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Saturday, November 5, 2011

About Depth of Field

For the photographer, taking a picture is more than point & shoot. It is the work of creating an image of a subject that will make the viewer see what the photographer wants them to see, using different techniques to highlight the subject (or the subjects).

One of the tools in the photographer's toolbox is Depth of Field (DoF), which is the parameter that will define the part of the picture in focus, and the portion out of focus (blurred).

Hummingbird Portrait 7 <a href="" rel="nofollow">Website</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a>   Camera: Nikon D50 Lens: AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED Exposure: 1/400 Aperture: f/8 Focal Length: 200 mm ISO: 200 Exposure Program: Aperture priority Metering Mode: Matrix
Hummingbird Portrait 7 by ©Danny Perez Photography

In the above photograph, the DoF is very shallow: almost only the bird is in focus, and the background is so blurred it is hard to know if it is grass, bushes, trees, or a piece of green cardboard!

DoF: measure it? Calculate it!

To be more precise, the Depth of Field is the zone within the focus near limit and far limit: everything before the near limit and after the far limit is considered out of focus. Yes, the DoF is actually a distance! Ok, maybe you were already aware of it. But did you know you can calculate it? Physicists and Mathematicians are amazing. They have built a model to calculate, or rather make an approximation of the DoF. Here it is:
  • D is the distance between the camera and the subject (m),
  • H is the hyperfocal distance (m).
The formula to calculate an approximation of H is:
  • f is the focal length (m),
  • N is the f-Number (no unit),
  • c is the circle of confusion for the film/sensor of the camera (m).

In any given situation, with these formulae, you can calculate the DoF, pretty interesting, uh? Sorry for the Maths, but it is solely for the sake of explanation. I bet you don't want to calculate DoF with the formula by yourself; luckily, there are several websites which offer to do the calculation for you, here are a few examples:
  • can calculate DoF among other interesting things,
  • dofmaster provides a nice DoF calculator and other useful stuff.

Manage DoF

Depth of Field is essential in a phtograph, you definitely want to manage it. How? I will help you out, by analyzing the formula from the previous paragraph.

Many parameters appear in the formulae, let's have a look at them:
  • D, the distance between the camera and the point you set focus on. You can change this parameter by moving or by making the subject move, but this will obviously have an effect on composition,
  • f, the focal length, can be changed either by setting it on your lens or by switching lenses (if you have more than one). This will also obviously have an effect on composition,
  • N, the f-Number, is the most easy parameter to change, you just have to set it on your camera (if available). It determines how wide the diaphragm opens. This has an effect on how much light is transmitted to the film/sensor (the greater the f-Number the less light is transmitted),
  • c, is a constant determined by the size of the film/sensor. Thus it is not possible to change it (except if you use a different camera).

Jonquil flowers at f32 by ©Fir0002

Jonquil flowers at f5 by ©Fir0002

Out of 4 parameters, 3 can be easily changed: let's focus on these elements and take a real situation as a case of study.

You own a Canon 1DX camera (yes, you are rich!!) and a EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens. The sensor has a circle of confusion of approximatively 0.03mm (0.00003m).
You want to take a picture of a bird on a tree with bushes behind, which is 4m away. At first, you set the f-Number to f/4 and the widest angle available by setting the focal length to 24mm (0.024m).

In the start situation, using dofmaster's calculator, you know you have a DoF of about 21.1m. That means the bird, the tree and probably the bushes will appear sharp on the photograph no problem.

Now, go 2 steps back, let's say one meter. You are now 5m from the bird, the DoF is infinite and all the landscape is sharp!
Go 4 steps forward, you are 3m from the bird, the DoF is now 6m and the bushes are a little blurred.
Go 2 more steps forward and (2m from the bird), if the bird did not flee, the DoF is now 2m and even the tree is not sharp everywhere.
As you can see, the distance to the subject can change the DoF a lot. The closer to the subject, the more shallow the DoF.

Let's go back to the start situation. The DoF is 21.1m.
Instead of stepping forward, we want to zoom in using the focal length. We increase the focal length to 48mm, and the DoF falls down to 1.72m! Goodbye background, bird is the center of attention.
When you think about it, stepping forward or zooming in have the same influence: the subject seems closer. Same conclusion as before, the closer to the subject, the more shallow the DoF.

