Dreamy cherry blossoms

Above: Water on whimsical cherry blossoms.

Dreamy is the current Weekly Photo Challenge. To me, dreamy conjures feelings of contrast. Dreams are often simultaneously crisp and cloudy. Things that don’t make sense feel true. Entire dreams can be vague narratives shrouded in mist, except for one hyperreal detail — perhaps a pair of eyes.

In these photographs a shallow depth of field helps create a dreamy and uncertain aesthetic. 

 

Amsterdam Street Three

Stealing a kiss on a canal in Amsterdam.

Stealing a kiss on a canal in Amsterdam.

Final installment of Amsterdam street photography. As with the previous two posts canals and bicycles are prominent. Never have I seen the possibilities of street photography as in Amsterdam, The few I’ve shared don’t scratch the surface. 

Amsterdam is a young town, with a energy and openness like none other. 

Being from a small town I underestimate how fast scenes in cities  evolve, many times I should have been using a faster shutter speed.  

Bike sharing is incredibly.

Bike sharing is incredibly.

Even boats around canals are incredibly popular.

Evening boat rides around canals are incredibly popular.

Some boaters passed a serenade.

Some boaters passed a serenade.

Amsterdam Street Part Two

Time to look at more pictures from Amsterdam, one of the best spots to people watch I’ve ever encountered.    

Public transport in Amsterdam.

Public transport in Amsterdam.

Failed focus in this image. So many layers, but the focus in in the wrong spot. Should be on the boater.

Failed focus in this image. So many layers, but the focus in in the wrong spot. Should be on the boater.

Canal boaters frequently fill boats to max capacity.

Canal boaters frequently fill boats to max capacity.

Kids on bikes in precarious positions are commonplace in Amsterdam.

Kids on bikes in precarious positions are commonplace in Amsterdam.

Belgium, briefly

Above: A duo poses for a picture in front of Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a young boy urinating. I like taking pictures of people taking pictures, this one has a quite comical element. August 10, 2014.

Not an awful lot to say in this post, was only briefly in Belgium. I will say that Manneken Pis, a small statue of a young boy urinating, is far too popular.

The amount of people around and photographing the statue in the heart of Brussels is baffling. I almost feel bad contributing to the hysteria by posting three photos of the statue. I’ll admit, it is kind of cute, and the figure is often dressed in different costumes – which is probably charming. But with that said, I still don’t understand the draw of this little character.

 

 

Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

The Atomium - design to resemble an atom - was built for the World Exposition of 1958.

The Atomium – design to resemble an atom – was built for the World Exposition of 1958.

 

Mittenwald, Bavaria: Waterfall and More Mountains

Above: A canyon with cool-blue water cuts through the mountains surrounding Mittenwald, Bavaria. Photographed August 7, 2013.

A long day of hiking is guaranteed to make one sore. One way to loosen up is another hike – this time to a swimming pool under a waterfall. A bike ride and a 30 minute trek up a stream bed led to the pool. The water was not warm, but greatly refreshed achy muscles.

A natural shower and a swimming pool to play in outside near the village of Mittenwald, Bavaria.

A natural shower and a swimming pool to play in outside near the village of Mittenwald, Bavaria.

The stream bed alone was gorgeous, with teal water, smooth stone and tall canyon walls. 

Mittenwald-3

Cool blue canyon.

The road between Mittenwald and the stream and waterfall is occupied with farmland. The return trip at sunset gave me a few great photographic opportunities.

Farmers enjoy mountain views at sunset while driving a tractor.

Farmers enjoy mountain views at sunset while driving a tractor.

Faded German signs, a biker and mountain ranges.

Faded German signs, a biker and mountain ranges.

Mittenwald, Bavaria: Part One

Above: Alps rise just north of the German-Austrian border. The winding road leads to the summer house of Kind Ludvig II, whose main castle I featured in an earlier post. Photographed August 6, 2013.

Mittenwald is a small village in the German state of Bavaria. It’s situated on the German Alps and shares a border with Austria. A friend of mine lives there, so it was a few-day stop while traveling in Europe.

Mountains are a high-hop and quick-skip away. Architecture follows strict guidelines. Ski hills and mountain bikes are popular pastimes. There’s more to come from Mittenwald.

Spectacular Polychrome Pass, Denali National Park

Above: The steep pitch of Polychrome Pass becomes evident when the horizon is set against the slope. May 2, 2014.

Polychrome Pass is a mountain pass named for Polychrome Mountain on the Denali Park Road, the 83-mile out and back road that takes visitors inside Denali National Park. The narrow, steep, winding pass is breathtaking, and steep. 

“Poly” is latin for many and “chrome” is latin for color, so polychrome pass means “many colors.” It’s an appropriate name. Reds, greens, blues, violets, ambers, yellows and browns are just some of the spectrums seen at any given time.  With the addition of sweeping vistas, it’s one of my favorite places in the park. 

According to National Park Service geological information, Polychrome Pass features basalts and rhyolites deposited by volcanic activity 56 million years ago. 

This post will feature some of the many colors and the swirling, striated patterns they create, mixed with grand vistas. 

 

All images were shot during a bicycle trip into Denali National Park on May 2. More to follow.