Category Archives: HDR

Under the weather…

I’ve been feeling a little off since Monday – & yesterday was so bad, that when I looked at my computer screen, I got a huge sinus concentration right between my eyes…. 😦 I did not feel good!! Fortunately I got an appointment at the doctor at 09h30!! She immediately prescribed me some antibiotics and booked me off for two days…

I’m a sleeper when I’m sick… & I’m sure it makes me get better sooner!!! I’m feeling much better today, still very tired though – so after this post I’m back to bed!!!

Random post for today – I started editing a few of my older photos this morning… In the spirit of the rugby going on I am posting a little bit of spirit today…

Loftus 2012

I was so impressed by how this panorama panned out – it consists of four photos & I could not be happier with the result!!! I can’t remember who was playing against who (sports is not my ‘thing’ 😉 ) but there were a lot of people!!!

The next photo is nothing special – I just played with the perspective crop!! I’m going to post the result & my original photo (for comparison…) Although it is obvious that something is not right with the result – I love how it turned out!!

Result – after perspective cropping…

The original shot…

Which do you prefer??

The next shot is my first attempt at creating an HDR from one single shot!! I still have a long way to go… but I thought I’ll share my result with you!!!

HDR from one shot – 5 exposures created (-2,-1,0,1,2)

I’m thinking that I need to practise this more – could be a space saver (although it took quite a while!!!)… 🙂

Ok, that is all for my random post today – I’m off to bed again!!! 😉 **

A day in Jasper – A trip to the Canadian Rockies!!

After He-who-thinks-he’s-boss (HWTHB) returned back to the hotel for our second to last evening in Edmonton, we decided to head out to Jasper for the evening!! If we left immediately (at approx. 17h30) we would be in Jasper in 3.5 hours… Soooooo, we left for Jasper immediately!! 😉 Canadian Rockies, here we come!!! 😀

I took a few photos along the way…

I could not believe that it was still so light so late at night – And it was cloudy!!! – – – In South Africa (even in summer) it barely stays light much after 19h00!! – – –

We arrived in Jasper and set out to find a place to sleep – as we went in the spur of the moment, we did not book any accommodation!!! – I know, daredevils… 😉 But it was no problem… We drove around the town of Jasper, chose a place that looked quaint and went in!! In the end we slept in Astoria Hotel – it cost $97 for the room (no breakfast included) – this, for us seemed steep (when compared to the price of our hotel in Edmonton ito what you get…)!!! 😦

As it was already late, we set out to get some foodies!! We ended up in Jasper Brewing Company… It was delicious!!! We enjoyed the multiple screen all showing highlights of the ice hockey… (I must say by the end of our trip we were quite into ice hockey – & I am NEVER into sports… it grew on us 🙂 )…

My very interesting Blueberry-Vanilla beer… Yum!!!

The next morning we awoke with our first (semi) worthy view of the Rockies… it was beautiful… ice-capped and huge!!! I could get used to waking up to this view…. 😀

HDR of our view through our un-openable screen!!!

Breakfast at Lou Lou’s…

We thought we’d go up the cable-way… but it was not running… 😦 It seems we arrived in Jasper in a quite time – the slopes was not open, the cable-way was not running, but it was still a beautiful place with a gorgeous little town!!! We could imagine that during the right season, Jasper would be a haven to hang out at!!! 😀

Totem Pole…

A view of Jasper!!

We headed back to Edmonton for our last day that day… The one day we spent in Jasper was a memorable one for sure!!! …& although it was a long(ish) drive, we decided that the experience was worthwhile!!! 🙂 **

Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.3

In Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.2 I left you with our camping spot for the evening… 🙂 The next day (which would be our last day road-tripping), we decided to change our plans – – – yet again 😉 – – – I’m not sure if anyone has ever heard about a place called Ceres??  It is described as the Eden of the Cape!!! 😀 Well…. Me & He-who-thinks-he’s-boss decided to take a detour and try and spend a night in a place that sounds like heaven on earth… 😀 !!!

The Day3 road trip began quite positive… We drove through many smaller unknown towns… Most of them were so small that you would miss it if you blink!!! 😉 The first stop that me made was in Calitzdorp… It was a bigger town (compared to the ones that we have passed along the way)!!! We were starving by then & reached a mutual agreement that this would be the town that we would enjoy breakfast in!!!

Our Calitzdorp stop… (click for larger version) Clockwise from top left: The shop from the restaurant; Me & He-who-thinks-he’s-boss planning our route for the day; some of the interesting views of the restaurant; He-who-thinks-he’s-boss being funny for the camera!!!

As you can see we stopped at a place called Lorenzo’s. It was a mix-match shop & restaurant!!! The shop sold all kinds of crafty & antique stuff… (I fell completely in love with an antique mirror – – – one day when I get the chance to decorate my bathroom I know where I’m going to get the mirror 😉 ) We were soon on our way again…

Our next stop was again a few towns away… A little town called Barrydale!!! We were told that that was the place that the Capetonians go for a weekend away… It was set in a small valley… We stopped at the popular stop – – – for ice-cream 😉 !!!

