The Pantheon, my favorite building in all of Rome, is 1,886 years old. Today, I turn 59. In Europe, the Pantheon is considered an antique. In America, I am. Ponder that on this 18th day of December, 2012 (AD).
My friend Scott P. and I spent a couple nights in an apartment in this little village on the island of Hvar (Croatia). English wasn’t spoken by the people we dealt with, though we were able to communicate, in part because the the lady who owned the apartment spoke some German and so did Scott. Like photos I sometimes take, we weren’t actively seeking this place: we turned a corner and there it was.
Generally, I use HDR tools very carefully when I work on photos. I’d like you to see a broad range of darks and lights in my HDR photos rather than an exaggerated HDR effect. I’m pleased that Joe Farace commented on this when he wrote about this blog in the October issue of Shutterbug.
So why am I posting an HDR photo that is clearly less than “real?” I don’t know. I worked on this photo for 30 minutes when, on a whim, I decided to see what Nik HDR Efex 2 would do to this scene. And this is the version that made the “final cut.”
Canon 5D 1/25s f/7.1 ISO250 40mm
I learned just now that a group of flamingos has a variety of designations. You can call a group of them a pat, a colony, a flurry, a regiment, a stand or a flock. Though my favorite is a flamboyance.
These flamingos were flying in rough formation for our benefit as we rounded the east end of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. I was lucky to have my telephoto lens on my camera when then suddenly took flight and circled overhead.
We are back from a little more than a week in the British Virgin Islands and so I guess this is my first, official post from the trip. We met our youngest son Jon and his friend Eli in Road Town, Tortola, and, having chartered a 41′ Beneteau monohull sailboat for a week, we took off for the islands.
I didn’t take that many photos on the trip, primarily because my point of view was mainly limited to the sailboat. If you ask me, one water-with-an-island-in-the-background shot looks pretty much like every other water-with-an-island-in-the-background shot. Also, since the boat was often moving in pretty good swells and wind, I didn’t like taking my camera outside the confines of the cockpit.
So, anyway, here’s a shot I took lying on my back on the bow of the boat looking straight up. I shot this with my 16-35mm wide angle lens but and even wider angle would have been nice.
Canon 5DII 1/320s f/9.0 ISO100 16mm
Inspired by an article on Lisbon, Portugal,in the Travel section of today’s NYT, I went back and looked at things I had from our trip there a couple years ago. This photo was taken from the top of a monument to the Portuguese explorers, who boldly went where no European white men had gone before.
I am captivated by aerial shots that show shadows and of course there are strong shadows in this photo, though I’m not all that impressed with what I got. Compositionally, I would like something different, though I can’t tell what that would be. If I had spent 30 minutes more, in this location, I probably could have gotten the perfect placement of my unsuspecting subjects below.
I have several photos I took in and around Durbrovnik, Croatia, and when I post them here, I wonder how many tens of thousands of other tourists have photos from the same location.
But anyone who has wondered the same thing knows that there is something special about having your own pictures. It is perhaps some odd way of tourists marking territory.
This photo is a result of being in the right place at the right time – with the right lens, which was a 17-40 mm wide angle lens. The beach is along the so-called Maya Riviera south of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Seing the sunrise along this stretch of beach is a bit rare since there always seem to be clouds along the horizon. But on this day, the sun showed its face for about 5 minutes and so I get the great play of light along the sand.