Monthly Archives: June 2012

During my last travel to Andalusia (Spain) I made a lot of HDR shots, all of them were shot without tripod. I knew it was a risk, but it worked out fine for me. With the current versions of Photomatix and Adobe Photoshop (and probably many others) you can correct the horizontal and vertical shifts automatically, and you have the option to reduce ghosting artifacts (moving people, tree branches and other objects) So all those hand-shaken images are still useful. And of course some of the HDR’s are ‘single’ HDRi’s. Click here for the gallery

Landscapes and Ruins is what I titled this post. While we traveld through Andalusia (South of Spain) we saw so many beautiful landscapes, and ruins. Many houses were abandoned and left to the force of nature, which created wonderful ruins in very nice landscapes. I had this visual in my head about a landscape that looked like a patchwork. I had lots of near opportunities but most of the landscapes were ‘poluted’ with industy, highways, or modern farms. Luckily we encountered a few spots that we nice and clean, and ‘colorful as patchwork’. We visited ‘El Torcal’, a nature reserve with unusual limestone rock formations. A lovely place to hike with your camera. And even our 3 year old daughter was able to do the short route (1,5 km) which took us about 90 minutes (in stead of the 45 minutes which the guide told us) Nice scenery and lots of good spots. I shot a lot of panorama’s and HDR images. And regardless of the extra time it took us we had a beautiful hike. (And junior had her backpack filled with nice rocks she wanted to add to her collection.) ‘El Chorro’ is a small village that is know for the gorge that has been dammed in 1920. Famous for its dangerous walkway which at the moment is only accessible by experienced climbers. The whole area has some nice views and was worth a visit. We also visited the area around Ronda a wonderful medieval ‘white’ city from the Moorish period, and we ‘discovered’ a old castle ruin that was ‘somewhat’ accessible for the public. So click on the Photos to see the whole gallery. (there are two galleries (clicking here for the landscapes or here for the ruins))

Visiting a butterfly garden or a zoo is something we always like to see on our itinerary. While we were in Spain this summer we were lucky to be able to visit both. We went to Mariposario de Benalmadena, a nice butterfly parc that claims to be the largest in Europe but I doubt that. Nevertheless we were able to photograph some beautiful species. Most of the time I tried to capture (with my camera) the “Morpho peleides”. This seems to me one of the more difficult species to photograph. The top of its wings is blue but you will only be able to see that while it is flying. (Or when he just lands or takes off) It took me a while to get the shot you see here. Unfortunately its not tag sharp but I will keep trying in any future butterfly garden. We also went to Selwo Marina, a marine parc with sea lions and dolphins. A beautiful show but for the rest it was just an average parc. Bioparc Fuengirola on the other hand was a wonderful zoo. They had beautiful tigers and many other animals all worth to photograph and the whole parc looked spic ‘n span. The area where they kept the tigers was very nice arranged, and gave ‘the photographer’ nice opportunities for even better shots. Click here to see the other photo’s.

The Alhambra, or officially “Al Calat Alhambra” – The red fortress. A beautiful Moorish fortress/palace-city located in Andalusia (Spain). We went there on our last travel and we were lucky that we were able to purchase entrance tickets (we did not realize we had to reserve them upfront due to the limitations of the number of visitors per day by Unesco World Heritage). We did the whole tour, so that includes Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife, Palace of Charles V and the Bath of the Mosque. We walked 5 kilometers, and what really surprised me was that our 3 years old daughter Nicki almost did the whole walk on her own, trying to spot princesses and knights in shining armor. I have to say; “What a wonderful place!” we walked around looking left and right, not knowing what to photograph. I tried to prepare before we left the hotel. And oh man what did I feel like an amateur when I discovered that I misplaced my 24-70mm lens. By doing so I left it in the hotel safe and brought my 100mm Macro lens instead. What a bummer. So all photos were taken with my DSLR were with the 16-35mm lens. The other photos were shot with my G12 so I was lucky we brought that one as well. But a good lesson for future trips. With the Canon 5D mark II is shot mostly HDR images, and a few panorama’s (and a few with a little bit of both) For me the Alhambra was the ideal place to use HDR. The warm colors and the many shadows were the perfect setting to experiment with the high dynamic range technic. Just check the gallery and see for yourself.