European Holiday

First of all apologies for being a little bit quiet lately. I had a 100 free photo prints I wanted to use before expiry date, so I decided to go back to our Europe trip photos from 2011 to get those printed. There were many to go through! So I’ve decided to share the highlights on a post 🙂

So first of all editing for prints is a learning curve all on its own. The first time I did a big batch of prints I found the hard way that the prints were way too dark, although it looked fine on the screen. This is apparently because my monitor is a cheap one and is uncalibrated. This was when I learned to use histograms to help decide whether my photos are too dark or not.

Secondly, cropping is a big challenge! We did our Europe trip on my Panasonic LX3 which does 16:9 ratio (widescreen) , but my prints needed to be 6×4! I was mostly composing for 16:9, so I had to leave some compositional elements out to make the image fit to 3:2. This definitely took out some impact from a lot of my favourite photos. I guess the lesson here is to take multiple shots of a scene to take the possibility of future cropping into account. Digital exposures are cheap after all!

Anyways enough rambling. This will be a long post because there were too many photos I liked. But hopefully you’ll enjoy the photos below!

England

London Eye

Anne looking up to the London Eye, because we were too cheap to pay 22 quid each to go on a ferris wheel. Sorry, but this has to be the biggest tourist trap in London! If you’re out for a good view of London from above, I recommend climbing up the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral instead. Many reasons. It’s half the price. The audio guide of the cathedral is really good (I never really understood the layout of cathedrals before this!). At the base of the dome, there’s a lean-to area where you can whisper on the wall of the dome, and the sound reaches to the other side! There is a narrow staircase that takes you to the top of the dome. I found it quite fun to go up old staircases 🙂

St Pauls Cathedral London

St Pauls Cathedral London

I liked the St Paul Cathedral so much that I had to include photos from the day and the night! I loved the drama from the clouds on the day, while the night photo gave me a chance to do nice motion blurs of pedestrians 🙂

London Cab

Another thing to obsess about in London is the wonderful black cab! Did this in B&W to add a more timeless/vintage feel.

Bath Cathedral

Bath has such a nice small town vibe. This was taken inside the Roman Baths (trivia: during Roman times Bath was called Aquae Sulis) looking towards the Bath Abbey.

Paris

Eiffel Tower

In this post I tried to stay away from the most touristy landmarks (notice no Big Ben and Tower Bridge from London?). Especially if the photos I took felt a bit too postcard-ish. However I couldn’t resist the Eiffel Tower. It’s just such a nice monument to the Industrial Age 🙂 And the hourly light shows at night are awesome.

Louvre Museum

I am also a sucker for the glass pyramids at the Louvre 🙂 Here’s to showing off the excellent wide angle lens on the LX3. Paris on Sunday morning is so nice, you can have such a major attraction like this pretty much to yourself.

Switzerland

Mt Pilatus

We were lucky to have such awesome weather in Switzerland. This was taken at Mt Pilatus near Lucerne.

Berne Switzerland

OK so this is quite postcard-ish, but Bern just looks so nice 🙂

Spain

Sagrada Familia

Although heading says Spain, we only went to Barcelona. Here is Sagrada Familia in all its incomplete glory, with a cheeky solar flare just because.

Barcelona Olympic Stadium

The 1992 Summer Olympic pretty much put Barcelona on the map in modern times. Here is the Olympics stadium.

Portraiture

Here’s Anne posing on some rocks at Parc Guell (another of Gaudi’s brain child). This park is probably my highlight of Barcelona. It was worth the multiple metro transit plus half hour walk (Anne might disagree).

Monaco

Monaco

Shame we had wet weather when we were at CĂ´te d’Azur. But Monaco’s apartments are still impressive looking (the super yachts help…).

Monaco

More of high rises with old-world charm in Monaco.

Italy

Florence Duomo

The Duomo in Florence. The most kick ass of all cathedral domes. Also reminds me of Civilization IV.

Pantheon Rome

OK so it is probably apparent that I am a sucker for domes… Here is one from the Pantheon in Rome. I like the geometric/abstract vibe of the indentations on the dome.

St Peters Basilica Rome

 Dome of St Peter’s Basilica. The details and colours of the interior of the Basilica is amazing.

St Peters Piazza

St Peter’s Square during the day, with another cheeky solar flare.

St Peters Basilica Sunset

St Peter’s Basilica at Sunset.

Roman Forum

Being a History of Rome podcast fan (as some of my friends can attest), I totally geeked out at the Roman Forum. Imagine this place being the centre of the Mediterranean world!

Sistine Chapel

OK so most tourists do a sneaky shot of the Sistine Chapel. I managed to get a relatively non-shaky one 🙂

Grand Canal

Grand Canal of Venice in the morning.

Gondolas in Venice

More gondolas.

Jewish Ghetto Venice

The Jewish ghetto of Venice is a really atmospheric place to be in. Here a older gentleman is enjoying the midday sun reading the papers.

St Marks Basilica Venice

Dome of St Mark’s Basilica, Venice.

St Marks Basilica Venice

Totally a fan of the gold mozaic and Byzantine feel of St Mark’s Basilica.

Austria

Schonbrunn Palace

A totally pimping Schonbrunn palace. Possibly the coolest shade of yellow there is: Schonbrunn Yellow…

Mauthausen Concentration Camp

On a more sombre note, a memorial to the Holocaust at the Mauthausen concentration camp.

Czech Republic

Charles Bridge Prague

The best time to explore Charles Bridge in Prague is early morning! The lack of crowds adds to the contemplative mood.

St Vitus Cathedral

Gothic interior of St Vitus Cathedral in Prague’s Castle District.

Germany

East Berlin Cars

Collection of old East German era Trabant cars in Berlin. Apparently truly awful to drive!

Berlin Pretzel

Fittingly, or not, my final photo is of Anne eating a pretzel during a night out in Berlin!

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