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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time Stands Still …

Rush a Canadian Rock band ….

Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, and Neil Peart of Rush

Final stanza of ‘Time Stands Still’  ….

“Summer's going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away...
The innocence slips away”

Time is dynamic not static and to represent time ‘standing still’ in photo I thought that I would show fleeting moments.  Time stopped with the photo and in the next seconds that moment is gone not to ever be repeated:  A child’s first step, a butterfly landing on your hand, a ray of light glowing just right in the valley.  Only caught if in the right place at the right time and with your camera in hand.

Sunrise 4th of July, 2004  One moment of glory caught on disc (almost wrote film – that would be time standing still.) never to be seen again.


The last ray of light, on high storm clouds, just before night falls.  April 11, 2006


Antonella, Camillo’s great grand-daughter celebrating being one year old.  Dec. 3 2011


Camillo and I – forever young… Houston Halloween 1993 (?)

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Friday, April 20, 2012

learning new things:

      For the past two months I have been working hard trying to restore the photos to all my older posts.  I don’t have a complete understanding of what happened, why the photos started to disappear – but by going post by post; pulling them into Windows live Writer, locating the correct photos in my extensive archives and reinstalling the photos onto the post, I was able to re-load all but 5 or 6 photos.  Those that I couldn’t find, I substituted another similar one. The benefit to all of this work is that I re-read all the posts; corrected (well tried to correct) sentences, punctuation and spelling errors, and I was able to enjoy all over again what I’d thought, then wrote, re-living as you will, the experiences. 

    The posts I wrote in 2007 and 2008 while with RioRose, tended to be short and not particularly well written.  During those years, I was posting directly from Blogger and writing in English from Brasil and Blogger would spell check in Portuguese – effectively making spell check unusable.  Then in 2009, I began using Flowers and More exclusively and creating the posts in Live Writer most of the time.  By March I had joined the Friday, My Town Shoot-out gang and as the year progressed, I seemed to write longer posts and they seemed to have more thought given to the structure of the post.  I am sure that this is because I now had an audience that was made up of good writers and photographers…. and I am competitive by nature…. so I made more of an effort to be understood.  I still had a gazillion typos – spelling – wrong word usages but the posts were definitely better written – being competitive apparently does not equate to being detail oriented.  Actually my most major flaw is that I think I do it right so I don’t check my work, always has been my problem and I’ve not learned to correct my behavior over time.  Just getting older not wiser…

SAM_0821     This week’s topic is using the rule of thirds to show your town.  Rebecca gave us all a short lesson on the rule of thirds way back, but except for our own desire to try using it, we hadn’t delved deeply into the photography aspect on a shoot-out.  She has given us quite a few lesson in photography and I think I have read them all, adjusted my photo taking with each; so from both her lessons, SAM_0797things I’ve read and the just plain volume of photo taking, I think I have become a better ‘picture taker’  (I still refuse to say I am a photographer puts too much pressure on me.)  Because of my adjusting my photo taking a little bit over time, my curiosity this week was how often do my favorite photos follow the ‘rule of thirds’ without conscious effort.  So I went through my archives and pulled a few photos into an editor and by selecting the ‘crop’ edit was able to overlay the photo with a 9 square box.  Then I ask myself, what is the center or the main focus of the photo, adjusted the crop to put the point in the center or along one of the lines of the center box.  Frankly I didn’t see much, if any improvement in the photos.  The one that is now my header photo is one I thought ‘rule of thirds’ before I snapped it, tilted the camera in order to have about 1/3 ground cover, one third grand palm, and 1/3 sky and framing trees.  And of all my fooling around with the editor this quick photo is my favorite….. of all the edit probably the last one has the most significant difference - tell me what you think. 



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Friday, April 13, 2012

Palácio da Ilha Fiscal, Rio de Janeiro

Fiscal Island, Rio de Janeiro

Is it really Friday?  This week flew by.  With a churrasco in Teresopolis on Saturday; then a quick trip into Rio for two nights, both nights having a dinner with friends and during the day continuing to put my blog posts from 2009 back together, then returning to Friburgo yesterday; it just seems that there weren’t any quiet hours to think, or to dream and all this activity causing the week to whiz by. 

