Jan 172014

I found this picture, taken from the base of Niagara Falls on the Canada side, that I hadn’t processed before. I think I tried in the past but couldn’t get it to come together. It did take a lot of time masking in different photos and adjusting contrasts to get it looking like this. Swirling mist doesn’t make for the best shooting conditions.

Niagara Falls from below the waterfall with blue sky in the background, mist to the left, curtain of water and cliff to the right

Jan 112014

Niagara is a bit of an odd place. It’s an unashamed, huge, neon tourist trap stuck on the landscape next to a natural wonder. It’s definitely a different experience than that of visiting Victoria Falls. At Victoria, I watched a taxi driver aggressively chase away an angry looking baboon that had crashed down on the hood of his car and blocked my path. At the same time though, there is some sort of charm to Niagara’s dated gaudiness.

Neon-signs and the ferris wheel at night in Niagara Falls

Oct 152012

Travel Planning: Namibia

I’ve started putting some thought into my next adventure and Namibia will definitely play a part. A desert full of dead trees that can’t decay due to the total lack of moisture, sand-dune boarding, a hot air balloon ride across the shifting sands, the morning mist rolling onto the shore where the desert meets the Atlantic and desert wildlife including elephants, lions, and ostriches.

Yup, I’ll have some of that, please.

How can we afford this, you may ask? I’m still working on that. One thing’s for sure, I can’t pay for one of the packaged multi-day tours that cost a fortune. Instead, we’ll be hopping on buses to find our way around the country. I think our two bases will be the capital Windhoek (a hub for buses into and out of Namibia as well as around the country) and Swakopmund (the Namibian holiday town and activity center on the coast).

Whatever happens, it’ll be an adventure.

Today’s Photo: The last of the boathouse

This is the last of my shots of the peaceful marina on Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The sunset lingered for a long time and after rushing around trying to find a nice view that didn’t involve scaling a fence I decided on this one. Unfortunately, there was still a fence in the way. I tried every single gate to see if one was unlocked but didn’t have any luck. Eventually, I hoisted my camera, tripod and all, above my head and wedged it into the chain links of the fence. I let it stop shaking about and used my cable release to fire off 3 bracketed images.


White boathouse and lighthouse showing reflections on calm water in marina on Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake


Sep 072012

After a long night taking photos my travel buddy decided she was hungry. So, rather than heading back to our hostel for some much needed rest we made our way to Husavik to sleep in a car park for a couple of hours while we waited for somewhere serving breakfast to open. I didn’t get much sleep, but after trying to nod off I decided to go for a walk. We’d left from this marina to go whale watching and I liked the old fashioned boats inhabiting it. So, I made my way back there and took a few more photos for the night.

Marina in Husavik, Iceland with old fashioned wooden boats which reflect in the water where they are docked.


Aug 312012

I saw this scene and really liked the way that the tree separated the bench and the sun drenched Old Fort Niagara across the water, in the US.  It makes the bench feel nicely isolated but gives you an idea of the expansive view. The lines, framing the scene the way they do, were what drew me into the scene. I’ve tried to process this numerous times, employing my usual HDR process and was never happy with the results. Whatever I did it always felt too busy.

Tonight, I had a bit of an epiphany. I’ve often thought to myself that I should be careful about only photographing scenes that strike me as good for HDR and make sure that I recognize when I’d be better off not using those techniques. This photo, was a prime example. The lines are very nice and the branches in the trees make for wonderful patterns. there’s enough going on that by bringing in the detail of the bench and tree the whole image gets far too busy.

I’m glad I’ve realized this and will try to stay sensitive to when I should just look to capture a silhouette. I am very fond of this technique. My first successes in photography involved snapping silhouettes, in Bolivia and Peru, with a little Olympus point-and-shoot ten years ago.

Bench and tree in silhouette with the sun drenched Old Fort Niagara across the water in the USA from Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada


Aug 282012

I’ve stumbled upon an interesting photo contest taking place with a fast approaching deadline (tomorrow) and decided to toss my hat in the ring. It’s all about colour. They’ve specified 5 colour categories. You have to enter one photo in each. You can read more about it at ‘Capture the Color’ photo contest at Travel Supermarket.


