Shooting more stock images, this time in the Belgian capital, Brussels. There in the heart of the city I discovered the amazing Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, the main Luxury Shopping Mall of Brussels. It caters to mostly tourists as the prices here are quite high, you could easily spend a month's salary on a fountain pen or a lottery win on a painting in one of the exclusive galleries. It would give Galleries Lafayette of Paris and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan a 'run for its money' any day. It was designed and built by Belgian Architect Jean-Pierre in 1847. He cleared a warren of alleyways to create the beautiful arched glass-covered, street-like courtyard over the elegant glazed shopfronts. Still there are some things you can buy here without taking out a bank loan. The chocolate shops, or "pralines" shops to give them their proper title (where I took this picture), are shelf-high with the most delicious treats imaginable and best of all, you don't have to be an oligarch. No wonder somebody wrote: 'Happiness is German engineering, Italian cooking, and Belgian chocolate'.
This is one of my best selling stock images: Where it all started: the first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 30, 1971 by three partners who met while students at the University of San Francisco: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl along with writer Gordon Bowker. The three were inspired to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment by coffee roasting entrepreneur Alfred Peet after he taught them his style of roasting beans. Originally the company was to be called Pequod, after a whaling ship from Moby-Dick, but this name was rejected by some of the co-founders. The company was instead named after the chief mate on the Pequod, Starbuck. The first Starbucks cafe was located at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971–1976. This cafe was later moved to 1912 Pike Place Market, where I photographed it last summer.
When Sarah and her fiancée, Mikko asked me to photograph their wedding it was the first time I had the opportunity to work in the new Ceremony Room at Ballybeg House in Co Wicklow. Converted from the former stables building, the Ayres Ceremony Room was designed by Ballybeg’s own, Dominique Schefman. I wanted to keep the wonderful atmosphere and worked entirely by available light rather than flash as humanist celebrant, Dick Spicer performed the ceremony. Mikko’s family traveled from Finland for the wedding on one of this summer’s glorious days.
With its Gothic-inspired stone pylons and spiders web of steel cabling New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge is perhaps the city’s best-known landmark. I felt it would make a perfect foreground for an image I wanted to make of the New York skyline. At dusk, while waiting for the lights in the city buildings to come on, I was awestruck by the scene. The jagged skyscrapers have there own strange majestic quality: the architect Le Corbusier said, “New York is a catastrophe, a beautiful catastrophe”.
Working in the 'Big Apple' is about as exciting as it gets; is there anywhere on earth qiite like it?
I saw lights brighter than the stars in a neon canyon. While yellow cabs darted in to pick up fares I pushed against numberless people and smelled the whiff of roasted chestnuts…it are all here, along with a billion other things, at the crossroad of the world. There’s only one Times Square!
There is something that I don't really understand that makes me like this modern hotel at Stuttgart Airport. Could it be the lively colours? I don't know, but I do love it!
The Kunstmuseum, in the centre of Stuttgart is a cubic museum building with 5000 m² of display space. It was designed by Berlin architects Hascher and Jehle and contains one of the most important collections of the work of Otto Dix as well as works from Willi Baumeister, Adolf Hölzel,Dieter Roth and many others. During the day it looks like a glass cube and at nights the interior lighted limestone walls become visible. What I loved about this building, despite its modern look, it fitted in with its near-neighbour, Schlossplatz, the large Baroque square in the centre of the city.