Writing with Light

Boston

2015 My Year in Review

Every year Jim Goldstein runs a project on his blog, JMG Galleries, where he encourages photographers to post their best pictures of the year. It’s a great project and I’ve participated every year. When I started participating about 4 years ago I thought, “what a great way to have pictures seen by a whole new audience.”

That was me when I first started blogging but now there are so many other reasons that I participate. Yes I still like that fact that I may reach a new audience but more than that I find this to be a difficult and yet rewarding exercise. It’s tough to cull through your work and pick what you think may be the best of the year. It really gives me a chance to go though my images (some that I haven’t looked at for almost a year) and decide whether they’re good enough to make the cut of the top 10 or 15.  I try to review my images from a technical perspective and from a creative one. Certainly I’m drawn to certain images due to the circumstances of where and when they were taken. The picks may not always be perfect and certainly wouldn’t win any awards but art is subjective and what one person views as a masterpiece another make look at and dismiss entirely.

It’s been a busy and rewarding year both on the photographic front and from a family and work stand point. I’ve taken on a new role at work which was unexpected at the beginning of 2015 but I am loving it. The only downside has been that its been so busy that my photography had to take a bit of a back seat.

From a photography perspective I’ve continued to sell prints and license new work which is always very exciting and rewarding. I won’t make any specific commitments for the new year because I know that my day job will still be taking up a lot of my time but learning new photographic techniques and honing my craft is something that I know will always be important and I will find and make the time to do it.

If you have a chance jump on over to Jim Goldstein’s site here in or about the second week of January and he should have a list of year in review post listed for your viewing pleasure. There’s always a great list of photographers on there, you won’t regret it.

As always you can click on the images to enlarge them or to Purchase a Print.

Cuba, Havana, Old Havana, street photography, travel photography, black and white

Cuba

water drops, gerber flower, refraction, milkweed, macro photography

Refracted Water Drops

Havana, Cuba, Cuban Cigars, Cigar, Stogie, travel photography, cigar aficiondo, black and white

Cuba

Hilton Falls, Ontario, Milton, conservation, waterfall, long exposure, trees

Hilton Falls, Ontario

Boston, skyline, Fan Pier, sunset, blue hour, travel photography, harbour, lights, Charles River

Boston

Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Muskoka Chairs, dock, sunset, nature

Muskoka

Lake Ontario, Toronto, Beaches, sail, sailboats, water

Lake Ontario

Old Montreal, Quebec, night photography, long exposure, historic

Old Montreal

Jerusalem, Israel, street photography, black and white, monochrome, man, beard

Jerusalem, Israel

Israel, Jerusalem, Western Wall, Orthodox, Man, Walking, Motion, black and white, travel photography,

Jerusalem, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel, sunset, beach, family, photographer, golden, water, sea, Mediterranean

Tel Aviv, Israel

 


iPhone Friday – Boston Edition

Sorry for my absence this week. I was in New York last week for a little R&R and a family function. Didn’t do as much shooting as I’d hoped but I do have a few shots to share with you next week. Today I wanted to share some shots taken with my iPhone 6 while out and about in Boston a couple of weeks ago. All shots were processed using Snapseed. The 3rd image, “Inside Fenway” was also processed with PhotoToaster.

Boston, iPhone, iPhoneography, travel, art installation, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Janet Echelman, Greenway Project

Greenway Project Art Installation by Janet Echelman


Boston, iPhone, iPhoneography, travel, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

Fenway Park


Boston, iPhone, iPhoneography, travel, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

Inside Fenway


Boston, iPhone, iPhoneography, travel, Fan Pier, skyline, Harbour, Charles River, sunset

Shooting the Skyline at Sunset


Bicycle Parking in Boston

If you don’t know by now, I always keep my eyes open when travelling for interesting bicycle shots. These are easier to be found in Europe where you’re more likely to find old vintage bikes leaning against ancient buildings and walls. Every so often though I come across an interesting scene such as this one in Boston’s North End.

