My Photography (78) — Paneláks, Wałbrzych, Poland, 2003

April 2, 2020 · 13:04

Now that I’m looking through all of my older DSLR photos, I can see how much work I put into experimenting with long exposures at various times of day — something which I avoided doing on film (I was too impatient to wait for the film to be developed and it wasn’t exactly cheap back then either, to just throw away 24 or 36 shots on a simple cityscape).

This shot above was taken in Wałbrzych, in southwestern Poland, presenting the wonderful architecture of paneláks1 (a word which I just learned today) and that white monstrosity, called a church by some.

Shot with Canon 300D + EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6: 18mm, f/3.5, 5s, ISO 100.

  1. In Poland, they are called “bloki” (blocks) or “wielka płyta” (the great panel).

My Photography (77) — University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland, 2003

April 1, 2020 · 14:24

This was one of my first proper long exposure shots ever. A DSLR made this so much easier, especially since small exposure corrections were so easy to do, at practically no cost — all I needed was some more space on my CF card. I was so proud of this photo at the time, that I actually went to a lab and had it transferred onto a slide. I later presented it to our local photography group and they couldn’t believe it was a digital photo. And it has only 6 MP at that, from a JPG (I hadn’t yet switch to RAW at this time)!

Shot with Canon 300D + EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6: 21mm, f/8, 5s, ISO 100.


My Photography (76) — Leo, Wrocław, Poland, 2003

March 31, 2020 · 11:23

I bought my first DSLR in 2003 — the Canon 300D with its EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens — and was amazed at the quality of the shots it took. This was one of the first reasonably priced (or so I tell myself) DSLRs and it had a huge 6 MP sensor (3072×2048 px). Despite all of this, the photos themselves hold up surprisingly well today — the shot above is a JPG straight from the camera, slightly sharpened due to it being resized and compressed for the web.

The model was Leo, my beloved Chow-Chow, who passed at the age of 16, many years ago now. I still miss him.

Shot with Canon 300D + EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6: 42mm, f/5, 1/50 s, ISO 100.


My Photography (73) — Il Duomo, Firenze, Italy, 2019

January 10, 2020 · 15:40

The view from Palazzo Vechhio is truly stunning. It is unfortunately closed on rainy days but well worth standing in line and then walking up all those steps. Another great vantage point is Piazzale Michelangelo on the other side of the river.

Shot with Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planer T*: f/8, 1/250 s, ISO 100.


Earthquake in Florence, Italy →

December 9, 2019 · 09:30

Reuters:

An earthquake hit north of Florence on Monday morning and led to trains across the country being canceled or severely delayed, including those on the national high speed line.

The tremor hit Italy’s central Apennine mountains at 3.30 a.m. (0230 GMT) with a magnitude of 4.8, the U.S Geological Survey said. There are no reports of casualties, the fire brigade said.

It woke me up and I sleep as hard as a rock. When my wife asked me what’s happening, I said that it’s either an earthquake, or our apartment building is collapsing, after which I rolled over on my other side and went back to sleep (it’s not as if there was anything I could do). Luckily, our building didn’t collapse and there don’t seem to be any damages to anything in the city itself.

Update

My wife just told me it wasn’t the earthquake that woke me but her, since I was snoring and she wanted me to turn over. And that was when the earthquake hit. Possible and maybe even probable but I’m sticking with my version.

Shot with iPhone 11 Pro @ 26 mm: f/1.8, 1/4464s, ISO 32.


My Photography (72) — AirPods Pro & Think6.5°

November 26, 2019 · 10:16

The AirPods Pro are probably the best all-rounders for iPhone users and their ANC is more than good enough, even during flights. Most importantly, they fit into that small jeans pocket without issues, so they’re always with me.

Shot with Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planer T*: f/4, 1/60 s, ISO 5000.


My Photography (70) — Downtown Dubai, UAE, 2019

July 9, 2019 · 20:14

I managed to get on the roof of Libery House in Dubai, which has a great view of Downtown. Unfortunately, it was so humid today, that my “big” camera completely fogged up and wouldn’t clear up for over 30 minutes. I gave up and pulled my iPhone out of my pocket. I hate failure.

Shot with iPhone XS @ 26 mm: f/1.8, 1/35 s, ISO 400.


My Photography (68) — The View from the 124th Floor of Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE, 2019

July 5, 2019 · 22:19

So this happened! I actually had a minute or two of vertigo after looking straight down. The view really is quite stunning. Just try to avoid the haze if possible (which I didn’t).

The Burj Khalifa has a number of terraces and it’s actually cheaper to go up to the 124th floor than the one even higher up (150+) and I’m not sure if that one offers an outdoor terrace. The one I was on has viewports that can fit a lens, if it’s not very big in diameter. I managed to fit my Sony FE 28 mm f/2 without major issues but I couldn’t use my Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*. Forget trying to use any larger zoom lens, e.g. a 24-70 f/2.8 or 24-105 f/4. You can shoot through the glass itself of course, but there are so many reflections, you might want to use one of those special flexible anti-reflection hoods.

Don’t forget to look at the fountain show down below!

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 75 s, ISO 100.


My Photography (65) — Level 43 Sky Lounge View, Dubai, UAE, 2019

July 3, 2019 · 21:08

The Four Points by Sheraton has a pool and restaurant/club on the roof — Level 43 Sky Lounge — with outdoor seating and a beautiful view. It’s not cheap but then you are paying for more than just the drinks and food.

