King Mango Strut – Coconut Grove 2015

King Mango Strut 2015

Coconut Grove, the village where I live, is like a community of retired hippies. It has a history of being an artist community and attracts a very eclectic group of residents. It is also a stone's throw from UM which provides an infusion of youthful faces. Each year, on the last sunday of the year, there is a big street party called King Mango Strut. It begins with a parade of parodies and dissolves into a big street party with live bands in the street. Anything and everything politically incorrect is fair game. If it doesn't make you cringe a t least a little, it shouldn't be in the parade. The theme is We put the nut back in Coconut Grove. These photos were taken at the King Mango Strut. I love living in Coconut Grove.

Coconut Grove, the village where I live, is like a community of retired hippies. It has a history of being an artist community and attracts a very eclectic group of residents. It is also a stone’s throw from UM which provides an infusion of youthful faces. Each year, on the last sunday of the year, there is a big street party called King Mango Strut. It begins with a parade of parodies and dissolves into a big street party with live bands in the street. Anything and everything politically incorrect is fair game. If it doesn’t make you cringe a t least a little, it shouldn’t be in the parade. The theme is “We put the nut back in Coconut Grove.” These photos were taken at the King Mango Strut. I love living in Coconut Grove.

Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Street Photography | Leave a comment

Mango Days are here again

2014 – A Great Year for Mangoes

mango tree

This mango tree is fifty feet tall with a fifty foot spread. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and smaller than most varieties.

It is mid June and my three mango trees are raining mangoes. This year produced an exceptional crop. Just a couple months ago I looked up and saw the entire tree covered with golden blooms. I thought, wow we could have a big crop but the number of blooms is not an accurate predictor of the crop size. Some years an early rainy season results in poor pollination but this year was a little dry in the Spring. As the days grew longer, it was obvious the pollination worked well. The tree looked like it was covered by clusters of green grapes. Then the small mangoes began to fall and the clusters thinned out. But the mangoes were not growing very fast, they stayed small and green. As they became large enough to eat, I began sampling them and they were on the tart side. I was worried the crop, though plentiful, would be small, tart fruit. Then all of a sudden, the rain kicked in and those little green mangoes started to double in size overnight. Now with our almost daily downpour of rain these guys are bigger than ever and as sweet as can be imagined. I can collect 25 lbs each time it rains and typically 50 lbs or more in a single day.

Harvesting Mangoes

Mangoes - the low hanging fruit

Mangoes – the low hanging fruit

It’s tough to be a residential mango farmer. When the mangoes ripen and fall to the ground they bruise and often split. Harvesting them is a full time job. It is important to collect the mangoes as soon as they fall otherwise the ants or peacocks will ruin the fruit. A small split means the fruit must be washed immediately in an antibacterial wash then processed for eating or freezing. When so many fall, it is impossible to wash them all so I have to find friends and neighbors who can step up to the job of cleaning them before they spoil. Just getting the fresh mangoes to my friends is a tough job. I need to collect the good fruit and put it into containers for delivery. Ideally, the fruit should be hand delivered so it can be processed while fresh. Even a few hours delay in processing can make a big difference in the freshness. At the very least it should be rinsed in cool water and soaked in cool water with an small amount of antibacterial hand soap. Then each mango should be lightly scrubbed with a vegetable brush and sorted into four groups, (1) eat now, (2) eat tomorrow, (3) ripen on the counter, (4) discard. The most urgent group is “eat now” as this fruit will begin to spoil by tomorrow. The other three are self explanatory.

Almost Ripe Mangoes

Mangoes getting plump with liquid inside – almost ripe.

Mangoes begin to ripen from the inside outward to the peel. The unripe fruit is very tough and fibrous. As the fruit ripens, the fiber begins to dissolve into sugar. The fruit is hard as wood before it is ripe. As the fruit ripens the exterior remains firm and may seem that it is not ripe until it is almost too ripe. The fruit is best for eating when the skin is still a little firm and there is still a 1/4 to 1/8 inch fibrous shell protecting the sweet fleshy fruit inside. This is the point when the fruit tends to bruise from falling to the ground. One or two more days on the tree and the fruit will reach its peak sugar content but burst when it falls.

