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Umbra’s hilly landscape is known for its many medieval hill-top towns that are surrounded with olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye can see. Stretching from Perugia to Spoleto it is a rich agricultural area producing olive oil, black truffles and wine. Tourists will also find beautiful textiles items such as scarf’s and linens produced in the region.
I was impressed to discover the renovation of some of the hilltop towns that today are being occupied, not only by part-time summer residence, but are beautiful vibrant communities. This trip we set out to visit Spoleto, Montefalco, Trevi and some of the restored towns such as Campello Alta and Castello di Postignano.
We found the lovely Argriturismo Pettino in Campello sul Clitunno, after driving along a windy road overlooking the valley, on top of a mountain. The food was outstanding with homemade pasta, perfectly grilled meats, local specialities and black truffles collected by the family around the surrounding mountain. However a warning, after drinking wine and eating large and delicious meals, driving down the mountain could be a risk, so staying at Argriturismo Pettino is a good idea.
Nonna, who was there before breakfast and stayed until after the dinner service was a joyful woman who loved to talk to the guests. I got to know her a little during my stay and one morning she was making homemade ravioli, I really wanted to stay and help her, but we were going to visit Spoleto that day and I had to make a choice, Spoleto it was. But I was in heaven at dinner eating the best ravioli I have ever had that evening.
As I left Umbria, a plan began totake shape in my head about how I was going to return, but that will be another trip and another story.
Enjoy some of the photo’s I took of the landscape and look for a future post about Montefalco and Spoleto.
The day started with some rain and then the sky opened up with bright sunshine on Wynwood’s colorful wall art.
The international community has descended on the streets as artists and visitors alike speaking many languages open galleries and take paint brushes to the walls of buildings.
Connecting collectors and introducing new collectors with galleries and artists is in full swing.
It isn’t surprising that art fairs spread in satellite exhibitions around Miami with artsy Wynwood being one of the most popular.
The transformation of what was once a manufacturing district into an artist canvas with painters creating colorful images on everything from cars, buildings, walls and even garbage containers.
Photography, sculptures and experiential art have attracted an international community of artists and collectors.
Basel House and other pop up galleries displaying emerging artists draws tens of thousands of art lovers and opens up a world of “must see” art.
As the show begins and the parties start until the wee hours of the morning, I took to the streets to watch and join in the excitement.
What people are doing on the streets of Wynwood.
Each year Scott Kelby hosts a worldwide photo walk. Organizers from photo clubs around the world select a location in their area to highlight . This year PBC Photo Walkers, a group that I’m a member of, choose Green Cay in Boynton Beach, right in my back yard. I joined about 50 photographers to photograph the nature preserve at sunset. The park is about 1.5 miles of boardwalk with various plants and wildlife abundant and easily photographed. The challenge is that the selection is not the best location for a sun set meet and this isn’t the best time of year to photograph animals or birds, as the migration has not yet begun. But having said that, it is important to search of interesting shots and challenge your skills.
There is a contest by Scott Kelby that the photographers can participate in and the selected photo’s will be posted on his website.
Here are some of the images I shot.
The miracle and beauty of a leaf as it trembles in the breeze and soaks up its last rays of sun.
A leaf lives for a moment in time absorbing nutrients and sunlight creating oxygen.
A dead leaf falls from a plant but nourishes the earth so that new growth can be created.
A leaf has a purpose, a beauty in life but also in death.
Look closely at how its colors change from green to tones of rust, red and yellow.
A dead leaf forms, lines, curves and contortions that create wild and lovely shapes.
The Death of a Leaf.
Brickell has grown into a major cultural area with theaters, such as the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the Carnival Studio Theater, Adrienne Arsht Theater and other Performing Arts centers. Also found in the area is the Perez Museum, under construction the Miami Museum of Science & Planetarium and nearby the Children’s Museum and many others. Creative and exciting architecture and public areas beautifully adorned with palms, flowers and parks provide leisure spaces for visitors.
