Morning photo: Edit

Sometimes it’s fun …

OK, you can say I’m over-editing, but what the heck … sometimes it’s fun to see how far you can take an image without totally losing it. All the pics in this set are taken in Linz, Austria, and they’ve all been run through multiple Instagram filters, along with a few other tools to bring out grain, structure and color. They may not be photography masterpieces, but to me, they’re gritty edits of some of the places and views that I’ve become intimately familiar with in the last few weeks — a new look at familiar sights.

Morning photo: Golden

Before the change …

Autumn gave us one more dose of glorious gold the past few weeks, a gift of warmth before winter drapes its frozen fingers over the land. It’s almost as if the season is saying, “Look at me one more time, things are about to change.” Of course, things always change; they never stay the same, and that becomes especially obvious when trees shed their leaves en masse, with an entire summer’s worth of photosynthesis and chlorophyll drifting to the ground under the touch of the gentlest breeze. Cherish the change of seasons; don’t hold on to the past because there’s only here and now!

Morning photo: Vineyard mists


A weekend visit to southeastern Austria focused on visiting the border to Slovenia, where thousands of refugees continue to migrate toward Germany, and on interviewing local citizens who have taken refugees into their hearts and homes. But in between, I had a chance to wander through the vineyards of the region and capture a few scenes, especially as the valley mists started to lift in the mornings to reveal the enchanting landscapes. Stay tuned for more photos, as well as reporting on the refugee crisis that’s starting to split Europe along old fault lines.

Morning photo: Lingering …

Sweet October

After a chilly and rainy spell in mid-October, Indian Summer made a comeback late in the month, except here in Austria, it’s called Altweiber Sommer (old women’s summer). In the lowlands of the Danube River Valley there still hasn’t been a killing frost, which means there are garden roses hanging on to brilliant summer hues, and in the fields, wild mushrooms still abound. I wonder if it will last into November?

Morning photo: Streets of Vienna

In the city …

By and large, cities aren’t exactly my thing. But there are a few metropolitan areas where I’ve always thought I could live — for example L.A. and San Francisco, because they’re just so damn cool, or Munich (where I did live for a while) because it’s really more of an overgrown village than a city. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is definitely one of the places I could hang my hat.

I hadn’t really spent a lot of time here up to know, just a few visits as a tourist, but even during those short trips, I had the feeling that, beneath the urban hustle and bustle was a city with heart and soul. I felt some of that a few weeks ago, visiting during a huge demonstration and march in support of humane refugee policies. Since then, I’ve had a chance to start exploring the city along the Danube just a bit more, and even better, getting to know some of its people. I’ve only scratched the surface, but what I’ve found so far is a place that values art and community deeply and deliberately fosters a culture tolerance and openness. Vienna has a collective conscience, in contrast to the dog-eat-dog mentality that marks so many modern urban agglomerations, and there are killer coffee and pastry shops on nearly every corner — but that’s another story!

Morning photo: Rainy day(s)

Finding color on rainy, gray days isn’t all that hard, especially in the fall, when the plant world erupts in one last blast of color before winter’s grays and whites take over. Keeping my iPhone dry deep in the pocket of a raincoat, I set out for a short walk along the base of the Pöstlingberg, where residential streets give way to small urban garden plots, hedges and farm fields, looked for the brightest splotches I could find, including backyard fruit trees and berry bushes along the trail.

Morning photo: #Fleamarketfinds

One man’s junk …

Since I didn’t need a pair of used — but shiny — wingtips, I didn’t buy anything at the Linz fleamarket this morning, but I still had a good time. Fleamarkets can definitely evoke some pretty strong feelings if you let yourself drift down memory lane. I recognized several toy cars that I coveted as a toddler, and at another stand was a collection Pez dispensers that also brought back a flood of childhood remembrances. But the best part is watching the negotiations between buyers and sellers — the Italian shoe salesman explaining the intricacies of a small espresso maker, or the Matchbook car dealer, knowing that he has some real treasures, and refusing to sell himself short.


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