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art, black and white, monochrome, photography, photos, places, Red Shed; Rye; East; Sussex; East Sussex; Rye Nature Reserve; england; nature; outdoors; travel; travel destination; travel image; uk; united kingdom, travel
Bay of Plenty Photo Tours, brian scantlebury, ideas, mount maunganui, photo tour, photography, photos, places, Rotorua, sunset, tauranga, Tauranga Photo Tours, Tauranga photographer, travel, www.brianscantlebury.com
Tauranga customised photo tour starts today (Sept 18) with airport collection about midday.
I have designed a personalised tour focusing on landscapes and night shoots commencing in Rotorua for the first afternoon then shifting to Tauranga.
A stop in bottom of Pyes Pa Gorge Road on way to Tauranga for some long exposure shots round off the afternoons shooting.
Morning beach sunrises, bush walks, waterfalls, and evening harbour and night lights shoots will follow over 4 days. We’ll throw in travelling in a vintage Ford Model T for a visit to a kiwifruit orchard, its pruning season, so not most interesting time but expect to see workers in action, and a cruise across, and around, Lake Rotoiti in a vintage boat with fish and chips lunch.
So here’s a little summary of the tour. It’s fair to say it went really well. We covered a lot of territory in the days available, we were able to share photography techniques, see some new ones tried and in the evenings look into expanding the use of Lightroom by a better understanding of some of its features.
Early morning, blue hour at Mount Maunganui;
Lex sets up for a shot of stream while Lex and Eric take in the view.
Lex lines up a log and casts a long shadow.
Then off to see a kiwifruit orchard in 1930’s Ford. Stopping by the orchard outhouse for workers.
At the Bridge Marina for our last dinner together when we caught this little tacker on a scooter.
Four days, a great range of photo opps, and the chance to utilise a range of photographic techniques – a great few days.
These and a selection of other images can be seen at www.brianscantlebury.com
A rushed drive from Delphi to Athens, deliver the car and and get to airport to fly to the island of Skiathos started our time heading for our Greek island experience.
In all we will spend near three weeks on the three “postcard” islands of Skiathos, Santorini and Naxos.
First Skiathos, a typically Greek/Mediterranean island, (really, the second of the 4 for us including a short visit to Hydra), is a relaxed and popular place for tourists.
As always there are some thrills, some issues and some fun and lots more of photographic images to share than can be included in these blogs.
Walking the streets, lanes and beaches of these islands provides lots of photographic opportunities.
A few facts, Skiathos is one of the northern Sporades group in the Aegean with a current population of abut 8,000, is recognized as a party island with tourist numbers said to reach up to 70,000 at a time. Its known for its beaches, olives and is very green compared to the mainland.
Walking the streets for a meal you’ll come across large trays of whole fish packed in ice, ready for your selection for dinner. This was along waterfront restaurants on Skiathos.
Though some of these shots show empty streets, July & August are the hot months, both from point of view of tourists and temperatures which have been well up into the 30’s.
The sky’s have never had a cloud in them and the sunrises and sunsets are intense, especially on Santorini. The Greeks are on holiday too, and swelling the numbers of tourists and those returning home from the mainland, so hectic is the way here at this time of the year. Many heading to the beaches to hire a deckchair and umbrella, bare some flesh and darken their skin a little as well as bathe in the luke warm Mediterranean water and sipping the odd cocktail in between.
Dining on these islands offers great variety. From the rip sh.. and bust fries with everything including your Greek salad (excuse the mild exaggeration)to really lovely “fine dining” restaurants.
Luckily we spent our time here with a group of great friends who ensured we dined in splendor.
Our hotel at Santorini, our next stop, deliberately chosen to be out of the two main touristic hotspots of Ia and Fira is just the best. The Ampelonas Apartments, it turns out is situated at the highest point of Santorini. And it it is a lovely comfortable and well run property. Sunsets and sunrises without moving (other than to wait 10 hours and turnaround that is), quite unique.
And turnaround – 10 hours later;
Another Santorini sunset, with silhouetted thistles
This is an island in the Cyclades group. Has a resident population around 16,000 before tourists arrive. Grow grapes and olives and is comprised essentially of the 2 cities (Ia and Fira or in their alternative spelling Oia or Thira) built on the caldera.
From our hotel in Imerovigla its only about 20 minutes walk to Fira, one of the 2 postcard style towns and the capital of the island, and about 30 minutes bus or taxi (a story about this later) ride to Ia (or Oia).
