Amsterdam Street Three

Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel
Stealing a kiss on a canal in Amsterdam.

Stealing a kiss on a canal in Amsterdam.

Final installment of Amsterdam street photography. As with the previous two posts canals and bicycles are prominent. Never have I seen the possibilities of street photography as in Amsterdam, The few I’ve shared don’t scratch the surface. 

Amsterdam is a young town, with a energy and openness like none other. 

Being from a small town I underestimate how fast scenes in cities  evolve, many times I should have been using a faster shutter speed.  

Bike sharing is incredibly.

Bike sharing is incredibly.

Even boats around canals are incredibly popular.

Evening boat rides around canals are incredibly popular.

Some boaters passed a serenade.

Some boaters passed a serenade.

Belgium, briefly

architecture, Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel

Above: A duo poses for a picture in front of Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a young boy urinating. I like taking pictures of people taking pictures, this one has a quite comical element. August 10, 2014.

Not an awful lot to say in this post, was only briefly in Belgium. I will say that Manneken Pis, a small statue of a young boy urinating, is far too popular.

The amount of people around and photographing the statue in the heart of Brussels is baffling. I almost feel bad contributing to the hysteria by posting three photos of the statue. I’ll admit, it is kind of cute, and the figure is often dressed in different costumes – which is probably charming. But with that said, I still don’t understand the draw of this little character.



Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

The Atomium - design to resemble an atom - was built for the World Exposition of 1958.

The Atomium – design to resemble an atom – was built for the World Exposition of 1958.


Farmer’s silhouette, seen through train window

Landscapes, Photography, Portraits, Travel

Above: A farmer in the distance is seen, silhouetted while working, through a train window. The stark emptiness of the image is what makes the person seem so prominent. Cool colors, green and grey-blue, create a relaxed and open landscape that contrasts the farmer’s firm form. 

1/2000 sec. at f/9.0 ISO400

Train to St. Galen

Landscapes, Photography, Portraits, Travel

Above: Beautiful vineyards and lake landscape shot through a train window in Switzerland. When photographing from any moving object a fast shutter speed is the number one factor to a good image. This was shot at 1/800 of a second, f 5.6, ISO 400.

After taking the cable car to the top of Europe on the Aiguille du Midi it was time to change countries. A brief trip through Switzerland was next on the list.

In my post Train Station Stretch I talked about the pleasures of riding on trains. Fantastic, constantly changing scenery and a intimate view of locals living day-to-day often made getting from A to B very enjoyable. This train was en route to St. Galen, northern Switzerland.

Rapid ascent 1 – Plan de L’Aiguille

Landscapes, Photography, Portraits, Travel

Above: The Alps backdrop a morning smoke at Plan de L’Aiguille – 7,800 feet above sea level. I can’t imagine the hell cigarettes play on lungs at such high altitude. A photo I relish for numerous reasons: Magnificent-morning sunrise diffused over many mountain tops, where clouds stream as smoke out of the cigarette. Meanwhile, a bench and sign not only add geometrical designs and useful framing, but indicate frequent human presence.

The total trip comprises two different gondolas and an elevator. The first cable car starts just south of town – roughly 1000 meters – and after 15 minutes arrives at Plan de L’Aiguille, 2,354 meters. Views here are merely a warmup, as are the feelings of vertigo. Continuing on a second tram – the Aiguille du Midi – crosses glaciers and ascends near-verticle rock faces en route to the second viewing platform.


Climbers prep as the second tram departs at Plan de L’Aiguille, July 23, 2013.

The Aguille de Midi cable car quickly becomes obscured by the mountain it will soon summit.

The Aiguille du Midi cable car quickly becomes obscured by the mountain it will soon summit, rising 1,500 meters in about 10 minutes. The final destination is all but invisible.

Closeup of Aiguille du Midi, a viewing platform  and communications tower high in the Alps.

The tall point of Aiguille du Midi is visible top center. 

Windows – Piano, Dog, Cat and Abstract

Abstract, Alaska, Black & White, Film, Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel

Above: Piano lessons at night through a window in the University of Washington district. Shot on a Kodak Retine IIIc, 35mm film.

