Recently in Photography Category

Salvador Sunrise

Two pictures of the sunrise over the port at Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The second uses the Dramatic Tone art filter on my Olympus. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Oregon Winery

Two photos from the Four Graces Winery in Dundee, Oregon. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Dundee Hills Wine Country

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we drove to the Dundee Hills wine area in the north Willamette Valley near Portland. The Domaine Serene Winery (developed by a couple from Minnesota) is spectacularly situated and landscaped. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Transformation

A sort of Cubist pileup of buildings in historic Salvador, Brazil.

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The original photo: a pleasant, rather muted palette.


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The transformation: a rather dark and brooding conversion to black and white, producing quite a different mood.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Cooking Museum

One of the unexpected sites on the Pelhourino square in Salvador is a small but stylish cooking museum. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Arts in Salvador

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Sidewalk painter in Pelhourino


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Detail of wood bas relief in the Afro-Brazilian Museum


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Elaborate collection of penca de balagandans (amulets), worn on a chain by Brazilian Creoles. In the mansion-turned-museum Museu Carlos Costa Pinto.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Salvador Ramparts

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One of the many forts that defended Salvador a few centuries ago.


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A view that dramatizes the historic old city above the modern one.

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Pelhourino Squares

Old cities with European influence tend to have attractive squares, centers of activity and important buildings. Here are three in the historic Pelhourino district of Salvador, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

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The green object in the foreground is a postal box.


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Utilities

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I find utility meters photographically interesting because of their combination of clear overall geometry with local detail. Striking color is less frequent, but a bonus. Click photos to enlarge them.

A Bit Early for Halloween

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On Broadway at the edge of Old Town Portland. (click to enlarge)

Pallet and Wall

A break from sightseeing, to demonstrate the pitfalls of auto white balance and the occasional irrelevance of color in photography. From a stroll in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.


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The original photo. When I opened it in Lightroom, I realized that it was much too blue, owing to the shady alley in which the wall and pallet were found.


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After color correction with the eyedropper in Lightroom. More accurate color, but not very interesting.


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Converted to black and white. It's still not the best picture ever made, but the structure and texture show up much better here than they do in color.

Salvador Beach

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Looking down from the historic upper city. Nice colors. (click to enlarge)

Salvador Street Scenes

Back to Brazil. A couple of scenes along the street in the Pelhourino. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Portland Farmers Market

Every Saturday a great farmers market is held on the campus of Portland State University.

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Grotesquerie of squash


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Basket seller

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Wall Painting in Portland

We're in Portland, Oregon now.

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Walking along NW 11th Avenue in the Pearl District, I saw this painter just beginning a picture.


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A day later, quite a different experience.

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Afro-Brazilian Museum Exhibit

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Salvador, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

Afro-Brazilian Fabrics

From an exhibit at the Afro-Brazilian Museum in Salvador. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Pelhourino Street Art

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Pelhourino Crowd

Outside a charity benefit rock concert in the historic Pelhourino district of Salvador. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Jorge Amado

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Portraits of the Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado and his wife, in the House of Jorge Amado Foundation in Pelhourino, Salvador.
Click photos to enlarge them.

Pelhourino in Golden Light

Back to Brazil. Looking from the main square of the Pelhourino district in Salvador along a row of colorful, historic buildings in the golden light of late afternoon. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Montana Travel Center

On this last day of our drive from Saint Paul to Portland, we started in Butte, Montana and drove west through the Bitterroot Mountains, northern Idaho, and into eastern Washington, then south from Spokane into the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon, where we proceeded west to Portland. Striking scenery all the way, though we were so determined to complete the long day's drive (660 miles or so) that we didn't stop for photos. Nevertheless, we did stop for (huge) ice cream cones and huckleberry preserves at the Saint Regis Travel Center in the Bitterroots. This collection of signs and flag seemed to epitomize the exuberant, good-natured commercialism of this part of the country.

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Selby Sunrise

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A break from Salvador. We've begun our drive from Saint Paul to Portland. This is a farewell photo of the view from the front of Blair House, where we've lived for 31 years, east down Selby Avenue toward the cathedral.

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Salvador Kids

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A lot of hanging out going on. Click photos to enlarge them.

Salvador Walls

Walls in Salvador, Brazil, seem to invite some kind of decoration. Sort of two-dimensional version of "Nature abhors a vacuum." Click photos to enlarge them.

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Sao Francisco Church and Convent

The São Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador, located at the head of the main square in Pelhourino, is a strikingly ornate and complex set of structures. The blue and white panels, the exuberant gilded ornamentation, and the vivid sculptures all make this one of the most striking colonial monuments we have seen.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Pelhourino Church

I've lost track of the name of this church, located in the historic Pelhourino district of Salvador, Brazil. The actual area of worship is relatively small and informal. But the museum section, with its wax statures of the two most recent popes and life-size casts of medical cures, is remarkable. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Salvador Wall Paintings

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Not all Salvador wall paintings are as anguished as these. Click photos to enlarge them.

Upper and Lower Salvador

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The upper level of Salvador, Brazil is the historic part, including Pelhourino. The lower level is the modern part, including the port. Looking out over the scene is a popular activity.


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A big elevator connects the two levels.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Capoeira and Soccer

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Larger than life-size statues of Afro-Brazilian women, wearing capoeira costumes, in a pool in front of the new soccer stadium in Salvador, Brazil. (click to enlarge)

Salvador Selfie

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Above the Beach in Salvador

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Evening in Salvador

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Salvador Kids

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Samba in Salvador

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Musicians and enthusiastic audience participants in the main square of the historic district, Pelhourino. Click photos to enlarge them.

Grant-My-Wish Ribbons

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People buy these colored ribbons and tie them to the fence of their church, hoping that their wishes will be granted. Salvador, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

Salvador Murals (2)

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More colorful and ambitious wall paintings from the historic Pelhourino district in Salvador, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

Salvador Murals

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Some of the wall art in Salvador, Brazil really grabs your attention. Click photos to enlarge them.

Traditional and Contemporary

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This boy was slouching on the couch in the reception area of our hotel when we checked in, and he was there - in the same posture - most of the times when we went out. The painting on the wall shows a more traditional image of Brazil. What will a similar painting show when the boy becomes a man? (click to enlarge)

Morning Light in the Harbor

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View from the balcony of our room at the Pousada do Pilar, a charming little hotel in the historic Pelhourino district of Salvador, Brazil. (click to enlarge)

Dynamic Twilight

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Sunset at Costa do Sauipe resort, taken with the "Dynamic Tone" Art Filter in my Olympus camera. Click photos to enlarge them.

Along the Beach

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Costa do Sauipe, Bahia, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

Coconut Palms at Twilight

Costa do Sauipe resort, Bahia, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Rock Painting Sketches

When I take photos like these, I tend to think of them as sketches for large abstract paintings. It's unlikely that will ever happen. But maybe I should try playing with some of the filters in Photoshop to turn them into more painting-like images. Costa do Sauipe resort, Bahia, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Salt and Pepper Rocks

Virtually the same section of rocks at Costa do Sauipe, but the different viewpoints yield significantly different images. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Rock Paintings

The beach at Costa do Sauipe is not just fine white sand. There are sections where rocks have eroded and colored into striking patterns. In black and white, they remind me of Edward Weston's photos at Point Lobos. In color, they could stand as abstract paintings. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Palm Fronds (2)

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Costa do Sauipe resort, Bahia, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

Palm Fronds

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Beach of Costa do Sauipe resort, Bahia, Brazil. Click photos to enlarge them.

Bahia Beach in a Storm

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At the Costa do Sauipe resort. The winds must have been 40-50 mph; it was hard to stand up. (click to enlarge)

Lotus Pond

Near the beach at the Costa do Sauipe resort in Bahia, Brazil. Reminds me a bit of Monet's garden at Giverny. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Rocky Beach at Costa do Sauipe (2)

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Striking scalloped patterns. Click photos to enlarge them.

Rocky Beach at Costa do Sauipe

Much of the beach at this resort in Bahia, Brazil is beautiful, fine, white sand - perfect for swimming and lounging. But for photography, the sections of weathered volcanic rock are much more interesting. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Palm Frond Patterns

We returned from Brazil yesterday, and I have many photos - but haven't yet finished with those from the Carpathians in June. So there may be some odd sequences in this blog for the next several months. For now, here are a couple of photos from the Costa do Sauipe resort on the Atlantic coast north of Salvador. It's a lush area with lots of palm trees, and a few lent themselves to abstract pattern photography. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Two Handfuls of Coatimundi

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A throng of coatimundi (I count 10) rooting for grubs near one of the viewpoints of Iguazu Falls. Taken yesterday on our last morning in Brazil. (click to enlarge)

Bird Park

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Elsa with a tame macaw at the Parque de Aves in Iguazu.

We're flying home this afternoon, via São Paulo and Detroit, arriving tomorrow morning.

Dam and Bird Park

On our last full day in Brazil, we were guided to two exceptional sites.

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A section of Itaipu dam with power lines. A joint project of Brazil and Paraguay, it is claimed to generate more power than any other hydroelectric installation in the world.

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Toucan in the Parque de Aves bird park, just outside Iguazu National Park. It's a very fine facility.

Two Rivers and Three Countries

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We're standing in Argentina. Straight ahead on the left is the Parana River and Paraguay. To the right and in the middle distance is the Iguazu River and Brazil. Note the boundary where the rivers merge.

On the Iguazu River

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We spent most of the day on the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls, including a boat ride up to and through some of the bigger torrents. Here's what it looked like from our boat as our twin was about to get drenched. We were next!

Iguazu Falls

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We're now in a very spiffy hotel just a brief walk from the falls. This scene, impressive though it may be, is just a small part of these massive falls. Tomorrow we go to the Argentina side and take a boat to get baptized in the church of the overwhelming environment.

Rio Neighborhood

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Yesterday we took a long walking tour of central Rio and adjacent neighborhoods. The area approaching the Santa Teresa neighborhood has a profusion of decorated walls. Here's Elsa with one, though with tags rather than more decorative graffiti.

This morning we're flying from Rio to Iguassu, to spend three days at the falls. More to come.

Rio Bookseller

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Clerk in a bookstore in Rio de Janeiro.

Tijuca Dragons

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On the roof of the pavilion at Chinese Vista in Tijuca Park, Rio de Janeiro.

To the Top of Tijuca

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The final steps (110 of them) to the peak of Tijuca, the highest peak in the national park of the same name in Rio de Janeiro - supposedly the largest urban park in the world.

View from Sugarloaf

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Jesus and His Disciples

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The famous mountaintop statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro attracts big crowds. Many of them seem to think that crucifixion is fun.

Sunrise in Rio

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Salvador and Rio

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Today we flew from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. In the morning we took a last walk in the Pelourinho historic district in Salvador. Here's a scene (not all that historic) near our hotel.


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And here's the ocean view from our hotel room in Copacabana.

Afro-Brasileiro Museum

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The Salvador Bahia region of Brazil has the largest concentration of people of African descent outside of Africa. It's reflected in this fine museum, which was featuring an exhibit of very colorful African costumes and fabrics.

Tropical Downpour

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Morning view from our hotel balcony in Salvador of cranes servicing a container ship in the harbor. Taken with a zoom lens at about 300 mm equivalent - the scene is about a kilometer away.


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The same scene in the late afternoon during a downpour - brief but intense.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Beach at Costa do Sauipe

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A dramatic combination of sand, rock, waves, and sky - bordered by coconut palms. Pretty nice.

Little Monkeys

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The little monkey from this morning came back with its sibling. They are bigger than I wrote this morning, more small squirrel than chipmunk.

Little Monkey

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A visitor to our room this morning through the door to the balcony. It was about the size of a chipmunk.

Palm Trees and Ocean

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Costa do Sauipe, Brazil. A rougher, less tamed oceanfront than I had anticipated.

Eger Shadows

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Scenes in Eger, Hungary. Click photos to enlarge them.

Love and Marriage in Hungary

Eger is a pleasant city in Hungary, a center of Hungary's wine-growing region. (Think Egri Bikaver, or Bull's Blood, a robust red wine from this region.)

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Wedding ceremony on the steps of the cathedral.


