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N 73 B 173.1K C 42 E Dec 20, 2012 F Jan 7, 2013
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I was going to write a 2012 end of the year blow out blog post, but before I knew it 2013 was already at my doorstep.

But 2012 didn’t end with a whimper.

Between Maya “end of the world” prophesies and America’s drive toward the economic “fiscal cliff” (for my friends in foreign countries and those not politically inclined the “fiscal cliff” refers to a combination of year-end spending cuts and tax increases that would have gone into effect had the U.S. Congress failed to act) 2012 ended on a dramatic note.

I spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve in the United States capitol city of Washington, D.C. visiting my sister. I took this photograph along Pennsylvania Avenue where at one end is the U.S. Capitol (as seen in the photo) and the other is the White House.

This was similar to another shot I took a couple of months ago that has become one of my best selling stock image best selling stock image

Putting the drama aside I wanted to wish everybody a Happy New Year and hope 2013 brings you great photographic opportunities.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   Washington, DC Washington DC Photo Locations Washington DC Blue Hour Freedom Plaza architecture building exterior capital cities capitol building city dome dusk federal building government building history horizontal light trail long exposure neo-classical outdoors pennsylvania avenue public building stoplight tail light traffic travel destinations united states usa Motion City Cityscape Transportation Dome Sky Cloud Dawn Illuminated Street Light Color Image City Life No People Photography Sam Antonio Stock Photography Fiscal Cliff Debate Road Sign Crowded Rush Hour Implied People Ronald Reagan Building International Trade Center Inauguration 2013 Canon EOS 5D Mark II

N 77 B 32.9K C 61 E Dec 19, 2012 F Dec 27, 2012
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I wanted to wish all my friends and contacts a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

I have been spending time in Washington, D.C. visiting my sister and photographing the monuments and memorials. A couple of days ago I was at the U.S. Capitol to photograph the Capitol Christmas Tree (this year’s White House Christmas Tree was a dud).

Besides the Christmas tree, there are two other temporary changes at the Capitol if you look closely. One, you can see the scaffolding on the Capital lawn preparing for President Obama’s inauguration ceremony next year. Two, the Capitol flags are at half-staff as a sign of respect for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

I will leave it to the Peanuts character Linus to explain the true meaning of Christmas. In this classic cartoon, Linus recites from The Book of Luke to tell Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were so afraid, and the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   Christmas Jesus Christ Christmas 2012 Charlie Brown Book of Luke The Bible Scriptures Linus Sandy Hook Newtown Architecture Travel Destinations Vertical Full Length Outdoors Public Building Front View Blue International Landmark Sky Day Dusk Reflection Lake Capitol Building Illuminated Government Building Color Image No People Building Exterior Photography Government Federal Building Capital Cities Blue Hour Twilight City History Horizontal Monument Dome USA Famous Place American Culture Tree Standing Water Night Pond Washington DC World Through my Eyes Pool Water Christmas Tree Happy New Year 2012 america Trees Canon EOS 5D Mark II Washington DC Christmas Holiday Spirit

N 34 B 21.8K C 40 E Oct 25, 2012 F Dec 13, 2012
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The day I left the green square behind was the day I started to get serious with photography.

You know the full auto mode on Canon cameras that is indicated with a green square or what I call the dummy mode. That may sound harsh, but why spend hundreds of dollars on a DSLR camera so you can operate it like a simple point and shoot? That is why we have smart phones with cameras.

I soon discovered other modes like “AV” (aperture priority) and “TV” (shutter priority) which would open the creative flood gates.

The AV mode led me to the expressive world of “blue hour” photography, that certain time of the day that creates a surreal environment with natural light. The blue hours provide photographers with fantastic overcast lighting across a scene, giving your photographs deep saturation of colors and great detail. The time just before sunrise or after sunset, also known as twilight, gives off a blue/purple hue that is truly unique.

I started to photograph cityscapes during the “second” blue hour. I love it when the light in the sky would balance out with the light of the office buildings. To get longer exposure times and depth of field I had to say goodbye to Mr. Green Square and hello to Mr. Aperture Priority.

I always wanted a clean composition so I hated it when people would walk into my frame or refuse to get out of it. Most of the time it wasn’t a problem since I would shoot at long exposures (20-30 seconds) and they would “disappear” into the night, but there were always those people who for some reason would stand still and end up in my frame.

Annoying.

Many years later I would find myself standing on the edge of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon freezing and waiting for the sunrise. I finally hit a brick wall with landscape and cityscape photography and wanted to try something new.

Photographing strangers on the street always frightened me, so of course that was the direction I wanted to go!

Cityscapes aren't just about buildings, but also the people who inhabit the city, besides National Geographic says photos are always more interesting with people in them. Who’s going to argue with National Geographic? I now photograph cityscapes with people in them to tell more of a complete story.

Now that I want people in my cityscape photos I can’t get seem to get them in my shots. In Guanajuato, Mexico I wanted to take a blue hour photo of the city cathedral, but I also wanted to portray the nightlife of this exuberant colonial town.

