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Old 1st March 2018, 16:23   #1
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Default Photologue: Europe through my Lens!

I had to visit Paris & Amsterdam for work in Feb. I really Love these old European cities for the contrast between their ancient and modern architecture. Not to forget the clear blue skies and the beautiful winter light that is abundant this time of the year. I love photography and wanted to capture all this in my camera, (usually shoot with my Nikon D800) so promised myself to squeeze out some time between meetings for a bit of sightseeing!

The child in me really wanted to witness Paris under a blanket of snow, and even though snow fall is pretty uncommon this time of the year, deep inside, I still kept hope alive and had kept checking the weather in Paris, right up to the time I boarded my flight from Mumbai. The last update I had was that it had neither snowed nor was there a prediction :(

It was a long and exhausting 10hr flight for me as I hardly get sleep in the air, upon descending into Paris, as I opened up the window shade for landing, all the exhaustion disappeared in a flash, as the entire landscape was draped in a blanket of white! What a scene it was!

As we exit the airport, all we could see was Snow!
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The Concorde, a British-French turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner that was operated from 1976 until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (2,180 km/h) which is almost 2.5 times that of modern day aircrafts!
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Hotel garden, covered in snow!
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View from the room!
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The Louvre Palace is a former royal palace located on the Right Bank of the Seine in Paris. Originally a fortress built in the medieval period; it became a royal palace in the fourteenth century under Charles V and was used from time to time by the kings of France as their main Paris residence. Its present structure has evolved in stages since the 16th century. In 1793 part of the Louvre became a public museum, now the Musée du Louvre, which has expanded to occupy most of the building!
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The Louvre Pyramid
is a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the main courtyard (Cour Napoléon) of the Louvre Palace. The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city of Paris.
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The Mona Lisa is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci that has been described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about work of art in the world". It is also one of the most valuable paintings in the world and holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at $100 million in 1962, which is worth nearly $800 million in 2017!
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The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle. It honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. The Arc de Triomphe has an overall height of 50 metres (164 ft).
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The Roue de Paris or The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde
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Branches everywhere, not a leaf to see!
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As you exit the city and enter the countryside, all you'll see are the numerous Wind Turbines everywhere. By 2015, France had already reached a total of 10500+ MW installed wind power capacity making it world's eighth largest wind power nation by installed capacity!
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Last edited by vikash49 : 2nd March 2018 at 00:07.
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Old 1st March 2018, 16:26   #2
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The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed from 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world.

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall and the tallest structure in Paris.

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level's upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union.

I only had a couple of hours to spend here and the view from the upper deck was indeed tempting. But, the long queues to the top would leave me with very little time to shoot the tower how I wanted. So I decided to spend my time on the ground and use my time to look for and shoot the tower from different vantage points, with different compositions and under changing lighting conditions as we moved from day to sunset and finally into the night.

Daylight..with the drama in the sky..
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The huge garden leading up to the Paris Military School
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As dusk sets in..
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Tearing through the net of branches!
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A storm is brewing up as the lights are turned on..
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Suddenly, a Lamborghini pulls up and parks by the qerb, giving me another frame!
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Finally, the Fully Illuminated Eiffel Tower with the tiny moon giving it company!
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View the higher resolution version here. Its a bit slow to load, so do give it some time fetch all the detail once you click on the zoom button!

Last edited by vikash49 : 1st March 2018 at 23:14.
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Old 1st March 2018, 16:29   #3
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Took the road from Paris to Amsterdam so I could enjoy the scenic drive and also get to spend some good time in Brussels, Belguim

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic Church in Brussels, Belgium.

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Simply in love with the architecture!
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This seemed like an abandoned cathedral and had a certain eerie feel to it. Looked like something straight out of a Harry Potter movie!
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You don't always tear down the old when you need to build something new. Loved the idea!
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The Brussels Stock Exchange!
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Last edited by vikash49 : 1st March 2018 at 23:16.
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Old 1st March 2018, 16:40   #4
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New day, new city.. Amsterdam - Netherlands, sunrise @ 8.40am - my kinda city!
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Branches everywhere, not a leaf to see!
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Lovely roads everywhere, next to no traffic and separate lanes for two wheelers!
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Zaanse Schans is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk, Netherlands. It has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. From 1961 to 1974 old buildings from all over the Zaanstreek were relocated using lowboy trailers to the area.

