Castle hill

Castle hill

Back to Northumbria today, and this castle on top of a hill. I forget the name of it to be honest…and though I could work my way back through blog posts and location itineraries to establish where it is it’s probably not worth it. The important things are int he title. It’s a castle…it’s on a hill.

My work here is done.

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Liberty

Liberty

This reminded me of the Status of Liberty when I saw it. Part of me wants to play a game where you get to guess where this is featured…the other part assumes that nobody will ever get the answer, so I may as well tell you. If you want to keep guessing, don’t read ahead :)

So, this was a feature at the high end of a wall as it turned into the ceiling in the Opera house in Paris. It’s a great building with amazing architecture and is full of intricate details such as this.

Take a moment when you are in any location to have a proper look around at the detail. Look up, look down, look behind. You’ll be amazed by what you see.

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Into darkness

Into darkness

Here’s a set of stairs, with a little editing, that were taken at a great venue in Nara, Japan.

Japan seems like it was so long ago now. This has been an awesome year for travel, and my quest to go to a foreign country every month is coming along nicely, we’re eight months in to the year and I’ve visited nine countries…and I haven’t been on holiday in August yet.

This will change tomorrow when Conor and I head off to the Balkans to drive around a couple of other countries – hopefully bringing my tally up to at least 12 in 8 months.

I’m not going to be doing much travel next year, by comparison to this year any way, so it’s great to get to see so many countries month after month. I’m having a blast. Any suggestions of where to spend Christmas this year are very welcome :)

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Sycamore

Sycamore

I really enjoyed my time in Northumberland earlier this year.

After establishing that this National Park would be our location for a week of driving around and taking photos, I took to the internet to find potential shooting locations and stumbled across this tree, which was featured in the 1991 movie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

So, donning our best middles ages garb we headed off to find the tree and re-enact a few scenes from this classic movie while singing Bryan Adams at the top of our voices.

Okay, that’s not quite how it happened. We trundled along up and down the hills for a while, found the tree, waited for a few other people to swan off, and grabbed a few images without Bryan Adams entering our minds.

I wish I had climbed it now though.

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Make Moments

Make Moments

I took this image over the weekend as I wandered around shooting with my iPhone and a couple of new smart phone lenses from Moment.

The lenses were purchased a while ago via Kickstarter and delivered last week…just in time for my trip to the Balkans. One lens is a 60mm tele, and the second is an 18mm wide – it was the wide lens that I used to take the shot above.

Of course, the lens only helped in getting more into the frame…it was an app that made it into a long exposure, and during the lengthy shoot time I had also been making use of another Kickstarter backed product, the Pocket Tripod in order to keep the phone steady.

Once back at home I took the JPG through Photomatix and into Photoshop to play around with it a little, but essentially what you see here is the result of an iPhone shot. Here’s the original straight out of the camera:

straight out of camera

To give you an idea of how each of the lenses differ in comparison to the regular iPhone camera, here’s look at images taken with the lenses and the camera all from the same spot. First up is the 18mm, then the iPhone camera without any additional lenses, and then the 60mm.

18mm
iphone
60mm

The lenses are super small and attach to the back of the phone after you have put on a thin mount plate (which remains on your phone at all times). I get a very slight vignette in a couple of the corners on the wide lens, possibly due to my mounting of the backplate – though it looks perfectly aligned to me.

They come with a simple carry pouch which should stop them from getting scratched while they are being carried around, however neither lens comes with a lens cap so time will tell if that becomes an issue. I noted several times when removing them from the pouch I put my grubby little fingers directly on the glass so had to give them a clean before I could use them…a cap would prevent me from doing that.

The lenses cost $100 for the two…slightly more now they are out of Kickstarter and accepting pre-orders. I can see myself using them quite a bit as they are so easy to carry around…even if it is going to be purely for my Instagram.

Caledonian Clock Tower

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Death Star

This was taken a long time ago, or so it seems, in Wales last year. It was an extremely windy evening and I was attempting to capture the moon with a long lens on my Sony NEX-7 as it peeked out between some clouds.

Hope you have a great weekend.

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Pivot

Pivot

I can’t decide if this building is slightly askew…or at least if my image of it is.

I’ve used lots of guides in Photoshop and they all seem to indicate the the relevant lines are straight, but as I look at it I can’t help but think it’s every so slightly off.

Part of it may be due to the building on the right going behind it rather than providing some white space like the building on the left…not sure.

Pretty frustrating though.

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