Majorca

Having visited Majorca numerous times, it was nice to have a change of pace and stay inland, instead of by the coast. We rented a finca for the week (and a car) and enjoyed the peace and tranquility, and it was nice having our own private pool. We managed to find some lovely quiet beaches that were less commercial, this allowed us to swim with the fishes and capture some great images.

 

Cala d'Or

Cala d’Or

 

A Day out in Palma

 

 

Sant Salvador

 

 

Port de Pollença

 

Port de Pollença

Port de Pollença

 

Santuario de Lluc

 

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Santuario de Lluc

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Santuario de Lluc

 

Serra de Tramuntana

 

 

Cala Sant Vicenç

 

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360º Stereographic Photography

Having visited 360º stereographic photography in the past during my studies at university, I was keen to revisit this genre. Previously my work with 360º photography involved me taking numerous amounts of images, stitching them together and editing in them in the relevant software. All of this could be time consuming and in certain situations it would be difficult to set up my tripod without attracting unwanted attention.

If only there was a way that I could quickly and discreetly take images that would allow me to photograph a 360º landscape…and there I saw it advertised…the Nikon 360 Keymission. This was the answer that I had been looking for. I added it to my Amazon wish list and waited…and waited…and waited…and waited further more, but the release date kept being pushed back and there was no way that I was going to get this in time for Christmas. I even contemplated buying one from the U.S, even though it would cost considerably more. I then done some research on the internet to see why it hadn’t yet been released in the U.K and it seemed that there were some issues surrounding the software and the reviews that I had read were not great. This lead me to look at alternatives and I found the Ricoh Theta S. Initially I had concerns, as it was cheaper than the Nikon Keymission and I thought that this would compromise the resolution.

At Christmas I received the Ricoh Theta S and couldn’t wait to start shooting. After adjusting the settings and getting them to my liking, I am finding that it is a great camera to have and serves as a great alternative to the traditional photograph, capturing the whole scene as opposed to a fraction of it. It is a lightweight, fun camera to have and is a great addition to my camera kit. I will point out that the resolution is not the best I have ever seen but for the price you pay and for the convenience of not having to stitch the photographs together, I can overlook this.

A great camera for the novelty value and the software is easy to use and allows for some interesting and creative edits. I have not used the video function much but if you are looking for a 360º camera with a high resolution, then is would possibly not be your best bet and I would suggest looking for a product with higher videoing capabilities. This is a good gateway product into the world of 360º photography.

Here are a few examples of the images that I captured on one of my days out:

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Castle Acre, Norfolk

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Castle Acre, Norfolk

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Castle Acre, Norfolk

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

A week ago I visited the southeastern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in France and stayed in Cavalaire-Sur-Mer in the department of Var. With a hire car and a camera, I explored what the region had to offer and I was not disappointed. This was my second visit to the region and it was just as beautiful the second time around as it was the first.

 

Bonporteau Beach, Cavalaire-Sur-Mer

 

 

St-Tropez

 

I couldn’t visit Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur without making a trip into St-Tropez. Saint-Tropez is a town about 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Nice and is located on the French Riviera. After the war it became an internationally known seaside resort, well known for its influx of artists of the French New Wave and it also became a resort for the European and American jet set with the occasional chance to do a bit of celebrity spotting.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the ports, boats and the busy high streets, you can take a stroll in the side streets where you feel like you have been transported back in time, being surrounded by beautiful old buildings.

 

 

Castellane & Gorges du Verdon

 

Taking a drive to the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, I decided to revisit Castellane. Castellane is a charming place to visit, very scenic and a very peaceful place. Here you can visit La Chapelle Notre Dame du Roc…if you can handle the climb!

 

 

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

 

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of France and I have to say that I agree. The views are simply breathtaking.

It lies at the western entrance to the Gorges du Verdon. The village has been a centre of the pottery trade, especially faïence, for centuries. A spring flows out of the cliff and creates a waterfall in town, providing water power. The village was built on platform terraces a hundred or so metres up the side of a limestone cliff.

