Been recently on the road, travelling all the way from London to Granada. One of the nicest spots we stopped at was Mount Saint-Michel. Awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site since long time ago this tiny little village lies on a tidal island about 1km off the North coast of Normandy.
Kind of overcrowded by tourists, the impressive views get a bit spoiled by the amount of cars parked at the end of the causeway connecting the island to mainland, but it remains an amazing view nonetheless.
The picture is a single exposure (handheld) hdr, mostly to enhance the texture as overall weather was kind of cloudy/diffuse light, so there wasn’t much need for the extended dynamic range.
If you spend a fair amount of time traveling, chances are you’ll have to spend quite some time wandering around airports. One of the lessons I’ve learned over the years is that time goes by much more quickly when you have something to do, and certainly many airports are wonderful locations to snap some impressive architecture pics!
One of my favorite places (although I am obviously biased here) is Terminal 4 in Madrid Barajas airport. One of the biggest and busiest hubs in Europe, the huge space still has a very warm feeling thanks to the light wooden ceilings.
Do you have any favorite airports I should check out? Let me know in the comments!
Last month I used one of my free days in London to pay a visit to the steampunk exhibit at the Kew Bridge Steam Museum. In one of the rooms there was this wonderfully weird piece of furniture.
The whole setting, with the extremely bright lights coming from the window and the deep dark shadows under the bed, plus the textured velvety covers, was crying for some hdr treatment.
Like it? Too cooked for your taste? Let me know in the comments!
Train stations are always fun to shoot, even if sometimes the security guys can get kind of annoying. This picture is from St Pancras train station, London’s international train station where one can take the Eurostar train for a quick link with Paris or Brussels.
The whole space is getting revamped now in preparation for the Olympics, but the few spots free of scaffoldings and works in progress are still nice to look at!
The picture is a three exposures (handheld) hdr. The sky behing the glass ceiling looks kind of boring but in this case this is not due to blown highlights, but simply to the usual London cloudy thing.
During the last days of his life, Simón Bolívar, seriously affected by a tuberculosis, moved to Santa Marta to enjoy the milder climates of the sea side. He installed himself in the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. Today’s picture is the room where he died, preserved just as it was that day. The clock in the wall is stopped at the time of Bolivar’s death.
The photo is an hdr made of two handheld exposures, merged with Photomatix and retouched in Photoshop.
After leaving the truck, we had to continue our exploration of Tayrona National Park by boat. I know, right? Me on a boat… :-/
Needless to say the sight of the aforementioned boat did nothing to alleviate my usual reluctance, but I manned up and walked it off like a big boy :-)
Going on with the Alpine hike, after sleeping in Wimbachklamm Hutte the original plan was and climbing Watzmann through the South traverse, but that is a dangerous route with many via ferrata sections, and with my knee injury I decided not to risk it, so while some of my partners went uphill I took a detour skirting around the mountain (following down the dry river) and then climbed all the way up to Watzmann Haus from the North side. Today’s picture was taken very close to the end of the valley, before starting the ascend (from 700 to 1900 meters).
Let me know what you think in the comments!
The dry river valley in front of Wimbrachklamm Hütte. The Watzmann traverse starts not far from here. I know this is lately getting too much about cheesy landscapes, just a few more days until I am done with the Alps and I will move on to more interesting stuff, I promise!
If you like the picture, drop a line in the comments!
This is the valley where Karlingerhaus lies. The third day of hiking we had an splendid weather, and after crossing through the mountain and a hard ascension, we found the house in this idilic valley, looking as if it had been taken right out of a fairy tale!
From a technical point of view, this was a plain old landscape picture. Clouds were moving really fast, casting different shadows in the mountains in the background, so I took almost the same picture half a dozen times at ten minutes interval (while cooking and dining) to be sure I would get the best looking one. I might have been a bit too hard on the post-processing for this one, but this particular landscape, as I rememeber it, really had mind-blowing saturated colors.
Hope you like it!
A little cave close to the way up the stairs through the mountain. Taking pictures inside caves is really hard. Noise was a bitch for this one.
Going on with the Alpine series, today’s pic is of a little high altitude lake, trapped between two big mountains. I kind of like the hdr enhancing of textures for this kind of pictures. In this one I might have gone a bit overtly dramatic with the effect, but I think it represents very accurately the mood around this place, everything so big and quiet and oppressive, the think grey clouds so close that one could almost breathe them…
Hope you like it!
Some huts in the forest not far from Mount Jenner. We planted our tents beside these huts during our first night.
I have spent the last week hiking around the Königsee lake in the Berchtesgaden National Park, located in the German Alps (very close to the Austrian border). It has been a wonderful but exhausting trip of which I yet have to recover.