Notes on the photo: The shot above is heavily compresed and you might see banding in the sky. The original has enough tonal capacity not to exhibit this effect but I had to compress it, to save on bandwidth and load times.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 8 s, ISO 100.


My Photography (62) — The Many Planes of Funchal, Madeira, 2019

February 19, 2019 · 14:35

I was completely taken aback when I first saw how houses and roads are built on Madeira. Taking the funicular railway is a great method to getting a unique angle on their architecture and road system, where houses are almost built on top of one another and roads snake around gorges, hills, mountains, and bridges.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/200 s, ISO 100.


My Photography (61) — 87 MP Panorama of Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, 2019

February 19, 2019 · 12:43

Ponta de São Lourenço is a fascinating place to spend a day (or two) on and I highly recommend going prepared — a good set of hiking or trekking boots and drinking water at the least. We went twice and unfortunately, the light and weather weren’t kind to us, which means I didn’t get the shots I wanted to get but I did get a few panoramas. This is one of them, stitched together from 5 vertical photos. I posted the full resolution (12244 x 7154 px) version on my Flicker, in case you’d like to zoom in a bit.

87 MP Panorama of Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, 2019

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/80 s, ISO 100. Total of 5 shots.


My Photography (60) — On the Trail, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, 2019

February 8, 2019 · 11:01

We dedicated the last two days of our Madeira trip to visiting Ponta de São Lourenço — the peninsula on the eastern tip of the island. This photo was shot on our first reconnaissance hike when I was looking for good spots to photograph the sunrise. Unfortunately, the weather foiled my plans for the next morning and I didn’t get anything really worth showing…

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 1/60 s, ISO 640.


My Photography (58) — Sunrise Somewhere Over the Alps, Kleinarl⁩, Austria, 2018

December 11, 2018 · 13:47

We had an early morning flight to Italy last week and I was sound asleep, minding my own business, when my wife brutally shook me awake and told me to look out of the window. I checked the flight log and this photo was taken somewhere above or close to the city of Kleinarl in Austria but I am uncertain which exact city is visible in the photo.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/2, 1/60 s, ISO 1600.


My Photography (57) — Admiring the Sunset, Pizzo, Italy, 2017

December 3, 2018 · 11:10

We had just had something to eat and were getting ready to leave the beautiful city of Pizzo in the south of Italy, when we decided to go take a last look at the sunset before setting off for the airport. I had already stowed away my “big” camera and since there was a chilly wind, I did not want to bother going back to the car to get it. I did have my iPhone X on me though…

There was just something about the geometry, depth, gradients, and shadows that spoke to me — I really love this shot.

Shot with iPhone X @ 28 mm: f/1.8, 1/153 s, ISO 20.

Take a look at what the person below saw →


My Photography (56) — City Across The Thames, London, UK, 2018

October 8, 2018 · 12:42

I was disappointed with The Weather Channel’s forecast for my recent UK trip — it was supposed to be clear skies, sun and warmth. This shot portrays exactly what I got instead — cloudy skies, no sun, and an extremely chilly wind. That prompted me to attach my ND filter and shoot a few long exposures, despite it being noon. This was my favourite one.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/11, 13 s, ISO 50.


My Photography (55) — Banking Above London, UK, 2018

October 2, 2018 · 10:16

I rarely get the chance to capture a nice shot during takeoff or landing — I’m usually lucky enough to be seated on the wrong side of the aeroplane, or the weather’s bad, or it’s pitch black, or the light is terrible. I made sure to pick the right seat this time but the weather and timing weren’t perfect — it was a bit misty (or smoggy) and just a bit too early in the day. Still, I tried to make the most of it.

As to what you can see in the shot… That’s the Thames in the middle, with the London Eye on the left of the frame. Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster are just on the other side of the river. That blob of light to the right of the London Eye is Waterloo Station. That black line crossing the Thames, more or less in the middle of the shot, is Millennium Bridge, which was destroyed by Death Eaters in one of the Harry Potter books/movies — it leads to St Paul’s Cathedral. The City of London is the part which is lit most north of the river and the rightmost bridge is Tower Bridge. That’s the one from the Sherlock Holmes movie, where it was still being built and where the villain met his demise (it’s often mistaken as London Bridge).

Shot with Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planer T*: f/2.8, 1/60 s, ISO 5000.


My Photography (54) — Peacock Backside, Royal Łazienki Park, Warsaw, 2018

September 30, 2018 · 21:58

I went out shooting with the iPhone XS today and was not only surprised by this here peacock sneaking up on me, but also at the result of Portrait Mode and its bokeh. It has a much more natural, analogue look to it, reminiscent of what SLR lenses are capable of producing. It’s not there yet but I like what I see.

Shot with iPhone X @ 52 mm: f/2.4 (simulated f/1.4 by Portrait Mode), 1/122 s, ISO 32.


My Photography (53) — Another Look at a Rainy Scilla, Italy, 2017

September 28, 2018 · 13:11

Scilla is a truly beautiful city. We spent two days there in 2017 and I still fondly recall the amazing views. I already posted a photo from our second day there — it was cold but sunny. The weather wasn’t as kind to us on our first visit however. It was raining heavily, the streets turned into small rivers, but the colour of the sea rewarded our perseverance. This panorama was stitched in Lightroom from a few (handheld) photos to get the field of view I wanted and was shot from Castello Ruffo (see photo below) — a small castle towering over both sides of the city.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/5.6, 1/60 s, ISO 160.

See a shot of Castello Ruffo below →