Nov 202012

I’m planning on making my way back here in January. I can’t wait to see the cliff to the left, and actually the very spot where I was standing to take this picture, inundated by flowing and tumbling white water.

View into the Batoka Gorge from the cliffs, site of the Victoria Falls, during dry season.

Aug 302012

As you reach the crest of the cliffs overlooking Hafragilfoss it would be difficult to categorise the view in front of you as beautiful. Jaw dropping is far more appropriate. The view before you, atop that cliff, is of a rugged landscape. A gorge bore out by flowing water. The waterfall’s roar can be heard even from this distance and the mist of Dettifoss can be seen rising into the sky just around the bend up river. Below Hafragilfoss, the milky river swirls with crystal blue as the pure, clean waters of a nearby spring merge with silty run off. The best part is, the fact that you’ve made your way up the rugged dirt road at 2 in the morning means you have the whole place to yourself.

As a testament to just how incredible the waterfalls are in Iceland, this 27 meters tall, 91 meters wide, waterfall isn’t even considered one of the must-sees!

View from the crest of the cliffs overlooking Hafragilfosswaterfall in Iceland is of a rugged landscape with a gorge bore out by flowing water with the mist of Dettifoss seen rising into the sky just around the bend up river.

May 232012

Why Romania?

When I told people I was going to Romania the most common reaction was, “Why, Romania?”

Telling them it was just for a vacation wasn’t typically enough to satisfy the question. So, I’d have to launch into the following story.

As soon as I finished my final exams at university I took off to travel across Europe along with my Belgian housemate Greg. We inter-railed from Amsterdam to Athens over a six week period. It was great. Study time gave me a great opportunity to plan everything out. The route was plotted and off we went. Everything went to plan. Except, that is, for our 2 night stop over in Sighisoara, Romania (the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula).

We were in Budapest, along with my friend from Bermuda, John, and had an important decision to make about our 6am departure. It was midnight in the hostel bar, 5 hours until we’d have to be waking up to get on a 10 hour train ride. We decided that just didn’t make any sense. The hostel bar was open all night and it was really lively. It was full of a big group of Australians a couple Belgians and a few others. We’d be much better off staying up all night and then spending the long train journey asleep. This logic was probably based on the fact we were already a few beers in.

You can probably guess where this is going. After we had successfully defused a heated argument between the Australians and Belgians,  John wussed out and went to bed with three hours to go. Then, with an hour left, Greg and I decided it was time to go pack – that was another piece of careful planning. The next memory I have is being woken up by these words from Greg, “Uhhhhh, Johnny, I think we missed the train.”

“Why, what time is it?” I replied.


“So what you’re saying is, we definitely missed the train.”

As a result of this blunder, we didn’t go to Romania. We went to Serbia. As a result, I wanted to see what Romania was about, so I made a much more successful attempt to visit a couple of summers ago.

Now I’ve been there, if anyone asks me why I’m going to Romania in the future, I’ll just answer, “Because it’s awesome.”

Today’s Photo: 7 Ladder Gorge Waterfall, Transylvania, Romania

Today’s photo is one of the reasons that Romania is awesome. The country is beautiful. This is taken in Seven Ladder Gorge. When I was there it was officially closed as the metal ladders and walkways through the gorge had been damaged by the winter floods. Our guide told us this and proceeded right along. The walkways were definitely damaged, some had fallen down. I liked it, it made for more of an adventure. There were a lot of picture opportunities along the way. This is one of my favorites.

Again, this is an old photo I had saved as a JPEG but always felt was a bit flat. I’ve given it a sort of faux HDR treatment using Topaz Adjust, which really is an amazing Photoshop plugin.

7 Ladder Gorge Waterfall cascades down narrow cliffs in Transylvania Romania


May 122012

My Tripod Search

On my gear page I mention that I’m not fully satisfied with my current tripod and mentioned one set of legs I’m considering. I’m going to be expanding this section soon because the more I look round the more options I find. I’ve got a good idea of what I want. The legs max height needs to be about 5’3″. At this height, the tripod head plus the height of my camera should get the viewfinder to eye level for me. It also needs to be able to set up with the legs spread out flat so I can shoot from ground level. With this in mind I don’t want a center column, as they reduce stability when extended and make getting the camera to ground level difficult. With setup in mind, one thing I like about my Benro Angel is the twist locks on the legs. So, that’s something I’ll definitely be looking for in my replacement. Additionally, I want to go as light as possible so will be looking at buying carbon fiber. These parameters are pretty easy to fulfill, but I also want it to fit in a carry on. This is where things get tricky. Hopefully, I’ll find something suitable soon as I want to bring it to Iceland with me in June.

Today’s Photo: Victoria Falls and Batoka Gorge

After crawling out on a ledge for the photo posted here, I set up in a much safer position on the other side of the tree. I still can’t believe how unrestricted we were at the top of the falls. This day Shannon and I had gone back to the falls without a guide and just walked right along the edge in search of photos. We did have one scary moment though. On the way back to the parking lot, I’m pretty sure we encountered the biggest baboon in the world. It was terrifying and grunting. It definitely did not sound like it was in a good mood. We backed off and hid behind a bush as it crossed the path and disappeared.

View of Victoria Falls and Batoka Gorge in Zambia with giant tree branch reaching towards waterfall cascading down to green pool of water.

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Feb 202012

Victoria Falls at low water lets you really explore the falls. They have a real untouched feel about them. On one side there’s a simple path leading you past views across the Batoka Gorge. On the other side you can leave the path to walk across the top of the cliffs. There’s nothing to stop you walking right up to the edge, as you can see in this picture.

I’ll be visiting Niagara Falls in March and wonder how it will compare. I’m expecting a lot more attention to be paid to safety, distancing you from the falls. I’m also expecting there to be buildings visible all around the falls. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’ll certainly make for great photos either way.

Victoria Falls at low water showing Batoka Gorge in Zambia.