You’ve got to love the parking job.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Boston, north end, Little Italy, street, bicycle, parking, fence, street photography,


A Boston Sunset

I had to be in Boston last week for a conference and I decided to get in a day early so that I could do some shooting around the city. I do love Boston and was thrilled to find myself back in Beantown, even if it was just for a few days.

I spent hours walking during the day but I knew where I wanted to end up at sunset…Fan Pier. The pier is a great spot to photograph the skyline. I’d shot there the last time I was in town and was terribly disappointed with the images I came away with so this was my opportunity to give it another go.

It was a lovely sunset…not a wow by any means but nice and subtle with a beautiful transition to the blue hour. I was much happier this time around.

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

Boston, skyline, Fan Pier, sunset, blue hour, travel photography, harbour, lights, Charles River


2013 – A Year in Review

I can’t believe another year is coming to a close but then again I say that every year. It seems they go by so quickly these days. As I look back on 2013 I’m proud of some of the images that I produced and some of the projects that I’m working on. As I announced a couple of months ago I’m launching a new pet photography business, PhoDOGraphy by Edith Levy. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for sometime and I’ll have the website ready for launch in January.

Below are some of my favourite images from this year. They don’t necessarily reflect the most popular images by hits or comments but ones that resonated with me for various reasons and I’ll let you know why as you go through them. Enjoy!

One last thing…wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Jackson Square in B&W

Interestingly enough this image never appeared on the blog. The colour version did (and you can see it here) but for some reason I didn’t post the B&W version which happens to be my favourite of the two. This was shot before sunrise and I love the moodiness that comes out in the B&W.

New Orleans, NOLA, Jackson Square, benches, sunrise, dawn, travel photography, monochrome, Black White

Jackson Square

Cafe du Monde

To call Cafe du Monde a coffee shop is downgrading it a bit. It’s a landmark and institution in New Orleans which was established in 1862. Cafe du Monde is open 24/7 and it was the perfect place for me to duck in and warm up with a piping cup of coffee and beignet right after my sunrise shoots in the city.

New Orleans, Cafe Du Monde, cafe, coffee, French Quarter

Cafe Du Monde – New Orleans

The Elgin Theatre

I was fortunate to be able to shoot this iconic theatre in Toronto at the beginning of the year. This was one of my favourite images from that shoot. Little did I know that it would be selected to appear on the cover of the theatre’s souvenir brochure. Below is a scan (sorry about the poor quality) of the cover.

Elgin Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Balcony, ornate, interior

The Elgin Theatre, Toronto

Elgin Theatre, WinterGarden Theatre, 100th Anniversary, Brochure Cover, Edith Levy Photography,

Boston Strong

I attended a conference in Boston in April. At the time I wasn’t quite sure if it would be taking place as it was taking place a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing. The conference went on as scheduled and although security was tight at the airports and in the city I was amazed at the resilience of the city and its people.

Boston, Memorial, Bolyston street, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Golden

This past July I took a trip to California, starting in San Francisco and driving down the coast to L.A. While the weather wasn’t always in my favour (lots of fog) I di manage to come away with some images that I was really pleased with. My second day in San Francisco called for an early morning wake up call to shoot the Golden Gate bridge. Being in a place for the first time without a lot of time to explore and get to know you’re way around means that you waste a lot of time looking for the perfect vantage point to shoot from. I was lucky here because as soon as I shoot this the lights on the bridge were turned off.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, Sunrise, Blue Hour, bridge, landscape, Edith Levy Photography

Golden

La Bicyclette

Come on…you had to know I’d include a bicycle image in my year-end recap 🙂 I loved that the name of this restaurant in Carmel-By-The-Sea was called La Bicyclette.

Carmel, California, night, bicycle, La Bicyclette, restaurant, window, French, flags, dining, travel photography

La Bicyclette

The Roman Pool at Hearst Castle

I was just really pleased with the way this came out. The light was very low and I didn’t have a tripod with me. I increased my ISO, braced myself against the railing and took the shot. Sometimes you just have to go for it.