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I wonder how many of these locked-in-love locks are attached AFTER the ceremony above.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Passing Scenes in Bükkszentkereszt

Bükkszentkereszt is a small Hungarian town in the Carpathians near the border with Slovakia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Bükk means "beech" in Hungarian. The beech forests are beautiful, and their logs provide winter heat.


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Inspiration

Just over the border from Slovakia into Hungary. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Beech Forest in Hungary

In the Hungarian Carpathians. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Roznava Profane

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Roznava Pious

In Roznava, Slovakia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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How the Upper Upper Class Lives

Rooms in Betliar Manor House, one of the former residences of the Andrassy family. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Betliar Manor House

One of the homes of the ancient Hungarian Andrassy family, who ruled in this part of Slovakia for many years.

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Calling the crowd to attention.


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Judging hunting trophies in the park grounds.

Levoca People

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A British couple who have renovated a medieval house in Levoca.


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A physically fit guy on the street, bantering with friends inside a club.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Levoca

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Levoca is a town in Slovakia with a history that goes back to the 1200s. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Click photos to enlarge them.

Slovakian Landscapes

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Near the town of Spišské Podhradie. Click photos to enlarge them.

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View of the town of Spišské Podhradie from the Spissky Castle hill.


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Tile roofs of Spišské Podhradie.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Spissky Castle

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Ruined columns


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Kitchen

Click photos to enlarge them.

Approaching Spissky Hrad

Spissky Hrad is a 12th C castle in eastern Slovakia, one of the largest in Europe according to Wikipedia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Rural Scenes in Slovakia

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Rocky Carpathians in Slovakia

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A tough path to hike.


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View from the Lomnický Štít Observatory in Slovakia.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Carpathians in Slovakia

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Tatras Weather Station

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We were told that this weather observation station, near Zakopane, is the highest in Poland. (click to enlarge)

Forest Scenes

Seen along the trail during our hike in the Polish Carpathians near Zakopane. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Polish Carpathians

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Zakopane in southeastern Poland is the jumping-off place for the Carpathians (also called the Tatras) in Poland. This area, reached by funicular, is more like an amusement park than a mountain getaway.


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The mountains, though, are pretty impressive.

Click photos to enlarge them.

St. Mary's Basilica in Krakow

The Wit Stwosz altar in Krakow's St. Mary's Basilica is a stunning piece of work: supposedly the largest wooden Gothic altar in the world. Click photos to enlarge them.

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These figures are about life-size.

Krakow Cafe

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(click to enlarge)

Jewish Sites in Krakow

The Kazimierz district in Krakow was an important center of Jewish life and an area where Jews and Christians lived together peacefully. Today it's a leading tourist attraction. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Ceiling of the Isaac Synagogue


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Old cemetery

Krakow - Antique Tone

Seen along the street in Krakow, Poland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Polish Catholicism

Two photos from Krakow. The deceased Pope John Paul is still the most prominent religious figure in Poland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Krakow Scenes

Today I'm beginning a series of photos from our recent trip to the Carpathian Mountains region of eastern Europe. We start with Krakow in Poland, but not the stereotypical "medieval city" views. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Looking at used clothes at the flea market.


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Table in the outdoor courtyard of a restaurant.

Black and White

Three recent photographs, trying to emphasize the darker tones of the images. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Bowsprit

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Sculpture in a plaza near the old port of Quebec City. (click to enlarge)

Real?

Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Complexity

Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Clouds over the St. Lawrence

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Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

Looking at Pictures

Viewing the viewers at Quebec's Museum of Fine Arts. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Little Spots of Color

Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Grit

The Dramatic Tone art filter emphasizes - in a good way - the grittiness of a parking garage and the facade of an old building. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Color and Grit

Two sections of a florist's window photographed with the Dramatic Tone filter, which leads to an intriguing perceptual conflict between bright colors and gray grittiness. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Quebec Shop Windows

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Ghostly

Old Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Shop Windows

Shop windows near the port in Quebec City, photographed with Olympus's Dramatic Tone art filter. I really like the complex layering of reflections combined with the augmented color and charcoal-ish black. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Quebec City Whimsy in Pink

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Quebec City Shadows

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Active Skies over Quebec City

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Quebec City Colors

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Quebec City Shops

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Significant Dates

The Musee des Beaux-Arts du Quebec had an exhibit of 10 "paintings" by Bill Vazan, each representing a decade of the 20th C. Vazan used a date stamp with acrylic paint to construct an array with each of the approximately 3652 days in that decade. The result was surprisingly attractive. I selected sections of the canvases that contained three significant dates in our lives. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Elsa's birthday


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My birthday


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Our anniversary

Abstract Expressionists in Quebec

The Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec had an exhibit featuring two of the internationally prominent Quebec artists of the immediate post WW2 era. The entries to each gallery were striking.

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Jean-Paul Riopelle


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Fernand Leduc


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This part of the museum building used to be a prison, a history emphasized by this view of the entry to the installation.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Quebec City Shop Window Colors

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Cheerleader

Sculptural assemblage at the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts. (click to enlarge)

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Quebec Street Art

We're back from the Carpathians, and while I sort through the many photos from the trip (in addition to those already posted as a report on the progress of our journey) I'll return to posting of photos from Quebec. This one is a particularly dramatic example of a street-art mural. (click to enlarge)

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A Renaissance Town in Ukraine

June 24: Yesterday I posted two photos of Jewish buildings in an unnamed town near Lviv. The name of the town is Zhovkva. The history of the place is interesting to read: http://www.jewishheritage.org.ua/en/2697/synagogue-in-zhovkva.html. It was a private town, owned by a nobleman until 1772, when it became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Here are a couple of photos of non-Jewish sites in the town.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.


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Ukraine to Poland

June 23: In the morning we drove to a town about 20 minutes from Lviv that has some interesting remnants of Jewish life before World War Two.

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Door and wall of a former synagogue, now used as a gym because of its high ceilings.


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A hat maker used to work in this building.


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In the early afternoon we left Lviv and Ukraine and flew to Warsaw, Poland. After checking in to our hotel, we took a long walk to the Old Town and university district. The gate to the University of Warsaw was impressive.

Click the photos to enlarge them.

Tomorrow is a travel day, flying back from Warsaw to MSP via Amsterdam.


In Search of Roots

June 22: Today we drove out from Lviv to the small town of Pavlivka, near the Polish border. This was formerly the town of Poryck, then in Poland, where my mother was born and lived until age 13 when she came to the US in 1921. Poryck was destroyed in WW II, and when rebuilt was renamed after one of its main streets. Our driver, guide, and translator was Alex Dunai, a gentile scholar who specializes in Jewish roots tourism and genealogy.

Click the photos to enlarge them.

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We've seen several of these Ukranian Greek Orthodox churches, with their characteristic multiple domes, large size, and bright colors, in our travels through western Ukraine.


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This coal-mining area has several socialist realist sculptures dating from Stalin's days, this one in front of an old water tower.


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In Pavlivka we met a schoolteacher who took us to meet two old women who have lived in this area since the 1920s, within a few years of when my mother and her family lived here. They knew Jewish people from that time, but didn't recognize any of my family's names. This woman was 97 years old, the other was 94.

Exploring Lviv

June 21: The last day of our Carpathians tour with Wilderness Travel was devoted to exploring the center of Lviv, the cultural heart of Ukraine. In the morning we went around with a guide, in the afternoon we explored on our own. Lviv is a photogenic place, so there are more photos than usual. Click photos to enlarge them.


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One of the many churches in Lviv.


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A chocolate store and factory, featuring Chocolate Putins.


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Sacher-Masoch, after whom masochism is named, came from Lviv. Here our guide demonstrates the realism of his statue.


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After lunch we wandered the Street Market. This fellow was one of several selling old Russian cameras.


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Folk musicians singing on the street on European Music Day.


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Platonic idea of a tall blonde.

Carpathians in Ukraine

June 20: We hiked in the Carpathian mountains near Yaremche in Ukraine, had lunch near a waterfall close by, then had a long drive over bad roads to Lviv, where we will finish our tour.

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The Dovbush Trail is a lovely park in the forested Carpathians of Ukraine. Oleksa Dovbush was a Robin Hood-like character in the mid-18th C, so the Trail is sort of like Sherwood Forest. In addition to the trees and rocks, I was struck by the abundant and highly colored moss.


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Haystacks in fields like this are common in this area, but the backdrop of dark forested mountains and an abandoned (if recent) castle are not so common.


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We had lunch in an elegantly constructed wooden restaurant building, decorated in the style of the Hutsul people who have lived in the Carpathian mountains of Ukraine for many centuries. This is a detail of the restaurant ceiling.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Into Ukraine

June 19: This morning we walked across the bridge over the Tisza River, from Romania into Ukraine (the western, European-leaning part). Passport control was less trouble than anticipated, so we transferred to a new bus and were on our way before 10 AM.


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Our first stop was in a place, near the town of Rakhiv, which is calculated to be the geographical center of Europe. Elsa and I stand at a marker signifying this "special" place.


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In addition to many souvenir vendors, the place had a restaurant whose walls were covered with antiques: tools, cookware, keys,... and in this case, musical instruments. Some ladies in our group were enjoying a midmorning coffee.


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Moving on, we came to the resort complex of Bukovel, where we will stay overnight. It's intended mainly as a ski resort, but is fairly busy even in summer, especially since Crimea is no longer a viable vacation destination for many Ukrainians. The complex was built by an oligarch, and has a somewhat Disney-World flavor. I was impressed by the geometry of this log cabin construction.

Click the photos to enlarge them.

Sighet, Romania

June 18: We spent today exploring the Romanian city of Sighet.

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First thing after breakfast, we took a rather steep and difficult hike/climb in the hills behind our hotel. At about the highest point, our tour leader Alex said that we could see the bridge that we'd be crossing tomorrow from Romania into Ukraine. We couldn't locate it even with binoculars, so Alex took a picture with my camera, zoomed out to maximum, with the bridge in the exact center of the photo. There it is!


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Coming down from the mountain, we walked through a rather rural residential neighborhood. The grandmother was tending her grandson, and as we exchanged pleasantries, her daughter (the mother of the boy) and son came out. The grandmother reminds me of my mother when she was about that age.


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Walking further along, we passed a Jewish cemetery. There is hardly a Jewish community in Sighet any more, and the cemetery seemed to be tended by a gentile man who enthusiastically showed us around.

Click the photos to enlarge them.

From Hungary to Romania

June 16: We began by driving to the Hortobagyi Nature Reserve, about an hour from Eger. It is mainly a bird sanctuary. A variety of birds could be observed through binoculars or a spotting scope, but some of the best photographic opportunities, for my taste, were of the boardwalk, observation towers, and vegetation.

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We then drove for several hours through Hungary and into Romania. There is a fine Baroque castle in the city of Carei, where this gargoyle caught my eye.


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Click photos to expand them.


Around Eger

June 15: Today we took a long (about 7 mile) walk from Eger through vineyards and woods. Then to a vineyard and museum. Nice day.

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Pruning the grapes on a hot day.


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We had a wine tasting and lunch in a winery carved into an old limestone quarry.


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Returning to Eger, we went to the Georgy Kepes Museum to look at an exhibit of photos of Picasso and friends by Jean Cocteau. In one of the other galleries was this interesting construction.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Eger, Hungary

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Our tour leader Gian-Lucca walking through the Bukk (beech) forest near Eger.


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Wedding on the steps of a large church in Eger.


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Bas-relief commemorating the siege of Eger by the Turks in the 1400s.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Old Slovakia

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June 13: We began with a bus ride from Levoca to Chateau Betliar, the ancestral home of a family that ruled in this region for centuries. There was a competition going on around the large fountain, judging the best hunting trophies. Some impressive antlers!


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The interior of the chateau/castle is an impressive museum, including many precious objects and portrait paintings of ancestors.


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The Slovakian city of Roznava, where we had lunch, has an abundance of handsome churches.

Spis Castle and Levoca

June 12: We hiked to Spis Castle, lunched after another hike of a couple of km, and spent the late afternoon visiting a fascinating couple in a fascinating medieval house in Levoca. Click photos to enlarge them.

