Cathedral of Santa Maria; Duomo di Firenze at sunset; Monochrome Madness Week 35

Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Florence Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Florence Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Everyone loves a sunset, and I never imagined that they could look better as a black and white image, then they do as a colour image, after all we watch or photograph a sunset for the colour, don’t we?!  Bill and I walked up to the Piazza Michelangelo specifically to watch the sunset. It was our last night in Florence, it was the first clear evening during the week we were there, so we had one chance to see it.  When we arrived on top of the hill, it was crowded. Other tourists who had made the walk, vendors who are selling their wares, and at least one engaged couple getting portraits done, it was a hub of activity.

The Cathedral is actually south-west of the Piazza Michelangelo, so the sunset happens to our left as we are look over Florence,  the setting sun was lighting up the side of the Duoma, and colouring the clouds all across the sky, but the colour and drama just didn’t translate well into the digital photo. The lights in the city were starting to come on, the Cathedral was warmly lit by the street lights from below, and the colour in the sky was starting to fade, and I still did not have an image that I was happy with.

Back at our apartment when I started processing images I knew that I would want at least one photo to submit to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness post this week. So I picked a couple of the sunset images, figuring if I wasn’t happy with the colour in the images the light might seem more dramatic if colour was removed. I have to admit I wasn’t optimistic, but quite happy with the results.  Hope on over to Leanne’s blog and check out the other submissions for Monochrome Madness.

Gondola navigates the small canals in Venice Italy

Gondola navigates the small canals in Venice Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Gondola navigates the small canals in Venice Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014  

Venice Italy, with any small and large canals, bridges and alleyways, you can walk around the city or you can take a boat. I don’t recall seeing any bicycles, too many bridges to carry the bike over to make it worth the ride I guess. It seems every bridge we walked over we would see a gondola full of people. When the light is just right the reflections of the buildings fill the canal. Some canals were so small, and the corners so tight I wondered how the gondola would make the turn, but they always managed.  With the reflection of the buildings in the canal water, it looks as if the gondola has nowhere to go.

Friday in Venice Italy

love locks, Iron railing, bridge, Venice Italy, gondola on the canal in the background, copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Love Locks on a bridge in Venice Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

We spent Friday in Venice Italy, yes it is unfortunate that we had only one day to see this lovely city, but we made the best of it. We have been to Venice before, so it was a day to visit some of the lovely spots we hold in our memories, and catch glimpses of the Venice in the autumn light.  One of the new things we noticed this time, Love Locks are starting to appear on some of the bridges!  It could be that I have been too busy looking at the scenery to notice them before.

Lots of boats in the canals, but with the number of visitors to the city there are only a  few places to sit quietly, and enjoy the sunshine.

Lucy, a boat, a person, a canal in Venice Italy, copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Lucy, at the side of a canal; Venice Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Of course there are beautiful masks hanging on every stall waiting to be picked up and taken home by a tourist.

white Carnival mask with white feathers, copyright jmeyersforeman

Venice Italy, Carnival mask; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

A view from the bell tower in St. Mark’s Square at sunset. We had not visited the top of the bell tower before, so this was a new view for us, and of course the best time to go is at sunset, as the lights come on in the city.

A view of Venice from the bell tower at St. Mark's Square; copyright jmeyersforeman

A view of Venice from the bell tower at St. Mark’s Square; copyright jmeyersforeman

One of the favourite places to visit is the Rialto bridge. Even though both the canal and the bridge are crowded with people, it is a lovely spot to watch the sunset.

Grand Canal, night, Rialto Bridge, Venice Italy, copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

A view of the Grand Canal at night from the Rialto Bridge; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

It was a long beautiful day, we are off to Vienna Austria………….

 

 

Bird’s Eye View of Florence and Sienna Italy

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Duomo di Firenze

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Duomo di Firenze; copyright jmeyersforeman

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Bell Tower

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Bell Tower; copyright jmeyersforeman

Piazza del Campo; Siena Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman

Piazza del Campo; Siena Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman

It has been a busy couple of days walking up many many stairs to get the bird’s-eye view of Florence and Sienna. Up and down the cupola and the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore for some of the most famous views of Florence Italy. The next day we travelled to Siena and while we were there I headed of the tower to see the view of Siena and the Piazza del Campo.

It hasn’t been all hard work, we found a great gelato shop and had some tasty cinnamon and chocolate gelato as a reward for all the walking!