Barrydale… (click for larger version) Clockwise from top: I cropped out the top of the shop because I just loved the painting – true South African! so colourful! ; shop where we bought ice-cream; He-who-thinks-he’s-boss shoving ice-cream in my mouth!!!

This was our last stop before Ceres… we were super excited!!! 😀 This is the type of picture that you usually see of Ceres:

A typical Ceres portrayal !!!

Ceres is home to the factory Ceres, & is famous for producing most of our fruit juices!!! (& apparently for 84 countries world-wide!!!) 🙂 We are very fortunate to have many fresh fruit & veggies & 100% fruit juices!!! – – – #lovingit – – – 😀

Anyway…. WHAT A LET DOWN!!! 😦 It is nothing what we expected… Just another small town… – – – that happen to produce the most delicious fruit juices EVER!!! – – – (that’s probably why they call it “Eden of the Cape”)… After driving the whole day with high expectations we felt like crying… ;( We drove Super far… & we definitely did NOT want to spend the night in Ceres!!!

We were going to stick with our original plan to travel to Stellenbosch & sleep at our friend’s house (we had arranged to stay in his home for a couple of days)!!! When we let him know that our plans have changed – yet again – he informed us that he is still a distance away from home… bummer!!! 😦

While travelling down to Stellenbosch we entered another pass… the Bainskloof Pass!!! This piece of road stretches 30kms (tarred this time 😉 ) & was built by Andrew Bain – a Scottish Settler. Andrew Bain had no formal training in engineering & yet, this pass is regarded as one of the best passes in the country. It is an unspoilt nature reserve that forms part of the Cape Nature Conservation!!! Upon entering the pass, a sign reads that no vehicles higher than _____ (I can’t remember the height, but it was in the region of 3 metres!!!) may not drive this pass … We wondered what the reason for this would be…??About three quarters through we got our answer:

Bells Rock !!! (HDR)

 What a sight!!! 😀 About 90% through the pass we got yet another surprise… we stopped at a place marked a look-out spot!!! Obviously I took my camera along!!! 😉 After the shocking disappointment that Ceres was (our biggest of our whole holiday!!), we got the highlight of our trip…

The look-out!!! Oh, what a view!!! HDR Panorama (click for larger version & full effect!!!) - trust me... 😉

This was BY FAR the highlight of my trip!!! 😀 You could not see even a part of this view until you were through all the plants and over all the rocks!!! But oh man…. it was totally worth it!!! 🙂 We spend a good while there – – – not even the intense wind could take us away from this gorgeous landscape!!! 😀

Self timer shot!!!

I was quite nervous of leaving the camera in this mad wind!!! But in the end glad I did… I just love this shot!!! Not everyday that one gets a landscape as beautiful as this!!!

I was going to post more… but I think this is a very good, happy & positive place to end Part.3… Thank you soooooooo much for reading!!! Stay tuned for Part.4 !!! 🙂 **

Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.2

In Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.1 I ended up with our first glimpses of the spectacular Cape mountains…  Well, by 16h30 we were entering one of the world’s most beautiful passes – – – Swartberg Pass – – – (little did we know it at the time)!!! 😀 **

Entrance to the Swartberg Pass

This pass goes through the Groot Swartberge (or directly translated ‘Big Black mountain’)… Yikesy!! 🙂 We entered from the small town named Prince Albert… We did not have any accommodation booked for this evening & was holding thumbs that we’ll get a place along the way… 😉 (Our initial plan was to camp in the Karoo National Park, but by not booking – – – and only 26 camping spots – – -we were those people that got shown in another direction)!!! 😀

We were definitely two very very very small subjects in this enormously breathtaking creation!!! We were awestruck even before we officially entered this pass (stopped regularly for photos along the way!!) 🙂

Right at the entrance we captured our memory!!!
Entering the Swartberg Pass (HDR)

 I researched this pass a bit and found interesting information that I think most of you will find super interesting… 😀 I am quoting (for lack of a better description) snippets of this information from the Prince Albert Tourism Website… 😉

“… Prince Albert lies at the entrance to the 27km Swartberg Pass, considered one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world: an untarred road winds to the summit 1,583 metres above sea level in steep zig-zags and sudden switchbacks,  with breath-taking views at every turn… “

I also have an HDR of this shot, but my trusty little snapper has a much wider angle than my slr... so I decided to go for the snapper shot - the scale of these majestic mountains seem more impressive!!!

Around yet another corner (HDR)

“… The entrance is through a narrow Cape sandstone kloof where the eye is drawn upwards by the convoluted rock faces to the sparkling sky above. The only sounds are bubbling water, the wind in the trees and birdsong. Several picnic sites near the river provide tranquil spots to stop and absorb the peace and splendour …”

“… The natural characteristics of the Pass are magnificent as are the man-made features. This was Thomas Bain’s last engineering masterpiece …”

A typical view of one of those sudden switchbacks & Zig-zags (HDR)

Looking back on the road we have driven (HDR)

 “… Along the way there are relics of an old prison, toll hut, hotel and other interesting historical sites.

