Tagged: Travel

Push The Boat Out

I’m still struggling with the new schedule for the Weekly Photo Challenge. It just does not fit with my weekly schedule and so this week I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you.

I don’t know which is the more predominant colour here, that bright orange or the even brighter green of the benches in the shelter. What do you think? Green or Orange?

Beach Shelter

Now this is definitely green. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Tai O stilted village on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. you will see these little tourist boats running around. Personally I preferred to walk around the village, mainly because there are far better photo opportunities.


Still in Hong Kong, if you get the chance visit the bird market, it’s right next to the flower market so you can kill two birds (excuse the pun) with one stone. Anyway, these are green birds with a little bit of red.. I’m very good at identifying birds as regular readers well know.

The Birds

Looks like I’m on a Hong Kong roll this week. This you definitely have to do. Catch the Star Ferry across the harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. It’s a quick trip across Victoria Harbour, lasting about 15 minutes. Push the boat out (not another pun?) and pay extra for the Upper Deck. HK$ 2.50 or about UK£ 0.25p, US$ 0.30c.

Celestial Star

My last one today. I’ve been playing around with compositing photos. The model is a stock photograph courtesy of Marcus Ranum

The Sword

Well that’s it for this week. As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Ellen Grace Olinger – Haiku Art Site Photo Challenge- Green
New Shoots – Beyond the Window Box
A Texan’s View of Upstate New York Oh So Green
嘗試 Try – Lived in UK, Living in Taiwan
Welcome! It IS easy being Green! Photo gallery
It IS easy being green- Weekly Photo Challenge – Sunni Buchanan Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge…..GREEN
simply.cindy Gallery of Green
“Snotgreen Sea” – Beach Books Blog
through the luminary lens Spring has Sprung

Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

I’m off to Berlin, Monday. For my American readers that’s Berlin, Europe not one of the many Berlins that happen to be in the USA. Just for added interest I’m now starting with a cold. I can feel the early stages coming on. Just what I really want. Which brings me to my state of mind. At the moment I’m not exactly in the mood to consider going out at night to photograph magnificent structures like the Brandenburg Gate.

Brandenburg Gate

No, maybe I’ll just stick to Street Photography this trip.

After intensively exploring many genres over the last 30 plus years I have, in recent years, focused on Street Photography as an outlet for my photographic energies. Street Photography is somewhat of a misnomer as it can be practiced anywhere people are photographed in the environment in which they are found. For some, myself included, being a photographer is as much a state of mind. – Michael Dubiner

But there again, when there are other magnificent monuments in the city, it would be too good an opportunity to miss. Look at the Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten which I photographed just before sunset. That setting sun really highlights the gold lettering

Soviet War Memorial

And what about the area around the Europa Centre, with the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was destroyed in 1943, and new modern church right beside it.

Europa Centre

Right, that’s it for this week. I’ve just found out that my ultra-modern hotel does not offer free Wi-Fi. Would you believe it in this day and age? So it looks like I might be dark until the end of this week. Roaming costs in Europe are still horribly expensive, especially for data.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Mainline_Matter Matchless State Of Mind
Inspired And When The Fog Lifted…
Carto’s Logbook State Of Mind — Boy & Girl
Julia’s Odyssey State of Mind – WPC
Lonely Travelog State of Mind
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist WPC – State of Mind
Maria Jansson Photography State Of Mind
Laidig’s Broadway Waste of Mind-
Half a photograph Cheery

Gloucester Cathedral


Last week I was really lucky to get early access into Gloucester Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, in Gloucester, England, stands in the north of the city near the river. It originated in 678 or 679 with the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter (dissolved by King Henry VIII).

The cathedral cloisters have been used from 2000 as a location for filming the first, second and sixth Harry Potter films, which has generated revenue and publicity, but caused some controversy amongst those who suggest that the theme of the films was unsuitable for a church.

In 2008 the Cathedral was used by BBC Wales as a location for the Doctor WhoChristmas Special.

So there I am just before 07:30 on Monday morning walking through the West Gate on my way to the Cathedral.

