Earlier this month I was one of the co-leaders on the Light Explorers' Tuscany In Spring workshop. We spent five days at a fantastic hotel just outside San Quirico d'Orcia with an awesome group of people shooting amongst the gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany
Carrasqueira is a location I've photographed many times, but not for a couple of years and not since I'd made the switch to Fuji. With the skies looking interesting I made the hour and a half drive down to the estuary of the Sado river hoping that even though the tide was going to be quite low, there would still be enough water to shoot long exposures.
As it turned out I was disappointed, the water had receded revealing the mud that the piers stand in. I'd also hoped to shoot some video, but the wind was so strong that it proved impossible, even with a microphone. The sky, however, was lovely and I passed the time there looking for alternative compositions and attempting to shoot the location in different ways to how I had done previously. It's always great to be out with the camera, particularly in such a peaceful place with a sunset like this, and while the images won't make it into my portfolio it was still a worthwhile trip.
Since I switched to Fuji last summer my passion for just going out and taking pictures again has been completely rekindled. When I first started photography around 10 years ago my first inspiration and images came from the coastline around where I lived.
It was photographing the local coastline that I learned about using a tripod, about long exposures, and about using filters. I loved the energy of the sea, and would head out to the beaches around Lisbon with my first dSLR and try to capture the water moving around rocks. It's a wonderful place for landscape photography, although some of the locations here can be a little challenging to get to. At Cabo da Roca, mainland Europe's most westerly point, a lighthouse sits atop 100 meter high cliffs that are constantly battered by the wind and waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Corvo, oh Corvo. Population 468, the most isolated and small of all the Azores, and a place I'd wanted to see with my own eyes ever since I first saw images of it. Getting there though is not always straightforward. There aren't daily flights to its tiny airport, and the two boats that go there each day are often cancelled or late due to be weather. Our boat was a due to leave at 16h30, so we arrived at the harbour a little early only to be waiting until almost 19h before we left. I did mange to capture some shots and portraits of this gentleman who'd been an inhabitant of Corvo all his life.
On our trip around the Azores we'd planned three nights in Faial, mostly because I was fascinated with the view it had of neighboring Pico and its mountain, but we soon realized that it was a beautiful island in its own right.
On our first day there we drove over to Almoxarife, a small village on the coast on the other side of a headland from the capital Horta. It's a reall pretty little town and we spent a large part of the afternoon diving into the sea from the concrete piers with the the locals. The beaches here are all pretty steep and rocky, and there's something incredibly enjoyable about leaping into the ocean like that. The water in the Azores is much warmer than in mainland Portugal and in such a hot and humid place it was great to jump in.
I've just returned from 25 days in Indonesia, my first trip with Fuji cameras and my first trip without a large dSLR. We traveled the entire length of Java and Bali overland so it was important to me to have a camera that wouldn't feel heavy and cumbersome to carry around, but also one I could completely rely on to produce excellent image quality.
The experience of traveling with Fuji cameras has been a revelation! Not only in how much lighter, smaller and easier to carry around it all is, but how I've not once missed my old Nikon in terms of image quality or autofocus in any of the many situations I've encountered, from fast moving street scenes to dynamically lit landscapes. They've been brilliant, reliable and a consistent pleasure to use.
The train journey from Probolinggo to Banuwango takes about four and a half hours through verdant green fields of rice, then it's a few hundred meters to the ferry port and about a dollar to make the crossing to Bali.
The island sits there in the blue of the sea with volcanic peaks covered in green vegetation reaching high into the sky. It's a very short crossing, and in no time we were there and being picked up at the exit. It's a short drive to the hotel but we were fascinated by the small villages we past through. Unlike Java, which is mostly Muslim, Bali is predominantly Hindu and right away we could see subtle differences in the architecture. We could feel ourselves starting to unwind and the stress of the busy last 5 days leaving our bodies, which had been the plan when we'd organized this part of the trip months earlier. There was nothing in particular I wanted to photograph in Pemuteran, it was just 4 days in a beautiful place where we could snorkel and recharge our batteries.
The final leg of our trip around Iceland was to the Westfjords. When you look at a road map, you can see why it's a part of the country that a lot of people miss out. The road hits the coast, going around each and every fjord, making driving to the main towns there a long and torturous journey.
It's a journey worth making though as the landscape there is stunning. Despite the fact that for the whole of the journey, the weather was absolutely dreadful, just driving rain and grey clouds hanging so low over the fjords that it was impossible to see the other side, the fjords have an ethereal peace and grandeur that takes your breath away.