Friday, April 30, 2010

hazy sea


inevitable long exposure shot. eight seconds exposure, aperture - also eight. at this time the artificial light starts to show close to the water edge, giving it reddish tink

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Light evening on Lanzarote

light evening

I just love the way wet sand reflects, especially when the tide is out and there is a large expanse of the beach covered in just a small film of water.

I did some balancing betwen the top of the pic (tends to go light) and the bottom, but not too much

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

kids on Fuerteventura


since we had one whole week to spare, one of those extra days we went to Fuerteventura on a sea ferry. It was not cheap - with discount that car rental company* gave us, return for a car and four passengers was over hundred euro. Apparently, passengers cost quite a lot - return for a passenger only and no discount was 33 euro.

anyway, it was worth it. Fuerteventura may be not as cozy as Lanzarote, but the white sand beaches there are absolutely beautiful.

* - btw, unbelievably cheap car rental from cabrera medina, 20 euros per day for Opel Meriva, fully insured, no excess. That was a special offer, but it'll be still cheap without. I am sure that I would not find anything cheaper if I looked for car rental via web beforehand, but I am too lazy to go and check now. Hiring while there is easy, just have your license with you (I forgot mine last time!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

house number ten


we found this old house in El Golfo - village where you come to eat seafood. I am not sure if anybody ever lived in it, or it was abandoned at the construction stage, but it looked very picturesque, what will grungy walls and blue sky and bindweed flowers below it

Village itself is very small - one main street with a few cul-de-sacs off it. Its restaurants (apparently raison d'ĂȘtre) were nicely positioned and served good food, but charged more than elsewhere - specifically for the location, I guess.

The road to the village is in good condition, but quite curvy as it follows the coast. There is a picture of the road here, so you can see fr yourself.

Apart from the restaurants and black volcanic sand beaches there is one more sight to see there, but having seen it I am not sure it was worth it - Charco de los Clicos. What you see if you follow the link is exactly what it is - a shallow strangely colored pond on black volcanic sand. If you do want to see it, I would advise to go to the village itself, park in the first carpark on the left, and walk about 100-150 meters. You will get a good view of it from a high-up point. If you follow the sign on the road instead, you will come to it on the same level and will get a worse view. It appears you can't come right up to the pond itself anyway - there is some sort of barrier, just about visible in the picture.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pimientos de Padron


Those small green peppers, fried and salted with coarse (sea)salt, make at excellent starter or snack. Actually, this picture is to (hopefully) catch your attention, I just wanted to mention a couple food-related observations.

First - the best value for money for good quality authentic food on Lanzarote we found in Bodega Rubicon, In La Geria wine-making region. I will post some photos of this very odd place later. I can't comment on the quality of their wine, their main produce, since I was the driver, but their small restaurant served us an excellent meal.

Second, long overdue mention - small restaurant Ureka (yes, not Eureka) in Santa Ponsa, Mallorca, where I tried those peppers first. It is a small place, and you find it at the end of the row of restaurants as you go from the beach toward the marina, somewhere here, maybe a little to the right, but on the same street. They serve excellent-value, simple but tasty food, like whole baked local fish and those peppers.

PS - and we bought a packet of those pepper seeds, so I will have a go growing them here

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Panasonic Lumix FT11 - underwater test

This small video was shot with Kirill's camera Panasonic Lumix FT11, which is supposed to work without extra underwater case up (or down?) to the depth of 10 feet. Camera is not new (was bought last summer), but it is worrying to plunge it straight into water, so we never did that before. It did work, as you can see, but there are some problems.

When you put camera in the water, LC display doesn't show much - when my face was out of the water and the camera in, display looked silver and that was it. Kirill tells me he couldn't see much on it when both camera and he were in the water. Viewfinder in this conditions is somewhat useless also.

So I ended up laying on the poolside, holding camera in the water and pointing in the general direction of my model, which worked :) But obviously, if you want to film something a lot smaller, and faster moving (like a fish), being unable to see what you are doing is a bit problematic.

After the underwater session all on-camera controls, apart from the "on/off" button one were not working for a while. Camera had to dry for a few hours before everything went back to normal

Watch in HD, I think the quality is reasonably good

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lanzarote sunset again


we are back from Lanzarote, arrived today in small hours.

looks like we got off really easy with airspace closure, although not inexpensive - extra holiday week did cost something, of course. but we didn't stand in long airport queues (apart from one instance), and didn't spend any time sleeping on the floor anywhere, and didn't have to cross half Europe on coach, train or foot.

our short and not very interesting story was that on the day the airspace closed - 15 April - we were supposed to fly back to the uk. I switched on the tv to check if my watch was correctly set and saw the news. Only Kirill went to the airport then, and, luckily, by the time he got to the desk, all the weird flying options ("you fly to Madrid, then take a donkey to Barcelona and fly from there...") for the nearest days were exhausted, so he had to take tickets for exactly week later - a bunch of them just became available, as people who were due to fly to Lanzarote on that day for a week cancelled the whole thing.

So we stayed for another week and flew back on the second day it became possible - which may well be the best scenario

Unexpected bonus was that when I was taking car out of Luton airport,I was fully prepared to pay a fortune for an extra week. Incredibly, they apparently waived the charges - when ticket was inserted, the barrier was raised and off I went. But maybe there was some glitch and they'll be in touch with coupla thousand bill, who knows.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

smoky orchid


so far my attempt to follow any of the tutorials on "how to make a smoke brush" in illustrator failed. so I've made up my own brush. maybe not very smoky, but it came out a lot better than some earlier ones.

I think I need to continue in that direction, but some of my earlier pictures, outlined in that brush, look kind of interesting. here is one

Saturday, April 03, 2010

calla lily


well, another day - another bit of maybe not so useless info.
I always though that "calla lily" is the same as "calla". Not at all! Apparently (according to wikipedia), correct name of what you see it the picture is Zantedeschia. It is commonly called "Calla", and a few other things, but _real_ callas are related, but quite different plants.

well, I dunno. I've just annotated a batch of pictures of them, and none of the descriptions included that "Zantedeschia" nonsense. I think I will leave it as it is

Friday, April 02, 2010

smoke again


I did smoke photography before, but always with sideways sunshine for light (very weather-dependent, obviously). with this tutorial, it's almost ridiculously easy to produce good quality pics with flashgun (not weather dependent at all). Why I never thought about it myself, I don't know

another nice example here