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)