 

The Gold Star

“Moustiers evokes a Nativity scene: confined between two rock ledges, a star dominates the village from a great height…”

According to Frédéric Mistral, the star is an ex-voto dedicated to St. Mary. The knight Blacas decided to hang a star there as a homage to the Virgin on his return from the Crusades.

Other versions talk about love stories, the Three Kings or Chivalry… Although many versions exist about the origin of the star none have been verified to date. The mystery remains total on the origin and meaning of the star above Moustiers… The size of the star we see today dates from 1957. It is the eleventh to hang above the mountain road. In 1995 it was covered in gold leaf before returning to its vigil over the village. The size of the star, which originally had five points has changed over time from 1.80 to 30 cm. Today, the chain is 135 m long, weighs 150kg and the star covered in gold leaf measures 1.25 m.

(Office de tourisme Moustiers Sainte-Marie – Gorges du Verdon, 2016)

 

 

 

Lac de Sainte-Croix

 

 

Domaine du Rayol

 

Towards the end of the trip I visited the Domaine du Rayol, also known as the Jardin botanique du Rayol and the Parc botanique à Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer, a botanical garden and arboretum located on the Avenue des Belges, Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer.

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and can’t wait until I return again sometime next year.

 

Au revoir France, à bientôt…

 

 

 

References

Domaine du Rayol. (2016). Le jardin des méditerranées. [online] Available at: http://www.domainedurayol.org [Accessed 5 Oct. 2016].

Office de tourisme Moustiers Sainte-Marie – Gorges du Verdon. (2016). The legend of the star. [online] Available at: http://www.moustiers.eu/?Legende-de-l-etoile&lang=en [Accessed 5 Oct. 2016].

Wikipedia. (2016). Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpes-de-Haute-Provence [Accessed 5 Oct. 2016].

Wikipedia. (2016). Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provence-Alpes-Côte_d%27Azur [Accessed 5 Oct. 2016].

Wikipedia. (2016). Saint-Tropez. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Tropez [Accessed 5 Oct. 2016].

Birdworld

Birdworld is one of England’s largest bird parks. Covering approximatley 26 acres it is located in the county of Surrey near Farnham and also includes an aquarium (Underwater World) and the Jenny Wren farm. Here you can find more than 150 different species of birds, over 11 of which are endangered and several of these are critically endangered.

This was a great place for me to visit in preparation for my new role as a photographer at the Wood Green Animal Shelter which I start next week. Animals can be a challenge to photograph, but they are also a pleasure!

 

 

Birdworld first opened its doors to the public in 1968 and was run as a family business by Roy Harvey, his wife and children.

 

 

Throughout the next 28 years the park grew in size and a children’s farm and aquarium were added.

 

 

In 1996 the neighbouring business owners, Denys E. Head Ltd, who still own the park today, bought Birdworld to become the third division of their already well-established company. With Forest Lodge Garden Centre next door and Garden Style specimen plant nursery just a short distance away, the company was now very firmly set in the beautiful surroundings of Alice Holt Forest.

 

 

Birdworld continued to grow throughout the next few years with the addition of the Crescent Aviaries and Parrots in Flight, as well as the award winning Penguin Beach and Outback Landing. There are plans to develop the park further in the near future.

 

Underwater World

 

 

References

Birdworld. (2016). Birdworld – Home. [online] Available at: http://birdworld.co.uk [Accessed 16 Sep. 2016].

Devon & Cornwall

What better to do whilst the sun is shining, than visit Devon & Cornwall. I visited the Eden Project and some National Trust sites during my stay and took plenty of photographs. Please enjoy!

 

The Eden Project

 

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© Google Maps 2016

 

 

Lanhydrock

 

 

Lydford Gorge

 

 

Buckland Abbey

 

 

Cotehele

 

 

References

Eden Project Cornwall UK. (2016). Eden Project – Home. [online] Available at: http://www.edenproject.com [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

National Trust. (2016). Buckland Abbey. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/buckland-abbey [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

National Trust. (2016). Cotehele. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

National Trust. (2016). Lanhydrock. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

National Trust. (2016). Lydford Gorge. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lydford-gorge [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

Trentham Estate

The Trentham Estate is a great place to visit all year round, especially the gardens. The new-look gardens have matured into some of the finest in Britain according to Alan Titchmarsh, where he is quoted as saying “one of the UK’s must-see gardens”.

