Category Archives: People

Seeking the artistic side of travel photos

Ernesto and I took an amazing two week trip in July of 2015; one week in Iceland and one week in Paris, France. I had never been to Iceland and, much to my surprise, I knew several friends and acquaintances who just happened to be going there this summer. I had always seen the lush green landscapes with waterfalls and majestic glaciers, but I took this opportunity to do all black and white photos. I strived for abstraction, texture and a more moody palette. I found that the Icelandic landscape seemed to change dramatically every 100 kilometers, going from old lava fields covered with spongy green, gray and black moss to hilly farmlands with herds of Icelandic horses, sheep and black cows, broad mountain ranges with waterfalls of all heights and sizes, to black sands and lava rocks butting up against glacial streams and foreboding glacial masses.

iceland-abstraction

gullfoss-iceland

textured-mountain-iceland

After a six-day “self-drive tour” of Iceland, we headed back to Reykjavik to prepare for the second leg of the trip to Paris, France. In a mere three hours on Iceland Air, we would be walking on the cobblestone streets of Paris. I took this on as a challenge; sticking to black and white film and trying to take “not so touristy” photos of Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Arch de Triumph and many of the key sights. I think I captured the spirit of the tourists and Parisians and included enough visual familiarity with the common monuments.

jardin-plant

tour-eiffel

tourist-phone

It’s a little tricky to “shoot from the hip” since some Parisians and select tourists don’t like to be photographed. I was using a Leica M8, which is still kind of noisy so I couldn’t go unnoticed. I often used the trick of focusing on the monument and, at the last minute moving the camera to my desired target and moving on with a confident stride. I made a point to tip the many street musicians after photographing them.

Cameras used on the trip: Leica M8, Leicaflex and, if this counts, the iPhone.

Also posted in Abstraction, Landscape Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Why I love the Fair!

When I was a kid, I loved going to the Fair with my Dad. We’d go on the big yellow slide, order a foot long hotdog with all the fixins, take in a few rides in the Midway, and the sun always seemed to be shining. Much later, the Fair wasn’t as appealing. It was all about eating cotton candy, French fries, all you can drink milk and anything deep fried on a stick. The Midway rides weren’t like the real ones at Valleyfair and they didn’t seem all that safe. I thought, “What’s the point of all this?” Why do thousands of people come to this place for a week at the end of summer every single year?”

2014 MN State Fair #mnstatefair 3

Dudes

For the past five years, I’ve looked forward to the MN State Fair and I go at least twice in that week at the end of summer to take photos. I’ve found that this is the best place, even better than all the block parties, to take photos. Here there are all walks of life; young and old, extremely obese to rail thin, disabled, and the most diverse group of people gathered in one place. I really think it’s a good sample of what our city and surrounding communities are all about.

I can see all the different stages of life in people walking by. The young couples enjoy each others’ company, young families balance toddlers on their hips, pushing strollers with the second child, middle-aged sons and daughters wait patiently for their elderly parents, teenage girls giggle with braces on their teeth, short tops and short shorts, and cautiously eye the young boys as they pass.

Young couple

Princess

Before the last stint in the Midway, I make my way toward the big yellow French fries stand. I don’t eat the deep fried pancake breakfast on a stick, but I do indulge in French fries and beer. As the sun reaches the golden hour, I’m in the Midway capturing people on my lens coming toward me; they are completely in the moment and oblivious to being photographed. The rides shine in bright colors as people line up to board the swiveling cars. I’m capturing these active scenes at the end of summer where everyone meets before the school year starts, the next business quarter and the cooler weather marks the first day of Fall.

2014 MN State Fair #mnstatefair 4

2014 MN State Fair #mnstatefair

2014 MN State Fair #mnstatefair 2

Whirl-i-gig

Also posted in Fairs & Block Parties