Sunday, February 13, 2011

the texture of travel

on a recent trip, my husband took some photos which i found both beautiful and inspiring; images of cut logs, such as these he saw in a small alpine village in italy, as well as rooftiles, stones and other natural objects. looking at them now, months after our return, i began to consider something i never thought about......the texture of travel.


a stone walkway, in rovinj, croatia. how many feet have passed over this surface?




rooftiles in dubrovnic


a beach in the peloponnese, greece

how many waves have washed over these pebbles?




i think i tend to see things at a distance when i travel, taking in the big picture and often overlooking that which is closer. sights and sounds of foreign places have the capacity to overwhelm. 

seeing these images now, in retrospect, makes me want to adjust my focus the next time i find myself in a new location. while the guidebooks will forever point one towards the cathedrals, shops and museums it is my hope to better appreciate the beauty in small things....

by occasionally looking down

or up


38 comments:

  1. Nice post, Amanada. The texture of travel, and the close-up, smaller view - yes, so important!

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  2. Well, I meant to key Amanda, but Amanada sounds pretty good too.

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  3. The textures of travel caught here are indeed thought provoking, the logs, the tiles the paving stones, the pebbles, all merit a much closer look. Makes me think of a quote from I forget where from a photographer, maybe Robert Capa, who said something to the effect of, "if your photographs aren't good, then you are not close enough." The deity is in the details, right ? Such a powerful sense of history still visible in many parts of Europe, where ancient streets and stones have survived the ravages of wars and time and passing feet.

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  4. You pics are simply beautiful. Found you at Kiki's.

    Just stopped in to say hi.

    Jo

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  5. You are so right. It is so important to focus all of our 5 senses when we travel, don't you think? And yes, always remember to check out the little things. As for smells, I can never smell espresso without remembering Rome.

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  6. These small details are the textures of a place, reinforcing history and culture of all those who have been there before. So glad you two complement each other so well. Happy traveling, Amanda. Thanks for sharing these details.

    p.s. I have added another blog to my profile page, all fiction and notes on literature and culture. Would love to have you drop by.

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  7. you can absolutely "feel" the textures,,,

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  8. Hi Amanda. Over a month with almost no internet connection, hope you are well, and I know you won't be offended by 'instructional' photo comments!

    Texture normally relates to surfaces rather than patterns created by repetition of larger shapes. You can't see the texture of the pebbles or the cobbles from the distance at which they were taken. Lighting is usually critical, and it's shadows that define the texture.

    The nature of digital imaging, especially with simpler equipment, reduces texture, but the error is easily compensated by 'sharpening' and by adjusting 'levels' (brightness and contrast) so that shadows are a little deeper without actually losing important detail.

    Colour texture is often reduced to below the natural level, and can be adjusted with very careful use of slight 'saturation' adjustment.

    Subtle use of these three make a real difference when texture and surface detail are important, but will still be virtually undetectable.

    My interest,as you know, is in using the camera image to create impressions between the real and surreal - it is many decades since I drew satisfaction from straight reproduction, but a natural digital image is always flat and lifeless compared to the image you see, but the potential for realism is tons more than it used to be, and almost without cost.

    Even the tools included with Google's Picasa can correct inherent shortcomings, once you accept that edits are part of pressing the shutter release.

    Go well Amanda. Bob

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  9. Wonderful advice, Amanda, and I have thousands of "very close" photos from home and my travels... My early film photography focused on textures of old tombstones, coiled boat lines, tree bark, beach pebbles/shells/crabs, etc... Your rooftiles remind me of photos I took in Florence... To take it all in we must use all of our senses and look in all directions.

    Have a wonderful week ahead, my friend.

