photo

Stream of Cascada de Los Colores

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

On the Canary Island La Palma, unexpectedly, there is a lot of water. Some of this water ends up in the Cascada de Los Colores, a small waterfall of red, yellow, and green streams. Soon the stream becomes mostly red, stays like that for a while, slowly turns into yellow, as other, clear water connects to it, and in the end, it fades into ordinary water.

La Caldera de Taburiente

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.0
Shutter speed
1/500 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 80
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

The very top of La Palma is the Roque de los Muchachos with it’s 2426m height. On cloudy days, this is the view - that pointy thing in the distance is the Teide on Tenerife, way above the clouds, with it’s 3718m.

Stargazers

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

The Roque de los Muchachos host a significant amount and rather important astronomy telescopes. Unfortunately visitors are not allowed up here during the night because even that tiny ligth pollution could distort measurements, but it’s certainly a unique view, even during daytime.

La Caldera de Taburiente panorama

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

A panorama from Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma at 2426m.

Engawa of the dojo building at Dojo Stara Wieś

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
K or M Lens

This is the ourdoor veranda, the engawa of the dojo building itself at Dojo Stara Wieś1. The building hosts three beautiful areas to practice martial arts in a place, which resembles their origin quite well.


  1. http://www.dojostarawies.com/en.html

Dawn at Dojo Stara Wieś

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/80 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 100
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

I had the chance from Pakua UK1 to spend a weekend at Dojo Stara Wieś2 in Poland. Unexpected as it is, the Dojo is a small village, built for Japanese martial arts, in Japanese architectural style.

While it’s not the complete fairytale Japan one might expect, in the end, the only thing one could wish for is a small forest of giant bamboo, because everything else is tranquility here. The ponds were full of huge frogs and lovely newts, the air was filled with loud and happy birds - it’s a lovely place.

I took the picture not that early, sometimes just after sunrise.


  1. https://www.pakuauk.com/

  2. http://www.dojostarawies.com/en.html

Hol vasmű állott, most kőhalom

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/100 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 3200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

Just another abandoned, decaying factory in Budapest.

Hol vasmű állott, most kőhalom 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 1600
Lens
K or M Lens

Empty windows, nature slowly taking over, rubble everywhere - a few decades of decay.

Puertito de los Molinos

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
K or M Lens

Puertito de los Molinos has huge, steep, beautiful walls of rock surrounding it; unfortunately it’s more or less impossible to climb down on them. We planned to get here by sunset, but it was pitch black when we actually arrived, so instead before getting our flight home, we got up early and came back for sunrise. It was worth it: when sunrise comes with the high tide the waves are magnificent, even with a calm weather.

Road to Malpaís Grande

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/9.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

The road to and from Pozo Negro is quiet, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to look at: it comes all the way along the black fields of lava which started at Malpaís Grande and ended up at the sea at Pozo Negro.

Pozo Negro

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

Pozo Negro got about 2 sentences in the guide book for Fuerteventura, and most of those 2 lines was that it has 2 pescados, fish restaurants. Well, it did, in fact had nice fish, and if you’re there by sunset, like we were, it also offers beautiful colours.

Mountains of Fuerteventura

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/500 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

There is a rather empty road on Fuerteventura, the one that goes through Betancuria, in the mountains, to the south, FV-30. I can certainly recommend taking this route if you can: it’s calm, outerworldly, with ravens visiting you at the miradors, showing all the beautiful mountains on the west side of the island.

Peñitas Dam

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/400 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

During the past centuries there were numerous attempts to make Fuerteventura greener again - one of them was the Peñitas Dam. Unfortunately the erosion of the surrounding mountains is too strong, pushing a lot of soil into the dam, making the water completely disappear in the mud. It still contains a lot of water though, given how happy the trees are in the valley - trees, which are already rare at Fuerteventura.

(Also: a small praise for my Pentax camera, for producing an image like this, ouf of the machine without post-processing or filters.)

A desert of Fuerteventura

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

The image was taken from the top of Mirador De Morro Velosa, on our way to Betancuria.

Panorama from Mirador De Morro Velosa

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

When visiting a mirador, one might expect a place to buy coffee next to a magnificent view, but Mirador De Morro Velosa offers a lot more. Besides the panoramic view, the building also functions as a museum about the islands and their origins - and yes, you can still get a Cortado leche v leche.

