When I arrived at the Hotel Honegg in Switzerland, I was recovering from a sprained ankle, so naturally I decided the first thing I should do is walk up the mountain behind the hotel. On the way back down, I stopped to take this panorama. This is comprised of six pictures so it took me quite a while to take them all. Once I was finished and packed up, I realized that I’d been stood blocking the view of a man sat on a bench behind me… jumped out my skin when he said “hallo!”.
According to Wikipedia, the Ponte Vecchio is “a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge”. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I thought I’d fill you in just the same.
About ten years ago I had dinner with my family in a restaurant “Golden View” across the river from here. I stayed behind after dinner, with my girlfriend at the time, and wound up playing the piano there. That resulted in the waiter providing us with complimentary champagne, strawberries and cream before driving us back to our hotel out in the countryside!
I planned on trying that trick again on this trip, but never made it across the river.
The first view of Lake Atitlan was from up high on a winding road. Across the lake I could see the volcanoes I had read about. They each had a cloud sitting on top of them like a little hat. I managed to catch this one before the cloud moved on as the day heated up.
The dock in the foreground is one of the lake’s ferry stops, the little white boat is a ferry. I couldn’t figure out if there was a schedule or if they just bounced around the lake. People would wait for quite a while for a boat to turn up heading to where they were going.
On my recent tour of Europe, I wasn’t particularly good at getting up early to take pictures. Partly because for most of the trip the weather wasn’t ideal but mainly because I tended to hang out way too late to even consider getting up early. Florence, on the other hand, inspired me. I couldn’t go there and not come away with some sunrise photos. So, I dragged my travel buddy up at the crack of dawn. We’d wander the empty streets of Florence before collecting our car to drive up to Pisa, down to Sienna, and back up to Florence.
The sunrise didn’t disappoint and I got this opportunity to take a super close up of Florence’s famous cathedral in front of blue sky and pink skies. Following this I bought two prosciutto on mini-croissant sandwiches for breakfast. It was a good start to the day.
After arriving at Lake Atitlan, having left Antigua very early in the morning (a recurring theme of this trip was getting up early), we were rushed quickly to a waiting launch and took off across the lake. As we skimmed across the calm waters of Lake Atitlan, I was looking at the volcanoes growing up from the lakes edge.
As you know, I’ve visited Lake Como in Italy before. That morning, as I took in Lake Atitlan, all I could think was that a quote I’d read that morning was spot on:
“Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.” – Aldous Huxley
After arriving at our first stop I immediately sought a photo of the small boat dock and looming volcano over the water. I wanted to catch the cloud that seemed to be snagged on top of the volcano before it disappeared.
Last year I managed to keep the locations of my photos varied pretty well. I was able to switch between images taken from South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, New York, Canada, Prague, Iceland and Italy. At the moment I’m feeling like all I’ve got are African shots and any Bermuda shots I manage to sneak out and take. So, I’ve decided to share some of my earliest photographs from my first real adventure.
I took a gap-year before heading to University, and got to head down to Bolivia and Peru. That’s where I became a bit of a travel addict and discovered I quite liked taking pictures, and wasn’t too bad at it either. I had a little Olympus point and shoot. I can’t remember the model but it was pretty robust. It survived walking a puma through the Bolivian jungle, 4-treks in Bolivia and Peru, and even sand dune boarding (also known as falling over a lot).
Driving across the Ayuni Salt Flats is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done in my life. Miles upon miles of whiteness, minimal landmarks, and no signs of civilization. When we were there, a thin film of water over the salt turned the entire place into one giant mirror. It was like driving in the clouds.
This shot is taken from on top of our jeep. In the picture, you can see one of the girls making her way on to the roof and in the one ahead, you can see the luggage rack is already loaded with people. It was an exhilarating ride, but the salt water splashing up turned all of our clothes into crusty messes.
Bermuda can be tricky. Anyone here today knows that it was nice and hot and sunny over the weekend. Today was chilly and overcast. It didn’t look like there’d be any photo opportunities this evening. Then, as I was leaving the squash club, I could see that the sun was peeking under the clouds as it set. I thought I’d missed an opportunity as I pulled out. I had my camera gear in the car but didn’t think I’d make it anywhere in time. As I got closer to home, the clouds just kept getting brighter so I went to this spot not far from my house and hurriedly set up for a shot.
I took 7 photos bracketed from -3 through to +3 and combined them using Photomatix. To get a better idea of how I do this, check out my Free HDR Tutorial.