Every photographer loves the golden hour, that special time between dusk and dark. Sunsets can be spectacular, unusual and surreal. Since I just got back from Page Arizona to photograph the natural beauty of the area, including of course Horseshoe Bend at sunset, I have decided to collect a few of my favorite sunsets from around the world. Not all sunsets depend on color to make them spectacular, although Horseshoe Bend might be the exception. Often it is the subtle interplay of light and dark, the delicate colors rather than flashy vibrance and it is always about that soft light that fills our senses as the embers of the day play out.
When we visited Montréal last fall, we chose to stay in the historic “Old Montréal, the oldest area in the city of Montréal with a few remains dating back to New France. Here at the center of town within an easily walkable few blocks, quaint cobblestone streets, lovely early architecture and fascinating historical sites blend with trendy shops, ultramodern art galleries and exceptional restaurants and hotels to create what’s easily Montreal’s most wander-worthy district. The original site of Montreal in 1642, then known as Ville-Marie, is precisely known. This is the Pointe-à-Callière, a piece of land at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River and Little River. The founder, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, built a fort in 1643 called Société Notre-Dame de Montréal for the conversion of the Indians in New France. The company was created by the Sulpician Jean-Jacques Olier and by Jérôme Le Royer (Sieur de La Dauversière) in 1642. The Société acquired sovereignty over the island of Montreal and brought the first settlers to house, feed, educate and care for the American Indians.
Decorative Arts are often the unsung heroes of everyday life. The decorative arts are arts or crafts concerned with the design and manufacture of beautiful objects that are also functional. It includes interior design, but not usually architecture. The decorative arts are often categorized in opposition to the “fine arts”, namely, painting, drawing, photography, and large-scale sculpture, which generally have no function other than to be seen. The distinction between works of decorative art and fine art has been blurred by pop art artists such as Andy Warhol who elevated common objects to fine art status.
Mount Royal is a large volcanic-related hill or small mountain in the city of Montreal, immediately west of downtown Montreal, Quebec (in Canada), the city to which it gave its name. The forest is a green jewel rising above downtown Montreal, and is known for its beautiful autumn foliage as well as extensive hiking and cross-country ski trails. Biking is restricted to the main gravel roads. From 1885 to 1920, the Mount Royal Funicular Railway brought sightseers to its peak. After it ceased service, Montreal’s No. 11 streetcar brought visitors to the peak. A roadway named for longtime but controversial former mayor Camillien Houde, jailed during the Second World War for his opposition to Canada’s war effort, now bisects the mountain. Ironically, Houde had been opposed to the idea of putting a road through the park. The first European to scale the mountain was Jacques Cartier, guided there in 1535 by the people of the village of Hochelega. He named it in honor of his patron, Francis I of France.
Established in Old Montreal since 2010, Les 400 Coups offers a stimulating and enriching culinary experience. The restaurant proposes a refined and accessible cuisine which promotes local talent by using, as much as possible, local ingredients. The team is composed of passionate individuals who share their love for gastronomy, wine and service. Because Montreal has few captivating views and chances are your waiter will more likely be wearing a checkered shirt than a tuxedo, Montreal is rarely the backdrop of the foodie’s dream dinner. To compensate for the lack of fabulous settings, their chefs dazzle with technique. Sharp technique is the basis of all great professional cooking, and I certainly experienced quite the dazzling display on the plates that night at Les 400 Coups. Chef Jonathan Rassi has an commitment to work, as often as possible, with local products to find his creative and natural flavors.
We visited the Montréal Botanical Gardens at night in order to see the “Jardins de Lumière” or Gardens of Light. The gardens are lit up at dusk, inviting visitors of all ages to stroll along the paths. While the multicoloured lanterns have a new story to tell this year, nature is decked out in surprising glowing hues. As evening falls in the Montreal Botanical Garden from September 6 to November 3, the annual Gardens of Light show reveals all the delight, romance and mystery of a night walk through a pastoral space. The uniquely Montreal exhibition adds another level of adventure within the garden, whether you’re on a date, among friends or with the whole family.
The Montreal Botanical Garden (Jardin botanique de Montréal) is a large botanical garden in Montreal, Quebec, Canada comprising 75 hectares (190 acres) of thematic gardens and greenhouses. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008 as it is considered to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world due to the extent of its collections and facilities. The garden was founded in 1931, in the height of the Great Depression, by mayor Camillien Houde, after years of campaigning by Brother Marie-Victorin. The grounds were designed by Henry Teuscher, while the Art Deco style administration building was designed by architect Lucien F. Kéroack. It serves to educate the public in general and students of horticulture in particular, as well as to conserve endangered plant species.
Jacques Cartier (1491-1557) was the first French Explorer to explore the New World. He explored what is now Canada and set the stage for the great explorer and navigator Samuel de Champlain to begin colonization of Canada. Cartier was the first European to discover and create a map for the St. Lawrence River. In 1838, the painter François Riss received an order by the city of St Malo to produce a portrait of Jacques Cartier (1491-1557). It was reproduced in 1846 by the painter Louis-Félix Amiel in Quebec City. The original painting of the imagined Cartier by Riss was destroyed in a fire at the old town hall in 1944. This version is one of many replicas of the lost work. It was executed in 1895 by the librarian of the city of Saint-Malo, Auguste Lemoine (1850-1908) for the the city of Paramé and now hangs in the St Malo civic history museum. There are no known contemporary portraits of Cartier.