Back to the start situation. You want to play with the f-Number now.
Let's set it to 5.6 (one stop): the DoF is now infinite.
Set it to 2.8 (one stop the other way): DoF = 7.1m.
The lower the f-Number, the more shallow the DoF.

As you can see, these three parameters have a great influence on Depth of Field. But nothing comes without a counterpart.


By reading the following paragraph, one might want to conclude it is easy to adjust the DoF: simply change the f-Number! Unfortunately, nothing is simple and photography is a matter of balance.
You can increase the f-Number to increase the DoF, this is right. The counterpart is less light will be transmitted to the sensor. To keep a good exposure, you will have to either increase the exposure time or the ISO: the first will result in possible motion blur (which is neither good or bad but changes the picture), the second might add noise. Not to mention if you are in a low light situation, you might want to use as much light as possible. See? Not that simple.
Moving forward or backward from your subject also changes the DoF, but it changes the composition in a strong way, so does focal length adjustment.
Worse, lenses do not provide the same image quality for every focal length and every f-Number. Got a headache yet? Calm down. In a given situation, what you want to think thru is: what result do you want to get?

Then what do you need to do? Experience! Try things out, get to know your gear better, explore. Theory alone is meaningless.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

17 photos of one of the most famous VolksWagen

MAGIC BUS &quot;Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus...
I want the Magic Bus, I want the Magic Bus, I want the Magic Bus...

I said, now Ive got my Magic Bus (Too much, the Magic Bus)
I said, now Ive got my Magic Bus (Too much, the Magic Bus)
I drive my baby every way (Too much, the Magic Bus)
Each time I go a different way (Too much, the Magic Bus)
I want it, i want it, I want it, I want it ...

Every day youll see the dust (Too much, the Magic Bus)
As I drive my baby in my Magic Bus (Too much, the Magic Bus) &quot;

Santi Santi Santi: The WHO

&quot;One of the most successful rock bands of all time will perform at an International event to celebrate 60 years of Volkswagen vans at the Hanover Exhibition Centre this weekend. The spirit of the untamed 1960s and 70s will be revived amidst five generations of Volkswagen Transporter vans and buses when Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey take to the stage.

We look forward to being part of a real cult event that is right up our alley, and we intend to rock Hanover,’ says Pete Townshend, the band’s creative mastermind.

I own a Volkswagen Bus together with my partner Rachel Fuller. And we used Volkswagen Buses as transport in our very early days as a band. It was the cool thing to do,’ the artist reminisced. It was a mobile hippy home, cult on wheels, and today, still, the Multivan is a great automobile.’

Rock legend, The Who, is tailor-made for the Volkswagen van and the special relationship between the two legends has been mirrored in several of their songs. We are thrilled that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles can be associated with this rock-group, comments Harald Schomburg, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Volkswagen Van and Bus owners attending the event can look forward to the evening’s live gig, when The Who performs hits like My Generation’, Magic Bus’, Who are you’, Can’t explain’ and Going Mobile’.&quot;

<a href=""></a>
MAGIC BUS by ©Marianone
Dusk Bus Volkswagen van chilling in an alleyway.
Dusk Bus by ©Grant Hutchinson
Shaggin Wagon Vintage and well put together VW. It had a tag on the back that said &quot;shaggin wagon&quot;. I guess when the van is a rockin, dont come a knockin.
Shaggin' Wagon by ©Jason Parks
Camper on the Beach Another roll of film through the vivitar wide &amp; slim....
Camper on the Beach by ©Andy Wilson
VW Thanks to Nesster for the<a href="">TTV layer</a> 

<a href="">See where this picture was taken.</a> <a href="">[?]</a>
VW by ©Kat...
"Fazo Carreto" (Explore)
.... Brinquedo em exposição de carros antigos.
VW Kombi
**A foto não foi editada, saiu do forno assim.
"Fazo Carreto" by ©William Droops
bavarian bulli Have a nice week all together

<a href=";size=large" rel="nofollow">View On Black</a>

<b>Meet me on <a href="" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> </b>
bavarian bulli by ©wecand
Just missing some surfboards... By the beaches of Mazatlan, Mexico  

You know, as far back as I can remember, a VW van was our first family car...

