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!

 

Smiling faces of other travellers

little smiling faces are hard to ignore

little smiling faces are hard to ignore

this little girl and her family were in line just in front of us, we had a chance to chat for a while waiting for the door to open, she was so adorable I couldn’t help but take her picture, who won’t fall in love with those big brown eyes.

it isn’t often we meet other English-speaking travellers, and often when we do we have a short conversation; where you from, how long have you been in Spain, what have you enjoyed, the usual stuff that passes a little time until the door opens or the train arrives. Quite often we get good information on a restaurant or places to visit.

I processed the image using Florabella’s Black and While Blush action, with some alterations; I find quite often that each action has to be adjuster at least slightly depending on the photo. I have had the actions for quite sometime, and while I don’t use them a lot, there are occasions when they are perfect. Oh course, learning when and how to use and the action, or texture, even a layer blend mode in Photoshop is key to using them at anytime!

Do you have a favourite set of actions you would recommend?

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.

Beautiful Music; Street Performer Series

Beautiful Violinist; Street Performer Series

Beautiful Violinist; Street Performer Series

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.

More street photography on Photoshelter 

Knife Sharpener; Street Photography in Tarragona Spain

Knife Sharpener; Tarragona Spain

Knife Sharpener; Tarragona Spain

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.

 

 

Argentum Photos in Park del Retiro, Madrid Spain

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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.

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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.

 

Lugar del Vino; Merida Spain

Lugar del Vino; Merida Spain

Lugar del Vino; Merida Spain 

we were first attracted to the wine store by the great graphics both out front and inside the store. But sitting outside looking in we couldn’t decide if it was a wine store or a tapas bar, you see there were shelves of wine, spirits and food, but there were also tables set for service. We decided to go in and check out the store, we ordered a glass of wine and a couple of tapas. Before long were “chatting” with the help of our smartphone translator to Manuel Tirado Marín, of Lugar del Wines, and we were coming back to do some more photos.

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Manuel Tirado Marín

Manuel Tirado Marín 

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Bill in Salamanca Spain April 2014

Bill

Bill 

During our visit to Salamanca we found the old flour mill.  While it hadn’t been in operation for many years it has been cleaned up and opened for visitors. We had the chance to see and read about the workings of the old mill. We were the only visitors to cross the threshold during the 30 – 40 minutes we poked around the place.  On the second floor, beside one of the windows was an old chair. A beautiful spot to sit and look out the window at River Tormes.  The light that afternoon was beautiful and I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of Bill while he sat and looked out the window.

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The older I get…….

central park mime

central park mime 

The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.”
― Leonard Cohen

You have no idea how thankful I am for that realization!

My family has often teased me for being a control “enthusiast” and truth be told there maybe there is some truth to their loving taunts! Maybe a small amount of truth, but I am learning that it okay if some things don’t get done; that there is more than one way to do things and most importantly patience is sometimes better that persistence.

The photo was taken in Central Park, New York City, the beautiful mime entertaining the crowds, stood so quietly and with great patience she waited and watched as people approached, smiling and blowing kisses to those who left a little change in her bucket. We sat and watched her for quite sometime.

It is Family Day here in Alberta, and I hope your day is a wonderful one.

 

Wanda; Relationship Coach; Calgary Portrait Photography

Wanda, Calgary based relationship coach. I love her motto: Life might not be the party we expected; but while we are here we might as well dance.

Knowing we need to make a change, figuring out what that change should look like, and then making that change is practically impossible for most of us. I  will be honest with you, bad habits seem so much easier to stick with than good habits, or is it just me?

We have all heard that working with a coach is a great way to help figure out priorities; determine the change that would yield the best results, and  keep us accountable to our goals. Wanda works with people making relationship changes and people wanting better relationships.

I first met Wanda at the BNI, Rocky Mountain Thunder meeting, and it was a great pleasure to work with her for business portraits, and learn a little more about her work.  Spark Change Now

Thanks Wanda, I going dancing!!!