Coptic Cairo

Man and Shadow, Cairo, 2017

It’s been a while since I made a post, and even longer since I made a post with some of my black & white travel photographs, so I’ve decided to show some of the photos from my trip to Egypt in February of this year.
Most of the tour that I went on was devoted to visiting ancient monuments from the days of the pharaohs, but I happened to arrive a day early.  Half of the day was spent exploring the pyramids at Giza, but the other half was spent walking around Coptic Cairo, which is the old Christian section of Egypt’s capital city.
This section of town is made up of primarily pedestrian streets, with a number of very old and beautiful churches, as well as the Ben Ezra synagogue, where a cache of papers dating back to the time of (and including manuscripts by) the great medieval scholar Maimonides were discovered in the 19th century.
Here are some of the photographs that I made there.

Vendors, Cairo, 2017

 

Shadows, Cairo, 2017

 

Symbols, Cairo, 2017

 

Interesting Structure, Cairo, 2017

 

Ornate Fence around Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo, 2017

 

Christian Items, Cairo, 2017

 

Middle Eastern Design, Cairo, 2017

 

Dresses, Cairo, 2017

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Going to Church

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Many people think that the Vikings were the first people to inhabit Iceland. They’re wrong.
No, the first people to live in Iceland, as far as is known (or, at least, as far as I know), were Irish monks trying to get away from it all (and Iceland certainly is a good place for that).  The Vikings arrived after the Irish did.
So, what does all that have to do with the photos I’m showing today?  It’s all in the name of the place, Kirkjugólf , which means “church floor.”  It looks like it could be the floor of an old, ruined church, and that’s what the Vikings thought it was (built by the Irish, I suppose) when they gave it that name – yet they were wrong, too.

No, this floor was not created by the hand of man, but rather by that of Mother Nature, as these stones are in fact the tops of natural basalt columns that extend deep into the ground.
When I visited Iceland in 2013 and passed through this area,  I had somehow missed seeing this natural attraction, so when I went back in 2014 I was determined to find it – and I did.  At the time, I was with Nadine and Rebecca, who I had been photographing that day.   Both of the young ladies thought it would be a good location for some nude photographs, but it was the middle of the day and a lot of people were around.

So, we agreed to go there again early the next morning.  I left my hotel early with Nadine and drove about 20 to 30 minutes to pick up Rebecca, who was staying at a hotel not too far from the “floor.”  We got there around 6:30 in the morning, but it was chilly, raw and damp with a some rain coming down. I asked Nadine and Rebecca if they still wanted to go ahead with the photos and they said that they did – so the photos were made.
I worked quickly and only shot one roll of 120 film, given the elements and the fact that cars could be seen going by not too far away, but I think it was worth the effort – and how often does one have a chance to photograph nude models on a church floor?
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Six in Three

Elle Beth

As I wrote at the beginning of my last post, I returned home last week from a ten day trip to England.  Five of those days were spent taking a language class, but I also managed to fit in three days of photographing nudes – the first photographs of nudes that I had made, as it happened, since August of last year.
Two of the three days I spent photographing indoors.  The first was at a studio north of London, where I photographed Artemis Fauna and Ayla for four hours.  A week later, I worked with Elle Beth for four hours at a location in London.
For my one day photographing outdoors, I joined up with local photographer imagesse, and we spent the day working with Ivory Flame, Ella Rose and Rebecca Tun in several locations.

Rebecca Tun, Ella Rose and Ivory Flame

This was the first time that I had photographed nudes in England.  Overall, things went pretty well, I thought, with a lot of good images made, but of course that is all pending my seeing the actual black & white film developed, which I hope to begin doing soon.
For now, here are a few quick color photos that I made with my pocket digital camera.  Film photos will follow……eventually.

