Archive for Photography

Dec
27

My Favourite Photos of 2012

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The problem with writing about all the wonderful places I’ve visited in 2012 is that I simply couldn’t do them justice in a single blog post. Instead, I’ve chosen my favourite photos I’ve taken this year.

Donbass Arena

Donbass Arena, Donetsk

Donbass Arena, Donetsk

I travelled to the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine for the Euro 2012 match between England and France. It was a beautiful summers day and I had time to look around the city and soak up the sun. The game was played in the Donbass Arena, a magnificent, modern football stadium. As it as the summer, there was still a hint of sunlight after the game and I was able to capture this photo.
http://bbmexplorer.com/donetsk-euro-2012-host-city/

Blue Dragon Nudibranch

Blue Dragon Nudibranch

Blue Dragon Nudibranch

In April, we took a family holiday to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, a place where I have dived many times before. I’m not sure what was different about this trip but I seem very tuned in to find different nudibranchs and slugs whilst I was diving. I found this Blue Dragon Nudibranch on the wreck of the Yolanda at the very tip of the Sinai.
http://holidayblog.easyjet.com/dives-in-egypt-rob-atherton/

Oslo Harbour

Oslo Harbour

Oslo Harbour

Oslo Harbour is one of the main tourist areas of the city and is wonderful place to be during the long summer days. It is also the starting point for a number of short cruises around the many beautiful fjords and inlets.

Scallop, Aldeburgh

Scallop, Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Scallop, Aldeburgh, Suffolk

There are some lovely towns and villages along the Suffolk coast. Aldeburgh is one of these places and although it is probably best known for its wonderful fish and chips the Scallop just to the north of the town has been the cause of discussion. This sculpture is dedicated to the composer,  Benjamin Britten who used to walk along this stretch of beach. Some people think it should be taken down as it is inappropriate for a man made object along such a beautiful setting.

Liverpool

Liverpool Skyline

Liverpool Skyline

I’ve been spending a bit of time in Liverpool recently and although the city is the butt of a number of jokes, parts of the city are absolutely wonderful. One evening I took the opportunity to head over to the Wirral on the other side of the River Mersey and took this picture of the Liverpool skyline at night. It shows the iconic towers of the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building, the Port of Liverpool Building, the Echo Area and in the distance, the Anglican Cathedral.

Avebury Stone Circle

Avebury Stone Circle

Avebury Stone Circle

The stone circles in the Wiltshire village of Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe and is one of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain. It dates back to 2,600BC during the Neolithic period and today is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Titan Triggerfish

Titan Triggerfish

Titan Triggerfish

I wasn’t sure whether to include a second underwater picture but I really like this picture of a Titan Triggerfish. These fish can grow up to 70cm long and are sometimes incredibly agressive. I’ve been attacked by them a few times although luckily, I’ve never been bitten. The thing I like about this picture is I was able to get so close to it head on.

Whenever I’m lucky enough to be heading off on a new trip, I make sure I have at least one camera (sometimes I have 3…or 4 if you include the one on my phone). I take plenty of photos and I upload the better ones to my Flickr account – http://www.flickr.com/bbmexplorer

Over the years I’ve uploaded well over 1,000 images and I spend time labelling, tagging and adding them to the map so people get the most from them.

Need a photo of St Basils Cathedral in Moscow? I’ve got just what you need.

After a trip, it takes time to sort out pictures, edit and upload them and once I’ve done that, I make all my images on Flickr available for use under a Creative Commons license. This means they can be used free of charge with the single condition that a link to my website is included.

All sorts of people look for images on the internet. Some people want them for blog posts and companies often use them for their websites. The majority of users respect the Creative Commons license and add a credit link but I’m amazed how many companies think it is perfectly acceptable to use the image without any acknowledgement to the photographer (ie – ME).

Flickr stats allow me to see where my photos are being used and from time to time, I have a look at see where they turn up. Quite a few are on Wikipedia which surprised me.

I love people to use my images PROVIDED THEY ARE PROPERLY ATTRIBUTED. Thats why I set them up with a Creative Commons licence. Although I like to think my photos are reasonably good, they don’t have too much of a commercial value. If I thought they did, they wouldn’t be on Flickr.

So please feel free to use my images and credit them properly but remember…..

…I’m watching you !!!

 

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Dec
31

My 10 Top Travel Photos of 2011

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2011 has again been a good year for me to discover wonderful new places in the world. Rather than bore you with a very brief and inadequate description, I thought I’d rely on the old saying of “a picture paints a thousand words” or rather in this case a photo. Here are my favourite photos I took during the last year.

Kronborg Castle

My first trip of the year was to the Danish capital of Copenhagen. I’ve been there many times and decided to head up the coast to Helsingor and the famous Kronborg Castle. It is said to be the setting for Shakespeare’s famous play “Hamlet”.

