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Archive for February 2010

March 2010 Wallpaper

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Here we go….free calender wallpaper for March 2010 and this time, it’s a Silhouette shots of sunset during my visit to Spain. This picture was captured from the Garden of Generalife, viewed the landscape of Sierra Nevada mountain. but the building in this photo is not the Alhambra!!

The Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid sultans of Granada. The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammad III (1302-1309) and redecorated shortly after by Abu I-Walid Isma’il (1313-1324). The complex consists of the Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Water Channel or Water-Garden Courtyard), which has a long pool framed by flowerbeds, fountains, colonnades and pavilions, and the Jardín de la Sultana (Sultana’s Garden or Courtyard of the Cypress). The former is thought to best preserve the style of the medieval garden in Al-Andalus.

Originally the palace was linked to the Alhambra by a covered walkway across the ravine that now divides them. The Generalife is one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens. The present-day gardens were started in 1931 and completed by Francisco Prieto Moreno in 1951.

So here is the wallpaper according to the resolution of monitor.

1280×800 and 1920×1200

I hope you enjoy the wallpaper and wish you have a great month ahead.

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Madrid – Day 4

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Madrid Barajas Airport ( Terminal 4 )

We arrived at the Barajas Airport, Madrid after a short flight from Barcelona on the 4th day of the trip. I really love the interior design of the Airport, it’s quite nice and stylish. This is actually the Terminal 4 of Barajas Airport, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers (winning team of the 2006 Stirling Prize), and TPS Engineers, (winning team of the 2006 IStructE Award for Commercial Structures). Terminal 4 is one of the world’s largest airport terminals in terms of area, with 760,000 square meters (8,180,572 square feet) in separate landside and airside structures. After taking our begs and belongings, we headed straight to a backpackers Hostel located in the center of Madrid City and rest for a while before we continued to have a little walk around the City at night.

Palacio de Comunicaciones Madrid

Palacio de Comunicaciones is the Central Post Office in Madrid and it was built in 1904. In front of the palace is a very busy road and and square and this is where the soccer team of Madrid celebrates its victories. In the middle of the square is a fountain called Cibeles which consists of the Goddess of Fertility, sitting on a chariot that´s being pulled by two lions. Supposedly these lions were originally people who were turned into the predators because they had ruined the Goddess´ temple. The whole statue is made out of marble. Around Plaza de Cibeles and the post office are several other buildings, including the Bank of Spain, the House of America and an army headquarters.

A little details about the shot of Palacio de Comunicaciones, i captured it at the smallest aperture of 22, with shutter speed of 15sec, absolutely with the help of a tripod, WITHOUT star filter effect because there were many of my friends asked me how i got such star effect without the star filter. The answer is, i don’t really know about it actually but my friend, who studied in optic said that maybe it’s because of the manufacture of lenses. Lens with more small lenses in it, will produce more lines of star for night photography, but i don’t know if the fact is correct or not. For an example, Tokina 11-16mm ( about 16 lines) produces more lines of stars compare to Sigma 10-20mm ( about 6 lines ).

Edificio Metropolis Madrid

The Metropolis Building is one of Madrid’s headquarters of a former insurance company. wo of the French architects who were entrusted the task of the Metropolis Building in Madrid were Jules Fevrier and Raymond Fevrier. They won the competition of the work and commenced work in the project on 1907. The Metropolis Building project was begun by demolishing seven homes which facilitated the construction. In the year 1910, the Metropolis Building was completed. It was inaugurated on January 21, 1911. The Metropolis Building is an exquisite piece of architecture with its perfectly symmetrical proportions and an impressive dome which is visible from a distance.

The summit of the Metropolis Building was originally crowned with a phoenix, the mythical and sacred firebird that is mentioned in Egyptian and Greek mythology. The phoenix has references to the insurance company. However, in 1975, Metropolis bought the building and crested the apex with the winged statue of victory in the place of the phoenix. The statue of victory – the Roman goddess Victoria – was designed by Federico Coullaut Valera. The street where the Metropolis Building stands, the Gran Via contains a number of shopping malls and restaurants for travelers to frequent.

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Barcelona – Poble Espanyol

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View from Poble Espanyol

Last destination of the 3rd day of the Trip in Barcelona, we take a cable car up to the highest point of Poble Espanyol, on the mountain of Montjuïc, Barcelona. From here you can experience the beautiful landscape of Port of Barcelona and also the view of the whole City of Barcelona.

The Poble Espanyol is an outdoor open-air architectural museum located on the mountain of Montjuïc in the city of Barcelona, Spain. It was constructed in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition that was held in Barcelona that year. Josep Puig i Cadafalch was the one who had the idea for the museum: a town in which the architecture, style, and culture of various locations from all around Spain were all preserved in a single place. The aim was to give an idea of what might be an “ideal model” of a Spanish village containing the main characteristics of all towns and villages in the peninsula. For this reason, 117 buildings, streets and squares were reproduced to scale. Pieces were selected taking into account criteria of aesthetic fit that could help create a harmonious overall composition in accordance with the “village” design that had been conceived.