    Bises,
    Genie

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  10. I would call such photographs The Texture of Life. What history! How stunning.
    Ann Best, Author

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  11. amanda, what an incredible post and what wonderful photos! not everyone would 'see' these patterns and textures. just seeing the uniqueness of every tree side by side like this, made my heart aflutter.

    and then that alleyway: amanda, it is the exact picture of my visit to my father's ancestors in northern italy. (my red headed italian father born in lexington massachusetts cried when we stepped into this alley, the place where my grandfather and his oxen worked the fields)

    i love this amanda! thank you ♥

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  12. In reflecting on travelling (around the block or around the world), textures, colours, and smells are striking. The (visual) texture of the land, the texture of the food, the texture of the earth (from sand, to stone, to clay). All help to distinguish a location, to provide a sense of place.

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  13. So nice and interesting textures of travel. Beautiful pictures too.

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  14. Gorgeous photos, Amanda!!

    It was my daughter who taught me to look all around whenever I travel.

    When she spent her first summer in St. Petersburg, Russia, she went to L'Hermitage for the first time and called me LATE one night, so excited at what she had experienced.

    "Mom, there's art under your feet, and art on the walls, and art on the ceiling, and everywhere you look, there's ART!" she had said.

    Thank you for this important reminder to be observant when we travel!

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  15. each of them is different! L like the beach stones also but, in fact, they look good only in their natural conditions, when someone collects them a souvenier from holidays-they loose they charm:)

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  16. Wonderful, beautiful and inpsiring Amanda! I love doing spotligths on texture too..for me photography is a very multisensory experience..so I am a kindred that way!
    beautiful work!Shine on
    Victoria~

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  17. When my husband and I travelled to his birth town in Labes, which is now Poland, we found the marketplace where his father had his pharmacy. But the houses were destroyed and all looked different. He wanted to give up comparing his old photos to the sights he saw, when suddenly he looked down and shouted, "See? The same sidewalk pattern! It was here exactly!" And yes, you could tell - fgrom looking down! Remarkable. Thank you for this, Amanda!

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  18. Hi! very nice series.. i really like it.. the texture of travel.. great ;)
    Greetings..

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  19. Beautiful Amanda! This deeply touches a cord: I'm always trying to SEE beyond my nose, attempting to forget the big picture and focus on the details. And texture is such a sensual detail, so ALIVE!

    The photos are stunning. I can actually smell the Greek pebbles on the beach, feel the coarseness of those rooftiles, the slippery cobblestones underfoot...they are like home.

    Thank you for taking me there, today.
    Buon San Valentino...

    Lola xx

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  20. Oh Amanda I love love love this post.As a mixed media artist I am always looking for texture in my world..but you have so given me the gift to remember to look at whats in front of me..I love all the photos and I feel as though I am,like you,seeing the texture in them for the first time.Thank you!!Gosh I hope that makes sense..I just feel excited after reading this one!!Hugs,Cat

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  21. I love the title "the texture of travel" and the sensitive macro-eye you bring to the small, the minute and the often overlooked.

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  22. thanks for this - I've not thought of textures - I often see patterns though.

    Your pebble pics are gorgeous

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  23. robert - amanda, amanada - i'll answer to either ;-)

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    owen - i like the robert capa quote -- and yes, i love to imagine what ancient feet have passed over the historic cities of europe~

    ah, the deity is in the details..

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    jo - thanks for dropping by! i will visit you next time i'm at kiki's!

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    loree - yes -- smells......espresso and rome conjure up a powerful image!

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    rosaria - i love your new blog -- i'm so happy you have developed another venue to express yourself now that the memoir blog is officially closed - you are so creative two blogs aren't enough ;-)

    xx

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  24. glenn - i'm so happy with this new camera - it picks up incredible detail that i've never before been able to capture~

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    dd - merci monsieur ;-)

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    bob - sorry you've been sans internet - i missed you and am glad to see you back!

    thank you for your detailed comment about photography -- i admit to being a beginner and love to learn what i can. i see your point about texture vs. pattern and how they differ. personally i love the way you manipulate image to achieve that blurred line between the real and the surreal -- am looking forward to seeing more of that chez corfubob soon.

    xxx

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    genie - do you still have those early images taken with film? it would be interesting to compare those with the stunning shots you now take of the city of lights~

