Córdoba


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.
AlmeriaCloudy
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.
WaterTap
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.
SprayBig

SpraySmall

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.

I’ve got a new flash

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here about photography. I’ve had a busy few months and the pictures that I have taken are mostly holiday, tourist photos from about Granada. Last week I bought a flash. After reading many reviews I decided to go with the LumoPro 180. I chose this for a number of reasons. Firstly, It’s a manual flash and I thought that I should try to learn how to use this before going down the E-TTL route and secondly, because it’s a lot cheaper than the Canon/Nikon flashes. I’m pretty happy with it but it is taking me a long time to get used to the camera in fully manual mode. I have found a few interesting thing out however.

Now that I’m not using a lamp as a light source in the house, I’m able to get my ISO right down(less grainy pictures). I have been experimenting with smoke again this morning and I’ve got some interesting results.
Smoke
It’s not that much different from my previous attempts but I’m happy with this. My incense sticks don’t make very much smoke, but at least the flat smells nice.

Apart from that, I have just been playing around and trying to light different things from different angles. I’m not big into self portraiture but I’m quite happy with this. I honestly didn’t mean to look so scary. Portrait
I’m sure for most people I know this is a common sight. Michael sitting at his computer.

Anyway, I’ll hopefully post again soon. I now have a little more free time after María and I painted the flat.

Cheers,
Michael

Steven, Joanne, Ian and Kellie

Last week we had a visit from Ian, Kellie, Steven and Joanne. I have uploaded a few pictures and I will write a little more about their visit in the next few days.

Well I think we had quite an interesting weekend. Of course ate like pigs and drank a little more than we should have but from my point of view it was a successful weekend. It was quite the special occa

I will add some more pictures to my Granada Gallery which I will post below. There are no people in these pictures so I thought it better to put them in this gallery

Maria’s Birthday

Last week was María’s birthday. We spent the weekend having a few drinks in Granada and then heading over to María’s hometown of Almería. It rained for most of the weekend but we had a good time. We travelled to a fish restaurant on the coast for lunch. It was the simplest restaurant that I have ever seen. It was basically a plastic shack with a kitchen which seated about 70 people. The food was fantastically fresh as the restaurant had its own fishermen. I’m pretty sure everything that we ate came from the sea that day. We tried to order a few other things like chicken, but no…. “Sorry, we don’t do chicken. Only fish”.
Anyway… Happy Birthday María!
MariaFlowers24

Lynda, Dave and Margy

Last week we had a visit from auntie Lynda, uncle Dave and auntie Margy. Of course we did all the touristy things in Granada; visited the Alhambra, did a tour of the city, but we also ate a remarkable amount of food. I’ve posted one picture in the gallery but there are more with people in them to follow.

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