Marrakech souks

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Hello friends,

Following my last post on the visit to Marrakech, I leave you here with a second video, this one dedicated to the Souks.

The Souks of Marrakech is a city within the city, with a life of its own, where commerce, experiences, professions, everything you can imagine within tight streets and always full of people are mixed.

I hope you enjoy it.

Kisses and hugs.

Marrakesh, Atlas, Desert

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Hello friends,

The holiday time is coming and it’s always good to see recommendations for places to visit.

My suggestion today is Morocco, notably Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains and the desert that I have recently had the opportunity to visit.

I hope you enjoy it.

Kisses and hugs.

Auschvitz – Birkenau

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Hello friends,

To finish the incursion through the Poland lands, I suggest a visit to the concentration camps of Auschvitz – Birkenau.

A journey that inspires us respect, and makes us think what kind of animal is the human being.

See you next time.

Krakow

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Hello friends

Today I propose you a visit to one of the most beautiful and well-preserved cities in Poland.

I highlight the historic center, the beauty and richness of its churches, and the magnificent Jewish Quarter, which includes Schindler’s factory, famous in Steven Spielberg’s film “The Schindler’s List”

I hope you enjoy it.

(With sound)

Regoufe Mines

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Hello friends,

Today I propose you a visit to a place little known, but full of history.

I refer to the Regoufe Mines, located in the Arouca GeoPark, and which at the time of World War II, were exploited by the British for the extraction of the volframio, that was very important to the war effort.

It’s worth a visit.

Freita Mountain

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Hello friends,

We are in holidays period and as such nothing better than a suggestion of sightseeing in Portugal

This time I suggest a visit to the “Serra da Freita”, namely the “Passadiços do Paiva”.

Watch the video and get inspired.

Kisses and hugs

Torre Beach

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Hello friends,

Today I bring you a video with the description of how I made a photo in Praia da Torre.

My apologies for the sound quality.

Thank you

Tripods – What you need to know.

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Following a workshop I recently held, I noticed that there are still many photographers who, despite using tripods, still do not know the full potential of these equipment for the act of shooting.

Let’s explore this theme a little to help those who think about acquiring a tripod, or help to better use those who already have.

As its name says, the tripod consists of 3 feet which are the bulkiest elements of the equipment.

The choice of tripod should take into account 3 main aspects: Weight, robustness, and price. And all these elements are directly influenced by the type of material on which the tripod is built.

Materials

Steel

The tripods built in steel are usually the most robust but are by far the heaviest. For this reason, steel tripods are used only in the studio, or outdoors in situations that have an essentially static use. For outdoor use where the photographer moves regularly, it is out of the question.

Plastic

In reality there are plastic tripods but they are usually small and are used for bloggers to support smaller machines. There are also adjustable plastic tripods, for example the Gorilla brand, which lend themselves to ‘curl’ in a support point for less orthodox fixation.

Long tripods with plastic legs, although they can be cheap, are definitely not recommended because they end up being very unstable and fragile.

Aluminum

 In the world of tripods, aluminum is the ultimate battlehorse. It has an excellent resistance/weight ratio, and many options are found in terms of choices and prices.

It is clearly the one that presents the best relationship between stiffness, weight and price.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is a lightweight, strong and extremely corrosion resistant material, making it perfect for tripod legs.

However, being strong in intrinsic terms, its lightness can be a handicap in outdoor situations with a lot of wind, sometimes forcing to hang something heavy on the tripod to gain stability.

 Returning to our three main aspects for tripods, while the carbon fiber tripods are strong and lightweight, they are usually not cheap.

In summary, it is up to each photographer, through the use that will mostly make the tripod, choose the best option of construction material.  

Locking mechanisms

To provide portability, tripod legs usually have folding or telescopic sections, the vast majority of which are of the latter variety. This means that these sections of the legs have some kind of locking mechanism. In general, there are two main types of blocking.

Lever lock

This type of lock is a locking mechanism that opens to release the leg section of the tripod and moves down to hold it in place.

These locks allow the tripod to be mounted quickly and easily, and when they start to gain slack, they have tightening screws that allow you to fine-tune the force of the lock

Twist lock

Twist locks act as threads that tighten the tripod legs. They rotate in one direction to unlock, and in the opposite direction to secure.

