When I don’t have time to process new photos for the site but still want to post some things and fill up the Gallery, I have to dig out some old photos that I have already processed. And keeping with the theme of grim shots from Belgium (it is kind of a grim country), here are some from Charleroi at night.
I had definitely posted these on my old website already, but I still like them. I took them during my first ever trip to Belgium which was a weekend trip back in 2010. Charleroi is the third largest city in Belgium and the largest city of the southern, french speaking part of Belgium, Wallonia. The night was cold and rainy which kind of set the precedent for most of my other trips to Belgium. But here, the numerous colorful lights in the city were beautifully reflected by the wet streets. I had a lot of fun taking pictures and only went to bed around 3 in the morning.
The second night, I followed a recommendation and hiked to the top of one of the coal hills. Charleroi is an old coal mining town and most of the colliery wastes were just piled into big hills and left for nature to claim them. If you have a powerful enough flashlight, a GPS unit (or smartphone with offline maps) and aren’t afraid of the dark, you can get great views over the city. Of course, everything is very dark and you have to use longer than usual exposures to take pictures but it is worth it.
I think the Gallery now contains all the photos from Charleroi that I had posted on my old site.
OK, it is my plan to post a lot of older pictures here, but I won’t do that in chronological order. Instead, I will jump around and post whatever I find interesting. However, while searching the old Berlin pictures for the last post, I found some more photos from my 2009 Berlin trip that I decided to reprocess with a slightly different look. The originals are still public somewhere on my flickr.
They are both from the lower levels of Berlin’s central station, where I hung around mostly because the topside weather was really bad and because the architecture and the lighting are very well done. It is amazing that there is thise huge maze of rooms, corridors and shops underground, all heated and illuminated with not that many people passing through. I guess the traffic will increase though, once they move some of the city’s many many construction projects forward.
I like that Deutsche Bahn allows non-commercial photography inside their stations, not many companies do that.
There are some more pictures from my Berlin trips in the Gallery now. Berlin has many great photo opportunities. Once could even move there and start a photoblog. He!
While I was building this site, I used some photos I had on my old website for testing purposes. One of them was this photo I took of the Brandenburg Gate at night. It was slightly rainy and not many people were out and about. I had only owned my Pentax K-7 for less than a month and was still getting acquainted with the many features of this amazing camera. Definitely a huge improvement compared to the retarded Nikon I had been using before.
When taking this photo, the parked bike annoyed me a bit and I considered moving it away. But I somehow decided against it and now I quite like having it in the picture. In the background behind the gate there is a truck parked, which fortunately isn’t too dominant in the picture. It belongs to a film crew, preparing the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards.
I didn’t yet own a telephoto lens back then, so the picture of the Quadriga on top of the gate was taken with the 18-55mm kit lens zoomed all the way in. Today, I would probably move further back and take the picture with a longer lens so I could dedicate more of the picture to the actual Quadriga and less to the surroundings.
Here’s a last photo from the Japanese Cherry Blossoms in Bonn. I walked past this intersection while I was already on my way back to the station. The scene just asked for an ultra wide angle HDR photo. Fortunately, I hadn’t packed away my camera & tripod yet, so I set up shop in the middle of this beautiful cobblestone road and started the first of 3 exposures. Unfortunately, a car appeared from the right and drove towards me. I had to grab my tripod and move out of the way.
After resetting the camera (by turning it off an on again), I put the tripod back in place, adjusted the composition and started the bracketed exposures again. This time I wasn’t interrupted. After checking that the pictures turned out OK, I had to quickly fold my tripod and run back to the station in order to catch my train. Only then did I find out that the train was delayed – by half an hour.
Fun fact: merging the 3 photos into a single HDR picture, tone-mapping it, combining the tone mapped images and then applying perspective correction and other enhancements to get the photo as posted above took me about 2 hours. Which is not much for this kind of work.