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The fields were full of wildflowers, in this case poppies next to a field of rye.


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Spis Castle about to be assaulted by one of many children's groups.


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Old buildings in Levoca.

Slovakian Tatras

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A 7 km hike today, through beautiful forest but along a very rough path.


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View from the top of the 2634 meter high Lomnicky Peak, where they do solar astronomy and cosmic ray physics.

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Across from our hotel in Levoca, there was a little fair, with little kids dancing to the band.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Zakopane Tatras

June 10: A long, arduous hike in the Tatras just by the Slovakia border (where we drove in the afternoon.) Click photos to enlarge them.

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Looking cheerful, before we realized how tough the hike would be: a thousand feet down and back up, over a steep path with uneven, rocky footing.


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One of the tallest of the Tatra peaks.


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The highest meteorological station in Poland.

Zakopane

June 9: This morning we drove from Krakow to Zakopane, a town in the Tatras (part of the Carpathians), which is the winter sports and recreation center of Poland. Even in the summer on a Monday it was crowded. Click photos to enlarge them.

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We rode this chair-lift about 1000 feet up to get a good view and take a short hike to a funicular down to the valley.

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After lunch we hiked a little more than an hour into the Tatra National Park. At about this point, we turned around and walked back. Nice, but warm and too sunny for most good photography.


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From a distance, we saw this flock of sheep being milked. Going closer, we drank some fermented sheep's milk - like kefir, but sharper and with a bit of a barnyard taste. Very good!

Krakow Scenes

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Bagel stand in Market Square, Krakow Old Town


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Ceiling of Isaac Synagogue


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Detail of amazing Veit Stoss Altar, St. Mary's Basilica

Click photos to enlarge them.

Warsaw Airport

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We've just arrived in Krakow, Poland after flights from MSP to AMS to Warsaw to Krakow. This was taken while waiting in a pleasant cafe in the Warsaw airport. After two days exploring Krakow, we'll be hiking in the Carpathian mountains for the next couple of weeks. The internet gods willing, I'll try to post photos of the scenery.

Street Artists in Quebec City

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Quebec City Landmarks

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Parliament Building


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Hotel Frontenac

Click photos to enlarge them.

Yellow on Gray

Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Walled and Caged

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Maintaining the wall of the Promenade des Gouverneurs in Quebec City. (click to enlarge)

Promenade des Gouverneurs

A long scenic walkway above the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Aerial Cubism (2)

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Quebec City. (click to enlarge)

Aerial Cubism

Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Window Shopping

Quebec City Old Town. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Facades

A couple more dramatic tone images from Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Anxiety and Anger

Graffiti in Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Graffiti Faces

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Overpass Murals

A few more virtuoso trompe l'oeil graffiti murals on the supporting pillars of the highway interchange in Quebec City. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Trompe l'Oeil Graffiti

Quebec City has some remarkable trompe l'oeil murals, not only in the tourist center (see yesterday's post) but also on the pillars supporting an elevated highway overpass near the railway station. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Historical Mural

Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America, and it takes full advantage of that fact in its appeal to tourists. Among the most striking sites is this realistic, near life size, mural in the Old City, a focal point for the frequent tour groups. It was fun to notice more and more of the details hidden in odd corners. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Quebec City Water

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A little fountain outside our hotel


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Spraying water into (???) the St. Lawrence River.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Roofline

Roofline of the Museum of Civilizations, across a narrow street from our hotel room in Quebec City. (click to enlarge)

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Quebec City Railway Station

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Perspective

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Slips at Old Port, Quebec City. (click to enlarge)

Weathered Wood

The Dramatic Tone art filter on the Olympus Stylus 1 does a nice job emphasizing the texture of weathered wood, here a walkway in Quebec City's Old Port. I wish I had thought to try the Grainy Film (B&W) filter. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Smokestack

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The Dramatic Tone art filter on the Olympus Stylus 1 really dramatizes this scene, shot from Quebec City's Old Port. (click to enlarge)

Dynamic Details

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Quebec City Old Port. Click photos to enlarge them.

Dramatic Tone

Quebec City Old Port. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Grain Silos in Quebec City's Old Port

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Dramatic Tone Reds

Olympus's Dramatic Tone art filter does interesting things to reds as well as to blues (see yesterday's post). These three photos were taken near Quebec City's Old Port; the first two are of peeling paint on a garbage dumpster. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Quebec City Old Port

I spent a few hours in Quebec City photographing around the Old Port, using the Dramatic Tone art filter on my Olympus Stylus 1. I think the effect works well for this kind of scene. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Montmorency Falls (2)

Three more B&W photos from the Montmorency Falls Park: a tough environment if you're a tree. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Montmorency Falls

We've been in Quebec City for the last several days, while my wife attends a conference. Yesterday we rented a car and drove out of the city to Montmorency Falls and Ile d'Orleans. The falls are impressive: higher than Niagara, lots of water, high velocity. There wasn't a lot of color, so these were good photos to convert to b&w. Click photos to enlarge them.

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The water hits the river at the bottom with such force that it produces a large vapor cloud, obscuring the bottom of the walkway of observation posts descending from the opposite side of the gorge.

Flowers

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There's nothing more cliched than a photo of flowers with the innards sharply in focus and the petals fading to a gentle haze (except pictures of cats). But it's pretty. Portland. (click to enlarge)

Old Tree with Ferns

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Portland. (click to enlarge)

Stone Spiral

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Portland. (click to enlarge)

Old Window Wall

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Downtown Portland. (click to enlarge)

Construction Coffee Break

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Portland. (click to enlarge)

Sign

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(click to enlarge)

Museum Shop

The Portland Art Museum has a small but well-curated shop, full of colorful and nicely arranged stuff. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Plentiful

Whole Foods, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Round

Whole Foods, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Orange

Three scenes in Portland OR. Click photos to enlarge them.

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A Plenitude of Wine

In the Whole Foods store, Pearl District in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Saint Paul in Black and White

A couple more B&W from Saturday's walk. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Ceiling of a passageway in Union Depot.


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Stairway up to Summit Avenue by the James J. Hill Mansion

Artists' Building

The Tilsner Building in Lowertown Saint Paul is an old Victorian warehouse converted to studios and living spaces for artists. Some of the old brick and beams remain. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Central Energy

Yesterday afternoon we walked to downtown Saint Paul. I've been looking at black and white photos recently, and saw some scenes that I thought would do well in B&W. Lots of structure, strong luminance contrast, no important colors These are of the Central Energy facility (co-generation, etc.). Click photos to enlarge them.

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Panel Discussion

A couple of photos taken at the Blackfish Gallery in Portland during a panel discussion of Clement Greenberg's article "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" on the 75th anniversary of its publication. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Portland Street Scenes

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Department Store

Waiting while my wife tried on jeans. I'm not sure the department store approves of people taking pictures inside, but they set up lots of nice visuals. Click photos to enlarge them.

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This isn't a construction site, but rather a divider between two sections of the women's petite clothing section. Who knew?

Portland Colors

Two photos from NW Portland, in a former industrial area that is now being developed into high-rise condos and funky restaurants. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Fallen Petals

Ornamental cherry trees were in full bloom in Portland, with the petals beginning to fall and thickly coat everything beneath. Click photos to enlarge them.

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More Japanese Maples

The courtyard of our condominium complex in Portland has some small Japanese maple bushes in nicely arranged groupings with rocks and other plants. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Japanese Maple Revisited

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This morning I posted a couple of pictures of Japanese maples, the first with a very different color - much more magenta - than the second, and different also from others I have yet to post. It finally occurred to me that these were not different species, but rather that the magenta color came from inaccurate white balance due to a shadowed environment and a cloudy sky. When I warmed up the image, I got the result shown here, which is roughly what I should have gotten with a custom white balance of the scene. (click to enlarge)

Japanese Maples

Japanese maple bushes and small trees, in various shades of magenta, red, and rust, are much in evidence in Portland this spring. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Poster Poles

The telephone poles at the corners of streets along NW 23rd Avenue in the Nob Hill area of Portland are amazingly densely covered with relics of stapled posters, now pulled or burned off. In some places the residual is nearly an inch deep. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Spring in Portland

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Under the Bridge

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Underside of the Hawthorne Avenue Bridge across the Willamette River in Portland. (click to enlarge)

Filtered Photos

Sometimes it's fun to take an ordinary photograph and manipulate it with one of the many special effects available in programs such as Photoshop Elements filters or onOne's Perfect Effects 8. Here are a couple of examples. The options are essentially infinite.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Apples at Whole Foods

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Dirt texture filter in Perfect Effects 8


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A picture posted a few days ago: Ornamental cherry blossoms in Portland


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Radial blur filter in Perfect Effects 8

Reflections

Reflections of a downtown Portland building in a the hood of a black car - two variations. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Spring in Portland OR

Portland is reputed to have rainy, overcast, generally dismal weather. But our experience is very different. Here, for example, are a couple of scenes from walking around yesterday -- looks like southern California. Today is very similar. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Oldenburg at the Walker

A few months ago, there was an exhibit of early work by Claes Oldenburg at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Here are a few images from the show. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Parking

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East River Road Ramp, University of Minnesota. Click photos to enlarge them.

Shadows

Nils Hasselmo Hall, University of Minnesota. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Power Pylons

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Seen from Saint Anthony Falls Water Power Park in Minneapolis. Click photos to enlarge them.

Water Power

The controlled but powerful turbulent water of Saint Anthony Falls seen from the Water Power Park in Minneapolis. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Facade (2)

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Facade

The new facade of Amundson Hall at the University of Minnesota presents brilliant interference colors in the bright sun. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Madagascar Boys

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On the way to the lemur preserve at Berenty. (click to enlarge)

Madagascar Girl

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In a shop stall in Hell-Ville, Madagascar. (click to enlarge)

Cuban Schoolgirl

Performing a dance for us at a school in Trinidad, Cuba. (click to enlarge)

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Cuba Kids

In our travels over the years, I've taken many pictures of children. Here are a couple from Cuba. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Havana


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Cienfuegos

Boutique

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San Diego. (click to enlarge)

Black and White

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San Diego. Click photos to enlarge them.

Intersections

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San Diego. I worked hard to get all those corners to line up. (click to enlarge)

Two Worlds

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Two worlds in San Diego juxtaposed: the Hispanic past, and the hypermodern present looming over it.

Cafe with Zebra

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An idiosyncratic cafe at which I had lunch in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego. (click to enlarge)

Primary Colors

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San Diego. Click photos to enlarge them.

Patina

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San Diego. (click to enlarge)

Pillars

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San Diego. Click photos to enlarge them.

Lines on Gray

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Seen in San Diego. Click photos to enlarge them.

Orange Signs

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Nonconformity

The streets of San Diego are not rife with anti-establishment signs, but there were a few. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Crisp

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San Diego buildings. Click photos to enlarge them.

Cubist Scenes

San Diego abstracts. Click photos to enlarge them.

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San Diego Concrete

Not all of San Diego is sunny and colorful. But the graphics can still be interesting. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Gaslight Reflections

Reflections in the windows of a tavern in the Gaslight District of San Diego. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Sunset over San Diego Harbor

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Reflection Confusion

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San Diego photos. Click photos to enlarge them.

San Diego Rose

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Smoke (or at least Fog) and Mirrors

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Two more scenes from San Diego. Click photos to enlarge them.

San Diego Geometries

Sky blue, rusty red, gray, and black + straight lines and angles. These images could make two in a nice series of paintings on large canvases. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Downtown San Diego

Two weeks after returning from Ethiopia, we went to San Diego for Elsa's WORLD Conference. I wandered the streets, taking shots of the urban scene around downtown and the Gaslight District. These will occupy this blog for the next couple of weeks. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Valiant Tour Guide

To complete this photo tour of Ethiopia, here are two photos of our excellent tour guide, Dereje. Click photos to enlarge them.

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On the bus


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In a music store

Riches of the Merkato

A few scenes from an "antique" shop in the Merkato of Addis Ababa, crowded with stuff to entice the tourists. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Back to the Merkato

On our last afternoon in Addis, we paid another visit to the Merkato for some last minute shopping. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Men carrying huge stacks of brightly colored mattresses were a frequent sight on our trip.


