Monthly Archives: February 2014

Descending Into The Perfect Blue

Blue Ice, Mer De Glace, France

As we descended into the ice of Mer De Glace there was one thing that struck me more than anything else – the colour. I just couldn’t believe how incredibly blue it was! It’s certainly unlike any ice I’ve seen before. The glacier ice is compacted over an extensive period of time, and so it becomes very dense. This gives it a very different structure to your every-day ice on the street, which just so happens to strongly scatter blue light.

This shot was taken just before entering the glacier. I thought theses crevasses were fascinating! You’ll see some safety fencing toward the top of the shot. Believe it or not this is for the benefit of the (slightly) crazy folk who like to spend their spare time skiing down the glacier. I have to say it looks like fantastic fun, but perhaps a little bit close to impending doom for my liking. They were skiing right by these crevasses, so one false move and you’re in serious trouble!

Have you seen the amazing blue of glacier ice? What did you think of it? Maybe you’ve skied down a glacier?! I’d love to hear from you.

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Safety First At Wat Arun

No Entry, Wat Arun, Bangkok

After climbing to the second level of Wat Arun in Bangkok this No Entry sign was quite a surprise. The incredibly steep steps required to get to this spot were quite enough for me! I certainly don’t envy whoever has to make it to the top of this ladder for their day job.

I think one of the most important things I’ve learnt as a photographer is to always look up. It’s so easy to miss the captivating things that aren’t at eye level. I saw many people walk right by this sign without a second thought. They simply didn’t see it. But for me it was one of the most incredible sights I laid eyes on whilst visiting this famous Buddhist temple.

The array of colours was fantastic, but I wanted to draw attention to the No Entry sign. In the original shot it became lost in amongst the rest of the detail. I decided to isolate the yellow by reducing the saturation of every other colour in the shot. I think it works well here, but I’ll be sure to post a full colour image in the future that does the temple justice!

Have you visited Wat Arun? Maybe you fancy climbing this ladder?! Got any great shots in which you’ve looked up to get a different perspective? Please get in touch!

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An Amphitheatre Fit For Gods

Cirque du Fer à Cheval, France

After my walk to la Cascade du Rouget I went on a drive to explore the surrounding area a little more. I was really keen to get some mountain shots together with the roads that led me to them. It’s no secret that I love road trips, and images like this one never fail to evoke a sense of adventure in me.

This shot was taken en route to the Cirque du Fer à Cheval, which feels a bit like it could be at the end of the world. After a couple of miles the road ends and you are left sitting in what is the worlds largest alpine amphitheatre. Surrounded on three sides by towering cliff faces, it really puts you in your place.

While exploring I often heard the sound of frozen ice breaking away from the rocks, falling to its doom in the basin below. The sound was fantastic, reverberating around the limestone cliffs. I’ll have to make a trip back in the summer time when the area is full of waterfalls – thirty of them apparently. The sight and sound must be quite incredible!

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The Queen Of The Alps

Cascade Du Rouget, France

On Saturday I walked through the snow to La Cascade du Rouget, one of the most famous waterfalls in France. Nicknamed “Queen Of The Alps” it is known to freeze during the winter months. The temperatures this season have been quite mild, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As you can see it was flowing pretty nicely when I arrived, although not even close to the torrent you might see in the spring!

Last week I finally decided to invest in the Sony E-Mount 10-18mm wide angle lens I’ve had my eye on for a while. This was the first chance I had to use it out in the wilderness. I was really excited to see what it could do! This shot was taken at 10mm and I simply would not have been able to get a good shot of the entire waterfall with my other lenses.

Do you have a wide angle lens? Maybe you have some tips for me? Have you visited any waterfalls in winter? I’d love to hear from you!

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A Well Deserved Rest Stop

Rest Stop, Death Valley, California

Our journey to Death Valley began with a slight disaster. Having spent two days relaxing in Las Vegas we returned to our hire car ready to continue on into the desert. We were keen to get going as we had a packed schedule that would see us reach Lone Pine on the other side of Death Valley just before sun down. Having risen fairly early we were ready to hit the road. Unfortunately we were going nowhere fast. We were stuck in a Las Vegas car park with two large suitcases and one hire car with a dead battery.

Eventually, one repair truck and two hours later we made it to Las Vegas airport to pick up a second car. Our journey to the desert could finally begin! This shot was taken at the first rest stop we came upon after entering the national park. It was also our first opportunity to pay the park entrance fee, which was more luck than judgement.

There is obviously an implicit trust that people will pay the fee as the station was unmanned. I’m not sure there was anything stopping us driving onward to our first stop at Dante’s View without paying up. But we didn’t want to find out, so we persevered with the misbehaving ticket machine. After a few attempts it accepted one of our cards and we went on our merry way, the dead battery episode already a distant memory.

Have you ever had a mishap whilst travelling? Did it affect your plans? How did you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you!

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Riding Towards The Matterhorn

Matterhorn, Switzerland

Holding a camera out of the small openings provided by cable-cars is not the most comfortable position to be in, especially as they sway back and forth on their journey. Some are better than others at providing larger windows to lean out from, but they are all a bit unstable.

It’s something I always like to try because I think it’s the most interesting way of depicting the journey to the summit. My endeavour to capture said journey very rarely ends in success! I’ve often been left kicking myself for not just sitting back to enjoy the ride.

Whenever I try this kind of shot I’m always paranoid that my camera is going to meet its end with a nasty fall to the depths below. Fortunately on the way to the Klein Matterhorn in Switzerland I had a little more room to work with and managed to capture this moment. It was quite a journey!

Have you ever tried to photograph from a cable-car? Did you find it a challenge? Or maybe it was easy?! Have you visited the Matterhorn? Please get in touch!

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Looking Out From Montepulciano

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

There are stunning vistas aplenty throughout the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany. Montepulciano was the second stop on our drive from Rome to Siena, and the view from this lookout was among the best we saw during our week in Italy. It was certainly worth the long uphill climb from the car park. So many of the quaint hilltop towns have car-free centres, and due to their geography there simply isn’t any other way to reach the sights other than on foot. But generally the tougher the climb, the greater the reward.

As we continued on our journey through the rolling hills there seemed to be a new town on the horizon at every turn. If I had the time I would endeavour to visit every last one of them. This region of Italy really has absolutely everything. Incredible beauty in its landscapes, buckets of charm in its towns alongside food and wine to die for. It’s undoubtedly my favourite non-mountainous region in Europe. I would return in a heartbeat!

Have you visited Montepulciano? Or any other Tuscan hilltop town? Which is your favourite? Have you driven through the Val d’Orcia? I’d love to hear from you!

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