Writing with Light

Posts tagged “travel

Malaga Sunset

I was fortunate to be staying at a hotel that had a rooftop swimming pool. Never did use the pool but it was a perfect spot to capture the sunset over the old town of Malaga.

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Spain, Malaga, sunset, Old town, blue hour, travel, cityscape


Beach Day in Malaga

Our next stop on our Spain adventure was the beach town of Malaga, birthplace of Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas. Naturally the first stop was the beach.

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Malaga, Spain, beach, sea, sunbathing, vacation, travel


Alhambra Reflections

On our way to Malaga from Barcelona we stopped in Granada to tour The Alhambra. Make sure that if you’re planning a trip you purchase your tickets online well in advance. We actually saw people turned away because there were no more tickets that day.

The reflecting pools that have been built directly in front of the palaces visually increases their size by the mirror like effect. It creates a beautiful scene to behold.

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Spain, Granada, Alhambra, palace, architecture, reflection, travel

Spain, Granada, Alhambra, palace, architecture, reflection, travel

Spain, Granada, Alhambra, palace, architecture, reflection, travel


Welcome to the Future in Valencia

Walk through the grounds of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia and you will think your on the set of a Logan’s Run (yes I’m dating myself) or Blade Runner (except much brighter).

Far away from the beautiful old town is Valencia’s most important modern tourist destination. The complex houses a planetarium; an IMAX theatre; an Aquarium; a botanical garden; a science museum; an Opera house and a few other surprises. The buildings themselves and the grounds are spectacular and well worth the visit.

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Spain, Valencia, City of Arts and Sciences, complex, architecture, modern city, travel

Spain, Valencia, City of Arts and Sciences, complex, architecture, modern city, travel

Spain, Valencia, City of Arts and Sciences, complex, architecture, modern city, travel

Spain, Valencia, City of Arts and Sciences, complex, architecture, modern city, travel


Painted Pier

A little something from Barcelona to take you into this hot, long weekend. Happy Canada Day and to my American friends Happy 4th of July.

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Barcelona, Spain, travel, Barcelonetta, waterfront, pier, graffiti, lighthouse


La Rambla

Everyone told me it was touristy…they were right. I was told it was crowded…correct. I was warned that the restaurants and stores were expensive…yup. But to go to Barcelona and not take a stroll on La Rambla now that would be a missed opportunity. Everyone should experience it at least once.

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Barcelona, Spain, La Rambla, architecture, tourists, travel


Barcelona Bicycle

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post and I apologize for that. Life is busy as I’m sure most of you can attest too. I’ve just returned from a wonderful 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal and if you’ve been following me on Instagram and Facebook you probably already know that.

Some of you may also be aware of my love of searching out and finding lovely bicycle scenes when I travel (it’s a thing what can I say). I thought it only fitting that as I start sharing my images of Spain that by first one should be a bicycle shot.

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Spain, Barcelona, bicycle, bike, leaning, window, Europe, travel


The Sands of Time

The sands of time cannot be stopped years pass whether we will them or not, but we can remember…….what has been lost may yet live on in memories, that which you will hear is imperfect and fragmented yet treasure it for without you it does not exist.

Christopher Paolini

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Antelope Canyon, Arizona, Page, Navajo, slot canyon, sand, long exposure, travel, nature


Global Warming

I was envisioning this, as the final outcome for this image, when I shot it but I just wasn’t sure it would work. This was taken in Page, Arizona as we were waiting to be picked up by our guide to see the slot canyons.

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Arizona, Page, desert, planet, global warming, smoke stack, globe, fine art photography, travel


Milanese Bicycle

It would be a shame to visit a new European city, especially one in Italy and not seek out a bicycle I can photograph.

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Milan, Italy, Bicycle, Europe, wall, window, travel


The Reader

A reader in Milan. He provided me with a perfect photo-op and didn’t even know it.

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Milan, Italy, brick, stairs, man reading, reader, black and white, monochrome, travel


Duomo di Milano

After a 3 1/2 hour train ride through the Alps we arrived in Milan. The forecast for the day we arrived was cloudy and rain. Luckily it had rained early in the morning so by the time we arrived the rain had stopped.

