Tag Archives: HDR

Hiking Nevado de Toluca

So when I was planning the trip to Mexico, I knew I had three free days by the end of my stay. I wanted to do some hiking, but Mexico suffers from one thing – everything is far away. There are two hiking options just outside Mexico city though – Itzaccihuatl, also offered on Tuesdays by some travel company and Nevado de Toluca. While Itza cannot be hiked all the way up, since it’s snow covered and you need equipment and preferably more than two days, Nevado de Toluca can be hiked in one day. But there’s a lot to take into account.

First of all, the weather changes drastically over the day. While morning is amazingly blue sky, in the afternoon, the clouds come and fill the caldera and it rains. So the earliest you leave from Mexico city, the better. Apparently what one can do is go by bus to Toluca and then take a taxi up there. I was the lucky person who didn’t have to do any of there, so I simply won’t comment on how doable/expensive it is. But bear in mind, from Toluca, it takes a lots of time, since the road up to the mountain is everything but in a good condition.

The entrance to the park, according to Lonely planet, is 20 pesos per vehicle, apparently they started to charge per person. Lonely planet also suggest there’s a camping ground in the national park, I suppose they mentioned the place close to the entrance to the park. From there, it’d take still quite a long time to hike up. Another option is sleeping directly at the spot by the end of the road. We took this option, sleeping in the car… it’s 100 pesos per night and be aware of the fact that you’re some 4.2 km above the sea level, in another words, it get’s chilly .. actually it get’s below freezing, so really good sleeping bag of heating in the car are in order. They have very basic bathrooms available there (no showers, only sink&toilet).

Hiking up in the morning is a good idea. You can either try to go around the whole caldera (takes a loooot of time, not because of distance, but because it’s essentially climbing on rocks once you reach the rim) or you can reach any of two peaks. If you take the path going to the right, when you face the lakes, you’ll get to slightly smaller Pico del Aquila (4,640 m), if you go around the Laguna de la Luna, to the left, you’ll go up Pico de Fraile (4,680 m). We took the right path, since we weren’t sure which way is doable and there was some group on the path on the right. It doesn’t take long to reach the top, but prepare for sliding sandy surface and rocks and non-negligible altitude. And it’s probably not good for people with strong vertigo.

The clouds started to come early in the afternoon, so we decided to go down the same path as we climbed up. It’s perfectly doable. So all in all, as one day trip, this would be a killer, with overnight, it was a very nice trip.

Nevado de Toluca

Sunset on La Tarta

Sunrise is stunning… but sunset is not far behind. There’s a spot I’m really fond of, close to the observatory. It’s called La Tarta (the cake). It’s a viewpoint with  very nice view of Teide and Valle de Orotava, usually filled with clouds. The best part? It faces west, hence it’s perfect spot for watching the sunset. But beware, it’s cold there, even in May/June. Accompanied by my friend Natalia who came to visit, we were waiting and freezing down for an hour, waiting for the sun to disappear behind the horizont. First picture is HDR, combination of 9 images taken with Canon 7D & 15 mm Canon FishEye at f/8.0…

Sunset from La Tarta

Second image is far from perfect, but it was first attempt to use ND filter with clouds. Unfortunately I forgot lens hood, hence I have ghosts on the image. Canon 7D & 28-135mm kit lens, Hoya NDX 400 filter 80 seconds exposure with f/22.0. I guess I need bit more practice here, but I’ve gotten the ‘fuzzy clouds’ which was essentially the aim…

La Tarta view

Anaga from Pico del Inglés

Another one of the Sunday hikes was ascent from Pico del Inglés in Anaga mountain range to Santa Cruz, more precisely, we took the bus to the beach from there. The hike is nice, though little bit hard on the knees. Anyway, the picture is HDR, but with not so extreme manipulation as the previous ones. Taken with my beloved Canon 7D and 15mm fisheye.  Well, enjoy, criticize etc…


Playa de Anosma in HDR

If you walk down the Anosma gorge, you’ll find yourself on a small rocky beach surrounded by black volcanic rocks. It’s a charming place, but definitely not for swimming, since the currents are strong and the waves are juggling with the heavy stones in the water. I’ve decided to find out how HDR of something highly dynamic as the ocean will look like. Sooo… couple of notes on that: I should have put the camera on a slightly higher place (I was using the rocks on the ground as a tripod). If one does aim for the simmering effect in the water, single shots should be planned as the waves come, not just blindly quickly as I did. I might have taken one more ‘long exposure’. But it’s doable, so next time, maybe with more Sun…

Playa de Anosma

Road to nowhere

Hiking around the small villages has it’s perks. Like running into newly build roads leading to nowhere. This is a road near Arguayo, close to Santiago del Teide. The picture is another HDR. It was partly overcast so the hike had a nice atmosphere. Also the empty roads gave slightly apocalyptic feeling… I hope it’s somewhere there in the photo…

Road to Nowhere

Slightly surreal Teide

Today, we made a really nice hike up Montaña de Guajara (2.817 m). Starting from Parador in Las Cañadas, up the south-eastern side, to the top and then back to Parador. It’s a pretty nice loop. Anyway, it was one of the days, when La Laguna reminds everybody of Mordor and when you drive up, it’s sunny. The clouds below when you’re in the Teide National Park are always impressive, so I took couple of pictures. Recently I’ve found myself in the ‘HDR hole’, so I made one more HDR. Let’s not pretend it’s real or something. I’ve done it exactly so it doesn’t look real. I like the tone of the picture and the details of the clouds. Thinking of this, one can be pretty sure that it’s really gloomy underneath. Anyway, opinions welcome…


Teide from La Tarta Viewpoint

Teide from La Tarta Viewpoint


Teide in HDR, Tenerife, November 2012

This gallery contains 18 photos.

I’ve decided to try making couple of photos in high definition range aka HDR. Teide National Park is a perfect place to try it out, since the nature is wonderful by itself. We managed to go there during a day … Continue reading