Sunset from the Köln Triangle

For this post, I'm going to do something a little different.  I was recently approached by SleekLens.com to try out their Through The Woods workflow for landscapes.  I used this new workflow of the stackable presets for this set of photos.  Check out the pictures and I'll have my review of these presets below.

While we were in Cologne, we looked for the best place to get a city view and the Köln Triangle Panorama popped up in our search.  It is an observation deck on the 29th floor of the Köln Triangle where you get a great panoramic view of the surrounding city.  Up at the top, the main focal point of the city is the Cologne Cathedral and the Rhine River.  We picked a spot to sit down and just watched the sunset.

koln triangle cologne germany
koln triangle cologne germany
koln triangle cologne germany sunset
koln triangle cologne germany
koln triangle cologne germany
All of the other photographers were camped out for the sunset

All of the other photographers were camped out for the sunset

Before the sun fully set, we headed down by the river to check out the view of the Hohenzollern Bridge.

cologne germany
Hohenzollern Bridge cologne germany rhine river
Hohenzollern Bridge cologne germany rhine river
Hohenzollern bridge cologne germany
Great St. Martin Church

Great St. Martin Church

cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany

Using the Through the Woods presets was a little bit of a deviation from my normal workflow, but it was very quick and easy to use.  Just like any other preset, it always takes a little bit of adjustment to get the images to how you want them.  At times, they did tend to be a bit over saturated for my tastes, but it was easily correctible and allowed me to edit this batch of photos very quickly.

SleekLens.com does a great job with their presets and they have quite a few different sets of workflows.  You can check out their entire collection here, and their services here.  Depending on what types of photos you are editing, you can be sure to find one that fits your style.  

Holiday Family Portrait Session

I did a quick session with my sister-in-law, her husband, and baby nephew for their Christmas cards.  It was a beautiful day and it was fun watching the little guy discover the magic of Christmas.  Everything was new to him...the lights, tree, decorations.  The purest form of awe and wonder.  Glad I was able to capture these moments!

holcombe christmas
holcombe family christmas
braxton christmas
christmas family portrait
braxton christmas
family baby christmas tree lights
christmas family baby

The Cologne Cathedral

After our adventures in Amsterdam, we took a high-speed train to Cologne, Germany (approximately 3 hours, one-way).  The most well-known site in Cologne is the Cologne Cathedral, which is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Construction began in 1248 and it was finally completed in 1880.  During World War II, the cathedral survived 14 hits by aerial bombs. 

cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany
cologne germany cathedral
cologne germany cathedral
cologne germany cathedral
cologne germany cathedral
cologne germany cathedral
cologne germany cathedral
cologne germany cathedral
cologne germany cathedral
The steep spiral staircase leading up to the top of the Cologne Cathedral.

The steep spiral staircase leading up to the top of the Cologne Cathedral.

Inside of the bell tower

Inside of the bell tower

cologne cathedral germany
Quite noisy and loud if you are up there while the bells are playing

Quite noisy and loud if you are up there while the bells are playing

The last set of stairs up to the top of the Cologne Cathedral (533 steps total)

The last set of stairs up to the top of the Cologne Cathedral (533 steps total)

cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany
View from the top of the Cathedral

View from the top of the Cathedral

View from the top of the Cathedral

View from the top of the Cathedral

cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany
cologne cathedral germany

Amsterdam Food and Arts

On our last full day in Amsterdam, we took it really easy.  We spent the day wandering around the city, no plan or agenda in mind.  Our first stop was at a bakery to grab some pastries and coffee before we stumbled upon the FOAM Photography Museum.  The FOAM building is located on the Keizersgracht canal and the building dates back to the 1800s.   FOAM usually has four exhibits on display at any time. 

foam photography museum amsterdam
Part 1 of a trilogy ( Night Soil ) by Melanie Bonajo.  A semi-documentary film that "looks at the healing effect of the hallucinatory herbal drug Ayahuasca- used in the Amazon rainforest for a thousand years." 

Part 1 of a trilogy (Night Soil) by Melanie Bonajo.  A semi-documentary film that "looks at the healing effect of the hallucinatory herbal drug Ayahuasca- used in the Amazon rainforest for a thousand years." 

amsterdam foam photography museum
amsterdam foam photography museum
A small part of the large exhibit by Ai Weiwei, a political refugee who lived under constant government surveillance.