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Fun with mannequins.

Addis From Above

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The big off-white area is thousands of greenhouses, growing roses for export mainly to Europe. We were told that flower export is the 4th-largest sector in the Ethiopian economy.


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The Merkato, Africa's largest market, from above.


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Addis Ababa has about 4 million people, but they mainly live in small houses and buildings, rather than tall apartments.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Flying Back to Addis

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Rather than driving back from the Omo River Valley to Addis Ababa, we had a chartered 12-seat Cessna, witha flat dirt field as an airstrip. Nice!


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The pilot talking with his copilot.

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This aerial view shows the curves and dustiness of the road back, but not its ruts and potholes - nor the interesting people along the way.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Colubus Monkey

A troop of these monkeys was in the trees over our camp in the Omo River Valley. They made a great racket in the middle of the night. The noises were unfamiliar - not like that from howler monkeys - so in my half awake state I imagined all sorts of fearsome things. (click to enlarge)

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Karo Courting

The Karo men dance by jumping...

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The Karo women respond in kind, but some have trouble keeping a straight face.

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Karo Young and Old

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Painted Karo Faces

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Karo and Hamar Portraits

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Karo People

The last tribe we visited in the Omo River Valley was the Karo people. The next few postings will be images of them.

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Happy


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Not so happy

Back Across the Omo River

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Bume Village Scenes

On the street of the village of the Bume people in the Omo River Valley tribal area of Ethiopia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Bume Scarification

According to Wikipedia, Bume men must sometimes kill "violent raiders" (rustlers) to protect their cattle. "Upon killing an enemy they scar themselves repeatedly to stop the bad blood from magically killing them."

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Women in the Bume Village

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Crossing the Omo River

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To get to the Bume territory, one must take a small boat across the Omo River (now low in the dry season) ...


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then clamber up a steep embankment, on which are stored other things that crossed the river, to the village. Click photos to enlarge them.

Arid Bume Land

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The Bume, or Nyangatom, people were the poorest of the tribes we visited in the Omo River Valley of Ethiopia. These pictures are intended to show the harsh, arid land on which they must find grazing for their cows. Click photos to enlarge them.

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A Softer Side

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Not all of the Omo River Valley is dry and harsh. There are a few of these large, striking, flowering trees.


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A baby chick in a pile of petals in our camp.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Rough Wood in the Tribal Lands

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The tribal lands in the Omo River Valley in southern Ethiopia are mainly very dry, supporting only scrub bushes and dwarf trees.


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So when wood is needed for cattle corrals or to separate fields, the result is usually a striking assembly of grotesque shapes. Click photos to enlarge them.

Key Afar Market Portrait

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The wooden object this fellow is holding (and trying to sell to us) is a seat that cattle herders use. It's not clear whether it's also used as a pillow to protect elaborate hairdos; similar objects are used that way in other African cultures. (click to enlarge)

Practical Things at the Key Afar Market

Kind of a Walmart in the south of Ethiopia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Clusters at the Key Afar Market

Note that the women don't wear the striking and provocative costumes and decorations that they do when posing for tourist photos. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Key Afar Market

The Ethiopian town of Key Afar, near Jinka, hosts a weekly market to which people from the various tribes in the area - who rarely interact otherwise - come to buy necessities from each other. And make some profitable contact with the tourists, as well. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Hamar Boys

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Hamar Girls

According to the Wikipedia article on the Hamar people, "only six tribal members have ever completed secondary education". (click to enlarge)

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Lead Bull at Sunset

In Hamar territory. (click to enlarge)

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Old Hamar Women

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Hamar: Old and Up To Date

Thatched mud hut and corral with cell phone. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Hamar Hairdos

Hamar women tightly braid their hair and color it with ochre, for a very striking effect. The phallic symbols closed around the necks of the women means that they are first wives. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Young Mursi Men

"The young men have the responsibility of grazing the cattle and they have long slathered on clay to prevent sunburn. Colors are used to designate position, for ritual, to ward off illness, to attract the opposite sex, to associate with family, a tribe or an animal, and of course just recently, to impress tourists." From http://www.inspirationgreen.com/tribes-of-the-omo-valley.html, which is worth looking at for many more, and different, examples of body painting.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Mursi Young People

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Mursi Women

Not every Mursi woman, not even those with babies (who are probably married) wears a lip plate. But they still look striking and wonderful. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Mursi Lip Plates

A couple more Mursi women with lip plates, and one with the plate removed. I imagine it takes a lot of stoicism. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Mursi Portraits

The Mursi people are famous for their lip plates and other bodily decoration. One can't help wondering whether some of them especially adorn themselves for photo-happy tourists who pay small amounts to take these pictures. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Emphasis

This Mursi woman posed for me in a standard way, but when I reviewed the photo I wanted to focus on her elaborate decorations and challenging gaze. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Konso Generation Tree

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Every generation (18 years) the new Konso adult males add a new tree to the assembly. We were told that this is now in its third generation. (click to enlarge)

Konso People at Work

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Konso Fence and Huts

When rocks and sticks are all you've got, you build with rocks and sticks. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Konso Kids

The young children of the Konso peopletake care of even younger ones in an attractive way. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Ethiopian Bee Hives

The bee hives are up in the trees. Click photos to enlarge them.

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A view of the countryside as we drove toward Jinka.


Lake Chamo Fauna

Lake Chamo is one of the Rift Valley lakes, well known for its wildlife: hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, fish eagles, and herons. We got a good view on a boat ride. Click photos to expand them.

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Along the Road to Jinka

After staying overnight at Arba Minch (near a US Airforce base and ironically the only place we stayed where the electricity was off and remained off throughout our stay) we drove to Jinka, where we would visit the Konso people. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Waiting for cattle drives to clear the road was a constant feature of our drive south.


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Quite a few baboons along this stretch of road.

Head Shots

Head shots in the Chencha cultural center. The top guy was selling fabrics, the bottom guy was selling ...(click to enlarge)

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False Banana

The false banana is an important food source in southern and southwestern Ethiopia. We got a demonstration at a cultural center in the town of Chencha near Arba Minch. The plant is shaved, the pulp is pounded into a pancake or tortilla shape, and the cake is baked over a fire. The result is edible but not exciting. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Ethiopian Wheat

Wheat and teff are the main grains of Ethiopia. They're grown in small plots, not huge fields as in the US. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Generations

At a village on the drive from Addis to Arba Minch. It looks like the grandmothers take care of the kids while the parents are at work. (click to enlarge)

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You take the high road...

and I'll take the low road (to Arba Minch). (click to enlarge)

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Roadside Village People

Along the road to Arba Minch, we stopped at a roadside village with some interestingly decorated (and rather substantial) huts. As always, people came out to see what was going on, giving us the opportunity for some nice portraits. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Along the Road to Arba Minch

Continuing our drive south to the Omo River Valley tribal areas, we left Lake Langano for Arba Minch. Along the way we passed an interesting cemetery and a cattle watering station. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Evening at Lake Langano

On the first night of our drive from Addis to the Omo River Valley tribal areas, after stopping at Lake Ziway, we spent the night in a pleasant hotel at Lake Langano. This is another of the Rift Valley lakes, and the only one not afflicted with bilharzia. Our hotel was high above the lake, and the evening view was lovely. (click to enlarge)

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Lake Ziway Birds

Lake Ziway is one of the freshwater Rift Valley lakes of Ethiopia. We drove there, about 60 miles south of Addis, after the Timkat festival. It's notable for its birds, especially large populations of Maribou storks and pelicans. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Along with the big birds, a small pied kingfisher.

Celebratory Hairdo

Along with its religious function, the Timkat celebration is an occasion to see and be seen. Some of the women sported very elaborate hairdos; this was one of the best. (click to enlarge)

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Baptizing the Timkat Crowds

After the official baptism of the crosses in the inner enclosure, the crowds were allowed up to the fence for their own baptism. Quite a remarkable scene! Click photos to enlarge them.

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Restrained by troops until the signal is given. This is just a portion of one side of the four-sided enclosure. There may well have been several hundred thousand people all told.


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Opening the hoses.


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Ecstasy!

Timkat Persona

Scenes from Timkat morning in Addis Ababa. Click photos to enlarge them.

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The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.


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The Patriarch is about to spray (baptize) his fellow prelates.


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A staffer who helped to direct traffic and keep order.

Worshipers in White

At the Timkat festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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A Coca Cola Timkat

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Timkat Throngs

Marchers from three churches merged, and spectators joined, as the Timkat procession entered a large square and approached the road leading to the ceremonial grounds. There were probably several hundred thousand people in the densely packed crowd. I scrambled to the top of our bus to get a better view. Each of these pictures shows just a small fraction of the total. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Timkat Marchers

Groups of marchers - uniformed, musicians, and just plain folks - accompanied the ark as it was carried from the church to the ceremonial grounds - a march that took several hours. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Beginning the Timkat Procession in Addis

We flew back from Bahir Dar to Addis Ababa to witness the huge Timkat celebration in Ethiopia's capitol city. The actual "baptism" takes place the next day, but on Timkat eve replicas of the arks are brought from several churches and paraded to the ceremonial grounds. Click photos to enlarge them.

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The crowd in front of one of the churches as the ark is brought out.


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The fellow in red robes bears the ark, very solemnly.


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This striking old man flitted around the scene. It doesn't show in this photo, but he wore a cartridge belt around his waist, filled with colored ballpoint pens.

Lake Tana Icon Paintings

Some icon paintings on the wall of the monastery on an island in Lake Tana, Ethiopia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Lake Tana Monastery

A monk, some staffs, and some shadows through a reed wall in a monastery on an island in Lake Tana. Click photos to enlarge them.

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On Lake Tana

Lake Tana is thought to have several dozen islands, 19 of which have or had monasteries on them. We visited one.


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The locals get to the islands in papyrus boats.


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A scenic lakeshore location near where we boarded our boat back from the monastery.


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View of the lake from our hotel, with bird feeders.

Ethiopian Market Town

On the way to Bahir Dar, we stopped at a small market town - picturesque as usual. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Threshing and Winnowing

We drove from Gondar to Bahir Dar, a tourist town on the shores of Lake Tana, near the source of the Blue Nile (more later). Along the way, we passed this fellow threshing and winnowing some of his wheat crop. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Gondar Folk Festival

In the late afternoon we went to a folk festival in Gondar, where people from different groups from all over the province performed, cooked, sold crafts, and competed in a good-natured way for best-in-show honors. Sort of a state fair, Ethiopian style. It was fun to wander around and to interact, however fleetingly, with people who generally seemed surprised to see outsiders interested in their world.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Gondar Grotesques

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Buzzards in the trees near the church


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Trees that have overgrown a wall near the pool of Emperor Fasilides. The pool will become a Timkat baptismal site in a couple of days.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Interior of Gondar Church

Interior of the church in Gondar. The ceiling and walls are covered with hypnotically- repeating, icon-style paintings.

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Carrying a replica of the Ark of the Covenant around the church. (Similar to carrying the Torah scrolls around a synagogue.)

Click photos to enlarge them.

Timkat Flags in Gondar

Colorful Timkat flags decorating the grounds of a church in Gondar near the palace complex. Timkat celebrates the baptism of Jesus, and is the major religious holiday of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. In a few days we will return to Addis Ababa to observe the largest Timkat celebration, but there are festivities all over the country. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Gondar Landscaping Techniques

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This poor guy bundled all that hay into one big package, bigger than he was, then carried it away.


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No lawnmowers here, not even scythes - just sickles to cut the grass. How to keep four people employed.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Gondar Palace Walls

Weathered walls, colored yet monochrome, moody ... Click photos to enlarge them.

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Gondar Castle Complex

Leaving Lalibela, we flew to Gondar. As an ancient capital of the Ethiopian Empire, it is notable for its complex of royal castles. Click photos to enlarge them.

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The Landscape of Lalibela

Lalibela is located in high, mountainous country, with plenty of big rocks to carve out those churches. Here are some pictures of the landscape, the first two taken from our appropriately names "Mountain View Hotel". Click photos to enlarge them.

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Lalibela People

Lalibela isn't just rock churches, it's also people doing what they do. Here are four examples. Click photos to enlarge them.