So to Naxos on the ferry. Hell just getting on and off this this thing is an experience. The mayhem of Greek organisation seems at it peak in this exercise. No signage for the hordes to work out when or where to move, just people shouting unintelligible instructions, men in uniforms blowing whistles and waving their arms while the aspiring travellers rush about in some form of unmitigated confusion and chaos. Somehow most seem eventually to make it. A bit like the bus timetables, a lower level of chaos, but then often the bus will depart 5+ minutes early, so don’t arrive bang on time and expect to be on. That it seems to me is high -risk strategy.
Like the others the island of Naxos comprises historic buildings and not so historic presented for the tourists, separated by narrow stone paved lanes with those white painted mortar patterns.
Along with the flowering bougainvillea, the oleanders, the wild figs and olive plantations cats abound. Little wonder there’s no birds or wildlife to speak of. They are everywhere and if you look, they are usually in multiples.
But our find in Naxos was in form of a very pleasant and helpful guide, Stuart Thorpe,
There’s little sign of any industry that’s not tourism or olive related, but this old abandoned industrial building just out of Chalki (or Halki) caught my eye as we walked between a couple of villages with Stuart.
Thanks to Stuart, we got to out of the way villages, a Byzantine church in a paddock somewhere and an authentic lunch up in the hills at a family run taverna. The owners quickly prepared a range of dishes we shared. All the produce was grown on their own small farm. A great experience and one to be recommended if you are seeking a bit more than the typical tourist.
Below, the remains of our multi course meal.
Rapidly modernizing and billed as one of worlds fastest growing cities, Qatar’s Doha is filled with some amazing contrasts and photogenic opportunities. The buildings are stylish and modern, the institutions are magnificent and history is incredible.
There are so many “top 10 things to see in Doha” and its not that big so many places and landmarks repeat, but just few images from our flying visit. And there’s a few more at Doha images
Museum of Islamic Arts is an impressive building from outside, above palm lined entrance ramp and below the entrance foyer with its dramatic circular staircase. One side of the staircase and the floor, ceiling and lighting patterns make a complex architectural vision.
From the Corniche promenade through an opening in one of the pieces of public art, to Al Dafna, the business district across Doha Bay.
One of the traditional style fishing dhow now used for tourist cruises,
Karak, traditional sweetened coffee drink in Qatar served at this little cafe in Katara Cultural Village. Waiters ready for next order to be served through window.
Simple effect of this Islamic architecture in white with red and blue seats above and the modern urban architecture of Al Dafna, the business district of Doha. New construction is underway everywhere you turn.
Completed about 2006 The Pear-Qatar, an up-market residential development with marina for residents.
Who go to the trouble to build such imposing structures just fors flock or two of pigeons?
In the Katara Cultural village, Doha, that’s what they have done, said to be of Arab/Islamic heritage.
Dhow rigging along the Corniche.
Everything imaginable can be purchased at Souq Waqif, clothes, fabrics, perfumes, cage birds, falcons, spices and on and on. A colourful and vibrant place every evening.
Some night scenes around the souq below.
A man and his bird.
The desert animal, camel ready here for tourist rides.
And riding in the shadow.
As already stated the are a few more images from around Doha, click here; images
Wandering the Corniche, a drive through Al Dafna and some of the new up-market residential areas such as the Pearl-Qatar, a night and dinner at Souq Waqif, the museums and a trip into the desert all worth the effort that will provide those lasting memories and photos we all seek. Many would say the massive shopping malls are a must, I’m not so sure, but over to you.
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Next stop – Athens.
Stock photos, digital downloads across all genres at prices you find find anywhere for less.
Take a look and see if I’m right, see if you can challenge my claim, for top quality photographic images. I love a challenge so if you can let me know. http://www.brianscantlebury.com
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The thing about Borneo is the fantastic range of every natural thing. The smallest animals, the most colorful birds, the most unusual plant life and weirdest and wonderful of insects.
Fireflies do the aerial dance while spotters from back of safari vehicle or from river boat point their spotlights high into the tall trees that are the Borneo rain-forest. All the while looking to get a glimpse of something looking back that would encourage stopping to investigate further. Few birds and owls have been close enough to photograph and then at Bukit Pitoh after virtually nothing for 2+ hours, a slow loris.
This cute thing barely 20 cm long clinging to tree about 20 metres up with great big eyes.
