Archives for posts with tag: Travel Theme

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Birds. While I don’t go looking to photograph birds in flight, I found quite a few shots of birds in my travel photos. As usual, all the images link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

Starting in Australia up the NSW North Coast there is the Booti Booti National Park (just south of Forster). This kookaburra didn’t even budge an inch as I went to photograph him.

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Still in NSW but this time down on the South Coast is the beautiful seaside town of Kiama. The wildlife both in the water and the air is stunning. This pelican was stalking his prey in the water.

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Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. While the island has been developed for tourists, it is pretty clear that the wildlife rule the roost. This Australian parakeet was eyeing up my breakfast.

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Off to Japan and in the moat surrounding the Imperial Palace in Kyoto I spotted this white swan cruising alongside his mates, the carp. It rained a lot while we were there.

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Off to Helsinki, Finland, and there is a definite port town feel about this capital. There were several different types of birds flying around the docks and wharves, but it was this seagull that I got mid-flight that I liked the most.

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I have seen swans in many places that I have visited around the world. These ones were gently floating on the lake at Ellesmere in England’s midlands. Their duck brethren were not far behind either.

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Finally in Mexico along the Riviera Maya is the eco-tourist park of Xcaret. The park was established initially as a breeding ground for native fauna and flora, and their bird breeding program is yielding spectacular results. These two Mexican parrots were quite happily perched on their ledge observing us as we walked by.

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The flamingo breeding program was in full swing with nearly 100 birds about. This was the first time that I had ever seen a flamingo, and they are just as striking in real life as they are on documentaries.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme for the final week of 2013.

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Still. I think it is quite appropriate leading up to the quietest night of the year, Christmas Eve, that we are posting photos of stillness (i.e. before the next day’s child mayhem of opening presents). As usual, all the image link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

Starting in Matsumoto, Nagano prefecture, Japan, is the beautiful Matsumoto Castle. In it’s heyday in feudal Japan it was a bustling centre of the Matsumoto Domain. I woke up at 5am to travel nearly three hours from Tokyo to see this castle and it was definitely worth it. Now it lies still away from the centre of the city, with the only movement being tourists gently climbing through it.

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Travelling to Europe, for my 30th birthday my wife and I did a mini road trip through the Champagne region in France. To get there, we chose to travel through the French town of Provins with its medieval castle walls. It was beautiful, and the local markets were in full swing too. Looking out from the walls were the rolling agricultural hills. This cemetery is one that was built to remember those who passed away during the two world wars, and it stands their still in the middle of the fields with the only thing moving being the flag in the wind.

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Across the pond, in the United Kingdom, I found solace on a lone walk with my camera through the English countryside around where my Mother In-Law lives in a tiny place called English Frankton. As the sun was setting the whole area subdued as if getting ready for a night inside. The winding roads in between the hedge rows were quiet, except for the sounds of birds doing their thing.

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Still in England, not long after I got my first digital camera, I went giddy after seeing snow fall late in the evening around where I lived in North Cheshire (just South of Manchester). The yellow street lights gave off an eerie glow. It was cold, and quiet, but beautiful at the same time. This was also the first time I learnt how to use long exposure too. Ah… my trusty old Canon PowerShot G2…

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Coming back home to Australia, this photo of the boat house in Lorne, Victoria (along the Great Ocean Road) would have to be one of my favourites. The water was so still you would swear it was a glass mirror. Great part of the world.

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The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is an interesting historical museum, but the Hall of Memory is truly stunning. It is silent and peaceful, and a fitting dedication to the lives sacrificed.

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The Hunter Valley in NSW is the playground of wine lovers. While lively during the day (with wine lovers chasing as many cellars as they can), at night the valley is peaceful and surreal. This shot of the sun setting is another one of my favourites. The sky came alive! Yet there was no storm or winds, just the stillness of the valley.

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And finishing off, the stillness of Christmas Eve is where this last shot came from.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme this week.

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Delicate. I found this theme tough, because I realised that I don’t shoot delicate “things”. I shoot grand things (architecture and landscape) or things of interest to me, but not delicate. I marvel at the delicate, but not where I shoot the delicate. But here is my crack (and as usual the images link through to my larger photos on Flickr).

