peeks at the world through my lens

Posts tagged “photos


Sunset Over Lake Zurich



Autumn in Zurich II



Autumn in Zurich


Passion Facade of Sagrada Família, Barcelona


Details of the bronze “Gospel Door” at the Passion Facade of the Sagrada Família Basilica, Antoni Gaudí’s masterpice in Barcelona.

Lonesome Mist

Lonesome mistLonesome mist at dusk

Stars Over Brüschstockhügel


Star Gazing Selfie from Mount Brüschstockhügel

View over Lake Wägitalersee. This outing was to be my first serious attempt at photographing the Milky Way. My youngest daughter and I drove from our home to nearby Mount Brüschstockhügel (1488m) in Canton Schwyz. We hiked up to the peak and settled into camp as low thin clouds slowly started to contaminate the previously crystal clear Swiss mountain sky. So ended my first quest. No worries, it was great practice, and pics would have simply been an added bonus anyway to ‘hangin and camping in the mountains with one of your kids!



The Cinque Terre of the Italian Riviera

This is my last photo post on  Vernazza and the Cinque Terre. Read my last posts on this region to read about the flooding disaster from Oct 2011. And please consider visiting the Cinque Terre some time in the future. They will surely appreciate your tourism dollars.


p.s. I usually load full size images, but I suspect that they may be too large and may load too slowly. Please let me know what you think.

Vernazza Harbor by Day

f/8 ISO 200 1/250 -0.33ev 18-200@24mm

On 25 October 2011, Vernazza was struck by torrential rains, massive flooding, and mudslides that left the town buried in over 4 metres of mud and debris, causing over 100 million euro worth of damage. The town was evacuated and remains in a continued state of emergency. Click here to read more about the disaster and to see images and videos. And please consider visiting Vernazza at some time in the future. They will surely appreciate your tourism dollars.

Crazy Dancer

f/4, ISO 800, 1/320, -0.33ev, 50mm@50

Monday Blues, French Riviera style…

It is Monday and I am at work. I can think of a few other places I would rather be right now….

This shot was taken on a warm fall evening from the patio of the Chateau de Cassis, high atop the cliffs in the French village of  Cassis on the French Riviera.  Cassis is a village situated east of Marseille in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France.

Cassis makes for a wonderful alternative or much needed break from the larger and more tourist infested Mediterranean coastal destinations of Marseille, Cannes, and Nice. In addition, it makes a PERFECT jumping off point for driving adventures in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France. Stay tuned for more pics form the coast and from deeper in the Provence region! Have a nice Monday…


Try breaking THIS bank…

…I couldn’t!

This is a picture of the Monte Carlo Casino. The casino is designed in the Neo-Baroque-inspired style, popular during the Beaux-Arts period in France, by the French architect Charles Garnier. Construction of the casino was completed in 1863.

I visited this casino back in 1976 with my family when we lived in Europe. My siblings and I were extremely disappointed to find out that children (us) were not allowed inside. From the steps I noticed that there was one slot machine that we could see from outside, so I asked my dad to go and play that one…and damned if he didn’t hit the jackpot on about the third coin! Lights were spinning..bells and whistles blaring..attendants even brought over a bucket to collect all the coins that were spewing from the mouth of the machine! Unfortunately, the layout of the casino has changed since 1976. The slots are no longer viewable from the outside, or surely history would have repeated itself when I visited this year with my family!

This shot is composed of three handheld bracketed images at 2-stop intervals. I processed HDR with Photomatix, and touched up with Aperture.

Snaps from Venice, Italy

Since it seems that Venice is such a popular topic, I wanted to post a few more random images before I move on to another location. I hope that these will bring back fond memories to those who have visited and inspire those who have not to perhaps start planning their next holiday itinerary. It truly is a unique destination!

Serenity on the Grand Canal

Click to enlarge "Serenity on the Grand Canal"

In Venice Tasso's echoes are no more,
    And silent rows the songless gondolier;
    Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
    And music meets not always now the ear:
    Those days are gone--but Beauty still is here;
    States fall, arts fade--but Nature doth not die,
    Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
    The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!
~ George Gordon Byron

Plains of Provence from Les Baux-de-Provence

This is the view looking west over the beautiful plains of the Provence Valley region in southern France. This shot was taken from the ruined castle of Les Baux-de-Provence and its spectacular position on a rocky outcroping in the Alpilles mountains. This view has been enjoyed for millenia,  and human habitation has been documented here dating back as far as 6000 BC. The town flourished in the Middle Ages and reached its Golden Age during the Renaissance , only to have the castle and portions of the village destroyed during a revolution in the 1600s.

This is an HDR image that was created from three handheld images bracketed by 2 stops. I deviated a little from my normal workflow by tweaking the midrange image wjth Aperture BEFORE merging the three images  with Photomatix. My usual workflow is to merge and process the images with Photomatix first, then fine-tune the merged image with Aperture. My reasoning was that the merged image that was edited in  Photomatix was NOT a RAW image, thus now had LESS dynamic range, making it less amenable to color and tonal adjustments in Photomatix as well as in Aperture once it was re-imported back for final adjustments. I was much happier with this version than another version that I processed normally.

For all of you HDR protographers, please let me know if you have experienced similar workflow variability and results, and also if your workflow differs friom mine. I am relatively new to HDR, and still trying to figure out the details.

Thanks for visiting…

Delicate Steps…

Click to enlarge "Delicate Steps..."

ISO 200, f5.3, 1/50 sec, 75-200@157mm

Delicate steps with tenous balance on early morning, rain-slicked cobbles.