Brickell Village is a small neighborhood in the middle of this beautiful area overlooking the sea where many restaurants and cafes cater to locals w ho enjoy evenings and weekends with friends. As a photographer what fascinates me is the way the contemporary architecture mingles with the “Miami Style,” as I call it, which is a combination of Spanish and Art Deco buildings.
Buildings of glass reflect architectures that seem to be alive with the flavor of the Latin music that is heard in the clubs and restaurants. The shapes, lines and colors dance to the rhythms of the culture of the area. Recently I have taken images of the buildings that show how these architectures reflect the style of the area.
My image “The French Countryside” will be exhibited at the Palm Beach International Airport from July 9th to October 8th. The photo won a Merit Award in B&W 2014 Portfolio Contest and is currently published in the June special issue.
It is very exciting for me to have the opportunity to participate in this exhibition and display a location that I have loved and enjoyed for many years. Please stop by and enjoy the exhibition.
For more photo’s of this beautiful countryside go to my blog post: http://turosdolci.pturo.com/the-french-countryside/
The first Miami Summer Music Festival began with a performance by young talented musicians from around the world selected to study in Miami. They are challenged to perform in symphony, opera, chamber concerts, piano recitals and competitions in order to develop their ability to adapt to the world stage.
The opening program under the direction of Conductor – Michael Rossi, and Stage Director – Robert Dundas was captivating. The program of Richard Strauss, Don Juan, tone poem for orchestra, Op.20, Franz List, Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major and Giacomo Puccini, Sour Angelica was beautifully performed.
Ryo Kaneko, winner of Miami Summer Music Festival Piano Competition was commanding. And Suor Angelica performed by Marinel Cruz was captivating. Along with a cast of vocalist and young musicians, these students will take the stage in performances with world-renowned orchestras well prepared due to the dedication of music professionals and incubators such as the Miami Music Festival.
Last nights performance was at the New World Theater in Miami. Designed by Frank Gehry, the theater is a unique ultra modernistic design that embraces high tech acoustics and visual accessibility in the round.
Miami is a culturally rich and diverse city that embraces a dynamic artistic environment. This program started by Michael Rossi along with FIU and MSMF Opera Institute is worthy of the publics support.
Some images of the theater.
(Stop the slideshow bymoving the cursor over the picture)
Two of my photo’s were accepted in the juried contest of Johathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound Florida.
June 20th – July 21st
Entry Fee $5
If you enjoy outdoor sports, this is a wonderful park for biking, equestrian, hiking, water sports, fishing and camping. It has a very interesting history and some remnants of its roll in WWII are still evident.
There are wonderful photography opportunities of the train track and expansive views from the lookout tower.
Johathan Dickinson State Park
Kimbell Education Center
16450 SE Federal Hwy
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
Black & White is a leading photography magazine that conducts photography contests in Single Image and Portfolio images yearly. The magazines distribution is 35,000 worldwide. With about 9,500 images submitted in the 2014 portfolio contest, three of my images won a Merit Award and are included in the Special Edition #104 due in the Newsstands soon. It is an honor to be among the outstanding photographers who won this year.
My photos were taken in the Burgundy region of France. Having lived in Europe for many years, we most often traveled on the back roads and through the countryside whenever possible. The French countryside is my favorite, and to me the most romantic. I am absorbed with the tranquility, graceful fields filled with sunflowers, vineyards, quite villages and elegance of the architecture.
I have written a blog post with additional photo’s that I invite you to view.
The following three photo’s are published in the magazines 2014 Portfolio Contest Winners Special issue.
Water takes on many forms and colors. It moves gracefully in the path of least resistance. Without it we could not survive and yet we take it for granted. My interpretation this week is water floating eternally where ever life exists.
You might think that finding the color red would not be much of a challenge. I searched for a subject in a flea market, set-up a still life, went to the theater, shopping area and finally walked the length of Atlantic Ave in Delray, Florida before finding my subject. In February there are plenty of hearts, roses and a variety of other red items for Valentine’s Day but that was not what I wanted to shoot. I found my subject next to a railroad track where a group of Harley Davidson motorcycles were parked.
