Writing with Light

Posts tagged “travel photography

A Harbour, A Castle & A Beautiful View

Earlier this week I posted an image of the Bay of Poets over the town of Lerici. Today I wanted to share with you the view from the other side of the harbour.

Click on the image to see  higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Bay of Poets, Lerici, Liguria, Italy, harbour, boats, castle, travel photography

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Villa Serbelloni

Visiting Lake Como has long been on my travel bucket list. I don’t have to tell you that I love Italy and I’ve always had a romantic view of the lakes district. Since this trip was a birthday present from my husband (it was a milestone birthday…that’s all I’ll say :) ) he decided to make our stay in Bellagio really special by booking us into the Grand Villa Serbelloni.

The original villa was constructed in 1850 by a wealthy Milanese family as a holiday villa. In 1872 the villa was sold and the Grand Villa Serbelloni opened its doors in 1873. The villa which is neo-classic and Art Nouveau style enjoys a prominent location on the promontory which juts halfway out into Lake Como.

The villa quickly became a favourite among the elite including European aristocrats, Politicians and Hollywood royalty hosting the likes of Winston Churchill; John F. Kennedy; Mary Pickford; Douglas Fairbanks; Clark Gable and Al Pacino.

Today the hotel still has a classy, old world feel to it and as you can image it was a real treat staying here.

Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, hotel, grand hotel, lake view, travel photography

The Grand Villa Serbelloni

Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, hotel, grand hotel, lake view, travel photography, dining room

The Main Dining Room

Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, hotel, grand hotel, lake view, travel photography

On of the Grand Staircases leading to the main parlour and the Mistral Restaurant.

Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, hotel, grand hotel, lake view, travel photography, pool

The Pool at Night

Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, hotel, grand hotel, lake view, travel photography

The Grand Villa Serbelloni from the Dock.

 


Bellagio Nightscape

The lights from the village  and passing boats make Lake Como shimmer and shine at night.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Bellagio, Italy, Lake Como, nightscape, night photography, lights, blue hour, travel photography

 

On another note I wanted to share with you a couple of discount codes. Ian Plant has revamped his Dreamscapes store and is offering 15% off all products until the end of August. You can visit the new store here. The 15% discount code is NEWSTORE. Dreamscapes

 

 

 

Topaz Labs is having an amazing sale on its Topaz Adjust plug-in. From now until the end of August save 50% on this powerful plug-in. Visit Topaz Labs here and you can download a free trial. The 50% discount code is AUGADJUST. 


Bellagio Street

Bellagio’s town centre is made up of narrow streets running up and down on cobblestone steps. Each street is filled with boutiques, restaurants and cafe’s and all roads lead to the lake.

Click on the image to see a high-resolution version (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Bellagio, Italy, walkway, street, stairs, village, travel photography


The Bistro

When I come home from a trip and first download my images I always look at each image quickly to get a sense of how I would process the image to truly bring out the essence of the scene. Some are quite simple and others just call for a more artistic interpretation.

The Bistro is one of my favourite images from Paris.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version which really brings out the detail or to Purchase a Print.

Paris, France, bistro, street photography, restaurant, sidewalk cafe


The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower or La Tour Eiffel was erected in 1889 and is a most impressive structure any time you look at it but at night it’s a sparkling jewel on the left bank.

Click on the image to see a high resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

 

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, lights, city of lights, long exposure, travel photography


The General Store

You may think that I purposely seek out these scenes. The quaint restaurants, the picturesque corner stores that are prevalent in Europe.

Maybe subconsciously I do seek them out because I love these scenes. I love shooting them and I love processing them.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Paris, France, street, store, general store, fruit store, vegetable store, travel photography


Buci News

This store caught my eye as I was walking across the street. Can you guess why?

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Paris, France, street, store, yellow, travel photography


The Prayer

There are so many beautiful sights in Paris but with only 2 days to visit I couldn’t possible see all of them. One that I did get too however was Notre Dame Cathedral.

I have a few images of the cathedral to share with you but I thought I’d start with one of my favourites that I captured.

This was shot handheld at an ISO of 3200. I used Topaz DeNoise to clean up some of the noise. You can use coupon code ELPHOTO to get 15% off any Topaz product.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Paris, France, Notre Dame, Cathedral, prayer, travel photography

 


Cave à Vin

The corner wine store is a staple in Paris as is this one tucked away on a street in the St. Germain des Pres.

