Missed the Bus?

Where: San Francisco, CA

 

 

Bus Despair

 

I loath clich√©’s but love when they are restated for an unexpected meaning.

 

 

We all know what its like to, “miss the bus”. I often think of the Eastman Kodak Co.

 

 

But in this image the person didn’t miss the bus, but it sure looks like she would have prefered to have missed it.

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Starlight

Where: Las Vegas, NV

 

 

Patchwork Wall

I was meeting a FOD (Friend of Dano) at one of the best steak places in Las Vegas, The Steakhouse at Circus Circus.

 

 

It’s a hidden gem within the confines of a tired hotel that peaked in the 1970s.

 

 

I was very excited about this dinner both for the restaurant, and knowing there were likely many Dano kinda of pictures in this depressed part of Las Vegas.

 

 

Sure enough, across the street from the hotel there was a construction site covered by a colorful vinyl wrap. With the end of day light I simply waited the right silhouette to walk out scene left.

 

 

 

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Running Late

Where: Kyoto, Japan

 

 

Running Late

 

When a bus is late, kids anywhere in the world make a dash to be on time.

 

 

But only in Japan would I find kids delicately holding their colorful umbrellas in mid-stride.

 

 

I was tempted to change the magenta umbrella to a red color and have RGB but…

 

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Worldwide Stuff

Where: Kyoto Japan

 

 

Japanese Stuff

 

Kyoto is known for amazing temples and shrines. When I asked my colleagues in Japan how many temples and shrines there are in Kyoto they told me, just like Starbucks one on every corner.

 

 

On our way to visit a shrine I saw this shopkeeper doing inventory and realized as George Carlin used to say, no matter who we are or where we are from, we all need our stuff.

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Toto, We’re Not in Tokyo Anymore

Where: Osaka, Japan

 

 

 

Winker

 

When I was planning my trip to Osaka my colleague from Japan told me that people in Osaka are very friendly compared to Tokyo.

 

 

And indeed I would have difficulty making this kind of picture in Tokyo.

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Squeeze Play

Where: Osaka, Japan

 

 

Osaka-Squeeze-Crop

 

 

Noren are the traditional curtains that hang at the entrances of many restaurants in Japan.

 

 

They come in different lengths and styles and when hungry, they are a welcome sight.

 

 

The cramp space, the kimonos and the sandals in this image means not only is this restaurant in Japan, but it probably has amazing food.

 

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Go Fourth

Where: Osaka, Japan

 

 

3.5

 

When I checked into my hotel I learned it was the tallest building in Japan. And because of of my status with the hotel chain, I would have early access to the observation floor in the morning.

 

 

Knowing with jet lag I would probably be up at 4am, I took advantage of the offer for the early morning entrance.

 

 

Sure enough I was up at 3:30am, did email for a while, had some coffee, had some more coffee, then headed to the elevators for the observation floor. What a view!

 

 

This was my first time in Osaka so it was helpful for my bearings to know Northeast was towards Kyoto and West was towards Kobe. And after a good 3-4 minutes of taking in the view and watching others taking snaps with smartphones, I instinctively knew the best pictures would not be looking out.

 

 

I soon noticed when people got off the elevator they headed straight to the first open window. Because people in Japan are so respectful, each person would move to the next open window to avoid spoiling anyone’s view.

 

 

I went to manual mode on the camera to manage the silhouettes and then compositional autopilot looking for Golden Ratio elements and/or Fibonacci groupings of 3s and 5s.

 

 

It’s easy to say lets break the rules of composition, but I was classically trained in design so for me, it’s not easy. But I knew it was going to be tough finding 3s and 5s.¬† When I saw a fourth element starting to move, I immediately knew I could go forth with the fourth.

 

 

 

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Seeing Red

Where: Vancouver, BC

 

 

Red Run

 

As soon as I stepped on the escalator I realized it was not part of my hotel. I had no choice but to take it to the top and turn around.

 

 

I was annoyed.

 

 

As I made the turn to go back down, I found myself in front of an entrance to a health club.

 

 

I was no longer annoyed when I saw the end of day light thorough the red tinted windows.

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Crunch Time

Where: Bangkok, Thailand

 

 

Salter

 

On our way to the floating markets last week we came across a salt harvest.

 

 

Our driver asked if we wanted to stop.

 

 

Based on the amazing symmetry, light, texture, pink tones courtesy of the algae and gesture the answer was, “Duh”.

 

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Semi-Decisive Moment

Where: New York, NY

 

 

Bresson

 

 

Three days after winter storm Jonas dumped two feet of snow in Manhattan, I was traversing the now slushy streets on my way to give a presentation.

 

 

Right by Penn Station, the puddles and the light reminded me of Cartier-Bresson’s Decisive Moment.

 

 

 

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Looming Around

Where: Our House

 

 

Looming

I shot this in our house so it’s not the shadows of those wonderful windows at O’Hare.

 

 

It looks a bit like the inside of our piano, but it’s not.

 

 

It could be a pasta maker in our kitchen, but no.

 

 

It’s my wife’s loom, illuminated with the low angled winter light coming in through our living room window.

 

 

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The Other Red Light District

Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

Red Light Bikes

 

Seems like there are more bicycles in Amsterdam than people.

 

 

So instead of shooting Dutch postcards of canals and wooden shoes, I made my way to the Fietsflat which is the bicycle lot near the Centraal Station.

 

 

As the light was setting, and at the right angle, the rear reflectors on each bike were lighting up like a candelabra. Finding the right angle was tricky as I was casting my own shadow on the scene. So I experimented moving my position and in this image, cast my shadow just to the right of the person on the phone.

