Of the many challenges of life in today’s Cuba, housing must rank among the greatest. There’s not enough of it, much of the available housing stock is in terrible shape, and the Cuban legal code makes it hard to legally transfer ownership — so moving households is a big challenge.
In this shot from above (courtesy of a hotel upper-floor window), you can see how some units were turned into small yards after their roofs collapsed. Continue reading
One of the privileges of photographic life near Denver, Colorado is that you get some uniquely colorful holiday lights to play with. In particular, the Denver City and County building traditionally is bathed in a very… unrestrained choice of colored lights at night for the season. Call it gaudy, call it exuberant, call it tacky, the bottom line is that it’s a photographer magnet (we just can’t help ourselves).
Best of all, the folks running the building now turn off the street lights on Bannock Street in front of it every Sunday night when the building’s lit up — this makes it so much easier to capture the building in all its highly-saturated glory. So last Sunday, I got bundled up to handle our recent frigid night temperatures (clear sky, 17 degrees Fahrenheit) and went to town on the place.
The above photo was taken from near the end of the building’s south wing, if you were curious. This is definitely my favorite photo of the set, I really like how the snow in the foreground brings some of the chill to the viewer. Continue reading
A street scene from the 2015 Denver Parade of Lights:
From what I’m told, this is about as bad as traffic gets on Cuba’s Autopista Nacional (National Highway):
But this makes sense, when you consider that only about 2% of Cubans own a car. The Autopista was planned to span the length of Cuba, from Pinar del Rio on the west to Guantanamo on the East. Construction started in the 1970’s, but halted in 1990 when the Soviet bloc collapsed, and Cuba could not continue highway construction using only its own resources. As a result, the western end of the highway is largely complete, while its eastern end has two completed segments, and the central part consists of only plans.
In this view, we’re travelling west, toward Havana.
Our family recently returned from a “people-to-people” tour of Cuba — one of the most unique sights was definitely “La Milagrosa,” in Havana’s Colon Cemetery:
This is the grave of one Amelia Goyri de Adot, a woman who died in childbirth at 23 years of age on May 3, 1901. Her infant son who also died was buried in her casket, at her feet.
Seen at the 2015 Denver Chalk Art Festival, it’s another impressive piece of work by Dawn Wagner:
So it just now occurred to me that I took a huge number of photos on a trip to Chicago a few years back, and somehow neglected to get more than a handful out on the internet to date.
That being said, here’s a shot I took of a Chicago sunrise, partially reflected in the Cloud Gate sculpture (a.k.a. “the bean”) in Millennium Park:
For those interested in visiting, I’ll be writing up a post in the next week or so with tips on photography of and with Cloud Gate; as public sculpture goes, it’s a particularly fun object to work with photographically.
A relatively new phenomenon (for Paris), the Pont des Arts bridge has gotten covered with “love locks” since about 2008.
If you’re not familiar with the meme, the idea is that couples write their names on a padlock, lock it on the bridge, then toss the key into the Seine river as a show of their everlasting devotion. The problem, though, is that the bridge wasn’t really designed to handle this kind of a load (it’s estimated that nearly a million locks, weighing 60+ metric tons, have been snapped onto the bridge).
When we traveled to Iceland a few weeks back, we were primarily hoping to see the colors of the northern lights. We inadvertently saw some more urban colors as well — this time, in Reykjavik:
Many of the more-traditional buildings in Reykjavik tend to be painted in fairly muted tones. One swath of buildings near the harbor is dressed in a more modern fashion, with saturated solid colors. This one apparently got a bit of help from some of the younger locals — its sky blue front was augmented at some point with a variety of colorful graffiti. When we passed by, the interior appeared to be in the process of being rebuilt — into a shop, or restaurant, or whatever — hard to say. Regardless, it was a welcome splash of semi-chaotic color on an otherwise drab day.
Two fountains, lit up nicely at the Denver Botanic Gardens:
A 10-second exposure taken with an Olympus E-M1 at ISO 1600 — no noise at all in the SOOC image.