Starting in Maui, Hawai’i, USA, is a shrub that can only be found on the slopes of the grand Haleakala volcano – the Silversword. It is a tiny and delicate shrub whose fine leaves are protected by the National Park Rangers and visitors alike. It has a lovely silver hue to it. For the record, the altitude for this shot was over 10,000 ft.

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Moving to the Western side of the Pacific Ocean, and the Western side of the Japanese island of Honshu is the beautiful gold leaf artisans of Kanazawa. It is such a delicate art and the Kanizawa artisans account for 90% of the gold leaf pieces in all of Japan.

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Back home in Australia’s capital of Canberra is the immaculately preserved 1297 copy of the Magna Carta on display in the Parliament House. Not only is the document delicate, but the tenets of what it decrees are so delicate to the protection of a modern liberal society (and is the foundation all modern liberal democratic constitutions). In some respects, this document is more important than the bible.

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This tiny spider was delicately perched in the rain on his (or her) web. I found this one in the shrubs of the coastal bush land at Calalla Bay in Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia.

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Travelling not much further than the city centre of Sydney, Australia was this delicate sculpture promoting a book festival of some kind in the Galleries Victoria. I can imagine that this would have been a bugger to put up and take down. Pretty cool though.

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The annual vivid festival in Sydney, Australia is always a light show feast for the eyes. I loved this delicate (and oversized) chandelier which had the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House. It was almost impossible to shoot without my tripod.

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But the most delicate thing to me (and my wife) is our boy, who we nickname “the Pok”. While he is growing up big and strong (now 3) and not so delicate anymore, I still remember how tiny and fragile he was. This was him some 5 days after he was born, almost like he knew the camera was on him.

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And my wife is awesome with him, when he looks at these photos with me now on the computer he recognises that it is him with his “Mummy”.

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This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Stone. I wanted to nerd out a bit on this post and go through stone and how we have come to use it. As usual, the images in this post link through to my larger photos on Flickr

One of the coolest little road trips we have done is up to a “stone factory”, the Haleakala volcano on Maui island in Hawaii, USA. This was a surprisingly long trip for such a short distance – some 40 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing. We were covered in clouds until we got to the peak and the heavens opened up. Next time I go to Hawaii (and there will be a next time) I am riding up Haleakala and bombing it down. These stones are untouched, and some are very hot!

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The Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia is an epic sight and a cool destination to drive to. The sandstone structures are constantly being pounded by the cold Tasman Sea. Still untouched, as people don’t even attempt to scale these or climb them (not sure if they are even allowed).

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Ubirr in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia is a mythical and magical place. The stones are of large proportion, and not worked by human hands.

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But the original Australians, our indigenous Aboriginal people, over 20,000 years ago (and in some cases older) used these stone overhangs and outcrops to communicate through rock painting the stories of people and “food menus” that showed the best parts of the different animals to eat. The style of “x-ray” painting is unique to the first Australians.

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During the age of antiquity, the Greeks created beautiful and complex structures out of stone. Of all the ancient sights that I visited while working in Athens, Greece, the highlight would have to be Delphi which is the sight of the Oracle. These are the ruins of the temple in which the Oracle issued it’s “findings”.

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The Japanese feudal classes perfected the art of fortification, and the best surviving example would have to be Himeji Castle in the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan. When I say best, this place is awesome! Immaculately preserved and world heritage listed. Himeji was never taken in battle and you can see why from the massive stone foundations and winding staircase to the entrance that would have forced attackers to turn back on themselves several times while under projectile fire. Cool!

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The Old Town of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a beautifully preserved medieval walled town. I could have posted 20 shots for this week’s travel theme, but I chose this one which was down an obscure alley near the main wall. We only had a day to explore this town, wish we had more.

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During it’s heyday in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s (yeah I know I included the depression, but the city built its way out of this depressed period) the construction of New York City, in the USA, incorporated beautiful stone building details. Again I could have included many more shots, but I liked this one of a building near the downtown financial district. The stone relief of the eagle is sharp and distinctive.

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Cool theme, even though I am late to the trot. Check out my fellow bloggers and what they have posted.

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Brown. It was bizarre looking through all my travel photos and noticing how many different shades of brown there were in many shots. Here is my go at this week’s theme, and as usual the images link through to the larger photos on my Flickr site.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on a few Olympic Games events, and lived in Athens, Greece for several months. This beautiful old church in the heart of the old town had beautiful brick and tile work in lovely hues of brown.