And people thought we were rich.
Just missing some surfboards... by ©Josh Libatique
transporter stanco transporter <strong>tired</strong>

explore on front page, may 18 2010
transporter stanco by ©i k o
Combi  `78
Combi `78 by ©José Luis Ruiz
VW Samba
VW Samba by ©VW Escape
Split screen campervan
Split screen campervan by ©VW Escape
VW Bus with full Safari Windows
VW Bus with full Safari Windows by ©RightBrainPhotography
VW Camper 06
VW Camper 06 by ©Nick Foster
Sinalco by ©redronafets
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Friday, October 28, 2011


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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Badass me

Last week end I was having fun with the studio. I wanted to add some accessories and took my bike (rollerblade) gloves. Then I thought it'd be fun to make a badass shot. Here it is!
Badass me I thought it was fun to take a photo of me playing badass :)  Strobist: - Canon 500D - 50mm f/1.8 II - 1/250s f/4 ISO100 - Flash + bouncing umbrella on each side - trigger: pc synch for first flash + optical trigger (Sonia high range) for second flash
Badass me by ©Gabriel Trần
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Friday, August 26, 2011

can see the music

can see the music  print of this work available on Redbubble site : <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>  on 500px : <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>   Taken with Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens
can see the music by ©Victor Bezrukov

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Monday, August 22, 2011

My own home studio (part1)

For months (not to say years), my beloved, now wife, has been asking me "When will you do my (photo)book?" And my answer was always the same: "you know I really want to do this, but first I need to buy some expensive gear". I thought I needed at least a backdrop, a few flashes, umbrellas and I believed I would have to spend maybe 500€, or probably more.

I have been very busy the last few months, preparing our wedding, and after that I thought I had no more excuses not to start the book project.
So I started to look for gear, as unexpensive and professional as possible, and for tutorials.

Getting started

As I already wrote, you mostly need two things: lights and a back. The first thing I got was the most simple and unexpensive quality light possible: a continuous light kit (as opposed to flash light). The one I bought
is composed of two tripods, two bouncing umbrellas, and two daylight low consumption lights (daylight means the color of the light is close to the color of the daylight) which provide 370W equivalent light for 65W consumption. I was pretty happy I must say that I could get started with just 100€ (shipping included)!
I then needed a backdrop, and I was quite depressed when I saw the prices. The cheaper stand I found was 65€ and the drop itself was the same price. 130€ just for a back, it was too much for me. While looking for a drop, I realized it is atually pretty close to a curtain, and then I had a great idea! Why not set the drop directly in place of my curtains?? So I went to the Montmartre district in Paris, the place to be for fabric, and I found what I was looking for: a thick, smooth fabric that does not let light through (they call it "blackout"). The width was not perfect (1.60m, my curtain stand can go up to 2.10m) but I paid 7€/m! So for 28€ I got a 4m x 1.6m white drop. It even has a dark backside I can use too.

With 128€ I could get started with good stuff, I was very happy. This is just the beginning, but it's a pretty good start!

Here are two pictures I am quite proud of, taken with the gear I just described. Feel free to share your feelings about them, your experience or anything constructive.

430 EX II Strobe ini the back, strobe with bouncing umbrellas in the front, down to the falsh
430 EX II by ©Gabriel Trần

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Photo contest “My precioussss”: results!

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I've been such a bad bad boy! Can you believe it? Four months without a post, and even worse, four months delay on the contest results! Unforgivable!

And the winner is Charline! Congratulations to her!

Lamitié cest précieux tu crois pas ? "Lor" dans le ciel, le reflet du soleil, tout ça montre que ça lest.
L'amitié c'est précieux tu crois pas ? "L'or" dans le ciel, le reflet du soleil, tout ça montre que ça l'est. by ©charline

I promised the three best photos would be published here on this blog. Unfortunately, I did not receive many photos. I was pretty sad about it, so there won't be another contest in the near future.

