The End Of Year Season On The Canary Islands

Now that most municipalities here are starting to take down their Christmas decorations, I feel it’s time to wrap up my end of year impressions from the Canary Islands.

Admittedly, I was really hoping to explore new Christmas markets.
I got disappointed.
There weren’t any.

But while I was looking for opportunities to spoil my palate with Quarkbällchen and Glühwein, I came across many colorful Christmas light decorations — even in the tiniest village you can imagine. Wherever you go end of December, beginning of January on the Canary Islands, a bright Feliz Navidad or Felices Fiestas will hit your eye, while small LEDs in star and ribbon shapes serve to illuminate the streets and popular promenades.

After New Year’s Day, Christmas usually seems faaar away for me. But not this year!

I was thrilled to finally discover something new in January. Christmas themed sand sculptures and La Cabalgata de Reyes Magos, the parade of the Three Kings that actually bring the presents. Not Santa!

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Weekend Wanderings: Sunset Hour At St Leu d’Esserent

Equipped with my brand new travel lens I headed out last weekend for a photo session in a small community in the French Oise region

What I like most about my new Sigma lens is its large zoom (18-300 mm). While one may argue that this results in lower light sensitivity and vignetting, I am intrigued by another bonus: the weight of my camera bag. I now can travel with one lens only and don’t need a complete set (which can be tedious to carry on some hikes).

What travel photographer type are you?
Do you take one or several lenses?
Do you take the time to exchange lenses on different locations?
And how much time do you take for post-processing your travel shots? (I am becoming more and more fan of working on my photos on my iPad using either Snapseed or Lightroom Mobile)

Anyhow, I am glad to announce that my new travel lens passed its first test in the narrow alleys of Saint Leu d’Esserent during the blue hour:

st-leu-desserent-street2st-leu-desserent-street st-leu-desserent-sunset3st-leu-desserent-abbey2 st-leu-desserent-abbey1st-leu-desserent-sunset st-leu-desserent-sunset2

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People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.
~ Carl R. Rogers

Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):
Canon EOS 60D, 70mm, ISO 100, F32, 30 sec., no filter, no flash.
Location: Darwin, Australia.

If you like this post please have a look at more Wise Words And Quotes In Images

One Year Weather Photography Over Rangitoto

Exactly one year ago, while updating my blog post “Sunrise Over Rangitoto”, I decided to keep on photographing the weather phenomenons over that volcanic island near Auckland – always from the same viewpoint. As of today, I created 37 panoramas over the past 12 months, all depicting some typical moments of a city by the sea. I uploaded them

  • as a collage with all photos in chronological order: photo 1 was taken in March 2013; the last photo in March 2014 (please click the collage to enlarge it)
  • as a gallery to browse all captures by theme: sunrise, cloudy, foggy, rainy, cloud free (please scroll past the collage for the gallery view)
weather-over-rangitoto-all Kopie

Weather over Rangitoto, Auckland, New Zealand (March 2013 – March 2014)

Click any photo below to open the gallery mode. Then browse by using the arrows to the right or left.

More Weather Photography!

2014: The Year Of The Horse – Auckland Celebrates

It was that time of the year again! Auckland lit up in red and gold while commemorating Chinese New Year in a spectacular way over the past 4 days.

The first Auckland Lantern Festival was held in 2000. Over the past 14 years, many new lanterns have been added and each year more and more non-Asian visitors are eagerly anticipating the event on the first full moon of the lunar year.

For the Year of the Horse festival last weekend, Albert Park was ablaze with light from 800 lanterns. Tens of thousands of visitors gathered and celebrated the festival that has been described as the “largest expression of friendship” between Auckland and the Chinese community, which by the way makes almost 10% of the city’s inhabitants (according to the 2013 Census results more than 112,000 Aucklanders are of Chinese heritage).

What to expect from the Year of the Horse?

Apparently it’s going to be wild! The horse is an extremely energetic zodiac sign. Even if you weren’t born in a year of the horse you can profit; we’ve been told that if we plan big changes in our lives, 2014 is the year to turn plans into reality.

Dang! We are curious now :-)

If you like this article you will also like 2013: The Year Of The Snake – Auckland Celebrates

Auckland Skyline: Photo Locations

Auckland Skyline

What would the Auckland skyline be without the Sky Tower? Well, there is actually an interesting piece from The New Zealand Herald allowing you to scroll over an interactive photo to look at Auckland’s skyline before and after the Sky Tower has been opened in 1997. But during the past 15 years it became hard to imagine New Zealand’s biggest town without its lanky landmark, which makes the skyline so much more interesting for photographers.

Photo forums are filled with the question where to get the best view over Auckland and which locations to visit for the best skyline pictures including the Sky Tower. I got curious myself. So I went out and explored some spots surrounding the city’s CBD. Here are my favourite skyline photos and Sky Tower facts (click on a photo to view it in large).

Some of these photo locations are actually worth being photographed themselves from the Sky Tower. At 220m above ground you can get a 360 degree view right across Auckland. Have a look at how impressive the Spaghetti Junction looks like from here. You can also try capturing the opening / closing Wynyard Crossing when ships are leaving the harbour or coming back from the sea.

I visited two more locations: Shelly Beach Road and Mount Eden. Both are good spots to have a view over Auckland City. Check out the two panoramas below to get an idea of the view. However, you need a very good zoom lens for both because the skyline is rather far away. Alternatively it could be worth trying a fish eye on Shelly Beach Road as it might allow you to capture the Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge in one photo.

All photos for this post have been taken with my 17-70mm lens.

Shelly Beach Road

On the Shelly Beach Road Bridge above the Northern Motorway

Mount Eden

View over Auckland from Mount Eden

I would be happy to test more Auckland skyline photo locations if you share them with me.

More Urban Photography!

Mount Eden Rush Hour

Since I am living close to Mount Eden in Auckland it is probably no big surprise that I like to spend my evenings there. I did so during the past three days in fact and captured some typical ‘rush hour moments’. Mount Eden’s busiest time of the day is without doubt the sunset hour (30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the sunset). However, I wasn’t too interested in the sky spectacle during the past three days, but hoped to document the different types of Eden visitors. Why? Because!

  • Walkers, enjoying the various paths across the cone
  • Workers, prefering a green environment to grey office walls
  • Photographers, marching up with all kinds of technology to get that one good sunset shot
  • Tourists, arriving in crammed buses starring like mesmerized towards the West
  • Runners, getting into competition with dogs and cyclists; all enjoying the cooler time of the day

And it is everyday the same procedure – no exceptions!

If you like this post check out Mount Eden Rush Hour 2