Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

This week’s photo challenge is “From Lines to Patterns“.

I would have liked to show the Nazca lines from the air in Peru; but since this trip is still on my wish list, instead, I will show a collage of photos from my archive.

Never tired of showing the lines of columns in the underground reservoir in Istanbul, Turkey. The lines of columns flared out into curvy arches at the column tops; showing another pattern which blends well with the columns.CIMG0605

The arch bridge in Switzerland is my other favorite image for showing lines and curves. Clean vertical solid lines springing from the circular arch of an motorway bridge support the bridge deck.DSCF1124A

I like the silvery vertical lines of the organ assembly in a church of the Baltics.DSC_0389

The neat lines of the windows at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, a design by I M Pei, are some of the most pleasing lines for the eyes.005

Looking up the roof of the aquarium in Okinawa, we were attracted by the repetitive pattern of the inverted V-shaped structural elements which formed the roof.DSC_0189

Also in Japan are some bamboo which grow so tall and straight, terminating into a natural pattern of bamboo leaves at the top.DSC_0044

Back in Beijing, China, the irregular pattern of  illuminated blue bubbles forming the walls of the “Cube” built for the Olympic Games looked really amazing at night.DSCF2520

In Hong Kong, the circular columns and patterns on the balustrades at Heritage 1881 in TsimShaTsui presented an interesting visual effect.CIMG2389

The many tall buildings in the Central business area of  Hong Kong island offer sight of the many contemporary arrangement of lines and patterns.DSCF3223

I wish I have more images on patterns but I don’t think I got many of them. Please enjoy!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

This week’s challenge is Sea.

I am a sea lover.

The sea means many things to me.  Like my mood, sometimes, it is serene and peaceful; sometimes it is wild and free.

I have seen seas crashing in, eroding islands and breakwaters; luckily, I have never seen a tsunami and never want to see one.

My photos below are more about the calm side of the seas.

I particularly like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem about the sea:

My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.”

When I am anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea.

The soft murmuring sound of the waves gently lapping on the beach gives me a calming effect which is unlike any other thing in the world.

There are images I particularly like. The beach at Brighton, UK is an image I’ll never forget. The picture was taken in 1985 and converted to digital.ML3

The Adriatic sea is the bluest sea I have ever seen.

I like the view of the Dubrovnik walls / fortresses and the nearby beach – picturesque?.DSCF0805

In Hvar,Croatia, climbing up to the top of Spanish Castle and gazing out to the sea and islands was just breathtaking.DSCF0562

Here is a view of the Baltic sea. Taken on a day when the wind was blowing, the beach was almost deserted, apart from a man flying his red kite.DSC_0131

Istanbul, which sits at the cross road of the East and West, is just exotic. I was fascinated by the pink sunset on the Bosporus strait (sea) which separates Europe from Asia.CIMG0567

Back in the Asia, the waves crashing in at a cliff in Okinawa was just another memorable sight.DSC_0267

Walking out on the sand bar, towards some islands, in Langkawi, Thailand, is a picture which I will always remember.DSC_0346

Islands standing out of the blue waters is just a familiar sight in Koh Samui, Thailand.DSC_0664

Taking a  speed boat out to the nearby islands was just surreal.DSC_0663

Back home, have never imagined that the Sai Kung sea in Hong Kong can look so beautiful, in the golden hour.CIMG2975B

When the sun has set and we were still finding our way towards our destination during a hike, the sky and the sea just merged into one.CIMG0453

To me, they are like poems of the sea.

There are also some songs / music  about the sea which I like. One of these is Ebb Tide:


Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

Dark clouds have set in and the last rays of sunlight weakly penetrate the sky.CIMG0577

The busy Bosporus strait separating Europe and Asia is becoming quiet as daylight is coming to a close.

It foreshadows that day is turning into night  . . . . . .  and when morning comes  again, it will be a new day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Patterns

Not knowing exactly what are patterns, I looked up for the meaning in Wikipedia:

A pattern, apart from the term’s use to mean “Template“, is a discernible regularity in the world or in a manmade design. As such, the elements of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner.