I would like to thank Charline and Jacob for their participation, especially Charline who sent me several photos with kind notes. You will receive your lens cap clips soon!

juste pour le fun ce nest pas la photo du siècle mais je ladore et je trouve quelle correspond assez bien au thème!! ma nièce entrain de voir senvoler son plat favori indoné comment la photo parle delle même !! oh my precious is gone!!
juste pour le fun ce n'est pas la photo du siècle mais je l'adore et je trouve qu'elle correspond assez bien au thème!! ma nièce entrain de voir s'envoler son plat favori indoné comment la photo parle d'elle même !! oh my precious is gone!! by ©jacob

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Friday, April 8, 2011


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Thursday, April 7, 2011

365: Olivier Robert

There is a lot going on with my life right now, this is the reason why I haven't published articles on a regular basis lately. It is a shame, I am sorry about it. I have many stress sources right now and I did not want the blog to be one more.

When you are stressed, my advice is to visit Olivier Robert's website. Olivier takes peaceful photographs, ones that help you relax. Olivier takes mostly black and white pictures in the Genova area. If like me you enjoy his work, you can buy prints of his photographs.

Olivier publishes photographs on a daily basis, although it is not written on his website he does a 365 project. When I told him about 365 projects, he answered he was actually hoping to go for a 730 or even a 1095 project. I wish him good luck!

And by the way, don't forget the contest ends in 4 days!!

Olivier Robert's website





PHOTO/JOUR 94: HERON, LEMAN by ©Olivier Robert

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

12 Photos Of New York

This is dedicated to my beloved, a New York's fan, Alicia Keys' fan and this song's fan, who always support me.

♫ In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made, oh
There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York ♪♪

Precious Broadway <b>Hey you, if you came here from explore page I would kindly ask you to FAVOURITE this image. This would help me a lot :) Thanks and have a nice day!</b> --- Hi everyone. Here is a new shot from my trip to the states last year. If you are like me you might like all the colors and lights. If you haven’t been to New York go there. Times Square is awesome to practice taking cool photos. The changing lights and moving people make it a hard Job. As you can see it in the left corner I have been lazy… :)  So how are you doing lately?  The best wishes to all you nice friends!  Ben  | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Fluidr-Interesting</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Flickr Hive Mind</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">DNA</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Blog</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Tumblr</a> |
Precious Broadway by ©Spreng Ben

Midtown Sunset <a href=";size=Large">Midtown Sunset On Black</a>  well, i passed the 100k views mark, sometime last week i guess! id like to thank all you who come around and comment and fave and view my images. it means a lot to me!   as for this one, well, whats a little lens flare between friends, right?!
Midtown Sunset by ©Demetrius González

The Ghosts of Soho
The Ghosts of Soho by ©Thomas Hawk

19.365 - Fame <b><a href=";size=large" rel="nofollow">Please View On Black</a></b>  <b>The Brooklyn Bridge </b>is undoubtedly one of the most photographed bridges in history.    Mostly because its been around for 127 years.  Photography has only existed 58 years longer.  <b>Still...</b>just deck it in lights, wait til the sun sets, and youll believe its opening day again.  Wish I had some fireworks in there. <b><i> Contacts can download original file for personal use, but beware:</i></b> This picture is <b>E-NORMOUS.</b> 7554px on the long side.  This is a big tribute to the unbelievable sharpness of the Nikon Nikkor 35mm AF-S 1.8G.   Four Vertical shots, stitched in Photoshop CS4, Post in Lightroom 3 Beta  f/9, 6 sec, ISO200.
19.365 - Fame by ©Josh Libatique

Times Square Rain Dance <b>Hey you, if you came here from explore page I would kindly ask you to FAVOURITE this image. This would help me a lot :) Thanks and have a nice day!</b> --- <b>Woow woow woow!</b>   Times Square is awesome. I shot a couple of cool images there. This is one of it. I hope you like it as much as I do.  Look at the beautiful reflections on the street… There was a women standing right beside me saying: ”Man what a bad luck you have. It has been raining the whole week and you take pictures.”  I replied: “Good Lady have a look at the beautiful reflections on the street. I think I am really lucky to be here when it rains”.  I think the image wouldn’t have been half as good if there wasn’t a Noah like rain that night.  --- At the moment I am working as an intern for an electrical company and I really have no time to edit photos. It is so sad because I really have sick material laying here on my harddisk and even more sick ideas how to bring out cool images. I really hope to find some moments in the days to come to share some of the shots with you.  Until then,  Ben  | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Fluidr-Interesting</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Flickr Hive Mind</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">DNA</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Blog</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a> |
Times Square Rain Dance by ©Spreng Ben