Since my camera doesn’t have a panorama function, I had to improvise: 4 handheld shoots combined perfectly with Hugin turned out better, than I expected.

Wine yard on Lanzarote

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/320 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

On that black slope you can see small semi-circles of stones: those are humiditiy traps with vine in their middle. Wine from Lanzarote is sweet and very nice, and knowing it’s growing on a martinan land makes it even more exciting.

Panorama of Timanfaya National Park

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

The Timanfaya National Park is a vast wasteland of volcanic eruptions happened mostly around 1730. It is unique, beautiful, looks like an alien planet, and quite dangerous to walk on your own. The road on the left is the route the camels take when going to work and getting home - they are only serving tourists these days though.

My camera doesn’t have a panorama function: this image is glued from 3 handheld shoots, combined perfectly with a program called Hugin.

Layers of volcanic ash

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/400 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
K or M Lens

Lanzarote has a unique lake: it’s completely green, called El Lago Verde. The colour is due to the different volcanic ash falling into the small lake: all these magnificent slopes around it are contributing to creating that green water.

The top of Timanfaya

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

At the top of Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote, there is a building, designed by César Manrique, called El Diablo: it uses completely natural hot air coming from the depths of the Earth to cook. This is the view in front of it.

Stream with oak leaves

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/80 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
K or M Lens

Sometimes the simple, small things, are just as gorgeous: this was in the stream that as flowing down from a gigantic waterfall in Ireland.

A piece of Powerscourt Waterfall

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/20.0
Shutter speed
1/6 sec
Focal length (as set)
48.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Only a small portion of the huge Powerscourt Waterfall in Ireland. The place is beautiful, however, it can get very crowded, so taking images of the whole waterfall is very tricky.

Powerscourt Waterfall Forest - browns

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/20 sec
Focal length (as set)
45.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 800
Lens
K or M Lens

Occasionally it’s worth getting off the usual tracks and paths; you end up in abandoned, unmaintained parts of the forest, leading into dark rows of pines all around you.

Powerscourt Waterfall Forest - greens

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/200 sec
Focal length (as set)
45.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
K or M Lens

Irish forests are beautiful, and all the greens collide before autumn sits in.

Sunset at Kilchurn Castle

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
60.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

At the end of a wonderful organised day tour we visited Loch Awe and Kilchurn Castle. We a decent weather all the day - given it was winter in Scotland, I was very glad for it, but the sunset was certainly magnificent.

Sunset at Loch Awe

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Sunsets can be magnificent all around the UK, but they seem to be astonishing in Scotland - if you’re lucky enough to see the sun. We were, thank fully.

Island on Loch Awe

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
68.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Sunsets have been photographed so many times that when you see one that’s truly outstanding you end up finding yourself looking for excuses why you took the picture. It’s simple: it was, in fact, beautiful.

Trees burning in the sunset

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/7.1
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
60.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 800
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

We passed this tiny island on our way to Kilchurn Castle and back. Going there, they were simple, grey trees, but when the sun was setting, it was lighting up the branches just like it was the colour of the leaves or the trees themselves. You need to look closely to realise, it’s only a trick of the light.

Mountains around Glencoe

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/9.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
48.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

There is a large parking lot in Glencoe where everybody stoppes to take pictures. While the view on the opposite is indeed magnificent, if you turn around, you can see just as interesting and just as beautiful landscapes as well.

Glencoe, Scotland

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Clencoe in Scotland is a manificent place, but it feels incredibly distant from what I’m usually used to. Vast, flowing clouds, close enough that sometimes they are just above your head, snow capped, steep (although not too large) mountains all around.

Lizard at La Palma

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/6.3
Shutter speed
1/640 sec
Focal length (as set)
300.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR

La Palma is full of these little fellows, curious, fast, beautiful. If you give them some pressed fruit bars, they come very close.

La Palma - stones on the shore

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/25.0
Shutter speed
6 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

On the first day we arrived to La Palma we only started to look around and arrived into one of the larger towns rather late. This, however, is never a problem for photographers: we walked down to the part of the shore where only one people was fishing - after trying to take cheesy sunset pictures - and started to experiment with long exposure on the volcanic rocks.

