Tuesday Photo Challenge – Clouds

Clouds are for more than just storage

Welcome to the sixth installment of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!  This week’s challenge is inspired by a comment made on last week’s TPC, which made me decide to use it now. The challenge is Clouds.

This might sound like a rather straightforward challenge, but, if you have tried to get photos with clouds in them, you have probably noticed that they are not as easy to capture with a camera, as they are seen with the eye.  The reason is that the dynamic range of the eye is much broader than either film or a digital sensor.  Those beautiful fluffy clouds that we all like to admire tend to blow out your camera’s sensor, so that detail is often lost.

One way of getting around this problem is to use HDR, High Dynamic Range, imaging techniques, which are available in a lot of cameras and smartphones.  This allows you to get the cloud and the rest of your subject in a pleasing fashion.

The other part to keep in mind with this challenge is that clouds can really add to good composition, but they can also detract; as such, a photo of just clouds without any other subject may not be as compelling, as it could be with a great subject.  Also, think about lines, and how they work in your image.


For those who’d like to participate in this weekly challenge, the rules are the following:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please use the tag #fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week
  • Have fun creating something new!!

I’m looking forward to seeing your creative efforts!

Technical Details

This photo was created with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  It was a series of 5 images with exposure values of -2, -1, 0, +1 and +2 EV with respect to the measured ‘correct’ value.  The images were processed using Photomatix Pro.

Daily Prompt – Dream

Resisting Escape

A quick glance at today’s Daily Prompt showed me an interesting one: Dream.  Of course, if we look at the URL, it implies fairy tale.

Some of our most interesting and intense concepts come from dreams during that mysterious state during our sleep cycles when our brain provides stimuli, which generate visions of phantasmagorical character.  Tales of mystery and imagination spring forth from these times, some of which have survived across the ages.

Resisting Escape

Most of us will have had dreams, in which we take flight, sometimes beneficent in the freedom that we experience during such times, while at other times the flight can be frightening, as we’re being pulled into a hellish nightmare…

Technical Details

This image was composited using a number of shots with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 17-40 f/4L lens.  When I saw this bathroom, I had an immediate vision of what I wanted to achieve in the image, with the woman being pulled into an alternate reality that she is trying to escape from.  The cloud cover was shot about 4 months later than the bathroom scene, when I noticed the type of sky that I wanted to for the final image.

Hope you enjoy this moment.

In response to the Daily Prompt – Dream.

Herring – a Dutch Passion

Raw herring for the people!

One of the things about Dutch culinary habits that is hard to understand for a lot of people outside the Netherlands, is our passion for eating raw herring.  There even is a holiday (semi-official) associated with this passion: Vlaggetjesdag (Day of the Small Flags).

Originally, this referred to the day that the ships would first test their engines after lying still during the winter, before going out to sea for the herring catch.  There was a set day for this event, after Whitsun Sunday, when the ships would parade in the harbor decorated with small flags between their masts.

Herring Ship in Scheveningen

Nowadays, Vlaggetjesdag is celebrated when the first catch of herring returns to harbor, or, more accurately, when the first New Herring (the new season’s catch) is made available to the public for consumption.  On this day, usually around the middle of June, there will be lines at the herring vendors and happy, smiling faces when the herring is consumed.

Dutch Fishbureau Advertisement

This first herring catch is big business.  Every year, the first barrel that makes it into harbor is auctioned with the proceeds going to charity; this barrel can go for well in excess of 50,000 euros and has been close to 100,000 euros on occasion.

Also, newspapers will publish their review of whose herring is the best of that year’s catch.  Winning this contest can result in a couple of extra euros per herring for that vendor and lines that are out of this world.

So, next time you make it to the Netherlands around mid-June, go check out the herring and enjoy a couple of these delicacies!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round-Up 5

Silhouettes of fancy!

It was great to see the participation this week, as it continued to grow and I have to say that all the entries were really creative and have excellent qualities!  Well done by everyone who participated.

As a reminder, the fifth installment of the Tuesday Photo Challenge urged everyone to get creative in producing a silhouette.  Not something that photographers do every day, which is why I thought this may be of interest to folks.

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge:

  • iballrtw, the Eyeball Around the World blog, provided a great silhouette that was photographed in Cuba.  Go check there posts on Cuba, as they are really interesting.
  • Miriam of the Out an’ About blog, reminisced about her days as a daredevil with beautiful waterskiing silhouettes.
  • Debbie, of ForgivingJournal got into paying attention how light falls and came up with several silhouettes, including a silhouette selfie!
  • Steve’s Meandering Maverick featured stunning landscape silhouettes, of which the image with the birds was my favorite; which one do you like best?
  • Nikki, who writes A Kinder Way took the experimentation to heart and photographed using candlelight to create amazing silhouettes.

Thank you for all these great posts; I hope that you had fun participating this week, and please check out everyone’s posts and let them know how well they did!

