All posts in reflection


The Beatles’ Liverpool

In reflection by jorumavi / 03/08/2023 / No Comments

As you may know, I am a Beatles fan. Not the typical one that can name a few of their greatest hits or more known songs. I am a hardcore Beatles fan.

the fab four by the Liver buildings and ferry terminal

When I was 13 years old, or thereabout, I borrowed a CD from my godfather that had some mixed oldies songs from the fifties and sixties. The only one I still can remember was ‘Ain’t she Sweet’ sung by John Lennon. His voice was so powerful and full of energy, yet the lyrics were so simple. I learned years later that it wasn’t even one of their own songs, but a cover of an old 1927 tune.

In any case, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And, from that moment on, I had a mission. I had to know more about this band. So I started looking for their songs and records.

The Beatles’s homes

George Harrison’s home
John Lennon’s home
Paul McCartney’s home
Ringo Starr’s home

Let me remind you that, in those days, more than thirty years ago, there was no internet and I was living in Madrid. So information and resources were scarce, to say the least.

I checked my parents record collection and found out that they had their two greatest hits LPs, the red and the blue. So I copied them into a tape and started listening to the cassette eagerly and constantly.

Some time later I got a hold of a book with a brief introduction to their origins and rise to success, plus the lyrics of some of their songs.

That’s how I started this lifelong obsession with the fab four, their music, their lives and their careers. Moreover, they were the reason I started learning English by myself, because I wanted to understand what they were singing about.

The Beatles’ songs

strawberry fields
Eleanor Rigby
Penny lane

Moving forward a decade or so, I got a scholarship, at university, to study whatever I wanted anywhere I chose. And, obviously, I chose to go to Liverpool and spend a summer there improving my English.

For many years I’ve been buying any book about them, as a band or as solo artists, and collecting records and other memorabilia.

When I started planning this journey cycling around Europe, I wasn’t sure if I would go to Liverpool again. Nevertheless, as I was going around Scotland and heading south to England, it was clear to me that I had to go back there and cycle in some of the places I had visited all those years ago, and even, maybe, some new ones.

I took all these snapshots, because, let’s be honest, that’s all they are, in a day. I cycled around Liverpool for more than four hours and did more than 60km, and it was worth it.

Most of these places I had visited before, but some others were new to me or, as in the case of Strawberry fields, I had never been able to go inside before.

other places

Albert dock, where John Lennon used to go as a teenager to buy records from sailors coming from America
one of the most famous clubs in the world
the church hall in which John Lennon gave his first live gig with his band ‘the quarrymen’s and where he and Paul met for the first time
art school where John Lennon attended
the one and only Beatles museum
one of the first pubs where The Beatles used to play
new statue of John Lennon in Penny lane

room with a view – week 4

In reflection by jorumavi / 28/07/2023 / No Comments

This week I am going to share with you three images to illustrate another point or technique in photography. I would rather call it a dilemma, to be honest.

for a subject like this that is mostly vertical, a portrait framing could be the best choice

horizontal or vertical

As I mentioned in a previous post, I always take more than one photo of every subject. And, sometimes, the simplest way of producing different images is by just changing the orientation of the camera.

We have to distinguish between a vertical photograph, what we call portrait format, and the horizontal one, usually called landscape format.

even though, with the landscape framing you can also show more of the scene, albeit risking losing the main focal point (the rainbow)

These terms can be confusing, but they are only ways of referring to the orientation of the image, not the subject being photographed.

They are called thus because, more often than not, portraits are best depicted by vertical images and landscapes by horizontal ones.

Yet, adding some interesting element in the foreground of your picture can help you decide which of the two formats would work better for this particular subject.


photos of the week – 4

In reflection by jorumavi / 26/07/2023 / No Comments
this river is near Torphins, where I spent a couple of days with a family. I found them thanks to this online community called ‘welcome to my garden’
I’m not into water sports and I don’t like swimming in very cold water, but I went for a quick swim in the river anyways.
for a couple of days, I cycled on the east coast of Scotland heading south
I was surrounded almost all the time by the sea on my left and fields with all kinds of crops
then, I spent another couple of days in someone’s house in St Andrew’s, which suited me very well to rest and relax

the road – week 4

In reflection by jorumavi / 23/07/2023 / No Comments
this highland route I’ve been cycling for a few days has some stunning views!
many of the streets of Aberdeen still have this very irregular cobblestones
getting to the top of this road was the hardest climb so far in this trip. there were ramps of up to 25%!
finally made it to the coast and the tracks here were really nice and smooth
even though there were fields everywhere, I still crossed some forest areas

room with a view – week 3

In reflection by jorumavi / 21/07/2023 / No Comments
after staying a couple of days in a hostel to recover from the extreme effort of the first week, it was good to be back in nature
view from my tent by the shore of Loch Ness
I still don’t really know how I do it, but I seem to always find good places to pitch my tent in the wild

the road – week 3

In reflection by jorumavi / 16/07/2023 / No Comments
I love cycling small and quiet roads, but, sometimes, when you see these long straight upward ones, it makes you wonder when will it end…
when I got to the top of these woods all I could see were trees
there was a park race going on in this forest

some cycle lanes are old railways, some others go along the still existing ones. this one heading towards the highlands


room with a view – week 2

In reflection by jorumavi / 14/07/2023 / No Comments

This week I wanted to share a different set of images. I took them all the same evening and I thought I could use them to explain two ideas: the golden hour and walking/working the scene.

the first picture of the set is not very interesting, but helps getting in the mood and finding the right spot.

the golden hour

Basically, and to keep it simple, the golden hour is that bracket of time before sunrise and after sunset when the light from the sun hits the clouds and produces, arguably, the best and most dramatic light for landscape photographs.

when the sun is very low you may get some nice reflections, but there usually is too much contrast and you end up getting a silhouette, which is not what I wanted

As a rule of thumb, I’d usually get ready with my camera and explore the area and the sky as I did this day, an hour or so before sunset.

changing my framing and not getting the sun in the picture produced a mode balanced image, and quite abstract this time, but still not dramatic enough

Then, I’d wait until I can’t see the sun anymore and start taking the photos I was hoping for, if the clouds and light are good enough. Which, of course, you cannot really predict. Although, with experience you can kind of anticipate sometimes.

the sun is about to disappear and the foreground works well as a reference point, but I was hoping for something with even more visual impact

working / walking the scene

This is an essential technique that I tell my students and, of course, do myself all the time. I always take more than one photo of anything that attracts me.

this is more like it! Although, I knew it could be improved with yet another common technique: reflections.

But it’s more than just taking a few pictures one after another. I also move around my subject as much as I can, which in the case of landscapes can be very limited, and change the zoom or point of view of my camera. A small movement of my position or the angle the camera is pointing to the scene can make a big difference.

so, I got closer to the shore, to one of the many puddles on the sand as the tide receded and lowered the camera to emphasise the reflection in the foreground

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