Tag Archives: Travel

Minarets And Cupulas

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Where are Minarets and Cupulas not a world away? When you live in a city that is as culturally diverse as Toronto, they’re scattered throughout. We are fortunate to live at a point in history and in a city where everyone is welcome. This city has so much variety in terms of arts and cultural festivals, and cuisine that one might be forgiven for becoming desensitized to it all.


As a photographer, I often receive requests for photos of far-off exotic destinations and discover that there’s yet another location that I haven’t visited. That’s when I remind myself of how fortunate I am to have the world in my own backyard. It’s easy to forget that Toronto is an international tourist destination and that we too have wonderful landmarks that others come to visit. This summer Toronto plays host to the 2015 PanAm Games and all those shutter bugs will be pointing their cameras at us.


It was a Saturday morning, earlier this spring, when I’d offered to drive my daughter to a location just north of Toronto, to perform in a student film, and the fog was so thick I could barely see down the street. Anyone who knows me, knows that I usually have my camera with me, and this was one time when I’m so glad I did. I was returning home and turned a corner to find myself in Istanbul. Every time, I look at this photo of the Minaret and Cupula shrouded in the thick, early-morning fog, I’m taken far away. I imagine the rising sun filtering through the still streets of a Middle Eastern city and hear the chant of the Islamic call to prayer, pierced only by the shriek of a gull flying overhead.


If we don’t want this paradise to become a caricature of itself, in which culture is nothing more than a re-enactment at summer festivals, then we must be accepting, and appreciate that everything has its price. If we want to encourage the variety and richness of all, that the music and food have to offer, than we must accept the people behind the traditions and that which nourishes them.


We are so incredibly fortunate to have so much cultural wealth in our own backyard. Open your eyes, point your camera and be transported.


While you’re here, why don’t you leave a Comment and visit my Galleries.

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This photograph was produced in Markham Ontario

Architectural details of Jam'e Masjid Mosque in Markham, Ontario, Canada

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Architectural details of Jam'e Masjid Mosque in Markham, Ontario, Canada

Bolivia – Places

We’ve all listened to the comic who laughs at their own jokes, and on one level it might seem kind of odd, sort of like well don’t they think they’re funny On the other hand their laughter and knowing smile, a la Seth Myers, can be quite contagious, further adding to the humour.

I don’t share my photographs often enough, but it’s not because I’m not proud of them. In fact there are occasions such as this, when I go back through images that I haven’t seen in a while, and my jaw drops, I get goose bumps and sometimes even tears well up. Some bring back fond memories, but others, and I won’t apologies if this sounds self delusional, are simply beautiful.

It’s awesome what one sees if one takes the time to raise the line of sight from the pavement below our feet or away from the obstruction immediately before us. Next time you find yourself, either in the thick of a busy city or on the edge of a seemingly quiet meadow, try standing back and listening, and I don’t mean hearing, I mean listening. Feel the world that surrounds you, all 360. Doing this may remind you of one of the those endorphin induced moments when everything from how a simple thought in your brain can instruct your index finger to bend, to questions about the vastness of the universe, and become too much to grasp, as they should.

There’s no denying that in our little Western bubble, we are bombarded, daily, with stimuli of every kind: sound, touch, taste, smell and oh ya! visual. Yet, despite this rich texture of sensations, we are too often insensitive to our surroundings. It’s a clear example of sensory overload.

When they were young, I remember reading some of the creative writing my children were instructed to produce for school, and offering this one bit of advice Don’t be in a hurry to get to the end of the story. Whether it’s writing a descriptive narrative, telling a good joke or making love, it’s all the little details in-between that keep your audience captivated. The pauses are just as important, if not more so, than the punch line.

As promised, I’ve added a Gallery of images in my Photo Essays that I’ve given the Title: Bolivia Places. These are some of my favourite Place Photos from my volunteer posting for CUSO International in the fall of 2011 that I think, illustrate what you’ll find when you look, I don’t mean see, but really look.Some of the images maybe familiar from my Blog Posts while in the field, but regardless, they are worth gathering together for a second look. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to provide any feedback: good, bad or ugly.



Street scenes in La Paz, Bolivia as Photographed by Miguel Hortiguela of Photography By Miguel, Toronto Photographer serving Toronto, GTA, Southern Ontario, with valid Canadian and E.U. passports.