Although we’ve seen a number of orangutan high up, surrounded and camouflaged by leaves of trees and usually cleverly back-lit by setting sun, it’s beginning to look like we will not get a decent photographable look at them in the wild. Just our luck! We see a couple building their beds (nests) for the night and watched them climb in and go to sleep, about 500 metres away in the forest canopy.
And, the next morning, I was lucky enough to get off the vehicle and go leech-evading, well nearly, clambering through jungle following one of the amazing primates hoping to get closer with the good people at Bukit Piton. It was fun though I did cop a leech or two while clever man of the forest kept right on swinging away, looking back at us periodically but staying just far enough to make a photograph problematic.
A morning trip to Taliwas lake and forest was organised by bikeandtours.com for our last day in Lahad Datu. With our bird guide and 3 local rangers we trudge through jungle seeing small critters and a few birds. Lovely forest and good exercise!
At Sukau on the Kinabatangan River the night cruise along the river edge yields a few interesting birds and on the day cruises we find monkeys, a snake and birds high up or flying overhead.
Our guide Othman continues explaining the differences between similar bird species and the traditional uses the natural fauna was once put to. Everything imaginable including cooling you down in the heat to giving any blood-sucking swine of leach that attaches itself you a real hurry-up and a leaf that was the original curry.
With over 700 bird species we were never going to see the lot. Compare that with the less than 200 we have in NZ.
It’s on Tuesday 21st, the very time we are due for our afternoon river cruise (that’s their fancy name for getting in a long dinghy and being propelled by an outboard) that thunder has struck with rain so heavy it could knock me over. However, we’re back on for night cruise. Screaming up the river in the black night cluttered with small and even bigger logs and clumps of water hyacinth keeps us mere mortal passengers on edge. We end up in an amazing tributary spotting some more sleeping tiny birds.
We move on to Sepilock Rainforest Edge Resort. Really lovely place. With orangutan and sun bear recovery centres and Rain-forest Discovery Centre nearby.
A night walk first up. Snakes, spiders, including tarantula and scorpion, long-legged centipedes and some weird millepedes included
Next morning about 6.30 I decide to head off solo on a handy bush walk. All pretty basic until I hear all this crashing and smashing in the tree canopy. Orangutans, several, what a thrill. Unfortunately, it takes half a morning for camera lenses to stop fogging after a night in airconditioned comfort so the photos are crap. An exiting experience though.
Turtle Island is our next stop.
Variety applies to everything in Borneo, no more so than to the islands flora.
There are 32 tribes and 70 odd dialects on Sabah that is about 25% size of New Zealand.
Some of the people we “met”.
From the white coral sand tropical beaches to 3rd world urban cities and the steaming dense jungles the landscapes of Borneo express the diversity that makes this country what it is.
And the seemingly endless oil palm plantations. The good news is, unlike other countries, Sabah has now stopped the spread of these plantations in a conservation effort. There is to be no more natural habitat destruction.
The sun sets on the tip of Borneo, the northern-most point of the island.
We certainly leave with the feeling we did didn’t get more than a taste of what is offered here, and I know that the best, the most colourful birds, the large range of cats including the clouded leopard, the small large animals, elephants and the incredible flora has still to be experienced.
And I haven’t mentioned the shopping malls of Kota Kinabalu, or the cuisine or the myriad of other experiences including our crooked guide and the actions that were required rectifying his influence on our trip. Those are stories for another time.
And there is amazing wildlife and rain-forest conservation going on now here in Sabah, while plastic and litter sickeningly clogs the sea and covers the beaches. Typically 3rd world I guess. Just wish those who seek to signal their virtue by telling us all how to manage our lives would actually make a real effort to help sort out the genuine problems in places like this. that would take action, not just words, though wouldn’t it?
Cloud around Mt Kinabalu at sunset.
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Borneo, jungles, beaches and wildlife; a photographers dream. And we are expecting an experience like no other.
Borneo, the world’s third largest island. About 3 x size NZ and headed-off by Greenland and New Guinea. It is best known for its ancient 165 million years they say), bio-diverse rain-forest (15,000 plant species) , home to and incredible array of wildlife (over 1,4000 animal species) including the man of the forest, orangutans. But that is only the start.
Leaving Auckland incurs about a 40 minute delayed departure on 8 May. That’s traveling for you, and the first of a series of minor hiccups.
We arrive on May 8th. The Tawau forecast is for thunder storms, we fly though and above cloud and mist from KL the predicted weather does not eventuate.
Looking down on expanse of oil palm plantation through a break in cloud as we arrive.