After checking into our hotel and dumping our bags we headed out immediately and made the Duomo our first stop. I always find that dull, grey days make great black and white images and that’s exactly what I was pre-visualizing.

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Milan, Italy, Duomo, cathedral, church, black and white, monochrome, travel, pigeons

 


Watching the Crowd Pass By

This image was taken whilst walking around the old city of Prague.

It was a very sunny day and I wanted to make sure that I exposed properly for both the crowd who were in direct sunlight and the architecture under the arches. I took a series of 5 brackets and then processed them in Lightroom using the Photomerge HDR function.  I was quite pleased with the result. I then converted the image to black & white using Topaz Black & White Effects.

From November 25th through November 30th, Topaz Labs is offering 50% off of the full Topaz Complete Collection. That’s over $1000 worth of software for only $249.99!

To take advantage of this offer use code “BLACKFRIDAY16” in the Topaz Labs store.

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

Prague, Czech Republic, Old Town, walkway, architecture, moorish, black and white, travel


Prague Rooftops

The old city of Prague is beautiful at anytime of day but at sunset the red roof tops just glow with warmth.

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Prague, Czech Republic, Old Town, architecture, travel, sunset, city view, rooftops


A First look at Prague

“Prague never lets you go… this dear little mother has sharp claws.” -Franz Kafka

You’re probably wondering why I would post this image from Prague before posting a more iconic view of the old city, the clock tower or the Charles Bridge, Well that’s a good question.

I spent 2 days in Prague, which is by no means is enough time to take in all that this incredible city has to offer. The architecture, Romanesque; Baroque; Renaissance; Gothic, Art Nouveau; Modernist (just to name a few styles) is absolutely incredible to behold. Don’t worry I do have some of those iconic shots and they’re coming but there are always little gems hiding in plain sight that we sometimes miss.

Walking through the old city even small pedestrian walkways such as the one below holds so much architectural interest its hard not to spend time and just take it all in.

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Prague, Czech Republic, Old Town, walkway, architecture, moorish, black and white, travel, street photography


Prague Bound

As I write this post I’m sitting on a train, traveling from Vienna to Prague, watching the Ausrian countryside whiz by my window. It’s not 7:30am yet and there’s a beautiful mist hovering just inches above the lush landscape and all I can think off is asking the engineer to please pull over so I can take a picture. Not gonna happen but we photographers can dream. 

I must say that train travel in Europe is a very civilized and comfortable way to travel. The airlines can learn a lesson. 

While I’ve been to Austria before this was my first time in Vienna and it truly is a beautiful city. I wish I’d had more time to explore but Vienna and Prague are a quick stop before we board a plane and fly to Tel Aviv.

I won’t be processing my images until I get home but I thought I’d share some iPhone images until then. I am posting regularly to  Facebook and Instagram so if you aren’t following me yet here’s your chance 😉 

Party Boat on the Danube

Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace from behind the Fountain

Vienna Opera House

Shooting the Danube at Sunset


50th Street

What attracted me to this station at 50th Street in Manhattan was the Alice in Wonderland murals on the tile…also the cool looking underground 🙂

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New York, Manhattan, NYC, subway, 50th Street, underground, travel, urban


A Walk Through the Old City

A quiet walk through the old Jewish quarter in Jerusalem.

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Israel, Jerusalem, old city, arches, brick, Jewish quarter, travel, digital painting


Love in Central Park

I was shooting the buildings when this couple walked into my frame. Love was certainly in the air in Central Park.

New York, Central Park, lovers, couple, street photography, black and white


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


Interview with Shannon Kalahan from Seeing Spots Photography

I think that one of the most important things that we, as photographers, can do to grow and improve our craft is to learn from other photographers. Whether you’re attending a workshop, reading a book about photographic vision or techniques or learning what makes a particular photographer tick, that knowledge will propel you forward and inspire you in immeasurable ways.

