Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Caribbean Cruise - Barbados

Following on from my last post, detailing the first stop on the cruise, at Funchal, Madeira, we then spent 6 rather windy days crossing the Atlantic, before landing at a cloudy Bridgetown, Barbados, on 22nd November.

We disembarked to take a minibus tour across the island, from the Caribbean Coast to the dramatic east coast. Our first stop was at St Johns parish church
St Johns Church
Built in 1846 to replace the church that was destroyed by the Great Hurricane of 1831, this classic Gothic church is solid and soaring. The church grounds are serene and the cliff-edge site 800 feet above sea level, commands a sweeping view of the picturesque east coast, as may be seen in the two images below.
Barbados View
St Johns View
Moving on from St Johns, we next travelled to Bathsheba, with its breathtakingly beautiful  wide white sand beaches which stretch along a dramatic coastline of striking rock formations against which the Atlantic rollers break in cascades of foam. What at first glance look like huge boulders washed up on the beach are actually rock formations broken away from ancient coral reef!
Bathsheba Beach
Bathsheba Rock Formations
Bathsheba Rock
Finally we went to the Highland Centre, located at the heart of the island, 1,004 feet above sea level. The Centre offers spectacular views not seen anywhere else in Barbados, overlooking a beautiful and lush natural valley below, beyond which you can make out the blue waters and breaking white caps of the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the island.
Highland View
Finally, I couldn't resist taking a photo of this sign, right at the top of the Highland Centre!
Weather Station
We did walk around Bridgetown in the afternoon, but with the rain, I didnt take many photos, though it was at least warm! And just to prove it was raining, a view from the minibus on our return to Bridgtown following our island tour.

Fortunately, the rest of the cruise was spent in warm sunshine. Our next port of call was St Lucia, which will be featured in my next post!

Friday, 14 December 2018

Caribbean Cruise - Madeira

This is my first post for over a month, as I have been relaxing on a 28 day cruise to the Carribean!

We set sail from Southampton on Sunday 11th November on board the MV Oriana which is a cruise ship and ocean liner of the P&O Cruises fleet. She is the smallest of seven ships currently in service with P&O Cruises, with a tonnage of 69,840 tons holding 1,880 passengers and 760 crew. Oriana holds the Golden Cockerel as the fastest ship in the fleet, replacing SS Canberra. She is the oldest, and longest-serving, ship in the fleet but is being sold next year, making her last voyage for P&O in August 2019.

Our first port of call was Funchal, the capital of Madeira and Portugal's 6th largest city. Madeira is a sub-tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean around 960 kilometers southwest of Lisbon and has been an autonomous region of Portugal since 1976.
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MV Oriana
The Oriana moored at Funchal.

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A view of Funchal showing the dramatic mountains that surround the city.
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St Anthony Church
A cityscape showing Saint Anthony Church which was built in 1789, where a chapel from the 16th century was built with Saint Anthony as its patron. This Rococo-style church is flanked by two tall bell towers completed in 1883. Between 1922 and 1928 it underwent several renovations, including the placement of a large clock in one of the two church towers.
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St Martins Church
The Church of St Martin (Igreja de São Martinho) is the main church in the Parish of São Martinho, Funchal, Madeira. Dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. Although construction of this beautiful church began in the 18th century, it took over 150 years to complete the work and its size had to be adjusted to accommodate the growing population of Funchal. It was finally inaugurated in 1918.
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St Martins Cemetary
The Cemetry at St. Martin's Chirch in Funchal, Madeira.

After we had finished our tour of Funchal, we walked to the small Municipal Garden, one of many gardens in the town. In addition to the many flowers, I was pleased to capture the following two images of Monarch butterflies.
Monarch Butterfly
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Monarch Butterfly on Flowers
We left Madeira in the evening and set sail across the Atlantic, heading for the Caribbean, and our first stop, Barbados, which we reached a week later on 22nd November. Watch out for my next post for images of Barbados!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Tips for Photographing Autumn Colors

At this time of year, we should be looking at capturing the colours of Autumn and this article from Terry Girard for our friends over at Picture Correct gives you a host of tips and information on getting the best out of your Autumn photos.

Photographing autumn colors can be the most fun you have with your camera. The fall is a great time of year for photography. There are an unlimited number of sights, sounds and smells to stimulate your senses. After reading this article you should be able to pick a great subject to display and dress it up with the fabulous colors of the fall season. This is a very emotional time of year. Think about that when you are out shooting. What you feel when the day is overcast will be different than when the day is bright and sunny.

