Posts Tagged ‘night photography’

Petra’s Street of Facades

Photo of the Day

Clouds were a rarity on my trip to Jordan. Most days, the sky was a swath of blue interrupted only by the blazing sun.

Today’s photo of the day shows one of the cloudier evenings I experienced there and still, it’s only wispy, thin clouds obstructing my view of the stars. They certainly didn’t prevent the moonlight from reaching the Street of Facades in Petra, a group of ancient tombs carved into the rocky hillside.

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Stars shine through thin clouds over the moonlit Street of Facades at Petra, Jordan.


Petra by Moonlight

Photo of the Day

I recently returned home from a trip to Jordan where I was dazzled by the region’s history and culture. Now that’s I’ve settled in after a busy week, I can finally share an image from my travels.

This is the Treasury of Petra by Moonlight. You might recognise this impressive structure from the third Indiana Jones movie. Disappointingly, it doesn’t actually house the holy grail, but the exterior is much more impressive in person than the movie can convey. A mile-long cobbled canyon (the Siq) ends in a narrow gap that then opens out into this dramatic view of one of the seven new wonders of the world.

This massive project is one of many carved structures dotting the area, but it’s one of the biggest, one of the most ornate, and thanks to that grand entrance, it’s one of the most impressive. I had been returning late from exploring the other tombs in the area and the moon had just started to light up the Treasury as I walked past. I was able to wait a little while until it was fully in the moonlight to capture the Treasury lit up with the stars in the sky. It was a joy to be there almost alone to see it in the dark.

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The Treasury of Petra lit up at night by moonlight in Jordan.


Dusk at Eilean Donan Castle

Photo of the Day

I’ve posted a few photos of Eilean Donan Castle here so I won’t bore you with my waxing poetically about the beauty of the place. Here’s a panoramic image that should speak for itself.

Click here for more of my photos of Scotland.

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A panoramic image of dusk at Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland.


Ardnamurchan Point Lighthouse

Photo of the Day

Recent adventures to Scotland took me to the Ardnamurchan peninsula which features the most Westerly point in mainland Great Britain. Narrow, winding roads rise and fall over the stark, wavy landscape to reach Ardnamurchan point which features a picturesque lighthouse as seen below.

This shot required manoeuvring over a rough terrain full of tiny creeks, slippery stones, and tidal inlets as well as around sheep that looked unhappy to have me in their presence, but those rocks in the foreground along with the long exposure of the turbulent water gave this photo more texture and depth than I might have gotten from a more accessible location.

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South Stack Lighthouse at Dusk

Photo of the Day

Here’s another shot from last Easter Weekend. This is the South Stack Lighthouse on the Western Coast of the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales.

Giant cliffs loom over the rocky peninsula where this beacon shines out into the water and when the light spins around, it casts an eerie glow back onto the land. My camera didn’t pick up the light returning back to the land and though I probably could have done a longer exposure to show the spotlight’s streak upon the cliffs, I thought it would have started looking pretty artificial, so I went for this classic view of the lighthouse at dusk instead.

Please visit my Wales image gallery to see more photos of North Wales.

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The South Stack Lighthouse at dusk on the island of Anglesey in North Wales, UK.


Llynnau Mymbyr to Snowdon

Photo of the Day

Last weekend, good weather and an even better hotel deal prompted a last-minute trip to North Wales. Among the many gorgeous spots visited was Llynnau Mymbyr, a pair of lakes nestled in the mountains of Snowdonia.

This photo takes in the view westward across one of the lakes to Snowden, the highest peak in Wales still covered in its winter snow.

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Snowdonia's peaks, including Snowden, Wales' highest peak, viewed from the Llynnau Mymbyr lakes in North Wales, UK.


Vintage Car in Havana, Cuba

Photo of the Day

I’m not a car buff, by any stretch, but I couldn’t get enough of the classic cars in Cuba. From an age where form could trump function, the lines of these lumbering machines never failed to capture my attention.

Cubans like to brag that they have the best mechanics in the world. With the embargo in place that has kept them from updating their vehicles, they’ve had to make their cars last and last for a long time. When you know that you may never own another car, you do everything you can to make sure the one you had stays in good working order. And if it’s the source of your livelihood you start caring for it like a baby. A majority of these classic cars are cabs for hire and for a cheap fare, you can catch a ride in a little piece of history.

