Berlin-Spandau Canal

Berlin-Spandauer Canal-1

The photos this week are of the Berlin-Spandau canal. They were taken over a few weeks in late Winter along a twenty-minute walking stretch in Wedding, where I lived for three months last year.

There is nothing remarkable about the canal other than what there is to find ordinarily along it. There is almost no reason to visit it as an attraction, or to stop and consider these scenes by day, when the ubiquity of light makes every tedious detail visible; but this is not to deny its industrial beauty by night.

In fact the scene that shows the junction of gravel walking paths amongst some trees is impossible by day. Continue reading

Reflections

Alcazar Seville-Watermark

A reflection is never substantially there, but an image created on the surface of a material unwilling to give up the secret of its depth. It invites … reflection – a re-bending of thought … about the impossibility of an undisturbed external world that lies outside its border, and the possibility of what lies invisibly beneath it. It lets us see from the other side of the mirror.

Water reflections are the most urgent, fragile and melancholy of all. Easily disturbed by the wind, frozen white by the winter, or evaporated by the sun, they give us only a moment to see and look and watch and think before they, like us, disappear. Continue reading

Sunset over Brooklyn

Sunset over Brooklyn

A fact of travel

It is a fact of travel that one type of photographer will want to want to shoot another in possession of a palm-sized camera – to observe, imply or accuse them of indiscriminately documenting a trip without having experienced travel, or for just getting in the way.

Seeing a trip only through a camera lens may increase focus on subjects of interest, but it does so at the expense of perspective and instinct – most photographs are still two dimensional and their limited angle of view cuts out the chance of experiencing something unexpected in our peripheral vision.

Yet it does not follow that indiscriminateness leads to illegitimacy of experience. Continue reading

Through a glass darkly: the stained glass of Reims Cathedral

Christmas is timed around a solstice festival for polytheistic heathens. In Australia it has almost passed on as a religious festival to become a secular holiday dressed up in gift-wrap reds for Christmas Day and cricket whites for the Boxing Day Test.

It makes the idea of facing church a bit like looking through a glass darkly; but the dark absorbent glass set into church windows offers some rare jewels inside, as the posts this week will try to illuminate. The first are in Reims.

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A day trip from Paris

Reims Cathedral-1

Reims is a day-trip from Paris and many people who visit it on these terms know it mostly for its Champagne Houses: Tattinger, Veuve Cliquot, Pommery and others; and there are many more in nearby Epernay.

Reims offers much more. It has witnessed the exchange or settlement of power, or a symbolic reconciliation between political antagonists, for over a thousand years.

Continue reading