Our bags though decide they want a holiday on their own and head off somewhere else. We’ve sent the search party out hoping to find, apprehend and return asap. Let’s hope, at least I have my cameras.
We are met by Zahari our naturalist photographer guide at airport 40 minutes late, but he turns out to be the nice guy we expected. He gets us to the Shervinton for or first night. A “flash on-the-outside but rough-as-guts on the inside joint”. Guess that’s the standard for the next 3 weeks but we didn’t come here for the hotels.
Tawau is a typically Asian city but with less motorbikes. The 3rd largest city in Sabah – Malaysian Borneo.
Earning a living. Row of umbrella protected shoe repair and second hand sales operators on street in Tawau and in local food market below.
From Tawau we head to Semporna and our first resort. Lato Lato is a built on stilts resort that looks spectacular as we approach by boat. It touches no land but the shallow coral seabed where the stilts made out of slim tree trunks (I’m told they are ironwood, never rot and as hard as hell, but never-the less a little spindly looking) a bit like old fashioned fence post.
Through the chalet window at Lato Lato looks relaxing and wonderful, but this belies the underlying story.
We check in and head to our room. Kind of unprepared for this we were. The room is rustic, but without charm, the bathroom has a dunny, no seat, a bucket and ladle as a substitute for a shower. a tap, a shower-head for appearances sake cos it ain’t plumbed. But something even more interesting, as we walked the gangplank, so to speak, to get here I noticed the external plumbing and wondered where the waste went. Looked specifically at ours and it appeared to terminate about where the tidal level then. We did a wee test, flushed the loo, and voila into the tide she flowed.
Hmm, went back to our guide and explained that we would not stay in that room and explained the environmental concerns we had. All denied, until we said we would photograph another test. Change of mind occurs, oh yes you right comes an admission, the tradie hasn’t quite finished comes the excuse, we’ll shift you.
Mattered not really, because it wasn’t long before someone else was checked into that room. uuggh. Temps are about 30+f, humidity about 500 and only a fan to cool us during any time we spent in our room.
Tall palm trees on one of the Semporna islands we visit.
Children of sea-gypsies we pass visiting some minute tropical Semporna islands see us approach and paddle out in their little boats in hope of receiving some gifts.
Sea-gypsie mother and two small children peer out at us from window of their boat off a Semporna Marine Park island.
Decided to check out a day early from this place, the Lato Lato Resort.
Idyllic tropical sunrise from Lato Lato Resort, on the morning we leave, Sabah Borneo,
Our guide had to find somewhere else. we end up at an expensive but very nice Hawag Danum Valley Resort in the middle of the jungle.
It’s expensive, but lovely. aircon and a nice clean room. It’s a package deal, so we get their guides to handle us for our stay. Sagely, we’re advised to buy some leach socks.
Dumb Kiwi’s that we are we put these big baggy things on, as you do, under your trousers, then to to meet our guide who asks if we have leach socks. proudly we say yes, pull up our trouser legs and display them. Laughs from our guide, and no doubt others standing around as its explained you put them on the outside and tie them below the knee, well we had that right).
Off we set, very soon to learn the importance of these things. By the time we get home the blood sucking leaches had beaten the socks and found ways to attach themselves all over us. Deprived of lots of blood and being in a place with no alcohol (that’s a blood substitute I’d always believed) we had to re-calibrate our expectations.
Although we spend 2.5 days being leached every which way (and i mean that) this was to turn out to be a beaut experience.
Dinner then a night drive. Bumping along a dusty on back of a ute with a couple of spotlight wielding spotters and our guide we look for critters under the trees, in the trees and flying about.
Venomous wrangler pit viper in Borneo in rain-forest, Sabah.Danum Valley.
Brown wood owl high in tree in Borneo Rainforest, Danum Valley, Sabah
File-eared tree frog in Borneo rainforest at in Danum Valley, Sabah.
There’s a long story to be told here, but that best left for a separate blog, or another time. It involves our guide, a few lies, and the police. enough said, but it becomes important to dump him.
albatross, Anatoki, art, Christchurch, city at night, costume, Desert Road, display, fashion, Kaikoura, lake, landscape, Marlborough Sounds, night scene, Parliament, Picton, QT Museum Hotel, Rangatikei River, Rangitikei, river, road trip, salmon farming, Te Papa, Tekapo, travel, Wellington, WOW
First night en-route to Wellington we stop at Taihape – wow. To get there we took State Highway 1 through the Desert Road.
A rustic kinda evening ensues as we checked into the River Valley Adventure Lodge. The workers shed somehow shows the rustic nature that is the lodge experience.
