This shot was taken in the Galapagos Islands, on the island of Floreana. The great thing about the Galapagos is that the animals have no adult predators, so they are quite unafraid, and will let you walk right up to them. This couple was sitting in a low branch of a tree, enjoying their day, when I happened by to capture them.
This photograph is from a nice but small and off-the-beaten-path park in Beijing that we found as we were walking from our hotel to the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) – it was just so green and the willow trees added such nice texture, I couldn’t stop taking pictures. I think the soft light in Beijing – a nice by-product of a terrible pollution problem – adds to its being a very photogenic city.
We were driving in the Cappadocia region in Turkey from one tourist site to another when we zoomed by this wonderful tree farm, with its lovely symmetry. I saw it, and immediately wished I could have taken a photo showing the symmetry and perspective of the young trees. The further we drove past it, the more I knew I had to get the shot, so I finally stopped the driver and made him drive back the two or three miles and then wait while I got out and shot probably 30 images of this grove.
This is probably my favorite image from China, which I found to be an amazingly photogenic place. We were walking into the Forbidden City, over the incredibly wide moat around the Palace, when I looked out and saw this wonderfully peaceful composition. Again, it is significantly aided by the gray skies created by pollution, and taking it to black and white makes it all the more peaceful.
Also from China, but shows off the modern aspects of the dynamic city of Shanghai (this building is the tallest in China, one of many new and dramatic skyscrapers in the former swamp known as Pudong). The elegant simplicity of the building from this perspective caught my eye. Yet again, the drab sky made the photo almost seem black and white (it isn’t), and accentuated the elegance of the architecture.
This photo came from a Spot Studio workshop with Sam Abell and was inspired by our charge to find a still life that was interesting, then compose and wait for something good to come along and give it some life. I found the tile murals along the DART line in downtown Dallas very interesting and visually appealing. When the guy on his cell phone walked by, my only challenge was to place him in the image in an interesting way that fit with the background.
A cool view of one of the suspension bridges across the Bosphorus in Istanbul, through the gate at the Beylerbi Palace on the Asian side. The view of the suspension bridge was just very compelling from that palace, and when I saw it framed so wonderfully through the gate, I had to take the photo.
This is almost exactly the same perspective as the office building in Shanghai – only this one is of an ancient Roman ruin: a pair of Ionic columns at the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, along the Aegean coast of Turkey. These columns were massive, and once I got to the base and looked up, I saw this view that I thought was the only way to capture their incredible size. Looking up at that view, one can only wonder how they built stuff like this in 300 BC.
The Cappadocia region in Turkey offers a quite striking geology and landscape that is similar to areas of Utah in the U.S. We went on one particular hike that was marked by numerous passages through large rocks and hills – kind of a cross between an arch and a cave or tunnel. As I usually was on this trip, I was behind my wife and our guide, mostly taking pictures and as I caught up, the passage perfectly framed them, the trail and the large tree they were passing by.
This is probably my favorite image from our trip to Turkey. We were near Ephesus, visiting the Basilica of St. John. It is a beautiful and very photogenic church built in the 6th century AD, with lots of doorframes and arches that created wonderful internal framing opportunities. While chatting with our guide, I was a little bummed when a large group of Coptic nuns showed up to crowd into our lovely ruin…until I realized that this was like manna from heaven! These nuns, dressed in wonderfully simple black habits, wandering through the site, were making interesting still life shots burst into life. So I abruptly left our guide and ran around, trying to match up these wonderful architectural features with the wandering nuns. This one fell into place, and a second before and a second after, there were tourists wandering into the field of view with pink shirts and cameras around their necks.
This was one of the first photos I took upon arrival in Istanbul, on the roof bar of our hotel, still reeling from jet lag. It was dusk, and when first arriving in a Muslim country, I couldn’t help but be fascinated with the minarets everywhere. This one is part of the famous Blue Mosque, but what made it cool was catching the couple getting their picture taken at the roof bar next door…probably with a different minaret in the background of their shot.
We were staying in B&B in the tiny town of Sirince, near Ephesus, and I decide to take a walk through what they called streets (and what I would call vaguely paved mountain goat paths) through the town. As I went around the corner, I happened upon this woman, with her weathered face and traditional clothing, selling her handmade wares. She agreed to let me take her picture next to her table, and when another visitor was nice enough to situate himself perfectly to look over her shoulder from afar, yet not collide with her image in the foreground.
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