Mangoes - ready to eat!

Mangoes – ready to eat!

When the fruit is ready to eat it must be processed to preserve its fresh flavor as it will begin to ferment. When the fruit begins to ferment there is a very short period of time until the fermentation begins to sour. It may be as short as six hours to as long as a day depending on the storage conditions. During the first few hours of fermentation the fruit takes on a wonderful flavor as it has reached its peak sugar content and a slight amount of alcohol adds to the complexity of the taste. There is not enough alcohol to feel any effects but there is a unique, recognizable flavor just as might be recognized in a rum cake. Sometimes when the weather is very hot and there is no breeze to dislodge the fruit from the tree, it can actually start to ferment on the tree. These fruits are almost guaranteed to burst open when they fall and are frequently eaten by the squirrels and peacocks. But occasionally, they fall and only slightly split. If the fruit can be harvested before it is contaminated by birds or insects, it is perfect for making juice or puree for mixed drinks like a mango daiquiri.

Processing Mangoes

Find the mango seed

Find the flat sides of the mango seed.

Processing mangoes is not difficult but it is time consuming. The rewards are enjoying this special treat all year long. The first thing you will need is a very sharp paring knife and a large spoon. I recommend one of those never sharpen serrated edge paring knives they give away as promotional items at the grocery store. A fine cutlery paring knife works well too but will require frequent sharpening. The spoon needs to be stiff handled and ideally shaped similar to the curve of the mangoes. When I go into mass production mode, I opt for the larger metal cooking spoon with a good grip. If just preparing a dozen mangoes for breakfast, I’ll opt for a soup spoon. The process of getting the most fruit out of the mango begins with identifying the flat side of the seed inside the fruit. This is best done by cutting off a patch of the peel around the stem. The section should be about one or two inches in diameter so it exposes the top of the seed.

Remove the mango seed

Remove the mango seed

Once you can see the seed you will carefully cut along the upper and lower side of the seed to remove the seed leaving the fruit in the skin. The seed is shaped like a long oval clam shell. Poke the paring knife inside the mango using the hole you opened up to find the seed. Run the knife over the surface of the seed then rotate the knife all around the outside of the fruit keeping the blade of the knife flat on the surface of the pit. The knife should be tilted about thirty degrees upward to get most of the fruit on the side of the pit as well as the top of the pit. Remove the first half of the fruit from the pit. Set it aside and do the same for the bottom half of the fruit. The fruit is so sweet you may be tempted to suck on the pit to get the last bit of fruit but don’t do it! The pit has a rough surface and may be irregularly shaped. You are sure to get fiber between your teeth and could also break a tooth. Throw away the pit – do not suck the pit!

Mango fruit removed from the skin

Mango fruit removed from the skin. Its ready to enjoy.

OK, so you are one step away from enjoying the fruit of your labors. Grab your spoon and simply scoop the fruit out of the shell of the skin. Start with the edge of the spoon at the top of the fruit where the stem was attached and carefully separate skin from the fruit of the mango. Remove the fruit and place it on the plate and you are ready to eat. You will notice in the photo that this mango is perfectly ripe for eating. There is a very slight amount of firm, somewhat fibrous, flesh right next to the skin, some of which was not removed. In the center of the fruit, next to the seed, the flesh is soft but not jelly-like. This mango has not started to ferment. The texture and flavor are absolutely fantastic.

Enjoying Mangoes

Mangoes for Breakfast

Mangoes for breakfast, add granola, Greek yogurt, pistachios for a satisfying meal.

While they are fresh, enjoy! My favorite breakfast starts with six to ten mangoes (depending upon the size) served up cold with some stiff, unflavored Greek yogurt, granola, and pistachios. That meal keeps my appetite satisfied for eight to ten hours. It breaks the carbohydrate desire – which is a whole different story. But lets just say that I can lose some weight on this diet without feeling hungry, especially when I cut the carbs and gluten out of my dinner.

