Ponte Vecchio over the River Arno in Florence Italy, one of the oldest bridges in Florence. A pedestrian bridge with shops built on both sides is more beautiful at night. The window light giving the buildings all a golden glow that reflecting in the river.
I have posted several pictures over the last year from Florence Italy. I have always love finding reflections in shop windows and rivers. Reflections can add symmetry to the image as it does here, or a interesting dimension to the images like when I find the clouds reflecting in the building windows! you can check out some of those images
We left Amsterdam almost three weeks ago, where does the time go!
While we were there we spent a couple of evening wandering around the Amsterdam has a light festival. This year the light festival celebrates life in the city. The “Bright City” has been on since every night since November 27, 2014 and will shine brightly until January 18, 2015, bringing light during the darkest days of the year.
The featured display, “On the Wings of Freedom” by Aether & Hemera is a cloud of butterflies, hundreds hover above the ground, the colour of the lights ever-changing, and the paper wings fluttering in the evening breeze the display was quite magical.
We have arrived in Malaga Spain expecting a the celebratory holiday season to be over, only to find out that here is Spain most children get their gifts on January 6th, and on January 5th there is a big parade in town. It is the day the children write letters to the magic kings and three people dress in costumes and ride around on horses, followed by decorated floats, giving sweets and small presents to the crowds of children. One blog post that I read promised 11 tones of sweet treats will be given out during the parade!
As you can see from the images above the streets are decorated with lots of beautiful lights, everything looks magical. This and the warm weather has made this a wonderful stop on our Christmas tour that began with our first Christmas Market in Vienna Austria Nov 15, 2014 almost 8 weeks ago!
I have never seen a King before, so I am off to the parade to see if I can catch a glimpse of the Three Kings and maybe a little candy!
Amsterdam celebrates light during the darkest days of the year, The Bright City is the theme of this year’s festival. The spherical buoys float along the water’s surface and are illuminated in a rainbow of colours, just one of the many exhibits along the waterways and canals of Amsterdam.
We will be visiting more of the exhibits over the next few days.
It has been raining for the last two days and when it isn’t raining there is a misty fog that hangs in the air. We expected the weather to be less than ideal, after all it is winter here, so we were prepared with rain coats, hats and umbrellas. Amsterdam is still a beautiful city.
I have already lost one hat, the wind took it for a ride, and it went sailing down the canal!
We will not be deterred, or cold or wet, I bought new hat, and we continued to explore the city, taking photos along the way.
We have left Frankfurt Germany for Amsterdam, but I wanted to show you one last image from our visit. The architecture along the River Main is a mix of old and new, and with a long exposure the lights reflected so beautifully, like a rainbow across the water.
Admittedly I am not the best person to go with a stroll with, there are times, when the view is this wonderful, or something interesting catches my eye and it can be more standing around than strolling! Setting up the tripod, and getting the framing just right, taking as many as 5 or 6 different exposures to blend together later. It isn’t really a fast process, and it can take a long time to go just about nowhere! But really isn’t that sort of the purpose for an evening stroll, to meander without destination, to enjoy the fresh air and the view!
How time fly’s by, Bill and I visited Bamberg Germany for the first time April 2011! We loved it so much when the opportunity to spend this month in Germany photographing Christmas Markets came up, we knew that the Bamberg Christmas Market would be on the list of places to see.
We have spent a couple of days wandering the streets, visiting the familiar tourist attractions, as well as some of the coffee shops and breweries that we had visited before. We have also found some new favourites.
This is the old town hall, and it doesn’t matter how many times I walk by, or which bridge I am on when I see it I think about taking a photo. According to legend the bishop of Bamberg would not grant the citizens any land for the construction of a town hall, so the townsfolk rammed huge wooden beams into the river Regnitz to create an artificial island on which they built the town hall. The location marks the old border of rule between the bishop, the ruling clergy and the local trades people on the island city.
The double church, half catholic half protestant and a place where the Peace of Augsburg was signed in 1555, we did rent a little apartment just down the street and we could hear the bells ring every 1/4 hr between 8 am and about 8 pm at night. After a while you get so you don’t even notice the bells ringing.
On our last night in Augsburg we attended the opening of the Christmas Market, and all of the Christmas lights were turned on, all up and down the street were these little angels blowing their trumpets. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see inside either church while we visited Augsburg, maybe next time.
I think this image would make a great Christmas card, copies of this image and others from my portfolio are available check out my gallery.
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I think it is the winter season here in the Northern Hemisphere, I am not sure, but I will suggest that the reason I am showing you so many evening images lately is that the days are so short, and the nights so long. I should be happy, it is a great time to practise working in low light situations, to get use to carrying a tripod, to use the flash in different situations, and basically try new things, and I am happy!
The other reason that you are seeing a lot of night images is that the days have been cloudy and grey, no snow thankfully, only one day of rain, but dull and flat, and it is difficult to get something dramatic to show you. Now I am not complaining, just letting you know conditions haven’t been perfect.
This was a perfect setting to practise the long exposure and flash combination again. There were some adjustments before I got this image. I am not sure if it is perfect, any suggestions let me know. It is my contribution to Monochrome Madness for this week. Leanne Cole publishes a blog post once a week, a bunch of photographers contribute they black and white images, each week is different and worth a look!
Salzburg is a beautiful city. We rode the funicular up to the fortress to see the museum and a view of Salzburg from above. We strolled the cobblestone streets in the city centre through the Christmas markets, while listening to Christmas Carols, eating spiced nuts and drinking mulled wine, and we watched the skaters at the ice rink. I also spent a good deal of time photographing the different places we visited, including the Cathedral and the Abbey but that can almost go without saying! We loved our time in Salzburg, I am sure there is more to see and do than we had time for.
This was my first official attempt at HDR, high dynamic range image. The fort at the top of the hill did not have many lights on it and it was quite dark, while the lights on the bridge with very bright, and because they were close to the camera they overwhelmed the image, they were so bright it was hard to see anything else. With that in mind I set up the tripod, and exposed 6 images, each exposure was 2/3’s of a stop different from the preceding one, with the final image a full 2 stops underexposed. Photoshop HDR merge is responsible for the blend of the six images in to one image, well mostly. The program does come with a lot of different presets and sliders, different options can tweak, tweak being the not so technical word for adjust, and blend to get the image to my liking.
With this image you can see what we saw that night standing on the river bank looking at Salzburg’s old town.