This week’s photo challenge: textures, one of my photography addictions. Hope you enjoy this amuse-bouche of textures from around the world. Next post on Portugal coming this Friday! See you then!
We were very lucky on our quest to see killer whales yesterday. We spotted quite a few of them, just south of Vancouver in the Strait of Georgia, not too far from the shoreline at the airport. Sockeye salmon are spawning right now — heading toward the Fraser River — but they have to get past all of these killers and a flotilla of fishermen in order to get there. Competition is unusually fierce this season, with far fewer numbers of salmon than in years past. According to an article by the Vancouver Sun, the wild salmon population has declined 80% since 1990. As a result, resident killer whales roam a larger territory more frequently, moving back and forth across the Strait of Georgia in search of food. Over-fishing and global warming are increasingly affecting these amazing creatures.
In captivity, female orcas live to be about 30 years but yesterday we saw the J Pod matriarch — a female named Granny, estimated to be ONE HUNDRED FIVE YEARS OLD. Granny even has her own Wikipedia page! Can you imagine the changes she has experienced in her lifetime? Would you give up eating wild salmon if you knew it would benefit the ocean ecosystem around you, and Granny as well?
As another world-renowned elder would say: Do or do not. There is no try.
I love this week’s photo challenge: Frame. I’m sharing three of my favorite travel photos.
We woke up early after a splendidly silent night in Wahiba Sands. The sun wasn’t quite above the horizon. I opened the door within a door at the entrance to our desert camp and found two amazing views in the frame — a woodcarving that told its own story and a landscape that holds a thousand years of stories I’ll never know.
This bridge had me at hello. With hundreds of colorful prayer flags, all I wanted to do was watch and wait to see who walked through the wood frame at the other side.
Sometimes when you’re traveling there’s a moment of beauty that catches you completely by surprise. This was one of them, at one of the thousands of temples in Bagan. The tall doorway and ironwork framed this man perfectly, who was contentedly out for an afternoon sweep.
The patchwork masonry catches my eye. I walk closer and see her looking out from her window onto the street below. I hold up my camera to ask, by gesturing, if I can take her photo. She smiles, laughs and points to the wrap on her head, as if to say “Really? Me? But what about my hair?” I smile back. No matter, señora. It’s morning in Cuba, I still can’t believe I’m here, and everything is beautiful — including you.
I love the colors and shapes of the Great Reno Balloon Race. Every September, at the base of the mountains leading up to Lake Tahoe, the sky fills with hot air balloons from all over the country.
At Dawn Patrol, balloons begin inflating in the morning darkness. Close your eyes and it sounds like dragons breathing as the balloons awake from their limp demeanor and stand upright from baskets on the grassy pitch. Only a handful of balloons are qualified to fly in the dark. They glow with light and take flight like khom loy.
The sun appears on the horizon, silhouetting the distinct shapes of balloons awaiting take-off. A fly-over signals the beginning of the Mass Ascension. One by one, the balloons release and float off. By mid-morning the view above is filled with color, like teardrop gemstones hanging in the sky. Simple, elegant, spare, stunning.
Happy Memorial Day weekend!
Depth of field and reflection collide in an abstract composition. A Magritte sky silhouettes the trees and mountains of Joffre Lakes, British Columbia.
An outdoor seating area in Singapore becomes a mass of intersecting shapes and surfaces reminiscent of Escher.
In Melaka, shadow and color intermingle at sunset like Rothko and Mondrian went out to play.
O’Keeffe comes to life with organic lines and infinite hues of yellow and orange in Singapore.
For a split-second I was annoyed to find his phone interrupting the shot I was composing in the viewfinder of my DSLR. Then I realized he had given me an opportunity to shoot a photo that was different and better than the one I had in mind. Our accidental collaboration was a repeat of a repeat, and we were simultaneously, electronically imitating the art in front of us.