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High-school kids going to school


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Bringing the donkeys home in the evening


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Hanging out at a rock church


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Waiting for the show to start

Lalibela Church Doorways

Click photos to enlarge them.

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World Heritage Huts

The area around the Lalibela rock-hewn churches is kept as historically genuine as possible - a condition of the UNESCO World Heritage designation. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Rock-Hewn Windows and Doors

Everything in the Lalibela churches is carved from the rock: windows, doors, decorations, etc. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Lalibela Priests

Each of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela has a priest who is its principal guardian. There are eleven such churches, and I got reasonably good photos of six of the priests. Each has a slightly different costume and cross. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Lalibela Churches

Some of the monolithic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are covered by modern roofs with metal supports, to shield them from the elements. These lead to interesting shadows and - when coupled with people - to dramatization of the scale of these structures. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Saint George Details

Details from the Church of St. George in Lalibela. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Lalibela Sunrise

From Axum we flew to Lalibela, where we had two days to explore the famous monolithic rock-hewn churches. I'll begin with the second day, since that presents a pretty sunrise picture and then a couple of photos of the most famous of all the churches, the Church of Saint George. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Last Shopping in Axum

In the morning, before leaving Axum to go to Lalibela, we did a little last-minute shopping. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Shadows on a shopfront on a sunny morning.


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Old craftwork.


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A shopkeeper reacts to a low bargaining bid.

Axum Vistas

Axum has more than stelae and religious treasures. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Axum Scenes

A few scenes in Axum.

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Portrait of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, as a student. This is near the Ezana Stone, which is written in Sabaean, Ge'ez and Ancient Greek in a similar manner to the Rosetta Stone.


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Drawing water from the "Queen of Sheba's Bath" (actually a reservoir).


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Donkey carrying water from the reservoir.

Axum Portraits

Some photos of children in Axum. They seem skeptical of us tourists. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Under the Stelae

There are tunnels and passages in the ground under the Axum stelae. Their purpose is not clear, but they are seemingly very old. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Wedding Amongst the Stelae

The area containing the Axum stelae seems to be a popular place to hold wedding celebrations. Here's one happy - and regal - couple with their friends. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Axum Stele

Aside from the Ark of the Covenant, Axum is best known for a number of tall stelae, or obelisks. They have an interesting history, as related for example here. (click to enlarge)

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Axum Cathedral

More photos from the New Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia. Click photos to enlarge them.

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A priest


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Opening an old holy book of icon paintings


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Playing some church music for the tourists

Axum Church Scenes

Axum is perhaps best known for a small, old church claimed to be the location of the Ark of the Covenant (which nobody is allowed to see). It is in the middle of a complex of newer churches. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Church tower with jacaranda tree


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Dome as pigeon roost


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Making concrete the old-fashioned way

Axum Angularity

A miscellany of images from our early hours in Axum. Nothing much unifies them except their general location and a certain striking angularity. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Stairs in our hotel. I was struck by the geometry and reflections.


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Cactus tree - large and stark.


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Shepherd driving his sheep over stony ground near the Queen of Sheba's palace.

The Stones of the Queen of Sheba's Palace

From Harar we flew back to Addis for an overnight, then flew to Axum, the next historic city on our itinerary. We went first to the very stony ruins thought to be the palace of the Queen of Sheba. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Harar Scenes (3)

Three last photos from Harar, all outside the walls of the old city. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Across the street from our hotel, showing the typical wooden (eucalyptus) scaffolding and concrete construction, also (typically) unfinished and not currently being worked on.


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Barber shop in late afternoon.


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Feeding the hyenas, who take raw meat from the fingers or lips of volunteers, a popular evening diversion for tourists. Here's a video and a photo essay.

Harar Scenes (2)

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Men run the sewing machines in Harar.


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Click photos to enlarge them.

Harar Scenes

The old city within the walls has a distinctly medieval feeling. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Harar Portraits (2)

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Children of Harar

Ethiopian children are enormously photogenic. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Sugar cane is the universal sweet.


Entering Harar

Harar is an ancient, strongly Islamic, city in the east of Ethiopia. Its old walled city is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Click photos to enlarge them.

After arriving in Harar and checking into our hotel, we drove around the walls, admiring the ancient gates.


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We passed a wedding procession, whose dancing women invited us to join in. (We didn't.)

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Market Town

On our way to Harar, we stopped for a while at a colorful market town. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Bundles of chat (khat), the mild narcotic plant widely used in Ethiopia, like coca in Peru and Bolivia.


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Seen Along the Road

On the drive from Dire Dawa to Harar. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Portraits Along the Road: Dire Dawa to Harar

Early in the morning of our third day in Ethiopia, we flew from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa (the second largest city in the country, because it is close to Djibouti, which Ethiopia uses as its main port). From there we drove through the countrysid to Harar, stopping along the way for photo ops and to experience a colorful market. Here are some portraits from the drive.

Click photos to enlarge them.


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Ethnographic Museum

Toward the end of our second day in Addis Ababa, we went to the Ethnographic Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. The name sounds a bit musty, and the museum lives up to its name, but there's still a lot of interesting stuff.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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One out of hundreds of icon paintings in Ethiopian Orthodox style.


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Pages of a sacred book.


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Portrait of Haile Selassie, reflected in a mirror in his bedroom.

Addis Merkato (3)

The last of three groups of photos from the Addis Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa. Click photos to enlarge them.

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These yellow water jugs are seen throughout the country. We also saw them in Madagascar.


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The scavenging pile at the end of the Merkato.

Addis Merkato (2)

More images from the gritty and tumultuous Addis Merkato in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One more batch to come. Click photos to enlarge them.

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It was surprising to see this drawing in an otherwise rather straight-laced market.

Addis Merkato (1)

The Merkato in Addis Ababa is the largest open air market in Africa. It's rather chaotic, crowded, and dirty - not as elegant as the bazaars in Istanbul or Marrakesh. But it's a fascinating environment for street photography. Here are some pictures as we walked through the Merkato. Two more sets will follow tomorrow.

Click photos to enlarge them.


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There's lots of construction going on all over the country, with scaffolding made of thin eucalyptus trees.


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The creamy white stuff is a cheese-like substance made by fermenting the root of the false banana fruit.

Addis Ababa Refreshment and Relaxation

We took some breaks from our first-day touring in Addis Ababa to visit some places for refreshment and relaxation. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Afternoon stop for some good, strong Ethiopian coffee. The lion is a national symbol of Ethiopia.


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Restaurant and cafe of the Itegue Taitu Hotel, built in 1898 by Empress Taitu Betul, the wife of Emperor Menelek II. It was the first hotel in Ethiopia. The central portrait in the upper photo is of Emperor Menelik II.


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Injera dinner and dance performance at the Hebir Ethiopia Cultural Restaurant. The lion's mane, used here as a headdress, is a traditional trophy of a young man's entry into manhood.

Addis from the Bus

On our first day (Friday, January 10) we drove through various neighborhoods of Addis Ababa in our minibus to get a general feel for the place. Addis is a city of 4 million people, and one of the leading cities in Africa; but it's by no means prosperous except in a few enclaves. Here are some photos from the bus window. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Addis Ababa Portraits

Having completed my chronological summary of our trip to Ethiopia, I'm going back for a more comprehensive look - starting with portraits from our first two days in Addis Ababa. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Lecturer at Olympic Club


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Children outside National Museum


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Woman at National Museum


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Employee at coffee shop. Ethiopia is famous for its coffee.


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Shopkeeper in his stall in the Merkato

Ethiopian Crafts

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January 25: In the morning we took a chartered flight from the south back to Addis, where we checked in to our hotel and then went shopping prior to a very-early-next-morning return to Amsterdam via Djibouti and Nairobi. Our tour leader took us to a couple of small shops crowded with old (and not so old) crafts and curios, arranged in jumbled piles.

(click to enlarge)

Karo Dancing

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January 24: We spent a late afternoon in a Karo village. The Karo, one of the major tribes in the South Omo River Valley region of Ethiopia, have a dance in which men and women line up against each other. The men, most wearing white body paint, jump up and down to attract attention, and the women respond in kind. This goes on for quite some time.

(click to enlarge)

Ethiopia: Key Afar Market

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January 23: We drove from the Ethiopia Rift Valley Lodge, our home for three days in the middle of the lower Omo River Valley tribal lands, back to the Key Afar Market, a weekly gathering at which people from different tribes come together (which they rarely do otherwise) to buy and sell necessities to each other as well as to sell souvenirs to tourists. Many of the useful goods are probably made in China. (click to enlarge)

First Glimpse of the Mursi People

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January 22: We drove to the land of the Mursi people, famous for the lip plates worn by married women or those engaged to be married. Here's an example.

Now that we're back in Minnesota, I'll continue posting one photo per day of our trip, to give a chronological timeline, for the next three days. Then back to the beginning of our Ethiopia adventure, to show some of the full photographic richness of this amazing country.

On the Way to Arba Minch

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January 21: We continued our drive south, ending the day at Arba Minch, a major city in the region. Here's a pleasant face from a roadside stop along the way.

Lake Ziway

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January 20: After the Timkat festival in Addis, we began our driving tour of the south of Ethiopia. On our way to an overnight at the Rift Valley lake, Lake Langano, we stopped at Lake Ziway, notable for its populations of birds including Maribou storks and pelicans. Children also hang out there, hoping to earn a few birr, catch some fish, or just amuse themselves.

Timkat in Addis Ababa

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We flew back from Bahir Dar to Addis late this morning, and at 3 PM left for the Timkat festival. This is the major religious festival in Ethiopia, celebrating the baptism of Jesus. The color and the crowds were amazing - probably several hundred thousand people. This is a tiny fraction of the crowd.

Ethiopian Cultural Festival

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This morning we finished our tour of the Lalibela rock churches, then flew to Gondar, another ancient capital. After visiting a palace complex and an old church - both very photogenic, pictures to come - we went to a cultural festival featuring music, dance, and crafts of the various Ethiopian peoples. Here are a couple of people from one of the bands.

Axum Sheep

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On Tuesday morning we flew to the ancient capital of Axum, in the north. This is supposedly the place where the Queen of Sheba ruled. As we explored the ruins of her palace, I saw a shepherd driving his sheep over the stony ground.

Addis Ababa Mercato

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A busy day in Addis. First, a morning-long lecture on Ethiopia: geology, peoples, economy, religions, political history. Second, lunch at a Greek country club. Next, an hour walk through the Mercato, the largest market in Africa and certainly the dirtiest and most crowded we have encountered. Then a tour of the Ethnographic Museum at AA University, Finally, back to the Sheraton for a buffet dinner and preparation for a 5:15 AM drive to the airport and flight to Dire Dawa on the way to the ancient city of Harar.

Samurai Heads

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From the exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. Click photos to enlarge them.

I will be traveling for the next three weeks, so postings are likely to be sporadic at best. Please be patient, and I'll be back at the end of January.


Party Time

Even for lawn flamingos in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Encounter

Mina confronting the Erector Set Panda at the Blackfish Gallery in Portland OR. (click to enlarge)

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Edward Weston Wannabe

If Weston had been shopping at Whole Foods and they were out of peppers ... Click photos to enlarge them.

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Samurai Faces

From the exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Samurai Horsemen

We made another visit, this time with our grandson, to the samurai armor exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. I repeated some of the photos from our first visit, this time trying to do a better job - both in photographing and post-processing - of exposing for the faces of the warriors. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Colorfully Abandoned

Abandoned and roofless industrial building in SE Portland, apparently serving as a refuge for some homeless people. Click photos to enlarge them.

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White Balance

Three versions of a photo taken at the Portland Art Museum: part of a swirly, shiny steel sculpture with a red, white, gray, and blue painting in the background. The top photo is a jpeg straight out of the camera with automatic white balance; the gallery lighting gave everything a warm, golden cast. The bottom photo has a bright spot on the sculpture chosen as the reference neutral gray, resulting in an attractive pinkish tint. The middle photo has the downward diagonal of the painting chosen as the neutral area; this gives the most realistic rendition. I like all three versions individually, but I particularly like seeing them all together.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Group Selfie

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Corner of Selby and Western, St. Paul. (click to enlarge)

Triptychs

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Triptych by Francis Bacon of Lucien Freud, on temporary display at the Portland Art Museum. (click to enlarge)

Blue View

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Intermission at Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. (click to enlarge)

Rough Geometries

NW 10th and Johnson, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Celebration

Around the corner of the retaining wall from yesterday's photos, in SE Portland. Good stuff!