As someone who likes taking photos of landscape, seascape and architecture, I don’t have a lot of photos showing how nature at work  which shapes many of the living and non-living matters into patterns of different scales.

I suppose as humans, we like breaking down things into manageable elements and assembling them to become bigger pieces. Like nature, we like them to look pretty and pleasing.

Here are a few examples of man-made patterns.

The photo shows the roof of a temple at YungGang, China. The glazed tiles which are already having their own patterns, are supported by two layers of rafters, the lower layer of circular beams and an upper layer of rectangular beams. On a bigger spacing, the columns heads are interesting decorated with what I believe Dragon Heads!DSCF2381

The picture below taken at Sofia Mosque, Istanbul shows the pattern to a gateway. The repetitive pattern of the ironwork and the gold colors on them are just amazing, not to say anything about the patterns above and around them.CIMG0517

Architects are so good at providing patterns on buildings to render them aesthetically pleasing.CIMG0496A

The façade of the palace building at Dolmabache contains many repetitive and symmetrical patterns at different scales.

Can’t help being fascinated by patterns – both man- made and natural!

Lions in the Garden of Dolmabache Palace, Istanbul

The search for images of benches has led me back to the photos of Turkey, in particular, those taken in the quiet gardens of the Dolmabache  Palace by the Bosphorus Strait of Istanbul.

While we enjoyed the view out to the sea when sitting on the seaside benches, we also enjoyed strolling around the peaceful garden which was reclaimed from the sea for the Sultan.CIMG0502

One of my favorite pictures is that of a sculpture of a male lion in the garden, with a tree, an ornamental fence and the sea as background.CIMG0501

Not far from the sculpture were the lioness and her two cubs. While the cubs looked playful, the mother looked on guard with undivided attention.CIMG0493

In front of the palace was the swan fountain, it looked well integrated with the flowers, the pond and the surrounding.CIMG0505

As no photos were allowed to be taken within the palace so once outside the palace building and out into the garden, we took whatever photos  we found interesting including  a gate to the palace garden.CIMG0506

The top part of the arch gate was highly ornamental, the details really got me  interested.

The visit to the garden was just unforgettable!

Travel Theme: Benches

Over at Where’s my Backpack, the weekly travel theme is benches.

I like photographing empty benches. Benches are so inviting, especially when you are physically or mentally tired.  This picture taken in the gardens of  Dolmabache Palace in Istanbul is my favorite photo.CIMG0499B

We started our day visiting the Dolmabache Palace  on the bank of the Bosphorus strait. While we certainly admired the architecture and other things we saw in the palace; we were particularly impressed by the serenity of the gardens outside the palace. What a joy it was, sitting on the benches in the garden, looking through the tall white ornamental fence by the Bosphorus strait; watching ships passing by under a beautiful sky!

Below is another picture which is taken at a slightly different angle in the same location. This is how it looks in color.CIMG0500A

Purple Saturday (1)

Thai Saturday is Purple!

In our sub conscience, Purple is usually linked to royalty and spirituality. In Thailand, it is also a color worn by widows in memory of their husbands.

I like purple flowers but I also like sceneries which has a purple tint.

While cruising the Bosporus in Istanbul,  the setting sun created a purple hue in the sky and also in the water.  The hue together with the reflection in the water  was just breath-taking. The cruise was an odyssey of colors. When the cruise started up the Bosporus, there was sunshine. Then followed by heavy rain. When the rain cleared up, there was an incomplete rainbow, followed by an unforgettable pink sunset.  CIMG0580

In a way, the cruise was somewhat liked our journey through life; we have been through good times, seen bad times, encountered many interesting things,  even rainbows and when you have travelled far and long, you are almost near to the shore but the magnificent sun was setting!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

We only see because objects are illuminated, either by the sun, the moon, the stars or other artificial sources. In this post, I am trying to limit myself to artificial sources for illumination as otherwise, I may just flood this post with pictures.

Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb has forever changed the world. Our activities do not necessarily have to stop after  sunset. The views after dark in many places may also be very attractive.