Night Market on East Broadway A lady with her bag of rice, waiting to cross. Chinatown, New York City
Night Market on East Broadway by ©Mo Riza

Inscope Arch &quot;...Sempre há uma escada no fim do túnel.&quot; Central Park, NY. Tenham uma ótima semana. -----------------  &quot;There is always a stairs in the end of the tunnel.&quot; Central Park, NY. Have a nice week.  Picture of the inside tunnel: <a href=""></a> -------------  PS.: Im experiencing a very high traffic flow from StumbleUpon to this picture, but I cant find the source post on SU, just for curiosity. If you reach this picture from SU, could you tell me the URL of the source post of StumbleUpon? Thanks =D
Inscope Arch by ©Diego Torres Silvestre

WTC With Clouds  IN MEMORY OF A GREAT BUILDING! 9.11.2001 9.11.2009  Picture taken in summer 1986 with Minolta SLR
WTC With Clouds by ©Reto Fetz

Textbreak by ©Mo Riza

Six Sunbeams <a href=""></a>
Six Sunbeams by ©Laser Burners

Wall Street Here is the New York Stock Exchange, the most famous financial institution in the world.  Ever since 911 they put up that huge American flag across all the columns.  I thought it looked cool in the late afternoon shadows.  Detail: <a href=";size=Large">Large on Black</a>   Thanks for all the comments on my stream.  Here are <a href="">Your Favorite shots</a>! And here is <a href="">Page 2</a> Thanks again!
Wall Street by ©Trey Ratcliff

Shadow Play Sunburst and deep shadows....Shot at Central park, NYC.  Must view in large and <a href=";size=large" rel="nofollow"><strong>ON BLACK</strong></a>
Shadow Play by ©Sri Dhanush K

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Flying High with Adam Miller (Tac0) (EXPLORED)

Flying High with Adam Miller (Tac0) (EXPLORED) This is my first attempt at using Lightroom 3 to handle a Flickr upload.  This could help me get back on flickr faster than I thought.  Many thanks to Jason Thorne and his Team for allowing me this awesome angle under the ramps.  Check this guys out at <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>
Flying High with Adam Miller (Tac0) (EXPLORED) by ©John Ryan

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Lever de soleil sur Mahrès

Lever de soleil sur Mahrès Mahrès accueille chaque été (fin juillet, début août) &quot;Le Festival international des arts plastiques de Mahrès&quot; ou Festival international des arts plastiques de Mahares et ceci depuis 1988. Ce festival rassemble des plasticiens originaires dEurope (France, Allemagne, Royaume-Uni, Italie, Espagne, Pays-Bas, Belgique, Suisse, Suède, Norvège, Roumanie, Ukraine, Turquie, etc.), dAsie (Japon, Corée du Sud, Liban, Syrie, Jordanie, Irak, Koweït, Oman, Bahreïn, Arabie saoudite, etc.), dAfrique (Maroc, Algérie, Tunisie, Libye, Égypte, Cameroun, etc.) et des Amériques (États-Unis, Canada, Brésil, Venezuela, Colombie, etc.).  Ce festival donne des idées à plusieurs plasticiens y ayant participé et qui fondent à leur tour des festivals dans leurs pays respectifs[réf. nécessaire]. Il donne également des vocations à beaucoup de jeunes habitants de Mahrès qui participent aux différents travaux de ses ateliers et qui, une fois bacheliers, sorientent vers des études à lInstitut supérieur des beaux-arts de Tunis[réf. nécessaire]. Par ailleurs, grâce aux nombreuses œuvres dart disséminées un peu partout dans la ville, Mahrès est devenue un véritable espace dexposition darts plastiques en plein air. Source : <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>
Lever de soleil sur Mahrès by ©tounes tunisia

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

365: Abdul Ludbah

People believe 365 projects are often self-centered. From my experience projects composed mainly of self-portraits are not always quality ones, and I have featured very few of them.