Often covered in snow in winter, the mountains’ unique micro-climate supports fynbos and a rich bird population, in contrast with the arid zone flora and fauna outside its cool, shady kloofs. Watch out for black eagles and klipspringers.

The Swartberg Pass is now part of a World Heritage Site …”

Yay, I’ve seen a World Heritage Site!!! 😀 That doesn’t happen often!!! 🙂 In my holiday update I posted a photo of me taking a photo of the landscape… Well, I’m not sure that this is the best that it can look (I will still be experimenting with it until I find the perfect look), but nevertheless, here is my 360 panorama!!! (Let me know if the quality is very bad… for some or other reason it did not want to show my photo & I had to rescale it way smaller 😦 Else, I’ll try it in a post of it’s own!!!) 🙂

360 Panorama of the Groot Swartberg Landscape!!!

Not long thereafter we reached the summit, called “Die Top” (or in english – The Top)!!!

"Die Top" (HDR)

Close-up of the sign - I loved that the different clubs & organizations all left their "mark" here... so much character!!! (HDR)

Where we came from... (a view to the left) - Certainly the top!!!

Where we are heading... (view to the right) - a much different landscape!!!

 We spent almost two hours travelling those 27km’s… (but seeing that we spent so much time taken photos, I am not surprised!!!) 😉 We travelled on the exit road out of the pass – still without a place to sleep 🙂 – until we came across a camp site at the foot of the mountains… We were in luck!!! 😀 Seeing that this road is off the beaten track, we were fortunate that there were not many people camping there!!!

Beyond exhausted from the day of long driving hours, excitement over the majestic pass & stress over where we were going to sleep, we set up camp in this dream spot!!!

Our express set-up for dinner!!! (in true South African style)

Our bed for the night!!! A camp-site with a view!!! (HDR)

I this is where I will be leaving you tonight!!! If ever you are fortunate enough to visit this site…. my photos doesn’t even nearly do it justice!!! 😀 Thanks for stopping by!!! 🙂 **

Farm Views & a (temporary) Farewell…

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!!! Today. Officially. I am on Hoooooooliday!!!! Super psyched to start enjoying it!!! 😀 😀 😀 Tomorrow we are starting our three day road trip down to Cape Town, where we will be until after Xmas!!! We will then head south along the coast up to Knysna until just after new year…. We will then unfortunately return back home to get started with the monotomy that is work… 😦

I am conveying my apologies so long…. because my posts will be few over the next 3 weeks… But… I will be having great stories to share & (hopefully) wonderful photos to share!!! Oh my word I’m excited!!! 🙂 Promise to pop in at least once a week!!! 🙂

I want to share with you a few photos that I took on a farm last weekend (one of the busy ones!!)… Hopefully you’ll like it as much as me!!! 🙂 **

I realised halfway through posting these photos that I did not watermark it….. oh well!!!!! 😉 I hope you all have a great time in the coming three weeks…. whatever you do, be safe & considerate… & have fun!!! Lots of fun!!! 🙂 **

Sun sets on Daisies…

Today we attended a trail running event (He-who-thinks-he’s-boss participated & unsporty ol’ me decided to have a go at a few runners with my trusty camera!!)… I really am NOT good in capturing people – – – let alone moving people!! But I guess it’s just something that I have to practice and figure out!! Any handy tips??

Any way, so I decided to post my next attempt at HDR (again handheld… oops!)!! It was taken from three shots (-2,0,+2) and the merging of the three (in CS5) created this weird rainbow type effect where the sun is!!!

I am quite chuffed with it… now, if only I can make the effort and tag along a tripod!!! 😉 **

My first HDR attempts!!!

Ok, so I’ve been seeing HDR everywhere (& if I may add – – – LOVING the results!!!)… Not knowing what HDR is, I started doing a bit of research about it… I think I’ve got the basic idea, so while I was walking with my dogs (obviously camera in hand!!!), I decided to see if I can shoot anything that I can experiment with!!!

Ok, so these ARE NOT GOOD… but I am quite excited about HDR because:

1. If I were to use a tripod (instead of doing 3 handheld shots… I know I know, but I wasn’t planning this) these would already be better…

2. I L.O.V.E the clouds!!! 😀

3. This is a new skill that I can learn, practice & develop!!! 😀

Without further ado, I present my three (handshot) HDR’s:

Subject 1

Subject 2

Subject 3 (My favourite!!!)

As far as the watermark goes… Thank you so much for all the feedback!!! I’m going to design one that is true to what/who I am – – – so hopefully I’ll replace my boring initials with a proper watermark sooner rather than later!!! 😀 **