Posted tagged ‘Pisa’

Being (or Not Being) a Photographer

October 27, 2015

slide ruleFor  years, I was an engineer that wanted to be a writer, which means … wishing I was a writer instead.  This in spite of the fact that one of thewriting pen skills my employers always valued was my ability to write about the complex systems we were developing. So, I bought books on writing.  I took classes and got a certificate in creative writing.  I published a short story.  I wrote an (unpublished) novel.  I started this and several other blogs.  But I didn’t become a writer in my own mind until I said, I am a writer.  I still sometimes feel that I have to say it’s my avocation, not my vocation.  Old habits die hard.

cameraI have a similar issue with being an artist and in particular with Being (or Not Being) a Photographer.  I have a nephew, Bryan, who has studied photography and posts beautiful pictures on Facebook, as well as on his website.  He is trying to make a go of it as a professional photographer.   He probably knows more about cameras, composition and things like depth of field than I will ever know.  I use a camera that makes most decisions for me and my work depends on eye for interesting scenes and what I believe is a natural sense of composition.  So, am I a photographer?  Am I a photographer if I say it’s an avocation?**

On Tuesdays, at least for the time being, I am since I post one of my photos.  This one was taken a the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Italy, home of the famous leaning tower.  Not being a traveler or a history buff, I expected the tower to stand alone in the middle of a large square, not be part of a magnificent cathedral and baptistery.    I snapped this shot of the cathedral and tower against the bright blue sky filled with cumulus clouds.  It is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.


** If you struggle with calling yourself an artist, there is no better place to address it than Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

Florence and Pisa

September 26, 2014

wpid-images7.jpegIt’s Friday as I’m writing this but I’m going to tell you about Thursday when we took our first big excursion from the Norwegian Epic.  When we booked our cruise I was worried about the size of the ship … in particular how the large number of people lining up for dinner and departing for excursions would annoy me.  I’ll say this … Norwegian has mastered the art of managing large numbers of people.  Freestyle dining … in which there are no fixed dining times unless you want them … eases the lines for dinner.  And they’ve managed to master the art of moving large number of people in small groups.  The Epic docked in Livorno, an industiral port city that is roughly an hour and a half bus ride from Florence.  Even though there were perhaps fifteen buses of cruiserrs departing for the tour, loading was quick an efficient.  Luca, our tour captain, gave us some lessons in Italian, on surviving as a pedestrian in Italy and on negotiating for a good price.  He mixed in funny stories and interesting background on Florence and Pisa. (more…)