Abdul appears on every photo of his second 365 project, but he did not want to take a picture of his face every day. The result is quite interesting, I particularly like pictures of his hands.

Abdul Ludbah - 365

day eighteen | 365 v2: ... Miserable day today. Rained. A lot. Because of the weather conditions people had to leave work early so as not to be caught out ...

Dont really wear ties much to work.

Other than that a fairly ordinary day.

<a href="" rel="nofollow">+++</a>
day eighteen | 365 v2: ... by ©Abdul Ludbah

day twentyTwo | 365 v2: Cappuccino anyone? ... Well, almost ... lets just say I wont be making employee of the month at Costa. Tried to make the Schwuash sound to compensate. The result is what you see before you. I mean seriously, would you drink that?!?!

Liked how this came out (the picture not the Cappuccino). There are some water droplets on the table but as I didnt see them until I began to process and couldnt be bothered to re-shoot.

<a href="" rel="nofollow">+++</a>
day twentyTwo | 365 v2: Cappuccino anyone? ... by ©Abdul Ludbah

day fiftyFour | 365 v2: W ... <b>W - Double U</b>

For some reason couldnt get my thumbs to match up to form a proper w ...

For Gooses <a href="">ABC 365 February 2011</a> 

<a href="" rel="nofollow">+++</a>
day fiftyFour | 365 v2: W ... by ©Abdul Ludbah

day sixtyFive | 365 v2: ... Long day at work but it went quickly. Seems like the last couple of days Ive had to work for my pay!

<a href="" rel="nofollow">+++</a>
day sixtyFive | 365 v2: ... by ©Abdul Ludbah

day sixtySix | 365 v2: ... Couple of things I didnt like about this - the door in the background and ... the door in the background. This was a practice set-up for something else I had in mind but this sort of stuck. Adjusted contrast and brightness in LR.

<a href="" rel="nofollow">Convite Para Vida</a>

<a href="" rel="nofollow">+++</a>
day sixtySix | 365 v2: ... by ©Abdul Ludbah

day sixtySeven | 365 v2: ... Playing around with lighting ..

<a href="" rel="nofollow">+++</a>
day sixtySeven | 365 v2: ... by ©Abdul Ludbah

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

14 Brilliant Photos With The Sun

Wait .. Dont go !!
Wait .. Don't go !! by ©Khalid Al-Haqqan

sun yeah the sun is out!!  This photo inspired by the marvelous <a href="">Auntie P</a>.  Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!  No manipulation... not sure how that sun ray ended up looking like it was going through my hand but Im guessing it was a flare from the lens (and others seem to concur).
sun by ©Roxanne

Bedruthan sunset Another view of a sunset from September 2005 taken from the cliffs at Bedruthan Steps on the North Cornwall coast.    <a href=",-5.032939910888672(Bedruthan sunset)&amp;t=h">See where this picture was taken.</a> <a href="">[?]</a>
Bedruthan sunset by ©Barry

Sunset @ Gandipet <b>WOW EXPLORED <del>#14..... 16Dec08</del> <del>#8 ...16Dec08</del> #5 ...17Dec08 Front Page Explore </b> Thanks to everyone for commenting, fav &amp; views :)  <a href=""></a>
Sunset @ Gandipet by ©Vijay Bandari

