The last days of 2011 at the Oporto beach


The late afternoon at the Foz beach, Porto, Portugal.



A story behind: The 2011 is gone. It was a very good and productive year for me. During all my photo trips I have learned some valuable lessons. These experiences ( that I have always included in "A story behind" section of this blog ) have made me richer and I hope that you will find them refreshing and inspiring on your next photo journey.

Just a reminder of some of them: Every shooting situation is different and definitely not the same as the last time you have been on the same
spot. Do your homework by reviewing online the weather and light conditions, low-high sea times and look at some other photos from the same spot as well as watch the place you want to shoot first on the web then with your camera ( there are a lot of usefuls apps I use on my iPhone ). Keep your camera clean and protect it ( and the filters ) from dust, humidity and salt.
Shoot a lot but later publish only one best photo.
Get to know your camera very well, because searching the menu button at night can be a horror. Understand and look to your histogram while shooting. It delivers very important information about your image.


And last but not the least: s
tart a photoblog and write tips about photography, because writing is also learning !

Gear: Nikon D700. Nikkor 16-35 mm.

Aperture:
f/18


Shutter speed:
2 sec

Exposure bias:
-0.3 EV

Focal Length: 22 mm

ISO: 320

Place taken: Porto, Portugal.


Date Taken: Thursday, December 29st, 2011, 17: 22


Maciek.

Winter storm waves attacking the lighthouse

A ferocious winter storm wave attacking the lighthouse and the pier at the mouth of the Douro river.

A story behind: The lighthouse at the end of the recently built pier is 15 meters high which means that the foam is spraying close to 35 meters into the air, propelled upward by the raging winter ocean. Amazing what kind of weather lighthouses have to endure.
Since no people were allowed to get close to the pier that day, I used the Nikkor 75-300 mm lenses with high ISO to catch a very fast moving water.

The photo was selected for the front page of http://onephoto.net.

PS: Now also at 1x.com, click here


Gear:
Nikon D700. Nikkor 75-300 mm.

Aperture:
f/13


Shutter speed:
1/2000 sec


Exposure bias:
-0.3 EV

Focal Length: 250 mm

ISO: 400

Place taken: Porto-Foz, Portugal.


Date Taken: Thursday, December 13th, 2011, 10: 14


Maciek.

The sea stairs of Granja

Veteran outdoor photographer a.k.a me, standing on the stairs leading to the sea,
December 2011.




A story behind: After surviving harsh weather conditions that night me and my camera easily could be called "veterans of outdoor photography". High winds, 100% humidity, the waves crashing all over my body, camera and tripod with a dramatic sky and an approaching storm ( look left upper corner ) above not too mention a necessity of cleaning the lenses every 2 shots - these were the weather conditions I encountered that night when I shoot this photo.
I additionally used the ND 0. 5 filter to smooth out ripples on the sea caused by high winds during the longer exposure.
I used B&W technique. In general images with very colourful elements work best when presented in full colour. I found that photos with strong textures, interesting patterns, and/or stormy spotlighting make excellent black and white photographs. It is all about contrasts -- when I'm working with shades of Gray I'm relying heavily on contrast to develop a successful image.



Gear:
Nikon D700. Nikkor 16-35 mm. ND 0.5 filter.

Aperture:
f/22


Shutter speed:
1 sec

Exposure bias:
0 EV

Focal Length: 19 mm

ISO: 200

Place taken: Granja, Portugal.


Date Taken: Sunday, December 11th, 2011, 17: 24


Maciek.

Looking back at our 2010 trip

A old photo miraculously found on my hard drive. Grand Teton National park, looking south from the 191 Interstate, Wyoming, USA.



Gear:
Nikon D80. Sigma 10-20 mm. B&W in PS3.

Aperture:
f/8


Shutter speed:
1/250 sec

Exposure bias:
0 EV

Focal Length: 20 mm

ISO: 100

Date Taken: August 22nd, 2010, 17: 50


Maciek.

December in Aguda

The first day of December, stormy sunset over the Aguda beach, Portugal.


A story behind: Early evening storm approaching from the mainland Portugal with beautiful, full of contrast clouds gathering over the small lighthouse and pier of the Aguda beach. I used the 3-stop soft-step ND Grad to balance the exposure of the bright areas of the sky with the pastel coloured sea in the shaded foreground.

Gear:
Nikon D700. Nikkor 16-35 mm.

Aperture:
f/20


Shutter speed:
1 sec

Exposure bias:
0 EV

Focal Length: 28 mm

ISO: 200

Place taken: Aguda, Portugal.


Date Taken: Thursday, December 1st, 2011, 17: 12


Maciek.

Tuesday in the Mountains






A scenic view of the Serra Estrela Mountains with wind turbines.


A story behind: In the early afternoon I climbed the Serra Estrela Mountains and settled on one of the peaks with scenic 360º views. I was familiar with the location because I did some exploring in that area back in April. I waited. The sun was slowly going down and it started to get more and more cold. These weather conditions added some red cast to the image. The clouds and fog filled valleys as the Sun went down over the western reaches the Portuguese coast. The night was coming.

Gear: Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300 mm 1,45-5,6 ED, VR on. Handhold.

Place taken:
Seia, Portugal.

Aperture:
f/11


Shutter speed:
1/250 sec

Outside temeprature: 4º C.

Focal Length: 300 mm

ISO: 230

Date Taken: Tuesday, November 29th, 2011, 17: 07


Maciek.