Kutaisi – Favorite Photo (Revisited and Why)

Since I started snapping pictures, a LOT of time has passed. I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 years.. Of course, my first camera was not near the quality of the one I use today but I look back and remember that Kodak Instamatic fondly..

What starting me thinking was when I started, and am currently slogging through, deleting 40 -50 thousand photos I have taken over the past 8 to 10 years.  As recently as 6 years ago, most of my photos would qualify as simple snapshots. Before that I don’t even count.

No form.. no composition .. no artistry.  Heck..why would they have?  Just because I had graduated to better cameras didn’t mean my skill level had improved. I just happily clicked away at anything and everything…

I could easily take 300 photos and not have any that I actually liked… not well focused.. center frame composition (I didn’t even know what the rule of 3rds was at the time), exposure off.. what the heck is white balance?

I would look online and see photographs that made mine look like they were still being shot with that instamatic with the 4 shot flash cube.. What the heck was wrong?

The answer is simple.. Knowledge. I needed to learn how to get my camera out of “snapshot mode” – commonly referred to as “auto mode” …. I needed to learn the basic rules of composition… I needed to learn how to properly expose a scene… Oh, and by the way, I learned what white balance is.. 🙂

So I started reading…online articles and magazines and e-books and actual books.. and then I practiced what I read… I still take hundreds of photos but now, I am actually trying to find THE shot..

Like this one

Revisited Dead End Alley

 

This is one of my absolute favorites from a trip to Kutaisi, Georgia…taken at night on a long exposure… I do post processing now but as minimal as possible..  This one was almost perfect as shot..  white balance was off, as is usually the case with high pressure sodium lamps and there were some small lights in the center of the dark end which had to be cloned out..

This photo was printed on aluminum (32 X 40 inches) and is hanging on the wall in my office at work.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting my favorite photographs from each trip I have taken (or will take) … maybe I will post a few of those “early” photos.. so you can see what I mean.

Maybe not though… lol

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                         My Fine Art America

 

 

Black and White in Tbilisi, Georgia

The depth of texture and form in the buildings in Tbilisi, Georgia make shooting in black and white a real pleasure….

Arch Tbilisi

 

and there are so many subjects and types to choose from…

Tunnel

 

But isn’t that always the case?

With Steps

I hope it always is..

Happy Travels!

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Antwerp, Belgium – Photographs

Golden

 

I am discovering new and fascinating things about the evolution, of both my travel philosophy and my photography… While I still believe that visiting the “iconic” landmarks is important..

Antwerp Palace Square

 

I am finding myself wandering through the lesser known avenues of a city more and more..  Sure, I still make time to see the well known touristy locations.. I mean, can you really go to Antwerp and NOT see the Cathedral of our Lady?

Cathedral-Up

 

Cathedral of Our Lady 1

 

or the Medieval Fort, Het Steen, along the river?

Het Steen 2

 

 

But, let’s be honest here, I travel for a couple of reasons.. exploration of new places and cultures AND taking photos that can be sold as prints for my fine art gallery, travel and blog articles and expanding my portfolio 

Golden De Wilde Zee

Ok, so I am doing a bit of self-promotion..there is nothing wrong with that..I mean, after all, who else is going to promote my work..

Anyway..back to Antwerp.. We originally started this trip in Amsterdam. The trip by rail to Antwerp varies depending on which train system you use.. Thalys is the high speed international train and runs direct from Schipol to Antwerp in about an hour and 15 minutes..

The Intercity train leaves every hour, is only a slightly longer ride (2 hrs) and is less expensive. This is the train we took.. These tickets can be bought at the Central Train Station in Amsterdam or the station at Schipol Airport.. Be aware that there is a connection in Rotterdam for this choice..

_DSC7284

 

Trust me.. the train is a lot better than it looks from the outside. It is clean inside, the seats are wide and comfortable and have a fold down tray..

Either way, you arrive in Antwerp and the Central Train Station.. seems to be a theme in Europe.. the main train station is almost called “Central” …

_DSC6917 _DSC7261 _DSC7275

 

This is a big, beautiful, and sprawling train station… and you can easily spend an hour here just taking photos.. so grab a 2 Euro Belgian waffle and explore a bit.. It’s well worth it.

