Welcome/Willkommen!

Hello and welcome. Hope you enjoy the images I have posted. Please do not reproduce them without my permission. Most are available as note/greeting cards or as prints/enlargements. Thank you for visiting my site and your comments.
Many have asked about the Header image above, which I named 'Eerie Genny'. It was originally shot with film [taken on the shore of the Genesee River near the Univ. of Rochester]. During the darkroom development, I flashed a light above the tray. The process, known as 'solarization', produces eerie, ghostlike effects; some have mistaken this image as an infra-red photo. Some 35+ years later, I scanned and digitized the print, and did a little modern day editing, and, voila.
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Budapest 1: Great Market Hall [Sky Watch Friday]

Following our three days in Vienna, we traveled to Budapest via the Austrian Bundesbahn. Wisely, I had made on-line reservations from home a week earlier; wise because there were no seats available if you didn't have a reservation. We taxied to our hotel [the Continental] on the Pest side of the Danube [Donau] River, checked in and went to the room. Yikes! There was hardly any space to move around the bed. A call to the front desk resulted in our being shown another room that was suitable. Why couldn’t they have done that from the get-go!?
After settling in, we went downstairs to meet our fellow Road Scholar travelers and tour leader. Following a community dinner, we took an orientation tram ride and walk along the Pest side of the river. On the other side, we saw the Buda castle illuminated. It was an awesome sight. I hadn’t taken my camera along, so I used my wife’s cell phone to get this shot. 


After breakfast the next morning, we visited the National Museum, which featured exhibits of Hungarian history from the 18th century to 1990. I am not a history buff, but I found it quite enlightening, and often disturbing [especially with regard to the WWII period].
Following this visit, we headed for lunch. En route I shot this image out the bus window, so it is not sharp. It is the towering Liberation Monument atop Gellert Hill on the Buda side. Originally intended for another purpose, the Russians reassigned it as a commemoration of their 'liberating' Budapest in 1945. Apparently, it is affectionately called the bottle opener by residents. It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see why.


 We arrived at the Great Market Hall, a huge multi-level indoor market. The uppermost level had several restaurants, and we had a buffet lunch in one.




The market has all the usual wares you would expect to see: meats, vegetables, fruits, cheeses and all manner of sweets. One particular site had a long line of people waiting to shop, so I walked over. All the latest sales were posted on large yellow sheets that were taped over all available wall space. In the bottom image, I happened to catch a vendor as she was in the process of taping up one of her signs.
       



There were many interesting-looking people working the various stands, and I wanted to shoot some portraits. By and large, they quite willing to be photographed. Below are several examples.




The last image is that of our tour leader, Agnes. I did not ask for permission to photograph her....




Thursday, October 5, 2017

Vienna 4: The Ludwig Museum [Sky Watch Friday]

While we had known of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Ludwig Museum was a revelation. It is located within easy walking distance of the former. From an appropriate window, you can see both the Natural History and Art History Museums.

  
The Ludwig Museum houses the largest collections of works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, both giants among Austrian painters. These two alone make a visit worthwhile and they will occupy most of your time. Here are some of the Klimt paintings. My wife is in the 2nd image below.




I preferred Schiele, however. For one, years ago I read a prize-winning novel, Arrogance, by Joanna Scott about this life. Schiele was way ahead of his time and ran afoul of the authorities for using very young models and for his risqué paintings. Here are some examples of his conventional, as well as ‘offensive’ works.






       Finally, I found opportunities to get shots other than simply documenting Schiele’s works.
       






     

Friday, September 29, 2017

Vienna 3: Kunsthistorisches Museum

One of the major reasons I wanted to go to Vienna was to visit the Kunsthistorisches [Art History] Museum. It is one of the best museums I ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Between it and the similar looking Natural History Museum is a garden with a monument to the 18th century Empress Maria Therese [see below]. She was the only female ruler in the Habsburg dynasty, and she was the mother of Marie Antoinette.




The entrance into the museum has two grand staircases adorned with paintings from Gustav Klimt.