To read the article in full go to Tips for Photographing Autumn Colors

See below for a selection of my favourite autumn photos.
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River Thames at Marlow
The River Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire on a crisp November afternoon.
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Autumn Leaves
Autumn leaves at Warburgh Nature Reserve, Bix, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire in The Chiltern Hills.
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River Avon in Autumn
River Avon at Stratford upon Avon in autumn.
Autumn Leaves
Autumn leaves at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, England.

You may see more of my autumn images by visiting my Autumn Images Gallery
As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Beauty of Birmingham

Even though Birmingham is known as being at the heart of the Industrial Revolution and the City of 1000 Trades, many people who have never visited there are surprised at how green the city is, even close to the City Centre.

The city has more miles of canal than Venice, more trees than Paris and more parkland than any other European City. All of the images below were taken within a couple of miles of the City Centre.
Photo Art of Bluebells Winterboune Botanical Garden
Bluebells at Winterboune Botanical Garden
Winterbourne is one of the best surviving examples of an Edwardian Arts and Crafts suburban villa garden in Birmingham. The garden was lovingly created by the homeowners, Margaret and John Nettlefold, of Guest Keen and Nettlefold, using the books of Gertrude Jekyll as guides and inspiration. It is located in Edgbaston, just about 2 miles from the City Centre
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Edgbaston Pool
Edgbaston Pool, located just two miles from Birmingham City Centre, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Edgbaston. Also known as Edgbaston Park, the site is adjacent to Winterbourne Botanic Garden and Edgbaston Golf Course and close to the University of Birmingham. Access is via Winterbourne Botanic Garden.

Not far from Edgbaston Pool, we have Edgbaston Reservoir.
Edgbaston Reservoir
Edgbaston Reservoir, on a crisp January morning. Originally a small pool, it was extensively enlarged by Thomas Telford between 1824-1829 to supply water to the Birmingham and Wolverhampton Levels of the Birmingham Canal Navigations canal system via Icknield Port Loop at the foot of the dam. It was formed by damming a small stream. The dam is a 330 metre long earth embankment with a height of 10 metres near the centre.
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Birmingham City Skyline
Birmingham City Centre skyline as seen behind the dam of Edgbaston Reservoir. Showing the Post Office Tower to the left, and the new Birmingham Library in the centre.
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City View
The view from the roof of the Birmingham City Library (the orange building in the centre of the photo above) looking towards Edgbaston, demonstrating just how green Birmingham is. The building to the left is the National Sea Life Centre, while on the right is Birmingham's National Indoor Arena (NIA).

You may see more of my images from Birmingham by visiting my Birmingham Gallery.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Cruising the Adriatic

In my last post I talked about our cruise last year to the Norwegian Fjords and said I would nest cover our cruise to the Mediterranean. Again we set sail from Southampton, but this time we headed south to the Mediterranean, where our first port of call was the Island of Sicily, and the port of Messina, which is protected by the Madonna Della Lettera.
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Madonna Della Lettera
The Madonna della Lettera, or Golden Madonna, which protects the port of Messina, Sicily. The inscription translates as “We bless you and your city”. It is a quote from a letter the Virgin Mary sent to the population of Messina in the year 42. It was inscribed on the old fort San Salvatore which now serves as a plinth for the 60 metre tall octagonal column that carries the statue of the Madonna della Lettera.

While on Sicily we took a taxi to the picturesque town of Taormina, where we had this view of Mount Etna.
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Mount Etna.
Taormina is a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily. It sits near Mount Etna, an active volcano with trails leading to the summit. The town is known for the Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient Greco-­Roman theater still used today. Other Roman ruins may be seen in the foreground.

After leaving Sicily, we sailed around the boot of Italy and up the Adriatic to the romantic city of Venice.

I first visited Venice well over 40 years ago and never tire of walking around there. I find the back streets (I should say the back canals) as interesting as the more popular tourist attractions and below I have shown typical examples of each.

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Washing Day
Washing Day in a back street canal in Venice

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Grand Canal
The Grand Canal in Venice as seen from the side of the Rialto Bridge. You can view more photos of Venice in my Italy Gallery.

Leaving Venice, we sailed down to the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia. The 'Pearl of the Adriatic', situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO.

