Baku – a statue’s view

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I’m currently in Baku, Azerbaijan for a work conference. I arrived here last night and took a stroll through a part of the city close to my hotel. I was quite surprised to see how busy the streets were and how many luxury labels have stores here. Anyway I will save my impressions for later in the week – especially since I will only have time on Saturday to do some proper sightseeing.

As I was looking at my photos I realised I had taken quite a lot of statues and public art pieces so thought I’d group them together and share a little peek of Baku.

When the moon hits your eyes

Nizamiye Mosque, Midrand JohannesburgNizamiye Mosque, Midrand JohannesburgNizamiye Mosque, Midrand JohannesburgNizamiye Mosque, Midrand Johannesburg20120407-211545.jpg20120407-211614.jpg20120407-211703.jpg
Last night, on my way to get ice I spotted the full moon and decided to race to the Midrand mosque to see if I could get the photo I have wanted for months – the mosque with the moon behind it (similar to the sunrise photos). By the time I got there though the moon was very high and just a small and very bright ball….so I decided to go back tonight. Except that tonight the moon rose much later (who knew that happened right?) and by that time the sky was black. I’m still pretty happy with the photos, especially the ones with the cars going past and the electricity pile-ons with the setting sun, but I will be back next full moon to try again.

Mind over matter

To anyone who may be wondering if I survived yesterday’s suicide run Nike Jozi Run Free 10km run, I did. And I even did it in a decent time considering the searing pain in my knees after the 5km mark.
Some reflections:
– I wish I had been able to join in the pre-race fun instead of having to work.
– I ran the entire Nike race looking like an Adidas brand ambassador (shoes, pants and my jacket with a giant Adidas logo on my back).
– I am a compulsive song-changer. I must have listened to only about 2 songs start-to-finish.
– It is bizarre that I managed to spot Martina 5 minutes into the race among 10,000 neon t-shirts.
– I kept wanting to yell at people taking photos without a tripod that their photos would come out rubbish (no matter how high their ISO).
– Men and their need to urinate in street corners and not in the porta-loos is really gross (5 minutes into the race guys were taking a leak)
– I need to go back to some of the parts of town that we ran through and take some day photos.

Oh, and you can run 10 kms without any training and bad knees. Just takes a bit of willpower. And a great partner like Mandy.

If you want to read in more detail about the run, read 2Summers and Martina in Jozi – they also have some nice photos.

If only by the night…

Sandton by night, and from a distance, is far more appealing than up close
When I first bought my DSLR (which is a Nikon D3100) I somehow (very foolishly) felt that my photos would immediately be a lot better. It was a tough lesson to learn that a camera or lens does not make you a better photographer. It took me several months before I stopped shooting on automatic and before I finally moved from appeture priority to full manual.
A year later I can say that I take every opportunity to learn new techniques or aspects of photography and the results are starting to show.
This was taken around 15 minutes after sunset, Nikon D3100, ISO 100, F11 (or so), exposure of around 15 to 20 seconds. With a tripod of course.