DSC_7567I have had this post planned for well over a month.  Back at the end of February, Camillo and I decided to go back to the Navy Yard Museum over by the small airport (Santos Dumont in Central Rio).  We had gone over with Carolina during her visit but we were all too hungry to wait for the boat trip to the island, which for me was the main attraction.  This time we were only marginally more successful.  [We really where under the impression that the actual Navy Museum is at this location but it is on the other side of the freeway, walking distance but another day’s adventure.]  We were at the gates when they opened the Espaco Cultural da Marinha’s doors but the boat ride on this particular Sunday was happening only late in the afternoon; we either had to go by bus or wait for another day.  We took the bus.  SAM_0507

The bus drives around through the navy complex, across a short bridge, and takes a very narrow road on the water’s edge, up their driveway – which was built during the horse and buggy days – and parks right in front.  This first photo was taken from the ferry to Paquetá Island.  It is a good thing I had it because once the bus parked up next to the building all you can photo SAM_0485bits and pieces of this historic building - nothing wrong with that, I got plenty of photos that pleased me. 

A bit of history:  Needed as a customs house for the control of foreign ships entering the Guanabara Bay, with the enthusiasm of Emperor D. Pedro II for a “dazzling jewel”, engineer Adolpho del Vecchio designed and built the Palácio da Ilha Fiscal; started in 1881 and completing it in April of 1889 the building was inaugurated with a party which included Emperor D Pedro II  making the 1 km trip to the island on his ‘Galeota Imperial’ (see above).  It is now most famous for the Empire’s Last Ball on the eve of the take over by the Republic.  [“on 15 November 1889, after a 58-year reign, the Emperor was overthrown in a sudden coup d'état that had almost no support outside a clique of military leaders whose goal was the formation of a republic headed by a dictator.”] In 1913, by trading a ship the customs house was taken over by the Navy.  In 2003 an extensive renovation was completed and the building has become one of the premier tourist attractions in Rio.

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Another nice morning spent touring the sites of Rio.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Parque Enrique Lage

“The residence of industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife, singer Gabriela Bezanzoni, during the 1920's Lage had the mansion remodeled by Italian architect Mario Vodrel, with interior paintings by Salvador Payols Sabaté.” 

Camillo and I were sitting on the veranda after lunch and he says to me, “What are you posting for FSO this week?”  This is, of course, a very good question.  In fact it is the only question.  Being Thursday afternoon and tomorrow morning we travel to Teresopolis for a churrasco with friends on Saturday.  And given that we will stay in a simple Pousada, and I imagine there will not be Internet service or the inclination to post while enjoying new scenery.  It is is now or never. 

SAM_0722I tell Camillo about my lack of inspiration in Friburgo’s niches or coffee shops and how it was too bad we are in Friburgo this week because maybe Rio would have something interesting.   He asks does it have to be here?  Because wasn’t there a man sitting beside a fountain reading in…. and a statue of a man with a book in….. He quickly rattles of five or so possible photos he already knows are in my archives …..  Rats.  Now what is my excuse.  His comments get me thinking though and here I am with a ‘hidden garden’.

A couple years ago Camillo and I decided to see what there was to offer at the Parque Lage.  Once the private home for a VERY rich industrialist, now a school for the visual arts, Parque Lage is free to the public and is a great way to spend a couple of hours exploring.   (taking photos too, of course)  The park is within walking distance of the Botanical Gardens and practically in the shadow of the Christ.  Actually, there is a trail from the park, up through the natural growth forest to the Christ.  I asked several athletic types to take me up a couple of times and they tell me it is a hard walk.  “Taking a taxi up is better” was the last answer, I am thinking they think I am too old…..

Back to the park – The mansion (now the school) is beautiful.  The front portico’s columns are of Italian Marble.  Inside in the center courtyard,  is a café for a coffee or a light lunch.  There used to be a reflecting pond in the center of the building but when we were visiting had been covered – maybe it was temporary.  We have to go back and see.   The floor, counter and stalls in the lady’s room were large slabs of marble.  The floors of the, very Italian looking, walkway around the courtyard was made of brightly colored terrazzo.  The grounds surrounding the house has a trail winding up into the forest, an old cave that was once the laundry room with spring water for clear rinsing, and what looks like Rapunzel's tower – being absorbed by the forest.  The access to the tower is closed off to foot traffic but the camera lens can get to it.    The walk through the gardens takes about an hour – a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.



take a full tour with the slide show….