|The turreted rooftop of Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley in France resembles a French provincial village. All content property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
It's time to get ArtSmart once again my friends with this month's installment of ArtSmart Roundtable—the art of photography. Each month, our roundtable of travel bloggers and art aficionados collaborate to bring to you our discoveries in art that we've encountered while traveling the world. On the first Monday of each month, we publish our series centered on one particular art form including painting, sculpture, architecture and more! This month, my lens is focused on Europe and I bring to you my encounters with visual romance—from sublime landscapes and medieval castles and cathedrals to charming seaside villages and fascinating cultures. I hope you enjoy this visual tour through Europe and don’t forget to scroll to the end for my colleagues' links leading you to their unique perspective on photography from around the world.
|It's difficult not to fall in love with the enchanting and timeless city of Venice, Italy. Most of these buildings in this living muesum have been standing for more than 500 years.|
What is photography?
|The magnificent Saint Peter's Basilica and Square in Rome, Italy.|
Wikipedia states that the word photography derives from the Greek phōtos meaning "light" and graphé meaning the "representation by means of lines or drawing," or combined—"drawing with light." Personally, I like to think of photography as "painting with light." After all, from the primary colors of visible light—red, blue and green—we see myriad reflections of every shade, every hue, and every vibrant wavelength of saturated living color! And so the light becomes our palette of pigments that renders each vantage point, unique perspective or sublime vista within our canvas frames.
|Perhaps one of my all-time favorite photographs ever taken. The glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, appears to have a liquid surface on its left side—-a striking contrast to the cold stone-carved facade of the building in the background.|
Like all artists, the photographer too must remember the rules of composition and light, or in some cases not, but also calculate the exposure and manipulate the lens of reflected wavelengths to capture the scene—a frozen moment in time or the movement of time with dramatically fluid results; think flowing waterfalls or skies of billowy white clouds blurring seamlessly into the surreal. The possibilities are infinite and the photographer is limited only by the imagination!
While the rules of photography have not really changed over time, the technology certainly has. As a photographer "classically" trained in the day when not pixels of light but silver halide or salts were our friend, we honed our craft on film and chrome; from 35 mm and 2 1/4 formats to 4 x 5 and the glorious 8 x 10 view cameras. But the piece de resistance in those days was Kodachrome yielding vibrant and saturated colors that really brought the scenes to life. "Mamma, please don't take my Kodachrome away."—Simon and Garfunkle.
Today, the digital revolution has reshaped the industry and mostly did away with film and replaced it with image sensors and pixels. Instead of developer, stop bath and fixer, we have photo processing tools that convert raw data into the most dramatic and stunning images I have ever seen; especially in the case of the high-definition imagery that renders visible every grain of sand in the beach or pebble in the road with quite astonishing results!
My love affair with Europe.
|The view of Paris and the River Seine from the very top of Notre Dame in Paris, France.|
As you know, I have a love affair for things European and to help me bring that love affair to life for you the reader, photography is a key ingredient for EuroTravelogue. Around every corner of this magnificent European canvas, a Kodak moment is waiting to happen. And, it's all mine for the taking. Alas, I am but one unique perspective looking out into this great big world of ours, and one who strives to paint with the God-given light and transform the mundane into the magnificent, or at least try, and hopefully draw you in to share the moment in time with me.
Below are a few studies of magnificent domes, medieval fortresses and enchanting villages—among others.
A Study in Domes
|The Church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, Italy.|
|Michelangelo's cupola at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.|
|Brunelleschi's Dome topping Santa Maria del Fiore has been dominating the Florentine skyline since its completion in 1436.|
|The many domes of Basilica di San Marco glisten in the timeless city of Venice, Italy.|
|Bernini's "Fountain of the Four Rivers" preserved in Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy.|
|Charming house boats like these line most of the picturesque canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.|
|This enchanting shot of a canal and drawbridge in Edam, The Netherlands, beckons to artists of all mediums.|
|Kinderdijk complex makes for a wonderful half-day tour through this picturesque land of Dutch windmills.|
Cathedrals and Chateaux
|Our Lady of Paria, aka Notre Dame de Paris, stands on the Île de la Cité in Paris for almost 1,000 years.|
|Colossal and magnificent doesn't begin to describe the imposing yet beautiful chateaux of the Loire River Valley in France. Construction on Chateau de Chambord began in the early 16th century and remains unfinished to this day.|
|The medieval fortress that is the Palazzo Vecchio has been standing in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence since 1302.|
|Notre Dame de Chartres is one of Europe's most unique cathedrals with its two distinct bell towers.|
|Stained-glass majesty in the windows at Notre Dame de Chartres in France.|
|Westerkerk or West Church can be seen from the canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.|
|Welcome to the village of Cheverny in the Loire Valley in France.|
|Charming hilltop town of Pienza in Tuscany, Italy, offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding sublime Tuscan landscape.|
|Quintessentially Dutch architecture lines the charming brick-paved lanes in the village of Volendam in The Netherlands.|
|Benvenuti a Montepulciano in Tuscany, Italy.|
|Uniquely Dutch architecture with its fabled gabled rooftops lines the streets of the seaside village of Volendam in The Netherlands.|
|Seaside village of Marken in The Netherlands.|
|A schooner docked in the Volendam Harbor in The Netherlands.|
|The vibrant gardens provide a striking contrast to the stone-carved facades of the Musee du Louvre in Paris, France.|
I hope you enjoyed this postcard tour through some of my favorite European destinations and hope you are inspired to grab your camera, lots of batteries and memory chips, and set out to capture your own moments in time.
|Gargoyles view from the top of Notre Dame de Paris.|
The ArtSmart Roundtable:
- Chuck Close and Photorealism from Erin Halvey at A Sense of Place
- Tips to Understanding Photography from Jenna Francisco at This Is My Happiness
- Lee Miller from Ashley at No Onions Extra Pickles
- Coming Soon from Leslie at CG Travels
- Three Art Photography Terms Explained from Kelly at Travellious
A parting shot an early morning in Kinderdijk in The Netherlands. May it inspire a new dawn for you to capture the moments of your travels.
|The Kinderdijk Windmill complex in The Netherlands.|