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Top photography spots – Astana

I visited Astana in Kazakhstan last year, and thanks to a local guide I had the chance to visit many cool photo spots there. And with the tradition of my other Top Photography spots lists, here is a lit of the ones I liked, with a bit of description and their GPS locations. So here goes :)

Btw. in all this spots it’s fine to use a tripod.

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

Baiterek Tower

Let’s start right at the center. The Baiterek tower looks great, even if it’s a bit harder to take photos of, as it’s really bright. There is a big park around it, so you can just walk around until you find the view you like the best. You can even go up the tower, but I skipped that. No outside platform means no really good viewpoint from the top. But you my enjoy it :)

Fountains in the center

Not far from the Baiterek tower, you can get to a nice city park with big fountains and flower beds. The tower is well visible from here, so you can use it as a background subject while taking photos here. hey turn off the lights late at night, so be there earlier if you want them to be colorful.

If you walk further away from the Baiterek tower, you will get to the Presidential Palace. But while it looks great, that’s the only spot in the city where I was stopped by a guard and asked not to take photos.

EXPO 2017 Sphere building

This is just such a unique building that you should just not miss. Looks good from all sides, especially in the evening. Since there are light on top and also inside that change and animate all the time, you can get a different photo just by waiting for few minutes. The overall area is quite interesting, and there is also this crazy sculpture right behind it.

Walkway next to Ishim River

There are quite few photo oportunities here. There are two bridge, with the new pedestrian one just looking great for some minimalist architecture photos (I don’t have a photo here, during my visit it was right before competition, and so it was not accessible yet). The other bridge, makes for a really nice curve and looks quite unique too. It also light’s up in the evening. There is also and amphitheater on the path that makes for a perfect reflection photo.

The GPS location is the one right in front of the amphitheater.

Road bridge in the center

Don’t skip this spot. As the road crosses through the city center there a bridge there. And the view towards both sides is just great. Many fountains and interesting architecture to behold. The bridge is short, so it does not shake that much and there is also a statue right in the middle of one of the walkways.

Horses at the Opera

Let’s finish this list with something a bit different. At the opera house you will find these golden horses statues. It really is something different compared to all the other photo spots I shared here. And they just look great :)

There are of course even more spots one should visit there, so I plan to go back too :)

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

Light tunnel in the morning

I still don’t know if this was a permanent light installation, or there was an event that this light tunnel was in Astana, Kazakhstan. But I noticed it while passing by, as my hotel was close by. And it was on the whole night. So one morning I decided to go to it to take few photos. I went there around 5 in the morning. I edited photos through the night, so I was up anyway :) As you can see, it rained beforehand, so I had some nice puddle to work with there. I put my tripod as low as it could go, and too this photo.

This is a two shot vertorama, edited in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop.

Light tunnel in the morning

Thematic Pavilion II

I still have a lot of unedited photos from Astana in Kazakhstan. While I was there only few days, and it rained most of the time, I still managed (thanks to a great local guide) to take many photos. It was also my first time there, and usually when I visit a city for the first time, I take much more photos than normally. I just want to capture everything :)

I took this photo in the Expo 2017 Area, behind the Sphere building there. It started raining quite heavily, and I still wanted to take photos. But I was limited in my lenses, as for instance the 12mm or the 17TSE I use are not weather sealed, so could not use those. I had to stick with the 24-70 and the 16-35 from Canon.

For this photo, I actually stood under a crazy looking roof. You can see it’s reflection on the right side. The whole complex is looking very organic and quite abstract. But it hid me from the rain for a bit :)

This is a three exposure blend, edited in Photoshop.

Thematic Pavilion II, Astana, Kazakhstan

Framed shot from the Dubai Marina

Quite randomly, here is another framed photo from Dubai. This one was actually taken from the flat we stayed in while there. I personally prefer AirBnb to hotels (not that I did not stay a lot in those too :)), as usually I get better price, and most of all, better location. And that’s really important for me.

So this was the view from the apartment. And as the owner of it said, it was much better before, but then they build another skyscraper right next to it. But that’s the risk of having a flat in such a location.

This is a three shot HDR created in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop. Most of editing was just to get rid of light reflections, as it was taken through a thick glass window.

Framed shot from the Dubai Marina

Fish-eye frame

I don’t take that many fish-eye photos. Probably it’s because I don’t carry the fish-eye lens with me that often. Actually I usually carry only three lenses with me. A 24-70, a 17 TSE and a 12mm. I like wide views so this are my go to lenses. All other I carry only when I have a specific photo in mind.

I Dubai I had the fish-eye, but only because a friend wanted to try it out. But I still took few photos, like this one in the middle of the Jumeirah lake towers. I tried to create a frame around the center of the photo by using part of the balcony and the nearby skyscraper around the edges of the shot.

This is a blend of three photos, done in Photoshop.

Fish-eye frame
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