The Brandenburg Gate is a beautiful monument that has been at the centre of pivotal moments in history since its construction completed in 1791. The Tor was commissioned by King Friedrich William II as a sign of peace; Napoleon marched through it in triumph; it was closed to all through the cold war, dividing Berlin – and the world, and divided Berlin and the world; and then it was where the wall first fell and was where the city and Germany reunified. Coming full circle, it has now come to represent peace as well as unity in the country and in Europe.
I was excited to photograph this icon and visited there several times through my week in Berlin. One visit was after midnight and I set up on the west side of the where three streets meet. I wanted to create some long exposures to let the lights from the vehicles create streaks in front of the gate. It is a stunning structure and I enjoyed spending time there and making these images.
When night fell, I had been hanging around the Spree River near Berliner Dom so it was not a very long walk to the Tor. Coming from the east, I photographed the front of the gate first. The Quadriga of Victory looks like it about to leap off the top and carry forward.
It is a stunning structure and I enjoyed spending time there and making these images. With recent events within Germany and other parts of Europe, a visit seemed timely and it would serve many well to consider what the Brandenburg Gate has come to represent from many years of hard learned lessons about peace and unity.
I woke to a grey morning on the Pacific earlier this week. As the sun rose, its light diffused across the dull silver clouds and carried on to the waves rolling in. In these images I stretched some of these waves out with longer exposures (1/30 to 1/2 seconds) and swung the camera around a bit just to play with the idea a bit more.
Amid the abstract work, a few seals skimmed by. One of these glided inside a wave as it rolled into shore – which was fantastic to watch. I hope to share images from those encounters as well as a few with Brown pelicans from the same morning soon.
The city was still fairly dark when I was downtown early on Wednesday. I dragged the shutter, using long exposures mixed with some panning to capture the motion of the commuter trains coming into and heading out of the core. Many of the trains were sparsely populated with passengers with the rush of people yet to start building. This afforded the opportunity pick out individual riders and follow them through the exposure to give the illusion of freezing the person while surrounding them with movement.
The station matched the trains at that hour – both were pretty quiet.
In this image
I have been working downtown the past couple of weeks which finds me riding the bus, rolling on the train and walking around the core. It makes for great opportunities to photograph people and vehicles – two themes I quite like working with.
With the businessman striding past, along with the absurd text, the lines and the display designer behind the glass collaborating to create an interesting scene.
I will be downtown for a while longer so there will be more to come on these two themes.
A neighbor has this lovely old hot rod that he’s brought up to show condition. He takes it out for a cruise now and then. Here is one of the photos I’ve made as he rolls past.
The blur is created by using a slow shutter speed on the camera and then panning with the car as it drives by. Here, the shutter is set to 1/8 seconds using a 300mm lens on my Canon 1D Mark III.
In this second image, I have softened edges in the image to play up the painterly quality of this motion blur. In Adobe Lightroom, I reduced the clarity to -84, set sharpening to 0, and adjusted noise reduction (luminance 100, detail 0 and contrast 0). A different look, I’m going to print both to see which I like more.
This great blue heron returns to this small lake on the eastern edge of Kananaskis near Bragg Creek. The great blue is the largest heron in North America. They can stand over 4 feet tall with a wingspan just shy of 7 feet. Very graceful to watch in flight and their takeoffs and landings are performances.
This year it has a mate so I’m keeping my eye out for young ones. It would be great to see this pair grow to be a small rookery in the next couple of years.
I first photographed these birds in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island. I still think it is special every time I see them right near my home.
I mentioned Dan Pichette’s photographs in my previous Midway post. He and I went down to the grounds together and had a great time wandering around. He’s a fine photographer and I really love the focus he has put on individual subjects in many of these photos. His images with the fireworks playing in the midway scene are fantastic.
I’m glad to get out with Dan whenever we can, it’s always a lot of fun.
Thanks for sharing Dan – great set!
This year the Stampede started its 10 day run with a lot of cold, wet weather. I made it down to the grounds with my good friend Dan Pichette on the Thursday before the big final weekend. We picked a good night as it was warm, there was a great sky in the evening and the grounds were busy but not packed.
We brought the tripods for the purpose of playing with long exposures on the lights of the rides, games and kiosks around the fairgrounds. Here is some of the work I came home with. Dan made some dynamite images and I’m bugging him to let me throw a couple of his images up here too. Not yet, but maybe soon.
I always have a lot of fun at the Stampede whether it’s watching the rodeo, checking out the art exhibit, listening the outdoor concerts or roaming the fair.
When I’m down there with a camera, I have yet to not get inspired by all of the commotion and excitement.
I found myself in Cochrane waiting for repairs to the wagon a few days ago. The sky was blue and the wind was blowing so it felt like a good time to take a walk. With gear in hand, I wandered the back streets of the town and ended up playing around the tracks (don’t tell my children, they might think I’m talking about real play, not shooting).
I’m endlessly fascinated by motion and trains with their history, power and shapes always draw my eye.
Throw in the rusted boxcars waiting on the secondary tracks and I happily filled an hour down on the rails.