I am so pleased to introduce you today to Shannon Kalahan of Seeing Spots Photography. Shannon approached me a few weeks ago to see if I was interested in being interviewed for her blog and she on mine. I’d never done an interview but I jumped at the chance especially since I’d been following Shannon’s work for quite some time.

Shannon resides in Connecticut and is an incredible travel and landscape photographer, writer and teacher. Shannon has a keen eye for composition as evidenced by her beautiful photographs. You can see a selection of her images throughout this post but I do encourage you to visit her site and explore further.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

How did you start out as a photographer and when did you know that this was something you wanted to do?

I think I’ve been excited about taking photos for as long as I can remember.  I remember many rolls of film passing through my hands when I was a little girl.  As far as what set me down my current path though…?  My first taste of travel photography was a trip to Spain and Portugal in 1999.  I loved being able to capture all of the beautiful places and moments I encountered while I was there.

My first serious attempts at photography came a few years later when I started volunteering for an equine rescue.  At the time, they didn’t have a website and very few images of the adoptable animals.  I knew that if people could see the animals, they would be more inclined to help – they stopped being some nebulous problem and started being living, breathing creatures that could melt your heart.  So, I picked up my camera (well…my Mom’s camera) and started shooting.  Having a structured project like that, including building a website, newsletter, etc helped teach me a bit about some of the discipline and skills I would need later when I finally started “Seeing Spots Photography”.

(The name, “Seeing Spots”, by the way, is an homage to the horse “Spot” I adopted from the rescue.  He was my favorite subject to photograph for a very long time! lol)

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Did you study photography formally?

I took one black and white film darkroom class, which went over the basics of composition and camera use towards the beginning of the semester.  The rest of the semester mainly focused on processing film and developing images in the darkroom.

From that class, however, I picked up a photo mentor who was a great resource when I had questions (still is!) and continued to teach myself with online resources, the occasional workshop, and by making lots of mistakes.

Your landscape and travel images are beautiful. What inspires you?

It’s a two-fold answer, I think.  I love the idea of putting something beautiful out there into the world and I love experiencing all of the awesome stuff that our planet has to offer. I have a strong belief that if more people could travel, as a whole, the human race would benefit from it.  It’s harder to ignore problems in other places when we have a vested interest or emotional connection with the diverse and beautiful cultures/locations around the world.

I am very aware of how blessed I am to have the opportunities and resources to travel, and equally aware that not everyone is as fortunate.  I love the idea of being able to bring beautiful images from the places I’ve seen into other people’s homes.  Again, the hope is that it will both bring them some measure of happiness to see these places, similar to the joy I get from creating the images…and that it will entice them to learn a little more about whatever the subject matter is.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

As I was going through your catalogue of images I was blown away by your long exposures. Can you tell us what your process is in creating these images?

First, thank you so much for the kind words.  I really, always appreciate feedback. 🙂

So, long exposures… Most of those long exposures are either done in low light/overcast conditions or with simple ND filters.  I have used higher stop filters, but that isn’t the norm for me.  Most of my images involve waiting for the right light and going to pre-scouted locations when I think the conditions will be favorable.  From there, I tend to use basic camera controls to get the time value I’m looking for.

In particular, I like trying varying long exposures for water (waterfalls, streams, lakes and ocean) since we have so dang much of it in our state.  I am definitely not a “water” person (because…you know…sharks and such) but I am drawn to water as a subject to photograph.  It ends up in a lot of my images, preferably smoothed out with a long exposure.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

As I was reading through your website I learned that you volunteered at an Equine Rescue and photographed the horses. Can you tell us a little more about that? Do you plan on pursuing animal photography down the road?

Well, as I mentioned a little bit earlier on, it was definitely one of the catalysts that put my feet on the path to photography.  The idea of taking photos of the horses started out as a way to help get them placed in permanent, loving homes but it turned into a huge learning process on so many levels for me.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with horses, they are generally anywhere from about 800-2000lbs and are “flight animals” who have survived over the years primarily by running from danger.  Their eyes are very good at picking up movement (aka danger), and the only thing that usually tempers that is a strong hierarchy (faith that their alpha leader will keep them safe).  This boils down to very large animals that spook easily and can trample you if they get too afraid.

