Eindhoven: light painting experiments

After a very long time without posts, I’m finally back with some new pictures. This time I’m venturing into a light-painting experiment, using as background one of the most iconic places in Eindhoven: the bike parking entrance in 18 Septemberplein.

It was real fun taking these pictures and experimenting with flashlights and pixelstick together with my friends of NBPA. A big thanks goes to Robbert Dijkstra for making available his pixelstick equipment!

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Croatia on the road: Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has been the first stop of my trip through Croatia, driving my way back to the Netherlands. It is an amazing city, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 it is also renown as “pearl of the Adriatic”.

The city has its origins in the VII century with the name of Ragusa, then growing to become a prominent maritime republic on the Adriatic and finding in the city of Ancona a strong ally against the otherwise overwhelming power of Venice over the Adriatic Sea.

Its golden age came to an end with a disastrous earthquake in 1667, which killed over 5000 citizens and basically leveled most of the city buildings.

The current look of the town is actually due to this earthquake: after the destruction of most of the buildings, the city gave itself a modern urban development plan, defining quite precisely the style of the new buildings which were to be built at the sides of its main street the “Stradun”.

Notwithstanding the fact that Dubrovnik never fully recovered its power and importance, the heart of the old town is still something absolutely stunning for its beauty: levigated stones paving the streets scatter and reflect the light in absolutely stunning way, which makes the town dazzling in the day and totally spectacular at dusk and night.

Here follows some pics from my stop… I hope you’ll like them!

Amazing Greece: Zakynthos

After a couple of days of sailing with no wind at all, we finally reach Zakynthos in the afternoon of the third day. Our first stop is the Shipwreck (or Navagio) beach, on the western coast.

The beach is named after the shipwreck of the MV Panagiotis. As the story goes, the boat was actually a smuggling ship: in 1980 the Panagiotis was making its way from Turkey to Italy with a cargo of contraband cigarettes when, pursued by the Greek Navy, tried to hide in the bay notwithstanding a quite rough sea was mounting. Because of the stormy weather the ship ran aground on October the 1st 1980, and there was abandoned by its crew. Nowadays the place has become a well known tourist attraction.

Throughout the day the beach and the wreck are crowded with people brought there by several boats tours, and while the direct light emphasizes the stunning, brilliant turquoise water of the bay the hard light and the crowd are not the ideal conditions for a good landscape shot.

For this reason, after we moved south in the nearby Porto Vromi for the night, I decided to rent a fast boat to take me back to Navagio beach, to shot some pictures at sunset.

Unfortunately, because of the orientation of the bay, the sunset is not directly visible from the beach; anyway it’s almost impossible to describe the amazing colors and atmosphere of the place in words.

I only had little more than half an hour to spend on the beach: I would like to have had more time, but sea outside the bay tends to become quite rough at night, and because of the very small boat we were on, the captain pressed me to be fast to avoid problems coming back to Porto Vromi.

The following day we continued sailing skirting Zakynthos coasts and visiting beautiful bays and sea caves on the west coast, before sailing north to spend the evening and the night in Agios Nikolaos, on the east coast. Again, the beauty of the island was simply stunning…

Amazing Greece: Kefalonia

Blue sky, an even bluer sea, sun and wind: these the ingredients of a week spent in southern Ionian Sea sailing among Greek islands of Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Ithaca and Atokos.

A small cove on the northern tip of Kefalonia has been the first stop of the trip. Headed south to reach Zakynthos in the following days, we stopped there in the afternoon and then stayed for the night.

The cove was completely solitary and dark at night, and the terse sky showed a stunning milky way just above our heads. I had the opportunity of landing on a small beach, where I was able to take a panoramic shot of our shiny galaxy. The panorama is quite unusual, since it’s something about over 180 degrees taken vertically from the horizon line looking toward the sea, and ending on the opposite side, toward the pebbles beach.

Kefalonia, Milky Way panorama

The day after we continued sailing south skirting the coast, stopping in wonderful places to bath in the crystal clear water, before berthing for the night in a bigger bay.

Night and day on the Amalfi Coast

I recently had the chance to spend a couple of days with a friend between Salerno, Amalfi and Sorrento.

Since it was the very first time I visited the Amalfi Coast – maybe the most famous and beautiful coastal drive in Italy – I have been really impressed from the beauty of all the picturesque, small towns clinging on cliffs, almost suspended between a deep blue sea and a bright blue sky.

The drive itself is quite an experience, with the extremely winding, incredibly narrow road leading you from a borough to the next in a seamless patchwork of bends, skirting rocks on one side and cliffs on the other. All of this trying to avoid pedestrians, buses, motorcycles, vespas, joggers… and more. Something definitely not for the faint of heart!

In all this beautiful mess, I must say I was really lucky. No, not because I managed to drive through all that all the way, even more than once. Ok well… for that too I must say!

However the reason for I think I was lucky is because, without even knowing it, I happened to find myself in Atrani on the very night they celebrate their patron saint, the holy Mary Magdalene, with a fireworks show.

Without saying, I had my camera with me and, even if finding a proper location to portray the show at the very last moment has been quite difficult, I managed in taking some nice pictures.

I was so enchanted by the beauty of the place that the following day I drove back there in the early morning to take few more pictures of Atrani, Amalfi and Positano just after sunrise.

Noord Holland: tulips and windmills

Noord Holland actually seems to be the best place to go for a close encounter with the two most well-known icons of the Netherlands: tulips and windmills. Wandering in the fields around Alkmaar, Oosthuizen, Hoorn and Opmeer you can easily spot typical dutch windmills, often surrounded by colorful tulip fields (of course, this is the case if you visit them in the right period of the year, which is usually in April/May).

It took me some time to sort through all the pictures I made that day and to choose the ones I like the most, but finally here they come…

Tulip fields in Lisse

As anticipated in the previous post about Kinderdijk, Lisse has been the second stop of the weekend on the road I spent the past month hunting for windmills and tulip fields.

I had already been in Lisse the past year to visit the Keukenhof garden, but this time I preferred to rent a bike and roam in the fields surrounding it.

While in Kinderdijk you can find windmills but no tulips, in Lisse the opposite is true: a lot of colored tulip fields but if you’d like to see them around a nice typical dutch windmill you’re still in the wrong place…

They will finally come together in the next post… so stay tuned!