Friday, February 11, 2011

Chilly River

What's this? Almost two years without a peep and now a picture of a frozen river?


The Daugava river in fact, in Riga. Just the day before it had pretty much started to thaw, but the temperature fell overnight and refroze sections of it, trapping bits of ice that had broken off further upstream and were busy trying to escape to the sea.

More soon ... maybe. Perhaps don't hold your breath.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lake Nakuru - Back to Nairobi

As we head for 'home' the sun sets and talk is of everything we've seen.

It's a pretty long day out from Nairobi to Lake Nakuru, but well worth it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lake Nakuru - Rhino and Hippo

We're on the trail out of Nakuru park, settling down for the journey back to Nairobi, when our driver again spots a couple of animals we hadn't believed we'd be lucky enough to see.

Firstly, rambling along the side of the road, munching its way through foliage as it went, was a Black Rhinoceros. There are less than 5000 black rhinos left in the wild, so to see one here is amazing.

The rhino watches us for a couple of minutes, then wanders away, nochalantly, carrying his bird buddy.


Our last find is a couple of hippopotamuses (no, hippopotami isn't the correct pluralisation). They are about thirty meters out in the water, and the sun is starting to set, making photographs very difficult to expose correctly. I do my best and get a reasonable shot of one of them.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Lake Nakuru - Lions

It's nearing the end of our time in Nakuru and we're all hoping to see some lions before leaving. It's not looking hopeful when our driver spots something out of the corner of his eye (the sign of a good guide is the ability to see something you didn't think possible and make everyone aware of it).

We drive over and stop near a tree, under which there appears to be ... nothing. One of our group points excitedly, exclaiming and we all turn, aiming cameras at the spot being pointed at ... but it's just a lion-coloured rock.

Suddenly, under the tree, there's movement and two heads pop up. Two females are spending the afternoon resting in the shade. Then, just as suddenly, up pops another, smaller head - they have a cub!


Thursday, March 05, 2009


It's my birthday! Yep, another year older.

I'll return to the photos from Kenya in my next post, but to mark this occasion I would like to look back and show you some of my favourite photos from before 2003 - these are some of the shots that made me realise how much I enjoyed photography.

So, here they are, in no particular order apart from how I discovered them while browsing my collection. As always, click a photo for a larger version.

August 1997, Gloucestershire, UK

The best sunset shot I've ever taken.

I think everyone has a favourite sunset photo, because everyone takes photos of nice sunsets and they are relatively hard to mess up if you leave the camera to itself. However, this picture reflects the sky that evening exactly - it amazed me then and it amazes me every time I look at the photo now, and, although I've lost touch with them since, I wonder if the people with me there remember it too.

2001, Zakynthos, Greece

Smugglers Cove.

This shot, taken from a viewpoint on the cliff-top, shows the ship that washed up on the beach in 1980.

The real name of this beach is Navagio, but it is called Sugglers Cove by many as the ship, the MV Panagiotis, was allegedly carrying cigarettes illegally between Turkey and Italy.

August 1999, Cornwall, UK

A view over Land's End.

This shot was taken looking directly down over the edge of England's most westerly point.

I've been back since, and never been allowed to get anywhere near this close to the cliff.

Late 1997, Norfolk, UK


It's not perfect (the prints are unevenly spaced and broken by another set in the mid-distance) but I always liked this one. I don't remember it being particularly early in the day, but the time of year meant the beach wasn't used much.

The scanning process has also added quite a lot of vignetting to the bottom of the photo - I don't think it was there in the original, but it adds to the atmosphere of the shot.

2002, Austria

The view from Zwölferkogel

During a walking holiday staying in Saalbach-Hinterglemm we attempted and achieved the top of Zwölferkogel.

The view on a clear day such as this is amazing - overlooking Hinterglemm, Wiesenegg and finally Saalbach where we started the journey.

Spring 1997, British Columbia

Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park

This park is a couple of hours east of Vancouver. Park up and walk along forest paths to get to the falls themselves.

Even though this photo is so simple it has always been amongst my favourites - the way it splits the scene into three both vertically and horizontally just appealed for some reason. This was taken long before I knew about the rule of thirds, but now I do I can see why the photo is successful.

In case you're wondering why I picked 2003 - this was when I got my first digital camera, so all my photos from before then have to be scanned in before I can upload them, so it seemed a good cut-off point.

The photos from before 2001 were taken with a simple point-and-shoot zoom camera, which goes to show you don't need to spend thousands on equipment.

I hope you enjoyed me wondering through the past for a while.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lake Nakuru - Giraffes and Rhinos

Heading down from Baboon Cliff we hope to see some giraffes. One of our party spots one, but giraffe are very shy and no-one else see's it.

Finally, we all see a giraffe close enough to get a good look at. It knows we are there and looks a little wary, but continues to eat lunch for a time. Apart from the occasional glimpse from a distance, that's the last we see of the giraffes in the park.

Back down on the plains surrounding the lake and we're in White Rhinoceros country. While driving around the lake shore and up to Baboon Cliff we spotted some rhinos in the distance, but now our driver wants us to see some close-up ...

Probably a little too close - the third photo below was taken with no zoom (OK, for purists, 40mm, translated to about 60mm on a 1.5x crop camera - eyesight is equivalent to around 50mm) so shows just how close we were. Between the second and third photo the sound of the clicking camera shutters seemed to annoy the rhino - it stood up and looked menacing, we made an exit left.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Lake Nakuru - Views and Baboons

After taking our fill of flamingoes and pelicans at the Lake Nakuru shore, we head away from the water a little, with a drive across the plain and up to Baboon Cliff.

It's a dusty road, and almost completely devoid of baboons, but the view from the top shows us the lake shore we have just driven along.


Fortunately, we catch up with some baboons later, and one is kind enough to pose.