About El Escorial Monastary
The Escorial is a vast building complex located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, northwestern of Madrid, in central Spain. The building is the most important architectural monument of the Spanish Renaissance. Construction of El Escorial began in 1563 and ended in 1584. The project was developed by King Philip II, who wanted a building to serve the multiple purposes of a burial place for his father, Holy Roman emperor Charles V; a Hieronymite monastery; and a palace.
The first architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, designed the ground plan on a gridiron scheme, recalling the grill on which San Lorenzo, the patron of the building, was martyred.
After Toledo’s death, Juan de Herrera took up work on the project. Although Herrera was influenced by the styles of Sebastiano Serlio and Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, the final product was uniquely Spanish. The building complex, severe in its lines, has four principal stories with large towers at each corner. Arranged within a quadrangle, the buildings include:
- The church (1582)
- The monastery, royal palace, and college (1584)
- The library (1592)
The interior of the Escorial was decorated by many notable Spanish and Italian artists of the 16th and 17th centuries. Pellegrino Tibaldi and Federico Zuccaro were among the earliest painters to execute frescoes there. Other masters who painted works for the Escorial were El Greco, Luca Giordano, and Claudio Coello. An important collection of paintings by Renaissance and baroque artists donated by the crown is among the many artistic treasures housed in the complex.
The decoration of El Escorial was carefully coordinated with the architecture to create a unified artistic effect. The sober statue of San Lorenzo on the main façade and the six statues of Old Testament kings on the façade of the basilica prepare the way for a splendid display of saints and kings inside the basilica. Philip was difficult to please, but there was a compelling aesthetic reason to restrict individual artistic expression at the Escorial. Decoration needed to be in keeping with the sober, unornamented classicism of the building if it was to bring the triumphant unity of the project to full expression. Although a great lover of painting, Philip made his choices for the painted decoration of the Escorial in relation to the architecture and the sculpture, trying to commission as few artists as possible in order to preserve a homogeneous effect.
This ideal and its successful achievement are most visible in the sanctuary of the basilica. Nowhere else in Renaissance art do architecture, painting, and sculpture come together in a composition of such unified splendor in which every detail appears as a necessary part of the whole. Later rulers modified El Escorial, although it still keeps its unity to this day. Philip IV completed the Royal Pantheon, a chapel containing the bodies of Spanish kings, in the 17th century. There have been some losses to its collections because of fire and pillage, but El Escorial remains the most complete and impressive monument of the later Renaissance in Spain.
Today, El Escorial is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is one of Spain’s most visited landmarks.
Statistics about El Escorial Monastary
Photo series El Escorial Monastary
About the moon series
One of my fascinations is the universe, astronomy and everything attached with it. The assignment is to document the moon with a camera for several years.
This (still is) a long project for me, and I will continue to add photos and information as time goes on.
The latest picture you see here on the right.
This series will start with my first ever documented photo of the moon, made with my phone. Each picture has a backstory and information about the picture.
I hope you can learn from the mistakes I made. The moon series is perfect to start making beautiful photos yourself. Each photo has information such as: Time taken, luminosity of the moon and of course the camera settings. More information will be added about the pictures the deeper you go into the series.
Time taken 00:29
Shutter speed 1/2000 s
4.2 mm lens
Maybe not what you expected, but this is my first picture of the moon. Taken with my Samsung S4, maximum zoom. This picture started the series for me. After this picture I tried to see how far I could push technology that was in my reach.
It might not be the best picture ever, but that’s how everything starts. You only get better by practice, practice and more practice. The beauty of this rule is that it is meant for everything.
You will see how this continues in the following picture. For now here are the statistics for this picture.
After trying to make pictures with my phone I felt like it was time to start doing it more professional. So I borrowed a telescope that my brother had and started using it to make pictures of the moon. I held my Samsung S4 against the lens of the telescope and tried to make several pictures, I was astonished about how much it improved and what kind of detail I could see! Simply amazing.
Still, this is not anything near the pictures I had seen in magazines and the internet. I had to keep going.
But I knew this was just the start of my discovery on how to photograph the moon with more detail.
