Tuesday, September 09, 2014

British Isles trip, part 11: Warwick Castle

Link to photo dump.

Warwick Castle is an amazing place that has, unfortunately, largely been ruined, as a place to experience, by the company (Merlin Entertainment) that has contracted to operate it as a tourist attraction. They have managed to destroy its dignity and sense of historical authenticity, in favor of making it into sort of a bad, permanent Renaissance Festival.

Still, you can get glimpses of its magnificence:

I couldn't decide which of those two shots I liked better, so I'm posting both of them. They are actually not the same image with different manipulation, as you can probably convince yourself if you notice that there is a bird above the trees in the second one but not the first. For the second, I just metered the camera on the sky, and forced that metering on the building and landscape. (I did then slightly enhance the silhouetting digitally, but only a bit.) Which do you prefer?

They had a raptor show while we were there. Here's a bald eagle coming in for its treat:

Photographic lesson: It's really, really hard to take a good picture of an eagle in flight, even if you know in advance exactly where it's going to be.

The same happens to be true of the Andean condor, even though it flies much more slowly.

This is a young Steller's sea eagle, trying to decide which of those tasty-looking children to carry away for his lunch.

That species is the heaviest eagle in the world, which shows in its difficulty coming in for a landing:

Cyndie and I climbed the claustrophobically narrow stairs to the top of this tower, which is much taller than this foreshortened shot makes it look. (Notice the teeny tiny people at the top looking over the edge. You get a better sense of its height in the video clip above, even though the top is cut off.)

The views of the surrounding countryside from there are stunning. They instilled me with a whole new visual attachment to the phrase "commanding view." Launch a sneak attack on this fortress? Yeah, good luck with that.

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