Lens-Artists #84: Narrow Passageways

Amy at Lens-Artists this week invites us to explore the topic of narrow.

In my travels to “old” places – places built when there were no cars or crowds of tourists -I explored (or declined to explore) many narrow streets and other passageways.

Places like Old Town Tallinn, Estonia (where I got lost due to sidewalks and streets so narrow that I lost sight of our guide!)…
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A van that is nearly as wide as this street in Old Town forces all pedestrians to the narrow sidewalk on the left.100_0371
There were also narrow witches!
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In Stockholm, Sweden, I tried to imagine returning home to one of these narrow alleys on a dark afternoon in winter!
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Dale ends our bike ride through Stockholm coasting down a narrow cobblestone street.
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Stockholm, like many European countries, also has tall, narrow buildings.
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Even older is Old Jerusalem, Israel…Like elsewhere, vehicles have the right of way, squeezing pedestrians to the wall.
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Some of these climbing narrow streets are divided between steps and ramps.
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Watch out for motorcycles coming through!
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In ancient Egypt, clearly people were smaller to fit into narrow passageways into pyramids and tombs.

Dale and a few other adventurous souls (such as this woman from our group emerging from a pyramid) did go down these narrow steps into a now empty room in the Queen’s tomb in Giza. I took one look and decided to wait outside!
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Tourists descend a long narrow hallway covered with inscriptions and paintings to reach the tomb of Ramses IX in Valley of the Kings. These hieroglyphics declaim the deeds of the king during his reign, and there are also symbols of gods to accompany him to the afterlife.
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At the Chateau of Caen, France, a narrow stairway leads down to…where??
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On Omaha Beach, in Normandy, are the remains of WWII German bunkers, which I declined to enter, also reached through narrow passages and stairways. (I’m glad I didn’t go in – my son’s photos show empty rooms with an inch of rainwater covering the floors!)
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On the way back to our Airbnb farmhouse through the Normandy countryside, we drove down the narrow roads of villages, flanked by houses on both sides.
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A car in front of us navigates a sharp corner into another narrow street.DSC00482
A lot of traffic in Amsterdam travels its canals, which narrow on approach to bridges.
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Bridges have these traffic signals indicating when it is safe and permissible to proceed (or not!).
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The day after our tour of the canals, we went to the “red light district” where we were told not to take photos of the sex workers who lived on either side of these narrow alleyways. Probably also not a good idea to photograph potential clients – good thing this one came out blurry!
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In Amsterdam, we stayed in an Airbnb 2nd floor flat, with a narrow stairway winding up to it. That was one of our son’s obligations to us for paying for his trip – carry our suitcases up and down! The stairway was so narrow and windy that he had to carry the suitcases one by one in his arms!
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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Leading Lines

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #80 is about leading lines. Leading lines are one of the “rules” of composition: There are indeed “rules” of photographic composition, which like many other rules, are made to be broken. Whatever their skill level or experience though, understanding and knowing when to use the “rules” of composition can be helpful for any photographer. This week, our challenge will explore a key compositional element, Leading Lines. …Leading lines carry our eye through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. They create a visual journey from one part of an image to another and can be helpful for creating depth as well.

This is how I spent the last two Junes, 2018 and 2019.

Our road trip (mostly) on Route 66: Sedona and Winslow, AZ
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We visited the Painted Desert, too: first, horizontal lines.
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Undulating formations which slope downward.
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In Santa Fe, colorful pillars…
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and a souvenir shop with paintings lined up along a counter.DSC_0626
When on Route 66, here’s a sight not to miss: Cadillac Ranch. It had rained the night before.

A year later, we were on a river cruise in Europe. One of the first ports of call was Cologne, Germany with its famed cathedral, with stained glass windows reaching toward heaven…
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…and soaring arches decorated with sculptures of saints.
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Later we crossed the bridge to return to our ship. The inner side of the bridge is covered with “love locks” – padlocks people leave in honor of their sweethearts. They stretch on as far as the eye can see!
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Next stop was Marksburg Castle, which afforded beautiful views of the Rhein River and town below (I wish I could photoshop that pole out, but I don’t have the software).
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And here’s a different view: a steeple rises up as seen through a turret.
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Marksburg is definitely a “must” on any Rhine River cruise. It’s like a fairy tale castle!
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Farther on down the river, a swan swam over near our ship.
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We were passing through a lowland area.
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I loved the small town of Miltenberg, which was so picturesque!
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Inside a church, hymnals were stacked neatly in the narthex. One is drawn to the word Gotteslob, which perhaps means hymnal.
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Our final stop on the cruise was Budapest, Hungary. A memorable part of the day we were there was a walking tour through the old Jewish Quarter.
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Thursday Doors: Passau Walking Tour

The German city of Passau is located in Bavaria very close to the Austrian border, at the confluence of three rivers: The Danube, the Inn and the Itz. It was the last German city we stopped at during our cruise last June-July. We arrived at Passau on the U.S. Independence Day, July 4.  This post is my contribution to Norm’s Thursday Doors 12/12/19.
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Passau has a population of about 50,000, of which 12,000 are students at the local university. A devastating fire in 1662 destroyed most of the city, which was rebuilt in Baroque style.
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Passau is known for its cathedral, St. Stephan, which has five organs! One of the organs is in the attic and the five can all be played at the same time.  The organ(s) has 17,774 pipes and 233 registers, and it is the 2nd largest pipe organ in the world. We attended a concert showcasing this amazing sound after our walking tour. Concerts are held daily between May and September.

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In this square behind St. Stephan Cathedral is a statue of Maximilian I, the first king after Napoleon.

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Same door from the inside

Baroque décor characterizes the interior of St. Stephan.
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The main organ is in the traditional place in the back of the cathedral.

