The spectacular death of a brief Giant of Fire

map of an island called atlantis at the moment of being devoured by the fury of volcans in a black sea

Map of an Island called Atlantis at the moment of being devoured by the fury of volcans in a black sea

In part building castles in the air is an art. Of course castles in this context doesn’t mean a building of stone with kings and princess but a structure made with reed designed to contain the armature of fireworks. It’s a Peruvian tradition but I don’t remember see it in TV in another country. It’s used for middle size celebrations, usually neighborhood anniversaries. A way to remember the creation of a group destroying with fire a figure.

Building a giant to conquest the world

Building a giant to conquest the world

The art of destroying castles with fire requires skill and imagination from the master at charge. It’s assembly the same day of the celebration because it’s in the public street, so I guess it’s mildly legal and more something authorized by tradition. As it’s a celebration food, beer and a priest is important. I don’t follow any religion and I dislike beer since kid so I just go to see the castles. Every year it’s chosen a different family from the neighborhood to hire the master of castles to the next year. This castle is in a little block of Arequipa city.

Abstract and natural

Abstract and natural

As you can see above they’re not simple creatures. The spectacle has to last at least near half an hour so it requires several levels, a little theatre of lights with different colors exploding one after the other.

Goldie in fire

Gold in fire

The spectacle starts, the master choose first a rain of gold (that last should sound good but sadly means another thing too xD)

Electrical language

electrical language

The colors starts to fire the song of an electric angel, turning into silhouettes to the assistants.

Smog and Fire

smog and fire

Like a slow breathing before a new fireworks show the giant have a little pause. The silhouettes are humans again for a while.

Look at me! Are you not entertained?!

Look at me! Are you not entertained?!

Now the fireworks yell intense colors in his body of six hearts.

Feathers of phoenix

Feathers of phoenix

Always the fire shine more when its final is closer. There is a jewel in the night and as a sunset it’s going to be unrepeatable (so I’ll take some pics :P)

Zeus unbounded

Zeus unbounded

A last robe of white color. so in that way the spectacle ends. But the party continues so the fireworks are send to the sky to explode in roses of several colors, messengers lost in the night.

Night's Spirit flying to the borders of the space

Spirit flying to the borders of the space

But the beer is going to last until the next midday and even after that the body says (perhaps) enough.


Trois couleurs

Let’s turn the night in day – A list of 80’s music songs

let's turn the night in day


I was a kid in 80’s but there was no much opportunity to hear music (yep, tough years) And mostly I hear music from past decade or 90’s. But I was thinking in the songs I like from 80’s. It’s personal, I guess some names could be added. Several of them I heard in 90’s or even barely this year so hearing a great part of them doesn’t transport me to that age. They aren’t ordered by preference, except perhaps the first song composed by Vangelis that I always like to hear and I’m not including songs in Spanish language because that list would be quite long.

And the winners are ta-da-da-dam:

Velocity of two realms

velocity of two realms

Arequipa city is in the Peruvian south, near the coast. A valley in the borders of the desert. For that reason when I’m there I try to go to the outside at night. The river is called Chili and I like to think in the traffic like another river running to the opposite direction.

Two realms although close never overlapping. Never touching each other.

Moon magic

Moon magic


Monday and Saturday to me are the two most borings days in the week (although Sunday these years is fighting to replace Saturday) But I like the name of Monday. In every European language it’s the day of the Moon, so in Italian it’s Lunedi, from the word for moon: “Luna” (it sounds quite nice) or lundi in French. When Spaniards came to our country they made a word in Quechua for Monday, so its equivalent is Killa P’unchay (Killa – Moon and P’unchay – day)

I remember in the beginning I wanted to draw moons so big to save the silhouettes of people inside it, as seen in movies; so in the reality it was a bit disappointing see it so small. Then I didn’t know about telephoto lenses and their tricks. Now instead I prefer to render it naturally and not isolated, but playing with mountains, buildings and trees. A solitary moon besides the power of a lens doesn’t say much.

A satellite travelling, sleeping with dreams of white castles, perhaps with kings bidding their time in marble sarcophagus to come back to the Earth, ignoring that they have no place in a world of elections.

