Travel Theme – Trees

Today celebrates trees over at Where’s My Backpack so here’s a few from my travels.

Salem, MA

Neil’s Yard, London

Grant’s Tomb framed, New York

And a bit of an experiment in abstract…

Book review – We’ll Always Have Paris

17586505As you know, I love watching movies filmed in great locations that make me want to visit that spot. I also like reading travel magazines and sometimes travel books, too. I recently finished one  called “We’ll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir” by Jennifer Coburn. Here’s the premise:

The author of the book lost her father when she was only 19 and since then always assumes she’ll die young as well. There’s no reason to think it, there’s no genetic marker that will doom her. Her father had lung cancer after a lifetime of heavy smoking. Never mind. She’s now married and has a daughter of her own and is afraid she’ll die while her daughter is young, too, and decides to start traveling with her to make memories. She and Katie start with Paris, when Katie is just 8 or 9, just the two of them. Katie is much more pragmatic and easy going than her mother and takes the highs and lows of travel much more in her stride, and over the course of about 10 years and 4 trips  Jennifer learns that she can focus on living instead of being afraid of dying. The book is also as much her remembering her father as it is describing the journeys so there’s a lot of flashbacks.

I think I’d have preferred mostly travelogue because that’s what I love to read, more detail on your experiences, please! It’s probably about 50/50 flashback and current but it gives you the background on why Jennifer is the way she is, too.  They visit Paris, Spain, Italy and then back to Paris for the last journey of the book. There are about 3 years between trips so the little girl is a high school graduate by the end and we see her grow up.

It’s a lovely book about mom-daughter time. I’ve taken a couple of trips with my mother though not as a child. (I should probably post the travelogue of our trip to London sometime!)

I think no matter how old you are, that one on one time experiencing new things is special. It doesn’t have to be an exotic European location, it can just be a long weekend away somewhere closer to home.

Mom and me in London

Travel Theme – One Colour

“Monochrome” doesn’t mean just black and white. It also means shades and variations of one colour, any colour. Where’s My Backpack has a weekly travel theme and this week it’s One Colour, showing photos that are monochrome, shades of one colour. Here’s a few from my travels.

Shades of blue: Tivoli, Copenhagen’s theme park, has a small aquarium.

Shades of yellow/orange: The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is normally just plain stone. But at night, it’s lit up and the camera sees that light as a yellowy orange. This is a detail on the side of it.

The Salford Museum at the Salford university has a Victorian style replica “street” called Lark Hill. This is the blacksmith shop. The photo was not taken as sepia toned or changed to it. This is as it was in colour out of the camera.

Family of otters at the London Zoo

Bones from the Capuchin Crypt

Bones from the Capuchin Crypt in Rome, an old favourite :)

Travel Theme: Smooth

Where’s My Backpack’s weekly challenge this week is Smooth. Two of my examples of this show the beauty of the incredible talent of sculpors, able to create something realistic out of stone. Statues with a smooth finish, that look so real that they could breathe.

Venus de Milo, the Louvre, Paris

An angel statue found in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

Smooth, cool pearls

The Tiber river in Rome, almost no movement of the water at all, smooth as glass

WordPress Challenge – Blur

I don’t usually keep out of focus or blurry pictures but there are circumstances where it actually adds to the photo. On WordPress’s photo challenge here, you can see an instance where it does work. For me, I like to set up a shallow depth of field focus where something close to the camera is sharp and what’s in the distance is blurred. If it’s very blurred and abstract, it’s a method called “bokeh”. I also sometimes capture motion, for instance, vehicle lights passing by at night, a train passing by or a bird’s wings. Here’s a few motion and depth of field photos:

My favourite ever was an attempt at taking a photo of people walking across an intersection (taken from an overhead walkway).

De feet.

Another favourite. London Zoo. You can see the zebras in the back.

In the London Underground. I pressed the shutter an instant before the train pulled in so caught the people on the other platform.

And finally, taken while waiting for a bus in London