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A vintage American car on the streets of Havana, Cuba at night.


Calgary Stampede Fireworks Panorama

Photo of the Day

The view of Calgary and its skyline from Scotsman’s Hill is classic, but when you throw in the fireworks of the Calgary Stampede grandstand show, the sight is even more stellar.

Watching the fireworks from Scotsman’s Hill was a mandatory part of growing up in Calgary, so I had been to this exact spot plenty of times before and I knew roughly what I wanted to try to capture. I got there early, since I know the prime spots fill up fast. After all, you can watch the chuckwagon races from up there for free – crowds start forming hours before the fireworks begin.

So, that leaves plenty of time to watch the chucks, dodge mosquitoes, check out the sunset, set up the tripod and chat with fellow fireworks aficionados.

On this particular night, the threat of rain hung in the air the whole evening. We were mostly spared the drizzle until the fireworks began and the rain made taking photos a bit awkward. Water on the lens wasn’t really the effect I was going for here, so my umbrella was open above my camera and I had a cloth handy to clean my lens when errant drops got through. The result is that I didn’t get quite as many shots to choose from since I spent half my time keeping my gear dry, but I managed to get enough to piece together the panorama below.

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Calgary Stampede Fireworks Panorama


Before Dawn in St. Mark’s Square, Venice

Photo of the Day

With my well-located B&B, there was only four bridges in between leaving the door and reaching St. Mark’s Square, one of the central landmarks in Venice. That made it easy for me to roll out of bed before sunrise to try to capture the square in the blue pre-dawn light. Well, as easy as it ever is to wake before dawn.

The advantage of being awake at this hour is, of course, there’s no one else around. A shot like this would be pretty tricky to get in the evening with throngs of tourists crowding every available space in the marvellous square. Instead, the only other people around seem to be photographers with the same goal of catching that elusive tourist-free shot.

In this shot, you get The Doge’s Palace on the left side of the image with the distant campanille of San Giorgio Maggiore across the water. I shot this with a long lens that has compressed the perspective considerably making the tower appear much closer than the 500 metres away that it actually is.

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The Bridge of Sighs

Photo of the Day

A couple weeks ago, I had a gelato-fuelled romp through Venice, Italy. A week of traipsing through Venice’s narrow streets left me with some sore, blistered feet, but I hardly cared – after all, I had just spent a week in Venice! Can’t ask for much more than that.

The incomparable group of islands rising from the North-Italian lagoon are unique and magical. There’s really nowhere else like it. Buildings rise straight up from the water and often only leave space enough between them for a couple people to uncomfortably pass each other. That means, of course, there no room for cars and that’s almost one of the most exceptional aspects of the city. Most urban environments are so shaped by automobiles that the absence is striking.

Venice’s canals are waterways to other cities’ motorways. The Grand Canal makes a reverse-S-curve sweep through the city and its banks offer some of the best opportunities for escaping the shadows of the narrow streets. Gondolas bob over the waves churned up by the vaporettos, supply boats and water taxis on the busy thoroughfare.

But the gondolas are more at home in the small canals where fewer motorised boats can fit. Gondoliers expertly maneuver the small boats through these cramped passages usually while transporting a lovestruck couple immersing themselves in Venice’s romance.

In this photo, one such couple enjoys the tranquility below the Bridge of Sighs, one of Venice’s more famous spans. The bridge was so named due to it being the supposed last view prisoners would have of Venice before their condemnation and the sight they beheld would cause them to wistfully sigh at all they were leaving behind. The Wikipedia article on the subject, however, suggest that Lord Byron’s name for the bridge imagined the past a little more vividly than the truth.

Today, the sighs come from visitors marvelling at the beauty of Venice.

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bridge-of-sighs


Landscape Photographer of the Year Shortlisted

I received an email this morning telling me that four of my photos had been shortlisted for the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. How nice of them!