Windows, the current weekly photo challenge, can mean many things. Look in or out a window to see opposites. Eyes are windows. A window of time carries heavy implications. Windows are simultaneous openings and reflections. Insight into others and self. 

Throughmylens posted two wonderful windows to look through – one in British Columbia and one in Italy. 

Im excited to feature film frames this post. I have been neglecting film recently, so it’s good stimulant to shoot and process more. Two are film, the abstract black and white and the color frames are film. 

Beautiful Burgundy Bike – Facades

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel

Above: Château de la Rochepot perched above Rochepot village. Parts of the castle date from the 13th century.

Believe it or not Château de la Rochepot is for sale – complete with drawbridge and barbican! The real estate listing has a lot interesting information and awesome photos, especially the meticulous tile roof. I would like to own a castle.

It’s time for Beautiful Burgundy Region Bike Ride – part two. Part one started us on a bike path leaving Beaune, Bourgognes. The 22-mile bike wound through beaucoup villages and vineyards on a hot and hazy July 17, 2013.

Fantastic architecture abound, culture seamlessly blended with scenery, and rolling hills like tides continually changed perspectives. 

Music Monday: Thought Trade on Alaska Live

Black & White, Music, Photography, Portraits

Above: Thought Trade warms up for their performance on Alaska Live in the KUAC studios. Left to right: Daniel Opgenorth, Casey Smith, Travis Burrows, Sabe Flores, and Patrick Mailloux. 

Fairbanks band Thought Trade was featured on locally produced Alaska Live on June 26, 2013.Given the right mood their fluid, rhythmic, stream-of-conscinouse style of playing can put one into a trance. Listen for yourself to the Alaska Live podcast, or check out their blog with interesting insight and links to more music. 

Thought Trade sound check. Nine people and lots of gear in a petite room.

Thought Trade sound check. Nine people and lots of gear in a petite room.

WPC: Costumed Community of Music Lovers

Alaska, Music, Photography, Portraits

The photos are dated, but the weekly photo challenge of “community” is a good opportunity to post them.

A costumed community of musicians and dancers joined together the Saturday after halloween for some dancing to Steve Brown and the Bailers. These like-minded people – in spirit, enthusiasm and search of enjoyment – joined together for the night to make a very welcoming community. 

Hope my fellow wordpress community and beyond enjoy!

Litte Daylight, Cold Temperatures, A Long Ski.

Alaska, Landscapes, Photography, Portraits, Sports, Travel

Above: At 10:28 a.m. the sun has yet to rise above tree line, snow can be seen blowing off peaks in the Alaska Range. Elliott Highway, 37 miles north of Fairbanks. 

It was an… ambitious adventure. Nordic ski 14 miles into Colorado Creek Cabin, in White Mountains National Recreation Area, starting about 55 miles north of Fairbanks. Distance wasn’t the issue. The problem at hand was twofold: temperatures around -35 degrees fahrenheit, and less then 5 hours of daylight. Stopping more then 2 or 3 minutes meant quickly becoming chilled, and wasting precious daylight. 

It’s fascinating to review the time-of-day pictures were shot, tracing the sun path.

At exactly noon, the sun is already hidden behind some trees, with a frozen lake in the foreground.

At exactly noon the sun is already hidden behind trees, with a frozen pond in the foreground.

At 12:16 p.m. some of the only direct sunlight to be had.

At 12:16 p.m. some of the only direct sunlight to be had.

Nick pauses partway into a long uphill on a cold cross-country ski.

Nick pauses partway into a long uphill on a cold cross-country ski.

Sporting thick  fur mittens and hauling a moose skull, the only person we encountered on the 6-hour ski said “you have a ways to go.” Taken 2:21p.m., Nov. 30, 2013.

By the time darkness really took hold Nick and I had just slogged up the final ascent. I was far too exhausted to stop and fumble with my camera, and risk chilling off again.

When not sleeping or eating the cabin was a blast, but the next day brought another 14-mile ski back. Luckily the return was all downhill. 

Even two weeks later, as my blisters and frostbite continue to heal I wonder why we thought it would be a good idea. It really comes down to mind over matter, living in Alaska requires perseverance and toughness. Sometimes a little personal reminder is necessary.