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Funky

On a retaining wall in Portland. When does graffiti become public art? (Maybe when it becomes less entertaining?) Click photos to enlarge them.

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Ladies

Cargo, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Outside Cargo, Portland (click to enlarge)

Here's Looking At You

Cargo, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Mao and friend at Cargo. (click to enlarge)

Curio Shop

Cargo , in Portland's Pearl District, imports intriguing stuff from around the world and displays it in picturesque jumbles. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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A single hawthorn berry. (click to enlarge)

Fallen Hawthorn Berries

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Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Heavily laden hawthorn tree in Hoyt Arboretum. (click to enlarge)

Hawthorn Berries

They're supposed to be full of anti-oxidants. Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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"Light, color, gesture" (Jay Maisel) Click to enlarge.

Intimate Landscapes

Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Rough bark in natural color, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Bark in Monochrome

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The same split-toning formula used in Lenswork. Click photos to enlarge them.

Ferns

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Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Hoyt Arboretum, Portland

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Bark

In Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. The top tree is birch-bark cherry. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Hoyt Arboretum in Portland. (click to enlarge)

Fall Walk

We were in Portland a few weeks ago, and took a hike in Hoyt Arboretum. It was a somewhat foggy day, which - along with the fading fall colors - gave a nice misty atmosphere to the scene. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Fallen leaves on a window rock garden in Portland. (click to enlarge)

Seen in Portland

A couple of examples of the slightly strange scenes that typify Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Another version of today's "Stripes" photo, this time in a warm monotone. It's hard to choose a favorite. (click to enlarge)

Stripes

I was struck by this pattern of light and shadow coming through a narrow-spaced fence onto pebbly ground. In the first image the random colors on the ground distract from the main effect, so I converted to black and white. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Reflection in the Willamette River. (click to enlarge)

Reflections in the Willamette

Reflections of the Fremont Bridge in the Willamette River in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Reflecting ... Tanner Springs Park, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Industrial Reflections

Willamette River, Portland, Oregon. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

A section of the Fremont Bridge, and its reflection, as it crosses the Willamette River in Portland. (click to enlarge)

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Transportation Curves

Railroad and bridge in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Through a window, North Pearl District, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Windows

Shop windows and reflections in the North Pearl, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Support structure for the Fremont Bridge carrying I-405 as it passes west over the Willamette River in Portland. (click to enlarge)

Primary Colors

Colorful condo construction in the North Pearl District of Portland, with the elevated Interstate 405 support structure - and a deep blue sky - in the background. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Rough Bark

In color and monochrome. Hoyt Arboretum, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Street repair graffiti in Portland. (click to enlarge)

Portland Buildings

We were in Portland, OR for the past two weeks, and I accumulated lots of photos. Here are two from the north end of the Pearl District, where new condos are being built and old industrial buildings still remain. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Orange, red, pink, and brown. Kinda icky, but interesting. (click to enlarge)

Distorting Windows

United Hospital, Saint Paul. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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The faux-Hasselblad version. (click to enlarge)

Rocky Ledge

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Detail of a wall, Saint Paul. (click to enlarge)

Shadows

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The painter Ellsworth Kelly, when he was a young soldier stationed in Paris after WW2, took a photo of stairs in shadow that has always intrigued me. I try to copy it whenever possible. This is on the steps of the Saint Paul Cathedral.


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A monochrome version of the photo posted yesterday from Ramsey Hill in Saint Paul.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Wall along Ramsey Hill. (click to enlarge)

Steep Perspectives

On Ramsey Hill in Saint Paul. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Stairway in Saint Paul Cathedral basement. (click to enlarge)

Over the Fireplace

Items in the basement of the Saint Paul Cathedral. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Odds and ends in the basement of Saint Paul Cathedral. (click to enlarge)

Cathedral Storeroom

Plaster casts in the storeroom of the Saint Paul Cathedral. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Organ and rose window of Saint Paul Cathedral. (click to enlarge)

Tourist Photos at Home

When we travel, the churches, temples, and mosques are prime photographic subjects. Just a few blocks from our home in Saint Paul is a pretty impressive cathedral - though not as ornate as the baroque ones in Italy. So I thought I'd pretend I was a tourist. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Portion of complex but simple split bamboo sculpture in "The Audacious Eye" exhibit. (click to enlarge)

Audacious Elegance

The Audacious Eye exhibit had, in the last room, some elegant modern sculptures quite different from the paintings whose grotesque details I've been featuring for the past few days. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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To conclude, a calm and gracious face. (click to enlarge)

Poignant Grotesques

A couple more from "The Audacious Eye" exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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A deity from "The Audacious Eye" exhibit. (click to enlarge)

Fierce!

Details from paintings in "The Audacious Eye" exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Detail from the "Audacious Eye" exhibit. (click to enlarge)

Ogres

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has a wonderful exhibit called "The Audacious Eye", featuring works from a collector of Japanese art. I was struck with the horrific faces in many of the paintings and scrolls, and made a little collection of them. More to come. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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A busy miscellany in the studio of a productive artist. (click to enlarge)

Sculptor's Studio

Perci Chester's studio at the Traffic Zone Studios open house. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Studio open house. (click to enlarge)

Painter's Studio

The studio was cleaned up for the open house, but the mess of an active studio can't be disguised. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Traffic Zone Studios open house. (click to enlarge)

Studio Open House

Traffic Zone Studios, a converted warehouse building with lots of interesting art being produced and viewed inside. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Studio open house. (click to enlarge)

Studio Open House

Scenes from the open house at the Traffic Zone Studios in Minneapolis's North Loop. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Oregon Holocaust Memorial, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Holocaust Memorial Castoffs

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Casting of a castaway doll, Oregon Holocaust Memorial. (click to enlarge)

Left Behind

On the paths leading to the wall of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial are bronze castings of things left behind by (or torn from the grasp of) holocaust victims being sent off to their deaths. Startling and moving. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Oregon Holocaust Memorial. (click to enlarge)

Oregon Holocaust Memorial

In Portland's Washington Park. A beautiful, moving memorial. More images to come. See information here.

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Picture of the Day

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(click to enlarge)

Portland Walls

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Piece from 2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards at Portland Art Museum. (click to enlarge)

Outdoor Sculpture

Sculptures outside the Portland Art Museum. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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From a show of selected Northwest artists at the Portland Art Museum. (click to enlarge)

Gift Shop Treasures

More artifacts from the Portland Art Museum gift shop. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Portland Art Museum gift shop. (click to enlarge)

Museum Shop

The gift shop at the Portland Art Museum displayed some attractively (dis)arrayed piles of artsy objects - a nice opportunity for some still life photos. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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The last of the samurai. (click to enlarge)

Open-Mouthed

Samurai armor exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. One can almost hear the terrifying war cries. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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The original color version of the monochrome picture posted earlier today. Not nearly as imposing, though more decorative perhaps. (click to enlarge)

Samurai in Black and White

Samurai armor is both fierce and colorful. Sometimes the color dilutes the fierceness, so I converted a couple of photos to black and white. Much more fearsome! Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Another samurai warrior. (click to enlarge)

Samurai Armor

A spectacular exhibit at the Portland Art Museum of Samurai armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection in Dallas. As something I read recently said, this makes western armor look like a bunch of articulated tin cans. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Elegance in the wine country. (click to enlarge)

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Impressively neat and well-tended. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Berry bush in Washington Park, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Willamette Valley

Oregon's prime wine country, in early fall. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Variation 3. (click to enlarge)

Halloween Leftovers

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Fall colors in Portland, Oregon - while the leaves were still on the trees. (click to enlarge)

Fall(en) Leaves

If Jackson Pollock used leaves instead of paint. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Even the stern Victorian lady on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul has a blush on her face in the bright Fall sunshine. (click to enlarge)

Oregon Wine Country

We were in Portland several weeks ago, and took a day trip to the Willamette Valley wine country. Good looking territory! (Click photos to expand them.)

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Portofino Mare Scenes

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Weathered wall in Santa Margherita Ligure - Variation 2. (click to enlarge)

Portofino Mare

Wall ornaments. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Church by the steps coming down into Portofino Mare. (click to enlarge)

First Glimpses of Portofino Mare

High on the path from Nozarego in the Portofino Regional Park. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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(click to enlarge)

Boo!

Halloween decorations in my St. Paul neighborhood. All photos taken with my cell phone. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Exterior of church in the tiny hamlet of San Sebastiano, not far from Portofino Mare. (click to enlarge)

On the Path to Portofino

Grapevines and neat stonework. As the path approaches Portofino, the landscape becomes neater and more prosperous. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Fall in Portland, Oregon. (click to enlarge)

Along the Path to Portofino

A profusion of attractive vegetation in the Portofino Regional Park. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Another example of rugged stonework from the path to Portofino. (click to enlarge)

Stonework

Along the path to Portofino. Given a stony land, the people have made beauty. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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On the path to Portofino. (click to enlarge)

Portofino Regional Park

Along the path from Nozarego to Portofino. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Weathered wall in Santa Margherita Ligure - Variation 1. (click to enlarge)

Nozarego to Portofino

Seen on the hike in the Portofino Regional Park. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Cosmetic consultation, Mall of America. (click to enlarge)

Then and Now

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Statue in the Monterosso square of Giuseppe Garibaldi, leader of the fight for Italian unification in the 1860s.


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Hanging out on a warm afternoon in Monterosso.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Washington Park, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Monterosso Minutiae

Oddments that struck my fancy. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Portland shop window. (click to enlarge)

Shops for Tourists

Colorful accessories to match the bright colors of the Cinque Terre, in Monterosso. Plus hats that would be useful to fend off the sun. But who wears ties these days? Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Oratory of the Dead in Monterosso. From Rick Steves' guidebook:

"During the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church offset the rising influence of the Lutherans by creating brotherhoods of good works. These religious Rotary clubs were called "confraternities." Monterosso had two, nicknamed White and Black. This building is the oratory of the Black group, whose mission -- as the macabre decor filling the interior indicates -- was to arrange for funerals and take care of widows, orphans, the shipwrecked, and the souls of those who ignore the request for a €1 donation. It dates from the 16th century, and membership has passed from father to son for generations."

Monterosso Churches

Black and white, often striped, is a theme in this region. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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A sandy beach and a bright sun means lots of colorful beach umbrellas - Monterosso, in the Cinque Terre. (click to enlarge)

Approaching Monterosso from Above

Descending the path from Vernazza. Monterosso is the only one of the five Cinque Terre towns to have a sandy beach. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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I'm not sure whether these tanks along the path from Vernazza to Monterosso are vats for fermenting the wine in situ, or to hold water for irrigating the vineyards, or fuel for the little tractors that bring down the picked grapes on a monorail, or...

(click to enlarge)

Along the Path from Vernazza to Monterosso

It's a steep climb: vertical gain (and eventually loss) of 380 meters in three kilometers. But everywhere one turns is a pretty sight. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Stairway in Washington Park, Portland, Oregon. (click to enlarge)

Olives in the Cinque Terre

Aside from tourism, growing and processing olives and grapes are the two biggest parts of the economy in the Cinque Terre. As we hiked the paths between towns, we passed numerous olive groves. Click photos to enlarge them.

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When it's time for harvest, the nets will be spread to catch the olives as the trees are shaken.


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An old olive press, now just a picturesque object along the way between Vernazza and Monterosso.

Picture of the Day

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Prickly pear cactus along the high path from Vernazza to Monterosso. (click to enlarge)

Another View of Vernazza Harbor and Waterfront

From the path beginning our hike from Vernazza to Monterosso. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Grape vines in Oregon's Willamette Valley. (click to enlarge)

Vernazza Harbor

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Idyllic, no? Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Vietnam vet on Portland Streetcar. (click to enlarge)

Vernazza Painting Class

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A great location for plein air painting. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Taking the sun in Vernazza. (click to enlarge)

Vernazza from Above and Below

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A concentration of the things that make the Cinque Terre so attractive: bright colors, deep blue sea and sky, dramatic verticals, sharp geometries, striking viewpoints.


