Foto Friday CXXX

NicholasBrideauMoon_2This is a special edition of Foto Friday because instead of picking a picture form a pile, I went out this week with a purpose – I was trying to capture the blood moon. I set my alarm to 02:45 and headed on my bike to the center of town. It was fun riding through the Broad street area, giving a gentle nod to other photography enthusiasts along the way, all while trying to find the best angle. My goal was to capture some of the old architecture and the red moon in the same image, but it was actually more difficult than I thought it would be. The moon moved across the sky very quickly, and for some reason I had a really hard time getting it to be in focus. My lens was all the way out and on infinity focus, but it took me over an hour to get a shot in which the moon wasn’t blurry. The image above is actually a composite of two of the last pictures I took, you can even see the eclipse ending and the moon returning to a bright white color. Although I was frustrated with the way most of my images turned out, I really enjoyed the fresh morning air and just watching the lunar event. I posted two failures on my instagram feed, and my picture was featured on a tech blog that I read.

10s f/8.0 200mm ISO 400. 2 images blended and contrast adjusted. Au revoir until next week.

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Foto Friday CXXIX

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Many of my #FF pictures come from my travels around the world, but it also seems that while I am traveling I never post anything. Weird. Anyway, this week’s edition does indeed come from a recent getaway to Portugal. You are looking at the annual Feira de São Mateus in Viseu, Mafalda’s hometown. I don’t really like fairs but I wanted to go see if a Portuguese fair was the same as a fair anywhere else. Spoiler alert – it was.  There were rides that make me sick, loud music, rigged games that you can never win, and fried food. Except here instead of an elephant ear you get a fartura, which is like a churro except larger and softer. It was surprisingly fun to walk through the fair, they are always a great place for pictures.

1/125s f/5.6 100mm ISO 2500. Contrast adjusted. Au revoir until next week.

Break A Leg Tour

I was lucky enough this past weekend to see my favorite band – The Foo Fighters – play live again. I say lucky because when they play in the UK the tickets usually sell out very fast, and this was the case for their show at Wembley. Except I didn’t see them at Wembley. Dave Grohl famously fell off the stage and broke his leg during their tour and the band was forced to cancel the UK shows.

Determined to make it up to the fans, they rescheduled for later in the summer in Milton Keynes, which is an hour from Oxford. I originally thought the venue was a stadium, but actually it was a huge outdoor concert site, and almost had a festival feel to it with 65,000 screaming fans [click to enlarge the image].

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We arrived just before the first band took the stage, and I was surprised at the number of people already there three hours before the headliners went on. It may have been a product of a sunny and mild late summer afternoon, or it may be because the undercard bands were good. I especially liked the openers, a duo from the UK called Royal Blood. I had heard a couple of their songs here on Radio 1 but didn’t know much until about a week before the concert. They really rock. The obvious comparisons are Queens of The Stone Age and the White Stripes, but I would stick with the former. Have a listen and see what you think.

After Royal Blood, a rock and roll legend took the stage, Iggy Pop. Yes, the 68 year old Iggy Pop was shirtless on stage running around and singing for at least an hour. I’m not a huge fan of his songs, but in the end I knew more than I thought, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” was probably the highlight for me.

When it came time for the Foo Fighters to take the stage, we all had bets as to which song they would open with. I had been following their setlists for the past month or so, and they almost always open with the same song. I’m happy to say that I was wrong on this occasion. They started out strong with All My Life and played for nearly 2.5 hours. It was like a greatest hits show with three songs from the new album. I knew all of the songs, which made me realize that I’ve been a fan of the band for 18 years! They played more songs off their first two albums that I expected, which was great, including the surprise “unrehearsed” Hey, Johnny Park! which was a highlight for me, along with White Limo.

Aside from the music, the other highlight for me has to be Dave Grohl’s throne. I mean, look at this thing.

Foo Fighters Dave Grohl broke leg-largeThe story goes that when he was in the hospital high on pain medication he drew up plans, and wanted to include “smoke and shooting lasers and shit like that”. I was impressed that he managed to rock from a chair, but couldn’t help but laugh out loud every time it moved from the back of the stage way out to the front, like some sort of mobility scooter.

Grohl was his gregarious self on stage, and the band sounded fantastic. And I’m happy that they got the order right and closed with their best song (Everlong) instead of opening with it.

 

 

 

Foto Friday CXXVIII

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This picture was taken just around the corner from last week’s, at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. This one makes me laugh because of the word for crab in Portuguese – sapateira. If you say this word fast enough with the correct accent it sounds A LOT like “it’s a potato”. In fact it sounds so similar, Mafalda was describing a dish to me and I thought she was talking about a potato, not a crab. Probably not funny to anyone else, but at last the picture is cool.

1/60s f/5.6 50mm ISO 1000. Contrast adjusted. Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXXVII

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This picture has many object that I like: a lamp post, bird, fishing boat, love locks stuck to a bridge (n.b. I only liked the ones on Pont de Arts in Paris), rolling hills, and haze over the bay that looks orange because of the setting sun. I also like this picture because Mafalda and I were standing in similar places, each with a camera, and we managed to frame it differently. This was taken from a small pier in Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco during our trip to the USA. The fog was stronger than I expected, but this day I really liked the color it turned.

1/250s f/8.0 100mm ISO 100. No Adjustments. Au revoir until next week

Foto Friday CXXVI

IMG_7785_trolley_3This is the Szabadság híd (Liberty or Freedom bridge) in Budapest, Hungary, which is over 100 years old and carries pedestrians, cars, and trams between Buda and Pest. The buildings in the background are part of the famous Gellért Thermal Bath hotel site. I like bridges in general, but I also liked this one because it looked much different to the rest of those crossing the Danube, and it looked just as nice at night as during the day. I got lucky with this picture, as the traffic broke as I was crossing the street and I managed to capture one of the older trollies. I was trying to get the bridge in a sunset picture, but the best I could do was catch the orange rays coming through the iron supports in the foreground.

1/250s f/5.6 170mm ISO 1600. Selective coloring. Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXXV

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This is a very timely photo, as the Perseids meteor shower peaked here in the UK only a couple of days ago. You might remember two years ago, when I ventured out to try and capture a meteor in a photograph. This year I went back to pretty much the same spot, except this time I pointed my camera at Perseus (instead of the other direction) and waited for the show. I was West of Oxford looking back East over the city, which means plenty of light pollution, plus some low level clouds, both of which are visible as the bright orange clouds above. I took pictures with several different settings, but I found that mostly what I needed to do was wait for the constellations of interest to move up in the sky and be free of the background light. After continuously snapping every 20 seconds for near an hour I was cold and a little bored. At the peak there are supposed to be 1-2 meteors visible per minute, but I didn’t see nearly that many. I did manage to see the longest and brightest one I’ve ever seen, and I think at least three of them crossed the area that I had my camera pointed toward. The little guy on the lower left is the best of the two that I managed to capture.

15s f/3.5 18mm ISO 800. Contrast adjusted. Au revoir until next week.