Hearst Castle, Roman Pool, San Simeon, California, indoor pool, water, reflections, travel photography

The Roman Gods Stand Tall

Sponge

This is just a personal favourite. I took pictures of this little guy…his name is Sponge as part of my portfolio building sessions. Isn’t he just adorable.

French Bulldog, Frenchie, pet photography, best friend, dog photography

The Lonely Path

This image was taken at the Rockwood Autoyard in Ontario while I was attending a workshop with Denise Ippolito. It was drizzling the whole day with a light mist floating in the air which made for some terrific light.

Ontario, forest, path, autumn, fall, changing colours, trees, fine art, texture, fog

The Lonely Path

Santa Barbara Marina

Here’s another personal favourite from my California trip. I loved the different colours emanating from the boats and wanted to give this image a bit of an abstract, impressionist feel.

Santa Barbara, California, harbor, sailboats, abstract, pacific ocean, surreal, wharf

Santa Barbara Harbour Abstraction

Santa Monica Pier

One the last night of my California trip I was determined to get a shot of Santa Monica pier at night. Even though it was cold and I really wasn’t dressed properly I headed to the pier (with my husband in tow…he really does deserve an award) and set up for this long exposure.

Santa Monica, pier, amusement park, lights, ferris wheel, roller coaster, night photography, long exposure, travel photography, beach

Amusing Lights

Malibu Pier

This is probably the image I’m most proud of this year. A long exposure of Malibu Pier with a high key treatment.

Malibu Pier, California, long exposure, high key, beach, waves, malibu pier cafe, travel photography

Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas

I really had fun photographing these elephant seals at Piedras Blancas which is about 3 miles north of San Simeon on the Pacific Coast. I title this image “A Little Disagreement” but someone made a comment that it looks like the seal on the right might be laughing at a joke (wish I had thought of that), but the loud barking of these mammoth seals is still ringing in my ears 🙂

Elephant Seal, Rookery, San Simeon, Piedras Blancas, California, beach, nature, travel photography, ocean front, beach

A Little Disagreement

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a Very Happy New Year.


Artist in Boston Common

I love watching an artist create and on this beautiful afternoon in Boston Common I did just that. As I stood and watched, her painting came to life on the canvas. I converted the image to B&W using Topaz Black & White Effects and then selectively brought back the color in the painting. As an artist you can see the scene as it is or interpret it in your own way, on your own canvas 🙂

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

Boston, Boston Common, park, artist, painter, selective color, Topaz Black & White Effects, travel photography


Sunday in the Park

I hope everyone had an excellent weekend. Before we get to today’s image I wanted to share with you a sale I just found out about. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Trey Ratcliff’s Stuck in Customs site. If you’re not you should head over there and check out Trey’s work. The Stuck in Customs store is having a Father’s Day sale. All items in the store including photography tutorials and tools are 25% off until Sunday June 16th.

A stroll through Boston Common yields many beautiful scenes but the serenity of this one just spoke volumes to me.

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

Boston, Boston Common, park, lake, bench, spring, travel photography


Waiting For A Fare

As I was walking to Faneuil Hall I came across this horse & carriage. As an added bonus the caleche driver was standing there waiting for a fare. His costume and the surrounding buildings threw me into a time warp and I kept thinking that when I get home and process this image it would probably look good as an old vintage photograph.

Below are two versions, the scene as I saw it and a slightly distressed, vintage version.  Let me know which one you prefer.

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

Boston, caleche, horse, Faneuil Hall, street photography, horse and buggy, Topaz Clarity

Boston, caleche, horse, Faneuil Hall, street photography, horse and buggy, Topaz Clarity, vintage, monochrome


Cat-Nap

Monday’s post featured the outside of a quaint bookstore along Boston’s Freedom Trail and a few of you asked if I had any interior shots. Well as a matter of fact I do.

