met Re at the Business Networking International meeting, he joined Rocky Mountain Thunder shortly after moving to Calgary.  With an amazing understanding of website design, social media he wants to work with small business owners develop their business with great websites.  Abtek Media is Re’s dream; and he is passionate about great “responsive” websites, that can be searched, viewed and accessed on all platforms.

As he got to know the members at Rocky Mountain Thunder, he quickly became involved in helping to set up the chapter’s social media pages, volunteering his time and knowledge. He also helped a number of members with their online presence you can see some of his work with JH Innovations, a Calgary based design and build contractor; Lad’s Auto a family owned car care centre ; and Go Digital, paperless solutions, from Alberta Printers. I am proud to tell you that Re is working on a new site for my photography we well.

Horse Racing on the turf at Woodbine

Horse racing on the turf at Woodbine; copyright jmeyersforeman

Horse racing on the turf at Woodbine; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Sitting at the racetrack, so much going on, so much to look at, to watch and enjoy. People scrutinizing the racing programs, carefully examining the statistics of each horse in the race trying to pick a winner, and how much to bet? Do you bet the favourite,  a sure thing, safe money, or do you play a hunch, or bet against the odds and pick a horse that has a chance “with a little luck, and the right jockey” to make some big money?!

Some horse lovers and racing enthusiasts will head out to the warm-up ring for a closer look, watching how the beautiful well-trained animals. Will the colour of the horse, the way it is walking, the choice of jockey affect the final decision of a bet? Some people watch the TV’s screens scattered around the club house, watching races that are happening at other tracks, or analysts discuss the horses, jockeys, track conditions, and trainers.

Once the decision has been made people are off to the betting machines to place their bet. Betting slips in hand some people head to the rail along the track while other people stand around the TVs to watch.  The horses arrive on the track and parade past the clubhouse before heading to the gate.

We hear the call to post over the load speaker, then the announcer, “They are loading the gate” “The gate is loaded……annnd theey’rrrre offfff” the excitement builds, the  people yelling out the numbers of their horse. People in the seated area stand, more people crowd the rail. The horses round the final turn, galloping full speed down the final stretch. The excitement reaches a crescendo as the horses thunder by racing towards the finish line. Suddenly it is over ” photo finish” flashes across the jumbo screen that is sitting outfield, and TV screens. The excitement continues as everyone watches the relay.

While people wait for a final decision on the race, they are already reviewing the program and looking to place their next bet, some people are off for a refreshing drink, a bit of lunch, some head to the winner’s circle to see the winning horse and congratulate the jockey.

So much to watch and enjoy and a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Wedding; Men’s Abbey; Caen France

 

Wedding; Caen France

Wedding; Caen France

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.

Caen Market

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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.

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Caen France, garden market; copyright jmeyersforeman

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Acquitaine France and finding family!

Garden gnome

Garden gnome

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

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.

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sunset after the rain; copyright jmeyersforeman

sunset after the rain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Richard also took us for a ride in his 1954 Austin Healey.

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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!

 

Umbrellas and a Rainy Day in Leon Spain

Red Umbrella, reflections on the streets of Leon Spain

Red Umbrella, reflections on the streets of Leon Spain ; copyright jmeyersforeman

Even the rainy days in Spain are nice, especially for photos.

Nothing better than wet cobblestone streets for reflecting the brightly coloured umbrellas that people sometimes carry.

Rainy Day; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Rainy Day; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Or watching the families walking together.

 

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one of the few days we have needed our umbrellas!

One of the few images we have of us together! We hope you are enjoying your friday.

Watching the towns roll by from the FEVE train: Asturias Spain

Watching the towns roll by from the FEVE train: Asturias Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

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

Tui to Santiago de Compostela 105k in under 22hrs.

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.

Portrait; Street Performer; Sol Souvenir

 

sol souvenir

sol souvenir

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.