Tag Archives: “travel photography”

Is Marseille really French…?

Is Marseille really French I wonder…? It’s such a brilliant hotchpotch of different styles, cultures and colours. Really it’s a bit of everything. Maybe the old greek Massalia-polis attitude lives on? Origins aren’t important, attitudes are. And Marseille has such a fantastic mixture of old and new. It’s a great city no doubt, and a couple of days work on the south coast of France never hurt anyone…

Here’s the old city, the Vieux Port, still looking good in spite of the stains on the mirror:

The basilica looks Moroccan, or a bit Eastern…., slightly Turkish…

 

The combination of old and new is very French, and in Marseille it’s done with great style. Here’s the single metal strip walkway bridge juxtaposed with the old port watch-tower.

 

The stunning Museum of the Mediterranean, closed on Tuesdays, because we are after all in France, so I couldn’t actually visit it…

 

 

 

There’s even a Brit influence in Marseille. Every French town has a covered market, but Marseille has a Norman Foster glossy mirrored-ceiling version.. Take a look, this is the right way up…

And so, back to the hotel for a very French breakfast with my traductrice, Jo Hair: animal artist extraordinary If you like a penguin, you’ll love this, check the link

(And finally, why did the Brits stick an “-s” on the end of Marseille…, Marseilles? Typical Brit sort of thing to do of course…)


Sri Lankan Faces

Sri Lanka is a wonderful country, full of colour, vibrancy and beautiful scenery. Here are some faces of the people we met over our 10 days in this fascinating country…

A young Tamil tea picker

 

A fire eater…

 

Ladies by the roadside

 

A gardener

 

The local butcher

 

A monk and his Mercedes

 

Tea picker in Ella


But which ones to choose…?

Right, I need some help. We have a club competition coming up this week. A prestigious cup, no less, is on offer. The Bedwell Trophy, for the best panel of 4 images. And my problem is which 4 to choose….

Obvs they need to be themed, and I’ve gone for “Long Exposure at More London”. But I’ve got 5 images, and I can’t make up my mind. I only can take 4. Above is ‘Shard 1’, below is ‘City Hall’, I think they top and tail quite nicely…

But then there’s ‘Skyline Shard’ which is a good scene setter:

Finally, I have two more abstract-y images. Do I go with both, or just one…? They are ‘London Office Block’ and ‘Reflection’:

So, which should I choose for my 4? Anyone care to help me out? Have a vote below for which image to leave out?

(Remember to check out more of my photos on Instagram: thomaspeck or twitter @Peckster68)


Modernist bridges in The Netherlands

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The Netherlands has got a lot of bridges, for obvious reasons… And whilst I like a quaint hump-backed stone bridge over a quiet canal in Amsterdam, I think I prefer the smack-in-your-face modernist Über-bridges dotted elsewhere around the country. Take this one by Spanish architect Calatrava. It’s a bridge that looks more like a space rocket. Aesthetics on top of functionality. Awesome!

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The Dutch have been building modernist bridges since the 50s. This is the super-sleek Zeeland Bridge spanning the Osterschelde estuary. Over 5kms long…

And here’s another Calatrava. He does like his pointy bits, doesn’t he? Makes for quite a photograph though…

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Sharp lines and chiaroscuro in London and Rotterdam!

I have been having some fun converting  pictures! With the expert help of my friend Noel (check out his website here) I’ve been experimenting with luminosity masks, superior selections, and 8 minute sky exposures. Dramatic and I love it! Here’s London, looking sharp…

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And give me a Dutch bridge and this is what I do to it:

 

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Perhaps the most photogenic city for modern architecture however is Rotterdam, see below. And it’s got a fine modern art museum. Noel tells me his wife tells him that the shopping is superlative too. Excellent. Mrs P will have something to do on our next weekend away whilst I get on with the image making!

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Slot canyons in Utah & Arizona

This is the top of a slot canyon. Doesn’t look like much. Not from the outside anyway…

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But all that changes on the inside. It’s like stepping into a different world, literally.

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Colour, form, texture, line, flow. A photographer’s paradise. Impossible not to feel awestruck.

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These are the slot canyons of Utah and Arizona; part of the photographic tour I lead to the US in October in conjunction with aspect2i.co.uk

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The beauty is all underground… I can’t wait to do it all over again in October 2017. If you fancy joining me, check out the dates and sign up!

Processed with Snapseed.

 

 


A beach, a dog, and a race…

Autumn is here, my favourite season! The colours are muted but saturated, the weather still not too cold. Mists and mellow fruitfulness and all that. A good time to get out with the camera. This last week the Isle of Wight has been positively glowing and I’ve been having some fun with my tripod plus tilt and shift lens…

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Dusk isn’t too late, so I can photograph The Needles and don’t miss out on dinner with the family, and dawn isn’t too early, so it’s not too hard to haul my botski out of bed and shoot the misty sunrise.
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But what about the beach, the dog and the race…? Well, when the kids were young beaches were for sandcastles and paddling, but now we have a dog a beach is of course for races! Below is Charles puffing away whilst Rufus ambles past him. Rufus wins easily. And then me! a sprightly 42, giving the hound a run for his money. (Rufus still won…)

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Ah, the inner child will out…

Dawn, dusk, beaches, racing. A cracking week on the Isle of Wight. Loved it.