Toration locks are generally less likely to fail due to impurities and sand on the lever locks. However, when they start to gain slack, they are more difficult to fine-tune, forcing us to make more force to lock the legs.

Center column

A center column allows the photographer to increase the height of the tripod after positioning the legs to their maximum extent.

The center columns also add versatility to the tripod features, because many of them allow to be placed horizontally, or even placed upside down, i.e. allowing you to shoot with the machine practically near the ground.

 

Tripod Heads

Finally we approach one of the most important elements of a tripod, although it is not an integral part of it, the tripod head.

And we say that it is not an integral part because, on a good tripod, we must have the freedom of choice of the feet (the tripod itself) and the tripod head.

In terms of tripod head, there are several options, however the most usual are:

Ball Head

This type of heads is formed by a ball that rotates freely inside a fitting. This mechanisms allow a lot of flexibility in the positioning of the machine, however it forces us to take extra care to confirm that the machine is aligned (horizontally or vertically).

Another aspect that we should pay attention to in this type of heads is the rigidity of the ball lock since, especially with heavy machines and heads of lower quality, with time the lock tends to gain slack and we can not hold the machine in the position we want.

3-axis head.

These heads, as their name implies, have the machine holder supported on a base that can rotate on 3 independent axes, each regulated by an independent clamping knob.

It can be a head in which the positioning of the machine requires more handling than in a ball head, however it has the advantage that, in terms of alignment is easier to achieve, because most of them have a level bubble at its base.

Also when you have 3 independent clamping knobs, it is easier to lock the machine in the desired position.

Once again the choice of the head has to do with the taste of the photographer, and the recommendation is to choose a head that ensures that supports the weight of our equipment, including telezoom lenses, which are always heavier.

And that’s it, I hope these explanations will allow you to choose the tripod that responds to your needs.

Any questions you just have to say, and we’re here to help.

Kisses and hugs.

Travel Photography

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(Video with sound)

Hello friends,

Holiday time approaches and, with this, the booking of trips to distant places (or not) is usual at this time. The virus problem may be a disadvantage at this point, but sooner or later we’ll go back to trips to places we’ve always wanted to discover.

And for a photographer the adrenaline of knowing new places is always greater because the senses are more dispressed for what our eyes see.

If, on the one hand, the sense of discovery is great for our photographic creativity, the temptation to ‘shoot’ for ‘everything that moves’ is also great and leads us to disperse attention and care in choosing the subjects to photograph.

To avoid this dispersion, I will give you some tips that can be useful when you take travel photography, and so you can bring home some photos that will be proud of.

– Before traveling it is advisable to do a search about the place we will go. Understand what we’ll find and, if possible, see some locations photos to start building some photographic ideas.

– If the location is too attractive to shoot, try to restrict yourself to 2 or 3 themes and focus on building a ‘good’ story with these themes. This does not imply that you cannot photograph other things that will draw your attention, but do not disperse, and explore the selected themes well.

– Is better to spend more time photographing the chosen subject(s) than ‘wasting’ time on many subjects.

– This last point is important because, as we all know, not always what our eyes embrace is what we want to show in the photos. Only with time can we visualize the framing of the photo separating it from the whole environment.

– When we visit very popular places, full of tourists, sometimes it is very difficult to photograph what we want without the presence of strangers in the photos. It doesn’t mean we have to shoot without framing anyone, but the excessive presence of people can ‘overshadow’ the main subject of the photo. The way we frame the issues must be well thought out, choosing what we want to include, even sacrificing a better perspective, so that we can exclude what we are not interested.

– One temptation we all have is to make ‘that’ postcard photo that we’ve seen a thousand times. I have nothing against these kinds of photos because I also do them, but we should not leave after the shot. We should make more photos of the subject looking for different angles, try to shoot horizontally but also vertically, a photo of detail or abstract type, anything that is different from the usual and, for sure, we will make a photo that will please you because it is different from the postcard we made at the beginning.  

I could give many more tips, but the subject of travel photography is not exhausted in a post and, of course, we will return to it in the future.

Just to illustrate what I just said, I include a video about a monumental work by Gaudi – The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – that I had the opportunity to visit last year. 

