Tag Archives: landmarks

A Night at the Burj Al Arab

Trey and I headed out to the beach to finish our time in Dubai and it felt a lot more relaxed than the downtown area. We stayed near the Burj Al Arab which is apparently a 7-star hotel, I’m not even sure I understand what that means, do they have extra towels? Maybe higher minibar prices? Who knows. It was fun taking photos along the beach and we even had a few drinks way up there at the Burj Al Arab’s Skyview Bar. It was expensive of course but still totally worth it! YOLO baby!

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A Church Under the Stars

Tekapo is famous for it’s crystal clear night skies so what better place for some astrophotography! The last time I was here was probably about 7 years ago when I worked for a science centre in Christchurch called ‘Science Alive!’. Some of the educators and I did a field trip to the Mt John Observatory, staying a few nights so we could get the full blown astronomy experience. I remember seeing Saturn through one of their telescopes and having my mind completely blown, it was so beautiful! The guy in charge also had the most epic laser pointer, which the 8 year old in me found equally compelling.

Anyway here I was again, this time staying closer to the township so I could take photos of the Church of the Good Shepherd. This is a popular landmark (by New Zealand standards) so there were tourist buses constantly coming and going. It was quieter at night but I was still surprised by the number of people there taking photos, which was kinda fun!…and kind annoying! Haha mostly because of the car headlights, but even they could at times be useful for illuminating the church.

I don’t have a good lens for astrophotography at the moment but the Sony A7s is so freaky fast that I got away with some wide angle shots at f4 over about 20 seconds. Including this one that benefited from some whispy clouds that were lurking that night.

Posted in New Zealand, Tekapo Also tagged , , , |

Timeless Split Apple Rock

While over here in Tasman Bay I got up early to take photos of Split Apple Rock (just around the corner from Marahau). It was close to 5am and still dark enough for a long exposure which helped smooth out the water. I don’t have an ND filter so to drag the exposure out for as long as possible (94 seconds) I maxed out the settings at ISO50 and F22. This brought out all the dirty spots on my lens but l gobbled up those dots in post like the Pac-Man you can kind of see in this photo if you tilt your head a little 🙂

I then ditched my camera, jumped in the water, swam over to the rock and did all those fun things you should remember to do in between taking photos!

One last thing you might find interesting is that a well known scientist was born around 40 minutes drive from here in a small town named Brightwater. His name is Ernest Rutherford, famous for splitting the atom…

Timeless Split Apple Rock

Posted in Marahau, New Zealand Also tagged , , |

Inside Hagia Sophia

I explored Hagia Sophia today and wow what an amazing building! There’s some incredible history here as it was originally a church, then a mosque and now a museum. Tripods aren’t allowed inside of course so I increased the ISO a bit and tried to hold things steady, I didn’t want to lose any of that amazing detail!

Inside Hagia Sophia

Posted in Istanbul, Turkey Also tagged , , , , |

A Golden Sunrise at the Sydney Opera House

You can’t take a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge without taking one of the Sydney Opera House right! Especially when they’re so close! While I liked how the Harbour Bridge looked at night I preferred how the Opera House looked during a golden sunrise the next morning, and yes I did go back to my hotel in between shots. 🙂


Posted in Australia, Sydney Also tagged , |

Returning to the Sydney Harbour Bridge

I took a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge about a year and a half ago so coming back and taking another now offers me a good chance to see how I’ve progressed as a photographer in that time. When you make incremental improvements it’s sometimes hard to notice the change but it is happening!


Posted in Australia, Sydney Also tagged , |

The Towers of Torres del Paine

Today I walked to an iconic location here in Patagonia, the Torres del Paine Towers. At least I think that’s there name, maybe they don’t have a name, either way they’re pretty awesome. I had to wait a while for the clouds to clear but I eventually managed to get a clear shot. I also managed to get in trouble with a grumpy park ranger for climbing over rocks, they’re pretty strict over here in Chile!


Posted in Patagonia, Torres del Paine Also tagged , , |

Iguazu Falls – Photos from the End of the World

Iguazu Falls feels like something you’d find at the end of the world if you were one of those old school explorers navigating the high seas. Theories of the Earth being flat aren’t so common these days but it’s fun to use your imagination. Iguazu Falls is a tourist destination for sure but there’s still room for a little exploration and discovery if you don’t mind forking out for one of the fancy pants hotels that lets you walk around to your heart’s content after everyone else has been kicked out of the park. This is by far and away the best way to see Iguazu Falls, you’ll still enjoy yourself during normal hours but there’s something magical about standing there by yourself, marveling at the spectacle, just you and nature. If you can only visit from one side I’d personally go with Argentina because of the variety of trails and view points it offers but the view from Brazil ain’t half bad either.


Posted in Brazil, Iguazu falls Also tagged , , , |

Iguazu Falls in Argentina

After checking out Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side I got up early in the morning and made my way over the border to Argentina. There was more to see over this side, although the sheer number of people in the park made things a little stressful (especially huge tour groups, yuck!). As well as a wider range of trails, there was also the chance to take a quick boat ride over to San Martin Island which sits in the middle of everything. It’s fun exploring the island and you get some great angles of the falls, complete with epic rainbows!