Preserving Mangoes

Fruit Protector

Fruit Protector

If you want to freeze the mango fruit, sprinkle the fruit with a produce protector. The active ingredient, ascorbic acid, is also known as Vitamin C. It adds a very slight tartness to the fruit and prevents discoloration. Mangoes freeze very well maintaining their color, flavor and texture. When thawed, mangoes will have liquid released from the fruit which is caused from the fiber matrix breaking down. This liquid should be poured over the fruit when served.

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Bridging the Gap from Marketing to Sales

This article has been rewritten and posted on

Please read the revised article: Building High Performance Sales and Marketing Teams.

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Model: Taylor Montague at South Beach

taylor montague

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Portfolio Shoot

Model: Taylor Montague
Agency: Next Models – Miami Beach
Photographer: Sam Dobrow
Location: South Beach, Miami Beach, FL
Date: Feb 19, 2014

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Impressions from Art Wynwood 2014

Art Wynwood 2014

Art Wynwood 2014

It’s art season in Miami so I make it a point to visit as many of the art shows as possible to take a pulse on current trends in fine art and especially fine art photography. Over the 2014 Valentine’s Day weekend there were two art events in town, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (CGAF) and Art Wynwood. CGAF is a huge art festival presenting arts and crafts from numerous emerging and established artists without gallery representation; whereas Art Wynwood is a large organized exhibit by art galleries from across the world. Both shows exhibit contemporary art and photography.

Although the CGAF is a huge show with easily a mile of tents to peruse, I was disappointed by the quality of the art. This is not to say that there were no good artists but, they were far and few between. The price point seemed to be under $1000 though I did see some large pieces going for quite a bit more. It seemed to me that the food venders were the ones making the sales as the crowd worked up an appetite strolling the streets on this beautiful afternoon. Because of the diversity of the show, I can’t draw any conclusions about the current trend in art from this event other than people will purchase art on a whim if the price is below $1,000 and they can walk away with it. So the rest of this story will be focused on my observations at Art Wynwood which seems to have a more consistent theme marketing to the high end art buyer.

01-A-03897-CGAF-Art Wynwood

Art Wynwood is a contemporary art show, most of the artists are still living, and the art on exhibit was curated by art galleries targeting an international art buyer. Most of the art on display was traditional wall art (paintings, graphic art, and photography) with sculpture a close second. A few galleries were showing digital images, video, and other electronic compositions.

The slideshow below presents what I consider to be the best of Art Wynwood 2014 and represents the current art trends exhibited at Art Wynwood 2014.

Best of 2014 Art Wynwood

[img src=]14k0Solid Bronze Sculpture
This bronze sculpture makes a statement about man using a beautiful golden bronze patina.
[img src=]13.9k0Optical Illusion
Graphic illustration on a "pop art" surface where the lines of perspective drawn to the vanishing point actually protrude toward the viewer not away from the viewer. The resulting illusion causes the vanishing point to float as the viewer moves from side to side. It is virtually impossible to unscramble the illusion until the viewing angles is from the extreme side.
[img src=]13.8k0Multimedia application to photography
Photography of the nude abstracted by shooting through a back lit diffuse material further abstracted by writing on the print and encasing surface elements with a translucent epoxy-like resin.
[img src=]13.7k0Abstract Painting
An interesting deviation from the edgy disturbing standard in modern art, this artist paints abstract landscapes with color and soft lines to convey a sense of relaxed and peaceful energy.
[img src=]13.6k0Metal Sculpture
Ultra contemporary sculpture of two heads with an etched look using a pewter, nickel or zinc type of metal.
[img src=]13.6k0Textured multimedia on canvas
Heavy use of paint and textured material to create an abstract image enhanced by edge lighting to emphasize the textures and 3-dimensionality.
[img src=]13.6k0Digital photographic manipulation for composition
An imaginary world assembled from many photographic images to create a unique artistic expression.
[img src=]13.5k0Iconic celebrity photography
Behind the scenes photography of The Beatles on their initial US tour

Current trends in sculpture lean heavily toward presentations of the human form in abstraction whether that be from the technique, materials, or distorted dimensions. High quality craftsmanship, materials, and finishing seem to be the key factors. Ultra modern geometric works are not as prevalent this year. One new theme surfaced using neon signs with emotionally disturbed phrases to make a statement.

