Cycling in Amsterdam
On visiting Amsterdam I was struck by the number and the diversity of the people cycling. Whether local or tourist, the cyclists in Amsterdam do an amazing number of things while riding. Living in the New Jersey suburbs I may see packs of cyclists decked out in their riding outfits on weekends or a few kids cruising the neighborhood or riding to or from school. In Amsterdam I saw people riding bicycles that I could never imagine on a bike in New Jersey or New York. I caught glimpses of the expressions on their faces that automobiles insulate. The images in this series are about those people.
This was our second trip to Pompeii. The first time we were here we took a train to Naples from Rome and then got a local train to Pompeii. It was in February and very few people were visiting. This time we drove from the Amalfi coast. Many parts of Pompeii were crowded with tourists. I had forgotten how far Mount Vesuvius was from Pompeii. In several of the images Vesuvius can be seen in the background. One can get a sense of the force of the eruption by seeing the distance the volcanic ash traveled. From 79 AD until 1748 Pompeii was buried under volcanic ash.
Reflected Trees is a series of images that presents both, an objective view of the world and a playful, personal view of reality. Look closely at these images and you will see that there is confusion between sky and ground, land and water, reflection and reality, mirror and window. This play on perception is caused by a simple sleight of hand. The images are shown upside down. When the photograph is taken the up/down orientation is the opposite of the way the image is displayed. When I take the photograph, I am not thinking of the way the image looks in the viewfinder, but rather how the image will look rotated 180 degrees on my computer screen or rotated 180 degrees after it has been printed on paper. This sleight of hand creates a dissonance that inspires the viewer to see the world anew, distinguish between reflection and reality and see the overlooked. July, 2006
Death In The Suburbs
Over the last month, I have come upon many animals during the course of my daily travels in the suburbs of Northern New Jersey that have died, been killed by automobiles or killed by another animal. In the past, I tended to feel a momment or sorrow, look away and then move on. With the exception of those two images of the Squirrel On My Street, all of the images in this photo gallery were captured in June & July, 2005 during the course of my daily activities like walking my dogs, riding my bike or doing errands in my car.
Biggin Hall Hotel is an historic 17th-century house in the Peak District National Park. We found that Biggin Hall was a great base for day trips to historic houses, castles and hiking. Grazing sheep, cows and horses are in nearby fields. Three resident geese are always present and horses are kept in the fields behind the hotel. August, 2004
Around Biggin Images taken during walks around the town of Biggin. August, 2004
Arbor Low, Peak National Park This prehistoric stone circle, dated around 2,500 BCE, is a far cry from Stonehenge, not a huge tourist attraction with a gift shop and restaurant. The site is tucked in behind a farm. On the way from the car park we passed a sign for "real eggs" being offered by the farmer who lives next to the site. August, 2004
Belvoir Castle The castle has fine paintings by Holbein, Teniers the Younger, Gainsborough, Stubbs and others. Though spelled Belvoir it is pronounced "Beever" by locals. The first castle built on this site dates back to Norman times but the present-day castle was begun by John Webb, a pupil of Inigo Jones, in 1654-68, but was remodelled in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The views from the castle are extraordinary. We didn't get a chance to explore the gardens because of a coming storm. August, 2004
Bolsover Castle The castle was started by Charles Cavendish in 1612 and completed by his son, William Cavendish in the 1660s. The site has a Riding House, Gallery, great hall and "Little Castle" with high walls and turrets. In 1634, Ben Jonson's masque "Love's Welcome" was performed for King Charles in the Terrace Range rooms. This was one of my favorite places. The audio tour brought the ruins of the castle to life. August, 2004
The Bowes Museum The Bowes Museum is an impressive French-style chateau. The building was started in 1869 by a local collector, John Bowes, to house the collection that he and his wife, Josephine, put together in a very short time, 15 years. The highlight of the museum was the performance of an automated Silver Swan. This life-size automated swan is dates to the late 18th century. The 40-second performance was magical. See the Swan performance video. August, 2004
Chatsworth Bess of Hardwick built a great manor house at Chatsworth in 1552. Her Cavendish descendants remodelled the structure at the end of the 17th century, creating a French style chateau in the manner of Versailles. The house has remained in the Cavendish family to the present day. Nancy Mitford's sister is the Duchess of Devonshire, who currently resides at Chatsworth. The gardens are outstanding with numerous places of interest, planned by the great 19th-century garden designer Sir Joseph Paxton. August, 2004
