On the road HDR

A happy confession “I am addicted to HDR and now seem to carry my camera with me wherever I go”.

Question “Do I need help with my addiction?”.

Answer “No!”.

I still need to apply some of Dmitrii’s advice from his blog beautiful HDR. Go check it out.

Featured below are some of my recent random photos taken for fun and to experiment with.

All are handheld (not tripod).

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The edge of Durban Harbour, South Africa – part 2

This post follows my first set of photos at this location.

It was an overcast day and it seems that this did not work in my favour as I believe this set of photos shows.

Nevertheless, I had lots of fun poking my Canon 550D into little nooks, crannies and at larger objects.

When processing into a single HDR image, I have on two occasions ended up with a circular haze on or around an object.

Perhaps one of my professional followers could tell me about this happening and how to avoid it.

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The edge of Durban Harbour, South Africa – part 1

Ports & Ships advises as follows:

“The idea of Durban as a port dates back to 1824 when the first European settlers made a landing with the intention of setting up a trading post.

The Bay of Natal (Durban Bay) was one of the few natural harbours available along the east coast of southern Africa between Algoa Bay and Delagoa Bay (now Maputo Bay).

Vasco da Gama is said to have sighted the Bay on Christmas Day, 1497, when he hove to off the Bluff with his three small ships San Gabriel, San Raphael and Berrio, before naming the land Natal as a mark of respect for the Nativity. However subsequent studies by Professor Eric Axelson have suggested da Gama’s ‘discovery’ was actually further south in the region of the present Port St Johns.

A later paper by Brian Stuckenberg, director emeritus of the Natal Museum and an entomologist by training, undertook extensive research into certain aspects of the Portuguese voyages of discovery and concluded that da Gama was indeed off the present KwaZulu Natal coast on Christmas Day 1497 (Natalia Vol.27 pp 19-29).

History appears to have decreed that it was while off the KZN coast and not Pondoland that the Portuguese named the land they saw ‘Natal’ in honour of the nativity.

Since then ships called sporadically over several centuries, and who knows which honest merchantman or perhaps pirate ship sheltered behind the protection of the Bluff, that wooded peninsular that forms a dramatic landmark of present Durban.”

In the next few posts I will give you more sight of some buildings, objects, machinery and other things around the fringes of the harbour.

When I was in junior school my friends and I would venture down to the harbour to fish, explore and get up to mischief.

The harbour at that time was grimy, noisy, busy and quiet in places. Nothing has changed for the better; it’s just become more extreme for the worse.

I remember jumping into the water on the harbour side of the dry-dock at age 12. I emerged with an oily coating on my skin and hair; my friends laughed their heads off.

Despite this, one would find the schools of Mullet jumping around all over the harbour. Springer would provide tons of excitement during night-fishing. These days the Mullet are far fewer in numbers and choked up on oil.

Read a 2006 news article here.

Visitors enter at your own risk
Visitors enter at your own risk
Danger abound
Danger abound
Gate 2 approaches
Gate 2 approaches
The fire hydrant has drowned
The fire hydrant has drowned

HDR 3 (high dynamic range) final

HDR 1 was rock-bottom shocking (in a funny way)..

HDR 2 was an improvement.

Now (HDR 3) is hopefully the last time for some time that I will use this particular title (HDR).

I am a lot happier (ecstatic) with the results from my mini-expedition today.

For now the photos look good enough for my eye and that’s so important. I’m really hooked baby with these “comic book paintings” of mine!

Jayden Miller’s post on HDR, which I read before going outside, gave me just that little bit more info that I needed.

Trey Ratcliff and Photomatix website had already given me a good foundation.

Let me know which one of the following photos you like if any.

Once again, any criticism together with advice on how to improve will be appreciated.























New Barns Farm & the trip into London

In the last post we were off to see the Queen.

After landing at Birmingham Airport, which we found to be really user-friendly, we went to the Avis kiosk to collect our car.

The sales person knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the upgrade he offered for a few more GBP.

After all it was a BMW 1-series red in colour. Lucky he told me how to start it otherwise I would still be looking for the keyhole; door and ignition.


We rented a Tom Tom GPS, inserted the post code of New Barns Farm and before you knew it, we were there.

Amazing stuff – no long address or getting lost. All one needs is the post code.


It was a little chilly when we arrived and getting dark so Mr Canon 550 stayed indoors in his bag most of the time.


The drive to the farm was very interesting and, had we stayed longer, we would have gone crazy taking pictures of cows, old buildings, churches, pubs, horses, the local inhabitants and dogs.

The underfloor heating and wireless inside New Barns was a bonus.

The company that evening was superb – we shared food, wines, laughter and tales with a couple that were due to get married, as well as other guests.


The next morning we drove from New Barns to Wimbledon where we left the car in a parking garage.

The pic above was part of another discovery called “services”, well signposted on the road. Garages for fuel, toilets, shops, restaurants, accommodation and so on.

We loved the free wireless and Upper Crust Baguettes. Their takeaway stores seemed to be all over the place.

Upon entering Wimbledon station we bought a 24 hour travel card for trains & buses.

I only managed one pic (shown above) on the train from Wimbledon to Waterloo station.


The trains were very clean and on time.


Mind the Gap!




It was not long before we reached Waterloo and I was soon reminded how snobbish and rude some Londoners can be.

We hadn’t even left the station before one information kiosk chap showed us “unfriendly”. This happened later in the day inside a famous store.

Maybe they were just having a bad day or decade.

Or it could be that us South Africans are just so friendly.