Castle in the Mists


Boundaries impose limits on us, whether they’re social constructs or real, physical objects — like the security rail seen below, separating ferry passengers from the icy waters of the Strait of Georgia. They’re there to stop us from doing or saying what we actually want to. But they also give structure to our actions and frame our movements. In photography, they help our eyes make sense of what we see and convey a sense of visual narrative. They constantly invite us to push against them.”


Faith Alone

“Symbolism is uniquely human. We use symbols to represent intangible things like our beliefs and emotions, and to convert the abstract into something understandable. This week, share a symbol with us.”

I am drawn to architecture, symbols and trappings of human religion when I travel. They represent so much of the culture to which they are tied, and reveal much of what comprises the elements of the communities surrounding them.


A Door of Steel and Stars

“For this week’s challenge, publish a new post with a photo of a door (or multiple doors!). Consider how color affects the image, but also think about size, shape, texture, and details — how might these elements add up to tell a story?”

A door made of steel, with a fairly intricate star motif (much harder to do in steel than in, say, wood). Security and aesthetics meshed into one.


Look Up

“So what’s your muse — what subject do you turn to frequently, more inspired each time?”

I sound like a broken record, so I’ll just post another picture of the cloud-laced sky at dawn.

Here, I’ll let Emerson have a go:

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”


Too Late to Be Early

“6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?”

Six in the morning is good, but five in the morning is far better. That’s when you can start to see the sun rise. The world is just beginning to wake up, but I’ve already been up for an hour or so. You’ve heard it from me many times before, so I’ll stop now.

3:00AM will never be my bedtime as long as I have any control over it.

The picture above was taken at just after 6:00AM. I love morning flights.

This post is a response to the Daily Prompt of June 25, 2015.



Muscat by Dawn

Waking up to meet the dawn in a new country is something I never miss doing. Sometimes it’s a dud, especially when I’m staying in the middle of a city built vertically with steel, glass and concrete. I can get some interesting visuals, but that’s not very common. Some days, when I’m in the right place at the right time, I can get a surprising image. I’m a total duffer with a real camera, and I’m using a camera phone. On this one occasion, waking up in the city of Muscat, I got the image above. Capturing the bird in flight was pure luck. I didn’t even see it. Don’t tell anyone I know though, I’m claiming to be an undiscovered Annie Leibovitz.

“The theme for this week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.” Perhaps it’s your favorite flower in full bloom, a beautiful sunset or the color of your ice cream. Vivid is limited only by your imagination. Have fun with the challenge!”


Through the Desert

I don’t get to visit the deserts of the Middle East that often. I already wilt in 40 degree (Celsius) weather. Temperatures in excess of 50 degrees are incomprehensible to me. It’s a very different way of life out here in the GCC. I avoided experiencing a massive cyclone/sandstorm by a day. This region of the world will always seem to be off-season to me.

“This week, we challenge you to show us what off-season means to you. It could be the shuttered ice-cream stand in the Southern Hemisphere where winter is drawing near. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere it might your snowmobile peeking out from beneath its tarp, or your Christmas decorations arranged neatly in the attic. Feel free to interpret this theme loosely — consider objects at rest and unmoved, places that are stagnant or abandoned.”


Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

When you can’t get barbed wire, this is a cheap alternative. Stick broken glass along the top of your cement wall. That’ll keep the criminals off your property.

I don’t like having all that ugly grey cement dominating the bottom half of the photo, but I succeeded in getting lens flare on my phone camera, which rarely happens. Mixed feelings about how the photo works overall.

“For this challenge, capture something broken: an old window, a vintage sign, a toy never fixed, a contemplative friend. Or go deeper: find beauty in something broken.”


The Need for Speed… Boats

“This week, share your photographs that have captured motion, and tell us the stories behind the images.”

The throng of houses-on-stilts in the background is Kampong Ayer, the Water Village of Negara Brunei Darussalam. The only way to get there is by taking one of the little speedboats that crisscross the banks of the Brunei River. I didn’t have the time or motivation to get into one of the water taxis to reach the village, at least on this visit. Maybe next time.