Wakodahatchee is considered one of the best sites to view birds in South Florida. Located in Delray, it has ample parking and a ¾ mile boardwalk that takes you over the top of wetlands where you can view alligators, turtles, fish and many different species of plant and bird life.
Saturday morning I joined my photography group to photograph birds. I’m not an early morning person and getting to the reserve at 7AM was an effort. When I arrived, I was very surprised to see that the parking lot was almost full, who else but a bunch of avid photographers would get up so early in the morning. I soon found out that the mornings are magic.
My group was already set up with huge lenses and having a great time enjoying each other and sharing technical information on how to shoot the birds. The sunrise was spectacular and the birds were active building their nests.
This is one of our favorite walks in the evening, but I am now a convert to morning walks.
Enjoy some of the birds of Wakodahatchee.
I found my inspiration for my motion movement photo thanks to a friend who invited our photo group to his studio to shoot a model.
On my usual evening walk in Green Cay Wetlands, I stopped to look at a Anhinga bird. The birds are common in South Florida and swim underwater to capture fish. They are comical as they sit on a stump or tree spreading their wings in the air to dry. I noticed the beautiful pattern on its wings against its black body and thought this might be my close-up shot.
This week I took everything from a jogger running, flowers, birds and electricity wires. Saturday I went to a Macro photo shoot where I had to shot lying flat on the grass trying to photograph a water drop. It was the perfect low-level shot.
Starting this week I will participate in the Shoot Miami 52 Week Photo Challenge. Each week a theme will be posted on the website and the participants will post their photo’s. Each week a photo will be selected and at the end of the year there will be an exhibit.
This weeks challenge these is “Self Portrait”
BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS HONORS PHOTOGRAPHER Patricia Durr-Turo FROM The USA.
LONDON October 28, 2013 – Amateur photographer Patricia Durr-Turo of the USA was presented with the 8th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee in two categories, Photojournalism and Silhouette at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photo Show. The live online ceremony webcast Saturday, October 19, 2013 was attended by photography fans in 75 countries that logged on to see the climax of the industry’s most important event for black and white photography.
The awards international Jury included captains of the industry from the Tate in London, Heffel Fine Art, FoMu Fotomuseum, FTM Advisory, Camera Work, Art Stage Singapore, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris, to Fratelli Alinari in Florence who honored Spider Fellows with 246 coveted title awards and 938 nominees in 14 categories.
“It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 9,456 entries we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. Patricia Durr-Turo’s “Umbrellas,”an exceptional image entered in the Silhouette category and “The State Fair Lady”entered in the Portraits, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present her with the title of “Nominee.”Portraits
BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.
Contact: Patricia Durr-Turo
Category: Silhouette “Umbrellas”
Website Link: thespiderawards.com/pre-party.html
Yesterday some hundred photographers participated in the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk. These walks were scattered around South Florida but The Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk is organized every year at locations around the world. I choose to go to one of my favorite places in Miami, Wynwood Art District. Several models arrived with outfits from th 80’s, the theme for the event. Our models did a great job modeling for this group in the sun until late in the afternoon. It is always difficult to take photo’s with such a large group, but meeting photographers from around Florida and dinner at one of the local restaurants makes it worth the effort.
There is one woman that I have photographed before who arrive with an unexpected guest. She managed to make being pregnant look wonderful and sexy. She is colorful and full of fun, so forgive me if I added a few more photo’s of her then anyone else.
I’m always looking for the perfect Latin look.
And there always has to be Black & White.
This little guy just could’t wait until it was over.
My print was selected In an international juried contest conducted by Ocean Wave Gallery in Ft. Lauderdale. Fifteen hundred photographs were submitted and 45 were selected. It will be exhibited at Artist Haven Gallery in the same location and then moved to Ocean Wave Gallery until November 1st. If you are in the area, stop in and visit this exciting exhibition.
Ocean Wave Gallery/Art Haven Gallery
2755 East Oakland Park Blvd. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Henna painting is a form of tattooing. The color generally comes from dyes taken from plants, seeds and fruits. Typically it has been used in Asia and Africa for centuries. It has become a popular form of body art.
