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September 2018

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Dutch Tilt

Dutch Tilt effective when you want to introduce emotions into your image.  These emotions could be simple drama, uncertainty, movement and even uncertainty.  The key word is emotions and you are not limited to the few words I’ve used here.  

This image has a slight tilt and there is an obvious movement downward.  We know the skateboarder has only one way to go, however, and that’s upward.  There is a slight tilt to the image that adds to the anticipation or excitement – whichever way you want to look at it.  The diagonal works nicely here.

I love this of the boy in the darkroom peering out a sliver of the torn fabric.  The muted colours, the darkness of the shadows and the light illuminating his face work amazingly well together.  The slight tilt of the photograph gives an edgy feel.  There are suspense, mystery and unease.  What is he looking at?  Is he hiding from someone?  Notice, too, the line implied by the directing the boy is looking.  The implied line created by the direction he is looking and his arm extended toward the window lead us to look at the opening in the fabric covering the window.  All in all, this is brilliant and the photographer has achieved a strong composition.

If you look at the top of the wooden fence you can see that the photographer tilted the camera for this shot.  This is a nice example of the Dutch Tilt – a slight tilt of the camera.  By tilting the camera the photographer has given a sense of movement and a little bit of suspense.  Luckily the expression on the face of the child in the background tells us, everything will be fine for the little jumper.

This image tells a great story and is a good example of Dutch Tilt.  What story can you think of?  Could you write a caption for the photo?  The young woman on the telephone who appears to be looking out the window while on the phone and with her hand placed under her hair already gives a feeling of unease.  Something is not right.  Tilting the camera for a Dutch Tilt adds more unease to the shot.  The effect is brilliant and the photographer achieves a strong photo composition.

Lastly, the woman in the truck looking past the mirror and fantastic.  We don’t know the story but the photographer gives us the freedom the come up with our own.  We are involved and this is a good thing.  The tilt gives the image a feeling of unease as does the line of sight from the young woman.  What is she looking at?  Is someone out there or is someone following her?

Great composition and with the frame filled our attention is drawn only to the young woman and this is where our attention should be.   As a side note, notice the colours.  The darks and reds worn by the woman stand out brilliantly against the pale blue of the truck.  We will discuss the importance colour in a future lesson and here you can see firsthand how it was used effectively.

Dutch Tilt is challenging at first.  They are an effective technique to achieve interesting images and images that tell a good story.  The “photography gods” advise us to use this technique sparingly.  If you love using the Dutch Tilt technique and achieve sensational images, one after another after another, go for it.  There is no such thing as too much unless you try to include too many elements in one photo.  Remember, simplify your images.  This is the rule to remember.

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The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster – officially named Elizabeth Tower – is commonly known as the Big Ben. The tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks. In fact, when you close your eyes and visualise London, no doubt Big Ben is what you see.

Big Ben, or Elizabeth Tower, is an obvious choice to include on my list of the best places to photograph London. The entire Westminster Palace area on both sides of the River Thames is camera worthy. Plan to spend hours in the area during all times of the day. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

The clock inside the tower was the world’s largest when it was installed in the middle of the nineteenth century. The name Big Ben actually refers to the clock’s hour bell, the largest of the clock’s five bells. The other four are used as quarter bells.

The clock was the largest in the world and is still the largest in Great-Britain. The clock faces have a diameter of almost 25ft (7.5m). The hour hand is 9ft or 2.7m long and the minute hand measures 14ft (4.25m) long.

The clock is known for its reliability, it has rarely failed during its long lifespan. Even after the nearby House of Commons was destroyed by bombing during World War II, the clock kept on chiming. The clock’s mechanism, designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, has a remarkable accuracy. The clock’s rate is adjusted by simply adding small pennies on the shoulder of the pendulum.

The tower was constructed between 1843 and 1858 as the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. The palace is now better known as the Houses of Parliament.