Hiking in Dovedale The weather was wonderful, no sign of rain for a change, so we spent a day hiking along the River Dove. The river valley offers breath-taking vistas, stone spires, caves and fine varied hiking. In the 17th-century, Izaak Walton , author of The Compleat Angler, often fished here. We started at the southern end of the trail near Thorpe Cloud and walked to Viator's Bridge. We continued beyond Milldale before returning via Hale Dale. August, 2004
Haddon Hall There is a wonderful inner courtyard in this medieval and Tudor manor house. The house overlooks the River Wye. Sheep graze in the field, along the river. In the house, the Long Gallery is very impressive and the kitchen areas give one a sense of the cooking that went on in a large house. The gardens were a pleasure despite a downpour. August, 2004
Hardwick Old Hall Like Bolsover Castle, large areas of "this old hall" are in ruins. That makes it all the more interesting. The house was completed in 1591 and left to ruin when Bess of Hardwick built a new Hardwick Hall before the old one was even completed. There are great views from the accessible upper floors of Hardwick Old Hall. August, 2004
Hardwick Hall The building is topped with the huge initials ES that stand for Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, also known as Bess of Hardwick. When her husband died in 1590, she decided to have this new house built. The interior, illuminated by windows of unequalled height in a residence at this time, has astounding plasterwork and tapestries. (Photography is not allowed inside.) Pictures of the architecture and gardens will give a sense of the place which is a few minutes walk from Old Hardwick Hall. August, 2004
Peveril Castle This very early Norman castle, mentioned in a Norman census of England compiled in 1086, soon after the capture of England in 1066 by the Frenchman William the Conqueror, is situated high atop the picturesque planned village of Castleton. The views from the castle are extraordinary, overlooking a precipitous gorge on one side and a panoramic vista of the Peak District on the other. August, 2004
York A visit to this touristy town gives one a sense of the history of the area. The Romans built a fortress here in 71 CE, after subduing the indigenous population, the Brigatines. Then came the Angles and the Saxons from Denmark, followed by the Vikings from Scandanavia. York Cathedral, built in the 15th-century dominates the city's skyline. August, 2004
London, 2003 A two-week trip to London and some day trips outside of London, including Stonehenge, Hatfield, Wilton and more
The Berlin Zoo The Berlin Zoo, located in the Tiergarten, is one of the oldest Zoos in Germany. It dates back to 1844. July, 2002
The Jewish Cemetery, Berlin More than 115,00 Jewish Berliners are buried at the Judischer Friedhof Weissensee. The cemetery, established in 1880, has a place of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust and many victims of Nazi persecution are interred here. My wife's maternal grandfather was buried here in 1937. July, 2002
Mount Desert Island Acadia National Park, one of America's smallest National Parks, is located on Mount Desert Island in Maine. In 1917 Acadia became a National Park and took its name, Acadia, in 1929. August, 2001
Chartes Cathedral was built on the highest point in town and can be seen from miles away. The cathedral was started in 1145 and 50 years later all but the west façade and east crypt were destroyed by fire. A rebuilding was begun and completed in 1220, 26 years later. July, 2001
Vaux-le-Vicomte This splendid chateaux was built in 1656-61 for Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV's superintendent of finance, by Le Vau. The formal gardens, one of Le Notre's first commissions, are a pleasure.July, 2001
The Châteaux at Chambord is simply spectular. The Great Staircase dominates the interior and the exterior is magnificent. A site well worth a day's visit. July, 2001
Paris Train Station, Visiting Paris is special. There are so many classic tourist spots to visit and of course all of the great art museums. Find out why a train station caught my eye. July, 2001
Dirty Museum, While visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art I came upon an extraordinary piece of dust. Dirt in a museum? September, 2000.
The Street Where We Live, Esmond Place, Tenafly, New Jersey, August, 2000
All contents on this Web site are protected by copyright. All rights are reserved worldwide. No portion of the information on this Web site may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission from Harold Olejarz. Visitors are not permitted to modify, distribute, publish, transmit or create derivative works of any material found on this site for any commercial purposes without written permission. Educational uses are permitted.