This image was taken in Beaune, France, the wine capital of the Burgundy region. I took this shot while attending the annual wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune. During this event, the entire city is transformed into a celebration of all things wine. Perhaps this contributed to his unsteady gait?

This was one , if not the first, image that I manipulated with Silver Efex Pro, which I am finding is a wonderful program for creating B&W images.

Glimpse of the Aegean…

ISO 200, f5.6, 1/500 sec, 75-200@93mm

“Glimpse of the Aegean” was taken on the Greek  island of Santorini (Thira). I feel that this image helps me to visually express the tone and feeling of this wonderful place. The simple yet striking architecture all throughout the island perfectly compliments the rugged volcanic cliffs and visually blends with the amazingly clear-blue Aegean Sea.

I tend to search out holiday destinations that provide a little adrenaline boost, so I was a bit skeptical about visiting Santorini. What a fool I was…this was one of the most relaxing and recharging holidays I have ever had. Great wine, FANTASTIC food, great company, all capped off every night with breathtaking sunsets from our cliff-side patio. Highly recommended!!

Colors of Venice

ISO 200, f2.5, 1/30 sec, 50@50mm


The island of Venice, Italy, is an art gallery lovers dream. There are hundreds of small galleries all throughout the island, many located on hidden side streets, off the normal tourist paths. While walking down one of these small side streets (I guess you call them streets, however there are no cars on the island), I came across a small hardware store which doubled as an art supply store for the locals. On the far wall was this collection of  photogenic pigments which  the store owner told me were used for everything from coloring textiles to making paints. In addition, he just happened to be an artist himself, and had a show across the street  in a very unique stone-walled gallery. If only I had disposable income!

The lesson that I learned from this shot was to ALWAYS have  your camera with you when you travel. The first time I walked by, I didnt have my camera and rushed back to the hotel to get it. The following day, he had taken down the mask, and the shot was gone!

Ciao for now…

Pont du Gard Aqueduct

ISO 160, f11, 1/40 sec, 18-200@18mm

This is the magnificent  Pont du Gard aqueduct in Southern France. It is a short segment of the 50 km aqueduct which carried water from Uzes to Nimes. This engineering marvel was built by 1st century Romans and is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. It is the second highest Roman structure built, only bested by about 3 meters by the Roman Colosseum. It also contains the largest arch span ever built by the Romans, about 80 ft. I find the  most amazing aspect of the structure is that it was built with no mortar! Held together only by friction, it has weathered storms and floods for 2000 years.

This shot is composed of three  bracketed images at 2-stop intervals.  I processed HDR with Photomatix, and touched up with Aperture. I really like this image for a few reasons, one is simply the majesty of the subject. In addition, I have recently been working with HDR and am impressed with the outcome of this shot, and lastly, I have been focusing on taking images that incorporate water, either flowing or with reflections.

Portrait Lighting for Photography

One of the aspects of photography that I know very little about is lighting. I recently purchased a really nice flashgun for my camera, the Nikon SB700. At first I had a little buyers remorse after spending so much $$ on a flash, but the more I read about it and especially USE IT, the more I really love it. It has already made a difference in my shots, even in the limited time that I have played with it.

So now that I have this awesome flash, it is time to pour through YouTube and REALLY learn how to use it . In doing so, I have picked up quite a few pointers on lighting in general, especially basic theory and layout for simple portrait lighting. I came across this great instructional video on portrait lighting basics by TheSlantedLens, and thought that I would pass it on to the blog-o-spere. In the video, Jay P. Margan demonstrates 5 different types of Portrait lighting:

  • Rembrant Light
  • Split Light
  • Broad Light
  • Butterfly Light
  • Loop Light


Take notes and let him know if u like it!

I will try to post some shots using the new flash soon, maybe even some attempts at portrait lighting!

Portrait Lighting for Photography and Video! – YouTube.



Nikon D90, ISO 100, f/20, 3 sec, 18-200@100mm

Perfect lazy and breezy cool Fall day  with nothing to do but sit by the river and dream! Three bracketed copies were made of a single handheld image at 2 stop intervals. These were processed HDR with Photomatix, converted to B&W with Silver Efex Pro, and touched up with Aperture. Many thanks to my wondferful and VERY STILL model! Hope you like it.

Introductions and beginnings…

Welcome to LIGHTBOX3d, my new photo blog. I am new to photo-blogging, so please excuse the rough edges at first as I learn  my way around.

I have been interested in photography for years, and had some general introduction into photography in college. I took a few photo and film classes back in the 35mm and darkroom days, but have not done much with it since then, and that was a LONG time ago. A few years ago I followed a friends lead into the digital SLR world with a new Nikon D90. Since then I have really developed a passion for the field, often at the expense of my VERY patient wife and kids!

I have gained most of my “new school” education online, thanks to the many wonderful and talented photographers who take the time to post , write, discuss, and simply educate those like myself who are hungry for information. Many thanks to all of you. While I don’t have a specific “Mission” for this blog, my intent is to explore my passion for photography mostly by posting images and surfing your sites to learn from the online community. Maybe even “contribute” to the online world  by answering any questions from those that have not stumbled into the darkroom as far as I have.

So with this post my blog is now up and running. Thanks for visiting, come back soon, post comments, help me learn…and go take some pics!


p.s.  Header photo: Winter on Lake Vattern. f/16, 2 min, ISO 200, 48 mm. Converted to B&W w Silver Efex Pro, retouched in Aperture.