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The steep cliffs from below, robed with nets to protect against rockfalls.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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The scene as you approach Vernazza from above. (click to enlarge)

Corniglia to Vernazza

Views along the way. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Fall flowers on a morning walk in Saint Paul. (click to enlarge)

Cinque Terre Details

Old walls, overgrown with vegetation, are irresistible to me. These scenes are near the beginning of the walk from Corniglia to Vernazza.

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Picture of the Day

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Lunchtime for tourists and natives in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. (click to enlarge)

Cinque Terre Winemaking

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Lugging new wine vats through the streets of Corniglia. (click to enlarge)

Picture of the Day

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Grasses in Portland, Oregon. (click to enlarge)

Manarola Grapes

Grapes and wine, along with tourism, are the essence of Manarola in the Cinque Terre. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Picture of the Day

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Servant in Portofino Mare cleaning the stairs and wall; someone had splashed red paint. (click to enlarge)

Manarola Monuments

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Manarola from above. (click to enlarge)

Manarola in Monochrome

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Yesterday's photos in monochrome. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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A rather strange-looking Virgin Mary in a niche in Manarola. (click to enlarge)

Mysterious Manarolo Mechanisms

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I think this drives a small irrigation system for the vineyard. Or maybe a pulley system for heavy baskets of grapes. Or ...


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The stones hold the roof slates down in a windstorm.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Another photo of a bright plant poised high above the bright Mediterranean water near Manarola in the Cinque Terre. (click to enlarge)

Near and Far

From the path high above Manarola in the Cinque Terre. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Another view of the rocky cliffs and sea off Manarola. (click to enlarge)

Blue Mediterranean at Manarola

The tiny harbor/swimming area and off-shore waters of Manarola, the next-most southerly town in the Cinque Terre. The scenes felt as idyllic as they look. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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The tumbled landscape: harbor at Riomaggiore. (click to enlarge)

Murals of a Tumbled Landscape

Sections of the mural in the pedestrian tunnel connecting central Riomaggiore with the train station - evocations of the tumbled landscape in the Cinque Terre. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Part of the mosaic lining the pedestrian tunnel between the train station and the center of Riomaggiore. (click to enlarge)

Riomaggiore Murals

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More details from murals in Riomaggiore. Roughly life-size, and very finely done though not so well maintained. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Riomaggiore is a rather vertical town. (click to enlarge)

Views of Riomaggiore

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In evening light


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From the water. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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A mural overlooks the plaza near the center of Riomaggiore where kids play soccer and grownups watch. (click to enlarge)

Riomaggiore Murals

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Riomaggiore is the southernmost of the five towns in the Cinque Terre. It is distinguished by some remarkable murals by Silvio Benedetto. Here are a couple of details depicting the hardship and danger associated with wresting a living from the sea. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Another smiling statue: the newly installed Goldy Gopher at the University of Minnesota. (click to enlarge)

Villa Durazzo

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Two scenes from the lovely Villa Durazzo in Santa Margherita Ligure. Click photos to enlarge them.

Ligurian Greens

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There hasn't been much greenery in recent postings, so here are a couple from Santa Margherita Ligure. The first in the central square, the second along the sidewalk below our hotel. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America. Our version of baroque holiness? (click to enlarge)

Santa Margherita Ligure Churches

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa. His statue is in the main square of Santa Margherita Ligure, near the harbor, where it provides a convenient roost for birds. (click to enlarge)

Trompe l'oeil in Santa Margherita Ligure

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Two more examples of trompe l'oeil, except that the barred window, and the statue and the niche, are real. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Night lights of hotel swimming pool in Santa Margherita Ligure. (click to enlarge)

Orange

Santa Margherita Ligure is a pleasant small city near the much more trendy Portofino on the Italian Riviera. It was our starting place for our tour of Liguria: the Cinque Terre and Genoa. The walls, with bright earth tones and trompe l'oeil paintings, were particularly striking.

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Picture of the Day

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After a series of rather melancholy photos from Genoa, I thought to end my coverage of that city with a more colorful image: a remarkably ornate cabinet from the Palazzo Rosso. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Far and Near

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A crowded, interesting city. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Sidewalk in Santa Margherita Ligure at night. (click to enlarge)

Immigration from Italy

An exhibit at the Galata Naval Museum in Genoa, which details the desperate conditions confronting people who sailed steerage from Italy to the Americas. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Men's sleeping quarters in steerage.

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Gangplank to enter the ship (and the exhibit)

Picture of the Day

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Detail of the well-worn floor of Chiesa del Gesù e dei Santi Ambrogio e Andrea in Genoa, a fine Baroque church dating from 1589. (click to enlarge)

In the Red Palace

The Palazzo Rosso in Genoa. Two more examples of virtuoso painting, the first being a fascinating room-sized trompe l'oeil production, and the second a wonderfully ornate ceiling. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Another example of intriguing accidental art in Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Building Art

Outdoor paintings in Genoa. High class graffiti, perhaps? The first is relatively frequently seen: a quasi-monumental painting on the street-facing wall of a building, often repeated several times along the facade. (See the second photo.) The third is on the highway bridge support across from the building and near the Aquarium. It's clearly not a slapdash, middle-of-the-night job, but it's got a somewhat outlaw flavor to it. More interesting, to my taste.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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On a signpost across from the Saint Paul Cathedral. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Graffiti

Interesting interactions with the walls and residue thereon. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Saint Paul, Minnesota has a cathedral, also, with a copy of Michelangelo's "Pieta". (click to enlarge)

Baroque Church Interiors

The first image is from the Cathedral San Lorenzo in Genoa. I neglected to record the information for the second, but it's still impressive. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Church of Gesu, Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Baroque Churches of Genoa

Resplendent variations on a theme! Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Big, fat mushrooms on a produce cart in Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Variations in Black and White

Cathedral San Lorenzo, Genoa. This place is almost as amazing inside as outside. It offers a seeming infinity of compositional possibilities for a photographer. See earlier posted images here, here, and here.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Detail of a portrait of a nobleman in the Palazzo Rosso, Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Walls

A visually intriguing city. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Paganini's violin case, in Palazzo Tursi, Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Shop Windows

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Another charming Genoese chicken. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Arcades

Along Via San Vicenzo, an engaging combination of old and new. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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One of the narrow, dark streets so characteristic of old Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Street Scenes

People hanging out. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Picture of the Day

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Ceramic chickens in a Genoa craft shop. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Aquarium

Supposedly the biggest and best in Europe, it has a wide variety of species and attractive displays. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Piazza De Ferrari, Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa: On the Steps of Cathedral San Lorenzo

From the sublime to the ridiculous, and back again. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Picture of the Day

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Shop window display with reflection, Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa Pharmacies

We kept running into representations of old pharmacy paraphernalia and researchers in Genoa. The first of these pictures is from the wall alongside a contemporary pharmacy, and the last is from the Palazzo Tursi. The middle three are from some old building that we wandered into on our way to the Aquarium, but I didn't record more precise information. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Genoa Grafitti

Wednesday, September 11. We're back home in Saint Paul, after a very good vacation in a relatively unfamiliar part of Italy: Liguria, including the Cinque Terre and Genoa.

The walls of Genoa are rich with grafitti and peeling posters, a boon if - like me - you're a fan of the Jackson Pollock/Robert Rauschenberg/Jasper Johns school of art. (Otherwise, maybe not so much.) The tunnel underneath the Brignole Railway Station near our hotel was particularly rich in vivid material. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Paganini's violin, kept in a climate-controlled case in the Palazzo Turci in Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa, Day 3

Tuesday, September 10: Genoa was a very wealthy city in the 15th-17th centuries, so it attracted and supported some great artists. Their work is displayed in churches and in a UNESCO World Heritage complex of three "palaces": Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso, and Palazzo Turci, the former homes of wealthy merchants and rulers of the city. We saw Palazzo Bianco on Sunday; today we saw the others.

We're flying home tomorrow.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Baroque interior of the Church of Gesú, with a Rubens painting of the circumcision of Christ.


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Statue of the penitence of Mary Magdalene by Canova in the Palazzo Turci.


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Detail of a painting, "The Cook", by Bernardo Strozzi in the Palazzo Rosso.


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Detail of a painting by Anthony Van Dyck in the Palazzo Rosso.


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Roof terrace of the Palazzo Rosso, with a stormy sky.


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Street musician, a good jazz guitarist.

Picture of the Day

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A child, helped by its mother, petting one of the lions on the steps of Cathedral San Lorenzo in Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa, Day 2

Monday, September 9. Another day to explore Genoa, much of the time in the vicinity of the port. Click photos to enlarge them.

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A temporary stand with beautiful produce, just outside the Brignole Railway Station. When we returned in the evening, it was gone.


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Window display in the Via San Vicenzo arcade.


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The strong Gothic interior of the San Lorenzo Cathedral, which was closed yesterday (Sunday!), perhaps to focus attention on the spectacularly decorated exterior.


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We spent much of the day at the Aquarium. This fish posed nicely for its portrait.


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Across the way from the Aquarium is this elaborately painted palazzo/apartment. Similar decorations are seen throughout Genoa, though few are so extensive.


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We spent the latter part of the afternoon at the Galata Naval Museum. The top floor had a very interesting exhibit on emigration and immigration, relating the Italian outflow of the 19th and early 20th centuries to the current inflow from the currently stressed parts of the world.


Picture of the Day

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Detail of a door of the Ducal Palace in Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Genoa

Sunday, September 8: This morning we took the train from Riomaggiore to Genoa, where we'll spend the next three days before returning to Minnesota. Genoa is rougher and less elegant than Rome or Florence, but it's got a lot of visual interest and variety. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Lots of interesting graffiti and peeling posters, especially in the covered passageway by the Brignole railway station.


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Some of the narrowest streets, flanked by tall buildings, that we've seen in any major city.


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Lots of sidewalk cafes.


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The San Lorenzo Cathedral, with perhaps the most highly decorated exterior we've ever seen.


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An exceptionally good-looking couple sitting on the steps of the cathedral.


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Shop window displays that interact interestingly with goings-on in the street.


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An extremely elaborate baroque church.


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A red-light district comparable to Amsterdam's, with men (perhaps sailors from the nearby port) milling around.


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One of the workers.

Picture of the Day

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Sitting on a hot day in Monterosso, Cinque Terre. (click to enlarge)

Cinque Terre: Vernazza to Monterosso

Saturday, September 7. This morning we took the train from Riomaggiore to Vernazza, and then made the trek - about two hours - to Monterosso. This was nominally a bit more challenging than the Corniglia to Vernazza hike, but it didn't seem any harder or take us any longer. Perhaps we're getting conditioned.

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The path was this steep, and generally much rougher, for the first 1/3 of the walk: a gain in elevation of 385 meters.


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Below we could see one of the railway tunnels, used by the trains that serve the Cinque Terre.


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Once the path leveled off, it was frequently like this: narrow and shady. Note the wire netting on the cliff to the right, to fend off rock-falls.


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Down and to the west one saw occasional bright white sailboats, inverse-silhouetted against the deep blue sea.


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A pretty stone bridge crossed a narrow stream.


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In Monterosso, two of the main attractions are old churches. This one is the Church of Saint John the Baptist, notable for its black and white striped decor.


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The other is the Oratory of the Dead, the home of a Catholic brotherhood that helps with funerals, assists widows and orphans and victims of shipwrecks.


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To end on a less somber note, Monterosso has the only sand beach in the Cinque Terre. It is provisioned by multitudes of colorful beach umbrellas for rent.

Picture of the Day

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Sculpture in a niche near the train station in Manarola. (click to enlarge)

Manarola in the Cinque Terre

Friday, September 6. We took the train (about a three minute ride through a tunnel) to the neighboring town of Manarola, where we spent the morning.

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Manarola is a small, colorful, vertically-stacked town that nestles against a rocky seacoast.


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There's no beach, but swimmers enjoy jumping off the rocks. And we enjoy looking down on them from high above.