St. Germain des Pres is an area in the 6e arrondissement of Paris on the left bank of the Seine. It was the centre of intellectuals, artists and philosophers and home of the existentialist movement during the time of Jean-Paul Satre. It’s as vibrant today with wonderful cafes and restaurants, museums and galleries and streets teeming with locals and tourists.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Paris, France, wine shop, graffiti, street photography, travel photography


Blue Hour at the Louvre

Wow it’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve blogged and I think that’s the longest I’ve gone since I started this blog 3 years ago. It’s actually been a really nice break and I’ve had good reason as I was travelling through Europe, Paris and Italy to be precise.

I was uploading regularly to my Facebook page during my travels so if you’d like to catch up and see some of this on-the-go iPhone images you can click here.

While the trip was amazing I returned home to find that I had a flood in my basement :( I’ll leave that story for another time but needless to say I didn’t even get a chance to download any of my images until last night. With over 2000 images to sort through, cull and process it may take me some time especially since my office and Mac is located in the basement.

We spent the first two days of our journey in Paris. It truly is the city of lights and what better image to kick things of with then the Louvre at blue hour. This was taken on our first night in Paris. Having flown from Toronto to Paris on an overnight flight I was walking around with very little sleep. Sunset that night was at 9:57pm so at that point I was almost at the 48 hour mark with only about 2 hours of sleep but I was in Paris and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. The real hero in all of this was my husband who was quietly dozing on a bench at this point.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.Paris, France, Blue hour, Louvre, Museum, art, pyramid, glass, travel photography

 


A First Look At The Treasury

After walking the almost 1.5km through The Passage you come to an opening and get a first glimpse at Petra’s most important monument, The Treasury.

Click on the image to see it in full resolution (it really does look better) or to Purchase a print.

Petra, Jordan, The Treasury, monument, travel

Petra, Jordan, The Treasury, monument, travel

 


The Passage

When you arrive at the visitor’s centre in Petra it is approximately a 700 meter walk to the entrance of the Siq, which the main entrance to the city. Siq is the Arabic word meaning “the passage.”

The Siq is a long and narrow natural passage that leads to the ancient City of Petra. The width of the passage varies between 3 and 17 meters and the layers of colours in the rock is caused by oxidation. This passage leads to the most important monument in Petra, “The Treasury.”

Click on the image to view a higher resolution (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Petra, Jordan, passage, Siq, sandstone, slot canyon

 


Searching for Petra

Petra is a historical city which was established as far back as 312 BCE by the Nabataeans. It’s situated on the slopes of Jebel al-Madhbah which some have identified as the biblical Mount Hor.

Petra is a place that has long been on my bucket list of places to visit and photograph and when I visited Israel in May the opportunity to visit Petra presented itself. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to plan an extended visit which would have allowed me to photograph in the early morning and night but I was able to do a day trip. The day of my visit I flew from Tel Aviv to Eilat at 6:30am. I was met at the Eilat airport by a representative of Desert Eco Tours, which if you ever find yourself in the region is an excellent company. This was the second time I’ve used them and they did not disappoint. We drove 10 minutes to the Israeli / Jordanian border and from there met up with Mohammed, our tour guide, who would take us to this ancient city. It’s a two hour drive from the border to Petra and before entering the ancient city we stopped to view the surrounding mountains.

As I was staring out at the view I asked Mohammed where Petra was. His response was that you can’t see Petra because it was strategically built so that it stayed hidden and protected it from invaders. Mohammed then point far off into the distance and drew my attention to a tiny white dot at the top of the mountain….Aaron’s Tomb.  Aaron (or Harun as he is known in Arabic) was Moses’ brother and the Old Testament states that Aaron died and was buried atop Mount Hor. While some believe Mount Hor is located in the Sinai desert. The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius in the 1st century AD, places the final resting place of Aaron on this mountaintop.  That little tiny white dot is actually a small mosque built atop Aaron’s tomb in the 14th Century and it acts as a mercer to the entrance of Petra. Aaron’s final resting place is a Holy site for the Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths and many make the one day pilgrimage to visit Aaron’s tomb. It’s a 3 1/2 hour hike up the mountain and down so unfortunately I din’t have time to do it…this time.

Click on the image to enlarge and you’ll get a glimpse at Aaron’s Tomb.

Petra, Jordan, Aaron's Tomb, Jebel Haroun, Mount Hor, mountains, black & white


Night Colours

The central square in Old Jaffa is a lively spot at night enjoyed by both tourists and locals alike.

On Friday I shared an image of the square with the bell tower of St. Peter’s Church as its centre point. You can see that post here. Next to the church is a restaurant with a fountain in front of it that is beautifully lit at night. You can see the lights of the restaurant in Fridays post but I wanted to get in closer so that I could capture the fountain and the colourful display.