       
We spent hours wandering through the many halls. But, the paintings of Pieter Bruegel were the main attraction for me [my favorite is below]. There are several different interpretations of the contents of The Peasant Wedding. I have a decidedly different view from the conventional explanation, which nearly got me into an altercation with another visitor who did not like my take on it. So, I will refrain from expounding on it here in the blog. 



         

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Vienna 2: St. Stephan’s Cathedral [Sky Watch Friday]

The current Romanesque and Gothic form of St. Stephan’s Cathedral stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. Its multi-colored tile roof is one of the city's most recognizable symbols, especially the distinctive eagles.





                                                 I took only one interior [grainy] shot.
 

 Upon exiting the cathedral, I caught a glimpse of these Romanesque columns/capitals framing the doorway [another good motto: always look back].
     




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Vienna 1: Stephansplatz [Sky Watch Friday]

 This month my wife and I successfully completed a “Bucket List” adventure; viz. a joint visit to Vienna [Wien], Budapest and Prague. For the latter two cities, we were with a Road Scholar tour. But, we decided to first do Vienna on our own, and thereby reduce the effects of jet lag when the tour commenced. So, let me say at the outset that everything worked out well: flights, railroad connections, and the tour itself.
To begin, we arrived in Vienna in the morning and took the CAT [City Airport Train] to the city center [a 16 minute ride]. Following a two stop Metro ride and a 10 minute walk, we arrived at our hotel [Das Opernring Hotel]. We were way too early for check-in, but hoped we could store our luggage and do some sightseeing. To our amazement, not only were we able to check in, but they offered us a free upgrade to a suite. A too good to be true situation turned out to be true. So, we moved in, partially unpacked and then headed out to Stephansplatz, which was within walking distance. The images below were taken in the first hours after our arrival. Below is the State Opera House, which is virtually across the street from the hotel. Since the light was not good and the wires unsightly, I just made a few snapshots.



       Continuing on took us through a pedestrian mall past a myriad of stores, restaurants, cafes. Reaching Stephansplatz, we witnessed hordes of people: families, tour groups, bikers horse drawn carriages and, maybe, a few Viennese residents.



Following the motto of always look up [which served us well in all three cities], I saw some wonderful reflections in the windows of a nearby building.
        




The goal of our walk was to see St. Stephan’s Cathedral. I will share some of those images in next week’s posting.





Thursday, August 3, 2017

Seneca Lake Sunset [Sky Watch Friday]

 Earlier this week, my wife and I spent several days at Seneca Lake [one of the so-called Finger Lakes in upstate NY] visiting with our daughter and her family who had rented a house along the lake. Following a brief, late afternoon rain, the sky cleared up and a lovely sunset ensued. Actually, I missed the brightest part of it; luckily, even after the sun had disappeared below the horizon, there were photographic rewards to enjoy. I caught these shots with my cell phone.



Below are my daughter [Rebecca] and son-in-law [Matthew] flanked by our grand-kids [Jocelyn & Andrew].



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Image City Gallery Assignments [Sky Watch Friday]

 For the Image City Gallery assignment in July, we were instructed to take photographs that emphasized a line(s), but not necessarily ‘leading lines’. Thus, the line(s) is an essential part of the subject. This was an interesting challenge that proved to be manageable. It made me look around in a more focussed manner.
This image below was shot [with my LG4 cell phone] in the heart of downtown Rochester. It is our Liberty Pole, constructed in 1965; a 198 foot stainless steel pole that is supported by a network of steel wires, which forms a triangle about its base. It was designed by a Rochester architect, James Johnson. During the winter holiday season, it is strung with lights and lit up at night. In warmer months, the plaza in which it is located is a great place to sit, chat, enjoy lunch or people watch.


 This next image was also shot downtown during an outdoor concert on the last night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest [16 years and running]. I happened to turn around and the lines I saw just bowled me over. So, as with the Liberty Pole [shot within the same hour], I resorted to my LG4. I don’t know the name of the buildings; but, I will return eventually with my DSLR.


The last image was taken in Cleveland, part of my series on the Frank Gehry building [see my last two postings]. The line reminds me of the bow of a ship.