My “better half” and I have attended this superb event over the last 2 years and have been amazed by diversity and quality of this festival, which presents “best of the best” in theatre, music, visual arts, comedy, dance, film, fashion and the food scene.
Looking forward to the next one. which runs from 24th to 28th July 2013
Please follow my link below to see more images of this annual, “not to be missed” event.
With so much activity in Rome at the moment, I felt compelled to add some additional images to my Rome webpage. Please click on this link to my Rome webpage http://wp.me/P1WKsc-jl
I would love to be there at present to sense and enjoy the atmosphere of anticipation and excitement as the Catholic Church seek to elect a new leader.
Alas, I will neeed to content myself with watching history unfold on the television and think of our holiday visit a few years ago, seeing the places we visited and dreaming of our return, hopefully in the near future.
The group of mountains of Beinn Fhada, Gearr Aonach and Aonach Dubh, shown in the image below, are more commonly known as the 3 Sisters of Glencoe. These mountains form part of a volcanic ridge in Glencoe, known as Bidean nam Bian
For more information please follow this link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidean_nam_Bian
For some of my other landscape images please follow this link http://wp.me/P1WKsc-M
6 Additional images of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012 added today.
Please go to http://wp.me/P1WKsc-jn for the rest of the images
Superb!! – 25 days of Events with over 2,600 shows from 47 different countries
Edinburgh, the Scottish Capital was “buzzing” this year, in August, with the annual Fringe Festival.
An amazing diversity of shows to suit all tastes ranging from Shakespeare to light comedy; classical to rock music accompanied by traditional “scottish” cuisine from the many local bars and restaurants. (Even haggis and neeps, deep fried mars bars or the usual fish supper, were on the menu, if that’s what you fancied)
I love Edinburgh, particularly at this time of year when the city is busy with tourists and “locals”, enjoying the “banter” of the performers and audiences, enjoying the culture and “soaking-up” the atmosphere.
The Fringe is an opportunity for me to indulge in my photography, to capture portrait images of the “street” performers advertising their shows and to talk with some of the interesting “characters” taking part.
This year I visited the Fringe 3 times. On my last visit, my “better half” and I met up with some of my “old” school friends and rounded off a great day, with a delicious meal in a local restaurant, with a nice bottle of wine and good company.
Looking forward to August 2013.
For more images of the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe please click on http://wp.me/P1WKsc-jn
Continuing on the theme “Roman Holiday”; we went into the Vatican during our visit to Rome. Here are a few images.
The first image is Michelangelo’s La Pieta, which is the only sculpture that he ever signed. It depicts the body of Christ in Mary’s lap after the crucifixion.
The second image is the Main Dome inside the Vatican. Michelangelo designed the dome in 1547 and it was completed in 1590 by Giacomo della Porta and Fontana.
The third image, the Cathedra Petri or ” the Throne of St Peter” is surrounded by an enormous statue of bronze produced by Bernini.
More information can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter’s_Basilica
The Swiss Guard has existed since the late 15th century. As guardians of the gates to Vatican City, the Papal Swiss Guard, founded in 1506, is the only remaining Swiss Guard in the world.
More information at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/swiss_guard/swissguard/storia_en.htm
The Glenfinnan Monument was erected in 1815. It is a memorial tower marking the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) raised his standard at the start of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.
Today the monument is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.
This image was captured on a hill above the National Trust Visitor’s Centre.
We visited Oban during a recent trip to the Scottish Highlands. Oban, located on the mainland, at the northern end of The Firth of Lorn near the entrance to Loch Linnhe, is known as the “Gateway to the Isles”. It is also recognised as the “Seafood capital of Scotland”.
And while I love fresh seafood, for the chocoholics like me, I recommend a visit to the Oban Chocolate Company, who offer a range of delicious hand made chocolates manufactured in their factory in Oban.
More information at http://www.oban.org.uk/
A few weeks ago my youngest daughter, Julie married Kenneth at the Lochside House Hotel in New Cumnock, Ayrshire.
We all had a great day, with sunny weather, at a superb venue, in the company of 130+ good friends and family.
We hired a photographer for the celebration, but I just had to take my own camera with me. The images below are just a few shots that I took when I had a spare moment from my “Father of the Bride” duties. Looking forward to seeing the “official” shots
The fishing port of Mallaig is the destination of the “The Jacobite” the vintage steam train, featured in last week’s post.
This peaceful view over Mallaig Harbour, shows the islands of Rum and Eigg on the horizon. In the foreground is the Caledonian MacBrayne car ferry to Skye
“The Jacobite” is the vintage steam train which runs from Fort William, through some of the most beautiful countryside in Scotland, to the picturesque fishing port of Mallaig.
While this trip has always been a popular attraction with tourists visiting the Scottish highlands, the “Harry Potter” movies where the ” Hogwarts Express” crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct has helped boost the popularity of this nostalgic journey. On its journey the “Jacobite” does cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct just like in the movies.
The image of the train below, was captured last week, during a short visit to the Scottish Highlands, as it travelled along the shoreline of Loch Eil, 4 – 5 miles from Fort William, on its way to Mallaig
More details at http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/Jacobite_Details.html and for a journey across the Glenfinnan Viaduct on “The Jacobite” click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_GjT9nlAeM&feature=related
This image of Sir Walter Scott’s Monument, erected for his contribution to Scottish Literature is captured, just before sunset, from “The Mound” (the old Bank of Scotland Headquarters; Edinburgh)
The monument, inaugurated in 1846, is 200ft high. A sculpture in marble, of the man himself, can be seen through the centre arch.
More information can be found at http://www.edinburgharchitecture.co.uk/scott_monument.htm
Just thought I’d also post the monochrome “close-up” version. What do you think?
