Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Image views on Google Earth.

Strange. Of my five most viewed images on Google Earth, numbers 1 & 2 are of a war memorial in Kyrgyzstan, number four is of a cannabis plantation and number five is a swinger club here in Switzerland.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Grossmünster Church Zürich

Had an interesting job last week.

My friend, the Swiss lighting designer Renato M de Toffol has made a new installation in the Grossmünster church in Zürich.

It is programmable according to whatever event is happening in the church and the lighting changes accordingly.

I spent from one thirty in the afternoon until about seven in the evening documenting the different moods available.

The crypt

I photographed everywhere from the crypt to the outside where it is also illuminated.

The pictures will shortly be appearing on his website but in the meantime, I experimented with HDR which was necessary to provide details from the highlights to the shadows.

Here's some of the results.

Stained glass window by Giacometti

The choir seats

Loved this old door with the massive lock

Dusk is starting outside the church

On my way back to my car, I stopped to take a picture 
across the Limmatt river.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A new era....

Well perhaps a bit over dramatic but that's what it feels like. The company for whom I work have purchased a digital Hasselblad system. We are retiring our two, thirty year old Rolleiflexes and are moving into the digital age.

I travelled to Zürich this morning and picked up the new system and bought it back to the studio here in Basel.

 I swear I heard a chorus of Angels singing as I unpacked the gear.

Fresh out of the box I wanted to start "getting to know" the camera and its accessories but was immediately hit by that bugbear of the digital age..... fresh batteries need charging first.

So I'm now going to have to do something else while they are filled up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Hermitage. Verenaschlucht Einsiedelei

North of the city of Solothurn, in the silence of Verena gorge, is a hermitage. There is still today, a recluse who carries out his religious duties

 I've been in Switzerland for 15 years and only heard about this place about two weeks ago. The weather today was lovely with bright sunshine and deep blue skies so we decided to venture out for some fresh air. naturally I took some photo gear with me. namely my EOS 5d, a 17 - 40 zoom and my Benbo tripod.

I actually didn't hold out much hope for good photos because it was in a gorge (shadows) and the sky was bright. I therefore decided to take only HDR images direct from RAW files.

I wasn't too inspired with the scenery on the way to the hermitage as it was typical February weather. No leaves on the trees and a bit muddy.

 The first exposure I made.

Memorial candles

Plenty of small waterfalls

Then I caught my first glimpse of the religious buildings.

 In the distance

A hollowed out cave and the church loom into view

 This was looking promising. I was in photo heaven. I didn't actually see the hermit but after all that is the nature of being a hermit isn't it?

I spent about forty-five minutes or so recording images. It would have been quicker but there were lots of hikers and I was using the self timer feature on my camera to reduce as much as possible, my touching the camera. This meant that I'd compose the shot and then look around to see if anyone might walk into my field of view in the next ten seconds (which was the self timer setting.)

Most of the images were converted to HDR from my normal three exposures but when I thought that there was too much "clipping" (i.e. no details at all in the highlights), I took six images.

 This was the first one using six images

 Another HDR using six images

 This one as well, use six images

 Inside the chapel which is carved into the rock.

The last image of the day
also using six images.

All in all, we had a great walk through some lovely countryside and discovered a hidden (from me anyway) gem.

The HDR process certainly saved these pictures and I'll definitely go back in summer or autumn when the colours will be fantastic.

Thanks for reading. Your comments are as always, welcomed.

Further details about the hermitage (Einsiedeln in German) can be found (in German) on the Solothurn tourist site