St. Michel’s Bordeaux and the Sunday Morning Flea Market

St Micheal's Market, Bordeaux France

I love to walk around flea markets, just to see what people are selling. Checking out the tables, poking into boxes, and taking pictures of the interesting collections. I did find several old cameras, in those old boxes, so I have added to my collection. I may need a bigger shelf by the time I get home. More photos of Bordeaux tomorrow!

 

Umbrellas and a Rainy Day in Leon Spain

Red Umbrella, reflections on the streets of Leon Spain

Red Umbrella, reflections on the streets of Leon Spain ; copyright jmeyersforeman

Even the rainy days in Spain are nice, especially for photos.

Nothing better than wet cobblestone streets for reflecting the brightly coloured umbrellas that people sometimes carry.

Rainy Day; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Rainy Day; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Or watching the families walking together.

 

IMG_3869

one of the few days we have needed our umbrellas!

One of the few images we have of us together! We hope you are enjoying your friday.

Plaza de Maria Pita, A Coruna Spain

Plaza de Maria Pita after the rain

Plaza de Maria Pita after the rain 

We arrived in A Coruna Spain yesterday afternoon, just before the rain! By the time we checked into our hotel and headed out for a walk the rain had stopped. During our walk we visited the Plaza de Maria Pita the cities many plaza and gathering centre. It, like a lot of major plaza’s is surrounded by buildings filled with shops and restaurants. Today those shops and restaurants were not too busy, it was the middle of the day, and tourist season has not yet hit its peak. What was great, at least for me, was seeing the buildings reflected in the puddles! I just had to wait a few minutes to get a couple of people to walk through the puddle.

 

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.

Exhausted

Exhausted

Exhausted

Have you ever had one of those holidays; a new place, so much to see, so little time. You have a checklist of places the guide-book or tourist office has recommended, and by the time you get home you have a camera load of photos, a suitcase full of trinkets, two sore feet and a blur of memories!

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of these two young people. We were sitting enjoying our morning coffee at a little cafe in front of the Cathedral. These two, early for the opening, sat down, and before long were sound asleep against one another, and they slept like this for probably twenty minutes. About five minutes after the Cathedral doors opened they woke, stretched and headed inside, just guessing they collected for more photos and trinkets and memories, after all that is what holidays are all about, aren’t they?

What holiday place so intrigued you that you came home more exhausted than when you left?

ps. for all those back home who know us, we have not yet exhausted ourselves, I am sure you will be surprise to hear, we have learned to pace ourselves!

Portrait; Street Performer; Sol Souvenir

 

sol souvenir

sol souvenir

Sol Souvenir was performing on the streets of Granada while we were there, we like his music so much we decided to by a cd/dvd. This has to be a tough way to make a living. He was collecting a bit of cash in his guitar case, and had a few cd’s to see. But like most artists, and it doesn’t matter if you are a singer, dancer, painter or photographer, you are one of many. For some it is enough to just be doing the thing we love with the hope that others will also like what we are doing.

Sol Souvenir seemed to be just that type of artist, happy to be out on the street singing with his heart, and entertaining those who stopped to listen. I did find is Facebook page, but there was no music to share. As far as I can tell he hasn’t loaded anything on to you tube, and since we have no cd/dvd player on the laptop there is no way to share his music with you!

I choose to process the image with Nik Silver Effect’s Pro, Film Noir, with several changes to the preset, I wanted to the old gritty rock n’ roll look, and with the high contrast I was able to reduce the background to a few minor shadows that were less distracting than in the original image.

Sol Souvenir, if you see the blog, let us know where we can find your music and I will share it with my blog readers. We would love to hear from you.

 

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.

 

 

A Mural that is also a Timepiece; Madrid Spain

Time piece/mural; Madrid Spain

Time piece/mural; Madrid Spain Yester

Yesterday we spent part of the day at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, looking a some of the great European art, the stuff you learn about in first year art school. I think as photographers we can learn a lot from the old masters, but I continue to be equally excited about the wonderful art on the streets of Madrid.

This lovely mural is of a lady hanging her laundry, and the cloths line is the centre point of the sundial, you can see by the shadow that is just before 11 am when I took this photo. The streets of Madrid are proving to be one of the more interesting cities for wall murals and public art.

Lady in Red; Street Photography in Madrid

Lady in Red; Madrid Spain

Lady in Red; Madrid Spain

There is so many great opportunities to practise my street photography here in Madrid, something I don’t do a lot of. Photographing people I don’t know, I am not yet comfortable with approaching people I don’t know. I might grab a shot from across the street that I find interesting, as I did here. Then there is the language barrier, well at least that is the excuse I am using. I have occasionally asked to take someone’s picture, and almost every time I have had a positive outcome. Still I find once I have asked someone it I can take their photo I get a posed photo, not the one that originally attracted me to take the scene.

So I am still finding my way, doing street photography, taking photos of people who are unaware of me seems to be the best fit right now. Maybe I need to find a way of approaching people after I have taken their photograph, to ask permission to share the image of them on my blog. This would give me the candid image I envisioned yet allow people the opportunity to decide if they want to share the image.

Tell me, how would you feel, if you were approached by a total stranger, who showed you a picture of yourself. then asked to share it on the blog. Keeping in mind the photo was a beautiful as this lady sketching in Madrid. I still think it would be hard, even if we both spoke English to get people to understand I wanted nothing more than to share the photo with the world on my blog.

Help me through this process, let me hear your thoughts on the subject.

 

Murals of Madrid Spain

murals; Madrid Spain

murals; Madrid Spain 

we spent the day walking around Madrid, and while there are so things to look and it was the murals painted on the storefront security doors that caught my attention. I guess being Easter weekend more of the stores were close, so more of the doors were visible to enjoy. I thought I would show you a few of my favourites.

Madrid murals

Madrid murals 

murals and storefront displays in Madrid Spain

murals and storefront displays in Madrid Spain

murals and storefront displays in Madrid Spain

murals and storefront displays in Madrid Spain