Green and blue - two Azorean spirits


A small green grass covered volcano hill against the Atlantic dramatic blue sky in the middle of the São Miguel island, Azores.



A story behind: Saturday. Early afternoon. I ride my car along the narrow roads of the São Miguel island lost somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean under a big blue sky. These very mountainous seascapes offer outstanding opportunities for landscape photography. The polarizing filter added the blue tones in the sky to contrast with the very green bottom of the picture. Painted in two colors: green and blue, the island is flooded with superb luminosity attracting tourists and photographers.

Location:
Faja de Cima, Açores Islands.


Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20 mm. Polarizing filter. Nef to Tiff conversion. Saved in Jpg file.

ISO: 100

Aperture: 5,6

Date Taken: Saturday, February 26th, 2011, 14:37


Maciek.

A frozen sea

Frozen canals of the Gdansk port.



A power-walking along the bank of the frozen Baltic Sea.


The last wave of cold Arctic air and huge drop of temperature covered the beach with snow and frozen 300 meters wide strip of the Baltic sea.

Gdansk, Poland.

February 20th, 2011.



Maciek.

A yellow beach kiosk


Off-season yellow beach kiosk and the dramatic sky above.

A story behind: On Wednesday we traveled 150 kilometers south of Porto to a picturesque town of Obidos to have lunch with our friends. On out way we made a stop at Foz de Arelho, a small coastal village. Strong wind, different kind of clouds as well as rapid changes of both temperature and light created amazing outdoor photo opportunities. The off-season beach was completely abandoned. The photo qwas awarded a front page of the photo site: http://onephoto.net/?id=686547#686547 Location: Foz do Arelho, central Portuguese coast.

Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20 mm. Nef to Tiff conversion. Saved in Jpg file.

ISO: 160

Date Taken: Wednesday, February 17th, 2011, 11:23
Maciek.

My home town seen from the other side of the river


Porto, Portugal.

A story behind: A Saturday late afternoon walk along the bank of Douro river. Location: Vila Nova Gaia, Portugal.

Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 17-75 mm, tripod. Nef to Tiff to Jpg.

ISO: 100

Date Taken: Saturday, February 12th, 2011, 18:23
Maciek.

A storm watcher

Granja ocean stairs, Portugal.


A story behind: Photographed while taking a stroll down the beach of a small coast village of Granja 30 kilometers south of Porto on a windy Sunday morning.

Location:
Granja, Portugal.


Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 17-75 mm

Aperture: f/

Exposure bias: -0.3 EV


Focal Length:
15 mm



ISO:
100


Date Taken: Sunday, February 13th, 2011, 10:23


Maciek.

Porto modern architecture



Casa da Musica designed by a Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is one of the landmarks of modern Porto. Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic from the New York Times, classified it as the "most attractive project the architect Rem Koolhaas has ever built" and saying it's "a building whose intellectual ardor is matched by its sensual beauty". He also compares it to the "exuberant design" in Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. "Only looking into the original aspect of the building, this is one of the most important concert halls built in the last 100 years".
Photographed on Friday, February 11th, 2011. Selected for the front page of www.onephoto.net. Maciek.

The spring is coming

Praça de Aliados, Porto city center, Portugal.

A story behind: The scent of Magnolia tree flowers greets the coming spring. Their life span in short, a week - maybe two, a photographer must hurry up to take a picture before the pristine white and pink petals start they rapid but still elegant decay. The photo was taken during a mid-day stroll around the Porto center on Friday. PS. Thank you Amadeu and Otilia ( a couple of ultra-friendly Portuguese photographers I met ) for making this moment unforgettable. Location: Porto, Portugal.

Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20 mm

Aperture: f/13 Exposure bias: -0.3 EV
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Friday, February 11th, 2011, 11:23
Maciek.

Around the Spanish border wine tour

The only remnants of the the ancient Medieval fortress, founded in the 13th century. Melgaço castle. Close to Spanish border, Portugal.


A story behind: Just a quick summary of the day. We crossed the Spain-Portugal border by a ferry boat in Caminha passing the Minho river. After landing in Spain we went to Bodegas Terras Gauda, had a wine tasting and bought some wines. Next we drove to old Tui, a small but picturesque town overlooking the Minho river valley. Later we did wine tasting at yet another famous Spanish wine cellar ( or "bodega" ): As Laxas. In the afternoon we crossed back the Spain-Portugal border and soon reached a town of Melgaço ( the picture above ) where we did some sight-seeing and visited the Soalheiro cave where the famous Quinta de Soalheiro wines ( considered by us the best white wines in Portugal ) are being produced.

Location: Melgaço, Portugal.

Gear: Nikon D80. Sigma 17-70 mm

Aperture: f/6.3

Exposure bias: -0.3 EV


Focal Length:
17 mm


ISO:
160

Date Taken: Wednesday, February 9th, 2011, 14:26


Maciek.

A Monday wine trip

In the morning we drove to Santo Tirso, a small town just 30 kilometers north of Porto. We were hoping to do some wine tasting at Quinta de Gomariz. Quinta is a well known producer of one of the best Vinho Verde - young and slightly carbonated white wine from the Northern Portugal. In the recent years Quinta de Gomariz has received many international and Portuguese prizes ( Best of Vinho Verde 2009 and 2010 by CVRVV ).
Wine tasting at Quinta de Gomariz. The best Quinta wine made of Avesso grape.
From Santo Tirso we headed North and later in the morning arrived at Quinta de Ameal. Quinta located at the bank of the Lima river makes some of the best Vinho Verde wines in Portugal. We bought a box of Loureiro grapes mono varietal wine and one box of the fantastic Escolha wine.
Marta and Mariusz at the Quinta de Ameal. Exhausted by the wine tasting we drove to Viana de Castelo, visited a Santa Luzia church with the breathtaking view over the river Minho valley and the Atlantic coast ( I personally consider the place one of the best vistas in Portugal ) and then had a nice lunch accompanied by a bottle of Muralhas de Melgaço vinho verde wine.
Maciek. Date: February, 7th, 2011.

A Sunday night walk


Madalena beach. Portugal.

A story behind: A Saturday late afternoon walk with Marta and Mariusz. We had a nice stroll, coffee and watched the sunset while taking and having a good time. Location: Madalena, Central Portugal.

Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20 mm

Aperture: f/9 Exposure bias: -0.3 EV
Focal Length: 11 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Sunday, February 06th, 2011, 18:36
Maciek.

A big wave

Foz beach. Porto, Portugal.

A story behind: We arrived rather late at the spot and started to shoot pictures. The view from the beach was breathtaking. The stone pier wall was tinted that fabulous orange from the sunset light that is nearly impossible to believe until you see it for yourself. The light was sharp so I added a 2-stop NG grad to control sunlight filtering through sparsely clouds on the horizon, reigning in the dynamic range of the scene rather nicely. The wind was mild and the waves seemed to be moderate. It all went well until we were both surprised by a huge, over 4 meters high wave that came from nowhere. I remember the only thought that came to my mind: run for your life! On the picture above the waves may seem small and friendly, but believe me we ( my friend Mariusz and me ) were hit very hard. The Atlantic ocean can be really unpredictable. Location: Porto, Foz, Portugal.

Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20 mm

Aperture: f/16 Exposure bias: -0.3 EV
Focal Length: 14 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Friday,February 04th, 2011, 19:01
Maciek.