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One of the most surprising places to visit in Japan would have to be the old town of Takayama tucked away in the mountains. It’s streets are lined with many traditional wooden Japanese houses in beautiful hues of brown. This isn’t a museum, but a living and thriving town who have preserved their architectural heritage.

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New York City, USA, has the wonderful High Line elevated park that goes between and through buildings. This lovely preserved stain glass and brick wall was one of my favourite sites to see while walking on the park.

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Back home in Queensland, Australia, and the wonderful Fraser Island is a treasure trove of natural beauty. These mushrooms on the forest floor and logs would eventually turn to brown as they decayed and died. Vibrant in life though…

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And Mother Nature won this battle against the ship that strayed to close to the sandy shores. The rusting brown hues shone in many different ways as the sun flickered in and out between the clouds.

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In Victoria, Australia is the lovely Beech Forest on the South-Western coast. This was one of the first photos I posted on my blog, and I still love the strand of bark descending.

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My home state of NSW, Australia, has plenty of natural sites too, whether it is the brown winged kookaburras with their noisy laugh.

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Or brown octopus nestling in the tidal rockpools of Jervis Bay.

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The brown wooden barrels in the cellars of the Hunter Valley wineries have got plenty of yummy stuff hidden in their depths.

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But heaven on earth for me is Port Stephens. I love this shot of the jutting rocks and the pristine water which is sanctuary to the dolphins.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme this week!

 

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Deep. Tough theme to choose photos for, and I think that quite often I am shooting sites that I know have depth lurking behind them. Here is my go (and as usual, all my images link to the larger photos on Flickr).

We visited the Lake District in the English North West for a long weekend at the onset of Winter. The weather was beautiful, but COLD! It was -5 degrees Celcius when we went out for a boat cruise on the beautiful Lake Windemere. The colour of the water was a deep and dark blue, and you definitely couldn’t see the bottom.

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When we went to Chichén Itzá in Mexico, we were amazed at the size and depth of the Sacred Cenote (sinkhole). Much human sacrifice had been made at this pit, and the murkiness of the water adds to the mystery. As if to reinforce its previous use, a large black vulture was standing watch in the trees but I could not capture him through the lens.

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Nearer to home, Jenolan Caves in NSW offers a quite surreal experience buried deep in the Blue Mountains and obviously underground. The different caves are spectacular and quite a sight to shoot with their stalagmites (ascending) and stalagtites (descending) – I think I got that right… or is it the other way around. This ribbon of mineral took thousands of years to form.

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Finally, deep in the heart of Australia’s Northern Territory lies the beautiful Kakadu National Park. The ravines in the rock are hundreds of metres deep and most have not been explored by man. True wild country.

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If you can, check out some of the other Blogger’s posts for this week through the comments section.

 

This week travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack’ is Big. I could have selected a few photos of big things, but you don’t necessarily get the scale from the photo if you were not there. So here is my selection for this week. As usual all the images in my post link through to the larger photos on my Flickr account.

Big things descend upon Sydney all the time. Whether it is fireworks displays, or the Olympic Games (the biggest sporting event in the world). Two that got me shooting was firstly when the RMS Queen Mary 2 came to town. At 345m long, she is bigger than an American aircraft carrier and I had to switch over to my 11-18mm landscape lens just to get her all in the shot. What a big beautiful ship!

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A bit more downscaled, but still big for what it represented was when Lego trees sprouted in Martin Place in Sydney. Big kids (me) and little ones alike enjoyed the spectacle, though my son was too young to understand what he was looking at.

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Still in Australia, I went down to Canberra with a couple of my mates to the Mountain Bike World Championships in 2009 at Mt. Stromlo. This was an awesome event, and the DH was probably the biggest spectacle. I positioned myself at the bottom of this jump where the riders were coming directly at us getting some big air before banking right to continue their downhill run. Wish I had this level of bike handling skill. BTW – if he wiped out I would have been smoked, anything for a good shot.

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Also in Canberra, when my wife was doing her second Gear Up Girl ride with my Aunt, my uncle and I had to kill time and wander around the nation’s capital. We were a bit shocked as we drove away when right above us there was a big collision between two hot air balloons. The blue one lost control and was forced to land in an open paddock – all in slow motion… funny.