What a scenic place this was! Simply loved it! And pls don't be fooled by the bright sunny weather, it was actually -4 Degrees C at this time, and my fingers were almost frozen by the wind chill!

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Loved the evening cruise on the River Amstel..
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The beautifully lit, Holland Casino!
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Night finally sets in the city that never sleeps!
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Finally ending the series with this 4-shot Vertically stacked Panorama of my favorite subject from the trip!
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Last edited by vikash49 : 1st March 2018 at 23:21.
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Old 1st March 2018, 16:50   #5
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Default re: Photologue: Europe through my Lens!

As I had mentioned in the starting post, this was primarily a work trip, and I would have to squeeze out time between meetings to capture the cities & its architecture. Ideally, I would have loved to capture all this on my Full Frame Nikon D800 DSLR with the best of lenses, but this wasn't going to be possible on this trip. I had to make do with something really really compact! Also, it was clear that I would need a tripod for my long exposure night shots. So, a few days before the trip I logged on to Amazon and ordered my Tripod and an adapter bracket.

All the images above are shot with the combo below which was compact enough to slip into my pockets! My humble Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Benro Pocket Pod for those night shots:

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The cam app has a Pro Mode, wherein we can manually set all the exposure settings (except aperture which is fixed at f/1.7) like Shutter Speed, ISO, White Balance, etc and can even shoot in RAW format. Just goes to show how far the humble mobile phone cameras have come over the years!

The Tesla Experience!

Another highlight of the trip was the Tesla Taxi we hired at Amsterdam. These taxis go for about Five Euros per Mile and we rode around town in one for about 10miles in one hour. All for less than Fifty Euros! The regular taxis (mostly Mercedes E Class) are roughly available for about two thirds this price.

Still seemed a great deal to me though!

Tesla Model S 85
Powertrain - All Electric
Transmission Single-speed, RWD
Power 380 hp @ 6,000 rpm (283 kW)
Torque 325 lb·ft @ 5,800 rpm (441 N·m)
Battery Type Lithium-ion (Li-ion)
Battery Energy 85.0 kWh
Performance 0-100 km/h 5.6s
Top speed 225 km/h (140 mph)
Electric range 460 kms

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Just check out that Touch screen!
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It accelerates like a Roller Coaster, without any of the noise or drama! The perfect experience to sum up the trip!

Thanks for watching!

Disclaimer : Text and info about the places and monuments are sourced from Wikipedia.

Last edited by vikash49 : 2nd March 2018 at 00:45.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 05:47   #6
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Default re: Photologue: Europe through my Lens!

Thread moved to the Travelogues section.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd March 2018, 16:31   #7
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Default Re: Photologue: Europe through my Lens!

Loved the photographs, perfectly composed, especially the night shots. And was surprised to find out that they were out of an S7.

Thanks for sharing, this will definitely be my reference thread whenever I visit these cities.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 15:24   #8
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Default Re: Photologue: Europe through my Lens!

Thanks mate , enjoyed the photos , felt like a mini tour to those beautiful places, liked one of the snaps with a separate lane for two wheelers and water on both the sides , oh what a pleasure to move on those roads. What a contrast to our cities maybe we owe it a lot to the huge population we have here. Such beautiful and neat places looks so organised. Last snap is the best though. Was really surprised to know all these were from the mobile and since you had mentioned in the start about Nikon it came as a pleasant surprise in the end that you owe it to Samsung.
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Old 5th March 2018, 07:40   #9
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Default Re: Photologue: Europe through my Lens!

Originally Posted by vikash49 View Post
Suddenly, a Lamborghini pulls up and parks by the qerb, giving me another frame!
Attachment 1736747
France has always been one of the most inclusive society. Love the people there.. many times I have had people help me with directions even when they can't explain in English. Just love the people and country.

This shot summarizes appreciation of form and beauty.
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