Category Archives: Travel

Places I love; places I want to visit.

Seven days of nature photography: last day

And so I come to the end of seven days of nature photography. It’s been huge fun. It is good to wade through the back catalogue every now and again, to remember gorgeous moments outdoors, whether at home or in an exotic location.

I might just have to set myself a new project next month – maybe my ‘best of the best’ and maybe even doing it for the entire month. Now, there’s a thought!

For my last day, there is no contest. It has to be one of my many gelada monkey photos from the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia. These are astonishing animals, who have zero fear of the trekkers that come through their territory and so it’s possible to get up close.

One evening, we walked out to a viewpoint near our campsite and couldn’t believe our luck when we saw this group huddled together, looking like a family trying to shield each other from the elements. The strange this is that it wasn’t yet dark and not yet cold.

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Seven days of nature photography: day six

Day six of seven days of nature photography and today, I’m back in Cuba. It was my second visit and I had arrived in Trinidad ahead of some Cuban and Australian friends. So I decided to do a walk from the centre of this gorgeous music-filled town to a waterfall.

I had time a-plenty (that’s the one big advantage of being alone) and so snapped every little detail that caught my eye. My favourite photo of the day was this up close detail of a vibrant green leaf.

I just love the colours and the sunlight shining through. It’s both abstract and recognisable, all in one glorious green macro.

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Seven days of nature photography: Day Five

When I think of ‘nature photography’, I tend to think of wildlife on a big scale – photos from an african safari or pictures of birds taken by people with super long lenses. Looking through my photos to pick seven, I don’t have many of those. I’m a happy amateur who has standard lenses and doesn’t see much big, rare wildlife (although I will end with Ethiopian wildlife).

But nature is everywhere.  Weeds grow in the cracks of concrete paving slabs, birds twitter in the street and cats prowl – everywhere, toomuchwhere!

I think it’s a minor miracle that even in an urban space, we still see bees. This photo was taken in the rooftop garden of the Queen Elizabeth Hall of London’s South Bank. I was so chuffed that I managed to get it in focus (ish!) with it’s tongue in the flower.

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Seven days of nature photography: Day four – have a koala

Day four of seven days of nature photography. Have a koala. Taken in Brisbane way, way back in 2011. I wouldn’t want to hold one but they sure look cute curled up! This one is in black and white, as it emphasises the textures, whereas colour distracts a little from that.

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Seven days of nature photography: Day Three

Day three of my seven days of nature photography challenge set by Moth Clark, I dug out my one and only true sunrise photo. I was in Myanmar on a boat trip along the Irrawaddy River and the sunset had been spectacular the night before. But the dawn was even better. I took many shots and waited for this fisherman to float right into the beams of the sun across the water.

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Going gaga on GoGo – in the Simien Mountains

Day three in the Simien Mountains was a day of expanding joy. It took us higher than the first two and the views were astounding. In the lead up to the trip, when I had been day-dreaming of being in the mountains of Ethiopia, these were just the views I had envisaged.

I jumped for joy up there.

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Here are my best pictures from the morning. I don’t really have the right lens for wildlife or birds but I think I’ve done okay.

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We had a long trek ahead of us in the afternoon, so I had a wee ride on the mule for a while (we had to hire one for medical reasons in the morning). I have always been quite sniffy about riding on a mule; as I gave myself a rest and gently plodded along, I began to shift my view on that. So restful!

Alas, we reached a point where the mule had to go back to its village and there was no escaping the long, hot path uphill.

There were more lovely views up there and every now and again, our guide pointed into the far, far distance and claimed our campsite was in view. He promised us a shower when we got there – with hot water. As the afternoon wore on, he urged us to speed up but we didn’t really understand why. But we did our best and as we clambered the final long push downhill, we found ourselves singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for some bizarre reason.

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Eventually, we arrived at camp. To our huge disappointment, all the hot water had been used. All of a sudden, we twigged why our guide had been urging us to hurry. There was a limited supply of water in the tank. Instead, we had bowls of water – not quite the same but at least we got clean.

A lammergeier was floating overhead, so I had to race to get dressed again and grab my camera.

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Feeling slightly disgruntled for about 10 minutes in that weird way that comes with the privilege of having running water back home, we took ourselves off for a stroll to look at the view on the other side of the road. We lucked out – first, a great big old Ibex strolled into camp just as we were about to leave and then, when we crossed to the viewpoint, three gelada monkeys were huddled together on the cliff edge, giving me one of my favourite gelada shots of the whole holiday.

The perfect end to a perfect day.

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