I set up my camera tripod at this sidewalk cafe hoping to get people in the foreground with the city cathedral in the background.

Easier said than done.

Every time people would walk by they would either stop and stare at my camera or duck down and apologize for walking in my frame and then quickly run off. It took ten shots to finally get this one.

The waitress in the doorway was courteous to stand still long enough to “freeze” her in the frame. Once she turned around and saw my camera she apologized for disrupting my photo and went back inside the restaurant.

Putting my camera in aperture priority, the exposure was set just long enough to take in those saturated colors and to blur the passing people to give a hint of the vibrant nightlife of Guanajuato, Mexico.

Now take your camera off that green square and take some blue hour photos.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   Guanajuato Mexico Mexico Travel Mexico Photography Mexico Photo Location Blue Hour Blue Hour Photography Sam Antonio Sam Antonio Photography Blue Long Exposure Slow Shutter Travel Photography People Architecture Travel Destinations Horizontal Blurred Motion Outdoors North America Mexico Vacation Famous Place Night Guanajuato State Color Image Medium Group Of People Building Exterior Photography Travel Latin America UNESCO World Heritage Site Blur Yellow Catchy Colors Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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The city of San Miguel de Allende is a photographer’s dream. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it has nearly perfect weather year around, picturesque cobblestone streets, colonial architecture or the vivid, bold colors of its historic center.

If you get your news from the establishment media you no doubt have heard that Mexico is polluted, drug infested and the top destination for tourists to have their head separated from their shoulders.

San Miguel de Allende is a sea of calm amid the media hyperbole. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, San Miguel de Allende almost seems surreal. It has been said it is the Mexican Disneyland. The cobblestone streets are as pristine as walking down Main Street in Disneyland minus Mickey Mouse and screaming kids. Its beautiful church, the Parroquia, and perfectly manicured main plaza, El Jardin, will sooth your senses. For years visual artists have found the city as a haven for their creativity.

I originally planned just to stay in San Miguel de Allende for two days, but ended up staying for four. The warm hospitality of the locals, postcard views and striking light would not allow me to leave. During the day I would wander the crooked cobblestone streets taking in the city’s vibrant charm. Walking in the historic center was like taking a stroll into the past, perhaps it had to do with the fact that there are no traffic signals, fast food restaurants and parking meters.

The beauty of travel photography is that you never know what you will experience around every street corner. After spending a good portion of the morning wandering around the historic center, I came upon this intersection and immediately found the building colors and light spectacular. I was photographing for a couples of minutes varying my point of view and focal length, when I said to myself that all I need now is a local walking into the scene with a bright color shirt.

Be careful what you wish for in San Miguel de Allende because it will come true!

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   San Miguel de Allende Mexico Mexico Travel Mexico Vacation Mexico Photography Color Blue Sky Blue Red Yellow Man Walking History Architecture Travel Destinations Horizontal Outdoors Colonial Style Street Dusk Guanajuato Illuminated Old Town Cobblestone Color Image San Miguel de Allende Mexico Built Structure Residential District House Multi Colored Old Traditional Culture Day Wall San Miguel de Allende City People Building Exterior Photography Latin America Sam Antonio Sam Antonio Photography North America Vibrant Bold Colors World Heritage Site Getty Stock Image Travel Photography Stock Photography Street Photography Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame Photography Slow Shutter Town Sunlight San Miguel Man Vibrant Color Charming Colorful Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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“To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen… to be forgotten is the worst.” -Pierre Claeyssens (1909-2003)

I had the great opportunity to partake in a moving and patriotic experience earlier this month. Every December an organization called Wreaths Across America coordinates a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. It is a wonderful way to remember, honor and teach our youth about our fallen veterans.

They also lay wreaths at other memorials such as the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Vietnam Veterans War Memorial is most abstract memorial on the National Mall. It is also, to many, the most profound and emotional. The two sunken black granite walls, dedicated in 1982, are inscribed with the names of the 58,000-plus American service members who died in the Vietnam War. Designer Maya Lin called her controversial design an “anti-monument.”

What was your most moving travel experience in 2012?

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   Concepts Event Building Feature Wreath Memories Topics Horizontal Positive Emotion War Monument USA Christmas Washington DC Wall Military Vietnam Veterans Memorial Memorial Historic World Event Vietnam War Respect Capital Cities Arts Culture and Entertainment Postwar Adornment. Vietnam Veterans Tranquil Scene The Past Travel Destinations Text Outdoors Footpath National Landmark American Culture Bare Tree Sunrise Reflection Marble Color Image Obelisk Patriotism Floodlight No People Photography Diminishing Perspective Surrounding Wall National Park Service Sam Antonio ©Sam Antonio Photography Historic Laying Wreath Vietnam Veterans War Memorial Photographing Washington DC Washington DC Photo Locations Washington Monument Wreaths Across America December 2012 Washington, DC Winter Canon EOS 5D Mark II MemorialDay


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