It created a unique environment for learning photography, to say the least. I learned a lot about patience, about waiting for the right moment and about the importance of good light (a camera flash is usually terrifying for a horse).  Since the idea was to get these animals adopted, I also learned a lot about the importance of flattering angles for the subject and how significant a beautiful landscape background could be.

As far as pursuing it in the future…I have no active plans for that at the moment, beyond the occasional request for portraits, but who knows where I’ll end up?

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

I love photography books so naturally I was excited when you offered your “Photography + Connecticut – The Nature and Landscape Mini Guide” as a free download. What inspired you to write this book and can we see more ebooks from you in the future?p1_cover

Ahh, now this is something I do see more of in my future!

As a lifelong Connecticut resident, I have spent a long time finding the beauty in our state and have also noticed it frequently gets overlooked by other photographers looking for locations.  It’s a damn shame, in my opinion.  I’ve felt for a long time that with a little more marketing, Connecticut could attract more “photo tourism” (because let’s face it, us landscape photographers are our own unique brand of traveler more concerned with good light and location than where we will end up sleeping).  I guess I finally just got tired of waiting for someone else to put out a good “Why you should bring your camera to CT” publication, so I decided to do it myself.

Plus, it was a great trial run for an educational ebook we have in the works for later this year.  It’ll have a lot of great tips, beautiful images and embarrassing stories in it…I think people are going to love it.

— You photograph, you write and you teach. (And I thought I was busy 🙂 ) You offer private sessions for photo editing, in field instruction and photo critiques and if that’s not enough to keep you busy I noticed that you and your business partner are going to be offering workshops. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Yeah, who needs to sleep anyway? Haha  Well, at the moment, we are acquiring permits for a few east coast locations so we haven’t announced workshop dates yet.  There will be at least one or two New England dates though, and possibly a third a little further down the east coast.  I have a newsletter which I will use to keep everyone up to date on that as it develops. (hint hint!)

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

What’s next Shannon? What new projects do you have on the horizon?

I’m currently working on another magazine article, and have an art gallery showing if you’re in the CT area.  Although, if you’re in the CT area, you know our weather has been awfully unpredictable lately and the opening reception just got postponed again.  I have a friend who photographs for a local newspaper, though he was allowed in to see the display and says it looks great. 🙂

We also have at least one educational ebook and workshops, and I’m hoping to put together at least one more mini guide in the next few months.

Beyond that, I’m always open to new partnerships, projects and friendships.  If anyone has anything in mind, contact me and we’ll see if it’s something we can make happen.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

Where can people find you?

www.seeingspotsphoto.com or email me at seespotsphoto@yahoo.com

I’m also on 500px, Twitter, Instagram, G+, and Facebook.


Layers at the Louvre

I was going through my images from Paris and Italy in the hopes of creating a coffee table book of the best images when I realized a couple of things.

First….there are still images I haven’t processed 😦 I really need to do that. Second there are still quite a few images I haven’s shared with all of you.

This image was taken at the Louvre but can I let you in on a little secret. At the end of this corridor was a courtyard. I thought it would be more interesting if the repeating patterns just continued so I made it do just that by duplicating the image twice then resizing the 2 layers to create the endless corridor.

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

Paris, France, The Louvre, museum, arches, composite, travel


Selling Che!

Che Guevara is a hero to most Cubans as is evidenced by the numerous buildings and institutions that are named after him. Newsstands with books and magazines about Che are a comma site on the streets of Havana.

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Havana, Cuba, news stand, magazines, Che Guevara, monochrome, black and white, travel, street photography


Desert Break

Earlier this week I posted a Black & White portrait of a rider and his camel. (You can see that post here). Clearly this duo fascinated me because they made such terrific subjects. Don’t you love how they’re both looking in the same direction…again 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone.

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

Petra, Jordan, desert, camel, rider, portrait, travel photography