Windswept in Reykjavik

Windswept

One of the many buildings in Reykjavik, Iceland that are battered by the harsh weather there. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the sky here but it was quite cold when I took the photo. I think it was at the end of a short photowalk around the city centre when our fingers were numb with cold.

Aperture ƒ/13
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/400s

Marrakesh Rooftop City

Marrakesh Rooftops

A view of some nearby rooftops and a stunning sunset over Marrakesh, Morocco. In black and white I know, but I have a few more shots of the same sky coming! This was shot from Riad O2 in the city where Polldaddy recently stayed.

In the Medina many (most?) of the houses are jam packed in next to each other. We had to take a winding alley way from the main road to the building, going left, right, left, right, left (and maybe 2 more turns?) to get there. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

What’s Marrakesh like? The medina is the old fortified town which is where we were staying. You’ll be woken each morning by the Muslim call to prayers as there are loud speakers dotted around the city. Currently the first one starts around 5:30am so I hope you can get back to sleep afterwards! I wasn’t too fond of heading out in the city. It’s very busy, vehicles of all sorts zoom up and down the streets. Everything from motorbikes to carts pulled by donkeys will pass you by. There are no traffic lights in the medina either and footpaths disappear without warning, if they existed at all.

The food we ate there was excellent, both in the riad and outside. Well, except for the one night we decided to sample what was on offer in the plaza. What a mistake! For the same price you’ll get a top quality meal in a fancy restaurant elsewhere!

The hot air balloon guys were super friendly and I can recommend them, the locals taking care of us in the riad were too but out on the street was another matter. Talk to anyone and they’ll either lead you to a particular area of the souk or demand a tip for “showing” you the way.

If only we could get a bit of their sun here in Ireland right now. Go on clouds, let the sun through!

Oh yes, I may have to change the tagline on this blog. This photo was processed by Adobe Lightroom. It’s not Photoshop but it’s close. I used this preset on this photo but Lightroom is really impressing me. It’s ability to recover blown out detail is amazing, the noise reduction and sharpening tools are easy and effective. The one area it really falls down in is not being able to reassign keys. I fixed that by installing Paddy which let me assign hotkeys to my two main export presets.
I imported over 23k photos into a catalogue and it’s running nice and fast. The next thing to do is write a preset and assign a hotkey to import images from my CF card.

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/30s

A Berber Village in Morocco from the Air

Berber Village from the Air

A Berber village in a valley outside Marrakesh in Morocco. Another of the hot air balloon shots from Wednesday. It was so peaceful drifting overhead, we could hear animals calling and see people looking up. There were hardly any motorised vehicles at all. All those buildings, except for the mosque, were made of mud and straw. Look around you, how different is your life from theirs?

Aperture ƒ/10
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/200s

Hot Air Ballooning over Marrakech

Hot Air Ballooning over Marrakech

Yesterday brought the news that 19 tourists died in Egypt when their hot air balloon crashed. It almost made us rethink our activities today because we were planning to go up in a balloon here in Marrakech! The chance that our balloon would crash just because a balloon in Egypt crashed is minuscule. They’re unrelated events but I guess it was a reminder that the activity is not without risk. Many people did cancel their trips yesterday and our pilot thanked us for not doing the same.

It was a wonderful experience, spoiled slightly by the low hanging clouds but floating through the clouds was surreal for a few moments. Then the wind blew us towards Berber villages as we descended. People watched and children ran as we eventually came to ground. The wind had been carrying us towards the mountains and we’d pass above powerlines that snaked across the valley so the pilot took us down about 200 metres from those cables.

Definitely worth trying out!

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/1000s

The Fiery Sky

The Sun shone on the underside of the clouds this morning, lighting them up in a blaze of glory. Moments later the gloom had settled in, the Sun disappeared and an hour later the rain had started. Ah well.

Aperture ƒ/5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 180mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

Foggy Sunlight

Fog covers the village of Blarney at the merest hint of a calm chilly morning and today was no exception. These are the trees across the road from my son’s school.

Aperture ƒ/11
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 40mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/250s

No Hotel

Moore’s Hotel on Morrison’s Quay, a former hotel that is now up for rent. I’d never been in there when it was a hotel but did meet an interesting man who worked there. The woo was strong in that one!

Edit: mouse over the image. Trying to do a before and after thing. Do you like it?


Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 16mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s

Just a beautiful evening in San Diego

I arrived in San Diego a few hours ago and the first thing I noticed when I got into my hotel room was the amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. This doesn’t do it justice as the foreground is a little too dark but I wanted to get it uploaded with minimum fuss so here ya go!


Aperture ƒ/4.5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 24mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/30s