On the cheap

I have been experimenting with a few things lately to do with the flash and I have watched a few YouTube videos of something called a “Rogue Flash Bender”.

I decided that I didn’t want to spend quite so much on something so simple so for now I thought that I would stick a sheet of paper to the back of my flash with an elastic band. I hope it works and I will hopefully post some results of my contraption this week.

Star Trails

Last night i spent quite a long time sitting up in the mountains taking pictures of stars. Using long exposure, the idea is that you get the stars leaving trails behind them.


For a first attempt at this I think it was OK. The sky is a mixture of 25 pictures and then I cut the mountain range from an earlier photo when the sierra was a bit brighter. Each of the exposures were about 30 seconds so the camera was taking pictures constantly for about 15 minutes. During this time, 2 joggers ran past. You can see the result of their torches at the top of the frame. The small gap in the star trail is because I had to delete this frame.


I hope to repeat this soon and hopefully with better results. I want to try closer to the summer when it’s warmer and sitting in the wind isn’t quite so painful.


It has been a while since I last posted here. I have had a busy few weeks with music as I have started to do a lot more practice and I am playing for another band over here. Band life is a lot more popular here compared yo the UK. There are loads of wind bands. Over the new year I also played with an orchestra for a new years concert. Loads of waltzs and that sort of thing. If there is one thing I hate it’s ‘Da Capo’s  and ‘coda’s. They are just unnecessarily confusing. I also now have a regular practice space where I can play in the mornings. I’m spending 2-3 hours every day practising. It feels good to be playing.

Sierra Nevada Panoramic

The other day I went for a walk about and decided to experiment a bit with panoramic photos. This is a picture of the Sierra Nevada mountain range just before sunset.
I have left it quite a large image so that you can zoom in and see a little more detail.


Last weekend María and I made a trip to Córdoba. We have a free weekend so why not. Córdoba is quite close to Granada but takes about 2 hours to travel there due to the mountainous area. The weather was supposed to be awful but we took a chance and travelled anyway.
We arrived on the Friday night and the first thing that I noticed was how much more green the city was. There is much more grass, flowers and water, in contrast to Granada’s dryness. We headed out to see the city at night. I mostly just wanted to find a restaurant to eat in. We passed one of the most famous tapas bars which sells Spanish omelette about 15cm thick. The Spanish seemed to find this amazing and when we walked out of the bar, there was a crowd of people standing taking pictures through the window. That was probably the culinary highlight of the night as next we moved to a tapas bar in the centre of the city called, “Casa Rubio”. We ordered some of the famous Montillan Wine and it was disgusting. Both María and I struggled to drink it. I then decided I wanted to try another dish from Córdoba called “Flamenquín”. This also turn out rather badly but I think this was the chef’s fault rather than the dishes. We had a few more drinks and headed back to the hotel.
Saturday was our day of sightseeing. First we went to see the Christian Kings Castle which was very nice. There are some spectacular views over the city and the gardens were very pleasant. Next we visited the Mezquita, a large Mosque/Cathedral. This is the main tourist attraction for Córdoba and I have to admit that it was very impressive. It is quite a strange mixture between Cristian and Muslim. I won’t give you a full history of it, but it has changed between the two religions a few times.

Sunset in Almeria

This weekend we are in Almería. Tomorrow, María is going to be playing with Almería’s Orchestra on the beach so today she had a full day of rehearsals. I spent this afternoon taking a few pictures of the sunset. Every time I come to here it’s either really cloudy and the sun isn’t visible or there are no clouds in the sky at all. Anyway, today was a cloudy day. I didn’t get much interesting but I think this is ok.
I will have a bit of free time tomorrow as well and hopefully the concert will be quite impressive.

I also took this tonight. I played around with it in photoshop for a while. LightHouse

Mum’s Visit

As I have said in my previous post, mum has been over visiting this week. I will just use this post and update it over the weekend with new pictures and anything else that happens.

We went for a walk this morning up to Carmen de Los Martires and after María’s mum and dad, José Carlos and Paqui came to visit. We had a lovely meal in Los Manueles and the we had a walk round the Science Centre in Granada. It turns out the language barrier was no problem whatsoever. We had the trip translator, María, with us so all was well.
We of course went to the butterfly house.

On the Sunday we went for a walk up to Mirador San Miguel. We made the decision to walk and what a walk it turned out to be. We arrived up at the view point and started to walk about the countryside. As you can see from the pictures above there is a an old monastery close by. It was suggested that we walk to this cross-country. The first part of the walk was lovely. It was warm and mum had sufficient butterflies to keep her entertained. Approaching the monastery thing was a little more complicated than we had expected. We got stuck between a big hill and a pretty dodgy looking area of the Sacramonte. It took us a while to find the correct path. Also, we had an interesting encounter with a rather crazy chap. Mum was taking a picture of a butterfly while he was walking long the path. At the time we weren’t sure whether he was asking if he could pass or if he wanted us to come into his house. A short time later we looked back and he was completely naked. Lucky we didn’t choose to follow him. It turned out to be quite a hike.

Sunrise over Sierra Nevada

This week we have had my mum over to visit. This morning was an early one. We decided to head up to a viewpoint looking over Sierra Nevada for the sunrise. We were up at 6:30am or there abouts. It was pretty cold but as soon as the sun came out you could feel the heat. It was fantastic. It was almost like someone was switching the lights on. I’ve upload a few pictures. I will hopefully add a few more later in the week.image

Fresher Initiation in Granada

The other day I arrived home to what I can only describe as a ruckus of students standing outside my living room window. I popped my head out to see this.

I was shocked to see, what I assume was the entire medical department from Granada University welcoming their new students. It’s one of those sights that you just can’t tear your eyes from. The video doesn’t quite capture the atmosphere. This corner of the city is usually very quiet with maybe one or 2 people out and about with their dogs.

I wish I had taken a picture, but after they had finished, they pretty much cleared everything up after themselves. I can’t imagine anything like this happening in the UK nevermind the students’ cleanliness.

High Speed Shots

Tonight I had a free night and so I have been doing a little bit of experimenting. The nice thing about a flash is that you can simulate a really fast shutter speed. Turn the lights off, set the camera’s shutter speed to 1/200s and play with the aperture a bit and you can get 1/10000s shutter speed. As there is no other light in the room, the only light that is picked up by the sensor is that of the flash, which as I mentioned only lasts for 1/10000s. I started tonight by playing in the bathroom.
As you can see I’ve managed to freeze the bubbles inside the water. It took me a few goes to get this perfectly but I think it’s quite interesting to see.

I then moved on to the only other thing in the house that I could find that moves quite quickly. I set a deodorant can on the table and was able to time the picture with the spray pretty well. However, now my living room is nearly uninhabitable.


A while ago I experimented with drops of water into a tray. I think in the next week or two I might have a quick play with that.

A short blog on what I've been doing in Southern Spain