The clock tower rises 316ft high (96m) and consists of a 200ft (61m) high brick shaft topped by a cast iron framed spire. The clock faces are 180ft / 55m above ground level.

Where is Big Ben? How do I get to Big Ben?
Big Ben GPS Coordinates :: 51.5007° N, 0.1246° W

A wonderful summer meal with vegetables fresh from your own garden; tomatoes, green onions, broccoli, and carrots. It starts with chicken breasts, then a light sauce using orange juice. Add a touch of fresh mint to the carrots and broccoli for a really refreshing summer flare. The combination of orange juice and mint makes for a wonderful light taste, very pleasing to the palette.

Chicken Breast with Tomatoes and Green Onions

Chicken Breasts
Sea Salt
Cracked Pepper
Butter
Tomatoes (chopped)
Green Onions (chopped)
Broccoli
Carrots
Mint
Orange Juice
Heavy Cream
Parsley
Paprika

Season the chicken breasts with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Melt butter in a sauté pan and add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook until done over medium heat, about 3-5 minutes a side, depending on thickness. Remove the chicken breasts and set aside. Deglaze the pan with orange juice, whisking to get all the flavour. Reduce the mixture by half and add heavy cream. Whisk to get the sauce well blended. Add the carrots and green onions, and incorporate into the sauce.
Plate the chicken and spoon the sauce over each breast. Serve with the carrot and broccoli mixture.

For the broccoli and carrot mixture, in a saucepan bring 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup orange juice to a boil. Add the carrots and let cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the water and orange juice is reduced by half. Add the broccoli and mint, and continuing cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Broccoli will cook quickly, and you don’t want it overdone. Add the parsley and paprika to finish the vegetables and sauce.
Serve with the chicken breasts.

By using all fresh ingredients, this is an extremely healthy, and flavorful dish, perfect for summer dinners al fresco. As with any recipe, use it only as a guide. Change and adjust any dish to your own taste and preferences.

Travel Destination – Buenos Aires Argentina.  Tango Dancers. 

When the Tango Dancers go on stage, the magic does not begin but continues to flourish.  At this show, I immediately staged right, or stage left – only steps away from the dancers on stage.  A stagehand directed me from the other side of the stage to let me know when something special would happen.  

What an incredible experience photographing the tango dancers.  The story does not stop here.  Before leaving I promised to return with the photos I had taken this night.  So, a few months later I did indeed return to Buenos Aires.  On my way to the theatre, I was walking toward a sidewalk café, when all of a sudden a familiar face appeared before me.  Who was this?  Luis, the stage manager, and some of the Tango Dancers.  They saw me before I saw them, and they welcomed me back as part of the family.  This is one of the beauties of what I do – making friends around the world.

 

Having seen first hand the personas backstage, I know there are great stories to be told.  One day soon, I fully intend to create an epic project telling the true romantic story of The Tango in Buenos Aires.

Consider these interesting facts about the Tango :: 

::    Argentine Tango and American Tango are different! Most people are familiar with the version of tango that takes big, crawling steps, and that’s usually done with a cape on and a flower in the someone’s mouth. This is a ballroom style of tango known as American Tango. Stemming from Argentine Tango, American Tango is bigger and is more often found in competitions than on social dance floors. It looks great, and can be flashy and fun, but don’t get the two confused. Argentine Tango is more flow-y, involves more legwork, and takes closer and smaller steps than American Tango.

::    If you’re a creative type, then you’ll love Argentine Tango. The majority of the steps are not set steps like you might find in a Salsa or Bachata. Instead, they are largely improvised, so you have to know the moves and how to string them together. Basic figures are used in conjuncture with each other to create incredible movements. The dancer does need to know the lead and implementation of these basic elements, so he can easily navigate the dance floor and dance in time with the music.