Haida Slim Pro II MC ND1000 Review

spirit of wayra

Exposure of 25 seconds

Today I’ll continue my reviews of the filters I lost. In this occasion is the turn of  the Haida ND1000. Let’s begin with general questions:

  • What is a ND 1000 filter? Is a dark or Neutral Density filter that reduces the light forcing the camera to take longer time exposures capturing the motion; indeed it forces the camera by a factor of 1000 (one thousand or ten f-stops) so if your camera normally would take a photograph in 1/1000 of second with this filter will take the same scene in one second, if normally it requires 1/250 of second with the filter it will need 4 seconds.
  • Do I need a ND filter? It depends, if you like to photograph the motion of people, wind, or water then it could be quite useful to you, otherwise it could end forgotten in a bag.
  • Which one to buy? You get what you pay for. They aren’t specially expensive but, if your lens can accept filters, I suggest you to play with the cheapest filter you can find and if you like the effect then buy one of the highest quality. This kind of filter is easy to introduce color casts in your images that are hard to edit even in raw so a good filter as Haida pays its price quickly with the security to shot more outside than be in from of a boring screen.

The Haida ND1000 got great reviews in internet compared with the best brands but with a more affordable price so I purchased one online, I wouldn’t guess that it would be a filter I would use so much. My lens starts with 24mm (equivalent to aps-c sensors) and as I usually stack it with a polarizer I got the slim version to don’t end with heavy vignettings in my photographs.

This is how it looks in the field:

portrait of a fujifilm x-e1


As you can see it’s like a black hole in the camera :D With longer exposures a tripod is a must so I have a lightweight tripod. Well, enough of technical details: let’s go to the pics!

Capturing the motion of water
A light that shines in the dark forest

Exposure of 30 seconds

Longer exposures renders the water in an almost dreamy way, it emphasize the gentle movement. Usually used with waterfalls it can get a nice effect in any body of flowing water.

sinking hand

without filter: exposure of 1/2000 of second

subtle fingers

With filter, same scene exposure of 4 seconds. I reduced the aperture to get a longer exposure. There is no color cast but I set warmer white balance to get a warm atmosphere.

I like both photographs, simply they have different composition, one works with surfaces and the other isolate an static element in middle of the flow of the water.

Avoiding color casts
Tree thinking about the river

ten seconds exposure

If you want to know if your filter is of low quality you can discover it seeing if your photographs look like shot under the red Sun of Krypton. The magenta cast is synonym of cheap and besides artistic intentions you shouldn’t use it in your lenses. Said that the Haida are definitively excellent considering that ND 1000 filters usually have color casts, even the ones from the big names. You just need to be aware to do one thing: Set your white balance to auto. Manually I didn’t get nice results and took a bit more time to edit. Despite that there is a minimal cast, although it’s so little that sometimes I don’t see the need to correct it.

Singer stream

without filter, exposure of 1/125 of second

Bow my branches to the sound of the water

with filter. Exposure of eight seconds. Note how the clouds are less prone to clipped highlights. The color is intentionally warmer

I like both photographs but after shooting the first one I noticed that despite the use of the polarizers the elements under the stream weren’t highlighted as I wanted so I used the filter to allow me to “erase” details to the stream.

Capturing the wind and time
akapana wayra

Exposure of five seconds and a windy day

I'll wait for you an eternity and one day more

Exposure of 30 seconds

Other uses are to reduce people in touristic places but I didn’t get a chance to try that option.

When the light is poor
old port

8 seconds exposure

Actually at twilight the filter can take several seconds or minutes but that’s overkill, you could get the same effect with a ND filter of less intensity. The photograph above was quite dark so the next ones needed much more time.

When stacking with another filters
don't go

30 seconds exposure stacked with circular polarizer to give some transparency to the water

In this photograph I stacked the Haida filter with my also lost Marumi circular polarizer, I can see a little of vignetting. I tried with a graduated filter but it was tough to position it in the composition because the ND 1000 is black. You can set the focus manually and with care set the graduation of the circular polarizer but with a square graduated filter you are better serviced with a square ND 1000 filter, so you can put in position the filters and after that slide in the ND 1000 filter.

  • High quality filter.
  • Almost no color cast setting in auto white balance.
  • Affordable price.
  • It has a square version too both made of great glass.
  • Good presentation.
  • The coatings work.
  • The ring has no texture so it could be hard to separate if is attached to another filters.

This filter allowed me to photograph movement so I could say this is an essential filter. It has characteristics of the famous brands so if you are an amateur like me this is probably your best choice. Now I’m going to try a brand called H&Y so I’ll tell you if that is an option too. A pair more from the Haida meanwhile ;-)

difussed and quite light in the remains of an empire

Exposure of 2.6 seconds

Blended sky and earth

1.6 seconds of exposure under an intense sun and the landscape turned with more contrast and definition :-)