Zürich Botanical Garden

Last week-end, the weather was quite nice, and I wanted to go for a walk – so we ended up in the Zürich botanical garden. I had been a couple of times, but in particular I don’t think I had ever entered the large greenhouses – despite their pretty characteristic look.

The main issue with greenhouses is that their climate is, by design, not very compatible with, well, me – I still had a very good time taking pictures of the different specimens there.

The words: “OH THOSE ARE SO CUTE” have been uttered:

as well as “THESE CACTI ARE SO FLUFFY!”

The outside of the garden was also very nice – the frogs were very noisy (probably to compensate for the fact that they were not very visible) and I found some weird stuff too.

The full gallery is available on SmugMug and on Google Photos.

Sea Life in Konstanz

Last week, I went on the other side of the German border to go visit the Sea Life aquarium in Konstanz to take pictures. Here my favorites – and the full album is available on Google Photos or on Smugmug.

I enjoyed my visit – the aquariums are well presented, there’s a lot of information, and it seems very kid-friendly (which made MY life slightly more complicated because there was so many things at a lower level 😉 ). I think I may have missed some stuff – because it seems weird that an aquarium would not have any jellyfish (so I probably missed the jellyfish 😦 ).

On the photography side, I went with my K-1 fitted with my trusty 24-70/2.8 (I cannot BELIEVE I actually hesitated buying that glass. It’s wonderful.) I’m quite happy that it’s definitely possible to push the ISO to 6400 in low-light and to still get reasonable results – the noise is visible, but not too problematic. Autofocus was however sometimes pretty/very hard to get. I still need to study how to handle noise properly in Darktable, because right now I’m blindly applying a preset that I got… somewhere, and that does the job well enough, but I think there’s room for improvement there.

52Frames – Week 15 – Blue Hour

I’ve been waiting for reasonable weather all week last week to shoot Blue Hour for 52Frames. That… kind of didn’t happen, so Sunday evening came and I still didn’t have a shot. I was determined to not let my streak end, so this one is somewhat of a placeholder, I guess – it’s not what I would have wanted to get for this theme, but it’s what I got!

I had a first pretty bad shot with a bike traveling in that red/copper light, so I waited a bit for another bike to appear, and it worked out 🙂 The weather on top of the Uetliberg was actually pretty nice, in a foggy/ethereal way.

I don’t think it was quite the blue hour yet when I shot the picture – I compensated a bit in post-processing by giving a bit of a bluer tone, as well as boosting the reds to have a better contrast on the light in the street.

52Frames – Week 14 – Food Photography

The theme for last week’s 52Frames was Food Photography. I’ve taken enough pictures for our food blog that I know what I like and how to get at least decent food pictures. Since natural light is the main ingredient of that, and since we don’t have that much of that at dinner time, it kind of meant “lunch picture”. Our typical meals may not necessarily be the most appetizing because they may lack structure, so I chose to go for a simple one, with literally no cooking and just setting things up on the plate – avocado and salmon 🙂

52Frames – 2019 Weeks 12 and 13 – “Old” and “New”

I forgot to post last week’s 52Frames, so I’m doing two posts in one!

This was my entry for “Old“. I bought flowers for another project (and because I wanted flowers), and they wilted (half on purpose because I knew this could work for the “Old” theme. I actually took a bunch of picture of that one, and this one was the one I preferred for that theme. (I have another one that I like a lot and for another theme, but shhhh, it’s still a secret for a few weeks!)

My entry for “New” is definitely in the “consistency shots” category – that is, a wholly uninspired picture that kind of fits the theme, for the sole purpose of not breaking the streak. So: I did not break my streak (this was my 13th week in a row, woo!), and also we have new plates and cutlery 😛

52Frames – 2019 Week 11 – Experimental Photography

The theme for 52Frames this week was “Experimental Photography“. I have a fondness for pretty rocks/minerals, and I was thinking these days they’d be a nice photography subject (that doesn’t move too much). So last week I pushed the door of a mineralogy shop, and I got out with a few specimens to start experimenting.

This one is a chalcopyrite, and it comes from Wallis, Switzerland. Taking the picture was a matter of taking a lot of them and stack them using Zerene – which I had used successfully a few months ago for the Macro theme. I’m however super unhappy with this picture for a number of reasons:

  • I hadn’t fixed my white balance and ISO, which meant my pictures were not as consistent as they should have been.
  • The light was crap, and the shadow below/left is not pretty.
  • I have an ugly purple fringe on the left that’s ugly, and I’m not sure if it’s a matter of light, of lens, or both.
  • I used my lens at its longer focal (300) – by mistake, but I didn’t double-check what I was doing – and I think it’s not as sharp there as it would be at 200.
  • My white paper background is getting very dusty and I should change it.

So, all in all – many mistakes were made… but that also means that many lessons were learnt, and that next one will be better!