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Plants growing on the cliffs gain luminance framed against the blue sea.


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Aside from tourism, the main industry of the town is grape growing and wine production. Vineyards closely abut the town.


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There's not much land, so most burials in the beautifully-sited cemetery are in above-ground niches.

Picture of the Day

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Two tourists lighting candles in the harbor-side church in Vernazza. (click to enlarge)

Cinque Terre: Corniglia to Vernazza

Thursday September 5. Today we took one of the famous walks between towns in the Cinque Terre: from Corniglia to Vernazza. (We took the train from Riomaggiore, where we're staying, to Corniglia; and a ferry back.)

Click photos to enlarge them.

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A dramatic rocky staircase in Corniglia, a rocky town.


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Despite being on the edge of the Mediterranean, this is in many ways a desert climate, with cacti and agave (century plant).


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But there's also lush vegetation to accompany the stone bridges.


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The beautiful town of Vernazza, "the jewel of the Cinque Terre", seen from above as we approached on the high path.


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Vernazza suffered a devastating flood on October 25, 2011. The waters punched a hole in this rock face, opening a path to a new pebble beach.


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Despite all the tourist hubbub, a resident enjoys a peaceful time with his newspaper.


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It was very sunny and hot, so sun hats and sun glasses were on display on the rocks near the boat landing.

Picture of the Day

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The subway corridor from the train station to the town of Riomaggiore, facing a crowd that just arrived. (click to enlarge)

First Day in Riomaggiore

On Wednesday afternoon we took a train to Riomaggiore, the most southerly of the the five towns of the Cinque Terre. We will make it our base for the next four days. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Riomaggiore has a profusion of good public art - mainly murals. Here is a section from one that emphasizes the labor and dangers of wresting a living from the sea. Tourists may be easier!


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In the evening, women and men gather - separately - in lines along walls to talk over the day's happenings.


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The sunset was beautiful, illuminating the waters and the boats in the tiny marina.


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A crowd gathered on the rocks by the marina to watch the sunset, and were themselves illuuminated.

Last Day in Santa Margherita Ligure

Wednesday, September 4. On our last morning in Santa Marhgherita Ligure, we wandered around the city center, visiting some of the important churches, buildings, and parks. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Black Christ in Oratory of Sant'Erasmo (St. Elmo), the protector of sailors. A particularly human face, due in part to the mustache.


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Large and elegant mosaic of black and white stones - a particular art form of Santa Margherita Ligure - in the courtyard of Villa Durazzo.


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Sculptures of musicians in a niche of the Villa Durazzo.


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Elegant trompe-l'oeil painted wall - also a Santa Margherita Ligure specialty - set off by some not quite so elegant laundry.

Picture of the Day

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Colored buildings along the marina in Portofino Mare, reflected in the rippling water. (click to enlarge)

Portofino Regional Park

Today we took a four hour hike after breakfast, from Santa Margherita Ligure to Nozarego, then into the Portofino Regional Park: Gave, Sant'Anna, Mulino, Olmi, San Sebastiano, and down into Portofino Mare. Lots of ups and downs, some of them steep, but all along a paved trail. The weather was great and the scenery was beautiful: one of the best hikes we've ever done.

Click photos to enlarge them.


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The path was like this the whole way: stones underfoot and stone wall alongside.


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View back down to Santa Margherita Ligure from an outdoor cafe in Nozarego.


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An old olive press in Mulino, where we stopped for a cold drink.


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A bright red church stood out against the olive groves on the hillside in San Sebastiano.


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Archway in Portofino Mare


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Portofino Mare buildings and marina. We took a ferry back from here to Santa Margherita Ligure.

Picture of the Day

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Detail of display case in our hotel in Santa Margherita Liguria. (click to enlarge)

Santa Margherita Ligure

We've just managed a long, connection-filled trip from Saint Paul to Santa Margherita Ligure on the Italian Riviera, our jumping-off place for the Cinque Terre. The trip was long, of course, but also more stressful than expected. Our flight from MSP to AMS was smooth and got in early (about 5:45 AM), which was a relief because we had a tight connection to Paris CDG. Unfortunately, heavy air traffic and a broken door hinge delayed our flight to Paris by about an hour, leaving us only 15 minutes to get to our flight from Paris to Genoa. With zero help from Air France ground personnel, we managed to get to the most distant terminal (2G) and onto our plane with one minute to spare. The flight to Genoa was fine, and we had an interesting bus ride through Genoa (big bus, narrow, winding streets) from the airport to the train station whence we took a comfortable half-hour ride to Santa Margherita Ligure. We were met and taxied to our charming hotel, Villa Anita, where we rested for an hour and then spent the rest of the afternoon strolling through the town.

Click photos to enlarge them.


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Santa Margherita Ligure is on the Mediterranean, so there is a lot of recreational boating and commercial fishing, with a lively marina. This red boat was just unloading its day's catch in tne late afternoon. We may have had one of the fish (orato) for dinner.


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It also has a small but well-populated beach, nestled picturesquely at the base of some low mountains well-covered with houses, hotels, etc.


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The commercial and tourist hub of the city has some nice little parks. This monument memorializes the contributions of soldiers and sailors in World War 1.


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There are numerous gelaterias, with lots of interesting flavors. Note the intense concentration.

Picture of the Day

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Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, at 6:30 AM Monday (11:30 PM CDT Sunday). Waiting for our flight to CDG Paris and then on to Genoa. (click to enlarge)

Light and Shadow

Nils Hasselmo Hall, University of Minnesota. Click photos to enlarge them.

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We'll be traveling for the next ten days, in Italy's Cinque Terre. We expect to have internet access, and I'll try to post photos from the trip. But postings may be a bit erratic, so please be patient.

Picture of the Day

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A test of dynamic range: from bright sun to deep shade. Not bad for a point-and-shoot camera (Panasonic ZS-19). (click to enlarge)

Family Fun at OMSI

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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The glow of learning. (click to enlarge)

Happy Birthday

In early July our granddaughter celebrated her 8th birthday. We took her around to some of her favorite places in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Comfy but spiffy shoes for the day.


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Gift of a tasty birthday tortilla at the Farmers Market.


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Looking for a new dress.


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Shopping for art supplies.


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The end of a fun day,

Picture of the Day

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Working on Amundson Hall windows. (click to enlarge)

Cranes in WarmTone

The same cranes-against-a-dramatic-sky photos as yesterday, but now converted to monotone and treated with the warm tone settings in Lightroom as used by Brooks Jensen in LensWork. I'm not usually a fan of sepia-like toning, but this is somehow different, and I like it. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Shadows in Hasselmo Hall, University of Minnesota. (click to enlarge)

Cranes in Blue

The cranes around the University of Minnesota campus this summer look dramatic against a blue sky with cirrocumulus clouds. I've tried to heighten the effect by darkening and saturating the sky way beyond realism. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Shoe tree next to Washington Avenue Bridge. (click to enlarge)

Pompeii of the New World

From the exhibit Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed at the Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul: "Around AD 600, ash from a volcanic eruption buried the village of Joya de Cerén, in El Salvador." Here are a couple of details from the wall of a hut that was excavated. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Red, brick, and blue in Dinkytown. The golden arches entrance is around the corner. (click to enlarge)

Crane Variations

Modern post-processing programs such as Perfect Effects and Topaz ReStyle offer some striking possibilities to explore variations to the originally captured scene. Here are some examples. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Barge on the Mississippi River, about to go under the Washington Avenue Bridge connecting the East and West Bank campuses of the University of Minnesota. (click to enlarge)

Colored Glass

Two views of the new glass windows and facade of Amundson Hall at the University of Minnesota. The color changes beautifully depending on whether the building is viewed from the west (top) or east (bottom). Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Full moon rising behind buildings in downtown Saint Paul. This was taken with a Canon G15 with full digital zoom, then cropped heavily (probably 10-15% of original area) in post processing. Hence the dismal technical quality. But I think the image has some interest because of the puzzling juxtapositions. (click to enlarge)

Doorways in Black and White

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Black and white versions of the photos posted yesterday. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Minnesota Science Museum, Saint Paul. (click to enlarge)

Doorways

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In Dinkytown. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Coming to the end of their season. (click to enlarge)

Dinkytown Textures

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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In front of Coffman Union, University of Minnesota. (click to enlarge)

Painting with Bricks

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Dinkytown alley, Minneapolis. Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Main floor of the Science Museum of Minnesota, from a balcony. (click to enlarge)

Dinkytown Windows

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Corner of the Weisman Art Museum (Frank Gehry, architect) at the University of Minnesota, against an active sky. (click to enlarge)

Dinkytown Doorways

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul. (click to enlarge)

Studio Sessions Opening

The last three artists whom I photographed at the "Studio Sessions" opening. Click photos to enlarge them.


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Mary Griep


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Randy Johnson


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Wayne Potratz

Picture of the Day

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A black and white version - with a little grit added - of the photo of Ginny Beuide from the "Studio Sessions" opening. (click to enlarge)

"Studio Sessions" Artists

Three more photos of artists, their works, and my photos from the 1970s at the "Studio Sessions" exhibition. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Stewart Turnquist


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Carole Fisher


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James Kielkopf

Picture of the Day

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Another version of the photo of Anthony Caponi, from the "Studio Sessions" opening. (click to enlarge)

Studio Sessions Opening

Last night was the opening of "Studio Sessions", an exhibit at the Minnesota Museum of American Art of photos I had taken in the 1970s of artists working in their studios, along with examples of their work. At the opening, I took photos of some of the artists with their photographs and the piece they put in the exhibition. I'll be posting those photos over the next few days. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Hazel Belvo


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Anthony Caponi


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Ginny Bueide

Picture of the Day

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Jerry Ott in front of his painting and my photo of him from the 1970s, at my show "Studio Sessions" at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. (click to enlarge)

Dinkytown Bikes

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Another woeful Minnesota M on the neglected side of the Washington Avenue Bridge betwee East and West Banks of the University of Minnesota. (click to enlarge)

Cedar-Riverside Mural

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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The Cedar-Riverside murals near the West Bank campus of the University of Minnesota, which I've been posting for the past several days, are brightly painted and kept up by the Somali community that lives there. Some of the University of Minnesota symbols on the Washington Avenue Bridge leading to the West Bank, however, don't show an equivalent pride.

(click to enlarge)

Cedar-Riverside Mural

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Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Part of a mural, Cedar-Riverside district of Minneapolis. (click to enlarge)

Walkers in the City

In the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, which has a large Somali population. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Part of a mural, Cedar Avenue. (click to enlarge)

Signs and Reflections

Storefronts on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Cedar-Riverside wall. (click to enlarge)

Reflections

Shop fronts on Cedar Avenue near the West Bank of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Compare with the pictures posted earlier today - all from the same bulletin board. (click to enlarge)

Campus Advertising

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Happy!


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Maybe not so much.

Click photos to enlarge them.

Picture of the Day

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Morrill Hall, University of Minnesota. (click to enlarge)

Golden Light

The golden light of late afternoon and early evening is often thought to be the best for landscape and other scenic photography. In some cases, however, this light can be duplicated simply by tweaking the white balance in the camera or in post-processing. As in this example: tweaked version on top, original below. Both nice. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Trailer Hookup

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Newberg, Oregon. (click to enlarge)

Ominous Dolls

Seen in a shop window in the Pearl District, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Against a wall in the Pearl District, Portland. (click to enlarge)

Old Industrial Buildings

Seen in early evening light from Fields Park in the Pearl District, Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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A picture that I posted yesterday in color, redone here in a dark black and white and cropped to a longer aspect ratio to emphasize my sense of the somber nature of the scene with the abandoned framework and the dark, reflective water. On the Willamette River near Newberg, Oregon.

(click to enlarge)

Reflections

Reflecting pool, rusted rails, and high-rise in Tanner Springs Park, Pearl District, Portland Oregon. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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Decayed posts in the Willamette River near Newberg, Oregon. (click to enlarge)

Canoeing on the Willamette River

From Chehalem Paddle Launch in Newberg, Oregon. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Picture of the Day

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It's dinner time - feed me! Pearl District, Portland. (click to enlarge)