Artemis Fauna

 

Ayla

 

 

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Florence

The Baptistry, Cathedral and Tower, Florence

I have not made a post for a couple of weeks as I was away  recently on a ten day trip to England.  My schedule was pretty full there:  a five day language class (which I may write about in the future) and three days of doing photography (which I definitely plan to write about).
For now, though, I will continue to post some photos that I made with my pocket digital camera while on my trip to Italy last month.  I’ve already made a post about Rome, so now here are some photos from Florence (Firenze, in Italian) – the great city of art and the Renaissance.
Florence has a very different feel from that of Rome.  The latter is more spread out, with room to roam (sorry about that, folks) and with many antiquities around.  Florence, on the other hand, is much more compact and closed in, with its narrow streets of medieval and Renaissance buildings.
Of course, Florence has some of the greatest art museums in the world, most notably the Uffizi Gallery, but I also went to the lesser known Bargello Museum, which is a great storehouse of sculpture and decorative arts.  My last time in Florence was eight years ago, so it was great to see such iconic paintings like Botticelli’s “La Primavera” and “The Birth of Venus” again.  I have these images as backgrounds for my computer screen, but what a joy it is to see the originals up close!
I should mention that I also saw and photographed what is probably Florence’s best known work of art – the statue of David by Michelangelo – but I will write about that in another blog post that I have planned.

The Cathedral and Giotto’s Tower

 

A locked cabinet on the Ponte Vecchio

 

The medieval Palazzo Vecchio

 

Portrait session at the Piazza della Republicca

 

“Perseus with the Head of Medusa” by Benvenuto Cellini on the outdoor Loggia dei Lanzi

 

Tourists and Fashion

 

At the Baptistry in front of the Cathedral

 

Detail of Botticelli’s “La Primavera” at the Uffizi Gallery

 

“The Birth of Venus” (detail) by Botticelli in the Uffizi Gallery

 

“The Venus of Urbino” by Titian, in the Uffizi Gallery

 

Tuscan sunset near Florence

 

Florence would seem to have its own photographers, too

 

Street Scene

 

Arches and Shadows

 

“Brutus” by Michelangelo at the Bargello Museum

 

Ivory Comb, French School, 14th Century at the Bargello Museum

 

“The Three Graces,” c. 1902 by Societa Ceramica Richard-Ginori, in the Bargello Museum

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Univers d’Artistes

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Christian Pelier, the chief editor of the art nudes blog Univers d’Artistes, recently asked me to make a posting on his blog with photographs of the art nudes that I have made in Iceland.
I was an editor of the blog in the past but have not made any posts there for quite some time, so I decided to oblige and honor Christian’s request.
So, please click below to see my new posting at Univers d’Artistes:
http://universdartistes.blogspot.com/2017/07/figures-of-grace-iceland.html
Thank you.
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Our Irish Uncle

Uncle Sam, Killarney, Ireland, 2015

Today is Independence Day here in the United States of America.  It’s a day when we celebrate things that are typically and traditionally “American.”

So, what can be more typically American than our friend with the white beard, Uncle Sam?  (No, it is not Colonel Sanders.)  Here are some photos of Uncle Sam that I made a couple of years ago, but the place where we were was a little unusual – Killarney, Ireland.

I was in Ireland in July 2015 and the town of Killarney was going to have a parade to celebrate the United States’ Independence Day.  In the days before the parade, this statue of Uncle Sam was set up on one of the main streets in town where the parade was to take place.
So, happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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Feeling Sheepish

Nude, Iceland, 2014

It’s been almost two months since I posted about my 2014 trip to Iceland (here), so I’m back today with more from my day with Nadine and Rebecca on the south coast.
These photos were made near the location in that last post.  In this case, there was a large outcropping of rock that I thought looked interesting, so I used it as a background, as seen here in two photos.

The third photo here has three more models in the background.  Yes, they’re sheep.  As sheep are so ubiquitous in Iceland, I needed to get at least one photo with them included.  (Hopefully no model releases will be required.)