A small part of the large exhibit by Ai Weiwei, a political refugee who lived under constant government surveillance.

Inside the FOAM museum

Inside the FOAM museum

Small cafe balconies overlooking the canal

Small cafe balconies overlooking the canal

amsterdam
Raw herring sandwich; a popular snack with the Dutch for over 600 years

Raw herring sandwich; a popular snack with the Dutch for over 600 years

amsterdam
A farmer's market with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, freshly baked goods, and flowers.

A farmer's market with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, freshly baked goods, and flowers.

The Red Light District (a somewhat innocent and slightly charming place during the day, different story at night)

The Red Light District (a somewhat innocent and slightly charming place during the day, different story at night)

Alley in the Red Light District

Alley in the Red Light District

Canal near the Old Church (Oude Kerk, not pictured), which is 800 years old.  It is Amsterdam's oldest building and church.

Canal near the Old Church (Oude Kerk, not pictured), which is 800 years old.  It is Amsterdam's oldest building and church.

 The Upstairs Pancake House is a quirky little restaurant.  It is the smallest restaurant in Europe with only 4 tables.  Luckily, we were able to make a reservation for the same day (we arrived around 11am, our reservation was for 3pm).

 The Upstairs Pancake House is a quirky little restaurant.  It is the smallest restaurant in Europe with only 4 tables.  Luckily, we were able to make a reservation for the same day (we arrived around 11am, our reservation was for 3pm).

The building to The Upstairs Pancake House dates back to the 16th century, so the staircase is very steep.

The building to The Upstairs Pancake House dates back to the 16th century, so the staircase is very steep.

Two out of the four tables in the entire restaurant; upside down teapots hang from the ceiling of The Upstairs Pancake House.

Two out of the four tables in the entire restaurant; upside down teapots hang from the ceiling of The Upstairs Pancake House.

Dutch pancakes are very thin, almost crepe-like.  This is a savory one; the bacon, cheese, and ginger pancake.

Dutch pancakes are very thin, almost crepe-like.  This is a savory one; the bacon, cheese, and ginger pancake.

A sweet pancake with bananas, coconut, and cream

A sweet pancake with bananas, coconut, and cream

If you happen to be walking around Leidseplein late at night, you'll be happy to know that FEBO will be open and waiting for you. 

If you happen to be walking around Leidseplein late at night, you'll be happy to know that FEBO will be open and waiting for you. 

A wall of vending machines filled with late-night comfort food.  Each item costs around 1.60 euros - 3 euros.  Simply enter your coins, open the small door, and enjoy your food.

A wall of vending machines filled with late-night comfort food.  Each item costs around 1.60 euros - 3 euros.  Simply enter your coins, open the small door, and enjoy your food.

Kipburger (chicken burger) with rundvleeskroket (beef croquettes); another favorite (not pictured) is the cheese souffle (deep fried gouda)

Kipburger (chicken burger) with rundvleeskroket (beef croquettes); another favorite (not pictured) is the cheese souffle (deep fried gouda)

Another great day of eating and exploring.  Just enough time to see everything we wanted to, and then some!  Tomorrow we will be up early to catch our train to Cologne, Germany.

Another great day of eating and exploring.  Just enough time to see everything we wanted to, and then some!  Tomorrow we will be up early to catch our train to Cologne, Germany.

Amsterdam Sightseeing

If you're staying in the Museum District, you can easily walk through Leidseplein, which is a popular square full of shops and restaurants in the southern end of Amsterdam.

amsterdam
Leidseplein shops

Leidseplein shops

 From our hotel, we walked to Greenwoods for breakfast.  It is located in the oldest and first wine bar in Amsterdam (from the 1600's).  This is their homemade soda bread, so good!

 From our hotel, we walked to Greenwoods for breakfast.  It is located in the oldest and first wine bar in Amsterdam (from the 1600's).  This is their homemade soda bread, so good!

