In Amsterdam there are bike roads constructed everywhere. I'm not even sure they should be considered lanes because in many cases they are roads in their own right. The first thing I learned when I came here was that they are not for pedestrians. It only took one time. The same thing happened to me in Vancouver once. It must be a common mistake for foreigners.
Quite often you'll see passengers sitting sideways on the rack. The racks on these bikes are sturdy and people carry everything on them. While walking in the morning I saw parents carrying their kids to school. It's no wonder the bicycle culture is passed from one generation to the next.
Bikes are parked everywhere but the highest concentrations are around train stations. At some stations its the only form of parking. There are tens of thousands parked in massive multi-level lots.
Bike mechanics thrive here, bike shops are more common than cheese shops. However people are resourceful and I saw riders jump off to quickly fix a slipped chain or flat tire. It appears that most people know the basics out of necessity.
Despite all this I rode no bikes while I was here. I only walked so I could take it all in. But on my next trip that will be different. Riding a bike seems the most natural thing to do in Amsterdam.
The floor of Toronto's Eaton Centre as I walked through early one morning. The shapes and lines caught my eye so I used a balcony to capture it looking down. There are normally a lot of people walking around but I was here before opening.
Years ago when I lived here this was called the Eaton Center. Eaton's department store was one of the anchors with Hudson's Bay the other. Things have changed since those days and the stores are now different and the name of the mall is changed. However I think everyone still calls it the Eaton Centre.
In some monochrome images I'll leave something in color. This is a technique I use to elevate individuals or things. Photography is a way to freeze an instant of time, a random moment of our lives. Here I am emphasis a person within the setting.
Each person has a unique way of seeing the world, no two are alike. When the mall opens in another hour all of those people will pour in and become a crowd. Each individual in that crowd experiences it in their own way.
That's a zen perspective that I sometimes get from photography. I find that if I take a moment to consider a scene I might just find meaning in it. In this case I found meaning in the mall.
I took at dawn on the north pier which is where all the local fishermen hang out. The pier is the remnants of the old bridge that was replaced by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. To get out here you need to pay a fee to the parks department. Everyone that pays that fee comes here to fish, I'm the only one that comes here to take pictures. When I show up before dawn without a fishing poll I get a few sideways glances.
I've taken pictures of this bridge from a lot of angles but this is my first time from this one. In reality it was darker but this is a thirty-second exposure and it appears lighter. The eastern horizon began to shift in color in advance of the sun which created a silhouette of the bridge. At it's highest point between the two towers the bridge is four hundred feet above the water. Even that is not high enough for the biggest cruise ships.
If you sit here all day you'll see a constant stream of ships passing under the bridge. You might see military aircraft as they make their approach to McDill AFB. You will surely see any number of animals, from sea birds to ocean mammals. People fish off this pier all day and all night and in that time there is quite the array of things flying, swimming and floating by.
In my case I'm only here for an hour before heading off to somewhere else. Perhaps if I were to stay a little longer I might see more things to take pictures of. However, to do that I would probably need to bring a fishing poll. At least then I wouldn't get those sideways glances.