I've been spending some time living in London this year and I've shot for some unique clients that I haven't really experienced in the U.S. One client, probably not even 18 years old, hired me to shoot some photos of her and her date for prom. What I originally thought was going to be photos at the prom was actually just some portrait shots before the prom. I recently purchased a wireless radio trigger for my speedlite and have been pleased with the results. I usually stay away from 3rd party accessories but I've had good luck with my Yongnuo radio triggers for years and I figured this would be a nice little upgrade. Knowing that this was a run-n-gun kind of job, I couldn't exactly bring my strobe and umbrella set-up, so instead I mounted my speedlite with my MagMod diffuser on a stand and fired away. The client enjoyed the pictures but I wish her date would've smiled - or at least put down his phone!
One flight, one train ride, and one long boat ride away from Brooklyn I found myself in Visby, and a Swedish island just east of the mainland.
My good friend Ryan had a handful of friends that were staying the night at the childhood home of one of these friends to celebrate the summer equinox celebration of Midsummer. I had no idea where I was and was lucky enough to link up with two of Ryan's friends - unfortunately they didn't know where we were either.
It wasn't long until we found the rest of the crew and were instantly ushered to coast. There was close to a dozen of us and we explored the island a bit, drinking champagne out of plastic cups as the pink sunset maintained until close to midnight.
A traditional midsummer procession crossed our paths before we journeyed to the sea.
We used the local fauna to produce laurels before having a lovely picnic full of herring. We pitched our tent and had - of course - more champagne.
We hit the beach where we had dessert and played Koop, a Swedish game akin to horseshoes. We opened more champagne - with swords! And we danced as the sun started to set.
Maybe it was the champagne, maybe it was the Swedish thirst for excitement, maybe it was - okay, it was definitely the champagne. We rushed into the water and experienced, up close, the sun taking its sweet time to set.
It's one thing to see a sunset but to be in the water, as it is perfectly reflecting the colors of the sky, and watching it - and it's getting close to midnight and it's not setting. It's not going anywhere. It's one of those moments that you don't forget.
Having never been to Portugal, I thought Lisbon have enough for us to see on our long weekend trip but a friend kept urging us to check out Sintra. A few castles and an hour train ride didn't seem to worth it but then I did some research on the Pena Palace and my mind changed instantly.
Constructed during the reign of Ferdinand II, this palace defies all preconceived notions of how a castle looks. Bursting with color, constructed with a variety of styles this palace was one of the most amazing structures I've yet to see.
Each corner vacillates between Gothic and Moorish architecture.
It feels like something out of Super Mario World.
The interiors don't have such a sweeping impressive feel but there are some beautiful corridors and masterful details.
The town has a few other sites including the Sintra Palace, with it's two conical spires that beckon your attention. Although not as spectacular as the Pena Palace, it and the town is still worth taking in.
I’m going to do my best to keep this a photo blog and not a travel blog but Cinque Terre is a place that I’ve known about for a decade and have always been curious about and felt that my travel preparation was a little more difficult than most trips, so hopefully this post can provide some helpful information to those seeking to travel there. Before traveling, I usually try to book somewhat central, find out what are the must-see attractions and collect as many personal recommendations I can for food, culture and nightlife - Cinque Terre is completely different.
We stayed in Vernazza, the 4th most northern (of 5) towns and it was a great choice. It was one of the more picturesque villages and had easy access to the trails to the most northern, Monterosso, and on the south, Cornelia. You could walk the whole central village in 5 minutes but had just enough restaurants to keep us entertained when we were rained out for a day.
Cinque Terre isn’t really built on sights - it IS a sight. Five cliffside/coastal towns dotting the Mediterranean that can be traveled between via hiking paths, trains or a ferry. We hiked between the towns, mostly because there wasn’t much else to do besides eat and drink in these towns, and it provided spectacular views of the hillside vineyards, the towns and the sea.
It seems that the secret to Cinque Terre has been long exposed and the towns are flooded with tourists, which is evident in both foot traffic and in prices.
There were certainly spots that were more affordable, notably in Monterosso where we had a great wine tasting full hearty snacks.
My favorite towns were Manarola and Riomaggiore which were the southern most towns, and connected by the shortest hike.
Pesto reigns king in Cinque Terre and it’s even put on pizza, which is served in rectangular slices along focaccia.
There’s also an abundance of delicious, fresh anchovies that are prepared in a multitude of ways - including pasta.
This had been my third trip to Italy and something I’ve always been fascinated by is the color of their yellow sodium street lights. There’s a great New York Times article about the antiquity of these lights. They may all be replaced by LEDs at some point and this town, and the world, will look like a different place so it’s great to appreciate them while we can.
One of my greatest passion, outside of photography, is traveling and I LOVE to share my experiences via photos. For years I had been creating photo albums of each trip but never shared them anywhere beyond Facebook and it only recently dawned on me that I should be sharing my photos here as well.
I've been living in London for the past two months and will continue to be here until at least the end of the 2017. As much as I miss New York, my girlfriend and I decided that we could be traveling so much more around Europe from here.
We arrived in London in January and it seemed like the days would end so early.
We didn't know a ton of people but had some family to show us around. In the countryside, at The New Forest, we made a couple of friends in the wild.
As a photographer, I spend most of my days outside when most people are working and it's been interesting to get a glimpse of how Londoners roam the streets, take their breaks, how they live.
London is a very different place than NY - despite having so many similarities - but I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out and learning more about the city.