Rainy day in Italy

Rainy Day Ravenna red umbrella jmeyersforeman

Rainy Day in Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 

We have had a few rainy days, or at least rainy afternoons while visiting Italy, but the rain has not slowed down our sightseeing. The tables and chairs go unused but they are a great inspiration for street photography. The beautiful line of tables and chairs forming a leading line through the photo, to the windows, and the reflections of people and umbrellas. I think the red umbrella is the perfect example of the story coming together in one simple photo. Rain or no rain, it was another great day.

Monochrome Madness Week 34

Ravenna in the Rain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Ravenna in the Rain; copyright jmeyersforeman

I have been following and contributing to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness on a fairly regular basis; her monochromatic theme post with submissions from other photographers is catching on, and the submission are growing weekly! It has provided incentive to work a little more in black and white, and not every photo looks better when converted to this format. I must say it seems to me that this is often a good options for processing when the image is taken on a rainy day!

This image taken in Ravenna Italy of all the chrome table and chairs lacked luster, and seemed busy and chaotic, converting it to a monochromatic the repetitive circle and curved lines of the tables and chairs lead your eye to the gentleman with the umbrella. That’s Bill walking ahead, I am waiting at this end of the tables waiting for him the get to just the right spot to take the photo! This image would not have been possible without the rain, had the sun been shining the tables and chairs would have been full of people!

Jump on over to Leanne Cole’s blog, check out Monochrome Madness Week 34 and let me know what you think.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence Italy

Ponte Vecchio; Florence Italy copyright jmeyersforeman

Ponte Vecchio; Florence Italy copyright jmeyersforeman 

We have been walking around Florence for a couple of days checking out all the recommended sights, seeing a few of the “must see” places, it seems there are so many more to see before we leave.  On everyone’s list of must see is the Ponte Vecchio, that crosses the Arno River. It is the most ancient bridge of the city, according to the history books, it has been rebuilt several times since Roman times. This current structure was built in 1345, on the parapets many shops. This is one only bridge that the Germans did not blow up in 1944; spared as a work of art. From the centre of the bridge is a beautiful view of the river.

One the streets of Florence there are many artists working and selling their pictures, pen and ink drawings, water colours and even small acrylic canvases, all of them quite beautiful. All of them are quite unique in their own way and they all show different attractions of this famous city. I have been admiring the watercolours, so I decided to try to make an image that looked more like the water colour paintings I was seeing and less like the photos I was taking!

What do you think, do you think I have achieved my goal?

 

the Duomo at night

The Duomo; Florence Italy by night; coypright jmeyersforeman

The Duomo; Florence Italy by night; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Enjoying Florence at night

 

Bologna Italy; abstract lines in the Piazza

Abstract lines Architecture and Public Spaces in Bologna Italy; copyrigh jmeyersforeman

Abstract lines Architecture and Public Spaces in Bologna Italy; copyrigh jmeyersforeman

IMG_7886

Abstract lines Architecture and Public Spaces in Bologna Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 

We have been walking our feet off in Florence Italy, while I have been taking a lot of photos, I have not really had time to process any of them, so here is one more look at Bologna, and one of the great public spaces we walked through. It is a great use of lines, but I can’t decided if I like the horizontal or the vertical image better. Maybe I don’t need to choose, how about you which one do you like?

I hope you are having a great weekend.

Ravenna Italy; Art and Architecture

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforeman

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforeman

We took a short train ride from Bologna to visit Ravenna, during our day we managed to see 4 of the 8 UNESCO designated sites in the city. Pictured above is the Basilica Di S. Vitale, described in our guidebook as “The most glorious example of Byzantine art int he West”  Instead of the traditional three naves of Gothic architecture it is octagonal in shape with a central dome supported by eight columns and arches.

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Not far from there the Neonian Baptistery, the oldest of Ravenna’s ancient monuments, while it is a simple octagonal building, built with the short flat brick a traditional feature of the architecture in Northern Italy. The mosaic art were made in mid 5th century.

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic "Crhistening of Jesus

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic “Christening of Jesus

A closer view of the centre art piece

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic "Crhistening of Jesus

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic “Christening of Jesus 

We also went to see the Basilica Saint Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna Italy, first built-in the mid 5th century, the interior has been modified several times. The ceiling was last modified in the 17th century.

Basilica Saint Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica Saint Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 

some of the detailed mosaic work of the Basilica Saint Apollinaire Nuovo.

 

The Magi_Basilica of S. Apollinairs Nuovo

The Magi_Basilica of S. Apollinairs Nuovo 

The mosaics are frescos are amazing, the photos hardly do them justice! We only had one day in Ravenna, it would be quite easy to spend 3 or 4 days enjoying the art and architecture, as well as the cafes and street life.

Now we are off to Florence for a few days!