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31/08/2008

Zeppelin Airship over City Hall, London


No doubt you will all have recognised the London City Hall. But have you noticed the Zeppelin airship in the sky ?
See "Zeppelin airships to fly over London again" article in The Times if you want to know more, but don't rush, this is too late for this year if you missed this summer's 6-week-special (see also staroverlondon website). To date there are no plans to come back next year however, due to its success, one never knows...

30/08/2008

Angkor, Cambodia


Monk in saffron robe in Angkor, Cambodia. A more seriously treated cliché than a previous post on the subject... You can also look at my Cambodia floder.

28/08/2008

Luang Prabang, Laos


This photo was taken in the streets of Luang Prabang, Laos in 2005...
And no, this is not the flag from Laos at the windows...
see below flag and coat of arms.



26/08/2008

Porto de Galinhas, Nordeste, Brazil


The photo was taken in the region of Porto de Galinhas, Nordeste, Brazil. Porto de Galinhas boasts more than 10 miles of white sandy beaches with clear warm water and coconut palms. There are 7 linked beaches from Camboa to Maracaípe and its beautiful “Pontal”, taking in Muro Alto, Cupe and Porto de Galinhas beach (see map and official website of the area).
For the seventh consecutive year, Porto de Galinhas has been voted the best beach destination in Brazil by the magazine Viagem e Turismo (Edition 133, 01/11/2007).

25/08/2008

Louvre Pyramid, Paris, France


This is a photo of the Louvre Pyramid, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre) in Paris, France. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark for the city. Designed by the architect I. M. Pei, the structure, which was constructed entirely with glass segments, reaches a height of 20.6 meters, its square base has sides of 35 meters and it consists of 603 rhombus-shaped and 70 triangular glass segments.
See also very interesting
greatbuildings.com 's dedicated page on the Pyramid.

24/08/2008

Prinsengracht & Brouwersgracht corner, Amsterdam


This is a photo of one of my favourite view in Amsterdam, here on the corner of Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht (one of most photographed corners in Amsterdam) . At this angle there is also a brown café called Papeneiland (it 'hides' in her cellar an old escaperoute for Roman Catholics -Papen), definitely in competition for the smallest pub and Amsterdam's oldest pub (1641) contests.
On Saturday, the area is really busy and joyful, with the Lindengracht Market, (900 metres starting from this corner, 232 market stands), probably the best food market in Amsterdam.

23/08/2008

Levitation, Ban Pakxvang, Mekong, Laos


Well, not really levitation but I trust you see what I mean.
More seriously this photo was taken in Ban Pakxvang, a small village/settlement along the Mekong river, in remote part of north Laos. Amazingly beautiful and peaceful...

22/08/2008

Street Portrait


This street portrait was taken during the Notting Hill Carnival 2007. Notting Hill Carnival 2008 takes place on 24th and 25th August. The "main subject" of this photo has also been shown in a previous post of this photoblog.

21/08/2008

JR, Tate Modern


This photo was taken on the exterior façade wall of the Tate Modern museum in London. The Street Art exhibition is running from May 23rd to Aug 25th 2008. In the first commission to use the building's iconic river façade, and the first major public museum display of street art in London, Tate Modern presents the work of six internationally acclaimed artists whose work is intricately linked to the urban environment. This one is from JR, with a photo showing a black man holding what, at first glance, appears to be a gun, but on closer inspection, reveals in fact to be a video camera.
JR's images can now be seen internationally, but he started out on the streets of Paris, using only his initials because of the illegal nature of his work. He is known for pasting large-scale photographs of people in public spaces. 'The street provides me with the support, the wall, the atmosphere, but especially the people. Depending on where I put the photo, the whole thing changes,' he says. For one project, JR created portraits of ghetto inhabitants of the suburbs of Paris – the scene of riots in recent years – and installed them on the walls in the city centre. In doing so, he aims to provoke and question the social and media-led representations of such events. JR's work often challenges widely held preconceptions and the reductive images propagated by advertising and the media. His work with Palestinian and Israeli citizens explored the similarities of their daily lives, rather than focusing on the ever present divide, highlighting fundamental human emotions. Israelis and Palestinians doing the same job – such as taxi drivers, teachers and cooks – agreed to be photographed crying, laughing, shouting and making faces. Their portraits were posted face-to-face, in huge formats in an unauthorised project, on both sides of the separation wall [security fence] and in several cities, demonstrating that art and laughter can challenge stereotypes. For his new project about women in post-conflict situations and the Third World, JR has already travelled to Sudan, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and is planning to visit India, Asia and South America.
You can see the artist website at
http://www.jr-art.net/.

