Murals and Public Art; Zaragoza Spain

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murals and public art; Zaragoza Spain

murals and public art; Zaragoza Spain 

We have been in Zaragoza Spain for a couple of days wandering the streets and checking out the sites.

It seems that in manyof the cities of Spain that we have visited we have found walls and shutters painted, sometimes to identify a  business or area of the city. You will recall the images of Madrid and of the Camino. Zaragoza is no exception, the area of  El Tubo, in the old part of town, is where we found the painted murals, and where, we also found more tapa bars per square block than any other city we have been in.

It does seem that the Spanish people are not inclined to dull or boring brick walls, and it is wonderful to see the creative expression in corners and narrow streets that might otherwise by boring brick walls!




I introduced you to Megan last week.  I am busy working through her images, but photography took over the weekend, and very little time for processing.  I am going to try to bring a few more images to you this week, summer is over and I want to get back on track with blogging. We shall see how it goes.



Megan-tallulah, Calgary Portrait Photography

Megan-Tallulah, Calgary Portrait Photography

Life in Calgary has been very busy this summer, too busy to blog I am sorry to say. I miss my time here and miss hearing from everyone.  Just a quick note to show you my favorite shoot from the week. Megan contacted me, she had very definite ideas for her portrait session. She is a graphic designer, artist, and entrepreneur. Motivated, hardworking, and a whole lot of fun.  She showed up with her outfits, fashion pages and layouts to work from and we went to work. Shooting here in the studio as well as downtown we kept the shoot tight in terms of purpose, sticking to the original plan, but leaving a little room in the schedule for fun and to experiment.

A quick look through the proofs yesterday was all I needed to work well into the night last night to get caught up on work so I could get these images into photoshop and work on them. I thought I would show you one portrait to peak your intersted, there will be more next week….

stop by, say hi, let me know how you have been, let me know if you have any suggestions for the new work. thanks

Lily at the Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC

lily at the Bloedel Conservatory, Vancouver BC

lily at the Bloedel Conservatory, Vancouver BC

Now for something completely different. I have been publishing a lot of different portraits lately. People I have met and worked with, so I thought it was time to mix it up a little.  Flowers are always so beautiful that I can’t help but take pictures of them.  Especially when visiting a conservatory as lovely as the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver BC.

It is april in Calgary, and I have heard that spring bulbs are starting to appear in people’s gardens, not in mine, and we are going to have snow today, with colder than normal temperatures predicted for the rest of the week.  I do miss the flowers.

For this image I used Nik Silver Effects Pro to creat a black and white layer then reduced the opacity to allow a small amount of the color to come through. Since the flower in the original image was a bright red, it came through with a little color while the rest remain dark.

Rock Balancing, English Bay Vancouver BC; Environmental Portrait

Rock Balancing, a stone stacker on English Bay Vancouver BC.

Rock Balancing, a stone stacker on English Bay Vancouver BC.

Rock Balancing, or Stone Stacking, here the portrait features the art more than the artist.

This young man was busy at work, we were out for a stroll along Vancouver’s English Bay, that is the seawall in the background, and helps to eliminate  any distraction and isolate the subject. Stone Stacking or Rock Balancing is considered a performance art, and if you visit Flicker you can see lots of pictures of rocks that had been stacked in nature. Rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions. There are no tricks involved to aid in the balancing, such as adhesives, wires, supports, or rings.

This young man was completely absorbed in the task, and I am guessing that for some the activity would be meditative, I was reluctant to disturb him to get a name and or more information about how long he has been stacking stones.  I guess I will have to go for another walk, this time to have a conversation.

Eagle Feather

Eagle Feather

Eagle Feather

Quite some time ago now I was out walking when I found this lovely eagle feather, I knew immediately that I wanted to create this image. I could picture it in my mind.  Time passed, travels, and other projects became a priority and this lovely feather sat in a basket on the coffee table for many months. Last week I finally took time, made it a  priority and photographed the lovely and delicate feather. Then using Kim Klassen’s texture Phoebe as an overlay I was able to achieve the image I had in my mind the day I picked up the feather.

I don’t use textures a lot in my work, but it is a tool I have explored and worked with on occasion.  Kim Klassen Cafe has workshop, tutorials and above all wonderful textures to work with. Head on over to her site for some inspiration!

I am not sure that I am entirely done with this image, as it is staying with me. It might need some text, or a haiku, I will have to sit with it a while to decide. Let me know what you think

Camino Art, Burguete (Auritz) Spain

Camino Art, Burguete Spain

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
Henry David Thoreau 

Walking the Camino, The Way of St. James, to Santiago de Compostella, we were  awake, and walking early in the morning, and each day saw camino art, wonderful expressions of creativity, some of it related to the camino experience some of it related to other subjects.

Located in Burguete Spain, a little town made famous as Hemingway’s trout-fishing base in the The Sun Also Rises. I wondered if the mural was a tribute to the writer.

Ile de cite, Paris France and the image that inspired it

Ile de la cite, Paris France, and the evening river cruises

I am a big fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson, there is so much to be learned from studying the work of someone you admire. While most of us do not want to just copy someone else’s work, there are lessons to be learned by walking through the process the photographer  might have used to capture an image.  I believe that as much as you might try to copy someone’s work that our equipment, the processes that are available to us, our skill level and our personalities will all show in the images and separate your work from the original.

Take this image for example, the original inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson taken in 1952 would be difficult to copy today, yes with Photoshop it could be accomplished, but what is to be gained by that, except well, to improve or show off your Photoshop skills.  I have my own memories of Paris.  Memories of  Paris of today, with the river cruises, the grey skies, the yellow and orange leaves of autumn. This is the Paris I want to capture in my images. But I did pick this spot to take picture not just because it was beautiful but because I had seen Henri Cartier-Bresson’s images, and loved it. I purposefully choose early evening because I wanted to show some of the city lights, and I choose a slow shutter speed to show how the River Seine is now a very busy place.

So while my image was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson it is quite different, and meets my objectives for the images.