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Onto Asia, and we had a fun time visiting Bangkok in Thailand. I was more than happy to stay away from the dodgy tourism with my wife and spend time in the splendid temples. It was very hard capturing the scale of the Big Buddha reclining in its temple. And yes that is all gold leaf.

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Onto Europe, and in particular Greece where I spent some time working on the preparations for the Athens Olympic Games. Venturing from Athens offers some truly beautiful sights. The best island we went to would have to have been Santorini with is massive volcanic caldera that basically destroyed the Minoan culture. To provide a sense of scale, that boat in the middle is not small.

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Over towards the Pelopponese you have to cross the Corinth Canal. To construct this they had to dig a big 6km channel through the ismuth of the landmass. But even though it saves some 700km in travel distance, they did not build it wide enough for modern shipping.

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Finally, when I visited my brother and his wife in Toronto, the first attraction on our list to visit was the big CN tower. At over 550m tall, it wasn’t until Burj Khalifa was constructed that it was surpassed as the world’s tallest tower. The view is awesome from up here, and my son the Pok had great joy walking on the window ledge – much to the panic of his mother (and pride of his father).

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Check out some of the other blog posts at Ailsa’s blog, where you can find them posted in the comments field.

This week travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack’ is Architecture. I have loved this week’s theme, so much that I thought I would do a second post. My first can be found here. As usual the images link through to the larger photos on Flickr.

This first photo is of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Monument in Washington, D.C., USA. This monument, unlike many of the others in the capitol, is one of beautiful landscape architecture that was designed as a place that the long passed president would have himself enjoyed. It is not a monument in memory of military sacrifice, and it does not impose a sense of awe in visiting the capitol of the global superpower that is the U.S.A. Instead, it is secluded tranquility on a human scale.

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On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in France is the town of Troyes. It is a gloriously preserved medieval town and is a showcase of the Aube département. The town centre is a beautiful and living example of medieval architecture with all the exposed timbers and crooked buildings. There is awesome eating too, with the region’s specialty being andouille sausage on many a restaurant menu. I wish we had spent more time here, would definitely go back.

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Back in North America, and when we visited my brother and his wife in Toronto, Canada we had a lot of opportunity to explore the nation’s biggest city. There are quite a few architectural gems in Toronto (not to mention the MASSIVE CN Tower), but my favourite piece would have to be the modern facade for the Royal Ontario Museum. The museum itself is pretty cool with some interactive displays that my son, The Pok, enjoyed trying to destroy.

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I love visiting Japan, and you could write constantly an entire blog on Japanese architecture and design. Tokyo itself is just epic. This building though is unique even for Tokyo. I have been unable to find out details of what is inside or who owns it other than what appears to be three letters on the upper facade spelling out NOA. It is one of my most popular photos on Flickr.

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We went to a few countries on our honeymoon, and one of the coolest cities we have ever traveled to would have to be Tallinn in Estonia. The old town is amazing, and only a quick walk from the ferry stop. But it wasn’t the many old buildings that caught my eye, but this small office building with its supports for its cantilevered upper floors. Cool, cool, cool.

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Singapore, Asia’s island city state, is exploding in new construction and its economy is booming. I have been so many times that I have lost count (as it is a good intermediate stopover on the way from Australia to Europe). The architecture of the Marina Bay Sands building is on epic proportions. The overall design is relative simple, and it produces some striking lines that fill the lens.

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Across the road from the new huge glistening hotel is another beautiful but more modern piece of landscape architecture, the Gardens by the Bay. I have blogged about this place before, even so the mega trees are cool.

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I used to work for an American software company and this involved annual training trips to the USA, particularly Silicon Valley in California. Driving past the Oracle Headquarters is pretty impressive. The campus of towers is gleaming over a lake, and the cylindrical shapes have a dual meaning as the architectural symbol for a database is a cylinder. The window cleaning here must be some job.

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England is a treasure trove of Architecture through the ages, and Shrewsbury in the midlands is a prime example of a town where you see a lot of architectural history in one place. The old town, not too dissimilar to Troyes, is well preserved and I love the exposed dark wooden beams against the white plaster walls. Many of these old buildings have new modern businesses now occupying them and plying their trade.

