Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation

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via Photo Challenge: Transformation

I can’t do credit to the subject of today’s challenge in just one photo. Here are a series of photos taken at the Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua, Guatemala. This used to be a convent – now it has become a hotel, spa and houses a number of museums. Visitors are encouraged to wander around. It was the last stop on our walking tour of the old city. We had booked an excursion with the cruise ship company (Holland America) but decided to chose one that allowed us to wander around at our own pace, and look at the things we found interesting, rather than follow a guide. I would have liked to have spent more time here, since we had really left ourselves enough time as it did not sound like it was going to be the best part of the tour. There are a number of ruined monasteries and convents in the city, the result of the earthquake in 1773. The death toll was around 600 with about the same number dying of disease and starvation subsequently. The toll was particularly heavy on the occupants of these massive stone buildings and several still lie in ruins. We did visit another smaller scale hotel at Santa Catalina which was also a convent but nothing like as lavish as this one.

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

From convent to ruin to “best hotel in Antigua” – quite a Transformation

Written by Stephen Rees

November 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

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Harbour Progress

I was on a cruise last month. I was using my camera quite a lot – over a thousand pictures in 19 days. And ashore I usually had my phone with me as well – searching for free wifi, cruise ship internet connections being both expensive and unreliable. The ship was docked in Corinto, Nicaragua and I had been ashore exploring the little town, but it was very hot and there was not a lot to see. So I had decided to go back on board, and see what I could find in the buffet. I did not have either phone or camera with me. But I had brought the new Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablet which I was using to read e-books I had downloaded before the cruise. I also made  my own journal entries on it.

When I looked out of the window I saw this oil tanker passing us, and thought I should check out the tablet’s camera. I had seen quite a lot of people using tablets to take pictures – and in my experience with other tablets, that had been a bit awkward, and I was never very happy with the results. In fact I had never used the camera in this tablet. So this was indeed an Experimental picture. I am quite pleased with it, but it is still the only one on the tablet’s SD card.

And that strange UFO looking bright object over the headland is actually a reflection of one of the lights in the buffet. I think the window was pretty grubby too. I did not use any photo editing software in this image but it could certainly be improved by levelling the horizon and removing some of the artifacts, but then that would invalidate the experiment.

Written by Stephen Rees

November 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Temporary

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This continues the theme I started with yesterday’s post. This picture was taken in the same city – the Old Town of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia – and is the same technique of peeking in an open doorway onto the street. What we see this time is only Temporary.

IMG_7065

Written by Stephen Rees

November 8, 2017 at 11:51 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peek

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I am really late to the photo challenge this week. In fact this is the last day to respond since there will be another challenge tomorrow.

“This week, share a peek of something — a photo that reveals just enough of your subject to get us interested. A tantalizing detail. An unusual perspective. ”

Well this photo was taken on Thursday last week, the day after the challenge was issued. We were walking in the Old Town of Cartagena, Colombia – and a door was open. And I could not resist a peek through it to the private courtyard in the centre of the building. That day was really hot – but the courtyard looked cool and inviting. The Spanish conquistadors really understood how to build for hot countries in the centuries before the invention of air conditioning.

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Written by Stephen Rees

November 7, 2017 at 11:16 am

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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.

Scale

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.

POSTSCRIPT

Cypress Mountain is going to be open early this year

Written by Stephen Rees

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

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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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