• Day 5 Cook Islands

    AvaruaUp early again to do  more sunrise shots.  This time I found this perfect spot with a single palm tree low to the beach.  I worked around that getting various shots.

     

    Then I hit the road on the scooter.  I stopped at various locations around Rarotonga grabbing shots, including secluded beaches, Wigmore’s Waterfall, Black Rock (got a FANTASTIC panorama here with the aqua blue ocean), and around the main town of Avarua.

     

    In the afternoon, I took the GoPro diving and got some more great shots of star fish, coral and fish.  Well, when in paradise…

     

    And that was where my day ended abruptly as I strained my right foot/ankle while diving. Twisted the wrong way while standing up to get into my kayak (that’s life).  Had to rest up and go into repair mode pretty quickly.  It was lucky the injury happened when it did anyway as a large rain storm came in and swamped everything, so was still not able to get my elusive sunset shot or any shots for that matter.

     

    Time to rest up, repair, and oh, is that another cocktail calling? 🙂

  • Day 3 Cook Islands

    Up to shoot the sunrise and beginning of the Adrian Alford Photography video which you will see completed mid 2013 on this website.  Basically the video will detail more about my photography, my techniques and some of the stunning places I get to visit.  It will appear under the “About Adrian” tab.

     

    Had to go into the main town of Avarua to get my Cook Islands drivers licence for the scooter.  Even though I have a drivers licence and international drivers licence they still require you to have a “Cook Islands” drivers licence.  There is one main road that goes around the circumference of Rarotonga so it’s pretty hard to get lost.  I had a bit of fun with the drives licence picture and nailed “Blue Steel” hehe 🙂

     

    I then went to Wigmore’s waterfall in the middle of the island.  It was this perfect little oasis and I got a lot of different angles.  The best part was when the sun came out and dappled across the waterfall and green mossed ledge side, beautiful.  The mosquitos were pretty thick though.  My camera and scooter were covered in them as they’re attracted to black.  I did however have some tropical strength insect repellent (which coincidentally had just picked up from a store) so that kept them at bay thankfully.

     

    Did more scouting and found some good spots for more shots.

     

    In the afternoon I made my way over to the deserted Taakoka island via kayak in the middle of Muri Lagoon.  Took the Gopro Hero 3 camera and found a perfect spot to go snorkelling.  Got some incredible video footage and stills of the different fish, corals and bombies.  The best shot however was when I surfaced and discovered a single yellow hibiscus flower floating in the middle of the ocean.  I got a terrific shot as it floated by (see insert).  I am now using it as my blog background 🙂

     

    Found the perfect beach to take another sunset shot.  Unfortunately the sunset was a complete dud this evening.  But will return to the same spot tomorrow and hopefully get a better shot.

  • Day 4 Amalfi Coast

    Day 4 Amalfi Coast – Today was a bit more relaxed than yesterday and it is my last on the Amalfi Coast.  I cruised to different parts of Amalfi, including Positano again and stumbled across this magnificent viewpoint up near Agerola.  I took lots of shots here including some panoramas that should turn out quite well.

     

    From there I went back to the Torre a Mare (the medieval sighting tower) where Paolo Sandulli a local artist has his studio.  For an hour he showed me around inside including his works that you could tell he is proud of.  They are slightly Picasso-esque in style and capture Praiano and its residents quite beautifully, very heavily sea themed obviously.  Check them out for yourself here.  I now have a personally signed book of his works to add to my library back home.

     

    For the rest of the day I took a nature walk up into the hills behind my accom.  Once again great views, then lazed in the sun in the afternoon on my balcony.  Full moon here tonight over the sea which should make for some good shots, better get the camera gear ready.  Oh and luck is on my side once again.  Tonight there is some large festival celebrating Amalfi, fireworks, bands etc.  Better do the right thing and join in the festivities, you know while in Rome.. oh hang on, that’s the next stop 🙂

  • Day 3 Amalfi Coast

    Day 3 Amalfi Coast – Today will be remembered as the day I rode to Pompeii.  What an amazing and adventure filled day!