La Palma - Tazacorte

Camera
GT-I9505
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

Tazacorte is not a particularly interesting city - although the various, colourful houses are nice -, but the view is exceptional. All those green trees are banana trees; the air is crisp and the sea is magnificent.

La Palma - panorama

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

I barely ever had any GPS reception on La Palma so it’s a little hard to tell where exactly the pictures were taken - pictures indeed, because this is a panorama stitched together from 3 handheld images from a DSLR by Hugin1. I’m extremely impressed by that software: the 3 source photos were with different exposure, even their white balance differed a little yet Hugin put them together without a glitch.


  1. http://hugin.sourceforge.net/

La Palma - Teneguía

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/9.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
39.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The South-West area of La Palma is the youngest in terms of volcanic activity; there was a huge erosion in the ’70s, which formed the land the way it is today.

Originally we didn’t plan to visit this area for too long, thinking it’s not as interesting as the rest of the island - we were wrong. Not only there is a traditional salt factory here, there are lots of small beaches where nobody goes, and the view is magnificent as well.

La Palma - Teneguía sky

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/100 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

I’ve seen magnificent skies, but the non-earthy, black volcanic ground, combined with deep blue sky and beautiful clouds is certainly on the list of the outerworld-ish experiences.

I did use a polarizer, but I was only trying to capture what my eyes saw.

La Palma - volcano route next to Enríque

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Note: always stay 2 additional days at a location than you were originally planning and don’t plan anything for that 2 days. So whatever you were unaware of, but about learn during your stay, you can check out on that 2 days.

Unfortunately we didn’t do this with our Canary Islands visit, but even though we were running a little tight on time, the volcano route is not something you leave out. We drove along on the road that runs more or less parallel with the route and stopped at a few locations to take a better look; this is one of them.

La Palma - view on the volcano route

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
60.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

There is a footpath on La Palma which takes you through the moon-like landscape of volcanos - the only problem with it is that with all the black rocks, it can get very hot there. This is a view from the South towards North.

The dock of La Palma

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Focal length (as set)
60.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The best excursions and holidays are the ones where apart from the planned, you allocate time for the unplanned, our you’re willing to adapt.

We were certainly not planning to go out for whale and dolphin watching, but when we stopped at a restaurant on top of the cliffs we spotted a leaflet about Fancy21 and decided to get on it next day.

On our way towards the open sea we passed the surprisingly brutalist dock; this is what you see on the picture.


  1. http://fancy2.com/fancy-2/

Cambridge night lamps

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
1/30 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 1600
Lens
K or M Lens

Sometimes, when you live in a beautiful city, you take it for granted, and overlook all the marvels around you. Unfortunately I barely ever wonder in the center of Cambridge during night, but at one day it all felt so perfect, still, quiet, and lightly foggy that despite the weekday, we took a stroll in the town. It was worth it; we even spotted an otter in the Cam.

Beddgelert

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/320 sec
Focal length (as set)
48.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Our third visit to Wales was in autumn, and though I’ve not yet been there during winter, I can safely state it’s always beautiful. Beddgelert is a small community; the name of the place originates from a sad story of a heroic dog. It can offer you magnificent views of the local mountains and hills so don’t miss it if you’re close.

Fairy Glen

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/32.0
Shutter speed
6 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The surroundings of Betws-y-Coed can offer numerous attractions, from peaks to abandoned mines, but there is a certain little creek which looks like a place out of myths and fairytales: the Fairy Glen. The whole area is a light trip, but it makes a beautiful view. Unfortunately it looks like the only way to get to the really nice areas are through the water, which I would love to do once. It will certainly has to be during summer though, and I’ll need proper waterproof casing for my gear, so it may be challenging.

Tihany

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/640 sec
Focal length (as set)
300.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR

It is always hard to take pictures of places you know well: when you’ve seen places countless times none of the scenery look extraordinary enough to fossilise it for eternity.

Thankfully, there are exceptions. This was taken in Tihany, at a beautiful, sunny day, when thankfully enough sailing ships were out on the water. All the colours were in place and I loved the reflections - you definitely need to wait much, much longer at places you know for a good moment, but it worth it.