Early Morning at Tower Bridge, London, England - The bridge (built in 1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge. The bridge is 800 feet long with the towers each 213 feet high. The span between the towers is 200 feet and can be raised to an angle of 86 degrees to allow boats to pass. Inside the bridge, there's The Tower Bridge Exhibition, a major tourist attraction, with a glass floor across the high-level walkways connecting the two towers.
Portland Bill Lighthouse at night with the Milky Way, Portland, Dorset, England - I walked a couple of miles down to here at night, I think I triggered every security light on my way down, sorry! :D I usually photography the stars with a shutter of 30 seconds to keep them from moving and leaving a trail. Other attractions at the Bill include the Pulpit Rock and the Trinity House Obelisk.
Golden Sunset over Big Ben, Westminster, London, England - Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, we Brits use the word to describe the entire tower. The tower is 315 feet tall, it is a British cultural icon, recognised all over the world. Due to ground conditions since construction, the tower leans slightly to the north-west, by roughly 9 inches. On the dial of the Great Clock of Westminster, the hour hand is 9 feet long and the minute hand is 14 feet long. In front of the Houses of Parliament is the Westminster Bridge, which crosses the River Thames, it is 820 feet long. Behind Big Ben, you can see Westminster Abbey.
Wavy Pierhead Street Car Park, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales - Cardiff Bay, formerly Tiger Bay, has been through a major redevelopment program making it ideal for photographers! I rarely do these 'abstract' images, sometimes I think I'm just lazy, then regret it afterward. I also did something here I hardly ever do, a dutch-angle! I photographed this from Bute Pl Street.
Beautiful Morning, Martindale, Lake District, Cumbria, England - Martindale is a beautiful area for photography, the village is situated between the lakes of Ullswater and Haweswater. The upper part of Martindale is a deer reserve, home to the oldest native red deer herd in England. Situated north of Martindale is Ullswater Lake, the famous vintage Steamers can be picked up at Glenridding for an 8 mile, one hour sail around the lake. I took this shot from the fell path climbing Hallin Fell, north of The Parish Church of Saint Peter Martindale, looking south.
Roundabout at the Picturesque Village of Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England - The Picturesque Village of Castle Combe (aka 'The Prettiest Village in England') in the Autumn, Wiltshire, England about 5 miles northwest of the town of Chippenham. In September 2010, the town was used as a major filming location for Spielberg's film War Horse. The village takes its name from the 12th-century castle which once stood above the village. The village is situated on the southern-most edge of the Cotswolds and, approximately 12 miles from the city of Bath.
Colourful Flower Background, Coneflower, Echinacea - Echinacea is a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. The Echinacea genus has nine species, which are commonly called coneflowers. They are found only in eastern and central North America, growing in prairies and open wooded areas. They bloom from early to late summer. The name is derived from the Greek word ekhinos, meaning hedgehog, relating to its spiny centre.
V-Formation, Canada Geese flying through a dramatic sky at Hereford, England - V formation improves the efficiency of flying birds, especially over long migratory routes. All the birds, except the lead, fly in the upwash from the bird ahead. It's said with 25 birds, each can achieve a reduction of drag increasing their range by around 70%.
Amsterdam, Netherlands - Not my usual landscape or architectural shot, but couldn't help notice how nice this couple looked sitting on the bench with the canal going into the distance. I think this was shot somewhere in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam, Holland. I'm not sure how I feel about street photography, but in this case, neither person is can be easily recognised.
The Anglican Cathedral, Fifth largest Cathedral in the World, Liverpool, England - The Anglican cathedral is one of two cathedrals in the city, the other being the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool, situated about a mile to the north. A competition was organized for the design of the cathedral. It was won by 22-year-old Giles Gilbert Scott, who was still a pupil and had no existing buildings to his credit, his only major work had been to design a pipe-rack!
Pen-y-gareg dam is the second dam up in the Elan Valley, Rhayader, Wales. There are four dams on the river Elan, which supply water to Birmingham. There was fresh snow the morning I arrived, making the area look absolutely beautiful. This dam is usually overflowing. The higher dam, Craig Goch, is often not overflowing so it's worth checking the Elan Valley facebook page before you head out. The river Claerwen has the newest, and largest Claerwen dam, it makes for a dramatic photograph when shot from the small footbridge below.
