Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj’s massive Apollonian sculpture, the Daedalus (Dedalo), has found a permanent home near the Temple of Venus at Pompeii’s entrance. We had time to visit the historic site, traveling an hour by train from Salerno where we were staying. It was quite amazing, the area that was covered, the reclamation that has been done, and the insight this place provides regarding life during that period of history. Online information suggested we would need 2 to 3 hours to tour the site, Bill and I were there 3 hours, and had only seen about 1/2 the place! There is very little information on site, the audio guide is, I think, essential, to get the most from our visit. The whole site is also very exposed with minimal shade, so it is imperative you bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. The cobbled streets and rough nature of the walking surface mean that wheelchairs and prams are impractical.
52Frames week three introduces each of us to fellow photographers from around the world. It is meant to encourage each of us to be a tourist in our own city, and explore the places we haven’t yet seen, or to see old familiar places from a new perspective, that of a tourist.
I happen to be traveling this week, visiting the beautiful city of Lisbon, so I shall say hello from here rather than my home town. I started by researching all the “things to do” and “places to see” 4 days into our visit and I feel like there is still so much to see and do, and I don’t think one picture can portray a city.
Lisbon is the city of Seven Hills, and while I feel we have walked all of them, we have used the trams, funiculars and metro system to get around as well. The trams or streetcars have been in use since 1873. Tram 28 provides on the best tours of the city and is a popular tourist attraction.
While working on the project this week, and wandering around Lisbon I kept asking myself how would someone from Lisbon want their city to be remembered, I am not sure I have the answer yet, and there are still streets to explore.
It’s been a busy week, we are off on another adventure – three days in London England. The weather has been cloudy and cool but that has not stopped us from walking from one end to the other, seeing the sights, eating pub food and attending the musical at the Shaftsbury theater. While visiting London I have been thinking about the 52frames weekly challenge, which is to create an image using the Rule of Thirds.
The Rule of Thirds is perhaps the most well-known ‘rule’ of photographic composition one of the first things taught to beginning photographers, and one of the compositional rules I heard over and over again as part of the camera club.
The basic principle behind the rule is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds both horizontally and vertically, so that there are 9 equal parts, like a tic tac toe board. Many of the modern cameras can be set to display a grid, check your user manual if are interested in learning more about this.
The grid identifies important points you should consider placing the subject of elements of interest as you frame your image. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points create more tension, energy, and interest in the composition than simply entering the subject. The Rule of Thirds does a few things for composition. First, it gets new photographers off the habit of centering the subject by default and thinking about the entire frame. Second, it creates empty space that helps draw the viewer’s eye into the subject.
I have been working my way through old image files, and remembering the time we spent in Bordeaux France.
The Water Mirror was beautiful, located across from Place de la Bourse, between Quai de la Douane and Quai Louis XVIII, this spectacular pool, designed by landscape artist Michel Corajoud, alternates a mirror effect and artificial misting in an extraordinary way.
Located between the Garonne and beautiful 18th-century façades, and is listed as a contemporary World Heritage Site.
Bill and I have walked two from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela along the Camino Frances twice. The first trip was the hardest for many reasons, one of the first difficulty came because we didn’t really know what we were doing, what to expect, or where to find information. It was still a vague concept for us.
We had found quite a few websites with information, we read a number of books all with stories of the walk, maps, and photos. We contacted the Canadian Company of Pilgrims and attended a could of the Chapter meetings in Calgary. It was very helpful to attend the meeting, where we meet people who had completed the Camino Frances, as well as people who volunteered at albergues and hostels along the way.
Some sites we found helpful when planning our trip:
Before our first Camino, we were both working full time it was difficult to find the time we needed to train to the level of fitness recommended for an easier journey to Santiago de Compostela. We met people of every age walking along the Camino route, being in the tip-top fitness condition of a 20-year-old is unnecessary, being fit for your age should be a priority. One of the better websites we found for training advice and information on Follow the Camino
During the planning of our first Camino, we spent a lot of time wondering if we could travel the entire 800km across northern Spain following the yellow arrows and scallop shells. Just after leaving St. Jean Pied de Port we found our first yellow arrow painted on a tree, and wondered, would it really be that easy?!
