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 26, 2017

Budapest 3: Buda Castle Area [Sky Watch Friday]

Following breakfast, we were bused across the river [Donau or Danube] to the Castle Area on the Buda side. At the Museum of Music History, we were treated to a private lecture and a mini-concert by two extraordinary student musicians. Below is an extraordinary curved piano that belonged to Bela Bartok, which was played for some of the pieces.

Also located in the castle area is the Mathias [Mátyás] Church. The current building is in the Neo-Gothic style; originally built in the second half of the 14th century, it was extensively reconstructed in the late 19th century.

In close proximity to the church is the so-called Fisherman’s Bastion. A terrace in the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style, it was built between 1895 and 1902. It contains 7 towers and a statue of St. Stephen [István], the first King of Hungarians, erected in 1906. The Bastion was almost destroyed in WWII and was rebuilt 1947-48. The 7 towers represent the 7 Magyar tribes that settled around 896; the conical forms are an allusion to the tribal tents of the early Magyars.


Finally, there are numerous wonderful views of the Danube and Pest from different vantage points, including from the interior of the Halászbástya restaurant where the group had lunch [see last image].

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Budapest 2: Architecture [Sky Watch Friday]

Following our lunch in the Great Market Hall, we were bussed to a location convenient to start an extensive walk through Pest. We began close to the Parliament building complex. Here are two images; at later dates, I will post more, including shots taken at night.

We passed various government and public buildings, such as the Museum of Ethnography [image below]. One still had memorial signs of the 1956 Revolution; e.g. our tour guide assistant, Micha, stands examining filled-in bullet holes in the museum facade.

 A lesson we learned in Vienna was to look up, because buildings often exhibited ornate decoration well above ground level. This proved to be true in Budapest as well.

Eventually, we reached St. Stephen’s Basilica, where, later in the week, my wife and I would attend an evening brass ensemble and organ concert.

We headed back towards our hotel because we would pass the Great Synagogue, also referred to as the Dohány Synagogue [the street on which it is located]; it is the largest synagogue in Europe. Note the two Moorish-like minarets, each with a 'onion dome'. I will show more images in later posts because we returned two more times to see the interior, as well as the museum.         


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.