If I have to summarize some learnings from this trip in one sentence it would be: carrying a tripod (even a relatively light one) to a high altitude hiking trip is generally a bad idea. During the daily hike I could barely stop to fetch my camera and snap a few shots, let alone setting up the tripod. I was expecting for some quality night-time long exposures but the weather turned out to be quite unpleasant by night; plus, having to wake up before sunrise to get moving didn’t really encourage staying out of the sleeping bag till late!
Anyhoo, I managed to get a few interesting shots that I will be sharing in the next days (and probably put together as a collection). The first one is a part of an ascent in which the path turned into a stairway literally carved trough the mountain to get to the other side. The beautiful natural carvings and the rock textures were crying for some hdr enhance, this one is made out of three (handheld) exposures, with 2EV step difference between them. The sky is a bit blown out but this particular day there wasn’t much detail there to recover anyway.
This is the abandoned Wurlitzer building in downtown Detroit.
Having lost more than half of its population over the last decades, Detroit brings a whole new meaning to the “urban decay” concept.
As urban decay always fascinated me, I took the lucky chance during my random trip to Detroit and just wandered around the lonely streets like a ghost. As I was traveling alone, I didn’t feel confident enough to enter any of these abandoned places, so limited myself to take pictures from the outside. Maybe that will change in my next visit ;-)
The Wurlitzer building is located right downtown, and makes quite an impressive view. I love how someone took the time to decorate all the windows with little hearts :-D
Sorry for the week without updates, I went back to London for a few days and got busy with the WPO festival, maybe next time I will leave a few programmed updates or something.
Anyway, it was a very productive week in London, I got the chance to meet many nice people and get a glimpse into the world of stock photography (which I haven’t decided yet whether I will try or not), took a quick assignment thanks to which I got a free t-shirt, and used an opportunity to go practice in three amazing photo-shoots with stage models. Besides that, wandering around the south bank I met a bunch of guys performing some amazing free-running flips. All in all, I have over 2000 new photos to take care of, some of which I want to do as soon as possible, so I will postpone my series on Detroit and the US trip.
Today’s picture features one of the boat that crosses the underground river below the caves of Remouchamps, a little Belgian town in the middle of the Ardennes (not far from Liege and the German border), which I visited right the day before going back to London. As you can imagine light conditions inside a cave are kind of precarious, so it took a 4 second exposure (camera standing firmly attached to the gorilla-pod) to get a decent amount of detail on the walls. A bit of filler flash was used at the end of the exposure in order to get the boat properly exposed.
Hope you enjoy it!
Underground river in the caves of Remouchamps, in the Belgian Ardennes.
I finally got to edit the pictures of my last trip to the US. For some work reasons, I needed to travel to Baltimore (Maryland), and since I had a free weekend right before the trip I decided to go on for some random variant of experimental travelling, just for the fun.
Rather than following one of the pre-assigned ET itineraries, I decided to put my fate on the hands of my favorite multi-destination air-fare finder website. So my rule was I would look for the cheapest possible London-Baltimore trip and then spend the weekend wherever my connection turned out to be. The lucky town happened to be Detroit, which conveniently enough I had never been to. I didn’t know much about Detroit besides its connection with Henry Ford and the car industry, so make the trip even funnier I decided I would not check a single travel guide, website, or anything about the city before I got there; the only thing I indulged myself arranging in advance was my hotel room. It would have been fun to go totally blindfolded but I am not 18 anymore and I knew I would appreciate having a place to go drop my luggage and take a shower after a 10 hours flight. So I got to my room, and after freshening up a bit decided to walk outside and wander around town. Today’s picture features the completely empty street I found right after coming out of my motel. Quite a contrast with yesterday’s pic, isn’t it?
More pics and stories to come in the next days, so stay tuned!
Empty street in sunny Detroit
Today’s picture comes once more from the dPS Photowalk in London last February. We had quite the rainy day, which was a bit of a bummer but offered some chances to take different kinds of pictures. Pics of winding streets offer good opportunities to use hdr techniques, enhancing the asphalt texture and the water reflections. The technique and settings I used to post-process this picture are very similar to the ones I used for this picture from Singapore. Maybe I should turn this into a theme series or something :-D
Hope you like it!
The Gherkin, designed by Norman Foster, is an iconic landmark of London skyline. Officially it is called “30 St Mary Axe”, but nobody uses that name.
The Gherkin is located between Liverpool Street and Bank tube stations, hence right in the middle of “The City”, the old financial district of London. All around this part of town one can see how really modern glass and steel skyscrapers are mixed with old buildings and churches. In certain locations, such a mix can even be observed from the river shore, which is something that would be unthinkable in other cities such as Paris.
This picture was taken during the dPS London Photowalk last February. Hope you like it!