Click on the image to see a larger version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

On another note I was out volunteering at Toronto Animal Services last weekend and I’ve just posted images on my PhoDOGraphy by Edith site of all the wonderful animals up for adoption. Click on the link and considering sharing the post. You never know you may be helping one of these cuties find a forever home.

Israel, Old Jaffa, night photography, restaurant, lights, coloured lights, fountain, water long exposure


Old Jaffa & The Beacon on the Hill

Located in the central square in Jaffa is St. Peter’s Church and the Bell Tower that dominates the hillside.

The church was built-in 1654 over a medieval fortress, in dedication to Saint Peter. It was twice destroyed and rebuilt in the late 18th century and the current structure was built-in 1894. The church is open daily and masses are conducted in English, Spanish, Polish and Hebrew.

The bell tower overlooking Jaffa’s old port and dominating the view of Jaffa from the sea, has for over a century acted as a beacon for sea-faring pilgrims signalling that the Holy Land is near.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Israel; Old Jaffa; clock Tower; blue hour; town square; long exposure; HDR; travel photography


Gone Swimming!

What’s better then riding your bike along a beach promenade? Locking it up and going for a swim, of course.

The wedding that I attended when I was in Israel was an afternoon wedding. The venue was on the beach with a spectacular panoramic view of the sea. As the wedding was winding down and guests were starting to leave I did what any photographer would do…go for a photo walk. Ok so I was in a cocktail dress and heels but I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. I kicked of my shoes, grabbed my camera and off I went and came upon this scene.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Israel, Hedera, beach, Mediterranean, sea, bicycle, swimmers, texture, travel photography, fine art


Tel Aviv Sunset

Some of the best views of Tel Aviv and the coastline can be seen from the hilltops of Old Jaffa.

Tel Aviv, Israel, sunset, Mediterranean, sea, coastline, travel photography, Old Jaffa

Tel Aviv, Israel, sunset, Mediterranean, sea, coastline, travel photography, Old Jaffa


Dancing for Joy

I just got back from an amazing trip to Israel and  I wanted to share with you one of the first shots that I took on the day I arrived. I was driving with my cousins to Caesarea for the evening when we came upon this group of young Hasidic men on the side of the highway. The music was blaring from the speaker that was sitting on the top of the van, the sun was low in the sky and these young men were dancing and singing as if a wedding was going on that someone forgot the tell the rest of us.

The Breslov is a branch of Hasidic Judaism. Hasidic Judaism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism and the word Hasidic means “piety” or “loving-kindness.”

The Breslov approach places great emphasis on serving God through the sincerity of the heart, with much joy and living life as intensely as possible. Breslov teachings particularly emphasize emunah (faith) as a means to teshuvah (repentance), and that every Jew on any level of Divine service is required to constantly yearn to return to God, no matter how high or low he or she is situated on the spiritual echelon.

Breslover Hasidim see the study and fulfillment of Torah life as the means to a joyful existence, and their approach to worship is very personalized and emotional, with much clapping, singing, and dancing. Rabbi Nachman said, “It is a great mitzvah (commandment or good deed) to always be happy”.[4] In this same lesson, he notes that even leading intellectuals in the medical field will attest to depression and bitterness being the main cause of most mental and physical ailments.

The Breslov normally conduct on street outreach in this manner but I think the highway pullover was just about spreading some joy.

Israel, dancing, Hasidim, Breslov, Hasidic Judaism, outreach, highway, van,


Window to Hezekiah’s Tunnel

I was going through my archives the other day looking through my images from my trip to Israel in 2010. I’m going back to Israel next week and I was trying to remind myself what I shot the last time I was there. That trip took place before I started this blog and when I was just starting to learn about HDR. This was one image that I was never happy with. I had shot 3 brackets handheld but it was very dark and the longer exposure image was blurry and the HDR never came out the way I wanted it to. Of course that was before I was using Lightroom so I decided to process one of the brackets on its own in LR5. All I did for processing was to bring out the shadows and darken the highlights slightly and cloned out part of a railing.

This was taken on the walk down to Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem which was dug underneath the City of David. The tunnel dates back to the reign of Hezekiah of Judah in the late 8th and early 7th century BCE and was designed as an aqueduct to provide Jerusalem with water.

Hezekiah's Tunnel, Israel, Jerusalem, old city, City of David, archeological, travel photography, window, grate

 

Walking through the tunnel itself is an amazing experience. It’s dark, very narrow and you walk through water that comes up to your knees. Yup that’s us in the picture below. Our tour guide took this shot…

hezekiah's Tunnel, Israel, Jerusalem, old city, City of David, archeological, travel photography


Subway Love

In this age of email and Facebook and instant messaging I still get excited when I get a package in the mail. Nine times out of ten it’s something that I’ve ordered online. The package that I received last week was very different. It was a book. Not just any book, but a yet to be released copy of Subway Love by Nora Raleigh Baskin. Why is this exciting you ask? Because the cover image is mine.

