• Day 2 Cook Islands

    CoconutSPECTACULAR sunrise this morning so took full advantage with the silhouette of islands in the lagoon.  Lots of clouds with pink, orange and purple colours.  Probably some of the best sunrise shots I’ve ever taken.  These will be available to view and buy very soon from this website, stay tuned.


    I secured my scooter for getting around the island for the rest of the week.  Love my scooters, just so much fun!  They’re also economical, easy parking and they can get you into places cars can’t.  Great for photography.


    Shot pics for new exciting website soon to launch called slimbirdy.com.  I have a feeling this website will be a HUGE hit in the future, so keep your eyes out for that one.  It concentrates on healthy living tips, delicious recipes, fun exercise and much much more.


    In the afternoon I did a bit of scouting for locations, then shot a beautiful sunset on the western side of the island.


    Off to shoot night shots with bright stars over islands.


    Loving this place so much!  🙂

  • Day 1 Cook Islands

    Taakoka IslandAfter a long flight and arriving at 1am in Rarotunga, it was relieving to get to my accom at Muri Beach.  Given the late hour, I could not resist to go down to the waters edge in front of my bungalow.  I looked up to see the milky way in a bright cloudless night sky over the silhouette of a small island out in the lagoon.  Pricelsss moment.


    Upon waking I discovered an oasis lagoon with water so blue it was like someone had tipped coloured dye into the water.  I have been blessed with beautiful weather today to get my initial shots around the Muri Beach area.  Remote lttle islands lay within the lagoon so I grabbed a kayak and paddled out to do a recky for some potential shots on one of the islands.  Found some great spots.


    Once again luck was upon me and a group of young local children had a sailing regatta in the lagoon.  Their miniature sailing boats were too cute, and boy could they go!  Got some wonderful shots as they raced around the lagoon.


    Such a magnificent first day and I still have all week to enjoy.  Am really looking forward to it.

    Sunrise and sunset shots again tomorrow.  Have found some nice locations to shoot from.

    I also have a new best friend in a little cat who follows me around everywhere getting under my feet hence her nickname CIC.  Short for Cook Islands Cat.

  • End of this journey

    Coming to Heathrow airport this morning the driver had the song, “Everybody’s Talkin At Me” on the radio.  Was kind of a fitting song as I listened to the lyrics heading home to Australia.


    My friends and I talked about this journey as being a trip of a lifetime, and it has been plus so much more.  It’s been an adventure in lots of different ways, and has ignited feelings inside of me that I have not had since I was 12 years old.  I sipped coffee in cafes in Paris, rode a scooter around Tuscany (thanks Luca), enjoyed voyages across Lake Como in beautifully made Italian wooden boats (thanks Jennine and Luca), gondola’d Venice, did the ride around the Amafi Coast road, roamed the ancient steets of Rome, sat atop the Scottish Highlands and enjoyed bangers and mash in a classic old London pub.


    I have met some of the loveliest people (and not so lovely) and made great new friends, but most of all I have captured some fantastic images that will be loaded to this website very soon.


    For those of you who have followed this blog, I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have.  It’s been fun having you along for the ride.  Take care and until next time…


  • Day 3 London

    Day 3 London – Another great day here despite predictions for rain.  Last night was a great night, capturing some images in the rain around near Big Ben.


    For my last day here in London I decided to relax a bit and have some fun.  Started off by visiting Madame Tussauds.  Quite enjoyed seeing all the stars, celebs and historical figures.  Then I went to Harrods for some shopping.  I can see why it is one of the most luxurious (and expensive) department stores in the world.  Going up escalators and being serenaded by a female opera singer from a balcony!  The service is brilliant there I must admit.


    I then picked up the camera and headed to Westminster Abbey and the London Eye.  Was mainly aiming at different angles, sections, reflections and slashes of light.  Luckily it was a great sunset so got some good shots.


    Had a wonderful time here in London, although it was a short stay I got to see and experiennce a lot.

  • Day 2 London

    Day 2 London – Another great day here in the L of H & G!


    Started the day off by heading to the Tower of London and then worked my way back along the Thames (on the opposite bank from yesterday) snapping off different shots.  Switched to the Tube for another mode of transport as it got me to places quicker than the hop on hop off bus.


    Found this wonderful old pub to photograph around the corner from my accom, then went to Hyde Park again to shoot the Princess Diana Memoral Fountain.  Was very well thought out and a fitting tribute to Diana.  I picked up some lunch on the run and stopped in the park to eat.  To my surprise when I looked on the fence behind my bench I had a visitor.  A squirrel just full of character wanted some food, so gave him a few cashew nuts.  I asked him to pose for the camera, so he stood up, smiled and took a bow  Just one of those rare photos you get.


    Off to the centre of London tonight for some night shots.  Tomorrow they are expecting heavy rain, but at least I had London for two great days of sun and I got a lot achieved photographically.  But I will still shoot in the rain as you never know what the camera might see.

