Monday, December 30, 2013

The Magicians Monument

There are many theories to explain how Stonehenge came to be. The myth of interest to me is that of Merlin building it. The brother of Uther Pendragon wanted a memorial to some slain English nobles by saxons. Merlin suggested bringing stones from the Giant's Ring at the top of Mount Killaraus in Ireland back to Britain. This idea was approved but no one was capable of transporting these mammoth stones to England except through the magic of Merlin.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Setting Sun and Poppies

This is Bamburgh Castle and a beautiful field of poppies spread across the foreground. This location often has ties to Sir Lancelot and Joyous Garde as referenced by Sir Thomas Malory in Le Morte d'Arthur. Lancelot would have taken refuge here after his troubles with Arthur's Queen.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

St Anthony's Chapel

Sitting on the side of Arthur's Seat and above St Margaret's Loch in Edinburgh are the ruins of St Anthony's Chapel. Couldn't find much about the history but I am amazed that it wasn't rebuilt because the views from here are spectacular.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dover Lighthouse

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sue's Seafood

One of very few pictures I took on our day excursion out to Dover. I found something quaint about the little lonely restaurant.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Halls of Saint-Sulpice

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

View from Arc de Triomphe

Speaking of stereotypical tourist views with very little room for original composition that I couldn't resist taking…though I did get stopped by a few people when they realized I was not using a digital camera.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gargoyle of Notre Dame

Locations like this kind of drive me nuts. Its a very compelling view on top of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame but it is so limited in composition choices…or time to do anything. I guess a nice stereotypical vacation picture every now and again never hurt anyone either.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Allégorie de la victoire sur l'Espagne

This statue is found on the edge of the Golden Gates at the entrance to Versailles. It is known as the Allégorie de la victoire sur l'Espagne (or Allegory of the Victory over Spain)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pillars in Paris

This is also in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The obelisk once stood at the entrance to the Luxor in Egypt but was given to France in 1829. Its gold hat and the base are new additions but everything else is pushing 3,400 years old. The Eiffel Tower also makes for a pretty distinct inclusion to the history and skyline of Paris. Not much is known about this lamppost. I thought it complemented the other two nicely though.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Les Fontaines

This is the Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation in the Place de la Concorde. This is Paris's largest square and it sits between the Champs-Élysées to the west and the Tuileries Garden to the east. This was the calm before the storm…literally! We got wet.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dead End

I was always taught that walking on someones tomb was highly disrespectful. This was apparently not a British custom. I had heard they recently discovered the body of King Richard III buried under a parking lot in Leicester in Central England. I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised to see others buried under sidewalks. I am fascinated by the importance placed on history evidenced by keeping these markers around despite modern needs and growth. I am sadly getting used to the disposable nature of todays society.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bath Abbey

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Père Lachaise

Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris. Resting place of many notable people: Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Félix Nadar and François Arago (for the photo history crowd), Jacques-Louis David, Gertrude Stein, Frédéric Chopin, Georges Seurat and Molier. This is the tomb of none of the above. Not sure who's tomb it is actually. The cross in the lower left is what is left of a broken chair sitting on the floor. The upper right cross is a reverse shadow that at first glance seemed to be left by the chair before it broke. (Though the shapes don't quite match up) Regardless, I found it to be a simple and evocative scene.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Inverse Pyramids

Spoiler Alert!!! If you haven't read Dan Brown's book or seen the Da Vinci Code movie then you may not want to know this is where the Holy Grail (aka Mary Magdalene) is buried. I used to like the idea. How cool of a conspiracy theory to have buried one of the most legendary women of all time in one of the most prestigious museums in the world. Nope! Mr Brown failed to mention that the inverse pyramids happen to be in a shopping mall that is also an entrance to said prestigious museum. There is just something about anything being in a mall that takes the mystique right out of it. That being said, this just may be my favorite picture I have ever taken in a mall.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Photographer Descending a Staircase

I spent some time in England last summer as faculty for the UVU study abroad program. For one excursion we went to Greenwich. (where our measurement of time is based from) After finishing lunch we started to walk down an old circular staircase to pay. I stopped while waiting for others and then all of a sudden I was on the floor. Not sure what happened but this much I am sure of, I had fallen straight down the stairs. The macho thing to do, which of course I did, was to stand up very quickly and convince everyone I was ok. The next thing I knew I was being woken up by a student. I had passed out and collapsed backwards right onto the hard floor. Luckily I'm hard headed or have a hard head depending on who you ask. I was ok and enjoyed the rest of the trip with no side effects. Upon developing my film I was treated to this little memory. The back of the camera popped open a pinch from my fall. So here is my post-modern tribute to Marcel Duchamp's modernist masterpiece…Photographer Descending a Staircase.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Big Ben

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Castle Wall

This is about all that is left of Cadbury Castle. It is a hill with very steep sides that lead up to what was once a castle. Now it is a pasture. The defensive advantage of this place was obvious. It would have been a formidable fortress. You could see for miles in any direction and if any enemy made it to the base of the hill they would be faced with a quarter mile hike up a steep incline right to the outer walls. It makes sense that legend ties this site to the mythical Camelot. It would have been an awe inspiring center of power in its glory.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Temple Knight

I found this lovely women sitting in the nave of the Temple Church in London making sketches from the effigies of the Knights Templar found there. The Temple Church is one of the oldest building in London. Some parts dating back as far as 1160-1180. It is one of only five round churches in London, borrowing its design in honor and as a reminder of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (sorry Dan Brown fans).

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Obstructed View

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Poodle Bush

There is nothing like a quick walk through the gardens of Versailles to forever doubt your gardening abilities.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fountains of Versailles

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The London Stone

The London Stone was a well known landmark in medieval England. The first known recorded mention of the Stone occurred around 1100. You will find it prominently mentioned other times as a destination or a prominent reference point in giving directions. Now…it is buried behind a crate in the front window of a store on Canon St. Nobody knows for certain what the significance of the stone is and why it rose to fame or how exactly it has succumbed to its current state. A relatively recent theory postulates that this is in fact the stone that Arthur pulled Excalibur from. Some traditions hold that if someone where to challenge the monarchy they would strike their swords against the stone. This act could be a symbolic nod to the notion of this stone once playing the primary role in defining the rightful king.

© 2012 Travis Lovell Photography - All Rights Reserved