It is a long leisurely walk from here to the center.. but you will pass through the diamond district, parks.. see churches and galleries…shopping galore..on your way. Exploration is a good thing..

Antwerp - Face Antwerp-Old & New

 

The center square is where you will find the Cathedral of our Lady.. numerous restaurants, and chocolate shops.. Belgian row houses, statues and monuments

3 Points Antwerp-Center 1

Antwerp - Center Shops

 

 

But my favorite places are the back streets.. narrow, cobblestoned and virtually deserted..which is a shame.  There are myriads of quaint little shops featuring hand made items, food and beer… Not too mention, almost no people.  These are where my favorite photos come from.. daytime, black and white..

Bikes along the Wall

 

or in color

_DSC7252 _DSC7254 Te Koop

 

Hidden gems and colorful graffiti around every corner..

Nightime shots, crafted in black and white, and my weird digitally manipulated art are my absolute dream photos..

Walking Bridge Cafe with History Six Lamps De Wilde Zee

 

Sometimes, as above, they are added to the sales gallery… some are sellable but more just for fun.. 🙂

Fun Fries

 

Antwerp, Belgium.. a great city to explore..a beautiful city to photograph..

HAPPY TRAVELS!!

 

Selection of Black and White

You know.. sometimes just like the “weird” photos I shoot, I like to experiment with different formats … lately I have been trying to improve my B&W shots.. I think alleys at night are good for this…

Antique Alley

 

Passage

Parking lots.. especially cobblestone..

Church with Cobblestone

Abandoned, run down…dilapidated..

Escape Bricks Bars and Stairs

 

I prefer individual people, if any people at all, something with context or a story that catches my eye…

Solo in the Rain2

 

Always trying to improve…  Riga, Latvia in 2 weeks should give me some more excellent opportunities.. I’ll keep you all posted..

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Happy Travels!!

Shot for the Day – Stockholm

 

Taking photos at night can be challenging, but also, very rewarding.. especially when you get that starburst effect on the streetlights. It just takes patience and a good tripod..:)  To avoid camera shake, use your camera’s timer or a remote trigger…

DSC_0595

 

One of my favorite night shots from Stockholm… Taken when the sun when down.. about 1 AM

This shot is available as a framed print here at Fine Art America..

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Happy Travels!!

 

Shot of the Day – Stockholm

DSC_0568bw

Walking through the narrow cobblestone streets at night in Stockholm was a pretty amazing thing.. I had to wait until almost 1:30 AM for it to get dark enough to take this shot.. I didn’t realize that it stayed light that long..  It is definetly a strange thing when you have to use black-out curtains to sleep at midnight..

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Happy Travels!!

Shot of the Day – Kyiv, Ukraine

Old Stone BW

There are all kinds of things to shoot in the world.. Landmarks, landscapes, people, events.. But what makes me happiest, is just walking around looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary..

This building is in Kyiv, Ukraine.. not far from the Dnipro River.. Just an old brick building.. But just looking at it made me wonder. What went on behind those walls? What could this building tell us? How much of history has passed by these windows? And I am still curious …

By the way, as a bit of self promotion, which I don’t do very often, this print is available at Fine Art America , as are others.. Have a look around.. Prints make wonderful gifts!  Have to pay the bills somehow lol

Happy Travels!

Travel with Steve               Photography as Art               Fine Art America

Shot of the Day – Reflections in a Dark Pool

Reflections of a Dark Pool

It is amazing some of the things you can find to shoot.. surreal and beautiful at night. This was a little park, I don’t know the name, in Barcelona. I was actually lost (or temporarily misplaced) and trying to get back to the hotel around midnight..Path looked familiar so I followed it to this scene.. and I am glad I did; Proof that there is a lot more to find than just landmarks and icons. Everywhere you may go, there are little gems hidden waiting to be discovered..  Search them out.. just happen upon them … get lost like I did.. and be ready.. You never know what is around the next corner

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Happy Travels !