Sculpture Trends at Art Wynwood 2014

[img src=]92520Contemporary Etched Bust
[img src=]91670Cracked Head
[img src=]90790Conceptual Figurative Art
[img src=]90100Abstracted Human Figure
[img src=]89700Distorted Human Form
[img src=]89280Realistic Figure Sculpture
[img src=]89000Ceramic Bust of Two Women
[img src=]88790Ceramic Sculpture
[img src=]88510Devilish Bull
[img src=]87930Political Art
[img src=]87700Light Sculpture
[img src=]87890Abstract String Art
[img src=]87780Sculpture on Stage
[img src=]87610Geometric Art

One artist from Asia created a collection of figurative sculptures depicting the same female at several stages of body mass ranging from anorexic to extremely obese. The video below shows each figure as viewed walking around the display.

Popular styles in photographic art include mixed media, digital composition, figurative art, and iconic celebrity shots (Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis). Nudes and figurative art dominate the photographic scene followed by “can’t loose” iconic photos of celebrities. Digital compositions of numerous images are combined to create extreme altered realities. Some of the more engaging images effectively blend size, lighting and perspective to create a seamless integration of the different images.

Photography at Art Wynwood 2014

[img src=]8560Abstract nude mixed media
[img src=]8380Digital Composition
[img src=]7990Digital Composition
[img src=]7770Iconic Beatles Photographs
[img src=]7680Young Elizabeth Taylor Photographs
[img src=]7550Marilyn Monroe Cover Photo for Life Magazine
[img src=]7470Abstractions of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe
[img src=]7380Nudes in distressed setting
[img src=]7290Woman in Pool Illuminated Display
[img src=]6960Landfill

Emerging trends in photography include 3-D imaging with and without special eyewear. The video below presents a 3-D photographic image of a nude woman swimming in a pool. The effect is attained without the use of special eyeglasses using a prismatic optical surface.

Optical illusion created by “pop art” graphic illustration is a new trend in the art scene. Artists construct a “pop out art” surface for their graphic art. A traditional perspective drawing is deconstructed such that the lines converging upon the vanishing point protrude outward toward the viewer rather than away as the mind’s eye expects. This inversion of perspective causes the image to float the vanishing point as the viewer moves his viewing point. The video below shows the illusion and exposes the technique as the camera moves to the far side of the artwork. Even after the trick is exposed, the illusion is nearly impossible to deconstruct. It is yet to be determined if this style of art is a fad or something to evolve after people get over their fascination of the illusion. Perhaps the form will be adapted to photographic exhibits and life size backdrops for film.

Paintings are a mainstay of wall art. Most of the contemporary paintings tend to be “disturbed art” creating an edgy perception of tension, anti-utopian worlds, and dark demons with sharp edges, harsh color combinations, and textures. It is unusual to find something modern or abstract that presents a feeling or warmth, calmness, or peacefulness.

Paintings at Art Wynwood 2014

[img src=]5390Abstract
[img src=]5130Dark
[img src=]4920Abstract
[img src=]4670Abstract Nude
[img src=]4640Abstract
[img src=]4580Dark Portrait
[img src=]4520Multimedia Trash
[img src=]4480Uplifting Abstract Landscape
[img src=]4390Mao Zedong by Andy Warhol
Classic Warhol, need we say more
[img src=]4350Abstract Portraiture
[img src=]4300Landscape
[img src=]4290Large Scale
[img src=]4190Dance
[img src=]4170Eerie Portraiture
[img src=]4120People interacting with art
[img src=]4140Texture and multimedia paintings

Digital technologies are evolving in the ultra-contemporary scene with lighted mirrors, computer synchronized LED lamp sculptures, and video presentations of pseudo-medical procedures.