Last July I was approached by the publisher about using my image of a Rome subway car for a new book they were publishing. They had found the image online and asked if I could send them a high resolution image so that they could see the quality. After some back and forth with the publisher they created a mock-up of what the cover design would look like and we negotiated a licensing deal. To say that I was thrilled would be an understatement. Here’s a quick iPhone image of the book.

Subway Love, Rome, subway car, book cover, Edith Levy Photography, Candlewick Press, Nora Raleigh Baskin

 

And here’s the original image. Click on “The Words of the Prophets are Written on the Subway Walls” to see the original post.

Click on the image below to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Rome Subway, graffiti, subway car, Italy, Rome,


Confessions of a Blogger / Photographer

This post is going to be little bit different from my usual posts so please bear with me. You may have noticed that I’m not keeping up with my usual posting schedule. I have a lot of balls in the air…being a mother, working full-time, satisfying my thirst for photography, blogging, managing all my social media outlets, volunteering at shelters and now working at building a pet photography business. Hmmm and those are just a few things I have on my plate.

I have a question for all of you. yes you….my blogging friends and followers. How do you do it? How do stave off burn out?

dilbert2007458220426

“Blogging is like work, but without coworkers thwarting you at every turn.”  Scott Adams

I love this Dilbert cartoon. Believe me there are times I’ve felt like paying my son to write a blog post or two for me. Don’t worry I haven’t. There are no ghost writers or photographers at Edith Levy Photography.  So this is a good segue to my next disjointed thought. This is a photography blog. It’s not like I’m spending hours writing 500 to 1000 word posts, but the process of going out, shooting and processing images does take hours albeit enjoyable ones. This has been a rough winter for us Canadians.  I love shooting winter scenes but with most days from December to the beginning of March dealing with -15C or less temperatures its been tough to be outside for extended periods. I know…you’re saying to yourself “suck it up buttercup” other photographers do it. Yup they do! And I commend them for it. I suppose I’m saying this because I feel like I’m in a bit of a creative rut. I’ve been spending so much time doing other things that I haven’t focused on what I really love to do and that’s to go out and shoot. So therein lies the problem. This self-imposed schedule has been taking its toll on me. I love the friendships that I’ve built while writing this blog. I’ve said it before and I will continue to shout it from the rooftops…this is a great community to be a part. So the short end of it…I may not be posting as regularly as I have. But you never know maybe I just need a couple of weeks to regroup and then I’ll be back with a vengeance.

Of course this being a photography blog I need close with an image. I posted this a couple of weeks ago to my Facebook page but never posted it here. Here’s another view of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge taken from Dumbo.

New York, Dumbo, Brooklyn Bridge, city lights, Manhattan, skyline, night photography, long exposure, travel photography

 

 


Weekly Photo Challenge – Abandoned

My contribution to this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge are some images that I took on my trip to Italy back in the summer of 2011. I originally process these as HDR when I first got back and was not at all happy with the way they turned out so I never posted them. Since that time I’ve started to use Lightroom and when I saw this weeks challenge I went back to my archives and decided to process just one exposure of each image solely in LR5. I was quite pleased with the end result. Let me know what you think.

Oh…we were driving from Florence to Amalfi on this day and stopped just south of Florence and came across this abandon farmhouse. What character this place has. It would make a great fixer upper :)

Click on the images to enlarge (they really do look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Italy, Florence, Tuscany, farmhouse, abandoned, decay, countryside, Tuscan Villa, Tuscan Farmhouse, travel photography

Italy, Florence, Tuscany, farmhouse, abandoned, decay, countryside, Tuscan Villa, Tuscan Farmhouse, travel photography

Italy, Florence, Tuscany, farmhouse, abandoned, decay, countryside, Tuscan Villa, Tuscan Farmhouse, travel photography

Italy, Florence, Tuscany, farmhouse, abandoned, decay, countryside, Tuscan Villa, Tuscan Farmhouse, travel photography


Manhattan Eye Candy

Here’s another extraordinary piece of street art from my time in Manhattan. This one was in Little Italy and before you ask I didn’t “almost” miss this. This beauty caught my eye right away.

I used Topaz Detail to bring out  bit of the detail in the brick and adjust the saturation on each colour (individually) in Photoshop. Don’t forget you can download a free trial of any Topaz Labs product and use the code ELPhoto to save 15% off the regular price.

Click on the image for a larger view.

wall mural, wall art, New York, Manhattan, Little Italy, brick, building,


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