 

 

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Flight Time

Where: San Fransisco, CA

 

 

silo-159

 

Like O’Hare (ORD) the airport in San Fransisco (SFO) has sandblasted window lines.

 

 

This is the pedestrian overpass to get from the Skytrain to the Terminal.

 

 

At the right time of day with the right light, the geometry is right for a pleasing composition.

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Radius = Number of Feet Multiplied by…

Where: Sandusky, OH

 

 

 

Circle Feet

 

 

 

For roller coaster enthusiasts Cedar Point is a bucket list destination.

 

 

 

When we took our kids there a few years ago, I found maXair much more visually interesting than the more famous rides like Top Thrill Dragster.

 

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Family Portrait

Where: Kent, England

 

 

Courting

 

I was fortunate to have great weather at the Teston Bridge Kite Festival. In the UK there is always weather, but often it’s not the kind of weather one would like to have.

 

 

The arc of the foreground kite reminded me of a proud parent with the kite’s children flying high toward the perfect cloud in the perfect sky.

 

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Dust Up

Where: Tijuana, Mexico

 

 

Deposit

 

 

Not sure why these empties were so dusty.

 

 

And of course the dust makes the picture.

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Groovy

Where Portland, OR

 

 

Groovy

 

Marketing 101: Know your target audience.

 

 

This vendor selling tie-dye shirts knows how to attract the right customer.

 

 

Or as they say in Portland, Keep It Weird.

 

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Half Off

Where: Prague, Czech Republic

 

 

Prague Bend

 

I only had one day in Prague before heading back to Germany for a video shoot.

 

 

 

So I was up at dawn to maximize my time and came across this flower shop where workers were setting up for the day.

 

 

 

I noticed when one of the workers bent over she looked like a mannequin from a department store that displays khakis.

 

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Cyclops

Where: White Georgia

 

 

Grill BW LuLa

 

Before Photoshop World in Atlanta, I headed North towards Chattanooga for Old Car City.

 

 

There are thousands of images there and this one feels like Cyclops was winking at me.

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Shuttered

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

Lisbon Shutters Lula

Knowing I would have a free weekend in Europe after a trade show, I called my friend Jack Reznicki, who travels extensively, for advice on where to go for Dano kinda of pictures.

 

 

Jack quickly said Lisbon because its a friendly place of colorful decay. Jack was right and I loved it!

 

 

This scene may look like bright colored shutters on an historic building. But it’s actually colored bricks designed to push the color out, and not in.

 

 

 

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Hole in the Wall

Where: Berlin Germany

 

 

Handwall LuLa

I grew up during the Cold War and am embarassed to admit this but, I kinda miss it.

 

 

I was always fascinated by the Berlin Wall and was riveted to any dramatic depictions of it from The Spy Who Came In From the Cold to Game, Set and Match.

 

 

So on my first trip to Berlin late last year, for a trade show, I took an extra day and headed straight for the former East Berlin.

 

 

East Berlin was modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan. What a disappointment! I wanted to see Trabants and Guard Towers not cool department stores and hipster clubs.

 

 

One strip of The Wall still remains and its now for artists to express themselves. While it was not the Berlin Wall that captivated me as a kid, this tourist from Israel doing a handstand did speak to how things have changed.

 

 

 

 

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Memorial

Where: Berlin, Germany

 

 

 

Memorial LuLa

 

 

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe evoked multiple levels of emotion for me.

 

 

 

The solitary silhouette helped to capture what I was seeing and feeling.

 

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Commuted

Where: White, Georgia

 

 

Old Wheel LuLa

 

Old Car City can lead to PVO:

 

(Photographic Visual Overload)

 

 

When there are thousands of potential images, it’s tempting to cram too much stuff into a composition.

 

 

In these scenarios I force myself to ignore the peripheral, and push in to find the simple and elegant.

 

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Global Selfie

Where: Tokyo Japan

 

 

Tokyo Selfie

 

According to a recent Time survey on geographically captured selfies, the New York City borough of Manhattan ranks second in the world with 202 selfies per 100,000 people.

 

 

But its a different story in Tokyo where with a ranking of 413th in the world, only 2 selfies are captured per 100,000 people.

 

 

It wasn’t the rarity of seeing a selfie being captured in Tokyo, nor the colorful Kimono that interested me, but that the smartphone was perfectly color coordinated.

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O’Hare Effect

Where: Chicago, Il

 

 

Ohare Stripes

The long day started a few weeks ago in Tokyo when I took a two-hour bus ride from the Hyatt Regency Shinjuku to Narita airport.

 

 

After a couple of more hours I boarded the east-bound red-eye to Chicago.

 

 

It’s hard for me to sleep on east-bound international flights so after 13 hours in the air, I often feel a bit out of sorts waiting for my bag and clearing customs. The disorientation also kicks in when I look at a clock and realize that after all that travel, I’ve arrived almost at the same time I left.

 

 

But the long day continues for me because I have to get to a connecting flight home. That requires re-checking my bag and taking a train to the domestic terminal and going through Security again. My strategy at this point of the journey is simply to stay awake so I don’t miss the connection.

 

 

When I got off the train at the domestic terminal I stepped on an escalator to cross over the street which runs in front of the terminal. I’ve done this several times through the years and I often think there has to be a less circuitous system until I reached the cross over and saw this amazing end of day light streaming in through the sandblasted striped windows. This time it was easy to stay awake.

 

 

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