Mirror Art

Mirror Art

In Summary, I am not a huge fan of the contemporary art being exhibited by galleries these days because it is mostly focused on the disturbed vision of an artist. There is too much emphasis on creating discomfort in the viewer. I see the world as a beautiful place. When I create art, my intention is to take you away into a world of beauty. When I speak to gallery owners and ask them how business is doing the typical response is a painful groan followed by something like “people are still not spending much on art”. When I look at what is being marketed, it seems obvious to me. Life is tough, people don’t want to look at something that makes them uncomfortable and they certainly don’t want to spend their hard earned money on something that reminds them of misery. Well, Albert Einstein once said insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Is it possible all these gallery owners are insane or is it me?

Posted in Fine Art Photography | Comments closed

The Art of Perceptualism in Photography

For several years I have been developing a style of post processing for my images which I call “Perceptualism”. Perceptualism is the expression of how I perceive the experience. I choose to push the contrast, saturation and sharpness to a level of abstraction to emphasize details that typically go unnoticed as we walk on by. When I capture an image, I look for interesting graphic elements and compositional lines in a scene then focus on the story it tells. Back in the digital darkroom, I experiment with color, sharpness and texture to develop the desired outcome. This article looks back at the history of photographic art to provide a foundation for the new direction I am exploring.

I began my work in photography with black and white. I learned to look at the scene through my viewfinder as if it were monochromatic with an emphasis on light and shadows to create form and mood. The abstraction of black and white did not change the content but it could definitely change it’s perception. With the advent of digital photography, I began to see opportunities to add different levels of abstraction to the image. Those abstractions did not change the content but they certainly did alter the perception of the image and its representation. My choice of abstractions, focus, contrast, colors and hues are carefully constructed to convey my perception of the composition.

Photography began in the early 1800’s as a tool to record visual experiences as “truths” to be believed because of their documentary quality. The first photographs captured images in a grainy monochromatic format. As the science progressed, photographic images increased in resolution and contrast providing much more realistic images. But soon after the invention of photography, the debate began as to whether photography could also be art. As early as 1869 Henry Peach Robinson created realistic but imaginary images by combining numerous negatives into a single composition. Robinson’s images were artistic creations though they looked like “truthful” photographs.

Robinson’s When the Day’s Work is Done (1877). Combination print made from six different negatives.

Artistic expression in photography evolved with somewhat distorted, toned, or blurred images specifically designed to imitate the art of painting. Photographers desiring to create art would manipulate the chemistry of the process and experiment with various media for the light sensitive emulsions. Many people attribute the soft focus, grainy, toned photographic images from this era to the imperfections of the technology, not realizing these images were intentionally manipulated for this effect. This movement known as “Pictorialism” reached its peak in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. But wait, there’s more!

