Antwerpen-Centraal railway station platforms
Going through the archives today and found this little gem from my trip to Europe. I was traveling with my superstar sister Andy Allo one of her European Tours. We were taking the Eurail to Amsterdam from Paris via Antwerpen-Centraal railway station Antwerp, Belgium. I posted before about her show in Amsterdam here: Andy Allo live acoustic at Bitterzoet in Amsterdam.
The view opposite the platforms.
As we were switching trains, we emerged from the 3 levels below ground to reveal this amazing and impressive architecture. I really love how these European cities invest so much in their infrastructure, take pride in and maintain it so well. It was a welcomed sight through an otherwise exhausting journey.
Antwerp, is a city in Belgium which is the capital of Antwerp province. With a population of 510,610, it is the most populous city in Flanders. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people. Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking third in Europe and within the top 20 globally. [WikiPedia]
I was running and gunning from one platform to another to catch our connecting train when I took these shots. I was using my Canon 5D mark III with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Each panoramic is composed of three HDR frames, themselves a composite of three bracket shots. The images were stitched with PTGui. I would very much like to explore the city of Antwerp, it’s history and architecture someday.
Shelby Mustang at the Sacramento International Auto Show
The best time to catch this show is on it’s opening day – today. It wasn’t anywhere as packed at it will be this weekend. For me this meant I could walk the showroom floor fairly leisurely, take my time to check out the coming year’s models and chat with the various representatives about their new models.
Hyundai had a very nice, well put together display and some compelling products as always.
I felt the overall energy or theme (if there was one) this year was one more of refinements, enhancements, and low key releases of new tech. Most new models seemed to be more evolutionary than revolutionary. There’s nothing wrong about that. I think it’s a good thing actually. What this meant was that almost every automaker had a better, improved product offering overall. I was hard pressed to find a vehicle with poor build, fit or finish. The designs all held their own. Quality was decent to very high throughout. I couldn’t help but think to myself “how traditional mainstream automakers have come a long way”.
Some of the latest alternative fuel vehicles on display included the Toyota FCV – a car I often wonder what it really accomplishes, considering Hydrogen is still a very expensive fuel, cumbersome to store, FCV power trains are about as complicated as internal combustion power trains but most mind boggling of all, the fact that most Hydrogen is derived yet again from fossil fuels. “At present, 95 percent of America’s hydrogen is produced from natural gas. Through a process called steam methane reformation, high temperature and pressure break the hydrocarbon into hydrogen and carbon oxides — including carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.” [Popular Mechanics]. So it really doesn’t address the bigger problem. It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere or it ends up being just another road show for the automotive industry lobby in the capital, not unlike the rest of the vehicles at the California Fuel Cell Partnership over the last couple decades.
Cadillac ELR EV caught my eye. Great design and style. This is a vehicle I will have to research further. Overall Cadillac put on a good showing as always. There were a few Teslas on display as well. Almost every major automaker had some kind of Hybrid on display. The Polaris Slingshot was also a very interesting piece. I would like to test drive one for sure.
Aston Martin Rapide
I also got to check out an Aston Martin Rapide for the first time. Rick the representative from Aston Martin Walnut Creek was gracious enough to let me take a closer look at this piece of exquisite art on wheels. Below are what I considered the highlights from the show. I hope you enjoy them and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Airbus A380 at Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
I was going through my archives and found a series of panoramic shots I took while running to catch my flight back to Lost Angeles (LAX) from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). I was flying back from a whirlwind two weeks on my sister Andy Allo‘s Euro Tour. I noticed this one unobstructed view of the incredible feat of engineering that is the Airbus A380 SuperJumbo. I took a few minutes to snag some panoramic shots if this bird. I was in motion when I took this shot. Unfortunately, I did not have time to make sure I got the shot right and wait for moving subjects to come to rest or exit my frame. Upon returning, I dismissed the shots and all but discarded them because I wasn’t happy with the shots.
Fortunately I have a policy of never deleting shots like these. What I’d like to do now is go back, take a second look and consider making them available to and sharing with everyone. This Panorama, while far from perfect, would make a great desktop wallpaper, especially if you have multiple displays on your computer. Please feel free to request specific screen sizes. I will see what I can do for you.
We flew to and from Paris on one of these SuperJumbos. It is a humbling experience indeed, when you take stock of all it entails to get roughly 1.2 million pounds into the air and around the world. You can read more about my photographic exploits in Paris here.