I MOVED!

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I’m still using WordPress, but it’s now self hosted.

You can see it on my site at:

WulfWillis.com

See you on the other side!

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Simple Lens Flare Removal

Have you ever taken a photo and then when you’ve left that location, you look at your image and see a giant lens flare that doesn’t always take a large portion of your image but is prominent enough to distract from what you were trying to capture? (I feel like that question could have been posed a little simpler)

Well, for those of you that have access to Photoshop, this is arguably easier for you but it’s not a necessity (If you don’t want to read the PS part, scroll down to the horizontal line).

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Going for HDR effect helped to emphasise the bottom right lens flare

Please note this is just a quick fix and if you’re looking to print or blow up an image, you might want to look into more accurate methods or spend longer on incremental changes. So this isn’t the only method, but it’s effective. (For a quick fix and for the majority of purposes, this is more than suffice, i.e Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

So what’s this magic trick you’re so aptly building up anticipation to?!

It’s this!

The spot healing brush  

What does it do? It blends the colour and luminosity of the selected area with the surrounding area.

How do you use it? Use the brush to select the area you want to remove/blend and wait for Photoshop to do it’s processing.

You have three options to select from: Content-Aware, Create Texture and Proximity Match.  They all have their own merits but I found the use of Create Texture the least productive as it attempts to repair and blend using a texture pattern.

Using Content-Aware or Proximity Match both worked well for me in this instance but Content-Aware had a slight edge in staying true to the overall image (I think it analyses more of the image) although the differences in the two were marginal, I’d suggest you experiment with both to see the results that work best for your particular image as it will vary.*

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End result (I preferred this aspect ratio so cropped)

SAY NO TO PHOTOSHOP

So what do you do if you don’t have Photoshop and just a phone? You can download the app created by Google, Snapseed. It’s an impressive free photo editing app available on both iOS and Android. Along with the ability to make basic adjustments, it also has a healing brush tool although there’s only the one option so at least there’s less to remember!

And then there’s the other even simpler method of cropping out! In the image above, I cropped first and then used the spot healing brush to remove the lens flare.

Remember though that just because it’s not intended or due to the quality of your lens, doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. Sometimes a lens flare is exactly what you need.

#Light still #shining in the #backstreets

A post shared by Travel Photography (@wulf.willis) on


*From what I understand, Proximity Match takes the surrounding pixels and blends them whereas Content-Aware recreates a texture based on the surrounding pixels rather than blend them. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Platja de Castelldefels

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Watching a window watcher

The other day I headed a bit further afield via the wonderful train system and stepped off the platform at the one and only Castelldefells.

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Fortunately, I managed to pick a sunny day to go out exploring a beach area, except the walk from the train station to Platja de Castelldefels got a little warm.

If you have a scooter, bike or any other means of transport, I’d recommend using it in this case (or walk slow!)

Once at the beach, I just walked around a little bit, took in the sun, watched people play, saw dogs run, and took shots.

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Platja de Castelldefels – Tranquillity at its best

It’s great to explore the area you’re in, but sometimes you just need to go out further and see something different. Castelldefels is only about 20 minutes on the train and yet feels like a whole new place, despite still being classified as Barcelona.

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Another planet

Even though there’s good chunks of beach near where I’m living, experiencing the same concept elsewhere helps to bring a renewed sense of energy.

It’s like a four hour holiday because you break entirely from your current life’s location.

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The path ahead

Plaza España – Plaça España

I like waking up early in the mornings, not because it makes me more productive, but because it allows me to take my time to get things done. When this comes to work, it’s not such a good thing, I work a lot better under pressure.

However, when it comes to exploring (which I hope will be my full time job one day) the scenic routes always require a lot of time, there’s just only so fast you can walk before it becomes running, then things just get way out of hand.

In my last travel category post, I wrote about Palau Nacional but I didnt’ mention where I went on my way over there because it deserves its own spotlight. My early morning walking allowed me to stop by Parc de Joan Miró which is known for housing the 22m high sculpture known as Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird).

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Dona I Ocell in amongst a construction site

The structure was designed by Miró but the colourful tiles on the outside was the responsibility of Joan Gardy Artigas and was created as a means of welcoming visitors to Barcelona via land. It was a part of a trilogy of sculptures for land, sky and sea with this one being the last.

This isn’t the only thing to do there though, there’s a park (clue’s in the name), a few ping pong tables, a playground and palm trees which should meet the minimum requirements for having fun outside.

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Heading into Parc de Joan Miró

Moving on from there, I stopped every two minutes to take a shot down towards the Plaza and then turned around and took one of the palace, back and forth. There’s just a whole lot in one area.