::    Once you’ve mastered the dance and can dance with anyone, what do you do?  Milonga! A milonga can mean one of two things. It is a type of tango that uses different beats and is often done without pauses. But in this case, we mean going to a milonga; a type of club or venue that specifically hosts Argentine Tango dances. There are many places in Arizona, especially in Phoenix, that host Milongas for anyone interested in Argentine Tango, from beginners to experts. If you need to practice, a milonga is a place to do so.

If you are looking for Tango Performances, consider Cafe de Los Angelitos (where my photos were taken) or Esquina Carlos Gardel Tango Performance  Below is a map showing the location of Cafe de Los Angelitos and Esquina Carlos Gardel Tango Show:

There are many ways to view and photograph the London Eye.  The view from Victoria Embankment across the Thames River has always been one of my favourites places when I’m out with my camera. Which place do you like?

At this point, my repeated posting of the London Eye becomes a parody of sorts.  Thanks for bearing with me as the London Eye is posted once again in video form.  I return to my question, “How many ways can you photograph the London Eye?”, and my comment, “It’s only a big Ferris wheel.”

There is no doubt the Eye has become an icon easily identified with London.  The wheel did play a huge role in attracting visitors to an area from which so many shied away.  The Southbank wasn’t always a top attraction in London.  In fact, for many many years, south of the Thames River was considered dodgy and an area to avoid, especially at night.

Times have obviously changed with serious redevelopment and revitalisation efforts.  Today, the Southbank draws countless visitors each year for a birdseye view during the turtle-paced spin around on the London Eye.  And, a walk along Southbank London from Westminster Bridge to Riverside and the Tower of London are one of the top things to do in London.  How times change.

Now, I’m not anti-London Eye.  I’ve obviously spent a huge amount of time in this area which you can see by viewing my images.  There are, however, so many more interesting corners of London to explore.

London has layers.  You peel the superficial “do everything a tourist must do” layer away to discover a city offering experiences you’ll not experience anywhere else.  Peel this layer and there’s another and so on.

London is there for the taking.  It is a bit hard on the outer surface, but once you dig deep inside, it is a city that will touch your soul and change you forever.  London changed my life and it is safe to say, everything I’ve learned about city life, I learned in London

Destination:  London

When I say I want to travel, I don’t mean I want to stay at resorts and go on tours with pre-programmed tour guides or buy key chains from souvenir shops.

I don’t want to be a tourist.  When I say I want to travel I mean I want to explore another country and be part of it.  I want to touch a country’s soul and be a better person for it.

I want to discover the streets of Macau – the ones away from the big casinos where real life happens.  I want to walk on beaches in Oman with a camel looking over my shoulder, then climb down to the Bimmah sinkhole for a swim.   I’ll celebrate the arrival of the season’s newborn animals with Mongolian nomads, and feel free amongst the dunes at Moltsog Els.

I’ll browse the bookstores of England; not the new ones but the old musty ones that remind me of the odour of my grandmother’s basement.  I want to hike the rugged edges of the Himalayas again and perhaps give Nepal another chance.   What is it like to ride with the gaucho’s in Argentina or the Uruguayan Pampas?  Maybe both.  I want to know.

The Trans-Siberian Express has a ticket with my name on it for an epic journey from China to Moscow.  I want to go during the dead of winter to know firsthand the bitter cold of Siberia.  I want to feel Tahiti’s soft white sand beneath my bare feet away from the crowds and contemplate what’s right in the world.  Then I want to be amongst the tribes in West Papua immersing into the secretive tribal lives of the Dani people.  I want to wear a Koteka during a ceremony.

I want to meet people who are not like me, but people who I can like all the same.  Their culture, how they pray and their way of everyday life interest me greatly.  I want to see their smiles, listen to their hopes and wonder if what I offer them is anywhere near as valuable as what they give to me.  I want to take compelling photographs of places and people I meet.  I don’t want a selfie.  I want to be a part of their story, not the other way around.

