Sunrise Swim

(Click on the photo for added detail.)
(Click on the photo for added detail.)

This week I’m sharing the last photo from the early morning series at Delimara. I took this wide angle view shortly after sunrise, moments after the one in my earlier post with the ships in the distance. In the lower right you can see a number of heads in the water, where the group I walked with were swimming, waiting for the sunrise. I joined them after I took this photo, when we walked to a popular inlet close by (St Peter’s pool, for those in the know) and spent some time swimming there. The sea is perfectly refreshing in the morning.

As I write this it reminds me that I need to do some photography again. Same goes for swimming. Lately I’ve stepped up my climbing, making the most of the nearby crags. After several months, the indoor to outdoor transition is practically complete. I’ve finally found my feet on real rock, and have been comfortably leading the easy routes (up to 5c). Soon I’ll be climbing again at my (indoor) grade and working my way through the 6’s. So many interests, so little time.

The Kings’ Graves

(Click on the photo for added detail.)
(Click on the photo for added detail.)

Yesterday I didn’t make it in time to write a throwback post, so I’m making up for that today. No complaint, I spent a nice quiet evening at the local crag, which is a great way to wind down. Anyway, at the moment I’m transferring a large public data set of raw images from DVD archives (over 100GiB), so while I wait for that I thought I’d write this post.

I mentioned already that I’m finally through the backlog of processed images from England. However, this does not mean I’m through with all images from England. Several weeks ago I dipped back into the archives looking for those images that I liked but never completed processing. This happens more often than you’d think. Sometimes it’s simply that I don’t realise a photo’s potential; sometimes it’s just that I had already selected several from the same shoot so other good ones slip through. In this case, which happens more often than I’d care to admit, I tried processing it before but didn’t like the result.

We came across these two barrows on a walk near Kingley Vale in West Sussex. It is said they’re the burial places of Viking chiefs that were defeated in a battle in the vale. Between the barrows and the impenetrable woods I could hardly imagine a more Tolkienesque landscape. The apocalyptic sky was a nice final touch. I can’t even remember if it rained or not. It probably did. It was a very enjoyable walk, at the end of which we stopped at a local pub for beer and a bite to eat.

The tough bit about this image was the rather extreme dynamic range. I was shooting into the sun, with really bright highlights on the white clouds, and a very subdued foreground which was mostly in the shade. The trees in the distance have a darkness that the sun couldn’t penetrate. Eventually I managed to work with this by using some editing skills I recently acquired. The decision to process as a B&W image also helped make things easier.

Approaching Sunrise

(Click on the photo for added detail.)
(Click on the photo for added detail.)

I’m back with another photo from last week’s early morning walk. I planned to arrive a little earlier than necessary, to have some time to take a few night shots. I had in mind a photo with the chapel at Tas-Silġ in the foreground and the open sky above; there should have been the Milky Way there. Unfortunately, the light pollution was insane for such an out-of-the-way place, most notably that caused by the church lighting itself. So that idea went out the window.

Instead, I looked towards the east, where dawn was breaking, and took a wide angle view of the fields and the sky above. Orion is clearly visible in the top right. There is always something special looking at the night sky, and for me at least it never gets old. This was still almost two hours before sunrise, and the light you see in the foreground is from the church sodium lamps. I kept the long exposure short to avoid star trails (I think something like 10 seconds).

Journal: SPIE Journal of Electronic Imaging

Areej S. Alfraih, Johann A. Briffa, and Stephan Wesemeyer. Cloning localization approach using k-means clustering and support vector machine. J. Electron. Imaging. 24 (4), 043019 (August 21, 2015); DOI: 10.1117/1.JEI.24.4.043019

Grass Striping

(Click on the photo for added detail.)
(Click on the photo for added detail.)

While I wait for some data transfers to happen, I thought I’d get a head start on today’s blog post. This is the final ‘old’ image that I have to share from our time in England. What remains are those that I did not process until recently. It’s incredible that it has taken a year of regular posts to get through the images I had already processed. It’s even more incredible that there are still a few good photos in need of some care & attention. If there’s one thing I’m really satisfied about, it’s that my commitment to blog regularly about my photography has allowed me to openly explore ideas and it has provided enough incentive to experience the natural world more often.

Today’s photo is a different take on a field I know well in the Albury downs. I posted its companion earlier this year. While I think the other image is much stronger, I quite like the play of shadows and the different cutting angles of the grass on the rolling hillside. I have seen this place in many conditions: verdant in the spring, blooming in the height of summer, dry in the fall, and even snowed over in winter. This has often been my last view at the end of an enjoyable walk to St Martha’s, which was itself a bit of a go-to place for me as it was so close to where we lived. So it’s no surprise that this holds a special place, perhaps only to me.

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