SUNFLOWER, ARSIE, VENETO REGION, ITALY: This beautiful sunflower stood out against a blue sky in the Dolomite Mountains of northern Italy. I like the shot because of the way the leaves create a feeling of motion. It was also one of my big sister’s favourite flowers. The photo was taken in the town of Arsie, which is located roughly 80 kms. northwest of Venice in the Veneto Region. Arsie sits on a plain surrounded by mountains near Lake Corlo, an artificial lake created in 1954 along the slopes of Monte Grappa for the production of hydro electricity. At its height in 1911, approximately 11,000 people lived in Arsie. Now, there are roughly 2,500 people living in the town. 6 Catholic parishes, 5 schools and 2 banks and 1 pharmacy serve the town.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, 18-200 DX zoom lens at 82mm, f25, 1/250 sec, ISO 1250
Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
TUSCAN FARM BUILDING, ITALY: I love shooting photos in Tuscany. This photo was taken in early July, late in the sunflower growing season. The Tuscan region is where the Italian Renaissance was born– home to Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli and Puccini. And, of course, it’s also the home of Chianti wine.
Shot with a Nikon D300, 70-300 DX zoom lens at 155mm, ISO 1250, 1/250 sec., f32. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
RAGGED ASS ROAD: Yes, in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories there is a street by that name. I was there not long ago, enjoying my time in ‘Old Town’ the original town site. Ragged Ass Road is the official Yellowknife name for the short dirt road in this working-class neighbourhood. Apparently, the street got its name after Lou Rocher and his buddies were drinking one night at the end of a long prospecting season with little profit to show for it. ‘Ragged Ass’ meant dirt poor and they decided that night they should call their street ‘Ragged Ass Road’. They made a sign, the name stuck and eventually the city adopted the name officially. This 1949 Ford sits in the driveway of one of the homes on Ragged Ass Road.
Photo illustration by John Ecker | pantheon photography
SUNFLOWER FIELD, TUSCANY, ITALY: This region of Italy is spectacular near the end of the day. The golden light from the setting sun played beautifully on this field of sunflowers. Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, with a Nikkor AFS 70-300mm lens at 187mm, f25, 1/250th sec., ISO 1250.
Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.
DOUAI MARKET, NORTHERN FRANCE: Douai existed in Roman times, believed to be a fortress known as Duacum. It was a bustling textile centre for hundreds of years. The town was partially destroyed in 1918 during World War I. Traditional community markets are still found throughout northern France. Local fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheese, cured meats and live animals can all be found at these quaint markets. This market in Douai is centrally located. My friend and I wandered the market taking photographs of the many sights and sounds. People were literally lined up to buy live birds, including this one that was quickly stuffed into a box for transport back to someone’s backyard— or kitchen.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 70-300 lens at 127mm, 1/250sec, f32, ISO 2000. Image by John Ecker | pantheon photography
GATEWAY ARCH, AND WATER FOUNTAIN, ST. LOUIS MISSOURI: Here’s another shot of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. (See my Gateway Arch and Fire Hydrant shot here.) Those tiny windows at the top are on the observation deck. For a fee, visitors can take a tramway from either end of the base and travel to the top in egg-shaped compartments. The Arch was opened to the public in 1967. It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. I loved the symmetry between the shape of the arch and the arc of the water from the fountain. Fun fact: The Arch is a structure known as a catenary curve, the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends, and considered the most structurally-sound arch shape. Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikkor AF-S 18-200 lens at 63mm, f18, 1/160 sec. ISO 400. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
GATEWAY ARCH, AND FIRE HYDRANT, ST. LOUIS MISSOURI: I usually do lots of research about the places I plan to visit before I travel. Before my whirlwind trip through the mid-west with my son to see some baseball (Cardinals, Royals, then the Reds) I knew little about the Gateway Arch. What an amazing and beautiful landmark. No wonder it’s a National Monument. It is clad with 900 tons of stainless steel and presents an ever-changing image as the light reflects off its surface, depending on the time of day. We were lucky to be there on a cloudless day with nothing but blue skies. Standing 630 feet tall, it’s the tallest man-made monument in America. It can be seen from pretty well anywhere in the city, affording endless opportunities for photographers. Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikkor AF-S 18-200 lens at 27mm, f18, 1/250 sec. ISO 400.
Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography