The EUR district of Rome is often overlooked by most tourists, which is probably just as well, since this crumbling collection of monolithic concrete buildings are slowly decaying and apparently empty, testament to the insanely grandiose designs of Mussolini who created them in the 1930′s. The whole mad experiment is redeemed, however, by the wonderful Palazzo della Civilta Italiana, an imposing cubist makeover of the colosseum. I was there on a stormy day, but got lucky when a ray of sunlight illuminated the edifice against a backdrop of threatening clouds.
Posts Tagged ‘clouds’
Posted in Photo of the Day, tagged architecture, art, arts, clouds, Colosseum, cubism, design, EUR, fascism, Italy, modern, Mussolini, palazzo della civilta italiana, photography, Rome, sky, urban on February 23, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
“Odaiba Skies” : Tokyo, 19th March 2012
In recent years Tokyo has revitalised the land around the bay, allowing the residents to rediscover the fact that Tokyo is coastal. Nowhere is this redevelopment more obvious than in Odaiba, a large area of shops, hotels and other attractions constructed on reclaimed land with amazing night views over the metropolis.
It’s a also a famed spot for couples, which is why I felt a bit like an idiot as I waited for dusk on my own, with only my tripod for companionship
You can see a larger version of this photograph by clicking here.
“Sunset Silhouette” : Porto, 10th September 2011
When I took this photograph I didn’t think that it would turn out to be anything special, but now I come to process and publish it, it suddenly seems as though it’s one of my best. Strange how things sometimes turn out that way…
You can see a larger version of this photo here.
“Porto Panorama” : 9th September 2011
OK, it’s a fairly touristy view I know, but hey, it had to be done.
Porto has a very changeable climate : in the few days I was there, it went from cold and rainy to sweltering heat and blue skies, sometimes both on the same day.
I had to act fast to shoot everything in decent light. Look carefully at the top of the picture, where the river meets the sea. You’ll notice a bank of ominous low cloud that rapidly swept up the valley shortly after this photo was taken, making everything hazy and grey…
See a larger version of this photo here.
“The Price of Industry” : Hiroshima, Japan, 17th February 2012
Today I decided to walk through some random places in Hiroshima in the hope of finding things to photograph.
I took a couple of trains out to the northern suburb of Omachi, where I got out and strolled about ten kilometres back to the central station, with the occasional snow flurry making things rather interesting weather-wise.
Somewhere along the trail I encountered this fairly bleak view of the sun trying to battle with fat storm clouds reflected on a dirty and polluted-looking river. I make it look uglier than it is, but it’s no secret that Hiroshima is not a very beautiful city.
Just for fun, here’s the iPhone Instagram version I took of the same view: they always look great on a tiny screen, but the low quality is evident when it’s exported, and look at how badly blown out the sky is – all the cloud detail has vanished! Good fun, though…
You can see a larger version of the first photograph here.
“Portuguese Tower View” : Belem, Lisbon, 7th September 2011
I took this deceptively simple shot from Lisbon’s Torre de Belém, a sixteenth-century fortified tower on the banks of the Tagus river which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and closely associated with the age of discovery.
I say simple, because the picture straight out of the camera was suffering from some horrible distortion caused by using a wide-angle lens. Correcting this is a nightmare, so I usually don’t bother, but here it detracted from the beautiful tones and lines of the image so much that I made the effort. This involves importing the file into dedicated (but tediously slow) software where I was able to make the tower on the left and the column on the right roughly parallel.
Just for comparison, and an insight into the world of post-processing (or ‘faking it‘, as some would have it), here’s what the original picture looked like:
As well as the correction of the lens distortion, you can see that I levelled the horizon and applied a filter to the sky to produce a more pleasing tone (at least to my eyes). I think all of these changes are fairly subtle, but they improve the image enormously.
The wonders of modern technology, eh?
Have a look here for a larger version of the first image.
“Competing Clouds at Sunset” : Hiroshima, Japan, 25th October 2011
At the end of the summer Japan runs into typhoon season, and while there isn’t much fun to be had in weather systems which at best cause transport delays, at worst, loss of life, there are still some great photographic opportunities to be had.
This is one of only two new pictures I’ve produced since early September.
I can’t remember if the typhoon had passed or was on its way, but I glanced out of the window and saw this unusual sight.
Rushing out onto the balcony of my house I was able to capture these two competing cloud formations, the dark grey in the foreground heading one way and the more distant red in the other, both at considerable speed.
You may wonder why I chose such a strange aspect ratio for this particular image. Well, it wasn’t out of any artistic considerations, but because the lower portion of the sky was full of the overhead electrical and communication cables the Japanese are so fond of suspending everywhere, restricting my view considerably.
Luckily this particular typhoon didn’t pass directly over us, so there was no local damage.
You should really check out the larger version of this photo here.
“Heavy Sky” : Hiroshima, 16th February 2011
Last winter I bought a 10-24mm wide-angle lens and wanted to test it out, so one cold weekend I climbed up Hiroshima’s Futabayama and pointed the camera south.
In the foreground lies the city, the typical ugly concrete and wires of modern urban Japan, but if you look carefully (especially if you view the larger version), you can see the Inland Sea in the distance, dotted with small islands that make refreshing day trips out of the grey industrial blight . This body of water separates the main Japanese island of Honshu from Shikoku, the smallest and most rural of the four major landmasses that make up the nation.
Below this forbidding heavy sky I shared the mountain with a large metal pagoda, a gift from the government of India to memorialise the victims of the atomic bomb, the perfect apocalyptic accompaniment to the roiling storm clouds above…
“Reflections under a Swollen Sky” : Strasbourg, 29th August 2011
I love strolling around on my own after dark. Or at least I do in cities where I know I’m not going to come to any harm.
Here I found myself in the old quarter of Strasbourg, which by day is bustling with tourists come to admire the narrow streets bordered by quaint medieval timbered houses, the quintessential Alsatian architectural look.
By night, most folk have retreated to the restaurants to unwind after a hard days’ sightseeing.
Not me, though. I’m perversely skulking about with my camera, intent on transforming the picturesque urban landscape into a gloomy foreboding twilight of unspoken evil.
OK, OK, I’ll shut up now…
You can stop by my gallery and take a look at the larger version if you so wish, readers.