Posts Tagged ‘pigeon’

Quasimodo

November 10th, 2010

I made this photograph in Paris, France, in the open space overlooking the river Seine in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

I found the inscription on the tombstone-like slab rather funny. For starters, there’s the play on the English-language “RIP” (Rest in Peace). There’s also the reference to Quasimodo‘s hump in the phrase “roule ta bosse”, which basically means “live an adventurous life”, but which translates literally as “roll your hump”. The amorous pigeons strutting about on the slab completed the comedy.

On another note, check these out:

  • The Big Picture‘s hard-hitting photo reportage on Haiti, ten months after disaster struck;
  • here, a father and his autistic son bond and grapple with the problems of autism through photography;
  • here a photoessay on a photojournalist’s experiences following, and bonding with, soldiers in the field (in Afghanistan);
  • here a post by travel photographer Gavin Gough on the importance (and the ease) of establishing a rapport with people before shooting their portraits, complete with some striking portraits; and
  • here awe-inspiring images of the Great Migrations of animals from around the world;

More coming soon!

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Birds on a Mosque

October 16th, 2010

This was taken earlier this year on a trip to Hatta, UAE.

More coming soon!

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Silhouettes

September 8th, 2010

There’s something very particular about silhouettes. They can help convey so much mood, drama and mystery.

Here is a small selection of silhouettes taken in places as diverse as London, Brussels and Normandy, France.

Above is a the equestrian statue of Godfrey de Bouillon which stands in the Royal Square in Brussels. The statue was made by Eugène Simonis, and inaugurated on August 24, 1848.

Above is the British Machine Gun Corps Memorial (also knows as The Boy David), which can today be found in the central section of Hyde Park Corner in London.

I couldn’t help but wonder about the link between machine guns and the German Zweihander/Greatsword (Yes, I know. But hey, I’m into swords).

One of the 48 statues representing the Medieval guilds of 16th century Brussels and which can be found atop neo-gothic columns surrounding the Place du Petit Sablon. The Place du Petit Sablon was built in built in 1890, and is a beautiful tree-lined park in central Brussels.

A statue atop a fountain in Hyde Park.

A kite caught in a tree on a beautiful day in Normandy, France.

Pigeon on the rails. Seen in Hyde Park.

More coming soon!

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Pigeon Feeding

July 26th, 2010

I made this shot in Paris, in front of the Notre Dame cathedral.

More coming soon!

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Flight of the Pigeons

June 19th, 2010

I was wandering down a street at one point, when I noticed a large flock of pigeons flying overhead. They were circling and swooping in tight arcs, round and round. Someone was pigeon flying! Naturally, I paused to watch and snap a few pictures.

The art of pigeon flying remains quite popular in the Arab world. I’ve often see flocks of pigeons circling over the rooftops in Cairo, Beirut and Amman, for instance. But the shot above wasn’t taken anywhere in the Arab world. Can you guess where?

Brussels, Belgium. Yep.

Some say the use of pigeons to carry messages can be traced back to the ancient Persians (some 2800 years ago). The ancient Romans also used messenger pigeons in their military campaigns over 2000 years ago (for example, Julius Caesar was reputed to have used them in his conquest of Gaul). Use of pigeons to carry messages outside of a military setting – in a postal system – goes back to the late 10th Century at least in the Arab world, where it was developed under Fatimid rule.

The use of homing pigeons by the French during the siege of Paris in 1870-1871 gave new breath to their use in the military in Europe who used them extensively during World War I and again in World War II. You can find out more about war pigeons here.

There’s a memorial to those messenger pigeon trainers who fell in service to Belgium during World War I at one end of the garden at the far side of the Quai au Briques. Here’s a shot of it below.

All this may be interesting but it doesn’t explain why someone was flying pigeons in Brussels.

Turns out that the (modern) sport of pigeon racing was developed and gained immense popularity in Belgium in the middle of the 19th Century. The sport has since spread all over the world, though it seems to be suffering from a lack of interest by the general public. You can find out more about pigeon racing here.

More coming soon!

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