Keizers Rustic: a hunk of old creamy dutch cheese, chorizo, smoked ham, cornichons, pickled onions, green apples, and homemade tomato chutney

Keizers Rustic: a hunk of old creamy dutch cheese, chorizo, smoked ham, cornichons, pickled onions, green apples, and homemade tomato chutney

Eggs Benedict: Two poached eggs on a hot buttered muffin with smoked ham and hollandaise sauce

Eggs Benedict: Two poached eggs on a hot buttered muffin with smoked ham and hollandaise sauce

Bloemenmarkt (founded in 1862); the world's only floating flower market. 

Bloemenmarkt (founded in 1862); the world's only floating flower market. 

Bloemenmarkt; where you can find an abundance of tulip bulbs in every shape and size.  You can also find plenty of souvenirs, including shirts, trinkets, and cheese.

Bloemenmarkt; where you can find an abundance of tulip bulbs in every shape and size.  You can also find plenty of souvenirs, including shirts, trinkets, and cheese.

amsterdam
Amsterdam Central Station (founded in 1889); here you will be able to find domestic and international trains around Europe

Amsterdam Central Station (founded in 1889); here you will be able to find domestic and international trains around Europe

Bitterballen (a meat-based snack, usually filled with beef and a gravy-type filling) and a pitcher of Pimm's punch

Bitterballen (a meat-based snack, usually filled with beef and a gravy-type filling) and a pitcher of Pimm's punch

View from the SkyLounge in the DoubleTree Hotel Amsterdam.  

View from the SkyLounge in the DoubleTree Hotel Amsterdam.  

Rooftop at the Nemo Science Museum.  Nice view of the city and free! (walk inside the museum and take the elevator to the roof)

Rooftop at the Nemo Science Museum.  Nice view of the city and free! (walk inside the museum and take the elevator to the roof)

Historic wooden boats outside of the Nemo Science Museum

Historic wooden boats outside of the Nemo Science Museum

The Rembrandt House Museum where the painter, Rembrandt, lived and worked between 1639 and 1656 .

The Rembrandt House Museum where the painter, Rembrandt, lived and worked between 1639 and 1656.

Typical street in Amsterdam (watch out for bikes and scooters! they do not yield to pedestrians)

Typical street in Amsterdam (watch out for bikes and scooters! they do not yield to pedestrians)

There seems to be a canal on almost every block

There seems to be a canal on almost every block

Royal Palace of Amsterdam, built in the 17th century

Royal Palace of Amsterdam, built in the 17th century

Church next to the Royal Palace

Church next to the Royal Palace

amsterdam
amsterdam
As mentioned in my  previous post , notice the hooks at the top of each building

As mentioned in my previous post, notice the hooks at the top of each building

amsterdam cheese shop
anne frank amsterdam
amsterdam
amsterdam
amsterdam
amsterdam tulip museum
amsterdam tulip museum
amsterdam
amsterdam
Next to the tall church, on the left, is Anne Frank's House.  For more than two years, Anne Frank and her family hid in the secret annex behind the bookcase.  They were isolated from the world in complete darkness; unable to enjoy this view, uncertain of what their future held.

Next to the tall church, on the left, is Anne Frank's House.  For more than two years, Anne Frank and her family hid in the secret annex behind the bookcase.  They were isolated from the world in complete darkness; unable to enjoy this view, uncertain of what their future held.

Outside of the Anne Frank House Museum.  To skip the lines, purchase your tickets online several weeks prior to your trip to Amsterdam.  No photography is allowed inside the museum.

Outside of the Anne Frank House Museum.  To skip the lines, purchase your tickets online several weeks prior to your trip to Amsterdam.  No photography is allowed inside the museum.

Koh-I-Noor is located down the street from the Anne Frank Museum

Koh-I-Noor is located down the street from the Anne Frank Museum

Chicken Tikka Massala

Chicken Tikka Massala

Alloo Gobi and garlic naan

Alloo Gobi and garlic naan

The walk back to our hotel, night view of the city 

The walk back to our hotel, night view of the city 

The Royal Palace at night

The Royal Palace at night

amsterdam
All is calm, all is bright. An appropriate and symbolic ending to a solemn evening.  Despite what our future may hold, this will always be true: " how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -Anne Frank

All is calm, all is bright. An appropriate and symbolic ending to a solemn evening.  Despite what our future may hold, this will always be true: "how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -Anne Frank