desktop of the month – september 2011

This month’s desktop calendar is an HDR rendition of Sprague Lake, in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Sizes available: 2560×1440


This statue of Achilles stands in Hyde Park, London. It was sculpted in 1822 by Richard Westmacott. As the inscription explains, the statue was erected for the Duke of Wellington, cast from bronze made from cannon that were used in some of his most memorable battles, including Waterloo.


Another from the Convento do Cristo in Tomar, Portugal.

Continuing from my last post as I experiment with HDR Efex Pro and develop this HDR look a bit further.

nobody lives here anymore

Usually the problem with handheld HDR is getting an exposure that is long enough to get detail into the shadows without ruining the image with excessive camera shake. Yes, I know I should use a tripod, but at the moment in question I didn’t have one with me. So you do the best you can, and image stabilization on your lens certainly helps. However, I think I must have been so concerned about getting a good image of the shadows, that I forgot to consider what was happening to the highlights. And you can see the result here – blown out highlights.

I’d like to say “lesson learned” but who’s to say. What frustrates me is that I know this is not a mistake I would have made if I had used my tripod, as my workflow is quite set then – determine a good exposure on the highlights and work your way into the shadows 1-stop at a time. But when you’re handheld and the most I can program into the camera is 3 consecutive exposures (Nikon-envy here, with their 5 bracketed exposures…grrr!) then you will inevitably find difficulty in high contrast scenes. But in saying that, I have to say that I am impressed at how well I did manage to keep it still for those three exposures.

So, I’m experimenting with HDR again. Learning and using the excellent Nik Software HDR Efex Pro. I’ve tried the other major contenders, but for me, I just find the Nik product so much more intuitive and easy to work with. And because of that, I find myself trying to develop a new look for the images  – at least it’s new for me. I’ll put some more on over the next few days (assuming I find the time).

Hope you like it…


Trapped in my prison of a never ending tunnel,

I see the land stretch into the unknown,

The sea a speck of blue on the horizon,

How I long to fly free,

Like a bird soaring across the heavens.

Poetry : Mira Sophia

Photography : Antonio

as i walk through this maze

Here is something new. I have started a new collaboration with my daughter. I will provide the images and she the words. Here is our first offering.

As I walk through this maze

I perceive its mystery

The main not touch, but smell

I smell the old mystery embedded in these walls

I see the imprint of its creator

I hear the wind whispering

And I know now that my five must lead me.

– Photo: Antonio

– Words: Mira Sophia

kelvingrove art gallery and museum

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is located very near the University of Glasgow buildings, where I was in April for the UK National Astronomy Meeting. I found it to be a very good gallery with lots of nice works. For me the best piece in there is the original Christ of Saint John of the Cross, by Salvador Dali. A truly stunning piece of artwork.

Continue reading “kelvingrove art gallery and museum”

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