Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

A New Start

August 19, 2012

New Zealand is a well-known destination for landscape photographers. However, most of the photography here is done in the South Island. Majestic mountains, pristine lakes and rivers, and remote beaches are iconic images that come to my mind when I think about NZ.

In 2011, I was offered a position  as a lecturer at the University of Auckland. At that time, I was living (with my girlfriend and 2 dogs) in the beautiful region of Trentino (in Italy) with the Dolomoties as my back yard. After 2 years of living there, we were quite fed up with Italy and above all the Italians! My fellow countrymen are an uncivilised lot living above any rules, cutting corners all the times and making their lives really miserable. If you have ever been in Italy and driven around you know what I mean. Most importantly, our lives was getting a really low angle. So we jumped at the prospect to change country again and start a new  life.

Of course, there was a lot of planning to do, especially with importing two dogs in NZ. Among of all this, I was also concerned about my photography: no more snow and peaks to photograph within an easy reach. All the nice destinations (that I knew of at that time) were located in the South Island and quite far from Auckland. To be honest I was not that happy until browsing around I came up Chris Gin’s website. He has a fantastic collection of pictures from around Auckland most of which are seascapes.

Fast forward one year, and here we are in Auckland. I finally managed to get a car and going around exploring the possibilities offered by my local backyard.

Although Auckland has a population of 1.5 million (NZ total population is around 4 million), its west coasts are not that populated and offer a nice shelter from the city life. More importantly, they are easy to reach from down-town Auckland:45 minutes drive and you are there!

Maori Bay

My first decent picture from NZ! The sunset was not that spectacular but still I like the reflection in the dark sand and rocks. Being a 45 min. drive from the place where I live, I might get a nicer one some day. But for now it will do.

I have been down to the coast a couple of times already. I have to say that in these two occasions the sunsets have not been so spectacular as they usually are around here. Despite all of this, I managed to capture a couple of shots that I am quite happy with: they are both from Maori Bay, a very nice rugged beach with nice rocks and black sand.

Tide In

Maori Bay at its best: when the tide is low wonderful rock formations are revealed. The light from the setting sun brings to life the textures in the rocks and incoming waves

I have to admit that I miss the snow, the cold winters, and above all the mountains. But it feels good to be back on the beach. And most of all, far far away from Italy!

The snow is (almost) gone

May 11, 2011

Well, well…look who is back!

Winter is gone and we are in full ”spring” mode here in the Dolomites. Lots of flowers are right now blooming and the snow can only be found over 2000 mt of altitude. Still, I would like to post some pictures taken during the past winter. To be honest, the winter was a short one: in January and February we had almost every day blue sky and no fresh snow.

Passing Storm

Passing Storm - Canon 5D, 24-105 f/4 L, 105mm@f/11, 0.4s, ISO 100. This is a pano from 4 different vertical shots.

The image featured in this post was taken back in November 2010. It was taken at sunset from Mt Bondone looking westwards towards the Brenta Group. At the time there was a storm passing over the peaks that was side-lit by the setting sun.

The final image is the result of stitching  together4 different frames. The process is not that automated as I thought. Although while  processing the raw images I tried to keep the white balance similar for all the frames in the end the final result was not that good. I had to manually correct each single channel for the different frames to get to this.

gio

First Snow

November 29, 2010

As the title says, our winter season has started here in Trentino. Snow has arrived and at higher altitude is going to stay. After a couple of days of bad weather, we got a spell of two nice days in a row. Thus I decided to get out early an afternoon to go to the local sky resorts of Mt. Bondone. This place offers a nice view of the lake valley and the dramatic peaks of the Brenta Group. I’m fortunate enough to live and work near some spots that in the right light condition can turn out to be quite photogenic.

First Snow

First Snow - Canon 5D, 24-105 f/4 L, 40mm@f/11, ISO 100. This is a manual blend of two exposures at 1.6 and 1 sec.

I arrived at my favourite spot 15 minutes before the sun would disappear behind a wall of clouds on the South-West.  Here the view is westbound, where the clouds and the mountains were getting some modelling side light. Everything looked very promising. And then it happened. As the sun was getting lower the light was getting fierce on the clouds.  I grabbed some 50 frames in the changing light until the show was over! Then, I rushed into my car to turn the heat on and de-frost a couple of fingers from my left hand. Still, what a nice time.

gio

 

Frozen Shore

November 12, 2010

Here is a picture taken last year in November. It took me one year to process this. Firstly, because I didn’t have an appropriate display for a correct colour management. Secondly, well sometimes life has different plans for you!

About this picture: this is Carezza lake (Karersee in German), in Alto Adige. I arrived at the lake one hour before sunset. So I had all the time to set up my tripod. The beautiful mountains in the background are called Latemar Group. Unfortunately, this view is taken on their North face meaning that the sun never gets to illuminate it. Fortunately, the beautiful stream clouds above it got some nice colours. As a nice touch, the lake was frozen with some patterns that reflect the in shape the cloud formation above. Not to mention that the pattern provide a nice leading line into the picture.

Frozen Shore

Frozen Shore - Canon 5D, 17-40f/4, 24mm@f/11, manual blending of 2 exposures at 1/13 and 0.8, ISO 100.

The picture is a manual blend of two exposures for controlling the dynamic range. I had to clone our some footprints left there my my dog Alcantara.

All in all, I think that this is one of the best pictures from this location! And I’m not saying this because it is mine. 😉

gio

 

Following the Autumn

November 4, 2009

The season it is at its peak. The colours are gorgeous and giving my limited time I’m trying to get the best out of it.

Last Thursday, with a colleague of mine, we went to Val di Genova, a very pretty valley in the Adamello National Park. The only problem was timing. We went for capturing the sunset. The valley is crossed by a 10km one-track road that takes you to the bottom of the valley. The only problem was that it is closed and of course we didn’t know. So, what was a 10 minutes ride changed in a 45 min walk. Basically we just got there to catch some of the last light in the peaks.

Below is one picture captured just as the sun was kissing the far peaks. I intentionally kept the green trees dark to enhance the colours of the larches. The details of the rivers are from two different exposures: one full polarised and another with no polarisation to capture the reflection in the water.

Fallowing the Autumn

Following the Autumn - Canon 5D, 24-105L, 24mm@f/11, blending of three exposure to handle the dynamic range using Tony Kuyper's Luminosity Masks.

Yesterday we got the first real snow and this weekend more snow is forecasted. So I hope that the leaves cling on to the trees for just a couple of more days.

 

 

 

The Fall has started!

October 28, 2009

Finally the trees are turning colours.  Red, yellow, gold are taking over the green of the summer.

Autumn is my second favourite season after Winter. Thus, I’m really looking forwards to this weekend for getting myself lost among the colourful trees.

Last weekend I had peak at some fall colours together with some snow that has fallen during the week. I went to Val Venegia, a small valley near St. Martino di Castrozza. The far end of the valley is dominated by an awesome group of peaks that during the sunset get fantastic colours. Some of the larches at the bottom of the valley have their characteristic falls colours. I was elated to be there and to witness such a show of light.

High Spirits

High Spirits - Canon 5D, 17-40L, 17mm@f/11, manual blending of three exposure to handle the dynamic range.