Jan 072014

On my recent tour of Europe, I wasn’t particularly good at getting up early to take pictures. Partly because for most of the trip the weather wasn’t ideal but mainly because I tended to hang out way too late to even consider getting up early. Florence, on the other hand, inspired me. I couldn’t go there and not come away with some sunrise photos. So, I dragged my travel buddy up at the crack of dawn. We’d wander the empty streets of Florence before collecting our car to drive up to Pisa, down to Sienna, and back up to Florence.

The sunrise didn’t disappoint and I got this opportunity to take a super close up of Florence’s famous cathedral in front of blue sky and pink skies. Following this I bought two prosciutto on mini-croissant sandwiches for breakfast. It was a good start to the day.

ll Duomo in Florence, Italy viewed from below in front of sunrise sky

Oct 282013

This is an old photo, taken with my old rebel, in Sighisoara, Romania very early in the morning just before sunrise. Sighisoara is a beautiful little medieval town in Transylvania. It’s known as the birthplace of the real life Dracula, Vlad the Impaler.

Sighsoara Romania cobbled street and streetlight before sunrise

Jul 202013

Tikal was hot, really really really hot. The room I stayed in didn’t have any air-conditioning, all I had was two little fans. So, I’d have a few beers and read a bit of George Orwell’s 1984 to get me to sleep. This worked to get me to sleep; nothing could keep me asleep. As the sun began to peak up over the jungle, the heat started to climb and I rose out of bed. One morning, with nothing else to do, I set out with my camera gear and got today’s photo of a small boat dock with canoes available for rent tied up to it.

Two canoes tied to a dock on a golden morning in tikal, guatemala

Dec 272012

Today’s photo was taken when the days were longer and I was able to slip down to Horseshoe Bay before work. It wasn’t summer and was actually pretty chilly, I was wearing long trousers and a fleece. I was shocked to discover how many people head down to Horseshoe Bay for a morning dip each day. I spotted this man making the walk into the chilly waters, facing the sunrise,  and fired off three bracketed photos. In the end I decided to let the man and cliff be silhouetted against the sunrise.

A man silhouetted against the morning sunrise as he enters the water at Horseshoe bay beach, Bermuda


Dec 212012

I love summer when I’m able to enjoy the sunrise on the beach before heading into work if I feel like it. It’s more likely that I’ll head out for morning photos if I have someone staying with me who wants to head out. It’s little more difficult to drag yourself out of bed on your own.

Sunrise view from Southlands, Bermuda with rocks jutting out from the foamy waves and turquoise ocean.

Oct 022012

Once I got the weather I was after at Horseshoe I took quite a few pictures from the top of the rock there. Here’s another one, taken as the sun climbs a bit higher through the haze, spilling golden rays across the light pink sand and adding an extra glow to the cool turquoise water.

View of Horseshoe Bay Bermuda beach from top of the rock with the sun spilling golden rays across the light pink sand and adding an extra glow to the cool turquoise water.


Sep 262012

At the end of a morning out, I was on my way back to the hotel when I spotted this rundown old villa tucked off the roads amongst the vineyards. I pulled over and discovered that the building and trees framed the remnants of sunrise perfectly. So, I set up for the shot.

Rundown old stone villa among the vineyards with trees framing the remnants of sunrise in Piedmont, Italy.


Sep 202012

Today’s Photo: The Dark Lighthouse

This photo makes me want to get back to Iceland as soon as possible. The plan for my next trip is to turn up there for a longer period of time with a tent and not much of a plan. I want to wander, go to where the good light is and wait for the good light in places that deserve it. There seems to be campsites everywhere in Iceland so finding somewhere to crash should be easy as plugging campsite into the satnav.

This shot is from my first night in Iceland. After arriving at midnight, I discovered that this beach was just a short walk from the guesthouse I stayed in. It was handily scouted by my travel buddy who had arrived a day earlier. The lighthouse is actually no longer used so it seems fitting to leave it in the dark. A newer one is located just off to the right. You’ll get to see photos of it one day as well.

The Technical Bits

Camera: Canon 5d Mk II
Lens: EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1.6, 6, and 25 at f/18

Taking the Photo: I wandered the beach searching for a good foreground for this shot. The rocks looked promising and when I stumbled across this patch of larger, moss drenched stones I set up my tripod. The camera was placed at about half my height to get close to the rocks and capture the detail in the moss. You’ll have to click the image and view it larger to see the details. I actually shot bracketed shots from -4 to +4 because the sunset was so intense behind the lighthouse. As you can see above, I only went with -2 to +2, which I’ll explain next.

Processing: This is one of those photos that I’ve tried to process numerous times but failed. I have a similar shot, here, that I was never quite happy with. The sky and the lighthouse just never looked quite right. I felt like I was sacrificing colors and detail in the sky to bring out details in the lighthouse, which just blended into the sky. This time, I took a different approach and decided to let the lighthouse remain as a silhouette. The rocks in the foreground are much more interesting than the details of the lighthouse anyway. Now, I’m very happy with this shot.

I probably could have achieved this affect with an off camera flash, which I don’t yet own. One of the useful parts of HDR is that you can adjust your lighting once you’ve gotten home. Of course, this has limitations so I’m planning on buying a couple of off camera flashes and figuring out how to use them. That way, in a situation like this I could take my usual bracketed photos, but also use a bit of flash. Then, I can just use whichever method worked out better and maybe save me a bit of head-scratching once I get home.

Software: Photomatix, Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, Noiseware Pro

Shoreline with rocks covered in green moss with calm water and lighthouse in the distance with pink light showing under the cloudy sky in Gardur, Iceland

Aug 292012

New Look Coming Tonight

I decided to overhaul the appearance of Traverse Earth about two months ago. It didn’t take me too long to design how I wanted it to look. Bending Suffusion (my WordPress template) to my will has taken quite a while though. I used DesktopServer to set up a development website that mirrored this one. I’ve now got it looking just about how I want it. So, I’ve decided to unleash it onto the world, tonight. So, as you’re reading this you my be looking at the old website, the new website, or some hideous, deformed in-between stage. Either way, I hope it works and that you like the end result.

Today’s Photo: The Surge, Bermuda

When I first got a camera that allowed me to adjust aperture and shutter speed I got really into photographing moving water. I’d fire off loads of photos at one scene then dig through them to find the most pleasing blurring of the waters motion. Not a lot has changed, except now I’m working with multiple exposures for each image. So, getting the timing right is a bit more complicated and there’s a lot more photos to sift through!

This photo was taken early morning, shortly after sunrise down on the beach on the Southlands property.

Pink sand beach, turquoise ocean waves surging through limestone rocks at Southlands, Bermuda