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Dubrovnik Old Town Port
Situated at eastern part of the Dubrovnik City. The walls of the old town can be seen behind the roof tops.
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Side Street
A typical side street, leading up from Stradum, the central street in Dubrovnik Old Town. 
More photos of Durbrovnik may be seen in my Croatia Gallery.

We completed our cruise by sailing to another Italian Island, this time Sardinia, where we docked in the island's capital, the city of Cagliari.
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Cagliari is known for the hilltop Castello, a medieval walled quarter situated high over the rest of the town. Architectural highlights include the 13th-century Cagliari Cathedral. Housed in a former arsenal, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari displays bronze objects, Roman ceramics and artifacts from the Nuragic age to the Byzantine era.

On leaving the Mediterranean we called at Gibraltar, and I could not resist including this image of Barbary Apes. Again you can see more photos from The Rock by visiting my Gibraltar Gallery.
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Barbary Macaque
Otherwise known as the Barbary Ape, they are the only wild monkeys in Europe, and unlike those of North Africa, they are thriving. At present, some 300 animals in five troops occupy the area of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. 

A popular belief is that as long as Gibraltar Barbary macaques exist on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule. In 1942, after the population dwindled to just a handful of monkeys, British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill ordered their numbers be replenished immediately from forest fragments in both Morocco and Algeria.

I hope that you have enjoyed this short tour around the Eastern Mediterranean and the Adriatic. Yo ucan see many more photos from Europe and Africa by clicking on the Galleries tag above.
As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Cruising Around Europe

I was fortunate to go on two cruises last year, the first around the Norwegian Fjords and the second around the southern Mediterranean and Adriatic.

Back in June, 2017 we set sail from Southampton, heading for Norway. Our first port of call was Stavanger, Norway's third largest cruise portOld Stavanger, is a collection of old wooden homes nestled along meandering cobblestone streets, and is in fact the largest surviving wooden house settlement in northern Europe.
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Old Stavangar
On leaving Stavangar we sailed north to Nordfjord which is situated between the largest mainland glacier in Europe and Norway’s wildest coast at the western cape, with spectacular mountains and valleys, rolling farmland and a dramatic coast line. At the end of the fjord, is the pretty village of Olden.
Photo Art of Olden
Approaching Olden
Farmland on the shore of Nordfjord, with snow covered mountains almost hidden by the whispy clouds.
Photo Art of Olden
Olden is located at the mouth of the Oldeelva river at the northern end of the Oldedalen valley on the southern shore of the Nordfjorden, and is about 65 miles from the mouth of the fjord.

When we left Olden we travelled back up the Nordfjorden before heading further north to the town of Alesund, which has deservedly been called the most beautiful city in Norway. After a fire destroyed the city in 1904, it was rebuilt in the art nouveau style with around 600 pastel-coloured buildings, decorated with florid facades and fairy-tale turrets. There are panoramic views of Ålesund’s architecture, the surrounding archipelago and fjords from the Mount Aksla lookout.
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Alesund From Above.
Looking down on the town of Alesund from the Mount Aksla lookout. Ålesund sits on a narrow, fishhook-shaped sea-bound peninsula. 
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Alesund Centre
After leaving Alesund we set sail for Bergen, which has a reputation as the rainiest city in Norway, receiving 235 days of rainfall a year. Unfortunately, as we entered the port, the ship's captain announced that it had just set a record for the most consecutive days rainfall of 26 days. Needless to say, I did not take many photos that day!

I will end this post here, but check back in two or three days and I will post about our Mediterranean cruise - which had almost no rain!


As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Images of England and Wales

Looking through my photos taken over the last year or so, reminds what a great and varied place the UK is for the photographer. I have photographed a wide range of subjects stretching from South West Wales, across to Essex and East Anglia, England, and up to Northumberland in the North East of England. I am pleased to detail a selection of my favourites below.