Interestingly, the images selected are all outside the bounds of what you would call ‘traditional’ landscape photography. Three of them were created using the technique of lighting the subject in multiple shots then compositing the shots together. The fourth shot is of a rather unusual modern art installation. Given the contest’s previous winners, I wouldn’t have expected these images to be the ones that made it through, but I guess the judges might be looking for something a bit different this year.

I’ve had requests to see the images that made it to the next round of judging, and this blog post is here to grant that wish. Click the images to see larger versions.

Singing Ringing Tree

Chesterton Windmill

Bodmin Moor

Halo


Northern Lights Time Lapse

A bit of time-lapse eye candy from Agust Ingvarsson:

AURORA ISLANDICA – a Northern Lights Timelapse from Agust Ingvarsson on Vimeo.


Bodmin Moor’s Cheesewring

Photo of the Day

The Cheesewring is a rock formation sitting atop the barren hill of Stowes Hill in Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. According to good-old Wikipedia, it’s named after a cheesewring, “a press-like device that was used to make cheese.”

Almost unbelievably, this is a natural formation. No ancient astronauts came down to pile these giant stones onto one another – this is all the result of weathering. The hill has a few other strange formations like this one and there’s a stone circle not too far away as well.

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Bodmin Moor Cheesewring


Chesterton Windmill

Photo of the Day

Here’s another one of my experiments in using a single flash to light a scene in dozens of separate photos later combined. This one is of the Chesterton Windmill which stands by itself in a field not too far from Stratford-upon-Avon.

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Chesterton Windmill


Stanage Edge Millstones

Photo of the Day

These abandoned millstones sit at the base of Stanage Edge in Derbyshire near the village of Hathersage. Stanage Edge makes for a good walk with nice views of moors on one side and hills on the other, but these millstones are what captivated me.

Millstone manufacturing was a burgeoning industry in the Peak District in the 19th century and these stones are most likely a leftover from one of the factories in the area, long since shut down.

For me, there was something wonderfully mysterious about them. There was no evidence of any other structure around them – just the stones – so you naturally ask the question of how they got there.

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Stanage Edge Millstones


Dades Gorge in Morocco

Photo of the Day

Looking down onto this winding course full of hairpin turns, I can almost see Jeremy Clarkson and friends getting giddy at the prospect of charging some high-powered supercar down through these roads in the Dades Gorge in Morocco.

This shot ended up being more difficult to take than it should have been. The battery that powers my little remote-trigger camera attachment failed and without it, I couldn’t do an exposure of longer than 30 seconds without keeping my finger on the shutter. Fortunately, my hand was steady enough for five minutes that everything in the photo was sharp. It was a pleasant surprise considering I don’t consider myself to have the steadiest hand in the business.

Click to see the image on a dark background:

Dades Gorge at Night


Dubrovnik from Above

As promised, here’s a glimpse of what’s in store for visitors to Croatia. This panoramic view comes from near the station of the newly-rebuilt cable car that now whisks visitors up to the mountains above the city of Dubrovnik. Destroyed during the Yugoslavian civil war, the cable car has re-opened and now provides easy access to this majestic view of Dubrovnik’s old town.

At the station at the top, one hall features photos of the cable car’s original construction, shots of it after it had been destroyed and images of its recent re-construction. One worker there revealed his sadness at what had occurred during the war. He was 15 when it all happened, so these memories became a big part of his formative years. When asked if he considered Croatian’s friends with the Serbs that had carried out the attacks on Dubrovnik, he said, “We are neighbours. I don’t hate them, but I will never forget,” revealing the scars of a complex and awful period in the region’s history.

Dubrovnik’s scars are no longer exceptionally obvious on the ground. – you have to do a bit of searching to see the remnants of that recent war. But from this high up, you can forget about all that and just revel in the glorious view.

Click below for a larger image:

Dubrovnik from Above Panorama


How to Photograph Fireworks

Just in time for both the Fourth of July and Canada comes a guide from Digital Photography School on how to photograph fireworks. In addition to the tips mentioned in the article, I would add that finding a good vantage point before the show starts is what will make your photographs truly stand out. If possible, find out from where the photographs will be launched, then do some scouting in the area to see how you might best frame the fireworks in your shots.

Matsuhima Lantern Festival Fireworks



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