  • Day 1 London

    Day 1 London –  You know I hummed and harred about coming to London, and I have to say I am so happy I came here now.  Right up until this morning I came to London with no itinerary, nothing planned to see or do.  I just went with the flow.  I have had the most magnificent day here and London has really surprised me.  It has been picture perfect, blue sky, about 21 degrees and you can tell there is an air of excitement here with the Queen’s Jubilee just gone and the 2012 Olympics right around the corner.


    I began the day by walking across from my accom to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.  Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are so incredibly beautiful with all the spring flowers out.  So happy to have that across the road from me so I can relax and play.  Then I went onto Buckingham Palace and once again luck was on my side with a marching band just starting up and walking down the Mall as I was walking past.  Had front row centre to rattle off shots with them and Buckingham Palace in the background 🙂  Then it was onto Number 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, Westminster Hall, London Eye and finally to London Bridge (it’s not falling down despite the song).  Walking along the River Thames I struck photo gold because the walkway somehow had flooded in about half a foot of water?  At ground level the shots I took have the perfect mirror reflection of trees and people in them.  In a way, the people look like they are walking on water.


    I have now got one of those hop on hop off bus passes and the bus drops me off at my accom door, yay for saving leg power!  So for the next couple of days I will make my way around London jumping off at different spots and exploring.  I really do like this place and so does the camera 🙂

  • Day 5 Scotland

    Day 5 Scotland – What’s this?  Still in Scotland after yesterday was supposed to be my last day here?  Well, it was supposed to be.


    I awoke at 5am to rays of sunshine coming through my window at Invergarry.  For the last 3 days I have been hoping for sun, but only got overcast and showery days.  So the decision was made.  I rang the airline and my London transfers people and got onto a later flight arriving at 9pm.  That gave me a day of sunshine to go and shoot the highlands, and I am so glad I did.  Had the best day shooting and for the second time on my trip filled my memory card on my camera in one day.  Now I have images of the highlands in all weather, sun, cloud, rain etc.   I even had time enough to go back to Eilean Donan Castle, grab a few good sunny shots of it and then venture inside.  I loved the interior, fantastic banquet hall, kitchen and bedroom settings, all set up as it would have been originally, really well done.


    Now I have just arrived in London, exhausted after running all over the highlands and driving for 4 hours back to Edinburgh to catch my flight.  But what a drive, stunning scenery in bright sunshine 🙂

  • Day 4 Scotland

    Day 4 Scotland – Today very sadly is my last day in Scotland (sigh).


    I began the day at the Nevis Range where I went up in the gondola to the top.  No views, as I was in thick cloud, but got some great shots of the landscape that will look quite good and eerie in black and white.


    Then I went to Glencoe.  Once again more stunning mountains, but in particular stumbled across this great waterfall which I spent time getting shots around.


    After lunch I decided to explore the highlands between Invergarry and Dornie.  I found this one particular mountain and decided to climb to the top.  It took me 2 hours on a steep incline to get to the peak.  But once up there I had the most fantastic views and felt on top of the world.  I sat there for 30 mins and just took it all in.  The walk down was much easier of course and the great thing was I discovered more waterfalls.  When I eventually got back to my car (and this hurts) I put my camera gear in the passenger seat, walked around to the drivers side door only to see a British Tornado fighter jet fly past me at eye line level along the loch I was parked at!  I can only imagine how good a shot it would have been if I had my camera in hand (double sigh).


    I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Scotland and I have no doubt I will be back one day, only for a much longer stay so I can explore more.

  • Day 3 Scotland

    Day 3 Scotland – Today began at 3am and finished at midnight both at the same location, Eilean Donan Castle.  Sunrise and sunset shots.  Even at midnight it is still light here at this time of year.  It has been overcast all day, so I did not get any more highland mountain shots, hopefully tomorrow.


    After finishing shooting this morning at the Isle of Skye I came back to my accom had breakfast then slept for a few hours.  Then I was up and back into it.  Visited, Fort Augustus, Urquhart Castle up in the middle of Loch Ness and then Fort William.  All the way stopping for great photo opportunites.


    After speaking with the locals they have given me a good idea of where to head tomorrow for some good highland shots (in good  or bad weather).  Fingers crossed for a bit of sun though.


    As each day passes I fall more in love with this place, but it is not just the scenery, it’s the people.  Incredibly friendly, courteous, helpful and funny.

  • Day 2 Scotland

    Day 2 Scotland – I began this beautiful Spring day in Scotland by going to the Edinburgh Castle.  Was a fantastic way to start the day.  Loved the place, had stunning views over the city and learnt a tonne of history about Scotland in the process.


    Then I hit the road in the Audi at lunch time and began my journey to the Highlands where I will be based for the next 3 days at Invergarry.  On my drive out here I saw endless fields of flowers, lochs, waterfalls, streams, castles, stone bridges, deer, snow, beauty EVERYWHERE!  I will be brief here now as I am speechless when it comes to this place.  I love photographing landscapes and in particular mountains in all sorts of lighting conditions.


    The Scottish Highlands to me = A: Photographic Heaven and B: My new home, sorry I am not coming back! 😉