The Sentinel / El Centinela Listen / Escucha <a href=""><b>&quot;Sentinel&quot;</b></a> by/por Mike Oldfield  <b>Para mi hermano del alma / For my soul brother <a href="">Juli Modul (Juli Morató Torres)</a>.</b>  <i> &quot;Cuando nuestro mundo alcanzó la mitad de su edad actual, algo que venía de las estrellas pasó a través del Sistema Solar, dejó aquella huella de su paso, y prosiguió su camino. Hasta que nosotros la destruimos, aquella máquina cumplió su cometido. Y empiezo a intuir cuál era.  Alrededor de cien mil millones de estrellas giran en el círculo de la Vía Láctea, y, hace mucho tiempo, otras razas de los mundos pertenecientes a otros soles deben de haber alcanzado y superado el estadio en el que ahora nos hallamos nosotros. Piensen en una tal civilización, muy lejana en el tiempo, cuando la Creación era aún tibia, dueña de un universo tan joven que la vida había surgido tan sólo en una infinitésima parte de mundos. La soledad de aquel mundo es algo imposible de imaginar, la soledad de los dioses que miran a través del infinito y no hallan a nadie con quien compartir sus pensamientos.  Deben de haber explorado las galaxias como nosotros exploramos los mundos. Por todos lados había mundos, pero estaban vacíos, o a lo sumo poblados de cosas que se arrastraban y eran incapaces de pensar. Así debía de ser nuestra Tierra, con el humo de los volcanes ofuscando aún el cielo, cuando la primera nave de los pueblos del alba surgió de los abismos más allá de Plutón. Rebasó los planetas exteriores apresados por el hielo, sabiendo que la vida no podía formar parte de sus destinos. Alcanzó y se detuvo en los planetas interiores, que se calentaban al fuego del Sol, esperando a que comenzara su historia.  Aquellos exploradores deben de haber observado la Tierra, sobrevolando la estrecha franja entre los hielos y el fuego, llegando a la conclusión de que aquél debía de ser el hijo predilecto del Sol. Allí, en un remoto futuro, surgiría la inteligencia; pero ante ellos quedaban aún innumerables estrellas, y nunca regresarían por aquel mismo camino.  Así pues, dejaron un centinela, uno de los millones que deben de existir esparcidos por todo el universo, vigilando los mundos en los cuales vibra la promesa de la vida. Era un faro que, a través de todas las edades, señalaba pacientemente que aún nadie lo había descubierto.  Quizás ahora comprendan por qué la pirámide de cristal fue instalada en la Luna y no en la Tierra. A sus creadores no les importaban las razas que luchaban aún por salir del salvajismo. Nuestra civilización les podía interesar tan sólo si dábamos prueba de nuestra capacidad de supervivencia, lanzándonos al espacio y escapando así de la Tierra, nuestra cuna. Este es el desafío que, antes o después, se plantea a todas las razas inteligentes. Es un desafío doble, porque depende de la conquista de la energía atómica y de la decisiva elección entre la vida y la muerte.  Una vez superado este punto crítico, era tan sólo cuestión de tiempo que descubriéramos la pirámide, y la forzásemos para ver lo que había dentro. Ahora ya no emite ninguna señal, y aquellos encargados de su escucha deben de haber vuelto su atención hacia la Tierra. Quizás acudan a ayudar a nuestra civilización, aún en su infancia. Pero deben de ser viejos, muy viejos, y a menudo los viejos son morbosamente celosos de los jóvenes.  Ahora ya no puedo mirar la Vía Láctea sin preguntarme de cuál de esas nebulosas estelares están acudiendo los emisarios. Si me permiten hacer una comparación bastante vulgar, hemos tirado del aparato de alarma, y ahora no podemos hacer otra cosa más que esperar.  No creo que tengamos que esperar mucho.&quot;</i>  Fragmento del cuento  <a href="">&quot;El Centinela&quot;</a>, Arthur C. Clarke, 1957    <i>&quot;When our world was half its present age, something from the stars swept through the Solar System, left this token of its passage, and went again upon its way. Until we destroyed it, that machine was still fulfilling the purpose of its builders; and as to that purpose, here is my guess.  Nearly a hundred thousand million stars are turning in the circle of the Milky Way, and long ago other races on the worlds of other suns must have scaled and passed the heights that we have reached. Think of such civilizations, far back in time against the fading afterglow of Creation, masters of a universe so young that life as yet had come only to a handful of worlds. Theirs would have been a loneliness we cannot imagine, the loneliness of gods looking out across infinity and finding none to share their thoughts.  They must have searched the star-clusters as we have searched the planets. Everywhere there would be worlds, but they would be empty or peopled with crawling, mindless things. Such was our own Earth, the smoke of the great volcanoes still staining the skies, when that first ship of the peoples of the dawn came sliding in from the abyss beyond Pluto. It passed the frozen outer worlds, knowing that life could play no part in their destinies. It came to rest among the inner planets, warming themselves around the fire of the Sun and waiting for their stories to begin.  Those wanderers must have looked on Earth, circling safely in the narrow zone between fire and ice, and must have guessed that it was the favorite of the Sun’s children. Here, in the distant future, would be intelligence; but there were countless stars before -them still, and they might never come this way again.  So they left a sentinel, one of millions they have scattered throughout the Universe, watching over all worlds with the promise of life. It was a beacon that down the ages has been patiently signaling the fact that no one had discovered it.  Perhaps you understand now why that crystal pyramid was set upon the Moon instead of on the Earth. Its builders were not concerned with races still struggling up from savagery. They would be interested in our civilization only if we proved our fitness to survive -by crossing space and so escaping from the Earth, our cradle. That is the challenge that all intelligent races must meet, sooner or later. It is a double challenge, for it depends in turn upon the conquest of atomic energy and the last choice between life and death.  Once we had passed that crisis, it was only a matter of time before we found the pyramid and forced it open. Now its signals have ceased, and those whose duty it is will be turning their minds upon Earth. Perhaps they wish to help our infant civilization. But they must be very, very old, and the old are often insanely jealous of the young.  I can never look now at the Milky Way without wondering from which of those banked clouds of stars the emissaries are coming. If you will pardon so commonplace a simile, we have set off the fire-alarm and have nothing to do but to wait.  I do not think we will have to wait for long.&quot;</i>  Fragment of the short story <a href=""> &quot;The Sentinel&quot;</a>, Arthur C. Clarke, 1957   <a href=";size=large">Recommended View On Black, large - Recomendado Ver en Fondo Negro, grande</a>  <a href="">Most recent photos in black  - Mis fotos más recientes en negro</a>
The Sentinel / El Centinela by ©Claudio Alejandro Mufarrege

