Eyes on Miami

These Eyes

A beautiful mural of a boy’s eyes in the Wynwood Walls section of Miami

The Wynwood Walls district of Miami is an amazing place to wander around for a day as a photographer. The artwork is imaginative, colorful, and unique. The more I shoot the more I like vibrant colors and unique patterns. Wynwood Walls has those in abundance. Here are a few murals done in the same genre, and I must assume by the same artist, of faces of celebrities and even some of people I don’t recognize. It doesn’t diminish the quality of the art. These and many of the other murals there are simply beautiful.

Salvador Dali

A mural in the Wynwood Walls district of Miami depicting Salvador Dali

John and Yoko

John Lennon and Yoko Ono as depicted on a mural in the Wynwood Walls district of Miami

Graffiti, Miami Style

Graffiti Miami Style

A painted wall near the Wynwood Walls section of Miami and a palm tree

I’ve shot in South Beach a little bit, but I wanted to venture out and find some unique Miami scenes to shoot. Fortunately for me I have two teenage daughters who are knowledgable about all things hip and cool. One of them told me about the Wynwood Walls section of Miami. They love to take shots of themselves to post to Instagram and Snapchat in cool, urban locations. Wynwood Walls definitely qualifies as cool and urban.

This shot is actually from the edge of the district, but I really like it a lot. The graffiti is very consistent with other stuff in the area and the palm tree screams south Florida. There’s more to come from Wynwood Walls in the next few posts. Enjoy.

South Beach Lifeguard Stands at Sunrise

10th Street Lifeguard Stand at Sunrise

One of a string of unique and colorful lifeguard stands on South Beach in Miami, Florida

For spring break this year, we decided to go as far south as we could reasonably drive in search of warmer weather. It doesn’t get that cold in Atlanta, but, still, after a few months of temperatures hovering around freezing and occasionally dropping well below freezing, sunshine and the beach always sound pretty good. After a good bit of research we settled on a place in North Miami Beach. I wanted to stay away from some of the craziness of South Beach but still be close enough to enjoy it a bit.

So, I took a couple of visits to South Beach at sunrise to see if I could capture the lifeguard stands there in warm, early morning light. My first attempt was a bust because of overcast conditions and a triathlon taking place that day. The second attempt was much more successful. I would have preferred to have a few more clouds in the sky, but I’m still pretty pleased with the results. All of Miami Beach is beautiful, but the lifeguard stands from 22nd Street and southward in general are pretty cool. They are in an Art Deco style consistent with the architecture found in the rest of South Beach. It’s definitely worth checking out if you find yourself in the vicinity. Enjoy.

8th Street Lifeguard Station at Sunrise

One of a string of unique and colorful lifeguard stands on South Beach in Miami, Florida

Dingle Door

Dingle Door

A wonderful painted door in the quaint little town of Dingle

I love shooting architecture. I suppose it’s the symmetry that draws my eye to it. And when you add a pop of color, I’m *really* drawn to architecture. Such is the case with this door that we found in the town of Dingle. It’s a small town but crammed full of pubs, shops, and houses close by each other. Although there are plenty of pretty sights, this door popped out because of its paint scheme. Enjoy!

Atlanta Beltline

Beltline Pano

A mural painted on a bridge underpass promoting the Atlanta Beltline

I thought I would take a quick break from my Ireland images to post a cool shot that I took on Friday. The image is a mural near Ponce City Market in Atlanta denoting that the Beltline passes overhead at that spot. If you aren’t from Atlanta or don’t know what the Beltline is, here’s a link that will help you out. In short, the Beltline is a series of trails and parks that will eventually circle downtown Atlanta using a series of abandoned railroad easements and newly purchased land. The Beltline was born out of a graduate thesis of a Georgia Tech student.

Especially in east Atlanta, there is a growing work of murals painted on building facades and underpasses. These aren’t the typical graffiti but professionally done, innovative pieces of art that actually enhance the urban landscape. I think this one is a great example of the genre. Unfortunately, some people can’t resist putting their own mark on an already painted surface. Hopefully this one will hold up for a few more years before having to be repainted. In the meantime, enjoy.

Ennis Doorway

Ennis Doorway

A beautiful, weathered door in Ennis, Ireland

Whenever I travel to a beautiful place whether for work or for pleasure, I like to get up early in the morning and roam the area I’m staying in at sunrise. Oftentimes, there are very few people on the streets and the light can be wonderful. Such was the case while we were staying in Ennis. I got up both mornings very early and just walked the streets seeing what I could see.