Now, I’ll start putting together something new for this coming Tuesday, all the way from Israel!  The weather is great and the people are friendly and the food is delicious, so I’m having a good time!

Daily Prompt – Brick

Ancient bricks

As I was traversing the Daily Post, I noticed that yesterday’s prompt instigated us to take a look at Brick.  Not a real problem, as I came across some nice brick, just yesterday:

Section of fortress wall

This section of ancient brick was part of the crusader fortress at the Apollonia National Park, on the northern edge of Herzliya.  The fortress is an impressive structure, particularly when looking how it was built on the cliff slope.

This section must have been from one of the inner walls, as the outer walls were more than 2 meters thick and beyond 4 meters in some areas.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 24-105 f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/320 second at f/10 and 400 ISO.

Inspired by the Daily Prompt – Brick

Sunday’s Food – Israeli Cheesecake

It has no calories!

While I wasn’t sure what to select for today’s food moment (although I do have some ideas in store), it came to me, literally!

At the end of dinner at a fantastic restaurant on the beach in Herzliya, I asked for the check.  The waiter, who had made excellent recommendations for my dinner, asked me if I would mind taking a  little extra time, as the restaurant would like to provide me dessert, on the house!  As I was in no hurry, I accepted and this arrived:

2016-05-21 19.48.55 HDR-2
Light Israeli Cheesecake

It is a light Israeli Cheesecake, which was absolutely delicious.  The consistency is much lighter than standard cheesecake, and it has a bit of citrus in it to lighten the overall experience up even more.  The berries and apricots were a wonderful addition.

So, if you ever find yourself in Herzliya, be sure to go to Yam 7, which is right on the beach behind the Dan Accadia hotel.  The main course was prepared to perfection, as I had a tapas with seafood sashimi, shrimp in a tomato based sauce, octopus and calamari tzatziki and hummus.

The Crusader Fort at Apollonia

A Beautiful National Park

On this rather warm day, I decided to got for a rather long walk from my hotel to the Crusader Fort at Apollonia, which is just north of Herzliyah.  It was well worth the walk!


The fortifications

The town was settled by Phoenicians in the 6th or 5th century BC, and named Reshef after Resheph, the Canaanite god of fertility and the underworld. It was then a part of the Persian Empire and governed from Sidon. Phoenicians of Reshef produced precious purple dye, derived from murex mollusks, which they exported to the Aegean.

Water Pool

During the Hellenistic period it was an anchorage town, ruled bySeleucids and renamed Apollonia, as the Greeks identified Phoenician God Reshef with Apollo.

Under Roman rule, the size of the town increased. It was an important settlement between Jaffa and Caesarea along Via Maris, the coastal road. In 113 AD, Apollonia was destroyed partially by an earthquake, but recovered quickly. The harbor was built, and trade with Italy and North Africa developed.

View from chamber

During the Byzantine period, the town extended to cover an area of 70 acres (280,000 m2). In the 5th and 6th century AD it was the second largest city in Sharon valley, after Caesarea, populated by Christian and Samaritans, having an elaborate church and a prosperous glass industry.

Fortifications from the North

In 640 AD, the town was captured by Muslims, and the Semitic name Arsuf was restored as Arabic transliteration of Reshef. The town’s area decreased to about 22 acres (89,000 m2) and, for the first time, it was surrounded by a fortified wall with buttresses, to resist the constant attacks of Byzantine fleets from the sea. Large marketplaces appeared, and pottery production developed. In 809 AD, following the death of Harun al-Rashid, the local Samaritan community was destroyed and their synagogue ruined.

Looking North from the Fortification

In 1101, Arsuf fell to a Crusader army led by Baldwin I of Jerusalem. The Crusaders, who called it Arsur, rebuilt the city’s walls and created the Lordship of Arsur in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1187 Arsuf was captured by the Muslims, but fell again to the Crusaders on September 7, 1191 after a battle between Richard I of England and Saladin.

John of Ibelin, Lord of Beirut (1177—1236) became Lord of Arsuf in 1207 when he married Melisende of Arsuf (born c.1170). Their son John of Arsuf(c.1211—1258) inherited the title. The title then passed to John of Arsuf’s eldest son Balian of Arsuf (1239—1277). He built new walls, the big fortress and new harbor (1241). From 1261, the city was ruled by the Knights Hospitaller.

Landscape Beauty

In 1265, sultan Baibars, ruler of the Mamluks, captured Arsur, after 40 days of siege.  The Mamluks razed the city walls and the fortress to their foundations, fearing a return of the Crusaders. The destruction was so complete that the site was abandoned. In 1596, Ottoman tax registers recorded a village there with 22 families and 4 bachelors It appeared, just named “village” on the map that Pierre Jacotin compiled during Napoleon’s invasion of 1799.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of the National Park of Apollonia.