Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
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Posted in: Blue Hour, Spain, Valencia

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

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Spanish Journal Day 3 (Travel Diary Day 257)

I think Mother Nature isn’t happy with me right now.

When we arrived in Valencia yesterday afternoon we were bathed in sun. 25 degrees with a slight breeze is all I ever ask for in life – we found it here.

As the afternoon passed by, the clouds came to greet us, and with them came the rain.

My egotistical observation is that I’ve jinxed myself. For months now I’ve abandoned any willingness to make myself look presentable in public. I have a stupid bushy beard in which I sometimes find food. My hair is no longer a collection of matted pubes. Now it is a mushroom of tangles and frizziness.

I made the mistake of using the hairdryer in our hotel room 2 days ago. I used it not only to dry my hair quickly, but because it looked like a super-modern gadget that I should use. Being a man, I always thought that hairdryers just dried hair. They don’t – they make it explode into a huge Tina Turner buffon.

I was stuck with my Tina Turner wig all day.

I’m also sporting an old pair of holy converse shoes. I can afford new shoes, of course, but sometimes you just get attached to stuff. And with these trainers I can guarantee one thing – no other pair of shoes in the world will fit my feet as well. Rachel says I should just get another pair but she doesn’t understand.

Why does all of this amount to Mother Nature being peeved at me?  It has taken quite literally billions of years of evolution for us to arrive and fight our way rather successfully to the top of the food chain. We did that partly because we are genetically encoded to be social animals, adhering to appropriate social norms in order to solidify group unity and chances of survival and reproduction.

By dressing like a hobo I’m accidentally moving myself further away from being accepted into any social group, and although I’m married I’m pretty much saying to any potential mate ‘Look at me! Do you really want your offspring to look like this one day?’

I am failing in two basic yet vital functions that ensure the continuation of the human species: group acceptance and sex appeal.

After all of Mother Nature’s hard work in creating the right conditions, I’m shoving it back in her face in exchange for a life of Hobo-ness. So she has made it rain every single day of our journey so far.

Last night, however, it stopped just long enough to get a few shots at the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.

And despite the rain, the temperature and buzz of the city made it so that it was still a pleasure to stroll around outdoors.

Today the weather looks to be great. Maybe she’s forgiven me, or maybe I’m talking complete b@ll@cks, but we’re going to find a nice cafe terrace and enjoy a coffee while catching some rays.

Today’s Photo – Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

This photo is a combination of tone mapping in Photomatix and digital blending using luminance masks. I used 4 exposures (-4, -2, 0, +2). I also made use of Nik’s Color Efex to bring out details, increase contrast and create vignette.

For my workflow, please refer to my tutorials:

Beginner’s HDR tutorial

Digital Blending HDR Tutorial


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