The lodge, on Rangitkei River is base for river rafting, kayaking and horse trekking. Some beautiful though raw scenery surrounds the lodge.
The rushing river and spring cherry blossom flowers create further contrasts for this memorable stop-over.
Then on to Wellington and WOW, and a couple of days drifting around our capital.
You will recognise these buildings for sure.
WOW was an experience, even for a women’s fashion numb-skull like me. Our hotel, the Museum Hotel had this piece on display from an earlier WOW event.
The hotel is a really nice property. Shame they see it worthwhile to practice the small minded surcharge on use of credit cards, regardless of their not insignificant tariff.
If I return I’ll seriously consider paying in cash, and then see them incur some real handling and banking costs, but under their policy, I won’t. Now got that off my chest!
Wellington at night.
Had time to drop into Te Papa. Below a couple “engaging” with one of the vibrant installations.
See more Wellington images; https://www.brianscantlebury.com/New-Zealand-Town-and-country/Wellington-Capital-City/
Then we headed to South Island on the Bluebridge ferry. Passengers enthralled by and photographing the Marlborough Sounds as we head for Picton. As well as the dramatic scenery, salmon farming set-ups are part of the landscape.
Something to consider on this service, there is no access to the bow, so travellers can only look at where they’ve been, not where they are going.
Picton waterfront after dark.
Stunning spring tree colours, as we head towards Farewell Spit, appear more like autumn lining dry river bed.
A night at the golden beach of Kaiteriteri offers some evening shots and sunrise next morning.
The blue hour over the bay, then the sun breaches the horizon.
Driving the highway through Takaka this rustic old farm shed under a gum tree has become a landmark
Braeburn Track, Lake Rotoroa lush green New Zealand native beech forest in Nelson Lakes National Park
Natural fresh clean water flowing through and around granite boulders through lush green New Zealand bush.
White buildings one each side of straight road passing between buildings and leading to distant hills in vintage style image at the Sunday Creek turn-off.
Anatoki, definitely worth a visit.
Father and two sons fishing in small picturesque lake, Anatoki in South Island New Zealand.
Anatoki River surrounded by dense bush and southern mountains.
Vineyards in Marlborough, you can’t go here without a wine stop or two. Long rows of springtime growth across flat fields running to foothills in distance
Possibly the world’s most photographed tree; “That Wanaka Tree”, willow tree growing in lake is popular tourist scene in long exposure with sunset colors reflected from snow covered mountains behind. Instagram “thatwanakatree”
More of the natural beauty of Lake Whakatipu, with jumping platform just of the shore in alpine Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island.
Collection of heritage signs and buildings brought together as tourist stop-off point on highway at Burke’s Pass.
iconic Church of Good Shepherd and tourists on a low Lake Tekapo
Two young women travelers in distance, walking on flat mud-rock ledge on Kaikoura coast
Seabirds, albatross just some of the wildlife of Kaikoura coast
Christchurch, post quake a new city landscape emerges with some remarkable new architecture
The night offers just so many photographic opportunities. Ever noticed that when you are out? Too busy, to preoccupied to to notice.?
When it comes to urban lights there is so much to capture, they are all around you in a city, just stand back and take a look and you can’t help but be inspired.
Here’s a short long exposure Tauranga urban lights series. All available click urban lights
Night lights on railway bridge built in 1928, crosses the Tauranga Harbour joining downtown Tauranga to the Matapihi peninsula.
Night lights and sky on railway bridge pedestrian path and distant lights of Maungatapu.
Night lights and sky on the curving bridge moon above calm harbour.
Lights from Tauranga Harbour Bridge from Sulphur Point to Mount Maunganui illuminate night sky and reflect in long streams across harbour.harbour
Zoom blur effect adds an abstract or ethereal feel to bridge lights
Glow and sparkle of port container terminal lights viewed from Tauranga Harbour Bridge and surrounds illuminate night sky and harbour
Urban transport route, night scene sparkling lights and trails from moving vehicles on Tauranga Harbour bridge crossing.
Just a short long exposure series of Tauranga harbour lights.
Walking around Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek one can come across it city’s old railway station. Now a museum with the old ticket/reservations office and station along with a range of the rolling stock and associated historic rail items.
This short series will appeal especially to anyone with an interest in rail, especially historic rail stock.
Pretty much “steampunk” these days.
Close-up freight cart wheelOld steam boiler, casing, piles and valves in sepia tone.
Railway freight cart