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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ITALY'S TINIEST CASTLE TOWN

Rick Steeves is unfairly blamed for "ruining" Civita di Bagnoregio, a castle-like hamlet that rises up out a canyon not far from Orvieto. Steeves loved the tiny, pedestrian-only hilltown and popularized it in this Europe episode a few years ago. On the recommendation of my good friend John Northup, I included Civita as the primary stop on my last day in Italy in June of 2008. It's an easy turn off the Italian autostrada so I left Orvieto and had lunch here before steering the rental car to the Rome airport. It was overcast and drizzling and from the parking area, I made a few frames, using the yellow flowers to anchor the foreground and provide some snap to the darkening day.

More on Civita di Bagnoregio can be found here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

PORTLAND'S CHINESE GARDENS

Nestled into the heart of downtown Portland are the Lan Su Chinese Gardens and Teahouse, a tranquil spot to hide from the rain as I did in October 2009. The garden itself is created to mimic an ideal landscape in miniature incorporating rocks, water, plants and trees in a dynamic balance. As a photographer, the grounds were a visual delight amidst the concrete and windows of the urban environment and a study in contrasts. Not to be missed is the Teahouse in the Tower of Cosmic Reflections where my close friend George Carleton, his wife Karen Urban and I sought refuge from the rain and spent an hour sipping tea over warm cookies. 

For more information on the Lan Su Gardens, visit them online here.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

IN GAUDI'S FAMOUS PARK

Barcelona's Parc Güell, perched north of the city, is visionary architect Antoni Gaudi's homage to the idea of an English garden. I spent a day here during my first trip to Europe in 1998, a two month backpacker's jaunt across eight countries. My friends and I stopped at the Boqueria Market that day and purchased bottled sangria, cheeses and bread and spent the day sunning on the grass of Güell just above the spot featured in the photograph above.  Just a day after that idyllic afternoon, I had another epic Barcelona experience when FC Barcelona or Barca won the UEFA Super Cup and I saw the town go bananas as soccer fans rioted along Las Ramblas. 

I returned eleven years later and the memories were still vivid. The Parc was a quick stop on a private bus charter for the corporate event I was attached to for the week. I made a number of pictures here but this one worked as the people came to an arrangement in the space that complimented the geometry. 

More info on Parc Güell can be found online here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

THE BEACHES OF KOSRAE

Janessa Gursky, creative director with Evolve Design Group, looked at my travel portfolio on Saturday and told me to transform my blog into a "story behind the photo" and to update it each week with favorite selections from my travel archive. So, after a design upgrade, the blog has been reborn...

On assignment for Scuba Diving Magazine in April of 2006, I made this picture on the beaches of the island of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia. Steve Eisenberg, a sales rep for the magazine, and Doug Beitz, proprietor of Kosrae Nautilus Resort, and I were walking along out the beaches of Tafunsak when we saw a gang of local children launching into the water from a rope swing tied high in a palm. I made a number of successful images of this moment from the water's edge but I knew that if I used the children in the foreground, I could frame an even stronger image in the dusk light.

For more information on the Federated States of Micronesia, one of the most beautiful and undiscovered island chains in the Pacific, visit them online.



 
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