Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy and commonly known as Il Duomo. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436. Unfortunately it is one of those places that is almost impossible to photograph without a crane or a drone.

It is located in the Piazza del Duomo surrounded small streets and thousands of people. This shot taken 20 years ago from across the river in The Piazza of Michelangelo gives you an idea of the size and scope. Click Here

In this close view you can see the beauty and the style of marble used to create this sanctuary.

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Il Duomo

Never Forget Kristallnacht

November 9, 1938

Americans have some dates burned in their memory. September 11 and December 6 are two notorious dates where Americans were attacked, killed and suffered extreme hardships. It is important as Americans to remember these dates and honor the fallen.

However, as citizens of the world we MUST remember today as well because it is the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Tonight were the first attacks on Jewish homes in Germany. At least 91 Jews were killed in the attacks, and a further 30,000 arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, over 1,000 synagogues were burned and Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. Millions of others experienced death and torture by the lunatic Hitler.

We must never forget and always honor this day. Things are much better in Europe now for Jewish people that have remained or returned over all these years. However, this year when visiting Italy I saw it was still necessary for soldiers to guard the synagogues.

Synagogue in Milan Italy

Hallelujah by Maryfer Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

We traveled for a week aboard the Azamara Pursuit cruising from Barcelona to Rome. It was an awesome experience and I am sure I will write more about it over the next few weeks. There was a lot of good entertainment onboard but our favorite was the captivating Maryfer. Playing a grand piano and singing in a beautiful clear voice with great range.

The video is her singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. It doesn’t do justice to the power of her voice but you get the idea.We also got to know her and her boyfriend a little. He accompanies her on guitar and also is a vocalist. A lovely young couple.

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Changing of the Guard at Monaco Palace

We got lucky on our visit to Monaco and arrived at the Palace when they were changing the guard. Of course there were a few thousand tourists lined up in front of me but I still managed to get a few images. Not as dramatic as Prague Castle or Tomb of The Unknown Solider but still dramatic.

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Monaco Palace

Changing of The Guard

Changing of The Guard

Anne Fankhuis Removed By RedBubble

I was notified this week by RedBubble which I used to house my commercial storefront that they had adopted a new policy on sensitive events like the Holocaust and had removed one of my works. I thought at first that they had removed my image of The Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. It turns out while I have used that image a few times on this blog I had never uploaded it to the commercial site.

They chose to remove this image taken inside the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. It’s not a high quality image. It was taken quickly with a 2 megapixel Canon Camera in 1999. I was still shooting film back then and didn’t take out my gear inside the Anne Frank Museum.

I like it because it was the window she used to stare out of and there are children going to school outside. It made me empathetic with how she must have felt. I appreciate RedBubble’s heightened sense of responsibility because of rising anti semitism in the world but believe they overreached in this case. Please let me know what you think!

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Anne Fankhuis Amsterdam NL

Ghosts of Köln

Years ago I learned the basics of blur motion photography. Placing the camera on a tripod and using a slow shutter speed allows you to create blurred motion on a still background. If you pan with the movement you will create another type of blur effect like this one entitled Running Deer. I have often thought of this process as creating ghosts.

While relaxing in Köln on the waterfront I decided to try to make some “ghosts” using a monopod. A lot of my attempts didn’t work. A monopod is not as good as a tripod but I still managed to capture a couple of ghosts.

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Ghosts of Köln

Ghosts of Köln

Ghosts of Köln

The Girl in The Blue Dress

I published the full color version of this image in 2008 entitled Graffiti and The Girl. In looking back I realized that the image suffered from too much color and too much clutter.

I decided to edit the vision and after cropping to remove some of the clutter, I did some masking and selective color. I think the result is stunning.

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The Girl in The Blue Dress