Flying To Perth

A bird crossing the River Tay in direction to Perth city.

Perth (Scottish Gaelic: Peairt) is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Sitting on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire. According to an estimate taken in 2008, Perth has a population of 44,820. Perth has been known as The Fair City, since the publication of the story, Fair Maid of Perth by the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the medieval period, the town was also given two alternative names, St. John’s Toun or Saint Johnstoun by its Scots-speaking inhabitants in reference to the main church dedicated to St John The Baptist.

The name Perth derives from a Pictish-Gaelic word for wood or copse. There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times, which was probably on a site where a river crossed a slightly raised mound on the west bank of the River Tay. The area surrounding the modern town has been known to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers since their arrival more than 8,000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles also exist, dating from about 4000 BC, following the introduction of farming in the area.

The presence of Scone Abbey, home of the Stone of Destiny where the King of Scots was crowned, enhanced the early importance of the town. Perth became known as an effective ‘capital’ of Scotland, due to the frequent residence of the royal court. Royal Burgh status was soon given to the town by King William The Lion in the early 12th century. The town became one of the richest burghs in the country, doing trade with countries like France, the Low Countries and Baltic Countries for goods such as Spanish silk and French wine.

The Scottish Reformation also played a big role in the town with the sacking of the Houses of the Greyfriars and Blackfriars, after a sermon given by John Knox in the St John’s Kirk in 1559. The Act of settlement later brought about Jacobite uprisings. The town was occupied by Jacobite supporters on three occasions (1689, 1715 and 1745). The birth of Perth Academy in 1760, brought major industry to the town, such as Linen, leather, bleach and whisky. Given its location, Perth was perfectly placed to become a key transport centre with the coming of the railways. The first railway station in Perth was built in 1848.

Today, Perth serves as a popular retail centre for the surrounding area. This includes a main shopping centre along with a pedestrianised high street and many independent and specialist shops on offer. Following the decline of the Whisky, the economy of the town has now diversified towards insurance and banking. The Royal Bank of Scotland, Aviva and Scottish and Southern Energy are all now major employers in Perth.

Flying To Perth

Perth, Scotland (UK)

Panasonic DMC-FX9 @ 5.8 mm | f5.6, 1/800s, ISO 80.

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Staring Along Manzanares Riverside

As usual during Sundays, the people stays at home or to take the day for relaxing … Or to take a walk. The City Council in Madrid is doing a large green area along the Manzanares riverside that extends from the ‘Ribera de Manzanares’ street – in the picture – to the new ‘Calle 30’. In several months, we will have in Madrid, the first beach , taking a similar scene from other European cities like Paris. And doing the river a new place for leisure of Madrid citizens.

Staring Along Manzanares Riverside :: HDR :: DRI

Ribera de Manzanares street, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 14 mm | f16, 2s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]

Puente del Rey At Blue Hour

‘Puente del Rey’ – that can be translated as King’s Bridge – was built in 1816 by order of King Fernando VII. Its role was to link Madrid city, with parks and gardens at ‘Casa de Campo’, located on the right bank of the Manzanares river.

In the 60’s on the 20th century, it lost its original utility to be a cross as part of the ring highway M-30 , leading the traffic from the A-5 motorway to the Madrid centre.

In 2007, as consequence of the ‘Madrid Rio’ – Madrid River urban project to restore the Manzanares riverside, the bridge was converted in a footbridge that communicates the ‘Principe Pio’ roundabout (see right side of the image) and ‘Cuesta de San Vicente’ street with the ‘Huerta de la Partida’ orchard and the lake at ‘Casa de Campo’.

Puente del Rey At Blue Hour :: HDR:: DRI

Calle 30, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS @ 49 mm | f11, 10s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]

Almudena Cathedral Reflected On River Manzanares

After being without shooting during one and half months, I decided last Sunday, to go out for a photowalk to the Manzanares Riverside. I had previsualised the spot of the picture previously, so I wait until the blue hour to put my teleobjective lens on the tripod and took a set of 2 x 3 exposures to compose a vertorama. I think that the image is not so sharp for me, cos I forgot to switch off the IS stabiliser.

The atmosphere was puting very interesting after shooting the images but unfortunately, I could not go on the session due to the rain and the short time for blue hour during winter.

Almudena Cathedral Reflected On River Manzanares :: HDR :: DRI

Manzanares riverside, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | EF70-200mm f2.8L IS USM @ 70 mm | f8, 15s, ISO 100.  HDR /DRI Vertorama from 2 x 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

Donau City Panorama

I am remembering 5 years ago when I had my 1st digital camera, my dear Ixus 400. This is a re-edited version of a panorama that I shot … and I am very impressed about the quality of this camera seeing the details that provides after post-processing the image again. More megapixels don’t mean better quality in details, this is an example that this depends on the sensor size and optics too.

The Donau City complex is an entirely new part of Vienna, both modern and multi-functional outside the Ring, the old town.

In 1962, the construction of the Danube Tower (‘Donauturm’) began, and two years later, the Garden Festival was held. The site of the garden show was known as Donaupark. Not far from Donaupark, in 1967, the planning of the UNO-City was started, opened in 1979. Through the construction of the U1 and the Reichsbruecke (Empire Bridge), the UN-City had a high-ranking access to the traffic system.

The terrain gained increasing importance with the opening of the congress center Austria Center Vienna in 1987. Next, there were plans, at the end of the 1980s, to hold an EXPO Vienna-Budapest, along the northern bank of the Danube in Vienna. However, the planned EXPO 1995 was canceled, because the Viennese population rejected this project, as part of a referendum, by a majority of the votes.

The project was implemented in three major stages within 12 years. In developing the project master plan, Viennese architects Krischanitz and Neumann concentrated on preserving the functional integrity of the growing city, its consistent urban character and spatial design. Their concept is remarkable for its three utilisation levels: level 0 for pedestrians and cyclists; level -1, the media level, for technical infrastructure; and an underground level, termed level -2, which comprises access streets and car parks.

A third of the total usable floor space is reserved for offices and commercial space, mostly in the twin high-rise buildings by architects Peichl and Isozaki, but also in architect Holzbauer’s Andromeda Tower. Residential space prevails in the buildings along Donaupark and down to the banks of the New Danube; altogether, there are some 1,500 dwellings. A Kindergarten, a primary school (by architect Hollein) and a small centre for local shops have been integrated into this part of the complex. Apart from convenient traffic links and transport connections, the main assets of Donau City include direct access to the nearby recreational areas and a beautiful view across the Danube.

Donau City Panorama

Donau City, Vienna (Austria)

Canon Ixus 400 @ 7 mm | f2.8, 1/160s, ISO 100.  Panorama from 5 exposures.