Side Entrance to Monsaraz, Alentejo, Portugal - Funny story for this shot, I tried it the night before, set my tripod up, composed the scene, and just a second before I clicked, the lamp went off! :D! This walled castle town sits atop a hill near the border of Spain. It is one of the oldest Portuguese settlements in southern Portugal. The area includes hundreds of megalithic monuments, including the Neolithic remains of Herdade de Xerez. Monsaraz has been under Roman occupation and later occupied by the Visigoths, Arabs, Mozarabs, Jews, and Christians loyal to Afonso Henriques.
Beautiful Fanad Head Lighthouse, County Donegal, Ireland - Fanad (Fánaid) is a peninsula that lies between Lough Swilly and Mulroy Bay. This Lighthouse was constructed after a tragedy in 1811 when the ship Saldanha was wrecked off the northern coast. The ship’s parrot was the only survivor. Not far south from the lighthouse is the fantastic Great Pollet Sea Arch near Doagh Beg.
The Spectacular Arab Room (Moorish design) located in Herbert Tower at Cardiff Castle, Wales - The ceiling was designed in the 1880s by architect and Medieval revivalist William Burges who was inspired by his extensive travels. Cardiff Castle itself dates back to at least the 11th century at the site of a much earlier Roman Fort. It was a quiet day at the castle and the guards let me get much closer than normal, thank you!
The Church of St Eustace, (L’église Saint-Eustache) is a church in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, built in 1632. Located at the entrance to the city's ancient markets (Les Halles) and the beginning of rue Montorgueil. During the French Revolution the church, like many churches in Paris, was desecrated and used for a time as a barn. It really was amazing inside!
Great Grey Owl - The great grey is the world's largest species of owls by length, with fluffy plumage, long wings and tail, and a large head with no ear-tufts (wingspan up to 152cm). The species name Nebulos (Latin Nebulosus, meaning misty or foggy). These owls are found from Alaska across Canada, down the Northern Rocky Mountains and northern Minnesota. They are also found in northern Europe and Asia.
High Street at Burford, Oxfordshire, England - Often referred to as the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds' Burford, an old Anglo-Saxon fort and once a wealthy wool town, is one of the most picturesque villages in England. I took this photo from the footpath off the A361 (aka The Hill) I was hoping to get some sunlight on the buildings, but the English weather rarely cooperates! :)
Sunset at Frangokastello (Frangocastello built by the Venetians in 1371-74) in the area of Sfakia, on the south west coast of Crete, 8 miles east of Chora Sfakion and 16 miles west of Plakias. I included the bush on the right to block out rows of cars. There's not much inside the castle, but the views from the top are nice, it's only cheap to go in. The beach here is also beautiful.
The Picturesque Village of Castle Combe (aka 'The Prettiest Village in England') in the Autumn, Wiltshire, England about 5 miles northwest of the town of Chippenham. In September 2010, the town was used as a major filming location for Spielberg's film War Horse. The village takes its name from the 12th-century castle which once stood above the village. The village is situated on the southern-most edge of the Cotswolds and, approximately 12 miles from the city of Bath.
The Church Door at The Parish Church of Saint Edward Stow-On-The-Wold, Cotswolds, England - Stow-on-the-Wold is a small market town, situated on top of an 800-foot hill in Gloucestershire, England. I found this location through the old Google Maps, where little blocks would appear on the map, since the change I've found it worthless to research locations this way anymore. Now I focus mainly on 500px, Flickr and Google Image Search.
The Arkadi Monastery (Moní Arkadhíou) is an Eastern Orthodox monastery, situated 14 miles to the southeast of Rethymnon on the island of Crete in Greece. The Venetian baroque church dates back to the 16th century. During the Cretan resistance of Ottoman rule (in 1866) nearly a thousand Greeks, mostly women, and children sought refuge in the monastery. After three days the Cretans blew up barrels of gunpowder, choosing to sacrifice themselves rather than surrender.
