See where to go

See where to go


 Enhance your space

Enhance your space


See how I edit

See how I edit


Reading list

I mentioned before I like to listen to audiobooks while I take photos, and mostly while doing anything else. Especially if I put on noise canceling headphones (currently I use the Bose qc35) I can enjoy them so much better.

So what I am reading/listening to right now? I like to combine fiction with non-fioction, and switch based on the current mood. So for fiction, I’m currently getting through the second book in the The Themis Files series from Sylvain Neuvel. I listened to it before, but since the third book came as audiobook only recently, I want to get back into the full story first, before continuing. The whole series is a great sci-fi story, with the whole story being presented as a set of interviews with participants.

For non-fiction, I, currently reading two books. As I mentioned minimalism yesterday, I’m reading The Goodbye, Things from Fumio Sasaki. It does have some good ideas about the topic. Secondly, since I have not read any history books in a long while, I’m right in the middle of the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. This is a huge audiobook, with over 57 hours of audio. But it’s also very detailed and interesting. Worth the time spend to learn more about WW2.

So what’s next on my list? For fiction, I finally want to get through Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Have not seen the movie and I do prefer to read the book first if I can. For non-fiction I will go with Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed or Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Both seem intriguing and I think both are worth the time.

What are you listening to or reading? Feel free to leave a tip if you have a good one :)

Chained mountain at the Traunsee

Ok, it’s not really chained, but it does looks so a bit. This is another photo I took during my trip to Austria, to the Traunsee lake, in January this year (yes, this is in the middle of winter in the mountains :)). It was just so nice and sunny, even if not so warm. Traunsee is one of the many lakes in Austrian alps. Maybe not the most popular, but looks great anyway.

I used two separate techniques here. Fist, this photo is a long exposure. I used the Formatt Hitech 10 stop ND filter to get the water so perfectly smooth. Secondly, this is a focus blend. This means, I took a photo where I focused on the foreground and a second photo where I focused on the mountain in the back. Blending them was really easy, as the blend is in the middle of the blurred water, so it can be down with just little masking in Photoshop. More on focus blending here.

This is a blend of two exposures, done in Photoshop.

Chained mountain at the Traunsee, Traunkirchen, Austria

Less is more

Recently I have been very interested in simplifying, decluttering and even minimalism. I started with my working space, continued with my wardrobe and flat, and now it hit also this blog :) I will maybe write about it more sometimes later, but today I want to mention the blog part.

So as you may have noticed if you have been here before, there are few changes here :) My goal is to simplify and make the whole blog more cleaner. I want to remove all unnecessary stuff an make the visit to the blog more straight forward.

So first thing I did was to get rid of the sidebar. Like this it does not distract anymore from the blog content. I also merged the two menus into one, that is always present on the top. There you can find all the parts of the blog now. Additionally, without the sidebar, the images from now will be about 10% bigger. I’m not going any bigger, as that just does not look great on widescreen monitors.

Then I removed all (all probably almost all) unneeded page elements, like lines, dividers and similar. I plan to only use negative white space from now on. Also the full screen slideshows are gone, replaced with much more smaller ones, that once I also replace the images, should help with the loading screen of the whole blog.

I’m still tweaking the blog, so there will be more small changes here and there over the next days.

Dubai Marina in blue

Let’s go back to Dubai Marina in today’s daily photo. This one is from one of my favorite spots there, from the Palm Jumeirah. I of course had to use a longer lens to zoom in, as the city is not that close as it seems.

I also used the NISI natural night filter here. It made for some really nice colors in the city. If you are curious about it, check out this first impressions post about it.

This is a single exposure, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Dubai Marina in blue, Dubai, UAE

Missing comments

Here and there I randomly browse the blog, just to see if all is OK. And while doing that yesterday I noticed that on some pages the comments were not available. And of course that were the most popular pages on the whole blog. It took me a bit of searching for where the problem is, but now it all should be working again, and comments are available :)

Btw. if you are curious which are the most popular pages on the blog, there are Top photography spots in Amsterdam, Top photography spots in Dubai and followed closely by Top photography spots in Prague :).

Down to the rocks in Vernazza

I posted already two photos from Vernazza, but this third one is a bit different. For this one I did not include the town in the shot at all, and focused instead on the rocks formation at the shore in the port in front of the city.

I decided to do long exposures that day, as it was very sunny and not really that great for normal landscapes. This is of course after the forecast for the whole week I was there was rain and thunderstorms :)

For this shot I used the 12mm lens, to get as much of the foreground I could get. Then I used the NISI filter holder on it with the polarizing filter and a Formatt-Hittech 10 stop ND filter to get the long exposure. The polarizer was not used because of the sky, but to get rid of the reflection on the water. You can’t really polarize sky on a 12mm lens, as it would result in a very uneven colors.

This is a two exposure blend of a 15 second exposure as a base and a 30 second exposure to brighten few shadow areas. Edited in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop.

Down to the rocks in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Still doing bracketing?

As you may have noticed, a lot of my recent photos are no longer created from multiple exposures. So you may wonder if I still bracket my shots. And the answer is simple. Yes I do. Even if I don’t use them in the end, the storage is cheap, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I rather have an extra exposure I don’t need, than having a situation where I need one and I don’t have it.

So why I don’t use them? I mostly don’t need to. I still could blend multiple exposures for every image, but with the recent sensors, I get enough from a single exposure. I just don’t feel the need to do blend anymore. Cameras and editing software are good enough for the results I want :)

The huge sun at the horizon

The huge sun at the horizonAnd today’s photo shows what I mean. It’s a sunrise shot, with the sun in it, and still I used only one exposure. You can check out the original shot on the side here and yes, it is very dark.

There are multiple reasons to do it this was. First, I was taking this shot handheld. I would prefer to not, but if you ever been on the Burj Khalifa observatory, you would have seen that the slits in the windows are very slim. And since I used the 12mm lens, I could not get close enough to the glass with the tripod. So having the shot dark, makes it much easier to handhold it, as I used a shorter exposure here.

Secondly, you can recover much more from shadows than from highlights in RAW files. So keeping a shot like this darker makes it easier to post-process.

But as you can see, I could recover the detail from the shadows and I did not need a second exposure here. But, if I had one, I would use it, as that would result in a bit cleaner image.

The huge sun at the horizon, Dubai, UAE

Golden hour in Manarola

Let’s continue with another photo from Cinque Terre area in Italy. This one is for a change from a second town there, the town of Manarola. If you seen a photo from there, you probably seen a view like this before. It’s quite popular spot with photographers, and even the evening I was there, there were at least 10 other ones there.

To get a bit different shot, for this one I decided to go wide and with a vertorama. The clouds were great, even with the sunset behind me. Actually that day I had the best sunset there, and of course it was the day I was not shooting into it. What can you do :).

This photo I took during the golden hour, when the sunlight hit the town and make it look nice and golden. This is a two shot vertorama taken using the 17m TSE lens, combined in Lightroom, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Golden hour in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
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