A gate in Metropolis? No!, This fancy gate is the door of the machine hall of a coal mine here in Germany.
a photographer's view to the world – a traveler's blog
Long-time followers know, I used to big a big fan of the weekly photo challenges run by the WordPress team each Friday. Unfortunately, the series stopped some time ago. Now, I stumbled upon a post telling me, 4 ladies also missed the challenges and created a follow-up. Round robin, they challenge their followers with a topic. This week Amy, one of the 4 ladies, demands us to show “layers”.
As a first time contributor to this challenge, I’m not perfectly sure, how it works. But, I try to find out.
My image is taken a few years ago at a huge environmental sin here in Germany: open brown coal mining pits.
You can see one kind of the huge machines used at an open brown coal mining pit for digging for brown coal. The machines in the image are so-called stacker. They are at the end of the digging process. The huge diggers standing on a layer and shave the soil with their rotating shovels from the side. The brown coal isn’t that deep in the ground. So, it’s possible to dig for the coal in an open pit instead of digging tunnels deep in the ground. But, it spreads to the sides and the hole in the ground becomes wider and wider. The brown coal isn’t as solid as the stone coal. It’s not pressed that much and contains more moisture. So, it’s much heavier. That’s the reason for not to transport it to the power plants. Instead, the power plants are right beside the pit. Flat conveyors bring the brown coal to the power plants and the useless soil to the stackers.
In the image, you can see 2 stackers in the foreground on 2 different layers and 2 more in the background.
Here you can see an overview image taken with a fisheye lens and some more background information. In this post, you can see some more images taken at daytime. It also contains some of the diggers.
Thanks to the many environmentalists, this will finally come to an end. Unfortunately, the damage will last a few additional years until these mines finally are closed and the renaturation process can be started.
For a few days the latest version of Aurora HDR from MacPhun is available. This new version is not only for Mac, it’s also for Windows. I got a review version for testing.
Yesterday, while out with my photographers roundtable, I visited a former coal mining building, now a museum. That mining buildings are notable because of its wonderful architecture made from brick-stones. The mine was open from 1899 – 1955.
Most of the time I was inside the machinery hall, a very modern building for that time, but with an unusual architecture style for a mine. Many parts inside reminded me to the movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang from 1927.
Being inside a quite dark building on a dark and rainy day gave me the opportunity to take some images by using bracketing. That is a technique where you’re taking one image just the way the light meter says, but two (or more) additional images with exposure correction (+ and – i.e. 1 or 2 EV) to develop them later with HDR or DRI software like Aurora HDR. Often HDR or DRI images have over-saturated bonbon colours, which I don’t like. So, you don’t see many of them here in my blog.
While the user interface of Aurora HDR did not change much and the preset sections are also still available, I won’t waste too much time on these parts. Have a look at my last review.
I want to focus on the new results and an unexpected feature I discovered: distortion control. The export results are much better in quality, than in the original version. I like the resulting colours more and the results don’t have so much noise in it. The auto-alignment feature works quit good. But ist’s still better to have exact aligned images by taking them with a tripod instead of free-hand. The distortion control feature is nice. I’m using DxO Viewpoint for distortion control. The results are great. Compared to Viewpoint, Aurora is too complicated. Here they have some work to do.
When you own some other tools from MacPhun, you can use them as plugins inside Aurora HDR and vice versa. They are also available as plugins inside Photoshop.
This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “weight”
The pillars, in the image above, are carrying a whole mountain. We’re in a coal mine, far below the surface of your planet. It’s a view in a machine, that scraps the coal from the wall and moves it in my direction for bringing it up. (The mine is already closed and now, it’s a museum)
Take care have a great weekend!
(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)