Oktoberfest by night

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival that is held every year here in Munich. It runs from late September to early October. For more information and facts about Oktoberfest, here's the link to the entry in Wikipedia.

The Oktoberfest this year ended a few weeks ago - this was my second time experiencing it. During this festival, about 6 million liters of beer, 500k chickens and 200k pork sausages are consumed (based on 2003). The festival sees about 6 million visitors and about a billion EUR is spent during that time (based on 2003). That equates to about 1 liter of beer per person. That sounds decent enough but if you assume half the visitors to be children, it comes to 2 liters of beer per person. I could go on speculating and making my own assumptions but I'll stop my rambling for now.

I don't know the statistics for this year but I heard that the numbers dropped a bit. This was probably primarily due to the current financial crisis and to a lesser extent, some terrorist threats. Regarding the latter, I have to say that the German authorities did a splendid job and beefed up security tremendously. Of course, it was a little cumbersome for visitors but definitely safer - from terrorists at least (I heard an unvalidated report that there was a spike in crimes against women during this Oktoberfest).

Here are some photos of the Oktoberfest that I took from my apartment.

(Above) The Oktoberfest during the day. You can't see much of it in this one but if you look closely, you'd notice a ferris wheel - that's the Wiesn (the famous grounds where the festival is held every year).

(Above) You see much more of the festival at night. The lights from the Oktoberfest do indeed light up the sky. I had to use a tripod for this. I used ISO100, f16 and a 30-second exposure.

(Above) Once again, the Oktoberfest by night. I decided to catch more of the well-lit sky in this one.


Seeing Bristol

This photo blog post is about a recent trip of mine to Bristol, UK.

I've been to Bristol twice in my life and both trips were in this year. I was there on business. On my first visit, I stayed pretty far outside the city and closer to my office. I didn't get to see much of Bristol then but I did spend a couple of nights in London on the way back, which was very worthwhile. I saw much more of London than I did of Bristol in my first trip.

I decided to do things differently on my second trip. This time I stayed in the city center and was able to do some sightseeing during my stay there. Bristol is indeed a beautiful city. Here are some of my favorite photos.

(Above) Taken along the harbor. There are many bars and restaurants along the harbor and I had dinner in one of them on the first night - Pitchers & Piano.

(Above) As you can see, the weather was fabulous on the second day. As soon as I was done with my meetings, I rushed back to the hotel, grabbed my gear and went off to so some sightseeing and photographing. It was pretty late afternoon when I took this photo but thanks to summer, it was still bright. I love the deep color of the water in this one.

(Above) An old brewery between a couple of new buildings. I found the contrasting subjects rather interesting. I used the handrail and barrier to frame this photo. I increased the contrast significantly in post processing to keep the frame black.

(Above) A castle in the middle of the city. The grounds are pretty large and it's a great place to hang out on a nice, sunny day. I feel that the boat in the foreground adds some life and depth to this photo.

(Above) This photo was taken right outside the restaurant I had dinner in on the last night. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the place but it was recommended by a colleague of mine for having authentic "Bristolian" food. I tried to play around with lens flare in this photo. The sun was reflected by the windows and did result in an underexposed photo but I managed to fix it with a lot of fill light in photoshop.

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Bristol and I hope you enjoyed this photo blog post.


Oktoberfest and Munich's skyline

This photo blog is about the Oktoberfest in Munich. You can see the Oktoberfest from my apartment. We're not living very close to the "Wiesn" (the open field where the Oktoberfest is held), but you still get to see it, especially when it's all lit up at night. Tomorrow is the last day of the Oktoberfest and I decided to take some night shots of this festival from my balcony.

I just took the panaroma below about an hour ago. I was so happy with the results that I had to share it straight away. It was created from a set of six photos and merged together in Photoshop. I used a small aperture of f11 and ISO of 100. Using aperture priority mode, the shutter speed was set to about 30 seconds. Of course, I needed to use a tripod. The sunset to the left of the picture has created some lovely colors in the skyline. You would also notice a well-lit spot to the right - that is the Oktoberfest. Look closely and you'll see a ferris wheel there.

This picture was taken with my Nikon D60 D-SLR, Nikkor AF-S 18-105mm VR lens and Slik Pro 400DX tripod.