The Gate

Once in the Cathedral I head straight for the cloisters. I’ve only got an hour of unrestricted access before I must stop photographing. But there’s a slight problem. It’s been raining all weekend and as you can see from the photograph above it still is. It’s too dark! Even with a tripod I would struggle to get a decent photograph….and this is where a very nice man comes to my aid. The Verger allows me to put on the lights. It’s not natural light, but I’m not complaining, at least I can get started.

The Cloisters

A cloister (from Latin claustrum, “enclosure”) is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth.

The cloisters at Gloucester are the earliest surviving fan vaults, having been designed between 1351 and 1377 by Thomas de Cambridge.

Cathedral Cloisters

The attachment of a cloister to a cathedral or church, commonly against a warm southern flank, usually indicates that it is (or once was) part of a monastic foundation, “forming a continuous and solid architectural barrier… that effectively separates the world of the monks from that of the serfs and workmen, whose lives and works went on outside and around the cloister.”


Historically, the early medieval cloister had several antecedents, the peristyle court of the Greco-Roman domus, the atrium and its expanded version that served as forecourt to early Christian basilicas, and certain semi-galleried courts attached to the flanks of early Syrian churches.

All to soon my hour was up and it was time to leave the cloisters. The cathedral is used during school term-time as the venue for regular school assemblies, known as morning chapel, by The King’s School, Gloucester and their way to the cathedral is through the cloisters.

If you are ever in Gloucester I highly recommend a visit to the cathedral, it’s not all about the cloisters though. The cathedral itself is impressive.


Built as an abbey church, it consists of a Norman nucleus (Walter de Lacy is buried there), with additions in every style of Gothic architecture. It is 420 feet (130 m) long, and 144 feet (44 m) wide, with a fine central tower of the 15th century rising to the height of 225 ft (69 m) and topped by four delicate pinnacles, a famous landmark. The nave is massive Norman with an Early English roof.

Gloucester Cathedral

The choir has Perpendicular tracery over Norman work, with an apsidal chapel on each side: the choir vaulting is particularly rich. The late decorated east window is partly filled with surviving medieval stained glass.

I hope you enjoyed this short trip round the cathedral with me and I’d like to thank the Verger who helped me by putting on the lights. In my eagerness to get into the cloisters I never caught his name, most remiss of me. Special thanks must also go to Claire Stefanyszyn in the Cathedral Office who arranged for me to get into the cathedral early. Should you wish to visit and photograph in the cathedral don’t forget to buy a Photography Permit (£3).


Red Sky At Night


Red Sky At Night

It’s been a busy week, what with the upgrades to Windows 8, and the subsequent problems I had. Finally put the computer back on Windows 7 but it takes a while to get all the updates done not only to Windows, but my applications as well. But all is a haven of serenity and calmness now.

This oak tree looked really good silhouetted against the red sky and the setting sun. It was too good an opportunity to miss. More or less straight out of the camera with just a little cropping to the edges.

A real treat for me this weekend, I’m off to Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust; it’s a photographers paradise if you are interested in bird photography. I’m sort of, although I still prefer to photograph landscapes and HDR. But, I’m meeting up with some fellow photographers so it should be a great day out.

The real treat for me is Monday morning. I’ve arranged access to Gloucester Cathedral at 07:30 for an hour when, hopefully, no one will be about. This should allow me to photograph the Cloisters without having the inconvenience of people cutting across my photographs. As everything I plan to do in the Cathedral will be HDR this really is a great advantage.

At 8:30 I have to stop, whilst church services are on, but then I’m free to continue photographing.


Black and White


Black and White

The term “Black and White” refers to several old English villages, typically in the county of Herefordshire, England.

Many of the houses are timbered or half-timbered, some dating from mediaeval times. The buildings’ black oak beams are exposed on the outside, with white-painted walls between. The numbers of houses surviving in this style in the villages creates a very distinctive impression and differs from building styles outside this area.

It was probably only during the late Victorian age that it become fashionable to finish the buildings in a black and white veneer. In earlier times, the oak would not have been stained, but retained its natural colour and the walls would have reflected the colour of the local clay, generally a pink colour, rather than a white whitewash lime.

A 40-mile circular tourist trail known as the “Black and White Village Trail” was developed in 1987 as a means of encouraging tourists to take a closer look at the Herefordshire villages, heritage and countryside. The trail was developed mainly for travel by car, but it is also possible to make the journey by bicycle. Many coach tours now take in the trail also.