The Cellist (…for Channa)

Stepping of the train, I could hear the whispery strains of a cello. Grand Central Terminus, always full of people and conversation was strangely mute, letting the sounds of Fauré’s Pavane op.50 waft through the halls and platforms. I immediately thought of my cellist friend and “soul sister” Channa, who I wished could be there with me.

The cellist turned out to be Erik Robert Jacobsen (FB: Erik Robert Jacobson, in his tuxedo. With the Christmas market bustling around him, his music put the magic into the holiday season.

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MM2-34: Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness

I love Leanne‘s challenges and the positive and encouraging feedback which she ALWAYS gives! Her Monochrome Madness was the first public photographic forum that I had the courage to enter last year and now I am a huge fan! It is also great learning to see what other photographers are doing and how different people interpret express the same challenge in very different and creative ways.

It is really worthwhile to have a look. Why not? Give it a go and try one of your own photos!:

Here is the photo that I submitted – used on my post about Paris and very excited that it was included in this edition of Monochrome Madness.


Studies in Black & White

Somedays, no matter how creative the day begins, it reaches a dull spot where suddenly there is a need to entertain oneself (hopefully without the use of anything digital…). Look around the house and something will always pop up.

Deciding that I could use some more practice with depth of field and settings (I still do, any suggestions?), I decided to look for details around the house . What came out of it was a pretty satisfying experiment in black & white.



I don’t think it is a real word, “Thamsing” so I will define my own invention (verb: going along, across or by the Thames River). The Thames runs through the heart of my favorite city, it delineates its history, its shape and its form. It defines the city’s residents; those living north or south of the Thames and the music of the speech they use.

During the summer (the same wonderful two weeks were I was taking a photo course at Central St Martin’s University of the Arts), I took the Thames Clipper ( towards Greenwich to see the two tall ships that came to visit. More photos of these magnificent ships forthcoming…. Along the river, with the changing tides and a stiff breeze, the water was full of lovely ships and the shores full of people taking in the sights.

Les fleurs et les bougies

Have you perhaps seen this discussion between a father and his little son?


I have watched it several times now (I will admit, not without a few tears) and in it see all that is good in the world – how a father calmly explains a horrific event to his small son and reassures him without instilling a feeling of hate or fear, and how his little son so trusts his father’s words; Oui, ça va mieux (lit.: I feel better now). The flowers and candles will protect us.

Flowers and candles – beauty in the face of hideousness, light in the darkness. What light can we bring into this world though out own kindness, reassurance and trust in our fellow man?


This past summer, I visited Paris for a day, for the first time in my life. Today, after the events in Paris, looking back over the photos that I took what seems ages ago, the tranquility, the beauty, the bonds between people, that is what Paris is to me. I have a lot of respect for that little boy, his wise father and the people of Paris who will prevail and return “la ville lumière” to what it is known for; love, light and enlightenment.


Meet and Greet: The People of Basel

In German, residents of Basel are either Basler (for males) or Baslerin (females). In any language, they are interesting to observe as they go about their everyday business around the Marktplatz – the main square downtown. I felt particularly confident today and found that my personal feelings where “absorbed” in my photos – they seemed to be more assertive in capturing personalities and mood. I was especially captivated by the energy of the bagpiper in dreds and the “attitude” of the man with his bicycle. Couldn’t resist snapping away.

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If it is Autumn, it is time for the fair!

It is certainly Autumn in Switzerland; bright sunshine in that golden Autumnal hue, blue skies, dipping temperatures and crisp leaves that you scuff on the pavement with new leather shoes.

In Basel, it is also time for the Autumn Fair or Herbstmesse in German. One of the very special things one finds at the fair (amongst beautiful handcrafts and Swiss treats such as melted cheese Raclette, braised sugar almonds, and marzipan gingerbread) is a an antique two-story carousel. This same carousel has brought delight to several generations of  Basler children and looks spectacular again the darkening sky.

On my way home, nibbling roasted chestnuts in their special paper bags (one section for the chestnuts waiting to be eaten, another section for the shells of those already gobbled greedily!), there was just enough light to take a picture of the typical Swiss architecture in the Old Town.

What a great day!

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London’s Chinatown

In the middle of London, tucked away behind the bustle and theatres of Leicester Square, not far from the tourist-haven of Covent Garden, you chance upon London’s Chinatown. Visited in early morning, you find the busy life of a vibrant community. By tradition, it is hard to take “street” photos in a Chinese community, people shy away from the lens and some are rather hostile so just keep on going…. That said, the friendly lady in the second photo kept “popping up” unexpectedly in different areas of Chinatown and clearly enjoyed getting her photo taken. 🙂

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