The cool dudes at Jang Island School, Indonesia
So here we are, nearly ready to tick the calendar over. It’s been another busy year on the road, nine countries, a few walks, some good bike rides, a lot of spectacular locations, and friends, new and old.
Apart from some travel articles for the mainstream press and a new play, I’ve been more active with the camera than with the keyboard this year. So it seems appropriate to look back on the year through the lens. A few shots worked out well. Continue reading
We’re staying in a riad just round the corner…but which corner?
To be honest, we’re a little apprehensive about visiting Marrakech. We know it’s a popular tourist town, and fear that will mean constant hassling from persistent hawkers, unreliable drivers, getting lost in the medina maze and stomach bugs.
We needn’t have worried. Continue reading
19th century interest in Russell Falls started it all.
Australia’s oldest national park is the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Mt Field wasn’t far behind.
It was declared a nature reserve in 1885 and became a national park in 1916. It also has a dubious distinction as the place the last known Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was captured in 1933; they’ve changed the rules about taking nearly extinct species out of national parks since then.
Now it is one of Tasmania’s most popular parks, partly because it is only 64km from Hobart, and partly because it contains some of the most beautiful and varied terrain in the state, the country or indeed on the planet. We were happy to join the day-trippers on a short walk to the gorgeous Russell Falls – carrying the camera of course. Continue reading
Leura Cascades, Blue Mountains…but they don’t really look like this.
I took a short walk in the Blue Mountains yesterday, with camera at the hip. A storm was on its way, and I’d read that gloomy weather is ideal for taking shots of waterfalls.
I wanted to practise getting that ‘soft water’ effect, popular on postcard and poster shots. It’s phoney of course, but it’s satisfying when you can make a shot look something like what the pros can manage. A bit of photoshopping was required too – another learning experience for me. Continue reading
We’ve come to the end of summer holiday time in Australia. No more excuses for the recent slackness in my blogging. Normal service has resumed.
Rodriguez Pass, Blue Mountains, New South Wales
In my time away from desk and computer I spent a few days in the lovely Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney, armed with my new camera (a Canon 70D, for those interested in such things.)
The weather was fine, clear and warm, not ideal for taking atmospheric shots. To my mind the mountains are most appealing when mist fills the valleys and clings to the cliffs.
Nevertheless, I did happen across wildlife that obligingly stayed close enough to shoot – with the camera only of course. Continue reading
Trawling back over thousands of photos (there are lots of shamefully clumsy ones and I don’t inflict them all on family, friends or even blog readers) reminds me what a privileged life we lead.
Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia
We’ve spent time in eleven countries. It was nearly twelve, but Scotland decided not to secede.
We’ve spent time with old friends and made some lovely new ones.
We’ve eaten some great meals, seen some wonderful cities, enjoyed books and films and plays and I’ve even written a couple myself.
So it took me a while to decide what the focus should be for this round-up post. I’ve put it off for weeks, being in holiday mode. In the end I decided to keep it simple, posting a collection of shots of places that have given us so much pleasure in 2014.
Many thanks to the people whose visits, comments and encouragement have kept me blogging, and may 2015 bring you all you could hope for. Continue reading
We’re entering ‘Year in Review’ mode, so it’s time to publish photos that didn’t quite fit into any other stories.
Behind the town of Zaandam is the area known as De Gouw, ‘The Shire’. It’s not large and there’s not a lot there. I can see why shires appealed to J.R.R.Tolkien.
Landscape photography suits me well. Unlike friends and relatives, birds and bikes, landscapes stay relatively still while you fiddle with the camera settings. I’m coming to appreciate Dutch scenery more and more. There are no spectacular snow-capped mountains, towering waterfalls or breathtaking desert canyons. Instead everything in little Nederland is on a small and manageable scale.
The English word ‘landscape’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘landschap’. Remember that! Now you can say you learned something by visiting this blog. Continue reading