Photo of the day (12.9.10)

Finding contrasts is one of the best things about travel. We love seeing places, people, and cultures different from our own and when we see a familiar item in an unfamiliar context, it’s especially interesting. Pick up any travel article about Turkey, Morocco, or Japan and you’re guaranteed to read a few examples of “old world meets new” contrast. Today’s Photo of the Day by Mike GL captures a moment between a monk and his mobile in front of New York’s City Hall. Recently in Kiev, Ukraine, I saw young Orthodox monks wearing track suit jackets over their robes and chatting on iPhones, and couldn’t help but find the image jarring and funny, but even monks have to stay connected these days. You think there’s a FourSquare check in at the monastary?

Take any good contrast photos? Share them in our Flickr Group – we may just include it as our next Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day (8-5-09)

Wow! That was my first impression when coming across jonrawinson’s shot of Venice Italy’s sky. His photo is a terrific reminder that when taking travel photos, that the place one is visiting can be a backdrop for creating a visual message. The way I know this is Venice is because he says that it is. The buildings, however, do give a hint of location and provide allure. The sky, though, is the star. The static quality of the buildings make the sky a dizzying display of movement. Seriously, superb. Plus, when I head to Venice tomorrow, this photo is a reminder to look up.

If you have a shot to consider for a Photo of the Day, please send it our way at Gadling’s Flicker photo pool. We’re delighted when you do.

City of Contrasts. Bite Me.

If I read one more time that a place X is a “place of contrasts” I am going to scream or start sending letters, depending on which side of the contrast spectrum I will find myself. Beijing has been called a “city of contrasts” by CNN, Los Angeles by PBS, St. Petersburg by The Mercury Sun, Genoa by The New York Times (Et tu, Brute?) The list goes on.

In fact, when you type in “city of contrasts” into Google, you get 113,000 hits. You get hundreds of pictures when you type in the same in Google Images. The funny thing is, most of those pictures show no contrast at all, even if the most trivial kind. Take the picture displayed. The description says: Kazan, Russia: City of Contrasts. And, where would the contrast be? The ugly houses versus the less ugly houses?

What I want to know: Is there a place on Earth that’s NOT a place of contrasts? Contrasts are everywhere – the poor and the rich, the new and the old, the beautiful and the ugly. Contrast is a given. Even my kitchen is a place of contrasts, if you examine the unwashed dishes next to the hand-cut crystal glasses.

As places start looking more gentrified and similar, travel writers will really need to get more creative. That is one good thing globalization could accomplish.