Seven years ago this summer I purchased a camera and began to study the art of photography. I had been living in Amsterdam for almost a year at that point and the urge to illustrate to my friends and family outside of Europe how beautiful this city is lead me on a mission. Now after 8 years I still love living here. The idea that I will one day make the perfect picture of this city is “mission impossible” but like many great quests I have enjoyed the journey and rarely thought much of the destination. I’m look forward to continuing for many years to come. One thing in particular that I find interesting to photograph is reflections in the canals. The idea is an obvious one as there is water everywhere; it's difficult to take a picture without a canal in it. I wanted to try something a little less common that would highlight the city in a subtle way. There are a number of ways to get unique images of the city but the most accessible wasn’t to change location, it was to look at it differently.
After years of planning and 3 previous attempts, I finally made it back to Andalusia! My first trip to the region was a quick stop in Seville with Nadia in 2010. We were on our way from Madrid to The Canary Islands and I have been dreaming of returning ever since. While Nadia was busy with other obligations I decided it was time to go for a fairy tale road trip through one of Europe's most famed regions for history, culture, architecture and landscapes. Renowned for its medieval history Andalusia is bursting with sights, sounds and flavours of one of Spain's most influential periods, The Reconquista.
After learning about long exposures we quickly realised how much fun it can be to capture light from objects traveling through the frame. As we briefly touched on in Motion In Stillness and Night Photography; with the shutter open any movement passing through the frame will leave in imprint on the film or sensor. If the camera is still and the objects passing through the frame are emitting light and moving in a repetitive motion they will look like rivers of light.
- The I-5 Mercer St Exit - Seattle, USA -
When we observe the details of any subject we are better informed as to how to deal with its challenges or take advantage of its opportunities. "Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details" - Heraclitus. It would be good for each of us to have our eyes on the big picture, but it is frequently small things that add up to big things. “The details are not the details. They make the design” - Charles Eames.
- Venetian Bust - Venice, Italy -
- Venetian Bust - Venice, Italy -
The history of architecture is very much the history of sacred structures. The importance of religion in most historic cultures made the church or temple or mosque, etc, the most influential building in any community. Religious and sacred buildings are amongst the most impressive, expressive, and enduring ever created.
Sacred, religious and holy structures often evolved over centuries and were the largest buildings in the world, prior to the modern skyscraper. "Few people who worked on them expected to see them finished during their lifetimes. Being involved in the construction of a cathedral, even as the building patron, required a willingness to be part of a process that was larger than oneself."
- Cathedral Nave - Amiens, France -
Our love affair with night photography started almost from the beginning. As we traveled around, snapping pictures of amazing places, it quickly became clear that low light photography required a new set of skills and some new tools. Many places around the world offer a type of beauty in the day light but quickly turn into something completely different once the sun goes down. The beauty of the city lights and the mysteries hiding in the shadows were too tempting to capture in images. After purchasing a couple of tripods and learning the art of the long exposure we were off to capture the world after sunset.
- Cochem Reflection - Mosel River, Germany -
There is nothing like standing directly in front a vast open space that is so big it's hard to comprehend. It can be humbling and frightening and it can be inspiring and profound. It seems to give you a choice to either think big and realize your place in all of it or to step away and find a place that is within your realm of understanding. To us its all about thinking of something greater than yourself; your family, your life's work, your friends, your community, your country, your way of living. These vast open spaces remind us to think outside ourselves. They remind us to have big dreams, but also to remember who we are in all of it.
We often think of a still image as a fraction of a second frozen in time, as that is most often the case. There are images though, that are much longer than a fraction of a second and can reach lengths of sometimes hours. These long exposure lengths are most often done at night or in dark places as a means of making still images with very little light. As a consequence of leaving the shutter open for so long any movement in the frame becomes blurred. Water can look misty or glassy, lights streak across the frame like lazers, and objects take the shape of their movement rather than their still form. What is interesting is to use this same affect, but in a well lit environment. To do this you must darken the light coming through the lens using a Neutral Density Filter or ND Filter. This is basically like putting a pair of sunglasses on your camera. The end result is a drawn out splice of time that not only gives you an image of an object or scene, but records patters of movement. The image takes on a mood that feels as if time has stood still for all but a few. Waves crashing against rocks near an old village in Sicily gives you the impression that the water of the Mediterranean rushes on as the village stands still against history. Clouds fly past Big Ben in London as the tower stands firm through the ages as a monument to the British Empire. Trees sway in the wind back and forth again and again as an old bridge stands firm. Time becomes motion in stillness.
- Cefalu Waves - Sicily, Italy -
We are deeply saddened by the devastating loss of life and the destruction of cultural monuments in Nepal today. It is always hard to see such forces unleashed at the cost of humanity, but Nepal holds a special place in our hearts as it is one of many places we have witnessed first hand the hospitality and kind nature of Nepalese people, as well as their fascinating history. Nepal is truly a wonderful place and full of wonders, people, sights and more. Our thought and prayers go out to all who are affected by the earthquakes of 2015.
On April 25th a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal and at least 2,500 people were confirmed dead after the first day, and more in surrounding areas. That number jumped to over 4,400 after the 3rd day and by the 30th of April the death toll had risen to 6,130 with 13,827 injured. By now that number has risen to more than 8,200 people. It was followed by another magnitude-7.3 quake on 12 May that killed 117 people and injured 2,800.
Numerous historically significant buildings have collapsed around the region, including centuries-old temples and towers.
After four long years we have returned to China! This time was a much tighter schedule so there was very little time to shoot but we managed to get a few fun one as always. On this trip we not only revisited Beijing but also had some time in Shanghai. Here is just a little peak at what we absolutely love about this amazing country.