Tag Archives: usa

Burning flag

Wherever I travel, I love taking pictures of flags. They way a country choses to display their flag, as well as people’s atitude towards it, tells a lot about the country’s culture and society.

In some countries like Germany or Spain, gratuitous displays of the flag are often frowned upon (with the notable exception of sports events). Other European countries like the Netherlands have a more ambivalent and pragmatical attitude towards the flag. Finally, some countries like the US pride themselves on displaying their flag as often as possible, often in the most unexpected places!

This particular flag is the one in display in Liberty Island, right by the Statue of Liberty. A humungous flag, that can only wave thanks to the strong winds coming from the ocean. I loved the view of the sun right behind the flag, that made for some lovely textures and sharp contrasts.

Do you believe that in your country there are some strong feelings about your flag? Let me know in the comments!

Wurlitzer building

This is the abandoned Wurlitzer building in downtown Detroit.

Having lost more than half of its population over the last decades, Detroit brings a whole new meaning to the “urban decay” concept.

As urban decay always fascinated me, I took the lucky chance during my random trip to Detroit and just wandered around the lonely streets like a ghost. As I was traveling alone, I didn’t feel confident enough to enter any of these abandoned places, so limited myself to take pictures from the outside. Maybe that will change in my next visit ;-)

The Wurlitzer building is located right downtown, and makes quite an impressive view. I love how someone took the time to decorate all the windows with little hearts :-D

Enjoy!

Squirrel

Photographing wildlife often requires using similar techniques as taking portraits: in order to achieve subject isolation one resorts to wide apertures and background compression by using some zoom lens. However, there are also some trickier parts: not being able to get very close to the subject often forces  using very long telephoto lenses, which often (unless you can afford buying a quick telephoto) has to be traded by a smaller aperture and hence an increase of the shutter time. For wildlife photography, shutter time is particularly critical, as your models are not very likely to stay still posing for you, and even minor camera shakes will get amplified by the use of telephoto lenses. In many aspects the treats required to take good wildlife photography resemble the ones required to be a good sniper.

This time I got an easy enough setting. This little red buddy came running through my legs and climbed a tree right in front of me, where it stood frozen for a few priceless seconds that I could use to bring the camera to my eye, compose, and shoot. Picture was taken at f/5.6, 105mm, 1/250s. Greyish background is due to a cloudy sky.

Sunny Detroit

I finally got to edit the pictures of my last trip to the US. For some work reasons, I needed to travel to Baltimore (Maryland), and since I had a free weekend right before the trip I decided to go on for some random variant of experimental travelling, just for the fun.

Rather than following one of the pre-assigned ET itineraries, I decided to put my fate on the hands of my favorite multi-destination air-fare finder website. So my rule was I would look for the cheapest possible London-Baltimore trip and then spend the weekend wherever my connection turned out to be. The lucky town happened to be Detroit, which conveniently enough I had never been to. I didn’t know much about Detroit besides its connection with Henry Ford and the car industry, so make the trip even funnier I decided I would not check a single travel guide, website, or anything about the city before I got there; the only thing I indulged myself arranging in advance was my hotel room. It would have been fun to go totally blindfolded but I am not 18 anymore and I knew I would appreciate having a place to go drop my luggage and take a shower after a 10 hours flight. So I got to my room, and after freshening up a bit decided to walk outside and wander around town. Today’s picture features the completely empty street I found right after coming out of my motel. Quite a contrast with yesterday’s pic, isn’t it?

More pics and stories to come in the next days, so stay tuned!

Empty street in sunny Detroit