As you have probably deduced if you’ve been following this blog for long, I love to take shots of architecture. I don’t know what it is about doors, windows, steeples, building facades, etc. but architecture simply catches my eye. On this beautiful summer morning in western Ireland, I had the town to myself. When I saw this old weathered door on an equally worn, weathered building I simply had to capture it. The ivy, fading and peeling blue paint, and rotting trim all combine to make a beautiful image to my eye. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Alexander Knox and Co.

Alexander Knox and Co.

A wonderful pub in Ennis, Ireland featuring traditional Irish music

I mentioned earlier that we were based in Ennis, County Clare for two nights while we were in Ireland. Although we weren’t in Ennis for most of the daylight hours, we were there in the evenings. Of course we were looking for a place to eat and – since we were in Ireland – a good place to listen to traditional Irish music. Knox’s turned out to be just the place we were looking for in Ennis. Traditional pub food, locals hanging out, and traditional Irish music just inside the front door. We spent a couple of enchanting evenings just hanging out with friends and being immersed in a bit of Irish culture.

The exterior of Knox’s is actually red and black, but I like the way this black and white image turned out as well. It adds a bit of timeless beauty to the scene, at least in my mind. Enjoy.

Quin Abbey

Quin Abbey

One of hundreds of ruined abbeys scattered across the Irish countryside

After we left Dublin our next stop was Ennis in County Clare in the west of Ireland. Ennis is a pretty little village with some great pubs and conveniently located for day trips. Due to some last-minute changes in our itinerary we wound up with a free day in Ennis. Some of our group headed out to the Cliffs of Moher and to the Connemara region. Since we would be visiting both areas later in our trip, we decided to make an afternoon excursion to some nearby sights.

It became apparent fairly quickly that the local bus system was not our best option. Fortunately, we asked around and found a taxi that could take us to a couple of local destinations of interest. Well, they were of interest to us at least. Neither abbey that we visited was exactly a tourist mecca. At Quin Abbey we saw one other group of three while we were there. At Clare Abbey near Ennis we scared off a group of teenage boys who were engaged in something nefarious enough that they scattered as soon as they saw us approaching. Other than that we had the abbeys to ourselves.

The crazy thing is that these abbeys were built in 1195 and 1402. Think about that. No European – other than some Vikings potentially, but that’s another story – would even set foot in the New World until ninety years after the “new” abbey had begun construction. Yet, these beautiful old structures are just scattered around the countryside with cows sometimes wandering within their walls. In America they would all be visitor attractions with paid admissions and endowments to cover their maintenance costs. Don’t get me wrong. I think the Irish cherish these structures. There are just so many of them that you can’t love them all equally.

It certainly helps that the Irish built these abbeys out of stone and not out of wood. The structures have certainly stood the test of time. Wood buildings just don’t have much of a chance to last for close to a thousand years without some painstaking care and maintenance.

Although it had been rainy or threatening rain for much of the day, the skies broke open a bit while we were at Quin Abbey. I spent a delightful twenty minutes or so composing a shot and waiting for the right combination of blue sky, cloud formations, and direct sunlight on Quin Abbey. I love the lush colors of green in the field and trees as a contrast to the blue sky, white clouds, and wonderful brown gray of the local stone. I think it makes for a beautiful scene. I hope you do as well. Enjoy.

Red Door in Dublin

Red Door in Dublin

One of a seemingly endless stream of beautiful doors in Dublin, Ireland

Although I captured many elegant Georgian doors while strolling through Dublin, this simple red one is my favorite. I was actually just crossing from one neighborhood to another and in a bit of a rough area when I stumbled across this door. It isn’t fancy or surrounded by stately architecture, but it is beautiful. The vibrant red paint contrasts beautifully with the brick that has been painted and worn down over the decades. Enjoy.

Mount Street Bicycle and Doors

Mount Street Bicycle and Doors

A street scene from Mount Street near Dublin’s Merrion Square

While wandering around near Merrion Square I spent most of my time taking pictures of doors. I have a project in mind that I’ve toyed with and hopefully will be able to post soon. To give you just a bit of a taste of the look and feel of the area I’ve selected this image. These doors are fairly typical of the architecture in the area as are the casings and the ironwork. The bicycle just adds a bit of local flavor to the image. Enjoy.