21 February 2012

Another church in Lisbon

Patch of light by Wojciech Toman (WojciechToman)) on 500px.comLisbon is full of churches. From outside they look almost all the same (really! sometimes you wonder whether you have see that particular one or not yet) but their interiors are so much different. There are ones with a lot of paintings and sculptures, with bright and dark light. One visit in Lisbon is probably not enough to see them all and one of them is shown on the photo to the left.

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20 February 2012

The Moorish Castle

The Fortress by Wojciech Toman (WojciechToman)) on 500px.com
The Moorish Castle in Sintra, also known as the Castle of the Moors (Portuguese: Castelo dos Mouros) is the fortress built by the Arabs in the VIII century during their occupation of the Iberian peninsula to protect nearby agricultural lands. It was conquered by the Christians in 1147 and then rebuilt in the XIV century. However, year after year importance of the castle was diminishing ever since then.
Although the castle itself survived earthquake of year 1755 (which destroyed almost whole city of Lisbon), the stability of walls was significantly decreased (and Christian chapel was severely damaged). In XIX the castle was once again rebuilt.
All this makes this place full of history.
What amazed me was that this location had been marked as "ruins" in the guidebook I used during my stay in Portugal and hadn't been amongst places necessary to visit in Sintra. For me, however, it is one of the most incredible castles I've ever seen. Built on the top of the mountain with incredible view from the towers and walls, with a great sense of history. The only drawback was wind. It was so strong that taking sharp photos was a real challenge and taking 3 bracketed photos for HDR processing was almost impossible :)Big rock by Wojciech Toman (WojciechToman)) on 500px.com

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18 February 2012

Rio Tejo

Rio Tejo by Wojciech Toman (WojciechToman)) on 500px.com Sunsets. We landscape photographers love them (so much that many of stock photography sites no more accepts photos of sunsets and dawns :) ). They are sort of our Holy Grail. I try to shoot during sunset and golden hour whenever possible. Here is a HDR photo taken over Tagus River (Rio Tejo) in Lisbon. I was lucky to have some gulls in front of the bridge. The post-processing was done in Photomatix Pro 4.1 and fine-tune in Photoshop CS5.

Check my tutorial on HDR photography if you haven't done so.

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17 February 2012

The Church

The Church
I'd never really been into photographing churches' interiors mainly because it's very difficult to shoot handheld there due to very dim light.
Most of the time when I'm travelling I'm walking for 8 - 10 hours a day so I try to limit my equipment as much as possible (as walking for such a long time can be quite a tiring task itself). This still means at least one body (or two...) and a few additional lenses plus extra gear like flash, filters etc. Tripods are just too heavy for me most of the time and I only use them when I can get to the location, take photos I want and go back without further wandering. Or when I do landscape photography.
However, in Lisbon I had a chance to shoot some churches indoors due to very good low-light capabilities of Canon 5D MK II and I decided to make use of it. Believe it or not but this shot has been merged to HDR from 3 RAWs, each one shot hand-held! Photo was taken in the Hieronymites Monastery I mentioned in one of the previous posts.

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16 February 2012

HDR photography tutorial (old)

It's the end by Wojciech Toman (WojciechToman)) on 500px.com
Note: this tutorial is also available as a web page here.

Finally! After a few weeks of writing I have finished my tutorial on HDR photography. Probably I will modify it and extend at later date but you can download it today from here.

If you find it useful, please share the link to this post.

I would be also very grateful for any suggestions and feedback on what to improve in the future versions.


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14 February 2012

Back from Lisbon

The Monastery by Wojciech Toman (WojciechToman)) on 500px.com I'm back from Lisbon - it's a really amazing city (I still cannot decide which one: Barcelona or Lisbon I liked more) with so much to see! I came back with tons of new photos to process (~4000) so it will definitely take a while.
Feel the Past by Wojciech Toman (WojciechToman)) on 500px.comTo the left you can see two of the first finished ones - the HDR photos from the Hieronymites Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) in the Belem district. It's a really magical (mystical?) place. You can almost see the monks in their hoods wandering through the corridors. Monastery was built in the 16th century and it survived the tragic earthquake from 1755 almost undamaged (I wonder how Lisbon would look if this earthquake didn't take place).
In 2007 the Treaty of Lisbon reforming the European Union was signed in the monastery.

I hope to write more on Lisbon in the following posts.



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