One of the most beautiful and most photographed scenes in the Scottish Highlands.
Because of the wide variation in weather conditions, in this region, the ”character” of this peaceful tranquil scene can quickly be transformed, into one of the bleakest, stormy, landscapes in Scotland.
This owl is probably known better as the “common” barn owl, which unlike other owls does not “hoot” but produces a deafening screech.
It has a “flat” heart shaped face with dark eyes and large powerful talons. It is found in every continent of the world except Antarctica
For more information click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_Owl
I fell in love with Venice, when I first visited some 10 years ago. At that time, I worked for a company that had a manufacturing site in Bologna and I was attending a factory tour along with some UK clients. Venice is only a 60 minute train journey from Bologna, so we took the opportunity to visit that weekend. I was “hooked”
This amazing visit to Venice, a few years ago, was a birthday celebration for Doreen, my better half.
We spent 4 nights at the Dona Palace Hotel, in the centre of Venice. A great hotel with lovely large room, fabulous breakfasts and only 2 minutes walk from St Mark’s Square.
This famous Italian city, built originally on a mosquito infested lagoon has it all; ambience, history, and an “olde world” feel to it that is totally unique.
When dining out, if you can eat in a restaurant away from the main tourist areas, the food and service is usually superb. Although it tends to be expensive to eat in the San Marco and Rialto areas, to enjoy the romantic atmosphere, that “is” Venice, I recommend that you eat in a restaurant on the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Bridge and take a gondola ride, at least once during your visit.
We visited early October, when the temperature was around 24C (~75F) which was very comfortable for sightseeing and for ”chilling out” with a nice bottle of wine in the cafes at the front in San Marco or on the Grand Canal.
Entertainment at night was provided at different hotels and restaurants throughout the city. We found that the small orchestras, playing in outdoor cafes and at hotel entrances in St Mark’s Square, were excellent and created a superb “classical” fun atmosphere in this most famous historical square.
We purchased 24 hour water bus (Vaporetto) passes and jumped on and off on a regular basis. A great way to see round this “magical” place. On several occasions we stayed on the water bus and had a tour of the whole lagoon. A good few of my images were shot from the rear of the water bus which was completely uncovered.
I can’t wait to go back, maybe later this year or early 2013.
I hope you enjoy the images which were shot with my smaller EOS 30D - 8MP camera. (I didn’t have my EOS 5DMK2 at that time)
For larger images, please “click” on the photos below.
Classified as a “near threatened” species, this vulture, named after the German explorer and Zoologist, Eduard Ruppell. is believed to be the worlds highest flying bird and has been found at altitudes around 36,000 ft (~ 11,000 metres), although they are found more often ~20,000 ft (~6,000 metres)
As inhabitants of North Africa, America, India, Australia and Nepal, they tend to nest in large flocks in the dry mountainous regions.
Additional information can be found at http://www.phoenixzoo.org/visit/animal_news.aspx?ARTICLE_ID=100566
Coal miners of the 19th and early 20th century worked below ground in difficult hot humid and cramped conditions, manually extracting coal from the seam which were often no higher than 3 – 4 ft high.
In this image, which is a re-creation of a 19/20th century pit, showing a coal miner ” shoring up” the roof of the mine, I have tried to create the dark and dank atmosphere of the working conditions that he endured, in order to feed and clothe his family. Additional information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining
This image was captured in total darkness, illuminated only by low level flash and processed in CS5
The interior of a typical miner’s cottage showing the poor standard of living conditions compared with todays “comfortable” “hi-tech” environment.
And of course the “communal” wash house, showing the coal fired boiler and the “mangle”
All above images captured at Summerlee Heritage Park, Coatbridge. http://www.monklands.co.uk/summerlee/
The Eurasian Buzzard’s habitat tends to be in forest or mountainous regions, but always close to open spaces. This raptor, which breeds in Europe, tends to eat mainly small mammals caught on the ground but also does eat birds, small reptiles and insects.
For more information, please follow this link http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-eurasian-buzzard.html
Since 1782, the Bald Eagle has been the national symbol of the United States of America (as if you didn’t know).
This is an image of an immature bald eagle with its mouth open wide in anticipation of being fed. When fully mature, about 5 years old, the head feathers become completely white, and when viewed from a distance give the eagle its “bald” appearance.
More information at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/birds/bald-eagles.asp
The Tawny Owl is one of the most common birds of prey in Britain.
I just could not resist making an image of this little chap. But don’t be fooled in by the cute appearance. Tawny Owls are silent efficient killers which hunt their prey during the hours of darkness.
One of the most photographed castles in the world, Eilean Donan Castle can be found on the road to Kyle of Lochalsh; where Loch Alsh, Loch Duich and Loch Long combine.
The historical beginnings of Eilean Donan are believed to date back as early as the 7th century AD, at a time when Christianity was just being introduced in this area of Scotland. Details can be found at http://www.eileandonancastle.com/home.htm
This famous castle features in a number of Hollywood movies. The ones that come to mind are “Highlander” in 1986, with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErjCcqKzr0k and more recently, in 2008, ”Made of Honor” with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E72ZeWEMP90
Today the castle is a beautiful, historical and romantic setting, owned by the Conchara Charitable Trust. It is open to the public during the months of March to October. It is also a popular wedding venue.
It took me ages to capture this one. Unfortunately bees do not fly in a predictable flight path and are constantly ”buzzing” in and out behind the flower heads.
So again I just had to wait for one to pass in front of the camera viewfinder to capture it.
One of my few attempts at “macro” …. exposure settings – iso400, t1600, f4.o (subject distance 0.4m, lens focal length 105mm)