Kronborg Castle – One of Northern Europe’s finest Renaissance castles

 

Sveti Stefan

I spent a couple of days on the Montenegro coast at Sveti Stefan overlooking this iconic iselt.

Sveti Stefan – Famous visitors here include Elizabeth Taylor and Sophie Loren.

 

Mandarin Fish

My first diving trip to Manado was extremely rewarding. On a night dive I managed to capture a couple of pictures of the elusive Mandarin Fish on a night dive.

The elusive Mandarin Fish on Bunaken Island, Manado, Indonesia

 

Queens Colours 1/24th Regiment

The Battle of Isandlwana in 1879 was the greatest defeat a British force ever suffered at the hands of a native army. On that fateful January day, the Queens Colours of 1/24th Regiment were lost in the Buffalo River. Two weeks later, against all odds they were recovered. Queen Victoria added a wreath of immortals around the crown as reminder of what happened to those colours at Isandlwana. Today, they are hanging in the Havard side chapel in Brecon Cathedral, Wales.

Queens COlours of 1/24th Regiment that were lost and later found after the Battle of Isandlwana in January 1879.

 

Burning Bush / Fire Extinguisher

High in the Sinai Mountains in St Catherine’s Monastery. It is a hugely significant religious site and  this picture is of the Burning Bush. I found it slightly amusing that there is a fire extinguisher next to it…just in case.

In 2011, the Burning Bush is less of a safety risk that back in the days when it was described in the book of Exodus thanks to a fire extinguisher.

 

Soldier on guard, Hall of Valour

The Battle of Stalingrad was an horrendous fight to the death for hundreds of thousands of Russian and German soldiers. Today at the Hall of Valour at Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, there is a permanent guard.

A soldier stands guard in the Hall of Valour, Mamayev Kurgan, Volgograd

 

Petra through the Siq

The Siq at Petra is a long passage all visitors have to travel through to reach the famous Red City. As you approach the end, you get your first glimpse of the Treasury in Petra.

Nearing the end of the Siq and catching a first sight of the Treasury at Petra.

 

Kotor – cruise ship

The old walled town of Kotor in Montenegro is a popular cruise destination.

A cruise ship docked at Kotor, Montenegro

 

Pufferfish

This photo isn’t so much a favourite, I just want to highlight a problem (excuse the blurriness). When threatened, Pufferfish expand their bodies. Its a rare sight and is incredibly stressful for them. On this night dive in Aqaba, the guide annoyed this Pufferfish enough for it to puff out it’s body. I was really annoyed that someone meant to educate and protect the marine environment could do this. It was at a 5* PADI centre in a marine park.

This poor Pufferfish was annoyed by our dive guide and felt it had to expand it’s body to defend itself.

 

Ma’In Hotsprings

If you want to visit a fantastic spa resort in a stunning setting, the Ma’In Hotsprings 260m below sea level in Jordan will not disappoint.

The main waterfall at the fabulous Ma’In Hotsprings in Jordan.

 

I regularly update my Flickr account with my latest photos which you can find here:

http://www.flickr.com/bbmexplorer

Please feel free to add me as a contact.

Thats all from me for 2011, now I’m looking forward to 2012 which will take me to more new places and the Euro 2012 Championships in Ukraine.

Nuweiba is a really relaxing, remote place in the Northern Sinai and this hidden treasure is certainly one of the finest destinations in Egypt for marine photography. The holiday resort is nowhere near as commercialised as Sharm which is situated 100 miles south down the coast. Subsequently, this means a lesser amount of divers to disrupt the marine life.

In the far north of the Gulf of Aqaba, the water is notably calmer under the surface and combined with the clear waters, marine photography enthusiasts couldn’t require better conditions. The house reef at the Nuweiba Hilton is a renowned spot for underwater digital photography classes. There is a wonderful variety of underwater life with tiny pipefish and cuttlefish found in the shallow water while a bit deeper, a good amount of colourful fish and coral formations are found. The pier offers some tremendous photo opportunities.

Amongst the species of fish Nuweiba is famed for is the frogfish. While it is found in other locations close to The Red Sea, Nuweiba is something of a hotspot for this elusive little creature. Needless to say, there isn’t any assurance you will see a frogfish but you will find shrimp, seahorse and octopus in the region therefore you might get fortunate and find them too.

The finest thing is that all this is literally in easy reach from your room at the Hilton thus if a keen photographer is on holiday with the family, they’re not forgotten all day, only for the hour throughout the dive. Scuba divers can go underwater in the morning, meet the family for lunch time prior to going to the sea once again.

Underwater photography enthusiasts are generally really eager to take snap shots on land and the landscapes in the vicinity of Nuweiba is wonderful. Over the sea lies Saudi Arabia and the mountain range of the Sinai offer an awesome backdrop. It is absolutely worth taking an excursion out to Mount Sinai or perhaps the Coloured Canyon for the reason that landscape is incredible. It is hard to think a desert could quite possibly be so eye-catching.

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