Enjoying the mulled wine; Vienna Christmas Market

enjoying mulled wine, Vienna Christmas Markets_IMG_0513

I am not sure if the Vienna Christmas Markets are unique in their marketing of mulled wine, but each market has a special wine and a special mug that they sell. When you buy your first cup of mulled wine you also pay a deposit on the cup, once the wine is done you can order more wine or you can keep the cup as a souvenir.  It seemed every market we visited had a different wine and a different cup; great fun drinking mulled and collecting cups, don’t you think?

I have used the photo of Bill and our first cups of mulled wine for my submission to the monochrome madness this week. If you have been following the blog for a while you will remember the group of photographers who at least once a week submit black and white images to the forum, head on over to Leanne Cole’s blog to check out the other submission, they might not be as much fun as Bill drinking mulled wine, but you will find some great photography.

We are off to Salzburg Austria to see their Christmas markets and taste their mulled wine!

Charles Bridge, Prague Hungary

Charles Bridge Prague Hungary; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Charles Bridge Prague Hungary; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

The Charles Bridge is a famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic spans 16 arches and is lined with 30 Baroque statues of religious figures, and can be seen from one of more than a dozen towers in the city.

I had read that Prague has about 100 towers, at least nine are considered major tourist attractions, and visitors can climb the steps, or in some cases ride a lift to the top for a bird’s-eye view of the city. This image was taken from the Petrin Hill and Observation tower 299 steps to reach the top, not one of the tallest towers I have walked up, but it does sit on top of Petrin Hill, high above the city.

St. Charles Bridge, Prague at Sunrise

St. Charles Bridge, Prague Hungary at sunrise; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Charles Bridge, Prague Hungary at sunrise; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

We haven’t been getting up for sunrise very often lately, we wanted to see Charles Bridge in the early morning before it was filled with people. Sunday and there was at least a dozen photographers with tripods, and another dozen or so people walking around with cameras at 6 am! It was cloudy so there wasn’t much of a sunrise, but it was worth getting up early because by 7 am there bridge was starting to get busy, by then we were ready for our morning coffee and croissant.

All Saint’s Day; Budapest

Budapest Hungary; quiet pedestrian street on All Saints Day; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

All Saint’s Day; Budapest Hungary; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Perfect day and Perfect lighting for a black and white image, my contribution to Monochrome Madness Week 36. Leanne Cole publishes all the contributions on Wednesday morning, from Australia. So I am a little ahead of the game by showing you this image taken on All Saint’s Day, a National Holiday here in Budapest.

It was quite foggy that morning, the sun is low on the horizon, made for a grey day, with streaks of light coming between the buildings, the street seems endless as it fades in the fog! It was really quite beautiful.

check out the other black and white images on Leanne’s Monochrome Madness blog post.

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.

Steel, Architectural Lines, and Bridges; Monochrome Madness Week 33

Steel, Architectural Lines and Bridges, copyright jmeyersforeman

Steel, Architectural Lines and Bridges, copyright jmeyersforeman

It might just be me, but I like the underside of bridges, abstract architectural lines, form great graphic lines. We found this bridge in London England this summer while wandering the streets. Shades of grey to black it is the perfect monochromatic image for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness, a blog post presented by Leanne Cole featuring submissions from more than 50 photographers. Check it out, there is some great black and white image from all over the world.

Morning Swim; Monochrome Madness week 31

Monochrome Madness; copyright jmeyersforeman

Monochrome Madness; copyright jmeyersforeman  

Early one morning Okanagan Lake, near Kelowna British Columbia; swimmers head to the lake for their early morning swim. I loved the idea of the swimmer in a black wet suit as he walked into the water, keeping the swimmer in strong contrast while the detail in the water and hazy sky, as well as the buoys and other swimmers in the water kept soft.

I did submit the photo to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness, a weekly forum for photographers working with monochrome images. The blog has introduced me a whole bunch of new photographers, and heightened my awareness for monochrome images. I have been inspired and encouraged to experiment with monochrome images past the basic black and white adjustment layer in Photoshop to more selective adjustments that are particular and necessary to achieve the desired result, and enhance the magic of storytelling with photography.  Each of the photographers who submit to the forum are working on their storytelling.  I would like to encourage you to check out Leanne’s blog and the other photographer who submit their images.

 

 

 

 

 

Poppy in Black and White

Poppy in Black and White; copyright jmeyersforeman

Poppy in Black and White; copyright jmeyersforeman

One of my favourite flowers, the poppy, so many colours, blowing and dancing delicately in the breeze. Then when the flower is gone the seed pod is always interesting.

 

There isn’t much to be said about a pretty flower photo, so I thought I would show you what I started with……..

IMG_0706

When I was travelling I limited the lens I carried and without a macro lens I was unable to fill the frame the way I wanted to. I knew that I would be doing some cropping in Photoshop. After the framing and cropping I then used Nik Silver Effects Pro 2 to create the black and white.

Screenshot 2014-09-26 07.38.38

If  you are new to Photoshop or Lightroom, Nik Software is a “plug-in”  or for lack of a better term a program we can use inside these two editing programs to develop the image and create “quick” result.  I say quick, because if you have used the software before and have a vision for what you want then  the results can be quick, if however you are unsure of what might be best then there are so many variables both in presets and the changes that can be made to those presets. There are so many variables that I have been known to play with and loose an hour or more on one image!  The adjustments I made are not featured in the screen shot, I recreated this image for the blog as an afterthought!

 

Farm Fence and Big Sky Saskatchewan

Farm Fence, Big Sky Saskatchewan, copyright jmeyersforeman

Farm Fence, Big Sky Saskatchewan, copyright jmeyersforeman

While visiting Saskatchewan we made a trip out to the old farm. It is the place that my Grandfather received as part of his soldier’s grant after World War I, my father and most of his siblings were born there and where I with my brothers were raised. Grandpa has been gone for a long time now, mom and dad farmed there for almost 40 years before selling and moving to town. This was our first visit back in a while.

Most of the old sheds and granaries that my brothers and I play on and around are gone, as are the old cars that were parked between them. The old barn is just about ready to collapse the passage of time taking its tole.  A new, much young family has taken possession of the acreage round the house, the land sold to a rancher to raise cattle. There is a familiarity and a strangeness to walking around the yard where I grew up, but haven’t lived for years. While there has been many changes, there are still many views around the yard that felt familiar.

It was nice to visit the old farm,  to walk around the yard and recall favourite memories, and to talk to the new owner about his future plans. But most of all it was great to savour the views one more time.