Dec 042012

This church in Hof was a happy find. I’d wanted to photograph turf roofed buildings the whole time I was there. We were on our way back to the Jockulsarlon Glacier lagoon, on the same day that we had to make it all the way to Reykjavik. We were pressed for time. But, before we left Hof, the tiny little town we’d spent the night in, we had to stop to photograph this church. I’ve posted other shots of the exterior and interior before.

A church with a roof made of turf grass in Hof, Iceland in front of a blue sky

Nov 182012

I’ve uploaded a photo of this little church before. It’s constructed with a traditional turf roof. After poking my head inside I decided it could be cool to get a shot of the altar looking up from the ground. I sat down right next to the door and started trying to take a picture from the ground. I had to go lower than my tripod would allow so I was hand holding my camera and trying to line up the pews and the floorboards symmetrically. It was pretty tricky and I was in a pretty awkward position. At one point the door opened and someone came in. I was pretty embarrassed to be caught by a stranger in this odd position on a church floor. I was relieved when the person who came in to join me was my travel buddy who was used to me being in odd positions by then.

interior of Icelandic turf church with view from pews with altar and painting of jesus

Aug 252012

I was actually all set up for a photo in the other direction when I looked over my shoulder and the sun was on its way up just over a nice Bermuda roof. I quickly spun everything around and got set up for this shot. I switched to my 70-300mm lens and zoomed right in to make the moon as big as possible. I’ve tried processing this photo a number of times but was never satisfied with the results I got out of Photomatix. The roof looked dirty (which it wasn’t) and the moon just looked weird. So, tonight, I made a change. Rather than run it through Photomatix I just loaded all three images into Photoshop and masked through to the bits I wanted. This meant using the underexposed photo for the moon and a bit of the overexposed image to brighten up the roof. The moon still looks a bit weird but I think it’s the best I’m going to manage.

Let me know what you think.

A pink and blue sky at sunset with a moonrise over a white Bermuda roof and chimney.

Jul 302012

I’d seen photos of old run down turf roofed houses while looking into visiting Iceland and was really keen to photograph some. There were a couple listed in guide books but we always seemed to be too short on time to detour when we’d get near them. Then, we pulled down a small road to our accommodation in a little village near Skaftafell National Park and we found this! It’s not a turf covered house, but it’s a turf covered church. I feel like it helped satisfy my desire to find some of the old houses. When I go back I’ll definitely make more of an effort to find these photogenic buildings off the beaten track.

Turf covered church with only the beige plank front showing while being surrounded by rolling green in Skaftafell, Iceland.

Mar 162012

Normally I wouldn’t include people posing for a picture in one of my shots. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, taking photos of the kids in this village was great fun! Here you can see my travel companion Chris posing for a picture as Shannon teaches a couple of the kids how to use her camera. The sky was striking and I liked the opportunity to catch a picture of the kids having fun without actually having them pose for me!

This photo is only bracketed from -1 to +1. I had to shoot handheld because if I’d set up the tripod the kids would have flocked long before I was ready to take a shot. I also needed to use a small aperture to get the whole scene in focus. If I’d gone to +2 I never would have been able to get a sharp image.

We’d brought clothes to give as a gift and as thanks for allowing us to visit. We didn’t know that we were going to be visiting this village and had actually packed very light for the safari. It was a shame as Shannon had been carrying a lot of stuff to give away the whole trip (this eventually found a home in a Rwandan orphanage). Everyone managed to pull something out, including Soniko who offered up a brand new world cup rugby jersey. But, Soniko wanted to give this to someone personally and eventually gave it to the older kid in the blue sitting down in the middle of this picture. Being selected for Soniko’s prize possession made his day and he beamed a huge smile as he received the jersey.

Village with round straw huts in Rwanda with groups of local children posing for a photo while others learn to use the camera, under a beautiful blue sky with clouds.

Feb 292012

On our way to visit this village we saw the mud bricks used to build this structure baking in the sun. We went inside one for a demonstration on how grain is ground into flour. They’re actually a very clever design. The wall around the perimeter does not meet the thatched roof allowing for the breeze to roll through. This cools the inside while allowing any smoke produced in cooking to be quickly ventilated. The doorway was tiny and involved a bit of a contortion to get through.

Two round huts in a Lower Zambezi, Zambia village with thatched roofs with one with baked mud brick sides and the other stick sides.