Panoramatic Norway

No matter if it is winter or summer, there are always opportunitites to take photos of the beautiful nature. And the great views are so tempting to be captured in all their width as a panorama.

One day we made a trip around island Kvaløya. Because of only couple of hours of light (or at least twilight), we managed to go around only part of the island. This is how noon looks like in December.

Unfortunately, it was getting dark very quickly when we got to Sommarøy island. So I took only a few photos, then we found one geocache hidden under snow and were on our way again.

The city of Tromsø. We took a cable car to the top of one of surrounding hills. The view from up there was great but the wind was so strong and cold. It felt like it was -20°C. I was also quite lucky because I took enough photos to make this panorama and then the batteries in my camera died due to the cold.

And finally, New Years Eve. Also it was our last night there. The greenish smudge across the sky are the Northern Lights.

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Norway – Northern Lights, New Years Eve and Other

Week in the northern Norway – that was how we spent the Christmas holidays. At first I thought there would be no light during the day and I was quite suprised to find out there are actually couple of light. However, the sun never rose above the horizon – that happens in late January.

But still, how often one can sleep till ten o’clock and say she/he woke up just before the “sunrise”? (At least for someone who is from middle Europe…)

Or take a look out of window and see a couple of reindeers?
(I still don’t get how they can drink the salty sea water)

Or meet small reindeer herd crossing the road?
(this one was little behind the herd)

And then just admire the cold and white nature and occasional red house.

New Year’s Eve

The custom of celebrating New Year’s Eve with fireworks seems to be ubiquitous. We also noticed that people fired some kind of the red lights that were much brighter and lasted much longer than regular fireworks. We guessed it might be some kind of flare and later it was confirmed by our hosts. We learned from our hosts that the midnight of New Year’s Eve is the only time when people can fire red flares which otherwise can only be used in case of maritime distress.

Northern lights (also called Aurora Borealis)

What is Aurora Borealis? Rather than I would copy-paste the info from other website, you can check out Aurora Forecast site for detailed explanation and other information. This site also contains tools for predicting when and where the ligts will be visible.

We saw the lights three times during our stay. When they were strongest, we were just watching, amazed. It is such a beautiful and magical phenomenom. The green lights were literally dancing across the sky.

On the first four photos, you can see that the lights can be moving very quickly. The white line on the left side on the photo which is moving toward middle and then right are the headlights of a single plane taking off.

Here is one vertical photo of the Northern Lights, this time with the Big Dipper asterism (part of constellation Ursa Major). I was suprised that the stars are so visible there.

Even when the sky is partially cloudy, the lights are still clearly visible.

Well, this was one of the most unforgettable experience I ever had. Also, the northern Norway in winter made it to my list of must-visit-again.

You can check out other photos from Norway in my next two posts:
https://monasphotography.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/polar-park/
https://monasphotography.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/panoramatic-norway/

Vyšehrad at Night

This weekend I participated in photography workshop focused on night city photography. As I have always been a self-taught, the workshop helped me to understand why certain settings were better than other, I also learned how to set and adjust white balance in kelvins (and I was amazed at the difference between auto white balance and manually set white balance in kelvins). Fortunately, there were only two other workshop participants so the lecturer had more time for each of us and to advise us.

The below photos are those that I took during the workshop at Vysehrad.

A view to the Prague Castle. It was funny that one moment, this spot at the view was empty and only minutes later, there were several photographers (excluding our workshop group).

This was at the same viewpoint as above, only in opposite directions.

Basilica of St Peter and St Paul

The outer walls of Vysehrad. According to the legends, ruler Horymír jumped of the walls to the Vltava river while riding his horse Šemík and than they swam to the other side to save himself from execution.

Rotunda of St Martin, built in the 11th century

Signal Festival 2017

Signal Festival that took place last weekend is a festival of light art. Mostly it is in form of light installations in streets and public spaces in the city, including famous historical landmarks. The below photos are of installation at Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad in Prague and it consisted of huge LED light panels, three sets of two vertical and one horizontal panels.

New Year Fireworks in Prague 2016

The official New Year Fireworks traditionally take place on the 1st of January. This year the fireworks were newly shot from hill Vitkov so I had to find another place from which I would have a nice view (in previous years, the fireworks were shot from hill Letna and I was on Vitkov). As the Letna would be crowded this year, I found another place, which turned out to be perfect. The view was really great and as a nice bonus not much people new about this place so I did not have to worry about too many people taller than my tripod.

Because of relatively low clouds (just like in the previous year), the rockets that flew the highest made an interesting effect when exploded. Only part of the explosion was visible. This was also caused by lots of smoke in the second half of the show.

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(Shutter Speed: 36/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 45.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 24/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 31/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 45/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 43/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 23/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 2/1 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 37/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 24/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 57/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 15/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/1 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

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(Shutter Speed: 35/10 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 62.0, ISO 200)

So, this was the official fireworks. On the New Year’s Eve people shoot their own fireworks and therefore if you find a higher place you can see the colourful explosion all over the sky of Prague. Just like here:

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But this was 3 years ago…

I took ordinary photos 2 years ago…

The fog was really thick 1 year ago…

This year I forgot my battery in the recharger at home… and the spare one as well.

Let’s hope that next year will be more successful.

Happy New Year to everyone!

New Year Celebrations

Another year ends and next one begins. As every year, I take the opportunity to take photos of the celebrations. I spent the New Year’s Eve at area called Divci Hrady which is part of protected area called Prokopske Udoli (Prokopske Valley). Unfortunately, the weather condition was pretty bad, it was snowing/raining lightly and the fog covered most of Prague. Before the midning, only Vysehrad was still visible but it didn’t last long.

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(Shutter Speed: 67/10 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 120.0, ISO 400)

After few minutes of fireworks, the smoke covered almost everything. Therefore I was able to only take photos of those, that were very close to me. Like this one that was tight above my head.

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(Shutter Speed: 4/1 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 400)

Later, I took some photos of people who were launching sky lanterns. The lighting was really bad as well as the colours so I turned them to black and white and posted them anyway as I liked the captured scene.

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(Shutter Speed: 1/20 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 68.0, ISO 3200)

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(Shutter Speed: 1/60 seconds, Aperture: F/4.0, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 3200)

The following photos were taken the next day when the Prague’s New Year’s Firework took place. Just like last year, I went to Vitkov hill from where I took the photos.

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(Shutter Speed: 8/1 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

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(Shutter Speed: 54/10 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

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(Shutter Speed: 6/1 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 72.0, ISO 100)

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(Shutter Speed: 42/10 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 72.0, ISO 100)

Because of relatively low clouds, the rockets that flew the highest made an interesting effect when exploded. Only part of the explosion was visible.

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(Shutter Speed: 92/10 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 72.0, ISO 100)