I felt like Paparazzi clustered in with a hundred photographers clamoring to photograph models in Wynwood. The Meet up Group “Shoot Miami “ arranged the shoot for their members. As word got out young and aspiring models arrived. It was a win, win for everyone. The models were offered the photos to create their portfolios and we worked on our skills shooting them.
The challenge for us was to work around the colorful art covered walls to set the scene for the models that worked along with the photographers to create interesting shots.
The models can view and select the photographs on the website and hopefully it will help to promote their career. Business cards were passed out, which gave both models and photographers the opportunity to make contacts for further shoots.
Wynwood, the art district of Miami was a perfect location as galleries line the streets, the coffee shop and restaurants were buzzing and music added to the colorful atmosphere.
In France and many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern markets that I have visited, the selection of spices always draws me to photograph the alluring colors and take in the wonderful aromas. I buy small packets, take them home, and enjoy trying them in meals that I prepare. They even encourage me to experiment with new exotic recipes. The best part is that it brings me back to the places I visited for the evening.
It is autumn and the sunflower fields have been newly plowed leaving about a foot of stocks protruding above ground.
The plows have made a pattern across the rolling hills emphasizing rows of yellow stocks contrasting with the brown earth.
The clouds roll over the landscape swallowing up the sun as they go. Rays of sun struggle to keep the earth lit and warm creating brilliant shadows over the hills.
It is so serene that you can hear a bird chirp or a roster crow.
It is stunning and I pull over alongside the road to take in the view and renew my love of the French countryside.
I am in the Chablis of the Burgundy region heading to the Jura. It is taking me longer then usual because I want to take mental pictures and also photograph these romantically beautiful scenes.
I want to be able to close my eyes and remember the light, shadows and shapes.
I sit there in my car and wonder who created this, where do they live, do they see the beauty that I see in what they must consider laborious, tiring work.
Do they know they have created a tableau that moves the senses and fills the mind with peace and wonderment.
How can I tell them that I appreciate their work of art.
Maybe by just recalling those autumn days with you.
Boca Raton hosted a Chinese New Year Festival at Mizner Park last weekend. The town has announced that it will be a yearly event. It featured performers from the The Chinese Association of Science, Education and Culture of South Florida (CASEC) and the Anhui Huangmei Opera Theater in China.
I was lucky to have gone to the Bejing Opera House many years ago and looked forward to enjoying this colorful spectacle. For many Chinese as well as other attendees, this probably was the first time they had the opportunity to experience anything quite like Chinese Opera.
The performers were outstanding and the costumes were authentic, beautifully decorated and very colorful.
The children were enthralled as they lined up along the stage to take photo’s with their phones. For those of us who don’t understand Chinese I’m sure found ourselves wondering what the excerpts from the plays and opera were all about, but it didn’t matter because the performances were magical.
I was photographing as two Chinese men told me the story that was being played out. The traditional dragon dance was the hit of the evening.
Enough said it is better to view the beautiful costumes and performers, so put this event on your calendar for next year.
Human tools adapted for grasping says the dictionary. But they are far more then that as we ask for the “ a hand in marriage” or “a helping hand” .
Photo’s of the expression of hands.
Hands pulling tobacco
Visit my website at pturo.com
The orchid show season has begun in Florida with many exquisite specimens on display.
Growers from Florida as well as from all over the world show elegant blooms and sell them giving you the opportunity to adorn your home or garden with rare and exquisite varieties.
Orchid societies and vendors also offer workshops, classes and everything essential needed to provide orchard lovers with the necessary products to keep them healthy and blooming year after year.
The lines, forms and colors sometimes create a ghostly effect with pointed pedals and spider web type flowers bursting out of vines. Some small add exotic interest in a pot on a table.
Some are large and royal, others tall and layered with blooms adding full color to an otherwise green area.
The photos were taken at the Orchid Affair sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society.