20/08/2008

Red-Light District, Amsterdam


This photo was taken in the red-light district in Amsterdam. The term "red-light district" was first recorded in the United States in 1894, in an article in The Sentinel newspaper. Other mentions from the 1890s are numerous, and located all over the United States. Some say the origin of the red light comes from the red lanterns carried by railway workers, which were left outside brothels when the workers entered, so that they could be quickly located for any needed train movement. Others speculate that the origin comes from the red paper lanterns that were hung outside brothels in ancient China to identify them as such. It was said that the lights were thought to be sensual. The color red has been associated with prostitution for millennia: in the Biblical story of Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho aided the spies of Joshua and identified her house with a scarlet rope. During World War I there were many brothels in Beligium and France; blue lights were used to indicate brothels for officers, red lights for other ranks.

19/08/2008

Itaparica, Baia de Todos os Santos, Brazil


This photo was taken on Itaparica, an island in All Saints' Bay (Baia de Todos os Santos), about 10km from the beautiful city of Salvador de Bahia.

17/08/2008

The Boy From Tonlé Sap Lake, Cambodia


This photo was taken around a floating village and water dwellings on Tonlé Sap Lake in Cambodia, the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and an ecological hotspot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere. The Tonlé Sap is unusual for two reasons: because its flow changes direction twice a year and because the portion that forms the lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From November to May, Cambodia's dry season, the Tonlé Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh. In June, however, when the year's heavy rains begin, the Tonlé Sap backs up to form an enormous lake. For most of the year the lake is fairly small, around one meter deep and with an area of 2,700 square km. During the monsoon season, however, the Tonle Sap river which connects the lake with the Mekong river reverses its flow. Water is pushed up from the Mekong into the lake, increasing its area to 16,000 square km and its depth to up to nine meters, flooding nearby fields and forests.

15/08/2008

Cliché in Angkor Thom, Cambodia


Monk in saffron robe, grey sandstone and laterite typical of Khmer architecture as background : an irresistible cliché for everyone, including monks themselves... Smile !

14/08/2008

Daintree River and Tropical Rainforest, Australia


Above photo shows the mouth of the Daintree River in the Cape Tribulation region of Queensland in northern Australia. The river drains a rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest (see photos below).
The Daintree Rainforest contains 30% of frog, marsupial and reptile species in Australia, and 65% of Australia's bat and butterfly species. 20% of bird species in the country can be found in this area. All of this diversity is contained within an area that takes up 0.2% of the landmass of Australia. The Daintree Rainforest's addition to the Unesco
World Heritage List in 1988 in recognition of its universal natural values highlighted the rainforest. The Daintree is an outstanding example of the major stages in the earth's evolutionary history, an example of significant ongoing ecological and biological processes, and an example of superlative natural phenomena. It contains important and significant habitats for conservation of biological diversity. The Daintree Rainforest is over one hundred and thirty-five million years old – the oldest in the world. Approximately 430 species of birds live among the trees, including 13 species that are found nowhere else in the world.


13/08/2008

Olinda, Brazil


This is a photo taken in the streets of Olinda. Olinda, Brazil, is a historic city located on the country's northeastern ocean coast, just north of Recife, and his is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil. Besides its natural beauty, Olinda is famous for its historic downtown World Heritage Site, Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO, for being one of the most important Brazil's cultural centres... and Olinda relives the magnificence of the past every year during the Carnival, in the rhythm of frevo, maracatu and others rhythms.

12/08/2008

Sirocco wind on Santorini, Cyclades, Greece



A slightly less cliché-view of Santorini (Cyclades, Greece) - with its usual sun, blue sky, blue sea, white houses-, when the region is under the effects of the Sirocco wind, which blows and carries red Sahara dust.




This image is from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Project.



This image is from the NASA.

11/08/2008

Wat Nong Sikhunmeuang, Luang Prabang, Laos


This is photo of Wat Nong Sikhunmeuang temple, in Luang Prabang (or Louangphrabang), Laos. There are more than 30 temples in the relatively small town of Luang Prabang (also notable as a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Wat Nong Sikhunmeuang is not the most famous of them (compared to Wat Xieng Thong or Wat Mai) but has a large and richly decorated sim, with fish and naga brackets supporting the roof from red and gold filigree pilasters. The plaster nagas guarding each stairway are a little more detailed than those at other temples around town.

08/08/2008

Sunset on Palmwag, Damaraland, Namibia


This is a sunset photography taken in Palmwag, Namibia. Palmwag is beautifully situated next to a palm-lined tributary of the Uniab River. Situated in the northwest of Damaraland, halfway between Swakopmund and Etosha, Palmwag is the ideal place from which to explore the Kunene Region.

