Over the course of many years my wife, Jean, and I have crossed the Atlantic five times to destinations in Europe where I amassed thousands of images, and yet not one of them has found its way onto my website, that is until our recent trip to Israel which resulted in "The Holy Land" portfolio. But Israel which is situated on the eastern Mediterranean is really Middle East, not what we usually think of as Europe. While processing my Israel images I got to thinking that I should revisit the Europe images and apply my evolving vision to some of those photos. This was probably stimulated too by two projects completed in San Francisco and San Diego in 2013 that piqued an interest in urbanscapes, architectural and street photography; my European images fed right into that genre. The result is the work in process "Visions of Europe".
Visit any country in Europe and I guarantee one is going to find all the photo ops he can handle. From architecture, landscapes, people pictures, it's all there. The problem is that none of these trips were solely dedicated to photography and often I was without the gear I usually rely upon to create my best work. Three of these trips were on tours where I had limited time and had to work very quickly. The other two provided more discretion of subject matter but I was hampered by limited gear. So I've often considered the European images as "travel" photos and haven't done much with them. But now with more post production options available I can do more with these images than previously. Therefore, I've gone back to take another look. I'm finding that I do indeed have the raw material to create interesting images that will populate "Visions of Europe". It promises to be a large body of work.
Revisiting these images has been almost as exciting as when I first viewed them...sometimes years ago. The difference is that now I have a more developed vision of what I think they should look like and more tools at my disposal to make them look the way they do. I have always been inspired by the paintings of the Renaissance era with the aged and cracked paint. That kind of became the basis for my vision of Europe, particularly the architecture, old, warm tones, cracked paint and plaster, etc. This will be noticed in many of my images where I use textures, a variety of warm toned filters, high contrast techniques, and saturated colors to create an old, worn look. Do these images replicate what I actually saw? No, not necessarily, but I've already addressed that issue elsewhere and will not address that again. But, it is true that Europe is old and the architecture has a worn look. From the Baroque, to Romanesque, to Gothic, to modernistic...and everything in between Europe has ample examples to satisfy anyone.
With this blog I am posting the first group of images from Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. More will follow soon, however, this will necessarily be a long term project as the type of editing I am doing takes considerable time.