Monday, February 28, 2011

Old Church, Uzhgorod

Old wooden church, seen in Uzhgorod, Ukraine.

Went with the painted look on this one, since it seemed to fit it well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poolside, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

With things beginning to return to normal in Egypt, I thought it was about time to dip into the Egypt archives in commemoration of a brighter future ahead. And to remind everyone in colder climes that warmer weather will return soon.

This is the Sonesta Beach Resort, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monument to Zheglov and Sharapova (HDR)

From the first time I saw this statue, I figured it must be some type of monument to the KGB or the militia or something of that sort. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Instead, this is a commemoration of a 1979 Soviet television mini-series, The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (Russian: Место встречи изменить нельзя, translit. Mesto vstrechi izmenit nelzya). It achieved the status of a cult film in the USSR, and along with Seventeen Moments of Spring it became a part of popular culture with several generations of russophone TV viewers.

The original photo had an HDR treatment applied, then some additional work to give it more of a painted look.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Heroes on the Home Front (HDR)

New Website Feature: Translation.

Yesterday I added a new feature to the website. Translation by Google. See the word [translate]? Click that and you will see a list of languages that you can translate this website to. Of course, if you're reading this in English already, you may not need this feature. But it will be handy for some people, I'm sure!

And since it's a translation by a computer, it's not always going to be 100% accurate!

Heroes on the Home Front.

These statues have been a difficult quest for me. And I'm still not 100% happy with this.

These statues are in an outdoor mostly enclosed corridor, with open air openings at each end, and several open shafts going up. These statues come out dull and uninteresting in any kind of sunlight, and with shafts of light coming from above, you often get an impossible mix of shadows and sunlight. So, they must be photographed on an overcast day. But the combination of a mostly enclosed corridor and gray skies lead to challenging low-light conditions.

My intention was to go elsewhere this day, so I did not have my tripod handy. But for all the difficulties encountered, this actually turned out fairly well. This is a HDR, and a four image panorama, with a bit of Topaz Adjust added.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shadows of an Afghan War (HDR)

Yesterday, February 15 2011, was the 22nd anniversary of the end of the Soviet-Afghan War. The total duration of the war was 9 years, 50 days. The photo is from yesterday's anniversary in Kiev, Ukraine. The duration of the US Afghan War, so far, is 9 years, 131 days, if my calculations are correct.

Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union up until August 1991, when they declared independence.

Temperature at the beginning of the ceremony ~ approximately 4F/-14C.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day ~ 2011

This statue near St. Andrews Church depicts a scene from the 1961 Soviet film "Chasing Two Hares." This statue was erected in 1999.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gate at Mamaeva Sloboda (HDR)

Although this appears to be way out in the country, this is well within the city limits of Kiev. This is part of an cultural history park, similar to Pirogovo, which I had posted a few photos of last summer. It is in this same park where I photographed "The Sport of Photographers."

Monday, February 7, 2011

St. Sophia, Kiev (HDR)

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus'. Today, it is one of the city's best known landmarks and the first Ukrainian patrimony to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The complex of the Cathedral is the main component the National Sanctuary "Sophia of Kiev" the state institution responsible for the preservation of the Cathedral complex along with several other historic landmarks of the city.

Like any major church in Kiev, this church has a belltower. I took this photo from that belltower.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kayaks on the Beach

Keeping with the theme of warm for another day...

This is one from the archives, March 2000, Long Caye, Belize.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow (HDR)

I thought today called for something bright and sunny. First, because here in Kiev, we're in the middle of one of those gray periods that can last a month or more. And second, friends and family in the USA are about to get buried by another winter storm.

I know this is little comfort to most suffering through the current winter in the USA, but I do miss it sometimes. Here in Kiev, I'm further north than anywhere in the continental US, excluding Alaska, yet, in most winters here, we get 1/10 the amount of snow one might get in New Jersey. And I do miss that sometimes. There is something so exhilarating about the raw power of nature, and just having everything shut down for a day or three and staying at home and watching the whole spectacle unfold. OK, I know what you're saying. I'm just getting plain delusional now. :-)

This photo was taken on a family vacation at Simena Sun Club, Kemer Turkey, in early October.