Rome

I’m currently travelling and realizing a dream I have had longer than I am willing to admit. Italy. We arrived in Rome yesterday morning. While it definitely feels a bit surreal to be in Vancouver one minute and then a matter of hours later to be walking along cobble stoned streets thousands of years old eating gelato – I love it! We were greeted with a day of 30 degree Celsius weather – nice!

I did a walkabout around central Rome late yesterday afternoon with friends and had a meal for dinner. I think that I would be remiss to only share photographs of this trip – as food is also going to be a central experience that will also be shared. Such a simple meal, but I believe I just ate the Caprese salad of my life followed by a gorgeous dish of pasta unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. Simple food packed with flavour.

Just that initial walk took us past some of the biggest sights in the city – The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the list goes on… I decided against bringing along my larger DSLR camera for this initial foray into the city given how tired I was and just chose to shoot with my iPhone instead. I really just wanted to wander and take it all in on my first experience.

The Spanish Steps...

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Pantheon

Dome ceiling inside the Pantheon

If I am to be completely honest, I am feeling visually overstimulated – everywhere I turn there is something to see, photograph and experience! The architecture alone is mind boggling.

Nearly every building has beautiful and unique doorways and windows – my favorite things to photograph about architecture.

Piazza Navona

Then there is art, people, food…. I could go on and on…and I will in the following days as I spend more time exploring the city and places outside Rome with my camera.

For the most part on this trip I will be walking a fine line of being a tourist and also fitting in to the local scene. I’ve rented an apartment with my friend Shiraine – Rome will be my base. It’s been an interesting experience setting up house, grocery shopping and getting to know the neighbourhood we’re in.

Stay tuned for more entries in the next few days…really looking forward to diving in on this new adventure! 🙂

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Sailing

It’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been in what feels like a creative funk or rut – much in need of renewed inspiration – although I have been shooting for play as regularly as I can – I feel like I finally managed to shoot some fun images worth sharing that came out of a spontaneous event.

On Wednesday night, I was invited by a good friend to race on a sailboat out of West Vancouver. It’s been awhile since I had the pleasure of boating. Also, Vancouver had it’s first absolutely spectacular sunny day in  – I have no idea how long it has been. The combination of boating and gorgeous weather had me looking skyward and silently saying thank you while remembering days like that are why I live in this city.

Naturally, camera came with me – and I got to “play” and experiment creatively while the crew raced the boat and I tried to stay out of the way and do my thing. Images that came out of my play time follow – now feeling re-inspired and renewed from such a beautiful evening. There will be lots more sailing and shooting for me this season 🙂

Thanks John P. and crew for an amazing time!

The Alamo

The Alamo

This past weekend, I’ve been playing a bit of  “catch-up” in my editing. Back in January, I had attended the annual Imaging USA Trade Show and Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The state of the weather when I landed was much colder than Vancouver – it was in the minus temps. with wind chill, and freezing rain throughout the week. The cold temperatures persisted most of my stay with the exception of the day before I left. The sun came out, the temperature rose to a lovely 70 degrees F. and so I grabbed my camera and hit the streets with a few friends and visited the Alamo. We spent a good portion of the later afternoon shooting on the grounds of the Alamo and doing some fun portrait sessions in the gardens.

I LOVE older buildings and structures like this. With my camera, I can get completely lost in photographing stonework architecture and the beautiful details inherent in them.

For these images, I used my 5D Mark II with the one lens I brought with me, the standard 24-70 mm F 2.8 L IS. In my editing of the images I’ve given them an older type of “antiqued” look to them as I felt it fit the “feel” of the structure best.

Nouns of Assembly

Another post to share more of my images from Africa.

While photographing wildlife, we were given some fun trivia while out on a game drive with Ryan and David – leaders of our safari trip. We were taught that there are different nouns to describe groups of animals – more accurately described as nouns of assembly. Some we knew, most others we did not….great fun…

A herd of Elephants.
A pride of Lions.
A tower or kaleidoscope of Giraffe.
A colony of Ants.
A troop of Baboons.
A float of Crocodiles.
A cast of Falcons.
A bloat of Hippos.
A leap of Leopards.
A troop of Monkeys.
A crash of Rhinos.
A mustering of Stork.
A zeal or dazzle of Zebra.

A herd of Elephants - morning light in Samburu.

Wildebeests on Crescent Island - Lake Naivasha Region

 

A float of Crocs - Samburu

 

A pride of Lions - Masai Mara

 

Giraffes - Masai Mara

 

Colony of Pelicans - Crescent Island - Lake Naivasha region.

Stay tuned for more information on an upcoming slide show I will be doing at the Nyala Restaurant in May. It will be an evening of Ethiopian Food and images of Kenya. Details to follow shortly.

Africa – Light and Landscapes

It’s been a month since I have posted my Homeward Bound entry. My apologies for the silence. It’s been both busy with a few upcoming changes re: this blog and working on a new website simultaneously, and readjusting after being gone most of January. Until the new sites go live I will continue to post here, however it just won’t have the branding I had wanted to create initially. I am estimating another couple to three weeks before it’s all ready to come together.
So, Africa. I reluctantly came home from Kenya – a country that stole my heart and had succeeded in cracking me wide open. I’ve spoken to a few friends, who having travelled there themselves said that Africa changes lives – be prepared. You’re never quite the same afterwards. I understand now what they meant. The 8 days I travelled with the group of photographers on the safari was a whirlwind of incredible sights and experiences, both high and low – and if I’d had a choice, I could have easily stayed on another 2 weeks just travelling the Masai Mara.
Ever since landing back home, I’ve been at a loss as to what to post here regarding the trip. Specifically, where do I even begin? I keep thinking. It’s taken this long for me to process my experience internally. Coming back to the North American culture has been challenging to say the least.
David duChemin wrote specifically about this on his blog the other day, a quote which really resonated with my own experience:
“I’m often asked if I get culture shock when I go away. My stock answer is that I get culture disappointment when I come home. When I get home people stop looking others in the eye and smiling. They stop shaking hands and asking who I am, how I am, and how my family is doing. They stop offering me tea. We’re either too busy chasing the trivial or we just don’t care. One of my guides during the safari workshop said to me: “Westerners all have watches, but we Africans have time”. It’s true. For people who believe time is money, we sure spend it in some strange ways and on things that will not last. There’s a pace in Kenya that I love, that I’m already beginning to miss, knowing I’m back to schedules and itineraries so soon.”

You can click http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/ to follow David duChemin’s blog.
I’ve been going through and editing over 3000 images – all the while sharing stories with a few close friends who have seen the initial edits and felt that the best place for me to begin here on this blog was, well, start with the biggest impressions I had from a photography perspective.
One of the things I absolutely loved loved loved while shooting on safari in Africa was the light. Amazing. Sunrises and sunsets left me awestruck on some days. Editing the images afterwards was even more delightful – no filters folks, this is what it is – straight out of the box.
I’ve posted two of my favorite images from morning light and sunset, both were taken on the Masai Mara plains.
Morning Light on the Masai Mara

Sundown on the Masai Mara

More to come re: Africa in the next few days, also, San Antonio and Architecture Workshop with Anna Beaudry.

Homeward Bound

Hi all! Here I thought I would have had time to post many entries and images during my time away. Ha, how wrong I was about that. I had taken about 3000 images on my Safari in Africa…which I am still in the process of editing…not to mention processing the experiences I had. Easily, this was the most amazing trip I have ever done and also some of the happiest days of my life. In short, life changing on several levels.

I am on my way home and about to board my flight to Vancouver shortly. I thought I would leave you with a few postcards of images from the trip until I am able to post again when I return home.

Enjoy!