Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

I’m a big fan of the “Golden Hour”- but the hour near sunset more so than sunrise. The light can be magical and create an almost live painting. If the light is really good, no need to worry at all about the shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

The picture below was taken without camera adjustments in Amsterdam. It was less than an hour before sunset with great light and colour.

Amsterdam Canal by marktravel

Just to prove that it really is about the light, here’s a couple of more pictures, both taken with an iPhone 4s, (Niagara Falls and Jamaica at sunset). Simple pictures with great, natural light taken during the “golden hour”.

Niagara Falls Canada at twilight by marktravel

Jamaica at sunset by marktravel

Weekly Photo Challenge – The Sign Says

It’s the simple things in life that matter. This sign says it all. It’s a sign in front of a Motel on Kingston Road in Toronto.

Great Sign Message

I can’t imagine that the motel business in a major city is an easy business. Strange people; very short term rentals (in some cases by the hour); late night trouble, etc. There is probably always a room available but always the hope that there will be “no vacancy”.

The Maple Leaf Motel

Weekly Photo Challenge – From Above

I’m a big fan of a view from above. It puts everything in perspective and let’s you see the full picture.

View from 124th floor Burj Kalifa

The view from the 124th floor of the Burj Kalifa in Dubai is something else. All urban, city and man made.

Banked Turn Over Muskoka by marktravel

The view from above in a moving object- a small plane in central Ontario, Canada. An adrenaline rush. All rural.

Auschwitz 2 - Berkenau from the Main Gate by marktravel

The view from above the main gate at Auschwitz 2-Berkineau in Poland. Over 1 million people entered this death camp and never came out. Numbing. Perspective is everything.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

My green is not overwhelming in actual colour but important from an ecology standpoint. City green. The greener a city, the better. I always look for green when I travel to other cities. Ideally, a nice park to walk through or picnic in (like Kensington Park in London).

At the very least, trees along a boulevard (or a canal in Amsterdam). Green is a good thing.

My hometown, Toronto, does pretty well on the “green” list. Toronto is the most sustainable large city in Canada for the second year in a row. But winter is coming and our green is changing…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

A dark, cool, rainy day late in September in Belfast. Sort of a fitting day to create a mood for visiting Titanic Belfast – a tribute to Titanic on the site of the actual shipyard where the great ship was built.  While there are many great elements of the exhibit, the building itself is stunning. The facade consists of several thousand three dimensional aluminum plates, the majority of which are unique. The building leans out at angles of up to 25 degrees further enhancing the building’s geometry. Reflective pools and the buildings location add to the visual experience. Great geometry and great to look at.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

Indeed foreign has several meanings. For me, it’s not so much being in a foreign land but what seems out of place or very unusual.

When I see a sign that says “Coffee Shop”, I think coffee. In Amsterdam, it’s not a coffee shop. I have no problem with that but I still want a decent cup of coffee.

I’m a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol and I ski a lot in the winter. But I ski outdoors with crazy weather. The indoor ski hill in the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai, was unusual and seemed out of place to me.

It’s fall in Canada and that means cooler temperatures and fall colours. Winter is coming. Not having all 4 seasons of the year would seem foreign to me.