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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Time out

Apologies no posts from last Fri till Dec 6. I am travelling in Switzerland, on work assignment shooting some amazing watches. Project will be unveiled soon!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Schloss Neuschwanstein: Bavaria, Germany

The German Alps, just about 2 hours by train from Munich is a magnificent mountain range...and within lies the tale of a strange monach, who instructed his people to build a magnificent castle playground rising out of stone, within the majestic landscape of the mountains.

The castle is none other than Neuschwanstein...or translated to new swan stone. Built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the early 1900s, it featured the then new electric lights, and would glow in the evening, after dark when viewed by the villagers below. Amazing.

Click on image for a larger one. The photograph is a stitched from 4 vertical images, and taken from Marienbruck, just behind the castle.

The castle looks small in this photograph, and that is the idea...though the building is anything but small. The castle was Walt Disney's inspiration for his trademark for Disney cartoons...where the fairy appears from a fairy tale castle.

A closer look at the castle.

Looking from the observation point down the valley

And from the valley, from the lake, looking onto the Alps.

The castle is a candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

World Heritage Sites: Forbidden City: Beijing, China

Followup on last week's post on the Forbidden is the image, taken from the other corner of the palace museum, just after dusk.

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Earlier, I had visited the Forbidden City...also known in China as Gugong...or Old Palace.

There were huge crowds within...many foreign and local tourists flock this most interesting and must see site in Beijing. Below is a 5 panel stitch.

A closer look at one of the gates...I forget which...The palace was beautifully restored, and looked as magnificent as it did during the days of the emperors.

And within a hall, known as the Music Hall

A view of the outside...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shooting at the Forbidden City

Just a short post today, as I am away in Munich and Dresden with a full program.

This photographed just before dusk at the Forbidden City...

or in BW

I had just completed my visit to the Forbidden City...took the audio guide....used to be Roger Moore as a narator...but now by an unknown Chinese lady speaking good English, but with a distinct Chinese accent. Took all day to see almost all of the Palace. Left at 5pm when the museum closed, and spied this group of photographers aiming their cameras at the corner of the Forbidden City...

From what I can figure out, these were locals. Interesting gear...the chap nearest to me was using the Pentax 645D, also on a Photoclam and Gitzo 3541 (except I have the LS, his has the center column). And a bit further down, a fellow with a Canon EOS but also with a Linhof 617 or similar.

I returned the next evening after dark (shot this at 6:30pm, sun down 5:30pm), but those pictures later.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kari Voutilainen No 28

I have been following the career of the illustrious Finnish watchmaker, Kari Voutilainen for a while. He makes interesting pieces, quite well finished. Take for example the decimal repeater...where instead of striking the quarters and minutes, the watch actually strikes the same way as we read the tens of minutes, then minutes. Brilliant.

His newest project is the No 28, a beautiful watch...this specific watch I photographed is the special series for The Hour Glass in Singapore. It features blued steel hands and a different guilloche dial from the regular production.

The movement is fully inhouse...

And features a very beautifully finished round balance bridge for the large balance wheel. This bridge, is made of steel, rounded, but tapering slightly at the sides...and polished. Like a tourbillon bridge.

The dial is hand guilloched in a rose machine, which I saw the last time I visited Motiers.The waves are particularly beautiful...the watch reminds me of the pieces made by Urban Jurgenson.

A closer look at the is evident the guilloche is applied in waves...and quite beautiful

And a closer look at the movement.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

World Heritage Sites: Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China

Continuing on my World Heritage Sites series, now in Beijing.

The Temple of Heaven is a place where the Emperor used to worship and pray to Heaven for a good harvest. The building is spectacular, in an equally spectacular grounds. Architecturally, it is a magnificent achievement. Said to be the largest timber building in Beijing...I am not sure, as I think there is a similar claim for one of the buildings in the Forbidden City, another World Heritage Site, and subject of a future article.

Anyway, the place is beautiful, and worth spending an morning or afternoon in.

The main building, which houses the worship hall.

And a pano of the main grounds. There are literally people everywhere...tourists from outside China and within abound. And it was difficult to take a photograph without any people around...but I guess with people in the picture will give us a sense of scale and the feeling of the buzz which is in China these days.