     

    It started early getting up to grab some dawn shots along Amalfi.  Beautiful morning here, no clouds, just birds singing, the waves gently rolling in on the pebble beached cove next to my accom.  I was going to catch a bus or taxi to Pompeii.  When I enquired at reception about the journey the following conversation took place:

     

    Adrian: “What time does the bus leave to Pompeii, or how much for a taxi?”

    Receptionist: “You have scooter no?”

    Adrian: “Si scooter, bat bike, si.”

    Receptionist: “You ride, only take one hour and half.”

    Adrian: “But what about the traffic, isn’t it dangerous?”

    Receptionist: “You have scooter, who care about traffic!”

     

    So I hit the road and I have to say I am glad I did.  The ride along the Amalfi coastline is something everyone should do before they leave this world.  It is breathtakingly beautiful.  I stopped along the way getting shots.

     

    I arrived at Pompeii early and once again beat the tourist crowds.  That gave me the opportunity to get wide shots with no one in them and to casually stroll around.  I was really moved by Pompeii.  Here I am in this other world, back when in 79 A.D Mt Vesuvius that I could see off in the distance erupted covering the entire place in molten ash and rock.  I saw bodies frozen in time gasping for air, asleep or huddled looking for protection.  Where people lived, were entertained, swam, bathed, worked, ate or shopped.  For the first time I filled my primary memory card on my camera!

     

    When I finished at Pompeii it was time to get back to Praiano.  Now I am not exaggerating here (and this is where the ride got a little hairy) the traffic from the Sorrento turn off from Pompeii to Sorrento itself was bumper to bumper!  Check out google maps, look at the distance involved.  The receptionist’s words started ringing in my ears, “you have scooter, who care about traffic!” (use the force Luke) – She was right, this is where the scooter has the advantage, I rode on the inside and outside lanes going past everyone, through long tunnels, dodging oncoming buses, trucks, cars, bikes.  Finally I got to Sorrento then the road from there was pretty clear and I could exhale again.  Once again I stopped along the way picking up shots (it’s impossible not to) in and around near Positano.

     

    I saved a lot of euros in going to Pompeii the way I did (only cost 15 euro – fuel and entry fee) but the whole experience was priceless in the end.

  • Day 2 Amalfi Coast

    Day 2 Amalfi  Coast – Today was spectacular here at the Mediterranean Sea!  I ventured with the bat bike to Positano, up to Agerola (looking down through cloud) and to Amalfi.  Along the way I stopped at caves, coves, ruins, churches, art galleries, pebble beaches and medieval sighting towers, specifically placed to help fight against invasion all those years ago.

     

    There is such beauty and history here and I can see why so many people from all over the world come here to relax and enjoy.  The water is a royal blue colour and the locals so friendly.

     

    Very happy with the shots I am getting 🙂

  • Day 1 Amalfi Coast

    Day 1 Amalfi Coast – After another exhausting day of travelling (boat, plane, bus, taxi) and going from one sea to another, I have arrived in Praiano, Amalfi Coast, Southern Italy.  Words can’t describe this place, so hopefully my photos will.  As I sit typing this I look up steep rocky cliff faces that are so high they go up through cloud.  The cliffs drop down into the crystal clear blue ocean and along the front is juttered by caves, small beach sections and boats (including large ocean liners).

     

    My hotel is built into the rock and I look along the cliffs and ocean all the way down to Amalfi, tough life.  When you arrive, you enter a small car park that only fits about 10 cars.  Then you enter a small elevator which takes you down to reception.  It’s almost like entering the bat cave.  When the doors open up you go along a tunnel to reveal the sea, incredible.  And as for my room, now I know what it is like to be in an eagle’s nest by the ocean.

     

    I have 4 days to explore here and I intend on going all over Amalfi from Sorrento to Salerno.  I can feel a photo feast coming on, paticularly panoramas – so have camera, backpack, scooter (aka bat bike) time for some fun.