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Paris to Marrakesh

Europa II

[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_01-A-02618-Intrepid Tour 2013 HDR-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5330Paris River Boat
A beautiful summer day in Paris overlooking the Seine River toward the Eiffel Tower.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_02-A-03601-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4900Champs Elysees
The famous Champs Elysees avenue and shopping district as viewed from atop the Arc de Triomphe. The Louvre museum which can be seen at the far end of the avenue served as the French royal palace during the middle ages.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_03-A-03614-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4520Paris from Arc de Triomphe
This 270 degree panoramic composition of 16 images photographed from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France illustrates the impact of urban design by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann with wide avenues, geometric traffic patterns and strict architectural facade standards. The image has been enhanced in post processing to emphasize architectural detail in this 4' x 1' wall mural.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_04-A-03581-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4260View from Pont Alexandre III
THe Pont Alexandre III bridge is considered one of if not the most ornate bridges in Paris. It is also considered a significant engineering accomplishment of the time as it is a single six meter tall steel arch design.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_05-A-02777-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4110View for Marie Antionette
The gardens at Versailles mark the peak of French Garden designs. This is the view of the gardens at Versailles as seen from Marie Antionette's bedroom window. The formal gardens illustrate the obsession of man's dominance over nature.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_06-A-02839-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4040Walled City of Avila
Avila is a medeval city in NW Spain completely encircled by walls.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_07-A-02872-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3990Casa Lis
View of the entry to Casa Lis in Salamanca, Spain. Casa Lis was originally the home of a successful industrialist, D. Miguel de Lis, and now houses the Museo Art Nouveaux Y Art Deco.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_08-A-02876-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3880New Catherdal of Salamanca
Built 16th - 18th century combining late Gothic with Baroque styles to blend with the old cathedral.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_09-A-02901-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3830Cool Respite in Coimbra
A calm place to rest from the summer heat in Coimbra.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_10-A-02929-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3820Quiet Cafe in Coimbra
High above the main city of Coimbra, cobblestone streets lead to quiet cafes.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_11-A-02964-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3730Ano da Fe
Streets of Lisbon, Portugal. "Year of Faith" - the church, especially the Catholic churh, is very influential in the lives of people in western Europe.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_12-A-03034-Intrepid Tour 2013And2more-edit-01.jpg]3720Private Club
The Moorish architecture and fountain decorate the lobby of a private club in Lisbon.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_13-A-03041-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3670Rossio Square Train Station
The Rossio train station, constructed in the late 1880's, sits above an underground tunnel considered a major engineering feat of the time. The double horseshoe entrance is a unique architectural element of this building. This railway connects to the region of Sintra.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_14-A-03044-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3560Lisbon Cable Car
Cable cars are considered on of the best methods to see Lisbon. They are frequently crowded and sadly pick pockets take advantage of the tourists.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_15-A-03066-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3550View atop the Pena Castle
The Pena Castle in Sintra is an architectural marvel and must be seen to be appreciated fully.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_16-A-03069-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3520Fortress of Pena
The Pena Castle is built on top of steep terrain with tall walls - a true fortress.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_17-A-03079-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3470Courtyard of Violet
This courtyard exemplifies the architectural genius of its designer. From all points inside and outside the castle, the architecture is a core element of the view.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_18-A-03200-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3410Goat Farmer
On the trip from Jerez to Chefchauen the simple life abounds.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_19-A-03219-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3410Heat of Ramadan
During the heat of the day, Ramadan observers rarely go outside.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_20-A-03248-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3390Chefchauen Blue
The Jews came to Chefchauen to live and work, bringing the color blue with them.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_21-A-03264-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3330Mohammed
Our guide, Mohammud, explained that Jews were eventually forced to leave the city or convert to Islam.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_22-A-03285-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3290Douar Nzala el Rhechoua
A beautiful man made lake seen on the road to Fes, Morroco
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_23-A-03322-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3260Panarama of Fes, Morroco
Fes has the largest medina in the world. The population of the walled-in old town still lives in a subsistence economy.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_24-A-03302-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3250Captive Audience
Outside the gates of Fes, we notice this horse and buggy waiting for passengers. Notice the horse'e legs are tied.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_25-A-03306-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3200Pastries for Sale
Just inside the gates of Fes, we are faced with all kinds of vendors. The time of day is approaching sunset and everyone is scavenging the market for their Ramadan break-fast. Notice those are not chocolate chips.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_26-A-03369-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3130Enter the Tannery
In the center of the medina (old city) we find a tannery receiving delivery of skins for processing into leather goods. The stench of rotting flesh is everywhere. I wonder if the mules care they are carriers of dead animal flesh.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_27-A-03367-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]3120Leather Goods
Above the tannery tourists parade through the rooms of finished product whilst stuffing mint leaves in their nostrils to disguise the odors.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_28-A-03463-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3090Enter Marrakesh
The huge medina in Marrakesh attracts tourists and vendors of all types while the mosque periodically blares the call to prayer.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_29-A-03492-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3080Snake Charmers
These snake charmers make their living by fees charged for photographing them and their snakes. Sneak a photo and they will chase you down for payment. Pay first, but don't expect a smile.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_30-A-03498-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]3090Marrakesh Souks
Souks are individual shops clustered together in the medina (old town). Most items sold are handcrafted goods and food.