Time taken 01:45
National Geographic Telescope N 114/900 AZ
Shutter speed 1/120 s
4.2 mm lens
Time taken 22:56
Shutter speed 1/3 s
A huge leap in time forward – I had to improve my photography in order to get better photos. Therefor I decided that it would be wise to start buying an actual camera. It had to be a camera that allows me to make pictures of different astronomical objects. But on the other hand it also had to be a camera that could function as a camera for everyday objects.
This was a difficult job, and it took me quite some time to find a camera within my budget and that could suffice the requirements. I started doing serious research about my career as a photographer and found that there was a camera with an incredible 125x zoom. It was the Nikon P900 and it looked like a very exciting camera.
After days of deliberation I decided to buy it. I was incredibly happy and started trying it out to picture the moon. The first ever picture taken was the picture you see here on the left.
11 Februari 2019
A new place, a new camera and more time to capture the moon. In the period from September 2018 to now I have moved to Madrid, Spain and each night there is a good chance that I would see the moon. Therefor I will be posting the state of the moon and my findings with the P900 as much as I can.
One of the things I learned about the app that’s used for transfering photos from your camera to your phone, is that the resolution is quite low. I currently transfer the pictures through the Wi-Fi function of the camera and the WMU app, short for; Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility App.
The app works, and that basically says it all. The resolution of the photos downscales to 1440×1080 pixels when you transfer it to your phone. The app is made by Nikon, you can make pictures with it remotely, which is quite nice but also produces low quality images. I only recommend using this app when you’re comfortable with photos having a 1.6 Megapixel quality. For social media it works like a charm, printing however, not so much.
Time taken 20:28
Time taken 23:56
17 February 2019
One of the most difficult things about capturing the moon right now for me is placing the camera in the right position. I bought a tripod and I sometimes struggle with keeping the moon in the full frame. The moon is constantly moving and I do not have a remote control to make photos without moving it to much.
Therefor I have to set a 2 or 10 second timer, based on if I get lucky with position my tripod and camera in the right position. In 10 seconds, the moon usually runs out of the frame. In 2 seconds the tripod still has a little vibration, causing the picture to not be sharp.
18 Februari 2019
One more day until the full moon and it’s very exciting that nearly every day it has been a nice evening without any clouds. I sadly don’t have every day to photograph this beautiful phenomenon but I surely will be capturing the full moon tomorrow.
I’m slowly but surely getting used to the Nikon P900 and all of the functions it has. I’m one of those people who never reads the manual and just dives into his new camera like a maniac and starts snapping pictures of everything.
But…After a while of discovering new things about it, I decided to read the manual and noticed all of the functions it has (it even has a moon capture function, WHAT IN THE WORLD!).
Time taken 23:31
About Pavilion Mies van der Rohe
The Barcelona Pavilion was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich as the German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exhibition, held on Montjuïc.
The Barcelona Pavilion, an emblematic work of the Modern Movement, has been exhaustively studied and interpreted as well as having inspired the oeuvre of several generations of architects. It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich as the German national pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Built from glass, steel and different kinds of marble, the Pavilion was conceived to accommodate the official reception presided over by King Alfonso XIII of Spain along with the German authorities.
After the closure of the Exhibition, the Pavilion was disassembled in 1930. As time went by, it became a key point of reference not only in Mies van der Rohe’s own career but also in twentieth-century architecture as a whole. Given the significance and reputation of the Pavilion, thoughts turned towards its possible reconstruction.
In 1980 Oriol Bohigas, as head of the Urban Planning Department at the Barcelona City Council, set the project in motion, designating architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos to research, design and supervise the reconstruction of the Pavilion.
Work began in 1983 and the new building was opened on its original site in 1986.
Statistics about Mies van der Rohe
Photo series Mies van der Rohe
About the Park
The park includes large areas of trees, where we can find a large number of species (olive, pine, eucalyptus), although the star of the park is the almond trees, which bloom in February and March, offering a fantastic show.
The park is divided into two clearly differentiated areas: the northern zone with a romantic landscape style and the southern zone with an agricultural character.
Statistics about Quinta de Los Molinos
Photo series Quinta de Los Molinos
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