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Celestial Path

“Your faith is worth more than gold”

§1, Peter 1:7

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castle_old_town.jpg

The rooftops of the old city centre.

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catacombs.jpg

Located along a busy steet in the middle of a modern city lies the last resting place of some of its oldest habitants. Many of them have sucumbed to the catastrophe of the wars and the plagues of infectious deseases. Underneath, the catacombs themselves host some of the most prolific figures of the past political and economical life of the city.

Those brave enougth to find their way in are rewarded with the magnificent view of one of the last hidraulic burial lifts, standing essentially intact on the center of the crypt, surrounded by mold and guarded by coffins locked behind metal gates of gothic design.

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chernobyl_control_center.jpg

In May 2001, Robert Polidori photographed what was left behind in this dead zone. His richly detailed images lead us from the burned-out control room of Reactor 4, where technicians staged the experiment that caused the disaster. Fifteen years later I had the chance to gain access to the control room of the infamous Chernobyl Powerplant, which I photographed and processed using a low key HDR treatment.

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shaft.jpg

Still a photo from my latest trip, this one also taken inside a skyscraper where the elevators, located on the outer walls, can be seen. In this opportunity i chose to use a lens that has been somewhat neglected in the last times, in detriment of my tilt-shift lenses, and that is the 14mm. As expected, it did it's job marvellously, rendering the inside view of the building in all its splendour.

Three brackets HDR image tone mapped in photomatix and finished in photoshop.

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future_space.jpg

This building featured certainly quite an interesting interior architecture, the eliptical shapes circling around to the summit, where an installation of planet like dishes orbits the ceiling. Enough to serve as an excuse to take out the camera from the bag and attempt to capture some brackets for later processing. And the result can be seen above. Processed in photomatix and finished in the new version of Photoshop CC 2015.

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berlin_regierungsviertel.jpg

Berlin has been recently the stage for an amazing light show, where the facades of the governmental buildings at the shores of the river Spree serve as a canvas to display in half an hour a short summary of 200 years of german history. The buildings are illuminate with exclusive warm lights which gives a pleasant contrast with the cool blue hour tones. The show can be seen until October 2015.

High dynamic image using three brackets and processed with photomatix.

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quinta.jpg

This enigmatic construction consists of a tower like structure penetrating 27 metre deep in the ground. Depending on the direction you choose, in is said to symbolise either a journey down into the depths of the earth, or a climb out of the darkness into the light, the journey through the earth is like a rebirth through mother natures womb, from where all things come and where one day all shall return. The fact is that nobody is really sure of the reason leading its construction nor its use. Its spiral staircase is said to evoke Dante's Divine Comedy and the path through the different circle of Hell, while other symbolism related with freemasonry can be appreciated in many details.

“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing” — Hermes Trismegistus

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Escape

Many of modern railway stations seem to be thought out as monuments to architectural design and style, and the one you see in this photo is no exception. Impressive and futuristic shapes combined with sustainable materials and enhanced passenger and transportation flow concepts make its interior somehow unusual to what many commuters are used to.

The photo was taken without people, to emphasise the modern architecture lines as much as possible.

Five brackets were taken, and processed to obtain a bright HDR image in photomatix, which was then finished in photoshop.

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Cubism

Recently I had the opportunity to commute in this recently inaugurated train station, with quite a unique design. It consists of an island platform, 140 metres in length that lies some 20 metres below the surface. The main feature of the station interior is the glass brick elements which are lit from behind to give the impression of daylight.

Although the light inside is not as bright pure daylight, the use of HDR helped to convey that impression, possibly something that the designers of the station envisioned when they created it.

For this particular photo, only three brackets were used, processed in photomatix and finished in photoshop.

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The Path of the Philosopher

I recently had the chance to visit this bamboo forest in Japan and it revealed itself to be quite an experience to be able to walk in the middle of it. This forest was included in 1996 by the Ministry of Environment on the list of “100 Soundscapes of Japan”, as part of its efforts to combat noise pollution and to protect and promote the environment. Although I didn't have the chance to capture its sound, I managed to capture the set of brackets that I then converted into the HDR that you can see above.

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manarola.jpg

Founded during the twelfth century, this village has grown little by little thanks to new buildings and elevations of existing ones. These new constructions were spontaneously made by people in different historical periods, until the original and characteristic village that you may admire nowadays.

The photo was taken at the end of the day, a time where the warm tones of the village's light contrasts the most with the blue ocean. Five brackets were processed in HDR and finished in photoshop.

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Red Hat

I decided to take advantage of what probably is the last days of snowy winter here in Berlin and picked up the +Sony A7r for some architecture and landscape shots. Along the unplanned path, one could spot this peculiar building, with its quite unique roof. Concrete, glass and steel were the materials that the Pritzker laureate architect chose for this construction, crowned by a red, shell shaped prominent roof. Of course, red colours at blue hour just beg for a picture, so after setting up the canon tilt-shift lens at the right position, I took the 5 brackets necessary to compose the photo above. Still positively impressed with the performance of the Metabones adapter, which at almost full shift didn’t show any signs of noticeable vignetting. Post-processing was done in photoshop.

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nirvana.jpg

Some might be wondering about the relationship between Sonic the Hedgehog and a body of still water depicted in this photo. It is the latest element in my collection of winter landscapes, the previous one can be seen here. This time I seized the opportunity while walking around a lake to take this shot of a peer. A couple of seconds after the brackets were taken, the wind had blown the clouds in the sky and the effect would have been lost, but by then it was too late, I already had what I needed. The photo itself was an HDR made out of 7 brackets. Post-processing tried to balance the dark tones of the wood with the brightness of the sky and water, while achieving a seamless transition between the latter by minimising the color gradient.

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tree.jpg

Despite having adapted my Lee Big Stopper filter system from the Canon to my Fuji x100s some time ago, it has not been until today that I had a chance to properly test it in the field, so I decided to take it for a walk in this lake, which turned out to be a fruitful playground for long exposure photography. But it was not until about the middle of the day that the impromptu sighting of a dead tree unveiled itself in what became the best photo opportunity of the journey.

After setting up the camera, filter and tripod I exposed the shot for about 2 minutes, making sure the white parts of the frame captured the fog and cold feeling of the scene. The post processing was kept quite simple this time, it consisted essentially of converting the photo to black and white using a strong, but not full desaturation.

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