What have diagonal lines ever done for me?

That is the question posed by Patti, for this week’s Lens Artists’ Challenge #228. Well, not done for me exactly, but done for my photos. Have a photos diagonal lines invited us in, encouraged us to explore the picture, or to focus on some detail?

Let’s have a look, and have a bit of a trip out too.

We’ll start off close to home, one cold wintry morning as I went to get the paper. Those rays of sunshine enlivened the scene, and my mood.

Here are two more, from just down the road. A tree which instead of reaching skywards, leans across the woods to demand a place centre-stage for the whole shot. And ox-eye daisies splicing the image in half, showing us there’s countryside, not a garden beyond.

A trip to the seaside? Alnmouth in Northumbria?

This quiet beach looks dramatic when the tide’s out.

Brussels now. A bank of plate glass windows reflects the opposite side of the road to dramatic effect. Monochrome too, for Bren’s Mid-Week Monochrome.

Off to Spain now. All those dizzy hairpin bends in Cantabria invite us to explore.

Then two more scenes – one from Cádiz, the other from Valencia. Those diagonals pull us in to explore the cathedral in one, the reflections in the other.

This shot, from Alicante, uses the ropes on a yacht as a frame for the scene beyond.

Alicante

I’ve hesitated over whether to include this last shot in what is essentially a light-hearted post. But this photo – not a particularly original one as so many others have taken similar shots – has stayed with me. It’s Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. These are the railway lines that brought so many thousands of Jews on their very last journey. I wrote about it here.

I decided on balance to include it, as the relative optimism I felt when I wrote that post five years ago has disappeared in the light of world events over the last couple of years: and we shouldn’t forget.

Reflections from Happier Times

Because almost the entire world is in the grip of one single event that is beginning to dominate every day life, I am using Reflections, this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge for a spot of escapism.

These photos encapsulate memories of moments in Spain: in Alicante; on the river Guadalquivir in Córdoba and Seville, and l’Albufera near Valencia.

Even if you can’t share these particular memories, I hope they may help you reflect on similar joyous moments in your own life.

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #87: Reflections

Snapshot Saturday: Weathered by the sun in Alicante

Our Spanish holiday ended in Alicante, some 550 km from Barcelona, and was all to do with our flight home.  Don’t ask.

My second impression of Alicante, and Malcolm’s first, was that it’s a lovely town.  It’s suffered a bit in English eyes from its proximity to Benidorm, the British home of sun, sand, sangria and sex (and that’s probably a bit unfair too).  Actually, it’s a fairly wealthy town, a historic Mediterranean port, and strolling round its historic centre, and along its seafront and esplanades was a pleasant experience.

I struggled to find much that was weathered, for this week’s WordPress Photo challenge, but here is a nicely picturesque house above the old town, and a slightly sun-battered detail from the Basilica de Santa Maria.

My other snapshots (click on any of them to see a slideshow) display a busy, prosperous town which we’ll happily return to.  Especially if we can enjoy lunch outside in temperatures of 17 degrees in the middle of January.

Spain again

Hola! Here I am in Spain. No, not on holiday. No, not to see Emily, though I will squeeze in a quick visit to her at the end.

I’m here to learn Spanish – in a fortnight’s intensive learning. Watch this space.

I’ve landed in Alicante, because I can’t fly directly to my destination of Valencia. With an hour and a half to kill before my onward journey, here’s what I did. A quick boat trip round the harbour.