Well everyone always asks “What did you do last summer?” Sometimes it is difficult to answer without monopolizing the conversation… so this series is meant to definitively answer the question with only a few words. People say “a picture is worth a thousand words”… Here are my 30 pictures! I’ll save you from the word count. So the title gives it away, I took a trip from Paris to Marrakesh over a period of three weeks with my daughter Jordan. Since Jordan wants to become an architect, we went to many historic places with unique architecture.

intrepid map Our gateway to Europe was Paris, France. After a few days in Paris, we flew to Madrid, Spain where we met our Intrepid tour group. Our tour proceeded to Salamanca, Spain followed by Coimbra and Lisbon in Portugal, and culminating in Morocco with visits to Chefchaouen, Fes and Marrakesh. Although, I have hundreds of images (of which I will post more of in the future) this series represents my favorite images from the journey. I am adding this group to my fine art gallery on Please visit the site if you want some of these images on your own walls.

Please do scroll through the entire series in full screen mode and be sure to click on the [i] button if you are interested in the story behind the image.

Posted in Europa, HDR Impressionism, Travel | Comments closed

Pena Castle, Sintra, Lisbon, Portugal

pena castle

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The Pena Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Sintra, near Lisbon Portugal. The castle is an amazing work of Romanticism architecture combining several styles (Gothic, the Portuguese Manueline, Islamic and Renaissance). The castle is situated on a steep mountain ridge where it receives cool breezes and fog. The castle is surrounded by a heavily forested park of approximately 500 acres.

Posted in Blogosphere, Europa, HDR Impressionism | Leave a comment

Panorama of Paris from Arc de Triomphe

This image is a 270 degree panoramic composition of 16 images photographed from the top of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. The Arc is a center of Parisian traffic with many streets converging upon the large circular street surrounding the Arc. Due to the nature of the panorama the circle has been straightened out and the converging streets appear parallel to each other – just imagine projecting the image onto 3/4 of a circular wall while standing in the middle and you’ll get the picture.

The center of the image looks down the famous Champs Elysees shopping district ending at the Louvre which was transformed from the monarchy palace into one of the largest museums in the world. The Eiffel Tower, located near the Seine river historic district, is prominently visible above the horizon to the right. In the far distance is the beautiful Basilica of the Sacré Cœur (Sacred Heart) which is positioned on the highest point in Paris above the trendy Montmartre night club district and home of the Moulin Rouge cabaret.

The image has been enhanced in post processing to create a uniquely styled 4′ x 1′ wall mural.

Posted in Europa, HDR Impressionism, Travel | Comments closed

The Palace at Versailles


[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]7500Versailles Palace courtyard
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]7040Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6750Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6470Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6390Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6260Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6130Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01-2.jpg]6080Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6020Versailles Palace - Queen's bedroom
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5910Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5750Versailles Palace
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5810Versailles Palace - ceiling paintings
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5710Versailles Palace - ceiling paintings
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5640Versailles Palace - Louis XIV
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5610Versailles Palace - View of the gardens
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5520Versailles Palace - glass gallery
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5400Versailles Palace - View from the lake
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5350Versailles Palace - Marie Antoinette's residence

The Palace at Versailles is about an hour from downtown Paris by train. It is a short walk from the train station to the main gates. The Palace is a major attraction and lines to get into the palace are frequently several hours. We decided to tour the gardens instead of wait in line. After touring the immense grounds, biking several miles around the lake, catching a bite to eat, and touring Marie Antionette’s residence we returned to the main palace and were able to walk right in with very limited crowds. The late hour also provided an excellent photo opportunity with light streaming in many of the windows as well as few people.

The furniture and artwork are obviously quite old and subject to fading. These images were shot in very low light conditions without flash. Many rooms had very little sunlight allowed through the windows with massive curtains. The bright, crisp images were captured with an aperture around f/2.8 and ISO 2000 with a wide angle lens (Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L) and extensively post processed. Post processing includes adjustments for perspective (keystone), crop, white balance, noise reduction, sharpness, contrast, and color saturation.

Posted in Europa, HDR Impressionism, Travel | Comments closed
  • Welcome

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