Tracce Explore_15/01/09#21
Tracce by ©luigi

The Ascent - Great Wall of China Travel Photos:  <b><a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></b> Travel Blog: <b><a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></b>  Story behind Photograph:  <b> <a href="" rel="nofollow">Visiting the Badaling Section of the Great Wall of China</a></b>
The Ascent - Great Wall of China by ©Mike Behnken

End Of The Day (Explore #1 Feb 7 2007)   <b>Facebook</b>: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>  <b>Follow me on twitter </b>: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>  <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>
End Of The Day by ©Abdus Samad

Red Light... Explore No : # 248
Red Light... by ©Kıvanç Niş

India Agra Red Fort _D7C2065 The sun is also made of cheese...?  <i> #383 on Flickrs <b>Explore</b></i>  * <i>This photo apears <a href="" rel="nofollow">here</a></i>
India Agra Red Fort _D7C2065 by ©youngrobv (Rob&Ale)

~ Twilight Tree...  for free ~ <i><b>~ A little bit of something that caught my eye along the way. ~</b>   Using Canons <b>Twilight Camera Style</b> to get the pink / purple from the blues. All internal camera, no post colour work.</i>  <b>Canon USER????</b>  <a href="">Download from Canon page right here.</a> <b>7 new Styles for FREE.....</b>  (1 time bump &amp; grouped 7:00am Thursday)
~ Twilight Tree... for free ~ by ©viamoi

Just another Tequila Sunset... Sunset - Hammersmith, London, England - Saturday August 30th 2008. <a href=""><b>Click here to see the Larger image</a></b>
Just another Tequila Sunset... by ©Keven Law

Morning on Haleakala From the top of Haleakala, East Maui volcano. At 10,000 feet, the air is thin, and before dawn it is very cold, too. You are surrounded by an eerie silence disturbed only by the sound of your own breathing. I arrived while it was still dark, along with many others who had come to witness the spectacle. As dawn broke, a fellow next to me proposed marriage to his girlfriend, but I didnt find out about this until afterwards, I was so excited taking pictures. The starburst pattern is caused by diffraction on the lens aperture blades. No filter was used or post-processing was done.
Morning on Haleakala by ©Ken Schwarz

Star jump My two sons leap over the sun. A daring attempt which was made all the more difficult by some audacious in-flight tickling of armpits.
Star jump by ©stuart anthony

version française