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Rome

Bobbleheads

I wrote last time that I recently returned home from a trip to Italy.  That trip began in Rome .  It was my third time visiting La Citta Eterna – “The Eternal City” – and yet there are still many things and places that I have not seen.
However, here are some photographs made with my pocket digital camera of things that I obviously have seen.  Many were made in museums, as one cannot reasonably go to Italy without seeing much of the great art that is there.  (As it is, I’ve gotten my film used in Rome developed, but as I have a lot of earlier travel pictures from film to post, the new ones will have to wait.)
The two museums that I had enough free time from my tour to see were the Museo d’Arte Antica in the Palazzo Barberini and the the Galleria Borghese in the large Villa Borghese park.  The Museo d’Arte Antica features mostly paintings, and one notable highlight here is Raphael’s “La Fornarina,” which is supposedly a depiction of his girlfriend.  Another great one, totally different in nature, is Caravaggio’s “Judith and Holofernes,” showing the biblical heroine giving the chop to the Babylonian general whose forces were about to attack Israel.
One of the things that was different about this trip as compared to the last is that museums generally allow photography now (without using a flash, that is).  One definite example is the Galleria Borghese..  When I was there eight years ago, I had to check my camera in a locker, but this time photography was permitted.
Among the highlights of the Galleria Borghese’s collection are several superb sculptures by the great baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.  His sculpture illustrating the mythological story of Apollo pursuing Daphne may be the most beautiful work of art in all of Italy.
“The Rape of Prosperina,” showing Pluto, the god of the underworld, carrying off Prosperina (aka Persephone) is another masterwork, but just about all of the photos I had seen of it neglected to include Bernini’s fantastic inclusion of Cerberus, the three headed Hound of Hell, who was accompanying his master.  As you can see below, I was finally able to photograph it myself – and it really is quite a thing to see.
Then there is Antonia Canova’s well known statue of Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger sister, Paolina Borghese, depicted as Venus, nude from the waist up and reclining on a couch. From what I have read, her husband wanted her to be shown fully clothed as the goddess Diana, but she insisted on being Venus.  Apparently the statue was somewhat scandalous in its time, her husband not wanting it to be shown publicly.  When a journalist asked Paolina Borghese if she felt uncomfortable posing in the nude, she responded that she did not, as the room was quite warm.
By the way, my photograph here of this sculpture is meant to mimic a well known photograph made of it by the photojournalist David Seymour, which can be seen here.

Building feature on the Via Veneto

 

Wheels on the street

 

Piazza Colonna

 

Near Palazzo Barberini

 

Watching Judith decapitate Holofernes, courtesy of Caravaggio

 

Regarding Raphael’s “La Fornarina” (the Baker’s Daughter)

 

Waitresses on a break, Via Veneto

 

Roman fashion

 

Two buildings in Vecchia Roma (Old Rome)

 

Selfie in the Piazza Navona

 

Statuary in the courtyard

 

Interior of the Pantheon

 

Memorial monument

 

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

 

“Apollo and Daphne” by Bernini

Bernini’s “Rape of Prosperina”

 

Cerberus, the three-headed Hound of Hell, accompanies his master in Bernini’s “Rape of Prosperina”

 

Paolina Borghese as Venus Victrix (Victorious) by Antonia Canova

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Home from the Road

Untitled Nude, 2016

I just returned home from a trip of about three weeks to Italy.  This was my fourth visit to that country, and it is a place to which I could return every year.
I was unable to make any new blog posts while I was away, and it will be a while before I can post any of my new black & white photos.  Some posts with color photos from my pocket digital camera will follow, but for now, here’s a photo that I made last year with Erica Jay and BlueriverDream near Woodstock, New York.
While this photo may seem to be unrelated to a trip to Italy, there is a bit of a connection with it: the masks that the two young ladies are wearing were purchased by me in Venice on my last trip to Italy eight years ago.  (More were purchased in Venice this year, too.)
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Boy on a Wall

Dublin, Ireland, 2015

I’ve decided to go back to my 2015 trip to Ireland for today’s post.  More specifically – to Dublin.
I was walking down by the River Liffey, which is the river that runs through the middle of the city, when  I happened to see a boy standing and balancing himself atop the wall of the embankment that runs along the river (below).
This seemed to be dangerous enough, but when he saw me, he jumped over to the other side of the wall and seemed to suspend himself by his arms as he asked me to take a photo of him!  It was a great photo to get, for sure (above), but I was appalled that this kid would act so carelessly.

It was after the boy had climbed back over to the wall to the sidewalk that I walked over to where he had been and took a look down to find that he had in fact been standing on a metal ladder that lead down to the river below!
By the way, the bridge across the Liffey seen in the second photo is the famous Ha’penny Bridge. Built in 1816 to replace the ferries that crossed the river and officially called the Liffey Bridge, this pedestrian bridge gets its “ha’penny” name from the half-penny that was charged as a toll for people who used it.  I like the way that you can feel the bridge bounce up and down under foot as you cross it.

The Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin, 2015

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