This little bridge is a landmark in Hoi An, Vietnam. The first bridge was constructed here in 1590 by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters on the other side of the river.
Today’s Photo: Lonely Lion
Our junior guide, who typically stayed at the back of the group paddled up ahead and caught up to our main guide. Then, they made for the shore. It was about lunchtime and I thought that was why we were stopping. Instead, we were told to stay in our canoes and just beach them slightly. Then, we saw her, camouflaged extremely well amongst the brush, a lone lion, just 30 meters away.
We sat and watched her for a while as she sat and watched us, very casually. She’s an old lion, we were told, and had likely had to leave her pack and attempt to fend for herself. She seemed tired and had a sadness in her eyes, that I think you can see here.
After pushing off and continuing down stream our guide praised his assistant for spotting her and confessed it was a good thing as he’d planned on stopping there for our lunch break!
The Technical Bits
Camera: Canon 5d Mk II
Lens: EF 70-300mm f/2.8L USM
Exposure: 1/50 at f/8
Taking the Photo: I zoomed in far as I could and made sure that I set the focus on the lioness’ eyes as she gazed back at us. I was shooting handheld as I was sitting in a canoe at the time. I shot three bracketed images but chose not to use them.
Processing: I decided not to use the bracketed images as there was too much movement in the scene, from the lion to all of the foliage around her. I tried creating an HDR image by adjusting the exposure levels in Adobe RAW, but realized that I preferred the single exposure to the output from Photomatix so just adjusted contrast in Photoshop and bumped up the detail in Topaz Adjust.
I had to make a substantial crop in order to zoom in further on the lion. As the 5d mk II uses a full frame sensor this was possible without the resulting photo being too small.
Software: Photoshop, Topaz Adjust
Just off the square pictured here, we came across this alleyway. I thought the peeling paint would look particularly interesting if I could work a lot of detail into the scene.
I’ve lodged my claim for my camera equipment so hopefully I will be able to replace my gear soon. I’m looking at buying a 5d Mk III. It’s the next evolution of the 5d and it looks like they’ve made some significant improvements. They’ve bumped the frames per seconds up and improved the auto-focus system. These were the key benefits of having a Canon 7d alongside my 5d Mk II. Now I don’t think I’ll need it and am considering buying the new mirrorless camera offered by Canon. It’s able to use all the Canon lenses via an adapter and it’s smaller size would allow me to keep a camera on me all the time when I’m traveling. I’m just trying to find examples of photos taken with it to make my mind up!
I really liked this old farm. Funnily, I actually stopped for the farm across the street but wound up spending much more time here. I’ve mentioned before that I was pretty worried about someone coming out to catch me trespassing. I had convinced myself that this place probably wasn’t really used anymore anyway. Looking at this photo, the number of tire tracks show that was a completely wrong assumption. Anyways, I got away with it and came off with a pretty cool shot.
Tip-toeing about the lot enclosing this dilapidated barn I was on edge. There was a small house about 20 feet away, but I couldn’t tell for sure if it was inhabited. There was no-one about to ask if I could wander about the property, but I knew there would be some good photos about. Sure enough, there were.
This was about as far as I was willing to go down this dirt road. If someone had pulled in I’d have preferred to be visible from the road. I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was a prowler hiding from view. It’d also allow me to walk straight over to them to say good morning and hope they were as friendly as everyone else I’d met around Niagara-on-the-Lake. As it turned out, nobody showed up.
This photo required a slightly different treatment to the usual. It was so bright that I realized my exposure bracketing would need to extend to -4. In order to get my Canon 5d Mk II to take this, I had to set it to auto bracket the following: -4, -2, 0. After this I fired off an additional three frames at -3,-1,+1. I took a look at the exposures and realized that the +1 had captured all the details in the shadows and I wouldn’t need to go any further. I combined these in Photomatix prior to polishing up in Photoshop.
The title of this photo is inspired by the Beatles’s. I had to go into work today and The White Album is my go-to when I need to get my head down and get some work done. I just decided to give it another listen so found it on YouTube. As I tried to think of a name for this photo John Lennon sang the line “the sun is up, the sky is blue” in Dear Prudence. I decided that was fitting.
If you’re ever in need of a bit of The White Album and don’t have it to hand, I found it all here:
I got up early to photograph two specific locations at sunrise. One involved setting up in the middle of a small road. A small road that was surprisingly busy so early in the morning! So, that wasn’t an option. My second location was obscured by fog. So, I started driving around trying to find some shots. I actually got quite a few so it all worked out.
I spotted this barn from the road and began taking photos. Suddenly I realized I was no longer on the roadside and probably trespassing. I set up for this last shot before scampering. I don’t think anyone saw me, fortunately.