I want my mind to be in constant awe of life on earth and everything that’s in it.  I want to see the world with new eyes.  I want to look at a map and be able to remember how I was transformed by the places I’ve been to, the remarkable experiences I’ve had,  peculiar things I’ve seen, and more importantly, the people I’ve met.  The people who changed me.  The people who unconditionally took me into their lives as part of their families.

I want to come home and realize that I have not come home whole, but have left a piece of my heart in each place I have been.  Part of me is already in many places around the world.  I want to leave more.

This, I think, is what is at the heart of adventure and this is why I’ve made my life one.

There is a magic in travel because it can be complex, yet fulfilling.  True life unravels throughout a journey and you discover parts of you that you never imagine.  There is beauty in discovering new places and cultures.  There is also beauty in discovering more about yourself.

 

 

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What is Dutch Tilt?

https://youtu.be/YtW7qlK6u9s

Always look forward but don’t always look straight.

Horizontal lines lend a static, calm feel to a photograph, while vertical ones often suggest permanence and stability.  Both horizontal lines and vertical lines are good traits.  To introduce a feeling drama, movement or uncertainty, try tilting your camera.  This is known as the dutch tilt technique sometimes used (and sometimes overused) in movies.

Tilting, even if just slightly, tends to increase the perspective of your scene.  You simply tilt the camera as you take the shot.  This can be very effective though it doesn’t suit every shot.  It is best to use this technique sparingly.

It is a strange angle for your audience to view from BUT it the tilt will certainly get a viewers attention as they quickly have to figure out why they are looking at the scene from a particular and odd angle.

The Dutch Tilt can be used for dramatic effect and can be very powerful visually and emotionally to your audience.  The tilt helps to portray unease, disorientation, frantic or desperate action, intoxication, madness, etc…

Download a free PDF with some nice examples of Dutch Tilt, and also there is a cool video on Vimeo you can watch that shows how Dutch Tilt is used effectively in movies.   The Dutch Tilt video is directly below for you to watch.

I especially love Cardinal Place for personal reasons.  Cardinal Place is in my neighbourhood and I get tortured at the gym here.  It’s like my local shopping centre, tho’ it really is so much more.

Cardinal Place is a snazzy modern shopping venue in Victoria. Housed under a curvaceous, new-age glass capsule it has become something of a visual icon in the area. It’s the kind of place that has a pick of the best big brand clothes, shoes and accessories shops all within spitting distance of each other. Keen shoppers can pop from shop to shop with minimal effort and get to avoid the British elements too. The site itself actually consists of three buildings covering an enormous space of over million square feet. The £200 million development was built directly over the District and Circle line underground tunnels which amazingly actually pass through the basement.

The buildings rest on rubber shock absorbers to avoid vibrations from the train upsetting shoppers and their retail therapy. Marks and Sparks, Zara, Topshop, L’Occitane and Hobbs are just some of the goodies found at Cardinal Place. There are also plenty of restaurants so weary shoppers can recharge – massive chains such as Zizzi, Wagamama, Nando’s and Ha!Ha! have all opened a branch among the space-like modernity of this really super duper shopping mall.

During the day, Cardinal Place is quite busy and not so great for photography.  At night time, the centre is fairly empty which allows a photographer to appreciate the curves and lines of the architecture.  Much of Cardinal Place is glass and the lighting coupled with the glass creates marvellous reflections.   Westminster Cathedral is predominately showcased at the Victoria Street entrance.  If you move around a bit, you’ll find the perfect photograph.   Is Cardinal Place one of the best places to photograph London?  Only if you are in the Victoria area.

Where Is Cardinal Place?  How do I get to Cardinal Place?
Cardinal Place GPS Coordinates ::  51.4979° N, 0.1411° W

This is a great meal, whether for lunch or dinner. It’s got everything; flavour, texture, colour, protein, fruit, nuts, fresh greens, and a great vinaigrette. It’s perfect in warmer weather, being cool and refreshing. Very simple to make and you can use ingredients that you most likely have on hand, so no need to go to the grocery store.