Blue: Last Light, Lake Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake

During the last gasps of sunset, as the blue hour set in, a feeling of calm overcame me. For two hours I’d rushed around, trying to take advantage of the beautiful sunset, but was repeatedly thwarted by private property and fences. Now, I sat on a beach, totally alone, listening to the cool Lake Ontario waters lap the shore a few feet away. I stayed there as the sky faded from baby blue, through to an inky royal, and, finally, star speckled black.

Entry for Capture the Color’ photo contest at Travel Supermarket with photos submitted for 5 color categories - this is blue entry


Green: Masticating Mountain Gorilla, Rwanda

Green fills your brain as you hike through the dense growth of the Volcanoes National Park. It’s all green, for as far as the eye can see, which isn’t very far. Then, across a clearing you spot black, punctuated clearly against the green. Was that a gorilla? There it is again, definitely a gorilla. You move closer. You’re closer than seems sensible, at first, but then you lock eyes with one, calmly chomping on the greenery, and any fear is replaced with awe.

Entry for Capture the Color’ photo contest at Travel Supermarket with photos submitted for 5 color categories - this is green entry


Yellow: Young Boy with Fruit, Rwanda

Walking through Rwanda with a large camera draws a lot of attention from the local children. I was regularly mobbed and would spend a lot of time trying to get far enough away to shoot a picture so I could kneel down as they crowded round me to see it. Then, this little boy caught my eye (possibly drawn by the bright yellow shirt). He was watching intently but stood aloof. His expression caused me to decide to take a photo of him. I point at the camera and him and he smiled. Then, I knelt down to get on his level. Unfortunately, he followed suit and we played a weird up and down game until I got him to stand up straight while I knelt down for a shot.

Entry for Capture the Color’ photo contest at Travel Supermarket with photos submitted for 5 color categories - this is yellowentry

White: Icy Stare, New York

One Christmas, walking up 5th avenue at an ungodly hour, an icy stare caught my eye. A wintery woman strode gracefully toward the window as if there were no glass to hold her back. Her servants, various white animals, accompanied her. I stepped back, startled for a moment, waiting for the thud as her forehead struck the window. But no, it was just a manikin. I could take my time to capture the moment before the bang.

Entry for Capture the Color’ photo contest at Travel Supermarket with photos submitted for 5 color categories - this is white entry

Red: Eerie Light, Central Park, New York

I’ve got a great tendency to get carried away taking photos until I realize it’s dark and I don’t know where I am. Walking into Central Park as the sun is getting ready to set, with the knowledge that you’re foolish enough to stay until after dark and get lost, is eerie enough. As I did just that, I received a foreboding omen. Entering this tunnel I heard a buzz above me, followed by a loud pop, and a red light began flickering erratically. If it had been dark already, I probably would’ve turned tail and run. Instead, I took a picture.

Entry for Capture the Color’ photo contest at Travel Supermarket with photos submitted for 5 color categories - this is red entry


I’m supposed to nominate 5 other bloggers. It’s probably a bit of a moot point this late in the game and I’m quite new to the network of travel bloggers, but there are 5 that I’ve found interesting:







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Jul 302012

Today’s photo is a bit more abstract than my usual shots. I’d just finished getting soaked under a waterfall when I spotted the water rushing over this log that seemed to be almost glowing beneath the frothing foam. There wasn’t much in the background so I decided to zoom right in and get a closeup. I processed this differently to most. I had tried running my three photos through Photomatix but wasn’t happy with the results. In the end I decided that the scene didn’t actually have that high a light range so processed as is. I still used Topaz Adjust to boost up the details though.

Water rushing over log that seemed to be almost glowing beneath the frothing foam in Ontario, Canada.

Jul 182012

Discovering my photo of these lights on My Modern Met has inspired me to process the other photo I took of them, with the casino in the background. It’s funny, if the mist hadn’t been so thick that I couldn’t see the falls, I probably never would have taken these two shots. I’m glad I did.

Multicolor spotlights in front of the casino at night in Niagara, Ontario, Canada.