art, culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: descent

600_6394-ep_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “descent”.

I picked this photo, taken in Castillo del Morro / Castillo San Pedro de la Roca above the entry to the Bahia de Santiago de Cuba, because of the nice view from above. This is the view, the Spanish soldiers have had, when on guard to watch for the pirates of the Caribbean in order to prevent attacks.

Take care and beware of the pirates!

architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel, world

The Christmas Front of La Sagrada Familia

600_7419-e_wThe Christmas Front was the first of the four fronts, to be finished.

This is one of the side entrances to the church. This entrance is for guided groups. The entrance for the common people is on the opposite side.

I really advise you, to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the enormous queues at the cashier desks. When we arrived at about 8:30h the queue already surrounded one side of  church, approximately 300-400m. (And we were there on early March!). Our tickets were for 9:00h, so we passed the queues and went straight to the entrance on the Easter side, opposite to the Christmas side.

I’ll show some more details from the Easter side in my next post. The Christmas front is rich decorated with small and filigree details. Very hard to take photos of these details because of its size and the distance.

The both finished fronts are completely different. Not only in their theme, but also in the sculpturing style. Both of them are fantastic.

Antonio Gaudi was inspired by organic structures. Leaves, animals, shells, trees, fruits, flowers and many other organic structures gave him ideas for modeling his buildings. You can find all of those structures in nature.

Take care!

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art, history, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, technic, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 35

600_2312-he-scbx_wIt’s Tuesday afternoon and thus it’s time to prepare for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.

Today I have a beautiful photo for you, taken last week in Belgium. It’s taken near sunset while low tide. As you can see, the off-running water left some poodles and moisty sand. Not much water, but enough to be a mirror to the sky.

For this photo I took two shots with a difference of two EVs. Although the sensors of current cameras are highly developed and cope with high contrasts and high dynamic ranges very good, they are weak compared to analog film or the human eye. I found a post on an Austrian web site on this, saying: While our eye is able to cover a range of about 14 f-stops, the (professional) SLR reach 10, high-quality Point-and-Shoot cameras 8.5 – 9 and a print only 5 f-stops. The dynamic range of analog film differs a bit from 8 to 10 depending on the manufacturer and the film type (negative film or slide film).

So, this technic (called bracketing) helps me, to capture the highlights as well as the lowlights. this means, I get, in this case, two photos covering the whole range. Now, the two photos have to be integrated into one.

First I developed both photos in CaptureNX2 (my RAW-Converter), made my usual adjustments and exported them to TIF. Next I assembled the two TIF-Files with HDR efex for not loosing any of the highlights or the darks. Here comes another export to TIF. Next I converted it twice with MacPhun Tonality Pro basing on different presets. Although I liked both results, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results. So, I decided to add another step and made a pseudo HDR from both of the monochrome TIFs, by keeping the ground from the first conversion and the sky from other one. The last step was the conversion to JPG.

Take care!

Btw. I’d encourage you to give it a try. You can download a trial version for free and you can also use a 10% discount by using this code: solaner10

art, General

A new theme

Today I changed my blog theme after 1,5 years.

Instead of ‘notepad’ I now use the theme ‘Abel’. I like a clear style with columns. And I also like having all those buttons below each post and always accessible for the reader. On the other hand, neither the buttons, nor the categories and tags should eat up notably room. The content is the main part of each post, and not the administration data and metadata.

As far as I can see, all the functionality is still there, but the look is fresher. Both columns changed position, to give more room to the content in the main column, when the browser windows gives the space.

What do you think? Do you like the new style?

Take care!

photography

macphun Focus for free

Yesterday evening I got aware of an interesting offer for photographers:
macphun is giving away their Focus for Mac (standard, MAS version) for free this week & till the end of October.
You can do a lot with Focus. Easily highlight the most important subject in your photos, add a professional look to portraits, enhance landscapes, create miniature masterpieces & more.
Mac users should visit www.macphun.com/getfocus and order a copy. Everything is quite simple and straightforward.
Focus is also good as a stepping stone for an upgrade to Pro or the Creative Kit Plus at a reduced price. So, don’t miss your chance!

art, culture, landscape, Music, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

lp_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “Cover Art”.

This time, they ask for our creative mind. Everyone should create a book-, magazine- or record cover. Every now and than I do so with one of my model photos just for fun. Thus I already have some photos in my box, that would probably fit in here. I decided for this record cover and I hope, you all like it.

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, photography, travel, world

La Sagrada Familia

600_7409-s_wThis iconic cathedral is, although not finished, probably the best known symbol of Barcelona.  It’s also designed by Antonio Gaudi and, in my humble opinion,  his real masterpiece! This church is really adorable! I’ll show more of this fantastic building in my next posts.

This photo is taken from one of the two small parks beside the church. We were on location early to get a good spot. But, unfortunately they forgot to switch on the lights in time. Instead of getting photos of the illuminated church at twilight, we only got them at black night. How disappointing.

Antonio Gaudi died in 1926 because of an accident. The people at Barcelona tried to finish the cathedral, but without plans and the genius architect, it was nearly impossible. Thus, the works stopped quite often and were stopped completely in 1935.

Although many people voted to leave the ruin alone or to remove it completely, they started another try to finish the cathedral during the preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. And it makes a good progress. Entrance fees are used to continue building the cathedral and back in 2010 they reached a point, that the cathedral was able to be sanctified.

There is a hope, to get it finished until 2026 (the 100th anniversary of Antonio Gaudi’s death), because of the good progress. We will see.

Take care!