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Shanghai in China was one of the other major destinations on our honeymoon, and it was a bit overwhelming to say the least. I think China is moving so rapidly economically that people are forgetting the cultural challenge of maintain a link to the past while accommodating the demands for growth of the future. This shot for me typifies the architectural mish-mash that is Shanghai.

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San Francisco, in California U.S.A, is one cool city. It is vibrant and hip, and this is reflected in the “Painted Ladies” opposite Alamo Square – a set of terrace houses beautifully maintained and not far away from the city centre. I hope that they are earthquake proof.

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My final shot is from the small town of Porvoo in Finland, about an hour out from Helsinki. The town is famous for the row of red painted houses by the river and its church. The houses were painted in honour of a visit by the King of Sweden back some time in the 19th century. While not architecturally stunning, I think it is quite unique for the country.

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Why have so many of my photos from my travel’s got grey sky? No fair weather exploring for this traveler.

I have really enjoyed this week’s travel theme, hence my two goes at it. Check out some of the other posts that you can find posted in the comments by the other bloggers.

On a side note, since blogging my Flickr account photo views have shot up. I have now had over 10,000 photo views and it is climbing rapidly. This amateur photographer is quite happy about that.

 

This week travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack’ is Architecture. What a tough challenge this week. Not because I don’t shoot architecture photos, but because I shoot WAY too many architecture photos. My wife often complains when we travel that I have taken another photo of a building. But the challenge for me is that I am an engineer of the built environment by profession. I see beauty in the design and construction of buildings and the myriad of materials that are used to realise the architect’s vision. Often, my favourite architectural images are obscure buildings that are not known globally, but are striking in their design.

But given the number of “architecture” photos I have shot, I think I have to do this in two parts.

This first photo is from the Olympic Park in Athens, that I took at the time of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work on the games and see Santiago Calatrava’s handiwork in the flesh. This is the modern interpretation of the ancient Greek agora – or marketplace.

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Next, in Southeast Asia is Thailand’s absolutely gorgeous national treasure known as the Royal Palace. It is a place of religious worship as well. When we went it was not long after some internal political strife that scared the tourists away. This allowed me to take so many shots of the Palace grounds without many other tourists in the shots. The tile work and gold leaf gilding the towers is absolutely stunning and almost too much to take in.

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Closer to home, in Australia, on the Northern New South Wales coast is the small town of Bellingen (not too far away from Coffs Harbour). What I found unique about this town was the Art Deco buildings that lined the main street, a perfect compliment to the local artisans who also ply their trades in the town. Even though the many of the buildings have modern fixtures and fittings, the locals make a very big effort to maintain the essence of the buildings as seen below.

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Further South in the Australian capital city of Canberra is our national parliament house. When the old parliament house exceeded its useful life, a new design was done by  Italian architect Romaldo Giurgola with the assistance of landscape architect Peter G. Rolland. What I find unique about this building is that it was built into our capitol hill, and sunk underneath. It blends in with the land, and while massive I think typifies the Australian ethos of being one with the land and the desire to protect our environment. It is both a simple and complex design at the same time.

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Further South still in the city of Melbourne, Victoria is Federation Square. This set of buildings at the heart of the city features what I think is one of the most complex geometric facades on any building that I have seen with the “fractal” tiles arranged in an aperiodic tiling pattern. It was controversial at the time of construction, but what a building!

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Back to Asia and the Hong Kong skyline is dominated by one of the new kids on the block, the International Finance Centre Tower number 2. It is huge! At 420m tall, it is only the second tallest building in Hong Kong – but for my money it is the most elegant. Christopher Nolan thought it was suitable enough for a certain caped crusader to launch from. Walking next to it is certainly a humbling experience.

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Further East of China is the medieval gem that is Himeji Castle, in Japan. It is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the most stunning example of Japanese military architecture. It was never taken by siege. It is known as either the White Egret Castle or White Heron Castle. The six storey central keep is imposing over the cityscape of Himeji, and when I wandered through the castle grounds it was like stepping back in time to feudal Japan.

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Still in Japan but on the Western side of Honshu is the coastal city of Kanazawa. Also a city of artisans, arriving at the train station one is greeted by the modern day interpretation of a Japanese mon (or gate). The wooden construction is huge and elegant at the same time. I wish more train stations were as beautiful as this one.

