When in Rome…we visited perhaps the most interesting monument to me, a scholar of ancient Judaism. The Arch of Titus was built in 82 CE by Domitian after the death of his older brother, Titus. It commemorates Titus’ victories, particularly the siege and conquest of Jerusalem in 70 CE, depicted by the 7-branched menorah.
Florence, “Firenze” in Italian (I only point that out because I had no idea), is a beautiful, busy, and crowded city. Taking good pictures of the buildings would require a tilt-shift lens, but I was fascinated by the people taking selfies. I am not going to criticize them, I don’t think they were self-obsessed or narcissistic. In fact, most were taking pictures of themselves with others. And all to commemorate that they had been to this special city. People have been commemorating such pilgrimages since antiquity. Here are a few snaps of people snapping themselves.
This gentleman sits in his little shop writing and illuminating texts. Many of which are in Hebrew, from the Bible and other texts. (I saw one quote from Pirkei Avot.) This day, he was working on a text and image for a Bar Mitzvah.
The artist’s name is Even Caredio and his site can be found here: http://www.adarveadar.com This is the piece we purchased. Like many, we used this quote from Song of Songs in our wedding.
Yesterday there were massive rains on the mountain. I am told that it even dislodged borders that rolled into the streets causing massive damage to cars and the roadway. I took another two more hikes after the rain, last evening and again this morning. Here are few shots, particularly of flora and snails. At the end I came across an amazing rock formation, a kind of bunker, but my photos do not do it justice. I have included a few so that you can get the idea.
For Father’s Day 2016 my wife and daughter took me to the beautiful neighboring town of Bellefonte for their “Cruise” and a ride on the historic train. It was a short journey of 4.5 miles, but when you are only making 6 miles an hour, it takes a while. I took my camera (as one does) and took a few snaps. The cars were amazing. The ones featured here are the engine of a ’67 Jaguar E Type, a ’63 Corvette, a Plymouth Duster (with the Road Runner stripe), a modified Studebaker (I think), and an all original 1955 Pontiac Star Chief. The owner, pictured next to his Star Chief, told me that it has been in his family since 1961. His father sold it at one point, but the current owner bought it back. It was the first car he drove and just last year he drove it to Tennessee and back. “It’s a great highway cruising car,” he told me.
This weekend was the fourth running of the US Grand Prix in Austin, TX. I joined two close friends for an incredible weekend. Wet, but incredible. We sat through a torrential downpour for the UT game, they beat K State fairly convincingly (if you ignore the second and third quarters) and Sunday morning we headed out early to catch the qualifying round that was cancelled from the day before and finally at 2 PM the race would get underway. Assuming, of course, that the rain would stop. This would be the race at which Lewis Hamilton secured his third world championship.
Regarding camera gear, I rented the Sigma 150-600, f5-6.3. It is a heavy, solid lens in every sens of the term. Very fast focusing and quiet. But I did not have a lot of time to play with it before the race. I may not have gotten the best out of it but I used it well! It certainly was much better once the sky lightened, the 5-6.3 limitation is just that with overcast or low levels of light. I have over 2200 images to review, so here are just a couple for now.
The full album (unedited) is up on Flickr now. A few more pics are below.
Today, in an effort to escape the 100º heat in Freiburg we drove up to Schluchsee, a beautiful lake in the Schwarzwald. What I did not expect was the Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus. From the outside it appears a fairly traditional looking church, with a large wooden structure. The first hint of something different is the sculpture out front, “Kinderreigen.” It is four children holding hands going around a mitre and staff. The sanctuary itself is a gorgeous work of modern sacred art.
Now while I love modern architecture and like a lot of modern art and I have seen some of the most amazing modern sacred art rarely have I ever seen it work in a church or worship space. Usually it is too brutal and chilling, rather than inviting and affirming as I believe a place of worship should be. This church was very different. So far as I could tell almost all (if not all?) the work was done by Helmut Lutz, a native Freiburger, who did der Kreuzweg, the “Stations of the Cross.” I was only able to capture a few of them with anything like the power and energy of the originals. He clearly also did the altar pieces and even the chairs for the ministers.
While there I also lit a candle for Mack.
It was a beautiful, quiet and reflective space, made all the more meaningful due to the unique Kruezweg. If we had a car longer I would go back again.
The Normandie Hotel was clearly a gorgeous hotel in its heyday. Built in 1945 it has been closed for years. The toothless-man working the parking lot told me that it was being renovated. A quick look on the internet told me that this has been the case since it closed.
I love art deco and it there is a special kind of beauty to it in decay. B&W seems to bring that it in certain frames.
This spring break we took 72(!) students to Puerto Rico as part of our Leadership Academy. Of course it was also an excellent opportunity for photography. I took along my D810, 28-70, 80-200, and 50mm, along with a Nikon J1 with the underwater housing (which, sadly, was lost in a waterfall; I don’t want to talk about it). A few of the images are below.