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Iguazu Falls in Brazil

I was pretty excited about Iguazu Falls so I planned on seeing it from both sides, starting off in Brazil. Staying at the hotel inside the park made a huge difference, it was a little expensive but it gave me the opportunity to walk around as I pleased in the evening without having to worry about pesky commoners getting in my way. You get a nice overview of the falls from Brazil including perhaps the best angle if you were going to take just one photo.


Posted in Brazil, Iguazu falls Also tagged , |

Looking for a Camera in Rio de Janeiro

Before I could really enjoy my stay in Rio de Janeiro, I needed to find a camera to replace the one I “misplaced” in the Atlantic Ocean. This proved to be extremely difficult. It would have been fine if I was looking for a cheap point and shoot but I wanted a decent DSLR that would work with my lenses. The staff at my hostel were nice enough to locate a store for me, only when I got there (across town) it turned out to be a copy center! Great! Thanks guys, they don’t even sell cameras!! Haha kinda funny in an incredibly dissapointing way. I ended up buying a Canon Rebel from a shopping center on the outskirts of Rio which was a relief, even if the price wasn’t. This allowed me to venture forth in my exploration of Rio, checking out all the hotspots and even doing a tour of a local favela (not a slum, but close). It’s interesting that I need a camera with me to really enjoy places these days, I’m not sure it’s a worrying trend or just a reflection of my uber-enthusiasm for photography. I don’t love the photos I took here but hopefully they’ll improve as I get used to my replacement camera.


Posted in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Also tagged |

People I Don’t Know at Escadaria Selarón

Escadaria Selarón is a funky set of stairs in Rio de Janeiro near the neighbourhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa. They’re bright, colourful and very ornate, but they’re still just stairs so don’t expect too much. I don’t actually know the woman in this photo (although I wish I did!), there was always someone getting in the way of a clean shot so in the end I just gave up and ran with this one.


Posted in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Also tagged |

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Visiting the Chocolate Hills of Bohol was probably the main driving force behind my trip to the Philippines. I love the alien landscape the hills create and I was looking forward to capturing it in a few photos, there was also an element of mystery to them as information was relatively scarce, thankfully they did not disappoint. After arriving at Tagbilaran airport I jumped on a local bus (much to the amusement of the locals) and made my way to the centre of the island where the hills can be found. I’d heard that work on the hotel there was never completed and that rumor proved to be true, the person standing at “reception” gladly took a few pesos off me and showed me to my very basic room. They’re not going to win any tourism awards but all I needed was a roof over my head so I could be there with my camera to capture the hills at sunset and sunrise. The weather ended up being perfect with dramatic clouds and early morning fog creating the perfect backdrop to the already impressive hills. The whole experience (hotel included) was surreal and definitely something I won’t forget any time soon.


Posted in Bohol, Philippines Also tagged , , , |

Batad Rice Terraces

With the help of a guide I made my way up to the legendary Batad Rice Terraces, an amphitheater shaped UNESCO world heritage site that needs to be seen to be believed. The Batad village is nearly 4000 feet above sea level and it’s an amazing destination to visit in person. I’d made quite the effort to get here but it was well worth it.


Posted in Banaue, Philippines Also tagged |

Intramuros – The Walled City of Manila

Intramuros is the original fortified area of Manila. Also known as the ‘Walled City’, it was where the Spanish government were based during the colonial period. There’s a lot of history here so it was interesting to walk around and check it out.


Posted in Manila, Philippines

The Old Town Walls of Dubrovnik

I enjoyed the Old Town Walls of Dubrovnik so much that I walked around them three times! The weather was a little wild so the first lap was cloudy, the second stormy and the third sunny. Being a popular tourist destination it was quite crowded but nothing that I hadn’t seen before while traveling around Europe.


Posted in Croatia, Dubrovnik Also tagged , |

London, on a Good Day

London has been a wonderful base to experience a European summer and I was lucky enough to time it perfectly with the Olympics. Although I didn’t take any photos of Olympic action I had an incredible time and it was great to see the British people support the event with such enthusiasm and class. I thought I’d put together some of my favourite photos from my London adventure to help relive the good times. There are so many great landmarks and attractions here with everything from the Tower Bridge to Big Ben, the Shard, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Gherkin, Wimbledon, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and so much more all just a short trip on the Underground from each other. Thanks for the memories London, on a good day you can’t be beaten.

Posted in England, London Also tagged , , , , , |

An Evening on the Thames Embankment

As an unabashed tourist I spent a lot of time on the Thames Embankment taking photos of touristy things. This shot was taken on a gorgeous evening from the Golden Jubilee Bridge and is one of my favourites.


Posted in England, London Also tagged , |

An Eye to Another World

I’ve taken about a million photos of the London Eye but I think I have a new favourite! I love the clouds in this shot, like the Eye is a window to another world (deep Rene, very deep).


Posted in England, London Also tagged |

Meet Me at Horse Guards Parade

Meet me at horse guards parade, that’s what I was thinking when I saw these two people walking towards each other in front of the setting sun. I don’t know who they are but I like to think it’s an important moment in their lives, like a pivotal scene in some rom-com starring Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger. I threw a filter on it and the intense sun rays created a cool lens flare that makes it look a little like I used a fisheye lens, yay for accidentally awesome lens flares!


Posted in England, London Also tagged , |