Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

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Downtown Vancouver aerial

“For this week’s challenge, make use of sizing, placement, and scale in your photos. Perhaps you live in a place with mountains, and want to highlight the size of the homes in relation to the dramatic landscape. ”

Downtown Vancouver has plenty of tall buildings – in fact quite a few taller ones now than when I took this picture in 2010 – but they are dwarfed by the Coast Mountains in the background. That’s Cypress Mountain in the middle of the skyline – this was in April but there was still snow on the ski runs.


Click on the image to be taken to the photo page on flickr. You can get a larger size if you like it – and you could, if you want to – click on the star to “fave” it.

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October 11, 2017 at 9:37 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

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Millenium Bridge

One of my favourite subjects Pedestrian is actually the theme of a group I started on flickr called Places Without Cars. It seemed to me that Vancouver had really not done nearly enough to reduce the impact of traffic on its city centre, whereas many other places had closed major streets and squares to cars, but in the process opened them up to become people places. In England they are called Pedestrian Precincts.  I can remember the transformation of the centre of Harrow in the mid 1980’s where I then lived, from a major traffic artery to a place where it was not only actually pleasant to walk and shop, but there were reasons to linger. Once upon a time “No Loitering” signs were common: that is no longer the case. We have come to realise that the favourite activity of human beings is people watching. That human interaction by chance is another of our favourite things – and most commerce is in fact based on such encounters.

The picture above is of the Millennium Bridge in London, which connects the Tate Modern on the South Bank to St Paul’s in the City.

Instead of putting lots more of my pictures of similar structures I urge you to go look at that flickr group linked above and see what other places have done to make pedestrian activity attractive.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 4, 2017 at 10:49 am

WPC second bite at “Windows”

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There was no reponse shown on the challenge page so I tweeted WordPress and they seem to have fixed the issue – but only posts that go up after the fix will show up there. So here are some more windows


These are the windows installed on what was once a balcony in our suite. It is north-west facing, so only gets sunshine late in the day. But the view of the trees is one I often use – and sunsets – the mountains are slowly being hidden as the canopy of tree tops rises.

Here is the previous effort

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September 27, 2017 at 11:07 am

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

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This window is in the Pantheon in Paris. The building is a deconsecrated church, whose architecture is inspired by St Paul’s cathedral in London and has a magnificent dome. If you have a head for heights, you can access both the interior and exterior of the dome, and views from both are impressive. I took the picture as we started our way up the many stairs to the top. The view from this window was a bit of a disappointment, and it did not get used in my record of the trip on either WordPress or Flickr. But it does seem to fit rather neatly into this week’s challenge “To get more creative, use the glass in a window to add texture to your photo.” It seems to me that the panes of this window have not been cleaned for a while. If you like flying buttresses, or colonnades, this is a view of the building not usually seen.

pingback reset

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September 27, 2017 at 9:42 am

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

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The sides of the canyon through Zion Nation Park in Utah shows how the rocks are layered. The erosion caused by wind and water reveals the rock “an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers” over 250 million years old. There is a really nice infographic giving the names of the rocks on the NPS web site.

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September 20, 2017 at 9:26 am

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Not The WP Photo Challenge

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There is no Weekly Photo Challenge being issued by WordPress this week. But I miss it, and by now this blog has amassed a considerable following  of people who have liked my posts. So like me I think they may be missing the challenge. In cognisance of its absence I am posting a picture which demonstrates that concept. Which, I think you will agree, is indeed hard to pictorialize.


This is the local mall, where footfall has declined precipitously during redevelopment. There used to be two pay phones here.

So that’s my challenge – in one photo can you demonstrate absence? When you post set a pingback to this post and I will assemble a list of responses here.

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September 13, 2017 at 9:57 am

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

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A set of photos from my flickr stream, carefully chosen and curated, since the search throws up plenty of other pictures that don’t work nearly as well as these.

Waiting for a bus

There is a flickr group called “I was just waiting for a bus”- though there are plenty of others about waiting, I now find. Because I administer that group I look for suitable subjects.  This photo was taken in March this year at a hotel in Varadero, Cuba where we spent quite a bit of time waiting to be picked up by a bus – on this occasion for the flight home.

Red Hats

One of my luckier candid shot moments. Walking in downtown Denver. I wrote beneath the picture “This bevy of beauties was waiting outside their hotel

“This is one of the …chapters [of] the Red Hat Society, a playgroup for women created to connect like-minded women all over the world to make new friends and enrich lives through the power of fun and friendship! …” That last paragraph comes from someone else – if you want to find out more click on the picture above to be taken to the flickr page.

The line up

This is the line up at Kitsilano Farmers’ Market for the crepe caravan.

Cars on the tram tracks 1

St Denis, in the suburbs north of Paris. The tram in the background cannot advance due to the idiot who has parked on the tram tracks. The people on the left are growing increasingly impatient for the tram to arrive at the stop.

Loitering in the Alcove

Notice the sign above the loiterer’s head. He is just waiting for a bus in downtown Seattle.

Marking the High Tide Waiting for the Low Tide  Don Vaughan

This art installation is entitled “Marking the High Tide, Waiting for the Low Tide” and is by Don Vaughan. It is in downtown Vancouver on the north seawall of False Creek.

"Line Starts Here"

The line up is for the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. It was caused by the searches of every intending passenger by security personnel. This is the point where the line starts officially – and it had taken us two hours to get that far.


Photographers need patience. They spend a lot of time waiting.

Cormorants waiting for a SeaBus

I called this picture “Cormorants waiting for a SeaBus”

I was waiting for a tram 2007_0712

My cousin, Linda Sawyer, took this photo of me waiting for a streetcar at the Halton County Radial Railway in southern Ontario.

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September 6, 2017 at 10:08 am

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