Piran – The Tiny Jewel of the Adriatic Sea

[…Piran, Slovenia September 2011…]

What better way to spend your early morning than to climb up the hill over the red rooftops and watch the first sunlight touch the face of St. George's church, then gradually embrace the town in a nice, soft and warm light.

 

Boris picked me up at the airport in Trieste just before 4 pm. I had arranged for a car service knowing that I wouldn’t have made the 3:00 bus to Piran and needed the quickest way to get there before sunset.

It was only 24 miles (40 kms) away, driving along the coastal route, first passing the Gulf of Trieste in Italy then the Adriatic sea as we cross the border of Slovenia. As we pass different towns along the way – Koper, Izola, and smaller towns – I see the same campanile over and over again just like the famous one in San Marco of Venice. The landscape did not change much and had it not been for the border crossing sign, I wouldn’t have guessed where Italy had stopped.
[…Read more about Piran…]

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Wicklow – Ireland When It’s Green

[…Dublin, Ireland June 11, 2011…]

Lough Tay is also named Guinness Lake because they say it looks like a Guinness stout with its dense midnight-black color caused by a bed of peat bogs. The startingly-white sandy beach around it is supposed to look like its foam. So, cheers!

 

With only a little over 3 hours of sleep last night, I was up at 4 this morning to catch some blues. I left the drapes undrawn so I’ll have unobstructed view of the light, and there it was – a deep blue picture staring at me as I opened my eyes. My destination was just across the street so it did not take me long to get to the Sean Casey bridge, and then later to Ha’Penny after a brisk walk to chase the fading light. Early morning with a nice cool breeze blowing, hardly any cars nor people on the streets, it’s just me and my bridges – just the way I like it.

I was back at the hotel at 5:45 since I decided to take some post-sunrise shots as well over at the Samuel Beckett. The light was good today – not great, but good enough that I couldn’t have asked for anything more. When you live in gray England as a photographer, just good light is good enough.
[…Read more about Wicklow…]

Dublin – The City Outside the Pub

[…Dublin, Ireland June 10, 2011…]

Sunset colors trying to break through the clouds over the Samuel Beckett bridge after a rain storm.

 

They gave me a room on the 4th floor overlooking the Liffey river. It’s one of those windows that does not open all the way in case some nutcase wanted to jump. Definitely no jumper here, just wanted to see if the barrel of my lens would squeeze in through the gap, and it wouldn’t. Too bad, because I have a nice view, and although it has some blind spots, it still gives me a decent visual sweep of the south bank which seems to contain most of the attractions. I have the three-masted Jeanie Johnston ship almost directly below me, the Sean O’Casey bridge to the right, and Calatrava’s Samuel Beckett bridge is not too far downstream.

I’ve been skeptical about the weather since I got here. It looks like two different stories written in the sky. It has been sunny for the most part, with passing rain showers at least once a day. On the third day though it was just unforgiving rain – a bitter reminder of how photographers are always at the mercy of the weather. It is also a true test of one’s faith; I seem to pray more often when it rains.
[…Read more about Dublin…]

Cochem on the Mosel

Reflections of Cochem Castle on the Mosel river. I have a similar reflection shot posted on Flickr a while back although this one was taken at river level, while the other one was on the bridge. I would have preferred more lighting on the houses on the left, but surely, the bright red light on the castle makes up for it. The river Mosel is a windy river, snaking its way from France until it meets the Rhine in Germany.

I was fiddling around with older photos and found quite a few that needed some attention.

While living in Germany, one of my favorite cities was Cochem. It’s most famous for its Imperial castle – the Reichsburg Cochem – which dates back as early as the 1100’s and has its history of ruins and restoration. Set on the Mosel river, it makes for a really romantic scene and depicts a classic German scene of picturesque castletown. This is the part of Germany that I miss right now. […See more photos here!…]

In My Mail

My photograph as a night light - nightlightdesigns.com

While I’m still working on my photos from Manchester, let me, in the meantime, share with you what I got in the mail yesterday.

The first one is a night light of my photo of Hallstatt, Austria. Sometime last month, the folks over at Night Light Designs who are based in Illinois, bought this image to use in their night lights. They have some really cool designs over there, so check it out. The company sent me 2 night lights, but unfortunately, the plug has U.S. specifications so I can’t use it here in the U.K. I plugged it on a transformer just to see how it looks, and it looks really nice. […See more here!…]

The Other Art of Bilbao

Jeff Koons' "Tulips" sits on the terrace of the Guggenheim. It can be seen from the outside but if you want to take a closer shot of it, you need to pay the museum fee.

We all know about the Guggenheim and Maman the giant spider, and even the beautiful bridges of Bilbao. But apart from those, there are more artful details around the city. […See more photos here!]

Sunrise to Sundown at the Guggenheim

I waited quite a while for the area to be empty but the chance never came. It was nearing sunset when I finally decided to use a 10-stop filter, and not only was I able to "eliminate" people, I also got some nice sunset hues. I could still make out a few people on the shot in the right but thank goodness, they couldn't stay still for the 2-minute exposure. (Left, late afternoon) 0.5 sec @ f/18, ISO 100 (Right, at sunset) 2 minutes @ f/5.6, ISO 100.

On Saturday afternoon in Bilbao when the temperature was in a comfortable 60’s, the area around its most famous attraction – the Guggenheim Museum – was filled with tourists and passersby. Everyone wanted to get underneath the famous giant spider and pose for a shot, which is what I would do to if I was merely there as a tourist. Also, every few minutes, the small pool in front of the museum would generate a mist, sort of part of the attraction, and that would make the tiles near the spider wet and create a good reflection. I wanted to take a shot of that reflection, but there were just too many people in that area. I quickly figured this was one of the days when you just had to work around what you have, photographically speaking. And in the late afternoon when it was still too early for at least a 30-second exposure, I tried the shot with an ND110, and that seemed to work like a charm. […Wait, more photos here!]

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