It is amazing the variety of signs, each being as individual as the person who placed it there for others to follow.
We spent yesterday watching horse racing at the Ascot Race Track near Perth. Watching the ponies run is something we enjoy doing once in a while, especially when the weather is nice, was +32 very warm for us, and the Australian sun seems to burn a little hotter than what we are accustom to! I don’t think anyone made any money, okay I think the bookies made some money, but we had all the fun!
This painting is called “The Vucciria” and is by Renato Guttuso, is large (300 cm x 300 cm) painted in 1974 while he was living in Lombardy. I have read that he ordered food to be shipped by air to him from Palermo, including a side of beef in order to paint food from life!
His work is a visual representation of the feelings I had while exploring the local markets a maze of food, smells, sights, sounds, and people, and an inspiration for my images.
The term Vucciria derives from the French word Boucherie, or butcher shop, but in Sicily, the meaning encompasses noise, confusion, chaos, reflecting the atmosphere that dwells along the streets of the market. Sicilians say “It was a Vucciria” the way we in English say “It was bedlam” or “It was a madhouse”.
Lucky for Bill and I there are several street markets in Palermo, as old as the Vucciria, which are a frenzied mass of people buying fruits, vegetables and fish and meat, men on motorbikes piled high squeezing through the crowds delivering more merchandise to the stalls, and men shouting out to sell their wares. We returned to the markets many times to shop for local food and enjoy the Vucciria!
Our final day, we left O Pedrouzo about 6:30am, it was 20C and the humidity was 94%! By the time we arrived at the cathedral it was 31C and the humidity was down to 54%!
The 5-hour walk was hot and muggy, the final hills in no way seemed as hard as what we had done since leaving St. Jean Pied de Port but with the heat, they were not easy either.
One of the great things about doing the Camino a second time has been all the memories that have been jarred loose, things forgotten suddenly remembered with the visual clue.
We are looking forward to visiting some favorite sites in Santiago de Compostela.
According to the Camino office we were among the 1514 people to register and receive the Compostela for completing their Camino. Approximately 15% walked the 799 km from St. Jean Pied de Port as we did, others were either on different routes or started at one of the many cities along the Camino Francis.
A tougher stretch of road then we have had for a while. While the guidebooks suggest this section can be walked in two days we planned on three days to complete it, and we were happy we did!
This section is characterized by the wild and rocky Cantabrian Mountains tiny stone villages nestled in the mountains.
We climb to the historic site of the Cruz Ferro and the high point of the Irago Mountains before the steep descent down to Ponferrada. Typical Maragato mountain villages with slate-roofed houses like El Acebo. On a clear day, the mountain views are superb. The guidebooks all warn to be prepared for the possibility of cold, rain and wind, one day our day began with fog.
Confusing and almost miss directed…..those who walk the Camino follow the yellow arrows with a certain faith/knowledge that we will get to the next place on the map by following the yellow arrows. Walking into Hospital de Orbigo we were faced with arrows pointing in two different directions. In 2012 when we walked the Camino Francis the first time, we made the choice to go left rather than straight through, this was a mistake, we knew that turning left would take us out to the highway, not into town where we wanted to go.
It is clear that some of the arrows have been painted out and there has been an effort to misdirect walkers. Following the arrows to your left and you will, as we did in 2012 walk through an industrial section, along the highway, walking this direction will add an hour to your travel time to get into the town.
On other sections of the Camino we have been able to trust the arrows, this one is confusing and a guidebook or a good map is essential. I use the Kindle app on my phone to access two different books for information. Using digital copies of the two books and the information is always available with no extra weight. We also use the Mapme app on the smartphone, it uses GPS and the information we need is accessible when we are offline.