This is a familiar sight you see every night in Hong Kong if you view from the Kowloon side, weather permitting. Many cities called themselves city of light; HK has the added benefit that it can look so charming in the night with the lights on from the tall buildings fronting the harbour together with the colored reflections in the sea.DSCF2040

The Pest side of Budapest looks so picturesque even during night-time, with the reflection from the River Danube.DSCF0087

The town of Split in Croatia looked ablazed on the night of Saint Domiuus Festival. The blue color came from the blue lights of the stage where they have musical performance.DSCF0404

As always, I am charmed by the  lights and the reflections off the sea. The picture below is the Osaka harbor, Japana with the ferries wheel.DSC_0257

Another example would be the harbor lights in the old port of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The sight was so charming that we couldn’t resist gazing out to the night scenes.DSCF10004

Alfresco dining out in Dubrovnik is an experience that we would not forget. People really seemed to be enjoying themselves and , of course, their dinners.DSCF0766

Walking back to our hotel up hill of the Dubrovnik harbor, we were guided only by the street nights.DSCF0780

You can’t imagine how an airport will work at night without any illumination. The picture below was taken at the Istanbul airport before taking a night flight.DSCF1172

Sorry I have to show this picture again as it shows how the vast space within the Blue Mosque is illuminated by circles of lights hanging from the roof.CIMG0451

Back near home, this is a tea tasting shop in ChongQing, China with cylindrical lights hanging from above at the shop front to attract customers.DSCF6298

Downtown Beijing, China in an area which is named TianJie where they have installed a gigantic TV screen (upper left hand corner) as a big roof over a pedestrian area, with shops on the right.DSCF2772

Again, I can’t help repeat posting a picture which was taken in Luxor, Egypt with the colossal columns illuminated by lights; while seemingly tiny people passed by.My beautiful picture

So, let there be light. . . . . . . . . . .  .  and cast away the darkness.

Bosphorous – A Strait betweenTwo Continents

Istanbul is a place where East meets West, old meets new; a place of fusion of cultures and a place of strategic historic importance. It was a memorable occasion to cruise up and down on this stretch of water which divides Europe and Asia.  This city has miles of beautiful waterfront and  there was so much activity along the two shores of the continents.

At the moment we left the busy harbour of Istanbul, we knew that it would be a feast for the eyes. There was so much to see as we swinged by summer homes, palaces, ancient buildings, hotels, kiosks, bridges and many different types of ships ranging from container vessels, cargo ships to ferries, yachts and pleasure crafts .

We first passed by the Dolmabache Palace; we were awed by the view the day before in the palace while relaxing on the benches in the palace garden and admiring the sea view, looking through the tall white  iron fence built along the Palace’s waterfront.  The view from the ferry was equally interesting, if not more so.

The modernity of the towers for this suspension bridge contrast sharply with the ancient  Ortakoy Mosque next to it. This is just another example of how old meets new. The Bosphorus Bridge connects the two continents:Europe with Asia. When completed in 1973, it was the world’s 4th longest suspension bridge, but now it ranks the 16th. It is a gravity anchored suspension bridge with steel pylons and inclined hangers. With a total length of 1510m and a main span of 1074m, the aerodynamic deck is hanging by zigzag steel cables from the main cables 64m above the sea. 

This is a busy waterway. The view continued as numerous  boats cruising up and down the Strait on the beautiful turquoise colored  waters. As we turned our way back down the strait, we noticed that a big container vessel heading down south had just crossed under this magnificent bridge.

Have always desired for a summer house by the sea. This is exactly the place where I want my summer house to be. A house close to the sea where you can view yachts, pleasure boats and the daily rhytmns of life.

As we got closer to Istanbul,  the sun had lowered itself westward behind the skyline, turning the Bosphorus into a body of golden waters against the dark silhouettes of the bulbous mosques and their pencil-like  minarets.  The waters of the Bosphorus offers an infinite array of moods. . . . . .I knew it was time to wake up from my ecstasy (from the mystical beauties of the strait and my dream house) and get on with the rest of our journey.