07/08/2008

La Grande Arche de la Fraternité, France


These are three photos of the Grande Arche de la Fraternité, usually known as the Arche de la Défense or simply as La Grande Arche, a monument in the business district of La Défense to the west of Paris.
An international design competition was launched at the initiative of French president Mitterrand. Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen (1929–1987) designed the winning entry to be a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe: a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories. The construction of the monument, which was undertaken, began in 1982. After Spreckelsen's death in 1987, his associate, French architect Paul Andreu, completed the work in 1989/90. (the nearly-completed Arche was inaugurated in July 1989, with grand military parades that marked the bicentenary of the French revolution).
The Arche is almost a perfect cube (width: 108m, height: 110m, depth: 112m; it has been suggested that the structure looks like a four-dimensional hypercube
(a tesseract) projected onto the three-dimensional world). It has a prestressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble from Italy.

06/08/2008

Place des Victoires, Paris


This is a photo taken at the Place des Victoires, a circular place in Paris, located a short distance northeast from the Palais Royal and straddling the border between the Ier and the IIe arrondissement. At the center of the place is an equestrian monument in honor of King Louis XIV, celebrating the paix de Nimègue concluded in 1678-79. A marshal of France, François de La Feuillade, vicomte d'Aubusson, on his own speculative initiative, demolished the old private mansions around the area; Feuillade's project was soon taken over by the Bâtiments du Roi and entrusted the royal architect, Jules Hardouin Mansart, with redeigning a more superb area, still ringed with private houses, to accommodate a majestic statue of the triumphant king. Mansart's design, of 1685, articulated the square's unified façades according to a formula utilised in some Parisian hôtels particuliers, of colossal pilasters linking two floors, standing on a high arcaded based with channeled rustication; the faċades were capped with sloping slate "mansard roofs", punctuated by dormer windows.

04/08/2008

03/08/2008

Namibian Scarecrows, Dead Vlei, Namibia


This photo was taken in Namibia. Sossusvlei is a salt pan in the central Namib Desert, lying within the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Fed by the Tsauchab River, it is known for the high, red sand dunes which surround it, forming a major and impressive sand sea. More precisely this photo shows Dead Vlei, a clay pan surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, some reaching up to 300m, which rest on a sandstone terrace. The clay pan was formed after rains when the river flooded creating temporary shallow pools where the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. When climate changed, drought hit the area and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river from the area. Because the water supply was stopped the trees died, however there are some species of plants remaining, such as Salsola and clumps of Nara. The remaining “skeletons” of the trees, which are believed to be about 900 years old, are now black because the intense sun has scorched them.
The second photo is from a previous post.

02/08/2008

360° from St Paul's Cathedral, London



St Paul's Cathedral... Exactly 530 stairs and 111m to take you to the top with a three-stage journey:
- some 30m and precisely 259 steps above to reach the interior walkway around the dome's base; this is the Whispering Gallery, so called because if you talk close to the wall it really does carry your words around to the opposite side, 32m away.
- climbing another 119 steps you reach the Stone Gallery, which is an exterior viewing platform, with 360-degree views of London, all of which are rather obscured by pillars and other suicide-preventing measures.
- The further 152 iron steps to the Golden Gallery are steeper and narrower.
From here, 111m above London, the city opens up to you, the view unspoilt by superfluous railings.






Les Invalides, Paris, France


This photo was taken from the top of the Tour Montparnasse and shows Les Invalides, a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose (project initiated by Louis XIV in 1670).
The buildings house the Musée de l'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France's war heroes.
The most notable tomb at Les Invalides is that of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). Napoleon was initially interred on Saint Helena, but King Louis-Philippe arranged for his remains to be brought to St Jerome's Chapel in Paris in 1840. A renovation of Les Invalides took many years, but in 1861 Napoleon was moved to the most prominent location under the dome at Les Invalides. But one can also find tombs of other notorious persons like Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760 - 1836), army captain, author of France's national anthem, La Marseillaise, Ferdinand Foch (1851 - 1929), Marshal of France, Allied Supreme Commander in the First World War, Philippe Leclerc de Hautecloque (1902 - 1947), Marshal of France, hero of World War II, commander of the famous 2nd Armored Division, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (1889 - 1952), Marshal of France, commander of the French First Army during World War II, etc..

01/08/2008

Gainsbourg's house : 5 bis rue de Verneuil, Paris


This is a series of 4 "close-ups" on graffiti (permanently) left the wall of Serge Gainsbourg's house on the rue de Verneuil in Paris. Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991) was a French poet, singer-songwriter, actor and director. If you don't know him, you have at least probably already heard about one or several of these songs "Je t'aime...moi non plus", "Les Sucettes", "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" , "Comment Te Dire Adieu".








If you want to know more or hear more you can refer this BBC page.
In 2005, the album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited was released by Virgin Records. The album consisted of specially-recorded English-language cover versions of Gainsbourg's songs, recorded by artists as diverse as Franz Ferdinand, portishead, Placebo and Michael Stipe.