Monthly Archives: January 2014

Perched On The Edge Of The World

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

It’s hard to say which was my favourite town of the Cinque Terre. Occupying seemingly impossible spots on the Ligurian coast of Italy, they each took a place in my heart for years to come. This shot of Manarola was taken from a viewpoint in the preceding town, Corniglia. I thought that some of the vineyards in the Lavaux region alongside Lake Geneva were steep, but I think the vines on these cliffs could easily give them a run for their money!

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A Boat On The Water

Boat, Loch Leven, Scotland

I spotted this boat out on Loch Leven and couldn’t help but snap away. Resting softly on the calm waters against a backdrop of beautiful colours we had come to expect from Scotland, this was a picture-perfect view if ever I’d seen one. It could almost be a painting. Using a handheld point and shoot camera I raced against the sun trying to get the best shot I could while there was enough light left to capture it.

I wonder who has the privilege of taking this boat out and enjoying the loch on a nice summer’s day. Not that I am presuming there are many good weather days up in the north. We were visiting in October and quite lucky to see clear skies. I guess the water isn’t very deep and you just wade out to get in. However I didn’t test my theory! Despite the sunny weather it was still very cold and I was quite happy taking photos from the shore.

With the benefit of hindsight I wish I’d shot lower to the ground. I’d prefer the shorter of the two masts to rise above the horizon of the mountains behind in a similar way to the taller mast. I think that would make for a slightly more interesting composition. Apart from that, I’m pretty happy with the end result given the tools at my disposal!

Where are the best reflections you’ve seen in a natural landscape? Have you ever raced to capture a picture-perfect view before sundown? Please get in touch!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand

From the heart of the Bangrak district, my shot for this week’s photo challenge is an example of the contrast that is impossible to escape in Bangkok. At times I felt like I was in a dystopian world of fiction, with the wealthy living the high life in their skyscrapers while everybody else is left to forage for themselves in the dark underbelly of the city.

Of course it isn’t quite that extreme. But it’s not so difficult to imagine this kind of world after you’ve just walked down a dirty, hot and crowded side street full of the smells of Bangkok, into a 5 star hotel with a rooftop bar to boot.

I think part of what makes Bangkok such an exciting place to be is this quite obvious and ever present juxtaposition. It’s all very confusing and equally fascinating at the same time. The city is so unpredictable, your senses constantly overwhelmed no matter where you look. I’ve never been anywhere quite like it!

Have you visited a city with such obvious contrasts in every direction? How did it make you feel? Maybe you’d like to experience a dystopian world of fiction?! I’d love to hear from you!

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Dwarfed By The Desert In Death Valley

Road, Death Valley, USA

Driving through the desert in Death Valley is one of my top travel experiences to date. The lonely, vast and desolate landscape serves only to teach us how insignificant our place in the world is. I know many people love beach destinations as a place to go and be still, to think and reflect. But I think the desert provides a more than viable alternative.

I really like this shot, to me it shows the epic scale of the desert alongside humanity’s attempt to explore and conquer its barren land. This winding road that leads to Dante’s View is dwarfed by the landscape, and rightly so. That is exactly how we felt driving through Death Valley, dwarfed.

You may also notice that it’s actually quite a good quality road, which was a pleasant surprise. We were expecting some trouble on this leg of our journey but we need not have worried, the roads through Death Valley were some of the smoothest we experienced during our two weeks in California!

Do you prefer to visit the desert or the beach for your sandy needs? What’s the best road you’ve ever driven? Please get in touch!

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Koh Panyee – A Village On Stilts

Alley, Koh Panyee, Thailand

Separated from the waters below only by wooden stilts, the fishing village of Koh Panyee in Thailand is one of those places that almost makes you believe in miracles. It simply shouldn’t be there, why doesn’t it just float away? And yet it’s home to over 1500 people. An absolute marvel to explore, I’ve never seen anything like it.

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A Fairytale Feeling In The Scottish Highlands

Lochside, Loch Leven, Scotland

We followed this grassy path around Loch Leven to see a stunning view of the sun setting behind the mountains in the distance. It was a lovely little walk, and completely unexpected. Don’t you find that those are the best moments? The ones we’re not expecting.

The landscape looks a bit mystical to me, it has a fairytale-like quality. But I can’t quite put my finger on why! The colours throughout our trip to Scotland were just incredible. I couldn’t get enough of the yellows, browns and oranges that seemed to be in every direction.

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View From The California 89

View From The 89, California, USA

One of many “wow” moments from our trip to the West Coast, this vista from the California 89 mountain pass really made us stop dead in our tracks. After a long but rewarding drive up the 395 from Death Valley, it was a great way to end the day’s travelling before reaching Lake Tahoe to watch the sunset. Fortunately there was a spot where we could pull over to appreciate the view.

I just couldn’t stop staring at the clouds. They looked like they had been lifted straight from a beautiful watercolour painting. I had to capture it! To this day I still don’t think I’ve seen clouds quite like them. As the evening sun cast a long shadow across the mountain we were climbing, the green valley below was bathed in sunlight. It was one of those moments where it felt like the elements had collaborated to present the landscape perfectly.

Have you ever seen some unusual clouds? Where were you at the time? Have you driven the California 89? Please get in touch!

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