Here’s what I could have seen on the way to Palau Nacional, if I hadn’t stopped, in about 15 minutes of walking:

  • Palau Nacional
  • Plaza Espanya
  • Parc de Joan Miró – Dona i Ocell
  • Arenas de Barcelona – The Old Bull Ring and now shopping mall
  • Torres Venecianes (The Two Towers)
  • Font Mágica de Monjuic (Magic Fountain)

As sightseeing goes, Barcelona makes it pretty easy to do!

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

So, if you read my first post, you’ll know that I want to share my explorations with anyone showing interest and if you follow me on Instagram @wulf.willis you’ll see I’ve been doing that for a while now.

However, what you might not know is that I spend a lot of time (more than necessary) looking at everyone else’s posts in the search for the next great place to visit, and this time, Palau Nacional (Catalan for National Palace) was put on my radar.

I kept on seeing posts of Plaza Espanya and panoramas of the city from someplace high (which is usually where they are shot from) and after a consistent barrage of visual stimulus, I took to the only place I could… Google.

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View from the roof

Searching high and low, I finally found it and all I needed to do next, was get there.

Palau Nacional you say?  But that’s not the title….

I didn’t know at the time that the palace was now an art museum, and has been since 1934 which was actually quite a pleasant surprise, despite having to pay 12 euros to get in…

Getting to this place is easy enough as you can just head to Plaza Espanya by taking either the L1 or L3 Metro line. Then once you’re there, walk between the two large pillars (known as the Venetian Towers), which you can’t miss, and keep walking straight.

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The Venetian Towers – Walked from there towards where the photo was taken from

On the way up, they’ve kindly installed escalators so you don’t have to worry about hundreds of steps, though there are still a few hills worth of walking up.

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Why walk when you can just stand and wait?

Once you get right in front of the entrance, there’s endless views, greenery, statues and much more. Even if you don’t set foot inside the museum, you’ll find yourself more than content with the sights and with a cafe located half way up and at the top, you won’t be too concerned if you forget to bring your lunch.

If however, you decide to pay up and make your way into the museum, there isn’t always the same exhibitions on, so head to the site here and see what’s happening the day you arrive. I was fortunate enough to see Picasso’s work as well as many other pieces of art including furniture, sculptures and propaganda (from wartimes). One of my favourite pieces was a sculpture of two arms labelled right arm and left arm, the simplicity was amusing and impressive.

All in all, this place is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Barcelona, and even if you don’t want to actually view the art exhibitions, you can still head to the roof and see the view whilst dining in the restaurant.

Enough about me, here’s a few more shots from my adventure.

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The roof
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Inside views
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Great spot for a self-portrait

 

 

Outside Wandering

Wherever I am in the world, I love to explore and often just go out on walks with my camera with the eager eyes to take an epic photograph, one that will write me into the history books.

Constantly shooting is always a good thing when you’re claiming to be a photographer but if you just go out and fire off without thinking, I don’t find it produces much value. Equally, if you go out with the intention of getting just one particular single shot, you might not get it and find yourself never taking a photo.

So at what point do you draw the line between capturing a particular shot and keeping your eyes open to spontaneity?

Personally, I find it best to have a general theme, for example: people, nature or shapes.

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Theme: Long Exposures during the day

If you do however see something incredible happening, don’t say no just because it doesn’t tie in with your theme!

It just just helps to guide you along which you’ll find is more enjoyable, because you’ll know what you’re doing… sort of.

Where there is no vision, the people perish – Proverbs 29:18

Switching Sites

Squarespace was originally my choice for website creation and it was pretty easy to use, there’s a lot of customisation options and I don’t have any complaints. The thing is that I’ve been working on trying to make things simpler, but I found myself adding new pages, constantly changing themes and still been unhappy with the result. I was on the verge of deleting everything, going back to the start and really asking myself what I was trying to do, and then my renewal notice came….

The price of everything had been increased.

So I investigated and discovered that due to a deactivation of my account for a couple of weeks last year (because my card details had changed), I was no longer on my original, much cheaper, plan.

I accept responsibility for my lack of awareness over my finances (I think I’m much better now) but this event helped me to decide to delete my account and start afresh on WordPress.

All life is an experiment, the more experiments you make the better – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve only just started figuring out how to use all this but the idea is to simplify my content to three headings, that will most likely overlap one another!

  • Photography – It’s my primary passion, I love taking photos and will share here what I used to create a photo, how I’ve learnt to do things and ideas for projects, etc.
  • Travel – It’s a passion that joins in very well with the primary! Here I’ll share photos and details of my explorations as I attempt to see more of this world, whether it be more of a single city or the next 100 countries I travel to.
  • Lifestyle – My thoughts, wondering, everything else I can’t claim to be primarily photography or travel.

 

So what’s your thoughts on website hosts?

Do you prefer Squarespace or WordPress?

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

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