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
We visited the Painted Desert, too: first, horizontal lines.
Undulating formations which slope downward.
In Santa Fe, colorful pillars…
and a souvenir shop with paintings lined up along a counter.
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…
…and soaring arches decorated with sculptures of saints.
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!
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).
And here’s a different view: a steeple rises up as seen through a turret.
Marksburg is definitely a “must” on any Rhine River cruise. It’s like a fairy tale castle!
Farther on down the river, a swan swam over near our ship.
We were passing through a lowland area.
I loved the small town of Miltenberg, which was so picturesque!
Inside a church, hymnals were stacked neatly in the narthex. One is drawn to the word Gotteslob, which perhaps means hymnal.
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.
On the 4th of July, the day we spent the morning in Passau, Germany, we opted for an afternoon tour to the small town of Schärding, Austria (population approx. 5,000). Passau and Schärding are essentially border towns. We even crossed a bridge on the Inn River that had a small metal plaque in the middle with D (Deutschland – Germany) on one side and Ö (Österreich – Austria) on the other!
The town of Schärding is a major port on the Inn River which is the dividing line between Bavaria in Germany and the Austrian state of Upper Austria.
The Bavarian family Wittelsbach owned the town until 1779. In the Middle Ages, due to its location, Schärding became a center of trade, particularly for salt, timber, ores, wine, silk, glass, grain, textiles and livestock. Originally the town was fortified; sections of the wall remain, but the castle that was originally there is no longer.
Schärding’s most beautiful feature is its central square with its rows of colorful, gabled buildings. The buildings are color coded so that illiterate people in past centuries would know what the building was used for. For example, the town hall (Rathaus) was yellow, and pharmacies were green. Nowadays, next to the Rathaus, the green building is a charming hotel, Hotel Stiegenwirt.
The town’s skyline is dominated by St. George Church. It is Roman Catholic; more than 80% of the town’s residents identify themselves as Roman Catholic.
When I was not attending a workshop to make herbal salt (I ended up not keeping it – the salt content was way too high for me!), I joined Dale to explore the streets of the town.
Two interesting clocks!
Schärding’s coat of arms is painted on the side of a building.
Historically, Schärding’s population suffered an epidemic of the plague. A plague pole was erected when the epidemic was over, to thank the Virgin Mary for saving people from the plague.
There is a statue to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, in the center of a fountain. The fountain is hard to see in this photo because it was surrounded by construction zone fences.
Looking out toward the river from Durchgang Wasstertor.
I don’t know what these masks were for, but they look like instruments of torture!
There was also this display of possibly religious relics, near St. George Church.
Dutch Goes the Photo has a Tuesday photo challenge and the topic is sunsets.
Beautiful sunsets are everywhere, but the most beautiful I have seen are when I am traveling – which I guess is logical, because although I do have photos of pretty clouds and sunsets at home, my view is usually obstructed by buildings, trees, and other suburban fixtures. Being in wide open spaces is where I have watched the sun set in awe.
I can never forget the sunsets I’ve seen from Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro – every time I go to Rio, it is a must to go up in the cable car in late afternoon and watch the sunset from up there. On my most recent trip, in Nov. 2016, here was the view as the sun set around 7:00 pm. I am only including one, although I took several beautiful sunset photos that afternoon.
OK, just one more!
Another wide open space where I have witnessed many awesome sunsets is at sea, while on cruises. In Oct. 2017, we were on a cruise from Boston to Montreal, so this sunset was over the North Atlantic, off the coast of eastern Canada. I like the different patterns of the clouds in this photo.
Often when people think of sunsets, they think of Africa, which is famous for amazing sunsets on the open savanna. When we went on safari in Tanzania, I saw this for myself.
This one was taken at Tarangire National Park.
Here’s another one I took at the southern Serengeti:
The sunrises in Tanzania were amazing too (we saw many, as we were up very early each day to go on game drives), but this is a post about sunsets!
In France, we drove to Mont-St.-Michel and got there in the late afternoon, so we admired the sunsets and saved our visit to the island for the next day. I like this photo because of the fence, but the sun set to the west, not over the island of Mont-St.-Michel, which is reached via a long causeway when the tide is low.
Finally, sunset over Jerusalem – we arrived late on a January afternoon, and enjoyed the view of the old city from Mt. Scopus. (This is not the best photo of the city, but it is a pretty sunset.)
Finally, closer to home, sunset reflected on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, MO
Day 7 (July 1, 2019) of our Viking Grand European Tour river cruise was spent in the beautiful city of Bamberg, Germany. We arrived at the picturesque harbor in the early afternoon.
Bamberg was founded in 902 and is famous for its symphony orchestra and rauchbier, smoked beer. The city marks the northern end of the Main-Danube Canal. Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We walked through the market square on this hot afternoon and headed for Bamberg Cathedral (official name Bamberger Dom St. Peter und St. Georg), a large structure built in Romanesque architectural style.
It is the burial place for Pope Clement II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, among others.
Inside the cathedral
Cathedral clock tower
We then walked to the Neue Residenz (New Residence) of the prince-bishops on cathedral square, which is L shaped because it was never finished. However, its opulence was immediately evident! The palace was begun in 1604 and the two wings built by Johann Leonhard Dientzenhofer in 1697-1703.
The palace has more than 40 state rooms with stuccoed ceilings, in which, as in Wurzburg, we were not allowed to take photos. So I took these photos of doorways outside the building.
We wandered the expansive, manicured rose garden behind it, the hedges and flowers surrounding statues scattered throughout, presumably of former prince-bishops who had governed Bamberg and lived in the palace.
Over the walls of the rose garden is a view looking down over the old town center of Bamberg.
However, I thought the old palace, or Old Court, was a prettier building. It had been built in the 11th century. Today it houses a history museum.
I got a close-up shot of one of its doors, with some beautiful ironwork decoration.
The walking tour continued through the old town center.
Most impressive was the old Town Hall, which dates back to around 1467. Gothic in style, it received some Baroque and Rococo touches in 1756. The murals on the sides of the building were painted by Anwar Johann.
The story goes that the town hall was built on an artificial island because the bishop didn’t want to give up any land. An armed (!) conflict between the mayor and the bishop ended with an agreement that the citizens couldn’t build their burned-down town hall on land. The bridges connect the building with the city center.
Kayakers paddle under the bridges.
We of course saw much more of the old city center and some members of our tour found a brewery to sample Bamberg’s famous smoked beer.
Picturesque buildings lined up along the river – this area is known as “Little Venice.”
The spires of Michaelsberg Abbey rise above the riverfront.
After free time, our tour group meeting place was in front of this building, with a bull over the doorway.
Lens-Artists #64 has the theme Countryside and/or Small Towns. We saw many beautiful places on our European vacation in June/July. Yes, it was exciting to visit large cities like Paris and Amsterdam, but the most beautiful places were the rural areas and small towns. I also include beautiful country scenes from other trips.
Miltenberg, Germany, a beautiful small city with some 9,000 or so inhabitants, is located in northern Bavaria on the Main River. This post features ways – how people move around – and means – what is used to get around – in this picturesque town, for Which Way Photo Challenge, now with a new host, Alive and Trekking.
This photo was taken from the Main River, not at Miltenberg, but representative of personal watercraft.