The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was completed in 2007 and can hold over 41 thousand people at the same time. It truly is an amazing architectural sight to behold, so if you’re in or around Abu Dhabi (a layover perhaps — you’ll need at least 4 hours to get there and back in time for your next flight) make sure to visit it. This shot (here’s another) was taken on our way back from our trip to the Seychelles, and since we had close to 7 hours at our disposal…
I took this shot back in 2009 when visiting in Las Vegas for NAB from the top of Paris Las Vegas. It’s one of many shots, but this was the moment that I had been waiting for — the sky filled out beautifully with what was left of the sunset, while being pushed out by the impending night.
Shot with Canon 50D + Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L — f/5.6, 1/10, ISO 800 @ 16 mm.
Taking this shot at sunrise turned out to be a bad idea. I quickly found that most of the beaches in the Seychelles have sand flies, to which I am slightly allergic. They’re mostly active at sunrise and sunset, and they seemed to have a taken a liking to my smell/blood, which meant that I returned with over 20 bites. The itching started a few hours later and it was torture — much worse than a typical european mosquito
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/400 s, ISO 100.
I took this photo on the day we arrived in Agra, a day before we went to see the fantastic Taj Mahal — we caught a taxi at the train station and asked him to take us to our hotel, which was around 1.5 km away from the aforementioned landmark. Unfortunately, the driver had no clue where our hotel was and as it turned out, it wasn’t where Google said it was. We found it half an hour later, not more than 300 metres from the Taj Mahal entrance gate, in an electric-vehicle-only zone. As we walked to check in to the hotel (calling it that is a stretch), I saw a rickshaw driver taking a nap under a tree — he struck my emotions, obviously exhausted from working in the heat of the day.
Shot with Nikon D700 + Nikkor 35 mm f/2D: f/2, 1/4000, ISO 200.
My winter trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp located in Oświęcim, Poland was a spontaneous one. It was also my first visit there and 13 years later I can still remember everything that I felt. Just a few minutes in, I was overcome by the depth of the tragic events that occurred there, as if the people felled on the grounds of the camp were still watching and making sure such events never take place in the world again. It was an acutely sobering experience.
Shot with Canon 10D + EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L: f/8, 1/640 s, ISO 100 @ 70 mm.
We had the good fortune to be able to see the rock archways at Legzira Beach in Morocco before they collapsed in September 2016. This photo was taken in May 2015 and the weather was horrible on that day — windy and very chilly.
Shot with Fuji X100T: f/8, 1/680 s, ISO 400.
This photo was taken from the Castle of Bodrum, which has a fantastic view of the city, marina, and bay from its walls. Unfortunately, it closes early, so sunset shots are out of the question at the time of year this was taken (September, 2017). If you’re ever in Bodrum, make sure to spend a few hours touring the castle.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/200 s, ISO 100.
When travelling around Calabria in December 2017, we happened upon the small city of Scilla, which stole my heart away. If you’re ever even remotely close to it, make sure to spend a day there. Don’t forget to have an espresso on the promenade!
Shot with Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planer T*: f/2, 1/160 s, ISO 100.
I took the iPhone X to Finland and got a few good shots from it, despite the extreme cold (it did not turn off in temperatures below -20° C). The one above is from our trip back to the airport in Rovaniemi, taken an hour or so after sunrise, with the 56 mm lens. I didn’t shoot RAW — this is a JPG straight from the iPhone with the Photos’ Vivid filter applied.
Shot with iPhone X @ 56 mm: f/2.4, 1/883 s, ISO 16.
I spent a few days in Lapland, Finland towards the end of 2017 — I believe this was the third time I was there now — and I still can’t get used to the fact that the sun barely rises above the horizon in the winter. If there was less cloud cover, it would light up the sky like in the shot above all day long (a few hours in this case).
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/60 s, ISO 250.
Despite knowing how trusting the squirrels in Royal Łazienki Park in Warsaw are, I’m still surprised every single time they decide to not wait for people to bend down to feed the and instead shorten the distance to their favourite delicacy.
Shot with Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planer T*: f/2, 1/160 s, ISO 1250.
The squirrels in the Royal Łazienki Park in Warsaw are probably the most adorable creatures I have ever seen. Since it’s winter, they’re currently collecting as many nuts as they can, storing them for later by burying them in the ground, and only eating a few. If you happen to have a few with you (they love hazelnuts in particular), you’re in luck — they will literally eat out of your hand.
Shot with Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planer T*: f/2, 1/100 s, ISO 200.
I published a technically flawed shot of the Santuario di Santa Maria dell’Isola a few weeks ago, but I just loved the storm in the background, with eight or nine lightning strikes visible (you have to zoom in). This photo was taken one and a half hours earlier, on the same day, before the storm began.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 13 s, ISO 100.
We spent these last few days in Italy, travelling between Lamezia Terme, Tropea, and Scilla — the surprisingly poor (for Italy) but beautiful region of Calabria. The weather wasn’t perfect, but we did get a few sunny days. I also finally had one of my dreams come true — to be right next to a storm, but just far enough to be out of the rain.
Setting up, I never thought I’d get the shot of the storm that started brewing during our dinner in one of the many small restaurants in the old part of Tropea… It’s not perfect, unfortunately — the bright light shining on the island itself is blown — but at the time I was certain there would be enough latitude in the RAW files, to save that part. I was wrong — lesson learned.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/4.5, 30 s, ISO 100.