View my website at http://pturo.com
Little Havana is a community of Miami, Florida and the home of many Cuban immigrants. Along the main street of Calle Ocho, you will find vibrant and friendly locals whose life can be read in the expressions on their faces.
You can feel the passion in Domino Park where cards, chess and dominoes are played each day with enthusiasm and serious competition.
In all aspects of their lives, whether it be music, food, art, or just everyday discussions, their faces tell their story. This is all about the people, and to miss the people, is to miss Little Havana.
In my photography I present The Faces of Little Havana.
Paris Metro Seats is on exhibit at the Ocean Wave Gallery in Ft. Lauderdale. The opening reception is January 12, 2013 from 6PM to 8PM.
Please join us and view the work of wonderful photographers.
Umbrellas was taken in Davos Switzerland.
Under Rainy Skies will be exhibited at the Raw Gallery in Northwood, West Palm Beach the month of January 1, 2013 .The receiption is January 25th during the evening.
This intimate little zoo is perfect for families with small children. Big enough to see some real menacing cats, bears and all sorts of spirited monkeys, it is just enough for those little ones. The friendly staff keeps the zoo very clean and is well informed and ready to answer your questions. A restaurant with outdoor dinning with a fun picnic feel overlooking a tropical pond, allows the kids to run around and enjoy the atmosphere.
Enjoy some of the photo’s from the zoo.
As we drove through the countryside towards the Burgundy from Paris, we noticed a chateau on a hill in the distance. We decided to investigate and drove up the winding hill past beautiful pastures to a small village. The large blue arched doors to the chateau were closed. My husband dropped me off on the side of the raod so that I could take some photos when a man open the large door to reveal a courtyard covered with grass, wildflowers and a chateau in various stages of renovation. I asked him if I could photograph the property in my elementary French and he happily waved me in. I gestured to my husband to join me, as he speaks French fluently and there was so much I wanted to learn. We began a conversation that lasted well over an hour.
M. Arbousse Bastide, a retired antique dealer owns the 14th century chateau that has three buildings overlooking a valley covered with pastures. Looking down over the misty fields, white Charolais cattle spotted the landscape and quite sounds of the country occasionally broke the silence from time to time. His passion is restoring antiques and he had completely rebuilt one large turret and was restoring another by himself, stone by stone. As he was telling us his story, we walked over a wood plank placed over the moat to the chateau when a lovely woman stepped out. Soft spoken, wearing a long printed shirt, ruffled white blouse and green sweater with long silver hair pulled back with a comb, she began to tell us about her friend’s efforts and love of antiques. A researcher who had worked translating Chinese Scriptures and still living in Paris, she spends the summers in this idyllic setting visiting markets in search of antiques with her friend. She was soft spoken, confidant, a woman at peace with herself and a delight to talk to. Speaking excellent English, she pointed out that there is no heat in the chateau but Monsieur doesn’t mind the cold as only huge stone fireplaces provide warmth. She said that there was a lot of property available in the area that badly needed to be restored. Many foreigners had bought ruins and taken great efforts to give these ancient structures new life and were now living in them permanently.
Monsieur, who had disappeared into the chateau to take a phone call, reappeared and immediately was joined by a crow who flew onto his shoulder and then sat peacefully on his hand. The bird loves to torment him she said, and stole two 50 Euro notes that day giving him a hard time trying to retrieve them. It was obvious that the Monsieur and the crow were friends and enjoy each others company. To our astonishment they invited us into the chateau and we walked into a time passed to an amazingly warm but ancient environment. A horseshoe shaped table facing a huge stone fireplace had church pew for seating and a red table covering. Beamed ceilings and stonewalls with antiques in different states of repair filled the rooms. Fruit and flowers in a multitude of vessels made the stone dwelling feel warm and inviting. Light penetrated the rooms from the windows creating shadows and a glow highlighted antiques. They explained to us that these chateaus were noble men’s homes that were responsible for collecting taxes and performed local jurisdiction.