Although Barcelona has a thousand themes to photograph, the Sagrada Familia was one of the themes I chose in advance to dedicate my time photographically.

 I hope you enjoy it, and that the post will be useful for your upcoming trips.

Kisses and hugs.

How a photo stands out

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Today I will address a topic that has a lot of subjectivity, but also curiosity, that is, try to realize how there are photos that stand out versus others that are ‘just’ good photos.

And to support some of the ‘rules’ that I will describe, and that empirically are considered important to highlight the composition, I will use a photo I made more than 12 years ago, when I still photographed a lot by instinct, without much concern about the ‘rules’ that I will address next.  

The photo is called ‘Under storm’ and, as you can see, portrays two fishermen one evening when a storm approaches.  

 I want to draw attention that I put ‘rules’ in quotation marks because in photography there are no strict rules, only guidelines that can help improve, or not, the photo.

I chose this photo, not because I had the concern to use one that ‘fit’ the ‘rules’, but rather a photo that was awarded in a photo contest held by Camara de Cascais in 2009. If it was highlighted, not by me, but by a jury of a contest, then it’s worth studying it to try to understand the reasons for its prominence.

For this I will use some of the such empirical ‘rules’ that help us make great photos.

– Simplicity – It is said that the simpler the photo, the stronger it can be. In the case of the photo, it is simple because it has few relevant elements. Just the two fishermen, and a storm approaching with the sun tearing through the clouds. We don’t have any more distracting elements.  

– Balanced photo – We say that a photo is balanced when the relevant elements of the photo are not all ‘leaning’ to one side of the photo leaving the other side something empty. As we see in the division I did, we found that the left side is almost a mirror on the right side, that is, it is perfectly balanced. As I said, it is usually not necessary to follow this rigour in balance, but in this case the image provided this balanced framework.

– Rule of thirds – An old ‘rule’, which already comes from the times of painting, and which says that the relevant elements of the image should stand on the lines that form a grid with nine equal spaces. As we see above, the photo did not exactly obey what the ‘rule’ says but did not stay very far, with the two fishermen close to the vertical lines, and the Sun almost over the upper horizontal line. The ‘rules’, as I said, should only serve as guidance, which is what happens in this case.

– Perspective – Everyone knows that photography is a two-dimensional representation of the three-dimensional world.  It is up to the photographer to try to represent this three-dimensionality in the photo, and this is achieved through perspective. This perspective was created in the photo giving highlight to the size of the fishermen in the foreground (occupy almost the entire height of the photo) versus the Sun that is far away on the horizon. If we compare the size of a man versus the size of the Sun, there is no comparison, however in the photo men are ‘larger’ than the Sun. It is this perspective that creates the depth of the photo, its three-dimensionality.       

– Light/dark contrast – The use of contrast between the lightest and darkest zones of a photo has the effect of transmitting calmer when this contrast is smooth or, on the contrary, creating a tension environment when the contrast is more pronounced. In the case of the photo the high contrast between the bright sun tearing the clouds and the dark profiles, almost silhouettes, of fishermen create a climate of tension, providing those who want to document the approach of a storm.

– Capture the moment – Knowing how to wait for the right moment to register and thus enhance the story, is an essential element for a great photo. Associated with the moment should be concerned to ‘fit’ the frame of the photograph, using some of the orientations I mentioned above. In the photo under analysis, in addition to all aspects of framing that I have already talked about, there was concern to wait for the moment when the sun appeared in the squealing between the clouds and the horizon. It might not have appeared, and the clouds would cover to the horizon which, even following all the previous ‘rules’, without that moment of the sun shining, would never get a picture with the impact it has. Glad it appeared !!        

To recap, the ‘rules’ are not to follow to the letter and sometimes if we break them we even get spectacular photos, however it is always good to have them in our resource chest to help us make the photo that stands out.

My friends, these and many other guidelines for making great photos are covered in the Photography Workshops that Photofinders promotes. If you want to develop your knowledge in this area, go to the Photofinders website and point out that you are interested in our training actions to quickly put them into practice.   

I hope the post has been helpful and arouses your curiosity, and until the next.

Kisses and hugs.