Dirt Path, Alentejo, Portugal - These are cork oak trees (Quercus suber), you can see how they've taken off the bark halfway down the tree. They make wonderful things with the cork in Portugal, such as bags, shoes, purses, necklaces etc, not just for wine bottle stoppers! Over time the cork layer of bark develops thickness and can be harvested every seven to ten years. Only the bark is collected, and a new layer regrows, the harvesting of cork does not harm the tree at all. Portugal accounts for around 50% of the world cork harvest.
Sunset Glow at Twr Mawr, Llanddwyn Island (Ynys Llanddwyn), Newborough Warren, Anglesey, Wales - Llanddwyn is not technically an island, as it remains attached to the mainland at all but the highest tides. It provides excellent views of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula. The Island is situated near the southern entrance to the Menai Strait. The lighthouse Tŵr Mawr (modeled on the windmills of Anglesey) was built in 1845. This was my second visit here, I underestimated the distance of the walk for my first outing and arrived too late. I was fortunate I had such an amazing sky for my second time around!
The Iniciatic Well, Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal - The 90 foot deep well resembles an inverted tower. It is divided into nine platforms, which are said to be reminiscent of the Divine Comedy by Dante and the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine skies which constitute Paradise. The well was used for secretive initiation rites, not for water collection. I photographed this hand-held, leaning over as far as I could at 16mm. I shot a bracketed set of 3 images to create enough dynamic range to see the floor below.
Fishing Boats, Dusk at Sennen Cove, Sennen, Cornwall, England - In the distance is Cape Cornwall. Sennen Cove fishing village is a great place to base for photographing the west coast of Cornwall, with Land's End within walking distance and the Botallack Mines only 7 mines away. Sennen Cove Lifeboat Station was founded in 1853, next to this is the Roundhouse, now an art gallery, but originally used to house a winch for pulling boats up from the beach.
Beautiful Sunset, St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy - St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture, it is also the largest church in the world. Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, one of Jesus's Apostles and also considered the first Pope. Peter, like Jesus, was crucified (Caravaggio painted the incredible Crucifixion of St. Peter). The bridge in the foreground over the Tiber is Ponte Sant'Angelo, completed in 134 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian.
The Agios Minas Cathedral, Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Heraklion, Crete, Greece. It was built in 1895 and is one of the largest cathedrals in Greece, with a capacity of 8,000 people. Saint Minas, from which the church is named, is the patron saint of Heraklion and his feast day (11th November) there is a public holiday. Located to the left of this church is the original smaller church of Saint Minas. Heraklion has a beautiful old harbour, including its famous Fortress.
Windmill Ruins on the mountain near Elounda, Crete, Greece - Elounda (Ελούντα) is a small fishing town on the northern coast of the island of Crete, north of Agios Nikolaos and south of the seaside resort of Plaka. It is the closest major town to the former Venetian fortress and later leper colony of Spinalonga (Σπιναλόγκα), located on an island officially named Kalydon (Καλυδών). I took this photo from the winding road leading from the mountains above the city.
The Jetty and Island at Agios Marina near Platanias, Chania, Crete, Greece - Agios Marina with its beautiful sandy beach are one of the largest tourist resorts in western Crete, located about 7 miles from Venetian harbour town of Chania. I shot this during the middle of the day, the sky was empty of clouds. A good tip is to try and cover the sky if possible in these situations, which also helps fill the frame. The water here is crystal clear and beautiful green/turquoise in colour.
La Sainte-Chapelle Upper Chapel, Paris, France - The Upper Chapel at La Sainte-Chapelle (meaning Holy Chapel) is a royal chapel in Gothic style completed on 26 April 1248, within Palais de la Cité, on the Île de la Cité in the heart of the city. The church was commissioned by King Louis IX to house his collection of relics, including Christ's Crown of Thorns. The stained glass is simply stunning. Arranged across 15 windows, each 50 feet high, the leaded glass panes depict 1,113 biblical scenes from the Old and New Testaments.