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The priest used to say mass from this golden pulpit, but now stands behind a podium adorned with the eagle of St. John (photo below).

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We went out into a courtyard beside the cathedral.
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In the courtyard are some extra panels and artifacts from the church.
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This angel head fell off during a fire in the church. It gives a perspective of the true size of the sculptures in the church.

We continued downhill from the church on the cobblestone streets of Old Town.
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The city has been plagued by floods for centuries, due to its location at the junction of three rivers. On June 2, 2013, the old town suffered a severe flooding after it had rained for several days. The photo below shows how a street of Old Town looked on June 3.

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Peak elevation of floods as far back as 1501 are displayed on the wall of the Old City Hall.DSC01738

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This glass door is for 16 and 18 Hell Alley! The narrow street gets its name from its proximity to the river.

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Looking down Hell Alley, also known as Artists’ Alley, which is lined with small shops and cafes. 

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Hotel Wilder Mann
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This pharmacy is one of the oldest in Passau. It is painted green, which was the “code” color for pharmacies in times when many people were illiterate.
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The Dom Museum entrance – this museum displays artifacts, relics and history of St. Stephan Cathedral.

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This door at the former bishop’s palace was deliberately built above the ground. It now belongs to the Dom Museum.

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Baroque architectural details adorn the ceiling of the palace.
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Passau has a Daschsund Museum! These sculptures are outside the entrance.

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“Coffee and love are best hot!”
20190704_103351I found interesting that this shop door has a nativity scene above it.
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The sign on this Baroque decorated door advertises a one-bedroom apartment within.
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Religious statues high up on exterior walls of Old Town are seen commonly in towns throughout Bavaria.

Prominent above the city is Veste Oberhaus, a fortress founded in 1219.
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Information for this post obtained from:
author’s notes
Wikipedia article Passau
TripAdvisor The Höllgasse

 

 

 

CFFC: Pastel Colors

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her color series – this week it is pastel colors.

Some flowers are bright, while others have muted colors. Most marigolds are bright, but these are soft yellow and white.
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Dahlias come in all colors – some are bright, some are light.
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Wilted orchid

Artists experiment with all kinds of color schemes. These are some pastel colors in artwork.

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“Hazel” (2019) in pastels – artist is yours truly!

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A recent exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute featured drawings by 17th century Dutch masters. This pair is “A Portrait of a Man” and “A Portrait of a Woman” by Jan de Bray (1650) – black & red chalk on ivory laid paper.

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Edouard Manet “Vase of White Lilacs and Roses” (1883) – oil on canvas

Pastels in sculptures

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Fish sculpture, Poulsbo, WA

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Chinese Reconciliation Park, Tacoma, WA

Pastel buildings – Passau, Germany
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Baroque stucco roof

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Carved block from a church

 

 

CFFC: White Is…

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her color series and this week is WHITE.

Snow white
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Flowery white
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Bridal white (two weddings)
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Swan white
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Architectural white (two styles in Amsterdam)
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Somber white (American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France)
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Lawn ornament white
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Prickly white
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Styrofoam white
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CFFC: Yellow

The topic of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is yellow.

Yellow building – Regensburg, GermanyDSC01662
Yellow rose – Chicago, IL
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1st Presbyterian Church light fixture – Evanston, IL
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Sunset at an outdoor concert – Elk Grove Village, IL
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Brookfield Zoo entrance – Brookfield/Chicago, IL
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Fish – Brookfield Zoo
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Autumn color reflected in a pond with ducks – Des Plaines, IL
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Flower – Arlington Heights, IL
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Buildings – Luxor, Egypt
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Yellow-breasted weaver – TanzaniaSONY DSC
Aspens turning yellow – Denali National Park, Alaska
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Leaf – northern Wisconsin
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October Square: the Round White Barn

At the senior community where I now live, there is a round white barn, which is all that is left of the farm that originally occupied this campus – until the mid 1980s, there was a farm in the middle of Arlington Heights! Today for Becky’s October Square: lines & squares, I feature the door (with “X”s and is approximately square-shaped) and one side of its curved wall, with lateral lines marking each piece of wood used to build it.
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Here’s a photo I took two months ago of the barn from a distance (and there are more lines – from the crosswalks! 🙂 .
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CFFC: Circles Everywhere

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Circles, Curves and Arches, and for this post I am focusing only on circles, which are abundant!

Circles are everywhere – in nature, in art, in architecture, in daily life. I find circles in modern sculpture,

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Sculpture in front of Northlight Theater, Skokie, IL

art museums,

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Glass sculpture, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

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Glass sculpture, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

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Dale Chihuly, glass sculpture, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

light fixtures,

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Bamberg Cathedral, Bamberg, Germany

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Wedding venue, Woodbury, MN

in decorative displays,

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Wedding venue, Woodbury, MN

floor patterns,

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Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany

and buildings.

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Downtown Tacoma, WA

Circles are also common in nature, such as the sphere of the setting sun,

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Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

or a flower,

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Dahlia, Point Defiance Park gardens, Tacoma, WA

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Sunflower, The Moorings, Arlington Heights, IL

and even on animals.

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Hyena, southern Serengeti, Tanzania

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Cheetahs, southern Serengeti, Tanzania

In nature and human-made structures, circles, both 3D and two-dimensional, are everywhere,  in all sizes, patterns and colors.

 

 

 

October Squares: Lines in New Mexico’s Capitol Building

At the capitol in Santa Fe, New Mexico, there is some amazing and beautiful artwork by New Mexico artists. The lines of the capitol building itself are also interesting, because the building is shaped in the form of the Zuni sun sign which is also found on the New Mexico flag.  I have posted a few of these before, but the emphasis here is on lines and squares for Becky’s October Month of Squares.

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