Posts Tagged ‘spain’

City of Arts and Sciences #15

Photo of the Day

And for the last instalment of this series, here’s a shot of the other side of the opera house at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia Spain.

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El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía


City of Arts and Sciences #14

Photo of the Day

Clouds gather in the evening at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia Spain.

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City of Arts and Sciences


City of Arts and Sciences #13

Photo of the Day

Curved bridges arc in front of the opera house at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia Spain.

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City of Arts and Sciences


City of Arts and Sciences #12

Photo of the Day

L’Hemisfèric looks a bit ominous in this photo of the building at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia Spain.

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L'Hemisfèric


City of Arts and Sciences #11

Photo of the Day

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.

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The City of Arts and Sciences


City of Arts and Sciences #10

Photo of the Day

Just as unusual from the other side, here’s another shot of the Queen Sofía Palace of the Arts in Valencia.

Click to see the image on a dark background:

Queen Sofía Palace of the Arts


City of Arts and Sciences #9

Photo of the Day

Today, we have another shot of El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. This time, the organic forms of the building are lit up in the evening.

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El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe


City of Arts and Sciences #8

Photo of the Day

Today’s photo of the day is the organic, abstract spines and ribs of the top of El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.

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El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe


City of Arts and Sciences #7

Photo of the Day

We continue our wander around the City of Arts and Sciences with another shot of the strange shapes of the Queen Sofía Palace of the Arts opera house.

Click to see the image on a black background:

Queen Sofía Palace of the Arts


City of Arts and Sciences #6

Photo of the Day

These abstract forms come from the Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe (a.k.a. the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum) at Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences.

Click to see the image on black:

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe


City of Arts and Sciences #5

Photo of the Day

Today’s photo of the day is a wider view of Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences. El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe is on the left and L’Hemisfèric is on the right.

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City of Arts and Sciences


City of Arts and Sciences #4

Photo of the Day

Today’s image from the City of Arts and Sciences is a detail of some of the curving and converging lines of L’Hemisfèric.

Click to see the image on a black background:

L'Hemisfèric detail


City of Arts and Sciences #3

Photo of the Day

Today’s addition to the City of Arts and Sciences series is a shot of L’Hemisfèric, an IMAX cinema and planetarium.

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L'Hemisfèric


City of Arts and Sciences #2

Photo of the Day

This abstract pattern of lines comes from one of the arcades supporting El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe in the City of Arts ad Sciences.

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El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe supports


City of Arts and Sciences #1

Photo of the Day

Today, I begin a new series photo-of-the-day posts that run for the next little while. The images come from one of the more astonishing modern architectural sights I have witnessed: The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.

These photos are actually from a few years ago and one of the buildings, l’Àgora, was under construction during my visit, so I guess that means I’ll have to go back and get more shots. What a shame that would be as I hardly had any fun at all wandering through this complex of magnificently designed buildings.

The site is designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela and looks like it should only exist somewhere in the distant future. The huge space is filled with unusual shapes and patterns, sweeping lines and giant, abstract forms. As a photographer, I felt like I was cheating – it seemed almost too east to take an interesting photo there.

This first image is of El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, an opera hall, but it might as well be the fortress of a sci-fi super villain.

Click to see the image on a black background:

El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia


Barcelona Cityscape Panorama

Photo of the Day

Fortune and a bright, purple dawn smiled on my as I descended Montjuic Hill in Barcelona. After searching around for a good vantage point, I eventually settled on an area close to the site used for the swimming events in the 1992 Summer Olympics. I would have loved to have been inside that facility for its more unobstructed views, but I made the best of it when I realized it wasn’t going to be open any time near when I needed it to be.

Click for a larger image:

Barcelona Cityscape Panorama


Photo of the Day – La Perdrera

I’m currently going through images from my trip to Barcelona last year and just processed this one from La Pedrera, one of Antoni Gaudi’s brilliant Art Nouveau apartment buildings. Also known as Casa Mila, this UNESCO world heritage site is full of Gaudi’s signature organic shapes and whimsical design.

This photo shows the view up to the sky from one of the many oddly-shaped courtyards below. It’s composed of five shots combined to make an HDR image. As tripods aren’t allowed inside La Pedrera, I had to shoot handheld which is never ideal for combining images in this way. But, thanks to Photoshop CS4’s improved ability to align layers, it all worked out.

