El Teide under the snow
I’m currently more or less under a strict schedule when it comes to my time. This means I dedicate mostly weekdays to push forward on my aspirations such as (fully) picking up iOS development again and becoming comfortable with programming interview questions. But, there are a couple of things I did allow myself to creep into that schedule, like photography, driving, and photography. Not necessarily in that order.
The last time one of the most iconic views of the Canary Islands and Spain in general got completely covered in snow was in February of 2012. I was here with you at the time, but not into photography in DSLR format. Snow came again this February, but my schedule wasn’t exactly ready to take a 1-day hit like that, so I stayed at home. However, this very same month (yeah… like nothing’s been happening this month, and more) it happened again. And even though I was promised it’d happen again, I didn’t take the chance and went.
How NOT TO post-process a photo (HDR)
Okay, so we’re again back in the photography world, and I want to keep going. There’s still so much photography work waiting for me in the back-burner, but I feel this is a lesson I should share, too. As you can see above this post’s cover picture isn’t anything to talk at home about; it’s just plain boring. However, for me this building is nothing but boring: it’s the building that’s provided me a shelter in which to comfortably study and work time, and time again. And back in September (yes, September) I already knew I wanted to dedicate a special picture to it, so I decided one day I’d go early, park the car near the entrance (see the cars on the right?), and when the light got low enough, come out, keep my books in the boot and start taking pictures. How innocent of me.
Pyramid at (Fake) Sunset
I thought about working on this picture out of the blue, quite literally. It’s one of those pristine RAW shots I keep from the trip I took to SF for Google I/O 2011 (with the camera I can now call my own) from a time I knew next to almost nothing about photography. I took this one stopping right on my tracks during a zebra crossing and looking right to face this icon. It’s one of those pictures that has really stood out for me out of all the shots I took back then, and it suddenly hit me that I could do something about it.
Formula One rolls out of the door
You wouldn’t normally expect me to be talking about Formula One, and much less, you’d expect to see me posting a video here about Red Bull Racing, the team that won both World Championships against Ferrari and Fernando Alonso just a few months ago. Yet, even though the Scuderia posted a video on Friday of their beautiful new car, the F138, I have to give it to the boys and girls of Milton Keynes, who definitely made a much better video.
For someone who lives to work in the world of motorsports, I know these videos are nothing else than “business”; in other words, the kind of things they have to do to actually pay the bills of what they really love to do: build cars that go really really fast, cars that abide by the rules (or are not caught if they don’t), and most importantly, cars which are faster and cleverer than the competition’s. That’s what really drives this kind of people.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we just can’t sit and enjoy the show, right? Moreover, if Ferrari shot the pictures of the new F138 with a full suite of photographers armed with Canons and Nikons, Red Bull decided it wasn’t enough to just beat everyone else in the video department, but also in the cameras used for the promotion shots: medium-format Phase One cameras, people!!
Oh, I’m never going to have enough of this sport. When are you guys going to invite me to do some really good work for you? I bet I can make that new two-tone Ferrari colours shine better than anyone else ;)
I come with pictures!!! Haha. So here we are, beginning our new year, 2013. And since I’ve recently promised I wouldn’t skip so much this year and that the blog will be back with some technology and even some development stuff, I wanted to kick start things soon, instead of playing Final Fantasy VII.
Ending 2012 (Nikon 50mm f1.4g prime first impressions)
I’m not really sure whether I would’ve loved someone to tell me, when 2012 began, what I was going to go through in just 12 months. I guess you could say the year could be split into two halves, the half that went quickly and at the same time slowly, and the latter half, which has gone slowly, but at the same time feels like a blink. It kind of has to do with all of the things I lived through in these months; first six were all personal, later six were all about re-discovery, self-satisfaction and some key, major decisions taken.
You must have realized by now this blog started all well and fired up, until a rock hit somewhere in April slowing me down. Then we picked things up in the summer, and we went back down. On the second half of the year, it’s all been about photography, while on the first part, it was all technology. Going into 2013, I’d like to mix both things a lot more, but I have to admit I’d also like to get a third part in: development. I still believe this has been my most successful blog so far, because 2012 has shaped me in many ways, and I knew from the start personal blogging would have a big part in it. I needed to somehow rebuild myself in the second part of the year, and a small & humble Nikon D80 has been my anchor in that department.