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Mexican Palm Trees, and Cocktails…

Palm trees means beach means sun means holiday, right? Right! Two weeks of Mexican mojitos, margaritas and caipirinhas (Brazil…?) and the odd whisky sour thrown in to balance all the sugar. FullSizeRender 20

 

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I’ve become quite fond of palm trees over the last fortnight. Obviously the shade was very welcome for a white northern boy like me. But they also gave me something to photograph. Nice theme for a little series of sunny beach images…

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I must admit that I took most of these in the early morning so that I could still hold the camera straight before indulging in all that cocktail malarkey. And palm trees help out even there – pretty ramrod straight, which sorts out the verticals. Apart from this one…? What happened this poor chap?

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They’re pretty bendy too, which comes in useful when a tropical storm ruins the sun-bathing for a few days.

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But perhaps the best thing about a palm tree is a coconut. Here’s young Freya, indulging in the palm tree’s fruit (although perhaps not with all the alcohol that I seem to throw in….)

 

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(All shots made with an iPhone – too hot to carry the big beast around…)

 


Half term chaos on the slopes

Skiing should be a dream: Vast expanses of empty white nothing; no-one to interrupt the perfect carve; elegance and rhythm, speed and style. With a bit of luck the sun is shining, to take the edge off the crisp cold. That’s the dream… on a slope a bit like the ones below…

Le rêve

Le rêve

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Le soleil

Then crash bang WALLUP! Reality kicks in and you realise it’s half term, the French Alps have become franglified with holidaying Brits, a Coke up the mountain costs ridiculous Euros, and queuing etiquette has been replaced by the shove of the masses…

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La foule

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La piste

(Nice style Sophie!)

The collective madness infects everyone. Here’s a brother crashing in slo-mo into a sister and them heaping up on the floor. Hilarious! Usually, I admit, it’s me that does the crashing. But not this time! I leave the honours to Mrs P and my bro-in-law. Young cousin is being gentlemanly and returning lost ski…

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Le crash

Next week I shall blog my way back to the serenity again and return to the dream. Leave all this chaos behind!

 


Is it ok to remove the tour kitty from a corpse….?

So, here’s last week’s skiing dilemma: all 8 lads have just put €50 in the kitty. 400 smackers – clearly enough for quite a few beers. And then kitty carrier goes arse over tit and because he’s only got one plank welded to his leg, shatters his shin bone and has to be blood wagoned down the slope. Of course, the 7 still standing are intensely sorry for our Kumpel, but hells bells, what do we do about the kitty!?!?

 

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Morning view

 

Having said that, a boys trip is actually an object lesson in reconnecting with humanity. This may surprise our wives…., but we are able to discuss the finer aspects of life. Of course, not wishing to stretch credulity, obviously we do all the usual boy things – lots of farting, burping, gross humour, discussion of the merits of tits vs arse etc etc. But these are not the only topics of discussion. For example, in one evening we covered all the following topics: How long has your longest friend been you friend? The meaning of religion. Why do we pay tax? The respective merits of tea vs booze. How should we all contribute to society? The benefits of 3 in a bed. Politics – in general. How best to stack a dishwasher (good debate on that one!) How much we love our kids. James Bond (was The Living Daylights R Moore or T Dalton?) How long should you boil an egg at altitude to get a perfect softy? (Answer 6.5 mins in Sölden…) What exactly are parental responsibilities? How safe is the cut? And how long does it take to clean out the tubes before the risk of impregnation has passed? ALL ON ONE EVENING!

 

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I hesitate to enumerate the list of other topics discussed on other evenings. Frankly Rousseau and Voltaire would have been hard pressed to keep up. And I haven’t even mentioned the skiing, yet.

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Even our cooking wasn’t bad, although heaven knows what happened to this spaghetti…, swiftly followed by an argument over dishwasher stacking (f.f’s sake!)

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Dish washer

 

 

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Boys do not do things by halves. If we go to the supermarket then we damn well shop – and need at least 2 trolleys to get the beer back home (thank God the team had learnt to avoid Alkohol-frei this time!)

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Oooops, not quite sure how the last evening’s entertainment crept in there… passing swiftly on (!) we come back to the initial dilemma. What to do about that €400? The cash needs to be weighed up against the seriousness of the injury. Take a look at the poor chap’s shin bone:

 

Broken leg

 

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Well, being the decent chaps we are of course we chased after the blood wagon! So that’s another boys trip over for another year. Can’t wait for the next one.

 

Solden view

 

(Now boys – if you haven’t seen the video, then let me know and I’ll wetransfer it to you. It’s fun. And ask yourselves this: What does Granny really want?) Tschüß, bis zum nächsten Jahr!