I don’t know…maybe he’s read all the books already!

bookstore, cat, books, Boston


Books & Old Prints

Walking along the Freedom Trail in Boston and making my way purposefully towards Boston Common, an awning caught my attention as I walked past a small alley way.  I stopped and decided to check it out and I’m really glad that I did. Not only was this a picture perfect opportunity but I had a great time browsing through the bookstore.  I’m always lamenting the fact that the big box bookstores have taken over the landscape. I miss these little bookstores where every nook & cranny is stuffed with old tomes and it has that slightly musty smell of books.

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

book store, alley, Freedom Trail, Boston, travel photography


The New England Holocaust Memorial

Located in Carmen Park along (most appropriately) the Freedom Trail in Boston is the The New England Holocaust Memorial, which was inspired by survivors of the Holocaust who found new lives in Boston. The memorial consists of 6 glass towers one for each of the 6 extermination camps (Aushwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno and Majdanek). Each tower is etched with a series of numbers representing the 6 million Jews that were killed during the holocaust. Each tower contains 2 panels of glass inscribed with a quote from survivors or American soldiers recounting memories from that horrible time. The stories are heart wrenching and emotional and walking through the memorial two things were prominent in my thoughts, we must never forget this terrible time in our history and all that was lost and the hope that never again should we, as a society stand still when atrocities such as this occur in the world.

Click on the images to enlarge (the detail is much better and it’s easier to read the inscriptions) or to Purchase a Print.

New England Holocaust Memorial, Carmen Park, Freedom Trail, Boston

New England Holocaust Memorial, Carmen Park, Freedom Trail, Boston

New England Holocaust Memorial, Carmen Park, Freedom Trail, Boston

New England Holocaust Memorial, Carmen Park, Freedom Trail, Boston

New England Holocaust Memorial, Carmen Park, Freedom Trail, Boston

New England Holocaust Memorial, Carmen Park, Freedom Trail, Boston


Spring in the Public Gardens

One of my favorite activities in Boston was strolling through Boston Common and the Public Gardens. It was beautiful day and people were out strolling with their kids, walking their dogs and taking pictures of the cherry blossoms. I ran this image through OnOne Perfect Effects to give it a bit of an ethereal and vintage feel.

I’ve also had an opportunity to test the bet version of Topaz Labs newest plug in Topaz Clarity and I’m really liking it so far. I used it to process another park image which I posted to my Facebook page yesterday. You can have a look at it here.

Next week is shaping up to be a busy one on the blog. I’ll have a full review of Topaz Clarity as well as a new Craft & Vision ebook release that I’ll be reviewing and I think you’ll really like this one.

Click on the image to enlarge (the detail is really much better) or to Purchase a Print.

Boston Common, public gardens, park, spring, cherry blossoms


Blue Hour Pier

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a terrific Mother’s Day.

Back on the fan pier in Boston this is the view directly opposite the city skyline which I posted here.

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

Boston, Fan Pier, Boston harbor, blue hour, long exposure


iPhone Friday – Boston Skyline

The Boston Skyline shot with my iPhone 4S from Moakley Courthouse pier.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Boston, skyline, fan pier, Moakley courthouse pier, iPhone, iPhoneography, Dramatic Black & White, Snapseed


Sixty State Street

In the heart of the financial district and next to Faneuil Hall in Boston is Sixty State Street. The building is Boston’s 13th tallest building but I was fascinated by the abstract sculpture in front of the building.

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

Boston, Sixty State Street, tower, building, financial district


Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall marketplace is located near the waterfront in Boston and is a popular destination for tourists. What I didn’t realize is that Faneuil Hall has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742 acting as a backdrop for many speeches made by Samuel Adams encouraging independence from Great Britain.

After processing the image in Photoshop I converted it to black and white using Topaz Black & White Effects and then used the selective adjustment brush to bring back some colour.

