Posts in Travel
Notre Dame
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Last week was an emotional week for anyone who loves the cathedral of Notre Dame. The images of the fire were heart-wrenching and disturbing. It’s horrible to see something that’s lasted so many years just catch fire… and stay on fire for hours and hours. It’s a horrible tragedy. These are a few photos I took when visiting Paris in the Fall of 2017. I went digging through my photos in Lightroom last week because I wanted to remember the building, but more specifically, how I had connected with the building in a visual way.

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Taking pictures on vacation is deeply meaningful to me for several reasons. The most direct benefit is that it helps me remember the places I’ve been. It’s a nice way of pacing a day and recording the chronology of events. It’s also an opportunity to create my own personalized souvenir, so to speak, that’s much more meaningful than schlocky mass-produced trinkets (although those are fun on occasion). But most importantly, it’s an opportunity to express myself creatively in new geographical places. I like thinking about the variety of ways a subject could appear as a static two-dimensional image, and then working towards that image through trial-and-error. It’s like a game of solitaire with a preset list of rules that only I’m aware of, and it’s entirely up to me to respect or contradict them. Finding room to compose unique imagery within those self-imposed constraints is an incredibly engaging exercise and even more of a thrill when I get to use such iconic subject matter like the cathedral of Notre Dame.

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I posted most of these images on Instagram recently with some thoughts about the fire. Here is a copy/paste of one of the more substantial captions:

The news about restoration is somewhat promising. More objects recovered than originally thought including the brilliant rose windows (which apparently are not permanently erased like originally reported). NPR said over a billion euros have been secured which is bittersweet because it took partial destruction to remind people what a structure like this truly means
to France and world. Where were the owners of Louis Vuitton and L’Oréal during fundraising efforts to ensure the longevity of the building (e.g. fireproofing the medieval timber roof)? Places like this cathedral are world heritage sites and we can’t treat them as objects that belong to us in 2019. They belong to the past, present, and future. If we could send a message back in time to Notre Dame’s architects, engineers, and artisans telling
them their building has lasted 850 years, I imagine they’d laugh and say
“Of course! We built that structure to last much, much longer, and you in 2019 are merely catching a glimpse.”

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Photos from Japan
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Occasionally I go back through my photos from Japan and process a few that I overlooked when I was actively processing them after the trip. Here are a few I worked on last night to wind down after working on a freelance assignment.

Belize

Kate and I decided to go on honeymoon immediately following our wedding, or at least, as soon after as our plane schedule would allow. Apparently flight to the Caribbean leave Detroit around 6am so we hopped in a cab at 4:30am Sunday morning.

After nine hours of plane-travel and three hours on (mostly) unpaved roads, we arrived at Gaia, our first destination in Belize. Four days later we started the second half of our vacation by taking a "pond jumper" to the coast and a commuter boat to a little island near the coral reef.

Below is a photo roundup of our nine-day adventure in Central America.


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New York City, 2014

This past week (September 4–8, 2014) I had the opportunity to visit New York City with Kate. She graciously arranged the entire thing, including our accommodations at her uncle’s stylish four-hundred square foot condo in Chelsea.

Dave is an architect and knows the history of New York’s skyline like the back of his hand. He’s also a cyclist and took us out on his Brompton folding bikes for a couple of long bike tours around the city. Below are a number of photos from those rides along with a number of other shots from our museum visits and walks around the city.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Panorama view from the top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

It was such a monumental trip for me, having only been to NYC once before on a class trip that consisted of design studio visits and a trip to MoMA for an hour. It's hard to pick a favorite moment, although seeing two Gutenberg Bibles in one day was a highlight. So was seeing Ray Johnson Designs at MoMA. I had heard about that show several months ago and resigned myself to fact that I wouldn't get to see it. When Kate mentioned her plans to take us to NYC
I realized I would see it after all.

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Falling in love with the early NY skyscrapers was another highlight. Each one was the tallest, the most expensive, or the most brilliantly designed building in the world at the time it was created, making each distinct and memorable.

Day 5