“Pink is my new Obsession”

Pink

Pink it’s my new obsession
Pink it’s not even a question,
Pink on the lips of your lover, ’cause
Pink is the love you discover

~Aerosmith

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Ecstasy

Ecstasy

My friend Aurora has an obsession with pink. Then, if you’re a photographer and lived long enough in Japan, you develop this fascination with Mt. Fuji. So when we went to the Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri, near Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan, Aurora could hardly contain herself. As you can clearly see!

Embracing the Universe

Embracing the Universe

During the last weekend I headed to the Niijima Island, Japan, for two days of camping with the wonderful folk of the Tokyo Snow Club and it was as good a time as you could have. After unhealthy amounts of food, booze, music and some more, we made a bonfire at the beach and had a great time.

Finally people started leaving around midnight, but my great friend and fellow photographer Aurora and I stayed behind determined to catch a glimpse of the milky way. We weren’t disappointed; after about a half an hour into the mid night the milky way slowly rose with its full majesty and the two of us had a great time time did fly by. In this picture I made her stand her there for about 30 seconds (bless her!) while I shot it, and it turned out quite lovely I think.

As Dr. Neil DeGrass Tyson would say, the stupefying vastness of the universe shouldn’t make us feel insignificant, for the universe makes up for it with the fact that we are one with the universe; we literally are made of star stuff. Knowing that, taking in the indescribable elegance of the milky way is one of the most soul searching experience one could have. And in that regard, I’ve been lucky more than once.

Grandeur

The Mighty Grand Canyon

This probably is the best photo from my recent visit to the US. I probably have mentioned this before, but let me say it again; The Grand Canyon was always at the top of my bucket list and the opportunity to cross it off the list was something truly wonderful. I had known about it ever since I was a kid, and loved just about everything about it from how it was formed to how old it is to how truly spectacular it is. In short, I know a lot about it and I knew what to expect. Yet, the first time I stood there at the edge of the South Rim taking in the marvelous sight in front of me, I was speechless.

That was the first day, of which the night I and Looney spent in the Yavapai Lodge inside the National Park. The next morning we gathered our stuff and headed to the Bright Angel Trek and started descending to the canyon hoping to go as far as the time would allow us: we were to return to the Bright Angel Lodge around 3 PM. Since it had snowed a few days ago the trek was extremely slippery, and we didn’t have appropriate gear, so the descent was a slow going. Yet it was fantastic – we both love hiking – and less than 30 minutes into the trek you are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. Everything you see all around you is the canyon, and it’s a sight that’s truly worth remembering. About two hours into the trek we had to turn back, and before heading back I set the tripod (oh yes, I did indeed carry the damn things despite it’s weight) and shot a few snaps of which this turned out to be the best. I love the way it captures the serene beauty of faraway canyon, the rugged terrain of nearby rocks and the lovely pale sky that accommodates all that into one.

Technical details, this is again 3 bracketed shots (it’s a pity the D600 only allows you 3 shots) at EV0 +/- 2, merged in Photomatix 5. As I’ve been doing recently, again I produced 3 separate outputs from Photomatix, one concentrated on the faraway canyon, another on close-by land and the final on sky. I feel this gives much better results that trying to incorporate everything into one Photomatix output. Afterwards I brushed up a bit in Nix before cleaning everything up in Noiseware. Overall, I feel this is a pretty decent job, a photo that I truly love.