I rarely get the results I want from Photoshop’s automatic HDR tool. Instead, I tend to throw all the different exposures into separate layers and go to town with masking. It gives better control over the final image and I can generally prevent the nasty halo effects that come with some automated HDR procedures.

Click the image for a larger version on flickr:

La Pedrera


Photo of the Day – Feb. 16, 2009

Making good on my promise to do a bit of photoblogging, here’s the first in what will hopefully be a series of posts looking at the photos on my new portfolio site: darbysawchuk.com.

First up is one of my more recent travel images. Click on the thumbnail to see the full size:

This image was shot in Barcelona, Spain in the Gothic Quarter. The narrow alleys made for lovely shafts of light that burst through the darkness in the morning. It was tricky, however, to find a spot where the light wasn’t so overpowering that the background disappeared completely into darkness.

The other tricky part is, of course, being patient enough to someone interesting enough to walk past to round out the picture. This might be a pretty enough location shot, but with the man (and his companion pigeon) take it up a level and make the scene.

At first, I was unsure of the detail of the Christmas lights creeping into the top of the frame, but I’ve settled on liking them. Something about this fellow makes him look like he could be a musician and those notes at the top fit in nicely with him.


Back from Cape Town

And thus ends a month of jet setting. I’m now home in the UK from Cape Town after participating in some great work out there. We had a fantastic team whose personalities gelled perfectly and whose knowledge and ability got the job done efficiently and effectively. Thanks to everyone out there for a great time. I genuinely enjoyed the experience.

And that was just the work! The rest of the trip that wasn’t spent behind a computer was highly enjoyable as well. Though there wasn’t a lot of time for sightseeing and slacking off, I did manage to take in a few sights including Table Mountain, Cape Point, the waterfront, the Christmas marching bands and the tourist market. Then there was the numerous drives and stops around the city and beyond that afforded great views of the picturesque mountains and bays, or the calm respite of the beaches and wineries.

Really, my impression of Cape Town is pretty different from what I would have if I had travelled there simply as a tourist. For one, I wouldn’t have been staying in a hotel that nice. I’ve been spoiled and I will now miss that little chocolate that appeared on my pillow every night!

I suspect that most travellers are also not touring the mansions and swanky homes of the area. For each of the locations on our shoot, we ended up at some palace of a home that usually had a incredible view of a mountain or overlooked the sea via an infinity pool. They were the kind of place you couldn’t afford to buy and maintain even if you won the lottery. I don’t know how these people do it.

Contrast that with the glimpses we had of the townships from the road, or the wilderness that exists beyond (and in some places within) the city’s borders and I suspect there a few different experiences to be had in Cape Town. My experience of the place was that of some rich European, not of a traveller visiting Africa. Of course, that means I’d love to go back in a different capacity sometime to explore those other paths.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I now have to squeeze in a trip to the shops to get some presents. Rather than buy carved, wooden giraffes from South Africa that wouldn’t fit in with everyone’s decor in the UK, I’ve decided to try to find gifts that suit their recipients a bit more than stereotypical tourist trinkets. Not sure when I’m going to get to do it though!

There’s also plenty of photographic work to be done. I do have a few photos from South Africa that need processing, but more dauntingly, a massive pile of them from my recent trip to Spain. Plus, my outdated portfolio site is in dire need of an upgrade. And those are just a few of the top priority items on my long to do list, so I might find myself wandering away from Christmas festivities from time to time to do some of the work I love. But for my family’s sake, I’ll keep that to a minimum!


A Brief Stop Home

The reason I haven’t posted much lately is that I was just on holiday in Spain. Preparations were hectic enough that I didn’t even get a chance to mention it here. Oops. But the trip was great and all the cities I visited (Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Zaragoza) were lovely. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to process some shots sooner than later.

Part of the reason preparations were rushed is because, tomorrow, I’m off to South Africa, Cape Town specifically. I’m heading down there as part of a team doing a catalogue shoot, so I likely won’t get a chance to see much of the city other than the locations we’re using for the shoots.

I’m told, however, that I absolutely must visit Table Mountain at night. From the little bits that I’ve seen of Cape Town’s geography, I can imagine it would be quite a view. Fingers crossed that I get a few hours spare while I’m out there.

This stop home was all too short and I will barely have time to settle back in here before Christmas, but happily I will be able to be back here in Manchester before the holiday season has passed. I may even have the chance to buy a present or two!



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