Had some real fun putting together another book project in Aussie on the Gold Coast.
A private home with the feel of comfort and relaxation but also one the most amazing collections of memorabilia, antiques and Australiana ever put together presented a little challenge that resulted in what I hope is an outcome to be proud of.
It was a real pleasure to spend 2 – 3 hours photographing for this book. and then putting it together over the next day or two. Hope you like the outcome as much as I do.
Ford Tickford and Datsun Fairlady, note the number plates.
Items and collections can be found in all parts of the garden strategically placed, around and throughout the home.
I’m often told photography is a wonderful way the preserve memories and recollections of places, activities or properties that we have and that we’d love to share or retain as memories for our families, or even a wider market.
Whilst photo books can be reasonably easily put together these days, a professionally photographed and composed book will present those lasting memories in a light to be proud of. Or for marketing, of course, displays and sells in the best light.
If, for private or public consumption, you’re wanting to get yourself noticed, sell more product or service or really just want to leave something a professional photographic book will do it.
Just off Bruce highway is this, the smallest of the Glass House Mountains just inland on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this lookout built as a fire lookout for the surrounding bush and forestry presents a 700 metre climb from the carpark to peak and surrounding views. Well worth the stop that created an opportunity to add to my Australian landscapes.
Surrounded by plantation forestry pines and natural bush the 360 degree views are spectacular.
I venture, most visitors to these spectacular views just drive right by these threes on the way in and out.
Flying into the Gold Coast I was (as was everyone arriving lately) mindful of the serious bush wildfires wreaking havoc and destroying property through large swathes of NSW and to a lesser extent, Queensland.
A quiet week on Gold Coast with a couple of short journeys. Firstly, to the Broadwater and Spit for a coffee and quick look, also had a wander around the brightly coloured apartment village that was originally for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Then to Byron Bay and the lighthouse before heading off to Hervey Bay to start the Lady Elliott Island experience.
Travelling north the wide Queensland landscape becomes viewable from the lookout on Wild Horse Mountain.
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.
Cafes, shops and tiered buildings in Skiathos opposite the new port.
The streets are deserted at 6.00 am, peacefully awaiting the jostling hordes. The high point and church though looking distant here are only a short walk and climb.
From the hill with Church of Saint Nikolas, the town can be seen laid out below with it’s characteristic terra-cotta tile roof tops and whitewashed buildings.
Lights of Skiathos Town reflect along the water’s edge.
Streets of 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.
Colourful quaint boats in Old Port at Skiathos
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.
While on the subject of baring some flesh, see if you can read this fruiterers sign above the nectarines!
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).
Probably the most photographed church on Santorini, The church and Three Bells of Fira, with sailing cruise ship in bay below. But there is so much more photographically in this town.
As well as the over-exposed whitewashed buildings, there’s the fascinating walkways and staircases seemingly ending nowhere and everywhere
The classical Oia hillside shot.
Busker at top of the 230+ Oia steps to Ammoudi Bay below.
Mules, waiting to carry tourists up, in the heat can’t even keep their eyes open standing at bottom of Ammoudi Bay steps
Octopus drying by restaurant at Ammoudi Bay
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.
Trucks, cars and poorly informed tourists all jostling to get aboard a Greek ferry leaving Santorini for Naxos.
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.
Tourists traipse up the low climb to experience a sunset at another Temple of Apollo, this time at Naxos.
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.
We had to shift a modern wooden and iron bench seat placed for locals to rest on in front of this irresistible old wall. We did put it back! Other than a locked church and a few homes there was little else here in Kaloxilos, the next village
Byzantine era church of Agios Apostolos which although we didn’t see them has frescoes inside dating its construction back to 12 or 13th centuries.
Only standing part ot these stone remains in the countryside, an arch through which there’s a landscape of olive trees and in the distance, the methodologically named Mount Zeus, highest peak on Naxos
Ancient olive trees are the dominant landscape feature around here.