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    ann - the texture of life - now that's a title right there. may i borrow it? ;-)

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  25. kj - i am imagining that alley and your father's reaction to seeing you returning to it the first time. those moments are so powerful - connecting with a sense of place. it is as though no time has passed, and your grandfather and his oxen are still there, somewhere....how lovely for you to have touched his memory in that journey♡

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    miss sadie, such insightful comments - and you would know more about those textural details than the rest of us, having much keener senses with which to zero in on them~

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    philip - efharisto♡

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    jo - how wonderful for your daughter to have that amazing experience and how special that she wanted to share it with you as it was happening!

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    ola - i have 4 stones from a beach on ithaka, sitting on my desk. even though they have been taken out of their element, they somehow still manage to resonate with the essence of place with me~

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  26. victoria - i agree, photography is a multi-sensory experience~ never thought of it that way but maybe that's why it's so attractive to me!

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    geli - that story of hans' return to his childhood home gave me the goosebumps -- to think that it would come down to those details -- but then a similar thing happened with my father when he returned to his childhood home. the neighborhood had all changed, but when he looked down on the sidewalk he saw his tiny footprint from when he was a boy, putting his foot in the freshly laid concrete. after 50 plus years, it was still there!

    xx
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    dejemonos - you mention the word series - i thought maybe i would continue with the texture of travel and do more posts so we are on the same wavelength!

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  27. lola -- thank you. i love your comments and the opportunity to see things differently or in much greater detail through your discriminating eye~

    xx

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    cat - i'm honored that this inspired you! frankly, i think of it the other way around, as i am forever enchanted by the ideas behind your creations ~ thank you my friend♡

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    lorenzo - thank you, and so glad you think so - i liked the title too. it felt like something you could get your virtual teeth into ;-)

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    janet - i don't know why texture came to me, when pattern is such a satisfying concept - you and bob both bring this up and i am grateful for your discerning eye.

    xx

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  28. amanda,
    after reading your always elegant posts, and equally eloquent comments, i feel a loss for words. (but i have to try).

    i love your photos, they always make me feel a part of the place. and your observations do too. it's a gift to 'see' either through the lens of a camera or with paintbrush and paper. or with words. you do it so well.

    safe travels to the west coast.
    xxx

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  29. I love your texture images, these type of small things always fascinate me. I love to look at uneven walkways and imagine how many people have walked on these stones - enough to make a groove in hard stone which boggles the mind. To me, it's the daily items that are the most fascinating - like your wood photo and the roof shingles.
    Lovely post Amanda - thanks

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  30. I like all these beautiful textures ! :))
    The walking stones and wood are great, beautiful colors !
    Bravo, I liked particulary this post and these photos !...

    Bye**

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  31. Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for this art post !
    BTW You are the winner of the lottery, I am waiting for your comment on my blog. I need also an e-mail from you with your address so that I can send your gifts. Cheers !

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  32. These texture images are gorgeous – they work well together and even better in a group. I shall try to remember your advice on focusing on details when I’m running around Europe this coming summer. Sorry to be so late to visit, it has been a crazy couple of weeks.

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  33. Those photos are beautiful, and yet I wouldn't have thought to snap such pictures. When we travel, it's nothing exotic. Just hubby, myself, and the kids doing simple trips. And yet I tend to hurry through places, instead of slowing down and enjoying each moment. This is such a nice reminder that beautiful things are all around us, if only we'd look up or down.

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  34. I adore these textures -- and the thoughts that go with them. You need one of those wonderful English dry-stone walls to add to your collection.

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  35. Reminds me how very differently we each see. Gives me hope to grow.

    Especially love the partially painted leaf. Oh, wrong/right place at the wrong/right time.

    xo
    erin

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  36. Hi Amanda

    Great concept and I am thrilled that you have given me the words to describe what I have been doing for the past 30 years....texture of travel! I am off to start a new file, thank you!!

    Found you via Sarah Laurence...

    Jeanne xx

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