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:

More Surface Pro wallpapers

For today I have for you an update for for the Wallpapers page with few new wallpapers specially formatted for the Surface pro. Seems these are quite popular :)

New wallpapers

Download them all from the wallpapers page here.




My favorites

It’s hard to believe, but it has been almost 9 years since I started this blog in early 2010. I never though that I would keep it going for so long. Still, I’m very glad I started it. It’s almost like keeping a diary. From time to time I like to just look through random part of it, remembering all the places I had the pleasure to visit.

2018 is slowly ending, so it’s time to look back a bit. It was a good year. I traveled a lot, took many photos, seen many place. Maybe not the best, since I was plagued a bit by health issues, that I just could not shake quickly. But at least my goal to loose some extra weight worked out, and that’s off my to-do list :) No big plans for 2019 yet, I will just go with the flow.

As every year, I would like to share with you my favorite updates from 2018. You may notice that again a lot of them are panoramas. Same as last year, I like them more and more each day :)

Also here you can see my favorites from past years: 2017,2016,2015, 2014, 2013, 20122011 and 2010 :)

My favorites from 2018

My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018

Merry Christmas

I hope all of you have a great day, if you celebrate Christmas or if you don’t. And I also hope you have a bit of Winter where you are, as there is none in Bratislava. But at least it stopped raining :)

And here are few Christmas photos I took over the last years, to make the site look a bit festive :)

Double processing

With yesterday’s photo I mentioned that I used double processing, where I edited the photo twice and then blended the results. And I thought I show more about that. So today I will show you how exactly I edited that photo. So here goes.

First since it is a panorama I combined the shots together in Lightroom. As you can see the result, the photo is a bit bland. That normal, as it’s an undeveloped RAW file. They tend to be quite bland.

Double processing

I started with the first edit. Changed the white balance to make a more warmer photo, opened the shadows, darkened the highlights and added more vibrance. As you can see, the result was already quite nice. But since the lighthouse is white, the tweaks to highlights and shadows made it look dirty and too dark.

Double processing

So here where the second edit comes in. First I exported this one into Photoshop of course. For the second one I focused only on how the lighthouse looks. I removed the highlights and shadow tweaks, and I added exposure until the lighthouse was as bright I as I wanted it to be. As you can see this edit is really overexposed in most areas, but that’s not a problem as it will be blended into the first one.

Double processing

So when I had both, I opened both in layers, hidden the brighter one, used the want tool to select the sky, inverted the selection and painted over the lighthouse. Then I finished it with tweaking the opacity of the second layer, so it nicely matches the background.

Double processing

You can see the resulting photo in this post.

And that’s it :) You can do as many edits of a photo you want and then just blend them like this afterwards. In HDR this is used when doing a single RAW HDR, when you create multiple version of the same photo by under and over exposing it, so creating the other brackets needed. But that a quite ineffective approach. Rather edit the shot by focusing on the result you already want, but in just a selection of it.

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