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Continuing with the train station theme is the art nouveau design of Helsinki, Finland’s Central Railway Station. Its imposing figures holding aloft their globes are classic in their designs, and the building’s clock tower is beautiful. It was designed by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen back in 1909. I would love to see more new buildings constructed with this level of detail and design, but the period and style is probably lost to time.

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I lived in Paris, France for a while back in 2004 and I could have pulled up any number of buildings for this post. But I chose a set of buildings that reflect a lost architectural direction of its era. The Forum des Halles in the 1er arrondissement of Paris is a collection of architecturally designed buildings built on the site of the old Paris markets. But they have remained soulless since their construction in the 1980s. The site is currently being redeveloped, but it still represents an attempt at architectural rebirth that is odd, but striking… in my opinion. What I love about the French is that they are not scared of attempting to reinvent their future, while still respecting the past history.

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Staying with the French speaking world, but on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean is the city of Montreal. Montreal is FUN! I can only imagine what it would be like to get up to mischief in Montreal without a 2 year old in tow. Another city of artisans, where there are numerous examples of architectural wonder. One highlight for me was the Palais de Congrès and Mario Saia’s multi-coloured glass facade. Big and bold.

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Lastly in North America, one cannot travel to New York and not be knocked over by the plethora of architecture on display. But the architectural heart and soul of New York would have to be the Rockefeller Center. It is a complex of 19 buildings, which at the center is dominated by the GE Building at 30 Rock. On our last trip to New York, my wife gave me a pass out to do the internal tour of the Rockefeller Center and I must have shot at least 400 photos of the building. This shot is simply the tower and its stepped sides.

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More to come in part two.

This week travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack’ is Wild. While I am not one to get out in the middle of a tempest and start shooting, I do like getting out into the wild and natural landscapes and capture the wild beauty. I could have chosen from a whole heap of photos from my travels overseas, but for this post I have decided to showcase my home country – Australia. The land down under is so naturally beautiful and wild at its very core. Our forests are harsh bush landscapes with wild shrubs and flowers, and the animals are venomous, poisonous, and dangerous – wild! As usual, all the images below link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

One of the most stunning places in all of Australia to visit is the Twelve Apostles off the Southern coast of Victoria along a road aptly named the Great Ocean Road. There are not twelve of the sandstone rocky outcrops any more as a result of the constant battering from the relentless surf. I got lucky with the sunset having camped out for over an hour with the tripod just waiting for the sun to set.

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Closer to home, for my wife’s 30th birthday we spent a weekend up in the Blue Mountains some 60km West of Sydney. The Blue Mountains are stunning, and it strange to be so close to wild bushland. You don’t have to go far off the track to be surrounded by wild Australian flowers.

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Still in NSW but further South in Kangaroo Valley is the Illawarra Treetops park in the middle of a temperate Australian rainforest. As if to reinforce the prehistoric roots of the Australian bush, ferns still flourish in the Australian bush. I loved how when walking on the floor of the forest the path was silhouetted by sunlight shining through ferns.

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But probably the wildest place that we have been to in Australia would have to be Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. Kakadu is pure outback and wild to the core with crocodiles, snakes, and all sorts. But it is so beautiful. We went to Ubirr to see the old Aboriginal rock paintings that are tens of thousands of years old, only to get there you have to walk past characters like this guy – he wasn’t THAT big.

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Hidden in their mounds all over the place are the wild termites. To put it in perspective, this mound was probably double my height and all the constructed by the handiwork of the little insects.

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I was fortunate to have had the opportunity of going barramundi fishing at Yellow Water in Kakadu in the middle of crocodile infested waters. Sunrise over the wetlands was surreal and quiet. With the sun rising came the heat and wildlife waking up to the day.

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Sunset over Yellow Water hid what was underneath the surface (quite a few crocs). Later on the evening that I took this shot a wicked lightning storm rolled in, the clouds were the early warning.

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We also had the opportunity to go for a helicopter flight over Kakadu and it is truly awe inspiring to see the raw landscape. What I only found out from the chopper pilot for the first time is the fact that Kakadu is larger in area than the country of Switzerland. This shot of the wetlands was taken at the very end of the wet season – I can’t imagine what it would look like during the height of the wet season.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme this week. Check out some of the other posts from my fellow bloggers where they have posted links to their blogs in the comments.

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