I took this while walking after midnight along the canals of Amsterdam. There aren't many places in the world I feel safe walking late at night, but this city is one. Maybe I am naive, but it's a good sign when you see all manner of people out walking at the same late hour, as though it was a perfectly normal thing to do. As I write this I am returning from a major American city where I spent a few days. To be honest I would not walk alone at night in that city. But Amsterdam is different in many ways.
I was discussing this with a friend recently and we were trying to put our finger on the essence of European cities like this. His take was, and this is a generalization, that Europeans tend to be more mature about things. I'm not sure about that but I'm willing to consider it.
Generalization break down as soon as you look at individuals, but at a macro level you notice differences. Maybe it also has to do with countries that are smaller and have a greater sense of altruism on a national level.
Smarter people than me will have a better explanation, but it's something I think about. And more than that it's something I'm grateful for as I visit and am able to walk around at night and take pictures.
This is a foggy night at the dock in Bradenton Florida. We get fog at certain times of the year and it typically lasts only for a couple of weeks. It will roll in at night and blanket the area. I've been waiting for it since last year so I headed on a recent evening to capture some images.
The fog makes everything look mysterious, like a scene from a movie. Even the simplest of scenes take on a sense of intrigue. Street lights form triangular shapes as they fan towards the ground, and in this case are reflected in the still dark waters of the river.
A simple setting that I've seen a hundred times appears different, even foreign. People appear slightly veiled as though involved in some intrigue. I've watched too many thrillers, but it seems certain that if there are spies nearby, this is when they come out to devise their plots. Or not.
If it seems to you like I get a little carried away then you would be correct. As a photographer I get carried away whenever the weather changes. It evokes my imagination and together with familiar settings I concoct all manner of fictional scenarios. But then it's my job to bring you the story, not the facts.
This is a jet on approach to the airport on California. Over the weekend I stayed at the Marriott hotel adjacent to the San Francisco airport. One of its main attractions is to sit outside and watch the jets land. That sounded a bit odd to me until I stepped outside the first morning. Once I saw it for myself I was mesmerized. I've been inside of planes countless times but I've never just sat and watched the spectacle. There is a strange fascination with watching large objects descend from the sky. I took a few images and this is one of my favorite.
I wasn't the only one there with a camera, another fellow was out as well. I got the impression that watching the planes is a reason some people choose this hotel. Inside the rooms I couldn't hear the jet engines so they've done a good job with that. Along the water was a bike and jogging path so the area has a nice feel to it despite it's proximity to the airport.
If I can borrow a popular phrase, this image is a bit of fake news. In fact there were no clouds in the sky so I replaced the sky with clouds from a Florida image. I'm more interested in the feel of an image and this is what I had in my mind. I also added a bit blur to convey motion. To some people this is just cheap photoshop tricks, to me it's an idea. Meaning I have an idea in my head, I take a photo, and I bring that idea to life through tools.
Just because it might look real doesn't mean I'm trying to trick anyone. I'm just exploring ideas, having fun and at the same time feeding my creative muse. This is paintography, a mix of photography and digital painting.