Sunday, 25 June 2017

The forgotten church of Polvoranca

Polvoranca was a little village of Spain close to modern cities of Leganés, Alcorcón and Fuenlabrada. It was founded in Middle Age and was abandoned in the 19th Century because of illness, so it was considered a cursed place.

Years after, a park was built in this place with a beautiful lake and you can visit its old ruined church. The St. Peter Church of Polvoranca was built in 1655 over an older one, with a baroque style and with beautiful art works inside. Currently, It is a fenced ruined building close to be converted in dust.

You can view some pictures I took yesterday in this park below.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The light in the night

I've added a new item to my photography gear: a Led Lenser P7.2 torch.

Promotional image from product webpage

A torch for photography? Yes. I was looking for a good (and non very expensive) torch to make night photography. I chose the Led Lenser P7.2 after I read this post (in Spanish) about Led Lenser torchs written by Mario Rubio (one of the most popular night photographers in Spain nowadays).

You can find it in Amazon, and now it's a good time to buy it (its price is lower than time before).

Evolution price vs. time in Amazon in last year - (analysis by The Camelizer)

Why a torch? Because you need it to see in the night when you are walking to you location, because you can use it to paint a night scene with continuous light, because you can mark accurately a specific area, etc.

I tried to try it yesterday in the night, but my session was truncated by an unexpected event, so this post is not a good example of the skills of the new torch.

My first try was with the below picture. A few seconds was enough to illuminate the scene (more time would had burned the hill). It needed more time to be exposed correctly, but I didn't like the composition and I passed to the next scene.

My next try was with the electricity tower, but I had an encounter with a wild animal (I couldn't view it well, but it seemed angry). Maybe a fox, maybe a raccoon... I'd seen them before in 'Los Cerros' park (in the Facebook page of the park is shown how they captured amazing images with a camera trap), but this little friend was specially angry and I decided abort the session in this point. The below picture is only a test, with very high ISO. I couldn't to take the final picture.

Finally, I took some more urban night pictures. For example, night roads with cars' lights.

The 232 bus to 'Los Hueros - Torres de la Alameda' arriving to Alcalá de Henares again. Maybe you can read '232', 'HUEROS' and 'TORRES'.

And I finished with the 'Madman's House'. I have to practice with the illumination, but I tested the great power of the torch (320 lm), even with cellophane paper to change the colour.

I have to test it more and better in next excursions, but I think it has been a good purchase, with a lot of possibilities in night photography.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A panoramic view of Hugin

High resolution panoramic image: move it & zoom it with the mouse!

Let me write about panoramas. Above these lines you have an interactive high resolution panoramic image. It is Valmayor reservoir (you also can view it below in a non-interactive image).

Panoramic pictures are interesting: an unusual aspect ratio, the possibility of obtain very high resolution images (joining smaller images)... Human view is a panorama built with two horizontal merged images!

I've tried to make panoramas before. For example, I've tried to merge several layers with transparent parts to make a larger image with Gimp.

Published in "A Walk by Los Cerros de Alcalá" (merging layers in Gimp)

It's possible, but it take a lot of time and the result could be not good enough.

I know there are several choices for this problem, but I've found one I like very much. It's fast, it's easy, it has a lot of advanced settings and it works on Linux! Its name is Hugin.

If you use Ubuntu, you'll find the package in the repositories (if you have problems, visit its download section).

How It works? It's a photo stitcher software. It has a wizard mode where you load your images and it find control points to merge them correctly. It works very very well!

Wizard mode with 3 steps: load, align & make

When you merge images taken with a fixed tripod, rotating the point of view (for example), you are taking the image of a sphere inside. To represent it as a plane image, you must use a projection kind. Hugin let you to chose several projections kinds.

Choosing projections

Hugin works with master points. It can find them automatically, but you also can edit them manually.

Master points (automatically detected)

Finally, when all the settings are correct, the software saves the project and open automatically a shell to execute the needed actions.

The result is a great panorama in a easy way!


Note: I've used CLOSR to show the first image. It seem an interesting option to show large images. It let zoom, navigation, and bookmark of points of interest.


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