Delicious Chicken Salad

Chicken Breasts (Leftovers are fine)
Cherry Tomatoes
Grapes (Seedless, red or green)
Crushed Walnuts or Pecans
Blue cheese
Mixed Greens (Lettuce, Spinach, Radicchio)
Strawberries
Pomegranate Seeds ( Red or White)
Cracked Black Pepper
Dijon Tarragon Vinaigrette (Or any dressing of your preference)

Arrange the mixed greens on a plate. Slice the chicken breasts, and lay on top of the mixed greens in the centre of the plate. Artfully arrange the cherry tomatoes and grapes on either side of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle the crushed walnuts/pecans, pomegranate seeds, and sliced strawberries over the entire salad. Crumble the blue cheese over the salad as a great finishing touch, and then drizzle the dijon tarragon vinaigrette (or dressing of your choice) over the salad, and top it off with cracked black pepper to taste. Serve and eat.

Obviously feel free to substitute ingredients; use different fruits or nuts, use turkey instead of chicken, or alter the dressing and seasonings to suit your own preferences. Be creative! This is a wholesome, healthy, flavorful dish. What more could you ask for?

 

Bhutan, The Land of The Dragon, is tucked amongst the Himalaya Mountains.  The country is remote making it one of the last few untouched places in the world.  Bhutan is almost wholly Buddhist and they measure their quality of life by Gross National Happiness.  To visit Bhutan is kin to taking your soul on a journey of self-discovery.  It is by far one of the few places in the world I have found myself in complete peace and all cares go away.

There are many reasons to love Bhutan and the Bhutanese.  This is my list of 14 Reasons to Love Bhutan:: 

::  Happiness is the key to life.  Instead of Gross National Product (GDP), Bhutan adheres to Gross National Happiness.

::  Colorful festivals including the Paro Festival, which I’ve included in a previous blog post.

::  The Bhutanese love quiet moments and so do I.

::  Bhutan treats is traditions with respect and faithfully follow what came before.

::  The ancient architecture is simple, yet stunning.  Newer construction complements the old very nicely.

::  Majestic Dzongs, or ancient forts, grace every town throughout Bhutan.

::  Bhutan is the Last Shangri-La.  Bhutan, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is the only remaining Buddhist Himalayan kingdom.

::  If you love trekking, Bhutan offers epic excursions throughout the Himalayan country.

::  When you visit Bhutan, you’ll be met with rugged and pristine natural wonders everywhere you go.

::  As you drive through the high Himalayan mountain passes, you’ll literally have your head in the clouds.

::  Bhutan’s cultural legacy will touch deeply within you.  Sometimes you don’t realise how much Bhutan touches you until well after you leave
    the tiny kingdom.

::  Bhutan is pure.  The air is clean and there is an endearing innocence to the people you don’t find in western societies.

::  Bhutan is authentic and genuine.  When a Bhutanese gives his word, you know it’s true.

::  The quiet in Bhutan and the quiet nature of the Bhutanese people show peace is indeed a virtue.  You’ll be at ease during your time in
    Bhutan.

::  Picturesque monasteries, such as Tiger’s Nest, will leave you speechless.

That’s 15 reasons to Love Bhutan.  I got carried away.  If you have questions about visiting the Tiny Kingdom of Bhutan, send me an email.  I’ll be pleased to help.

My affection for Bhutan cannot easily fit into words.  When I returned from this tiny kingdom, I couldn’t view my photos without tears falling.  Something beneath the surface happened while I was in Bhutan and to this day I can’t explain what it is.  Is it the decided ease and peace I felt; one I hadn’t felt before or since?  The idea of this is absolutely possible.  

Few places in this world take a tight hold on me and touch deep in my soul.  Bhutan is one of the places and to this day, it has not let go.

If you have a Bhutan story to tell, please do share.

Destination:  Bhutan