There has been a contemporary revival of the famous Italian Gardens which was led by renowned designer and multi-Chelsea gold-medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith.

To the east of the Italian Gardens are the Rivers of Grass and the adjacent Floral Labyrinth. Both these schemes were designed by eminent Dutch plantsman, and Chelsea gold-medal winner, Piet Oudolf.

At the centre of Trentham Gardens is the mile long, Capability Brown designed, Trentham Lake. There is a circular lakeside walk all the way round as it takes you aside the River Trent.

Trentham Gardens is a photographers dream, with lots to photograph.

 

trentham

© Google Maps 2016

 

Walk around the lake

 

 

Flowers

 

 

Dandelions by Amy Wight

 

 

 

References

Trentham Estate. (2016). Trentham Estate – Home. [online] Available at: http://www.trentham.co.uk [Accessed 12 Sep. 2016].

Clumber Park

For those who like walking and the great outdoors, Clumber Park is a great place to visit. Consisting of a beautiful expanse of parkland, heath and woods that cover more than 3,800 acres, it is easy to loose yourself here whilst exploring. In addition there is also an impressive lake. Clumber Park is host to a variegation of habitats which are home to an amazing array of wildlife and it is also a great place to admire it.

 

Location

clumberpark

© Google Maps 2016

 

On and around the lake

 

 

Squirrel 

 

 

References

National Trust. (2016). Clumber Park. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/clumber-park [Accessed 8 Sep. 2016].

Waddesdon Manor

A great place to visit which is surrounded by views of Oxfordshire, the Chilterns Hills & the Vale of Aylesbury. An ideal place for relaxing with family and friends.

Waddesdon Manor is a French Renaissance-style château built 1874, which is host to Victorian style gardens, a parterre, ornate fountains and statuary. There is also an Aviary with rare and exotic birds which can be found in the heart of the gardens.There are also plenty of woodland walks for guests to enjoy.

Here I spent a whole day and enjoyed the sunshine and taking photos. Enjoy!

 

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Aviary

 

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References

National Trust. (2016). Waddesdon Manor. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/waddesdon-manor [Accessed 15 Aug. 2016].

Iceland

Last week I visited Iceland for the very first time and I was not disappointed, it was everything I wished it would be and more.

With a population of around 332,529 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe which makes it a pleasure to drive around. Compared to the U.K, the roads seemed empty and it was a delight to take in the surroundings, from the sand, lava fields, mountains and glaciers.

My camera went into overdrive during my 1 week visit and I have decided to put a selection of the images onto this blog.

The Blue Lagoon was my first port of call, great for relaxation and unwinding after a flight.

 

“The Blue Lagoon was formed in 1976 during operation at the nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to their skin. Those with psoriasis noticed an incredible improvement in their condition. Over the years, Blue Lagoon has been innovative in harnessing this gift of nature to develop different spa services and products. Today, Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world.” 

(Blue Lagoon, 2016)

 

Reykjavík

 

Geysir

 

Gullfoss

 

Þingvellir National Park

 

Kerið

 

Seljalandsfoss

 

Eyjafjallajökull

 

Skógafoss

 

Reynisfjara

 

One of my favourite parts of the trip to Iceland was visiting Jökulsárlón where I took a boat tour onto the glacier, it is an experience I shall remember for a very long time.

 

Jökulsárlón

 

Glacier Lagoon in Iceland | icelagoon.is

Pit stop on the way back from Jökulsárlón. A field full of Lupin(e)s and a stream. Great place for a picnic!

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Valley of Reykjadalur

 

It was a great experience visiting Iceland and I am looking forward to returning in the near future…maybe in the winter months so that I can try and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Rutland Water

For the last few days I have taken advantage of the splendid weather that we have been experiencing by partaking in scenic rural walks, before heading off to a cooler climate in Iceland.

 

Here are some images that I took…Enjoy!