Monochrome Madness; The Thames River in Infrared Black and White

Thames River, United Kingdom, infrared image.

River Thames; copyright jmeyersforeman

My cousin’s in England live in the area of Reading, and while we were out touring the countryside visiting several little towns and enjoying the sites we crossed the River Thames several times. We found several pretty views, as we crossed bridges and walked in the parks. It seems like it would be a lovely peaceful way to spend a couple of weeks during the lazy days of summer, provided the weather was sunny.

I haven’t been doing a lot of black and white images lately, but I wanted to participate in Leanne Cole‘s a weekly blog post of Monochrome Madness.  Photographers from around the world submit their favourite monochrome image for the week. I recommend you head over to her site if you are interested in seeing more monochrome images.

For this image I used Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Infrared black and white to process the image. I like using the Nik Software, there is a lot of presets, but each preset has many ways to customize the affect to one that best suits the photograph. For this image I was able to adjust the highlight and shadow sliders, preserving detail in the image that had been eliminated with the original present and I was able to achieve that dreamy feel of a quiet afternoon landscape.

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.

The Clock at Bath Abbey

the Clock at Bath Abbey, Bath England; copyright jmeyersforeman

the Clock at Bath Abbey, Bath England; copyright jmeyersforeman  

Wile we were in Bath England, we visited the Bath Abbey. During the tower tour we were taken into the clock room, and this is a photo of the clock from the interior of the tower. The guide explained that before there was an electric light someone had to sit in the tiny little room with a lantern so the clock was lit and the people of Bath Abbey would know what time it was. I can’t imagine sitting in this tiny little room for 12 hrs at a time breathing in the fumes of the lantern.

 

Elsa Tomjowiak at theTheatre Graslin, Nantes France

 

Elsa Tomjowiak at theTheatre Graslin, Nantes France, copyright jmeyersforeman

  Elsa Tomjowiak at theTheatre Graslin, Nantes France, copyright jmeyersforeman  

I have been experimenting with different templates and layouts in Photoshop, gathering new skills and figuring out ways to present photos in a series that collectively tell the story better than a single image, so today I will take you back to Nantes France.  Around the city we found several art installations as we wandered around the streets, visiting historic sites and tourist attractions.  The Elsa Tomjowiak’s art installation was at the Theatre Graslin.

Elsa Tomjowiak hung long strips of painted plastic in the very large front entrance to the opera house, the colour transforms the all white hallway with a rainbow of colour that dances and moves as the sunlight changes intensity and direction through the day.

I thought these images would work well in this template. The first image is  the view of the opera house as we first discovered it. Walking up to the front, the colour banners hanging down between the all white columns. As we approached the building curiosity drew us inside to find that the banners were also draped inside and we could witness how the colour had transformed the all white hallway.  After spending time in the now colourful front hallway we wandered out of the building to find a group of young people on the steps, using the opera house as a background and  singing to the people as they sat and enjoyed their lunch in the square.

Do you think that using these images to tightly together makes the collage to busy? I would appreciate any feedback you might have on using templates for storytelling.

Shadows and Sun-flare; Monochrome Madness

shadow and sun-flare; copyright jmeyersforeman

shadow and sun-flare; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Last week we visited Bath England, early that morning we were out wandering the streets, only a few people were on the street headed to work, so the streets were quiet. Early morning can be a great time to wander the streets with a camera, while the contrast between the light and the shadows can be strong and ruin many travel photos, interesting details and shadows can be found.

The bike culture in big in Bath, with plenty of bike rentals available for both tourist and residents to use, bike lanes make it easy to bike around the city. It isn’t unusual to see them locked up to every railing and lamp-post in the city, but it is unusual to find one bike alone, the shadow so clear, and so beautifully framed. In fact 10 minutes later I was back down the street and the bike was gone! It was a great day, even if we were still looking for a cup of coffee!

I have submitted this to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness blog post. Once a week photographers from around the globe submit their favourite black and white image and Leanne Cole curates the images into a single blog post. There is so many great images I recommend you head over and check out the work.

St. Fagans National History Museum; Cardiff Wales

IMG_5721

Recently we spent the day visiting St. Fagans, which is a collection of historic buildings showing what life was like in Wales during different periods of history. The buildings include a farm-house, school, shops, a chapel that have been relocated onto the grounds of the St. Fagan’s castle. It was a wonderful way to spend the day, wandering the grounds.

I will share more images and information in the near future, but for now we are busy enjoying visiting with family in England! After so many months it is nice to have family around.

 

Reflections of Bath in the River Avon, Bath England

reflection of Bath in the River Avon; Bath England; copyright jmeyeresforeman

reflection of Bath in the River Avon; Bath England; copyright jmeyeresforeman 

While we were in Bath we walked across the Putney Bridge, through the garden and down the riverbank early one morning, commuters were on their way to work, few tourists were around and it was wonderfully quiet. The morning light was perfect for getting reflections of the church steeple in the water.

It was a beautiful start to the day.

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.

Bath England

The Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon, Bath England.

The Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon, Bath England. 

Before heading to Caerphilly Wales to visit cousins we stopped for a night in the beautiful city of Bath England. This is probably one of the most famous views of the Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon with its crescent shaped weir.

Considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic bridges in the world, is one of a handful of bridges with shops built into it.

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.