Getting back to reading and re-discovering after many months what I really enjoyed about software development in these last few days has lifted the veil on what 2013 could end up being, no matter the outcome I’m pretty excited about it, and once again, I’ll be here letting you know what’s going on, whilst sharing my knowledge on technology as well as discovering my photography next to you.
The Queen visits Tenerife
It is not exactly every day when something a supermodel like the one pictured above comes to your hometown, and if you want to know, it’s not the first time she’s come to visit. Making the seas of the world her own since 2004, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is the British line’s flagship cruiser, carrying on the torch for the British ancestry of transoceanic ships. And in my opinion, it’s the most charismatic ship since White Star’s Titanic, which famously sunk in its first trip.
As I was saying, The Queen has visited my hometown of Santa Cruz de Tenerife multiple times now, including twice at the beginning of this year. However, the most special visit for me will perhaps be the one she performed during her inaugural voyage back in 2004, when the whole town came to the port and waved goodbye to this magnificent ship amongst some splendid fireworks.
38 Rally Isla Tenerife
Yup, I know it’s been a long, long, long time. The promise of slowly shifting to photography was that It’d be much easier to post, since it was all about sharing my thoughts and enhance my learning process on the subject of capturing the world through a DSLR lens and body. At least today, I come to you with more than just one shot.
The American House
After my previous shot, I was a bit scared about being a bit stuck using the same colours, since I have a couple of old shots I still have to edit and process that were also taken at dusk. I have a different kind of shot in the chamber, but it remains to be seen whether I can use it or not.
In any case, this shot came about yesterday when I was just driving around with a friend and I spotted this house to my right. He turned around, parked the car to the right of the picture, I took the tripod out (I picked up the tripod + camera in case, since we both love spending time on the road) and began my usual pilgrimage towards a new shot. This time, having revised a bit more of Trey Ratcliff’s HDR tutorials, I took a total of seven shots, from -3 to +3, and instead of feeding Photomatix Pro the RAW files, I exported them with Lightroom. The results were much different, since I also took Photomatix more into my hands and played a lot more with the sliders. I honestly like the result, and I believe that what makes the picture work is not the house but the sky, which was cloudy (I knew yesterday the moment I woke up that it was a good day to shoot because of this) with spots of blue.
You will find a few things interesting in this shot. First, the clouds aren’t very sharp. That’s because I didn’t sharpen them, and because I have to become a machine to actually get them to be sharp with my D80, since I did all the bracketing manually, which caused the clouds to move a lot more than if the camera had a bracketing feature allowing me to cover the -3 to +3 range. It’s all right; sharpening the sky is something I can try and improve; it’s not the camera’s fault by any means. Second, the picture is grainy, and that’s entirely my fault: I left Auto ISO On, so the shots that give color to the house were shot at 800 instead of 100 or 200 like some other bracketed shots. Lastly, the D80 did something quite remarkable through HDR post-processing, which is showing very clearly that the house was not painted even throughout its exterior; during post-process Photomatix was bumming me by always making a specific part of the house brighter than the rest (which is a problem, since our eyes are always directed to the brightest parts of a picture), and when I finished the picture, I realized why it was: there’s a section of the house, including its outer wall, that’s much better painted than the rest. I’m sure the house’s owners won’t be very happy about this fact upon laying their eyes on this picture, but then again, it was a house with a color and design beautiful enough that I asked my friend to stop the car and wait for me to capture this view.
And that’s quite something.
The Snowman at the Roundabout
The last time I published a new shot seems like a long time ago to me, but it’s actually a bit less than two Sundays. Time just flies.
I haven’t been sitting like a duck. In fact, I’ve shot quite possibly close to 200-300 shots in this time; not a number to sneeze at. I’ve also been working a lot on my queue of post-processing shots, and on Monday I just took up the chance to shoot a small icon all novice drivers are very familiar with in the island of Tenerife: the Snowman.