Couple of men in small town of Filoti, doing what old Greek men do best. Sit, drink and endlessly hour after hour philosophise.
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.
Open sign on the only food place for miles, a family run restaurant in Moni in the hills of Naxos where all the produce is grown on their own small farm. An experience to stop for, and another we’d have totally missed without Stuarts guidance.
Below, the remains of our multi course meal.
Inside another small church next to where we stood to take the photo below at a spot known as Stavros Keramotis.
View to coast from the only spot on Naxos where you can see both coasts, by turning around off course, Stavros Keramotis.
A couple of cheese makers selling their artisan cheeses on the street in Filoti. Generously they cut sizable slices for us to try.
We had the opportunity to spend 4-5 hours with Stuart, a photographer and guide.
Would have to say this was probably the best value for money spent while here on Naxos.
Stuart’s knowledge and taking us to places we wouldn’t have made it to if we’d hired a car, which was the option we considered, was simply excellent.and cost effective too.
So, over 5,000 images, a number instagram posts and many to publish to my website there’s plenty more if you are interested, now we are about to complete our journey and head home to get stuck into processing all these images. Perhaps we’ve shared some travel inspiration and ideas through our experiences over these blogs.
What can you see in three days in Athens before heading off to other parts of the country and a few of its islands. That,s what we’ve got – 3 days, this is some of what we did.
Mount Lycabettus is a great first spot to get to. From the top, all the Athenian known landmarks can be seen and their relationship to the rest of the city. You can walk to the top, but most of the year you might find that a bit hard going. I did see a few sweating it out. A taxi made the job easy. Gets you to just a few metres from the top, still need to climb a few steps though.
Pano of city of Athens from Mount Lycabettus.
Cold drinks vendor and church at Mount Lycabettus summit.
Temple of Olympian Zeus archaeological ruins in the city and below the iconic acropolis.
Pomp and ceremony, or just Monty Pythonesque silly walks. Guards outside Greece parliament building. Could they actually guard anything? Funny to watch though.
Across the street and down in the Plaka, interesting and hectically touristic district with its photogenic narrow streets lined with souvenir shops and restaurants.
All this antiquity, but still everywhere you turn, graffiti.
The Acropolis, the centre of antiquity. A citadel comprising ancient structures and theatres under restoration including the most significant Grecian structure the Parthenon.
Then off to pick-up the promised Polo that somehow mysteriously morphs into a Micra….. So, onwards and starting our Greek road-trip to the Peloponnese Peninsula, Nafplio and other interesting places.
Avoiding motorways and highways wherever possible, through mainly countryside, olive tree plantations interspersed with the citrus orchard or grape vine. The travel takes longer but exposes us to landscapes, villages and other experiences that would be missed by using highways.The roads are lined with rubbish. Scattered through the fields are small old deserted/derelict crumbling buildings normally adorned with graffiti. Not many flat vertical space in this country are left un-graffitied.
Napflio, what a find.
Dining to backgound of this duo and Greek music.
Ermioni, further down the Peloponnese coastline,another tourist seaside tourist spot and a great drop-off point for a short ferry trip and few hours on Hydra. for a night.
Next morning after delightful breakfast at Mourayio Bed and Breakfast (the place to stay in this part of country) to Nemea.
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.
Al Fanar Mosque, next to Souq Waqif illuminated at night with lights of passing cars on street.
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.
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
As a Tauranga photographer my gallery of Tauranga photos and Mount Maunganui photos covers the bases and is continually growing. New Tauranga and Mount Maunganui photos are added continually expending the range and quality of available stock photos.
Images for as little as $5.95 per image.
But that’s not all, you’ll find most of New Zealand covered too.
For backgrounds and abstracts or global travel images there are also great selections, and all at pricing you won’t have seen before!!
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.
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!
Some of the capital city’s iconic street art outside the Museum hotel.
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.
Above; pied stilt in farm puddle on way to Whakariri Beach
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