The chateau is lovingly being restored it to its original state. Well, this might take him the rest of his life, but I don’t think he cared much about that. He was joyful at my amazement, as I wanted to photograph everything I saw, in every space, in every room. As we said goodbye, we gratefully thanked them for letting us snoop into their life. They gave us their email address saying computers kept them connected to the world. In this environment it seemed a contradiction as computers sat on an ancient table in an ancient room, but they were clearly also living comfortably in this century.
Connecting with people of a country has always been the most memorable part of my travels and this encounter will take its place among the many interesting people I’ve been privileged to meet.
LillieEvenings as I walk along the paths and boardwalks of the water preserves in South Florida, I am struck by the array of plants, weeds and water lilies. They create a canvas of color and design in living beauty. It is ever changing from season to season when heavy rains cover them with droplets of water or the hot sun leaves them thirsty.
I stop along the way to photograph the beauty of their graceful lines as they somehow survive the constant changing conditions. They never cease to amaze me and never become ordinary.
Henry Flagler is an example that not everyone has to take the traditional route in life to be successful. We see it again and again that some people defy the norm and do great things. Having left home at the age of 14 he pursued his fortune in the grain industry, salt mining and production business. After joining JD Rockefeller and Samuel Andrews who founded the Standard Oil Company, He helped to establish the business trust, which made it possible to conduct business in many states from a single corporate office. Flagler started the Flagler Florida East Coast Railway and was a key figure in the establishment of agriculture and tourism in Florida. Henry Flagler’s name takes a prominent place in Florida’s history.
Whitehall, his winter home was built in 1902 and designed by John Carrére and Thomas Hastings in the Beaux Arts Style. The home, located on Cocoanut Row and Whitehall Way in Palm Beach is open to tourists. There is also a Café des Beau-Arts that serves lunch Tuesday through Sunday.
Complete information on the tours and the estate can be seen on the website http://www.flaglermuseum.us.
The slide show is a sneak preview of Whitehall.
The allure of West Palm Beach and its famous and luxurious Worth Ave is world acclaimed. Its palm lined streets, quaint allies, lovely courtyards and lanes lined with orchards and statues are charming and intimate. It is well known that the Rich & Famous from Hollywood to international socialites and business people make West Palm Beach their second home. It is where Old Money meets New, and where the Who’s Who in this special social network live and party. Beach life comes alive during the winter months and Worth Ave provides everything that is needed to cater to its famous residents.
The Latin beat, aromas and vivid colors greeted our arrival in Little Havana. My friend Joan and I were invited by Miami Culinary Tours to join one of their walks in Little Havana led by Mirka Harris.
You can not pass a coffee bar without taking in the warm aroma of sweet cafecito and chatting with the locals. Venture into a cigar shop to watch the able hands of an experienced cigar maker, stretching, layering and rolling the deep brown subtle tobacco leaves and comfortable seating areas where cigar smoke fills the air as locals relax with their favorite brand. The sound of dominoes being tossed onto the table draws you to Domino Park as people play this game with intensity and friends stand around anxiously watching and playing along with their eyes as each move is made. The atmosphere is electric and game after game continues all afternoon. Little Havana is colorful from the murals painted on buildings, the vibrant works in art galleries to the Cuban culture and friendly people who are always willing to have their photo taken.
We started at the gallery of Midlrey Guillot, who was there to greet us and give us a little story of her life and how she came to paint mostly women and what they are passionate about. She says “after all it is what I know best as I am a woman”.
We visited several restaurants where we sampled Cuban food as our guide Mirka explained the traditional way it is prepared and eaten. We moved on to bakeries and markets, discovering the beautiful colors of the ingredients used to prepare these famous Cuban dishes. Like many Latin cultures food is what brings families and friends together from happy occasions to sad. It is about the deep sense of life and connections between them that make up their social world.
We tasted a cold sweet drink made with sugar cane, flaky pastries filled with guava fruit, typical Cuban sandwiches and plantain cups filed with chicken and beef. The final stop was Azurcar, the famous ice cream shop where we had the dilemma of selecting one of their many flavors. A very good way to end a culinary tour after walking around Little Havana on a sunny afternoon.