I took this shot while traveling in Norway, on the Flåmsbana between Myrdal and Flåm — a trip well worth taking. The trip itself, called Norway in a Nutshell, starts and ends in Bergen — it includes two train rides via Myrdal to Flåm, a cruise down two fiords to Gundvangen, a scenic bus trip back up to Voss, and another train back to Bergen. It’s not cheap, but make sure to save some money to get the tickets — the views are breathtaking.
Shot with Fuji X100T: f/2, 1/400 s, ISO 400.
I was hoping to get a good shot of Warsaw’s city centre on the return flight from Turkey and I started to have my doubts on the approach, still a good fifty kilometres out — the plane was facing the wrong way and the light was terrible. Luckily for me, we did finally swing around so that my seat was facing north, towards the city. Nothing’s perfect however — my seat was a little too far back, the wing blocked some of the view, and the air was rather dirty1. I do love how the sky lit up in the last moments before landing — this was something I wasn’t expecting.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/2.8, 1/60, ISO 400.
- Smog season is starting early this year. ↩
While sightseeing around the marina in Bodrum, I saw this cute cat, lying down in front of a Harley-Davidson (or whatever it was). The bike’s owner was just getting ready to ride off, but the cat was in the way. Even after a huge roar from the engine, it didn’t budge.
Arrogant? Definitely. Very trusting though.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/2.2, 1/6000 s, ISO 100.
I finally found the time to finish the edit of all of my GoPro diving footage. This video shows the most interesting scenes from two dives, around St Pierre and Ave Marie dive sites, which are close to Praslin and La Digue. Hope you like it!
We had a 7-hour layover in Abu Dhabi, on our way back from the Seychelles, so naturally, we had to go see the city, with the Sheikh Zayed Mosque being our first stop. I still remember when I first saw the city over 30 years ago, basically, a village in the desert — the contrast is amazing — but this place of religion is simply stunning to behold.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/6.3, 119 s, ISO 100.
I waited 18 days and 18 nights to get this shot. I was planning to do a lot of night sky photography before arriving on Mahé and Praslin, but unfortunately, my plans were for nought. Firstly, the full moon was a huge problem — it was bright enough to cast a shadow. Secondly, the night sky was almost always covered with clouds, which usually dispersed in the morning. Lastly, there is a surprising amount of light pollution on the island — I did not expect this at all.
The shot above is unfortunately far from perfect — you can see one of the ends of the Milky Way on it. Had I waited for the centre of the Milky Way to rise above the horizon, the bright moon would have joined it, ruining the shot. Hope you like it nonetheless.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/2.8, 15 s, ISO 3200.
While I consider the beach on Curieuse island to be the most beautiful in the world1, there is one in the southwestern part of Mahé — Anse Intendance, home of The Banyan Tree — that comes in second place. Absolutely stunning.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/640 s, ISO 100.
- I haven’t seen all of them, so take that with a grain of salt. ↩
Having spent two weeks over here, I have been fortunate enough to see many beaches on the islands of Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, and Curieuse. All of them are beautiful in their own way, but the southern beach on the last of the aforementioned islands is my favourite — calm and peaceful, with crystal clear waters, lazy and colourful fish… It’s as close to perfect as I could imagine.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/640 s, ISO 100.
Giant tortoises can be found on two islands (that I know of) in the Seychelles — on La Digue in a closed off park and running wild (not the perfect phrasing, but you know what I mean) on the small island of Curieuse. They can be fed with various leaves and other shrubs that grow on the island and are quiet friendly. Just don’t put your fingers in their mouths — they will bite it (off?).
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/2.8, 1/800 s, ISO 100.
We took the scenic route through one of mountain passes on Mahé today, the one second closest to the capital city of Victoria. Since my Sony FE 28 mm wasn’t wide enough to capture the scene above, I decided to try to make a panorama, consisting of 12 individual shots. It came out better than I expected and has around 102 MP after cropping.
Since the JPG at full resolution weighs in at almost 100 MB, you can view the original on 500px. I also posted a 100% crop after the break below.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/250 s, ISO 100. Total of 12 shots.
The biggest culinary difference between Martinique and Mahé are the many takeaway restaurants on the latter island. While we had to settle for expensive restaurants or our own cooking on our previous trip, the Seychelles (Mahé especially) have many small places with awesome Creole and Indian cuisine.
I am currently traveling and away from all forms of communication, which I have come to consider ubiquitous. I was a bit surprised that connecting to the internet is no simple task over here, despite me being in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I did however want to share this amazing sunrise — one of many — to which we awoke a few days ago. The beauty of this place is that the sun and sky give a unique and equally grand performance every single day.
Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/10, 30 s, ISO 100.
This is probably the most fantastic architectural marvel I have ever seen. Its sheer size is truly breathtaking, while the design details in the inlaid marble are exquisite.
Shot with Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24 mm f/2.8G: f/8, 1/320, ISO 200.
The Lotus Temple is a place where everyone is welcome, regardless of race or religion. The building itself was constructed in 1986, has a height of 35 metres, and a diameter of 70 metres. There are only nine Bahá’í Houses of Worship around the world.
Shot with Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100 mm f/2: f/11, 2.5 s, ISO 200.