Monday, April 27, 2009

Brecon Mountains

Just back from Tel Aviv I left the next morning for Wales with two of my old (increasingly old) uni friends. We see each other reasonably often and used to go for drinking weekends once or twice a year but as we get older we have started to add a little activity into our drinking. This was slightly on the extreme side but it was a great weekend, in the end we walked over 20 miles (some 35km) and climbed well over 2000 feet (600m). The most painful part was the very uneven surface so our feet felt like we'd been run over by a large truck. The weather looks good in the photos but I didn't take a single photo for the first two hours, that was during the 45knt wind, sleet and hail.

Looking back over the ridge we'd walked along.

Simon Riggs (left) and Steve Miller stopping to admire the view during a brief spell of sunshine.

I think the question was "should we crack on or call it a day?"

Simon (left) and Steve (right) with a couple of crazy mountain bikers in the background, why they weren't freezing solid I don't know.

Brace yourself for another shower... On the way down, just 12 miles to go.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tel Aviv

Well I'm out in Tel Aviv doing a little bit of work but I had Saturday off (The Sabbath as it's known locally) and walked from my hotel down to Jaffa, the old part of the City. Of course there's a lot of history I'm missing out but suffice to say Jaffa and old Tel Aviv are like any old city, lots of small twisty/windy roads, quaint little restaurants, galleries and shops, not to mention the odd mosque, synagogue and several orthodox churches, what history!

Well, it was the Sabbeth! The beach was buzzing with people but this was the only chap I saw praying, I think he'd picked a good spot.

This was 125th at f5.6 (ISO 100), a polarizer at 24mm on my 16-35 f2.8L II (1Ds Mk III)

I'm not sure how old this is, most of the informative writing was in Hebrew and I can't even tell you the first letter of the alphabet, I liked the striking silhouette against the blue sky (which I subsequently converted to grey).

250th at f8 (ISO 100), a polarizer at 65mm on my 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

Just metres from the previous shot, this was a building site where they were obviously keeping the facade, again the beautiful blue sky seems to contrast the pale yellow walls.

125th at f8 (ISO 100), a polarizer at 45mm on the 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

Again just metres from the previous image, a view down one of the streets...

60th at f4.5 (ISO 200), a polarizer at 55mm on the 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

I couldn't resist this, the sun was just out of the shot but it stood out nicely.

640th at f11 (ISO 200), a polarizer at 105mm on the 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

One of the Minerette towers, below it a Kosher restaurant and a rather nice VW beetle in Israeli colours parked out side.

200th at f10 (ISO 100), a polarizer at 28mm on the 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

I love the texture of wood in B&W.

320th at f8 (ISO 400), a polarizer at 99mm on the 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

After a quick bite to eat I took this during the walk back to the hotel, the long white sandy beach front to Tel Aviv is full of people playing ball games, jogging and sun-bathing, there are not many cities in the world that have this sort of playground on their doorstep.

50th at f5 (ISO 100), at 24mm on the 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

Finally looking back at the port of Jaffa as I wondered back to my hotel in the twilight.

2.5 secs at f11 (ISO 100), at 70mm on the 24-105 f4L (1Ds Mk III)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A very warm Easter

It's been one of the warmest Easters I can remember, admittedly I'm not in England but I'm not that far away in Alsace and it's been well into the mid 20Cs (high 70s F). I've got three photos below, the first was taken late on Thursday afternoon (9th April 2009), the exposure was 1 second at f22 on my 16-35mm 2.8L II at 23mm. I don't usually shoot at f22 as diffraction starts to degrade the quality of the image but I needed the one second exposure. All three were using a 1Ds MkIII.

The second was taken near to the top of Monte Ste Odile, we were walking in the forest very close to where an Airbus A320 crashed in January 1992, many of the 87 victims died of cold in the 4 hours it took to find them dense forest. We saw the site itself which is well marked with a monument to the victims, it's strange to stand on the site of a major plane crash. The area also has an ancient Roman wall some 10km long called the "Mur Paien".

Finally a local lake, the Helmbacher in Benfeld, we often take the children swimming here in the summer, I'm sure the ice only recently melted but my boys were up to their shorts in the freezing water. This was a one minute exposure at f5.6 in infrared (hoya 72R) about 30 minutes before sunset. This was with my 24-105 f4L at 32mm. I would have preferred my 16-35mm lens but I still can't find an 82mm IR filter for that lens.