Sacred Architecture




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, tec, 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."
(durhamworldheritagesite.com)


- Cathedral Nave - Amiens, France -

Night Photography




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 -



Vast Spaces




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. 

Motion In Stillness


Cefalu Rocks - Cefalu, Sicily, Italy


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 -



NEPAL




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.

Back to China


Chinese Empire  -  Shanghai, China


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.


The Fatal Charm of Florence


Florence Postcard


We are captivated by what Luigi Barzini in his book, "The Italians", calls the fatal charm of Italy. Barzini writes that the allure of Italy is that people are attracted to a certain quality in Italian life, whether they know what it is or not. He explains that we visit some places and try to re-create in our minds a life of long ago, of royal splendor, furnished palaces, knights, liveries, servants, and good cooks. We see shadows of distant characters out of novels and crusades. "Sunny Italy" is written into songs and poetry and to the average tourist the Italians seem happy, therefore we are drawn to the illusion that Italy is always sunny and happy and we want to go and relax in la dolce vita, (the good life).

"The pleasure of Italy comes from living in a world made by man, for man, on man's measurements."
(Luigi Barzini)

- Sunset Cityscape - Florence, Italy -

Galicia - The Edge of Europe


Tower Sunset


Tucked away in the Northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula is one of Europe's best kept secrets. Galicia's culinary delights, green landscapes, fantastic architecture, rich history and culture is well known to the people of Spain, but when most outsiders think of the riches of European travel, Galicia hardly receives a word. Even when people think of Spain, more often than not they think of places like Andalucia or Barcelona. In all aspects of travel Galicia can hold its own and delight even the most seasoned traveler. Galicia is a very unique region of Spain known for its wet climate and fantastic seafood, and it shares a number of cultural similarities with the British Isles. The Celtic origins of Galicia are evident in many aspects of traditional life, and combined with the rain and green countryside, one might think it's geographically closer to Dublin than to Madrid.

One of the many things that make Galicia so wonderful and very unique is that even though there are hints of its Celtic past, the mix of both Spanish and Portuguese life is on full display. One of many places where the Iberian culture and history takes center stage is the incredible city of Santiago de Compostela. This city can rival any of Europe's best when it comes to beautiful medieval architecture and little stone-paved streets. The Cathedral is among the most inspiring man-made structures we have ever had the fortune to visit, and for the few days we had to be there it was like living in a dream.

- Hercules Tower - A Coruña, Spain -


Thailand


Long Tail


Thailand is the fulfillment of dreams of far off places, full of vibrant cities, culture, history, relaxing  beaches, and exotic jungles.  It's difficult to see a country that is so beautiful in so little time so we were only able to visit three places. We went first to Bangkok, and on the last day there we went on a trip to Ayutthaya Historical Park, the ruins of the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Then we went to Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat  Our post about Angkor Wat.  And lastly we stayed in Railay Beach and Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga Bay.

- Thai Long Tail Boat - Krabi, Thailand -

Angkor Wat


Three Faces


Most of you know that Thailand was one of our summer destinations.  While we were there we took some time to go to Cambodia to see the 7th Wonder of the World.... Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is all part of the "Angkor Archaeological Park" that is situated all around the town of Siem Reap, Cambodia. One word.... FANTASTIC. There is so much history and so much symbolism... we are relying on some internet research to fill you in on just a fraction of it in the description of our photos.
Angkor Archaeological Park, located in northern Cambodia, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia and reflects themes from both the Hindu and Buddhist religions.


- Bayon Temple - Angkor Wat, Cambodia -