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

Boston, Faneuil Hall, Black & White, red, street photography


iPhone Friday – Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum

On the first evening of my conference the organizers arranged for us to have dinner at the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum. We were actually supposed to have cocktails out on the patio deck but it was just to cold and windy that night. We did still get a tour of the ship and had a lovely, authentic pre-revolutionary dinner.

All images shot with an iPhone 4S and edited with Snapseed, PhotoToaster and Dramatic Black & White.

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, boston harbor, restaurant, ship, museum

The Museum

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, boston harbor, restaurant, ship, museum

The Ship

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, boston harbor, restaurant, ship, museum

Captain’s Quarters

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, boston harbor, restaurant, ship, museum

Crew Quarters

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, boston harbor, restaurant, ship, museum

Below Deck

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, boston harbor, restaurant, ship, museum

The Restaurant

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, boston harbor, restaurant, ship, museum


Sunset Pier

Before I left for Boston I reached out to Boston photographer Steven Perlmutter for some tips on the best place to shoot the city skyline at sunset. If you haven’t seen Steven’s work then I encourage you to stop by his site here. Steven gave some great advice and told me to head to the pier behind the Moakley Courthouse for some great views of the city.  It was a beautiful day but the sunset that evening was just ok. unfortunately the light of the skyline was nothing to write home about but when I turned around the light over the harbour was quite pretty.

This was a long exposure as I wanted to get the movement in the sailboats out on the water.

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

Boston Harbor, sunset, pier, long exposure, sailboats


Keep Running Boston!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 weeks since the Boston Marathon bombing. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who was shocked and shaken to the core by the senselessness of this act. It’s unfortunate that acts such as this is becoming all too common place in the world we live in. I have 2 teenage boys who, in their lifetime, have been exposed to the horrors of 9/11; the 2005 attacks in London, the 2012 bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed Israeli tourists, the Colorado theatre shooting and the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Should I go on?  I don’t remember being exposed to these types of acts when I was growing up. Sure there were wars fought overseas, far from “home.” Whether we believed in these wars or not the reality was that it didn’t affect our day-to-day.

While I was in Boston last week news broke that the RCMP, working with the FBI, arrested 2 men with ties to Al-Qaeda. These men are suspected of plotting to derail a Via Rail Train on the Toronto to New York route. When will this craziness end?

I spend the day walking around Boston and made my way to Boylston Street where a memorial for the victims of the marathon had been growing steadily over the week. As I was walking the streets last Sunday, on what was a glorious sunny day, people were enjoying the beautiful weather, playing in the park, sipping coffee at sidewalk cafes. This is how it should be…we live our lives and enjoy our freedoms because terror cannot win.

Boston, Memorial, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong, running

Boston, Memorial, Bolyston street, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Boston, Memorial, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong, running

Boston, Memorial, Bolyston street, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Boston, Memorial, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong, running

Boston, Memorial, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Boston, Memorial, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Boston, Memorial, Copley Square, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Boston, Memorial, Copley Square, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Boston, Memorial, Copley Square, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong


Stars & Stripes

I flew to Boston last Sunday for a conference and was lucky to have the day to myself to walk around and explore this beautiful city. It’s been years since I’ve been there and given what was going on last week, when they locked down the city I wasn’t sure if my trip would be cancelled or not. It was a moving time to be in the city and I’ll be sharing my images and impressions over the next little while.

As I was walking along Atlantic Ave I came upon this archway which is between the InterContinental and the Boston Harbor Hotel. With the sun shining and the flag blowing in the wind it was a perfect way to start the day.

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

Boston, stars and stripes, Atlantic Ave, flag, America

Do you remember Uggie from my Life in the City post earlier this week? A few people asked if I got a closer shot of his face and I did. You can see it on my Facebook page here. From time to time I will post and share thing on the Edith Levy Photography Facebook Page that you won’t see on the blog. If you haven’t done so already please consider “liking” my FB page.

Have a great weekend everyone.