About the picture above, it’s a panorama shot merged from 3 horizontal shots. Shots were captured by 30s shutter speed.

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Written by pandahaccer

February 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Barcelona – Sagrada Familia

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Sagrada Familia

On the same day, after visited Park Güell, we headed to Sagrada Familia. Sagrada Familia is a massive, privately-funded Roman Catholic church that has been under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain since 1882 and is not expected to be complete until at least 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death. Considered the master-work of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), the project’s vast scale and idiosyncratic design have made it one of Barcelona’s and Spain’s top tourist attractions for many years.

The unique about Sagrada Familia is that the construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Private patrons funded the initial stages. Money from tickets purchased by tourists is now used to pay for the work, and private donations are accepted through the Friends of the Temple.

Recently, the Ministry of Public Works of Spain has projected the construction of a tunnel for the high speed train just under where the principal façade of the temple has to be built, that’s why there are lots of SOS banners around the Towers of Sagrada Familia. Although the ministry claims that the project poses no risk to the church, the engineers and architects of the temple disagree as there is no guarantee that the tunnel will not affect the stability of the building.

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Sagrada Familia

Barcelona-Park Güell

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3rd day of the trip and our first destination was Park Guell. Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of el Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Spain. It was designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914 and it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí”. Since i’m not much sure about the details history of Park Güell, i have to take some useful informations from wikipedia.

Description of Park Güell:

Park Güell is skillfully designed and composed to bring the peace and calm that one would expect from a park. The buildings flanking the entrance, though very original and remarkable with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens and seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when one considers the flamboyance of other buildings designed by Gaudí.

The focal point of the park is the main terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. To design the curvature of the bench surface Gaudí used the shape of buttocks left by a naked workman sitting in wet clay. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a more social atmosphere. Gaudí incorporated many motifs of Catalan nationalism, and elements from religious mysticism and ancient poetry, into the Park. The visitor was originally greeted by two life-size mechanical gazelles (a major euphemistic symbol of ‘the young beloved’ in the Hebrew strand of the medieval love poetry of the region), but these have since been lost during the turbulence of war.

Roadways around the park to service the intended houses were designed by Gaudí as structures jutting out from the steep hillside or running on viaducts, with separate footpaths in arcades formed under these structures. This minimized the intrusion of the roads, and Gaudí designed them using local stone in a way that integrates them closely into the landscape. His structures echo natural forms, with columns like tree trunks supporting branching vaulting under the roadway, and the curves of vaulting and alignment of sloping columns designed in a similar way to his Church of Colònia Güell so that the inverted catenary arch shapes form perfect compression structures.

Some tourist don’t know that there is a high-point offers the most complete view of Barcelona and the bay along the way through the Park Güell Garden. It is possible from there to view the main city of Barcelona in panorama, with the Sagrada Familia and the Montjuïc area visible at a distance.

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City of Barcelona

A street performer at the high-point of Park Güell entertains the visitors

Enjoy the moment at the highest point of Barcelona

Few more step to the top

About the tones of 3pictures above, i just did some experiment and enjoy myself with photoshop and it’s actually quite easy to get those tones.hehe…and i added some lightness on each photos and that’s why they look like a little soft.

Barcelona-Boqueria Market

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Boqueria Market is not a normal market as in your town, it’s a historical market in Barcelona. Like i mention before, the market located in La Rambla street which internationally known due to its fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood, tapas bars ( famous dish in Spain), and others. The foundation began in 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate just to sell meat and from December 1470 onwards, a pig market was held at this place which at this time it was known as Mercat Bornet. Then later in 1794 it’s simply known as Mercat de la Palla or Straw Market. At the beginning, the market was not enclosed and did not have an official statute, until later, the authorities decided to construct a separate market on La Rambla, housing mainly fishmongers and butchers. It is not until 1826 that the market is legally recognized and a convention held in 1835 decides construction of an official place, which began on March 19, 1840 under the direction of architect Mas Vilà. The market officially opened the same year, but the plans for the building were modified many times. In 1911, the new fish market was opened and, in 1914, the metal roof that still exists today was constructed.

As my personal experience, this was the first time i saw people selling pig legs and they are really expensive! about 100 Euros per legs. About the fruits and vegetables, you see the pictures above and judge it yourself how fresh they are.

Barcelona- La Ramla

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La Ramla is a famous street located in central of Barcelona, very popular among both tourist and the local people. This 1.2 km street is very well known among the tourist due to the rare and amazing  streets performers that i, myself never seen such street performers like that. Along the street you can find a lot of souvenir shops with a reasonable price, but be careful, because this street is one of the prime place for pickpockets. Basicly, you can find anything here.

I did not get the chance to shot all the streets performers because it’s getting dark ( i arrived here like about at 17:00), so i enjoyed the performance myself. So here are a few pictures of them. At that night, i saw a street performer who dress up like a tree!!It’s really amazing….the full dress was in green and moved slowly like it’s being blown by the wind. At the same night, that’s the first time i went to a market which full of fresh meals and fruits!!Once you see the fruits, it’s like you want to eat all of them there… seriously. Boqueria Market ……….

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Written by pandahaccer

February 16, 2010 at 10:42 pm