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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Friday, July 29, 2016

Berlin Skies [Sky Watch Friday]

Our Germany trip concluded in Berlin, one of our favorite cities, which we have visited many times. Among the most photographed sites is the old Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, which was was largely destroyed  in an air raid in WWII. However, part of the spire and much of the entrance hall survived. The remains stand as a memorial. A modern church has been constructed adjacent to the old one; you can see a portion of it in the lower left hand corner of the bottom image.

The Brandenburger Tor [Brandenburg Gate] is an 18th-century neoclassical monument and one of the best-known landmarks in Germany. During the years of the Berlin Wall in 1961, it was located in the East German sector. In the shots below, I took advantage of my 16-300mm telephoto lens to zoom in on the quadriga atop the gate.

Two other sites that we return to are modern constructions; viz. the Jewish Museum [designed by Daniel Libeskind] and the Holocaust Memorial [designed by Peter Eisenman]. I have posted images from previous trips and will confine myself here to just a single shot of each. Below is the museum characterized by its slashing windows and lines. It was designed to make one feel uncomfortable and succeeds both outside and inside.

The Holocaust Memorial is an open air field of rows upon rows of stalae [concrete pillars] of varying height/width that are arranged in grid-like formation. All told, there are a total of 2,711 pillars. Following its opening, there was a great deal of discussion as to how visitors were expected to comport themselves within this somber site. Today, one sees every possible emotion, from stunned silence to playful gaiety. The latter is illustrated in the image below [another shot made possible with my zoom lens].

Something has gone awry here at my site...I seem to have lost the Add Comment link, and I have no clue what might have caused it. In the meantime, my apologies...Thanks to Linda W., all you have to do is click on the title.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Magdeburg Skies (ii) [Sky Watch Friday]

Today’s post is dedicated wholly to the Magdeburger Dom. It stands on the site of a monastery built by Otto 1 in 937, most of which was destroyed by fire in 1207. The new cathedral was the first French gothic style structure in Germany; it was dedicated to St. Mauritius [Maurice] and St. Katerina [Catherine]. Views of the exterior clearly show what an awe-inspiring edifice it is today [imagine its effect on 13th century townspeople].

                                               The interior made no less of an impression.

Unlike the French gothic, where sculpture was outside on the portals, Magdeburg  has a variety of beautiful and precious figures inside the church. Facing one another across the choir are the figures of Mauritius and Katerina, sculpted by the same artist around 1250.

 Also in the general area of the choir is a magnificent wood sculpture from Ernst Barlach. It as a strong anti-war piece that requires a great deal of study and contemplation.  I have taken the following passage directly from Wikipedia:

“From 1928 onward Barlach also generated many anti-war sculptures based on his experiences in the war. This pacifist position went against the political trend during the rise of Nazism, and he was the target of much criticism. For example, the Magdeburger Ehrenmal (Magdeburg cenotaph) was ordered by the city of Magdeburg to be a memorial of World War I, and it was expected to show heroic German soldiers fighting for their glorious country. Barlach, however, created a sculpture with three German soldiers, a fresh recruit, a young officer and an old reservist, standing in a cemetery, all bearing marks of the horror, pain and desperation of the war, flanked by a mourning war widow covering her face in despair, a skeleton wearing a German army helmet, and a civilian (the face is that of Barlach himself) with his eyes closed and blocking his ears in terror. This naturally created a controversy with the pro-war population (several nationalists and Nazis claimed that the soldiers must be foreign since true Germans would be more heroic),[4] and the sculpture was removed. Friends of Barlach were able to hide the sculpture until after the war, when it was returned to the Magdeburg Cathedral. Yet, the attacks on Barlach continued until his death.”

                                Close inspection of the skeleton suggests that it is smiling.

Another excerpt from Wikipedia:
“The sculptures of the five wise and the five foolish virgins (see The ten virgins from the List of Bible stories), also around 1250. This is the most remarkable piece of art in the cathedral. The five wise virgins are prepared and bring oil to a wedding, whereas the five foolish virgins are unprepared and bring no oil. Hence they have to go find oil and subsequently arrive late and cannot join the wedding anymore. The unknown artist masterfully expresses the emotions in the faces and the body languages of the girls, showing a much more realistic expression than what was common in art around that time. All figures are different, and have ethnic Slavic features. The sculptures are outside of the north entrance to the transept.”   [For the sake of brevity, I am not posting any close-up shots from these groups.]

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Morocco Odyssey 25: Marrakesh (iv)

 Finally, we are ready to enter the el-Fna square. For centuries, it was the nerve center and symbol of the city.Once a site for public executions [beheadings], today it is a multi-purpose market place. Occupying a huge area, it is jam packed with all manner of food stands, apparel, musicians [drummers, snake charmers]. The shot below was taken from a restaurant balcony; it can gives you only a small glimpse of extent of the market.

Everywhere I turned in this hustle and bustle, there was something or somebody I wanted to photograph. Below are some select samples of the many shots; they are self-evident, so I will skip further commentary except to say that this was my favorite site.

 The next day we returned to Casablanca for our flight back home. So, this posting completes my Morocco Odyssey account. I hope you enjoyed looking/reading about it. For us, it was among the best foreign travel experiences we ever had. A sneak preview of future posts: we will be visiting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Images will be in color and B&W infrared.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Morocco Odyssey 24: Marrakesh (iii)

The next day was free for exploration on our own, so we returned to Place Jemaa el-Fna square, which is actually just outside the medina wall. Since we already had our orientation walk there, we felt comfortable wandering through the souks. Along the way, there were many places to stop, look, photograph, make a purchase or just chat with the shopkeeper. Below are some images of what we saw/encountered.

In this last image,  I inadvertently caught something I did not notice [in the lower right hand corner] when I took the shot. You might want to look away...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Morocco Odyssey 23: Marrakesh (ii)

We began our next morning in Marrakesh by taking a ride in a traditional horse-drawn calèche. Initially, we rode through the modern part of the city, which was built by the French in the early 20th century. Below is our driver.

Eventually, we parked and walked through some lush gardens to the Koutoubian mosque, the largest in Marrakesh.

It was near the mosque that we encountered three ‘water men’. In an earlier post, I mentioned one of them for having his picture on the side of a bus. Tradition has it the watermen supplied drinks [carried from local wells in goatskin bags] in brass cups. They announced themselves by ringing the bells. Today they earn their livelihood by posing for pictures with tourists.

We proceeded on foot to a number of attractions, including the Saadian Tombs, which date back to the late 16-18th centuries. It is a small ‘palace’ whose rooms serve a mausoleums  for the Saadian princes and royalty, and various favorites of the ruling monarchs. They feature ornate capitals on columns and intricately carved doorways and ceilings

Outside the buildings are burial plots of various chancellors, their wives, and some military personage.

 The Palais Bahia [Palace of the Favorite] was only short walk away from the Tombs. Built at the end of the 19th century, it consists of two parts, both containing apartments built around marble-paved courtyards.

As in the Saadian Tombs, wonderful tile work, woodwork and carvings adorn all the rooms.

It was in the Palais that I encountered four lovely young women from South Africa, who agreed to let me take their portrait.