This was taken inside Queenstown Gardens which is situated right in the middle of Queenstown. It kind of like Central Park for Queenstown, yet even as I write that I know it's not a good analogy. Surrounded by mountains, Queenstown has nothing in common with New York City. Maybe a better analogy would be Stanley Park in Vancouver, yes, I think so. Only Queenstown is not as commercial as Vancouver and is many times smaller. So if Vancouver were one-tenth its size then the comparison might be truer; so much for analogies.
I came here with a group of photographers on the first day of a workshop with Trey Ratcliff. We arrived before dawn along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. We then walked and took photos for several miles, ending up here still quite early in the morning. The shadows were long in the morning sun and the clouds were puffy; all elements to consider in composition, which was one of the themes of the workshop. As compositions go, this is so-so, not one of my best. Even so, looking at this now brings back fond memories of the chilly autumn morning.
After about an hour here we loaded onto a bus and headed for a well-deserved breakfast at a hotel overlooking the lake. After almost two years, I still believe that New Zealand has some of the most scenic landscapes on the planet. I also think they make a pretty good breakfast. So if you can put those two concepts together, that amount sums up my first morning.
Bormuth Tapas Bar is located in the El Born / La Ribera section of Barcelona. It's in a labyrinth of streets and shops. Of all the places I visited in this city, this area was most enjoyable to get lost in. I snapped this shot as I was walking around at night, but later learned from TripAdvisor that it has great ratings. Had I not just left another Tapas bar a few minutes before I would have stopped here for a quick nosh. This area is so fun I could imagine living in Barcelona just to hang out here and talk late into the night, or wander around with my camera.
Tapas is the way to go, a little bit of this, a little bit of that and some good Spanish wine to wash it all down. I've noticed a few Tapas bars popping up near my home in Florida lately. If I were to make a prediction I would guess that Tapas will grow in popularity here in North America. It just seems like a reasonable way to eat, kind of like a Spanish version of Dim Sum.
To take this photo I used an ISO of 5000 which is quite high. That and the in-camera image stabilization allows me to capture a night scenes like this that would not have been possible a year ago without a tripod. Capturing images at night is one of my favorite types of photography, the mood is transformed from the stark light of day and somehow it evokes more feelings and imagination, at least for me.
So here I am, lost in a labyrinth, having just had Tapas and wine, and lost in the joy of my favorite type of photography at the same time. What could be better?
Over the weekend I spent the afternoon at Fort DeSoto beach watching the waves and taking a few pictures. This is one of my favorite spots, its remote and in the afternoon there are few people. There is also a campground near by so you can walk or ride a bike here, watch the sunset and then head back to sit around the campfire. That's what this family did as it started to get dark.
Just off the coast is Egmont Key which is a deserted island, a little like the island in Lost.
Around this time of the day you might see a cruise ship sail past this point on its way out of Tampa Bay towards the Gulf of Mexico. Winter it's a busy time for cruises so we tend to see a lot of ships coming and going. Something about those gigantic ships is mesmerizing to watch, especially in the evenings when they are all lit up, like moving cities. If you get up early, you see them going in the opposite direction as they come into port.
Only after I moved to the Tampa area did I learn about cruises. A few years back I took my first cruise out of here and sailed right past this spot. I had so much fun I didn't want it to end. Nevertheless, I got up early on the last morning to see all the familiar landmarks I'd only ever seen from shore.