I started off in Pembrokeshire in the South West of Wales, and the first image is of Barafundle Cliffs at Barafundle Bay, a remote, slightly curved, east-facing sandy beach near Stackpole Quay which is part of the Stackpole Estate, managed by The National Trust
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Barafundle Cliffs
Moving east, we travel to Tenby, where we find a picturesque harbour and beach. Tenby Harbour sits in a central position in this beautiful Georgian town, often known as "The Jewel in Pembrokeshire's crown". It is located on the western side of Carmarthen BayTo the south of the harbour we can see the old and the new lifeboat stations, 

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Tenby Harbour
Continuing our journey eastwards, we arrive at the Welsh capital, Cardiff, where we visit the impressive castle. Here we have an image of the Castle Keep. The twelve-sided Norman Keep, is undoubtedley the finest in Wales and is known as a ‘shell’ keep, its outer walls providing a shell for smaller buildings within it.
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Cardiff Castle Keep


For East Anglia, I am looking at Essex and Suffolk, starting with Flatford Mill in Suffolk. Flatford Mill is a Grade I listed watermill on the River Stour at Flatford in East Bergholt, Suffolk, England. According to the date-stone the mill was built in 1733, but some of the structure may be earlier. Attached to the mill is a 17th-century miller's cottage which is also Grade I listed. The property is in Dedham Vale, a typically English rural landscape.

The mill was owned by the artist John Constable's father and is noted, along with its immediate surroundings as the location for many of Constable's works. It is referred to in the title of one of his most iconic paintings, Flatford Mill (Scene on a Navigable River), and mentioned in the title or is the subject of several others including: Flatford Mill from a lock on the river Stour; Flatford Mill from the lock (A water mill); The Lock. The Hay Wain, which features Willy Lott's Cottage, was painted from the front of the mill.
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Flatford Mill
Staying in the vicinity of Flatford Mill we have Valley Farm, which is near to Flatford Mill but on the opposite side of the road and dates from the 15th century. It is the oldest building at Flatford and is a Medieval Hall House.
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Valley Farm
Moving over the border into Essex we travel to Mersea Island, which is Britains most easterly inhabited island. The island is split into two main areas, West Mersea and East Mersea, and connected to the mainland by the Strood, a causeway that can flood at high tide. Here we see East Mersea Beach with the groynes stretching out to sea.
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East Mersea Beach


Finally in my Odyssey I travel right up to the North East of England and the county of Northumberland, where we find dramatic landscapes, history and wildlife. We must start with the wonderful island of Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island. It is situated off the Northumberland coast, just a few miles south of the border with Scotland. The island is linked to the mainland by a causeway which twice a day is covered by the tide.

Possibly the holiest site of Anglo-Saxon England, Lindisfarne was founded by St. Aidan, an Irish monk, who came from Iona, the centre of Christianity in Scotland. St Aidan converted Northumbria to Christianity at the invitation of its king, Oswald. St. Aidan founded Lindisfarne Monastery on Holy Island in 635, becoming its first Abbot and Bishop.  Here we have the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, with part of the Lindisfarne Priory in front of it.
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Church Of Saint Mary The Virgin
We next move down to the Farne Islands, where we can view the famous Farne Island seals. The Farne Islands are home to thousands of grey seals (also known as Atlantic seals), and each autumn hundreds of pups are born here. 
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Farne Island Grey Seals

We finish our journey back on the mainland. First we have a view of Alnwick Castle, the home of the Duke of Northumberland and the second largest inhabited castle in England, after Windsor.
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Alnwick Castle
Finally, we travel inland to the beautifull scenery of Northumberland National Park and a view of Moorland Heather.
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Moorland Heather
I trust that you have enjoyed our photo journey around parts of England and Wales and ageree that we live in a beautiful part of the world. Look out for future posts of Europe and, after my next holiday cruising around the Eastern Caribbean.


As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Monday, 10 September 2018

A Free, Personalised Photography Store

A few weeks ago, I reported that I had discovered Picfair, a new platform for photographers to sell their images - follow the link to read the post.

I can now report on some very exciting news from Picfair: later this month, they are unveiling free personalised stores for every photographer on the platform - a sleek, modern home for your photographs and yours alone. For free.

Stores are a major new addition to the Picfair ecosystem. For every photographer - from experienced professionals to budding amateurs - building an online home for your photography is expensive, complicated and disconnected. With Picfair Stores, they are making it simple - a single online home for your photography that does everything for you: beautifully showcasing your images, powering and managing all of your downloads & prints sales, while still connecting you to a global audience through the Picfair marketplace.

Because they know that all their photographers really want to be doing … is getting out there and taking beautiful photographs. Picfair can handle everything else. Once your store is activated, all you need to do is keep uploading!

Act now and get PRIORITY ACCESS once Picfair Stores are launched.