Feb 282014

I went down to the Trevi Fountain with a specific photo in mind. The Trevi Fountain with a lamp glowing in the foreground as the sun turned the sky a dark blue prior to breaching the horizon. After succeeding in that goal, despite competing with slick marble and worn out shoes, I set about taking a more basic photo taking in the whole thing. I realized after selling photos to the Four Seasons in Prague, for web use, that they preferred the simpler images that just showed the landmarks, so I try to remember to snap a few after taking the ones I really like.

I’m starting to run low on photos from past travels! I’m going to have to start heading out at sunrise in Bermuda, and just hope the February weather decides to behave!

trevi fountain rome in hdr early morning no tourists no people long exposure

Jan 222014

Last night, I arrived back home after a few days in Rome. We had a great time there and I can officially say that I found the absolute best, thinnest pizza in the world near the Piazza Navona. Following stuffing my face and consuming a fair amount of beer and wine, I retired to bed relatively early in comparison to my London schedule because I wanted to get up and photograph Rome at sunrise in beautiful light and without the tourist hordes, which were still quite prevalent despite it being the January low season!

My first stop was the Trevi Fountain which I marched straight to as I wanted to get the below picture during the blue hours before the sun had actually come up, so that I could include the lit streetlight.

The Trevi Fountain in Rome before sunrise with glowing street lamp in foreground - very detailed high resolution photo.

Sep 222013

I’m not sure I really need to say much about this interesting detail of the fountain in the central plaza of Antigua, Guatemala. Except, maybe, the fact that this is one of four of these lactating ladies lining the fountain.

Detail picture of the central fountain of antigua guatemala showing topless lady

Aug 142013

Here’s another shot of the beautiful fountains in Antigua, Guatemala. Antigua really is a beautiful city in range of some breathtaking areas outside town, like Lake Atitlan. Three days really wasn’t enough time to spend in the place, I’d love to go back there.

After the stifling heat of Flores and Tikal it was a relief to get to the cooler climate this area has to offer.

Two of the fountains of Antigua Guatemala

Jun 242013

I’d struggled to take a lot of photographs in Flores. It was an interesting little island town but not exactly photogenic. As I pulled into Antigua, I knew it was not going to be difficult to take photos in this old, Spanish colonial town. My room wasn’t ready so I set out to orientate myself around the central square. When I got there I discovered this beautiful park shrouded in shady trees and loaded with amazing fountains. I probably could have spent days photographing this square alone.

The main fountain in the middle of Antigua Guatemala's central square

Oct 012012

HDR Tutorial

If you’ve been wondering when I’m going to add the next installment of my HDR tutorial I’ve got good news for you! It’s online now: HDR Tutorial 2. In this section I go through the Photomatix portion of producing an HDR image, where the three exposures are combined into one image.

Today’s Photo: Acqui Terme Spring II

If you follow my site regularly you’ll probably recognize the spring in Acqui Terme. I spent a long time waiting for that patch of blue sky amongst the gloomy overcast sky to make it’s way into frame. Once it did I fired off a few shots from different angles. This one shows the detail of the cobbles in front of the spring.

Cobblestone decorated square in front of Roman water spring well in Acqui Terme, Piedmont, Italy

Sep 112012

I’ve got all my new camera gear in! So tonight’s not a long post as I’m in the middle of playing with it all. It seems fitting that tonight’s photo be another of the few photos I took in Italy before having all of my stuff knicked!

Piazza Bollente with it's sulfuric scented 75° Centigrade fountain with light and dark cobblestone designs surrounded by attractive stone buildings with shops and restaurants in Acqui Terme, Piedmont, Italy

Aug 222012

Robbed in Italy – No more Camera Gear!

If you follow my website regularly you’re probably used to me missing an occasional post, but you’ve probably wondered what’s happened over the past week to stop me posting for days on end.

I was in a really good mood as I drove towards Portofino where I’d overnight before hopping on a train to get to the Cinque Terre just before sunrise. For the first time in Italy I had a plan that would definitely result in good pictures, rain or shine. I’d even used the Photographers Ephemeris to figure out where to position myself that evening for sunset in Portofino and where to run to from the train station  in Riomaggiore. Then, I realised I should stop to get cash as I was running short and had a toll to pay shortly. So, I pulled off into a service station.

I considered just fueling up and getting cash at the gas station. Then, I thought there may not be an ATM there so stopped outside the food place as I was sure there would be a cash-point there. Before I hopped out my girlfriend debated whether or not to get out of the car or stay and wait. In the end she came inside with me. As you’ve probably guessed, we returned to the car to find it had been rummaged through and pretty well cleaned out of every electronic good we had. My entire camera bag was gone, as was my girlfriend’s laptop, iPod, phone, kindle and, most worryingly, passport! The passport was particularly annoying because it meant that rather than continuing on to join my family in Portofino we’d have to return to our hotel North of Genoa so we could get to the embassy in Milan the next day.

My particular moment of terror was caused by the fact that I thought they’d gotten my laptop and, more importantly, my external hard drive with all of my unprocessed photos from Africa, Prague, Iceland, Bermuda and Italy. Fortunately, I’d been able to fit my laptop in the correct compartment in my carry on bag, which it doesn’t normally fit in. Somehow, this was the only zipper we had that wasn’t opened. I’m now looking into online backup solutions to avoid that feeling again. They’d also managed to damage my laptop screen in the process. Since then it has magically fixed itself. With the busted laptop screen, and being generally pissed off, I decided to give the site a break for a few days and just chill out round the pool.

On a positive note, it seems when you see the worst of people it’s often closely accompanied by the best of people. After desperately looking around trying to find the bastardos (I learned that from the Italian cops) I realised I needed to call the police. I approached the first people I saw, two Italian ladies that didn’t speak a word of English, and managed to communicate to them what had happened and get the emergency number from them. It’s 112 for anyone interested. I quickly discovered that the person on the other end of the phone didn’t speak English so thrust my phone into one of the ladies’ hands. She told them what had happened and informed me the police were on their way, all in improvised sign language. They then proceeded to run around trying to find someone who spoke English. They found an older lady with her husband who spoke a bit. These four people waited with us for the police, and even called them again about 5 times, for well over an hour. The original two ladies kept hugging us while the older couple called us to the back of their car and fed us a load of fresh figs. They were delicious.

There were a couple other particularly helpful people but I think I’ll continue this story another night. Long story short, I have no camera equipment, though it’s insured, so you’ll probably get to read about me agonizing over what to get with the insurance money. I’m also far short of the number of photos I had expected to get in Italy and a little concerned about how I’ll keep the daily photos going until my next substantial trip (likely not until 2013).

Today’s Photo: The Spring at Acqui Terme

This elaborate fountain is actually a natural spring, the use of which dates back to Roman times. When you get up close to the flowing water a strong smell of sulfur singes your nose-hairs. I saw this and knew I needed to take a photo. I set up and fired off a load of shots even though I wasn’t happy with the white background provided by the overcast sky. As my family arrived, as we’d agreed to meet for dinner at a pizzeria in this square I noticed that there was a gap in clouds approaching from the left. So, I waited. I waited so long that I had to have a menu brought across the square to me so I could order.

On top of that, there were a lot of people  walking about the square and it was too light for me to set a slow enough shutter speed to remove them. So, I shot 5 sets of bracketed photos with a break between each so I could mask out most of the people in the square.

Piazza Bollente with it's sulfuric scented 75° Centigrade fountain with light and dark cobblestone designs surrounded by attractive stone buildings with shops and restaurants in Acqui Terme, Piedmont, Italy