Tag Archives: Travel

Empty Venice…

Venice is a photographer’s delight. Everywhere you look are potential images. The trick is to empty the city of people, and that isn’t quite so easy…

Early morning works (only photographers get up before 6am…) or shoot across the water in the misty twilight.

I love slowing the exposures down so much that everything moving – boats, people etc – just disappears…

And then it’s good to find hidden corners, bridges and canals where occasional interlopers do appear, but seem quite arbitrary.

Visit Venice in the off season and it’s easy to appreciate its beauty, and not get too flustered by its crowds. And then, get up early morning to make the most of it…

 

For more info on Quest Photographic Tours, and the workshops I’m leading next year, please click on this .


Immy likes to strike a pose…

I have an actress for a daughter, and she loves to strike a pose… Spot the onlooker!

 

Wonderful to see Immy happy again!

Photos from Rousillon, Luberon, France. Aug 2018


Galloping in the Camargue

It’s been years since we went to France on summer holiday. But the wait was worth it. Even in the canicule (41C at its peak) it was lovely. And in spite of the heat we made a trip to the Camargue so that I could photograph the horses. A fantastic evening, knee deep in the marsh, camera set up to 3200th of a second, and galloping horses, coming straight for me, very fast….


I guess photography is as much about the experience of taking the photo, as the photo itself. And this was an experience! Power and grace, and a lot of splashing. I couldn’t stop grinning…

 

 

This is gypsy land, and gypsy horses. It was fantastic to see the gardiens drive the horses through the water. Here’s gypsy Lucie, bareback, no helmet, galloping at 40mph. Definitely a sight to behold…

 

I think my favourite images are those that are slightly desaturated to reflect the ethereal experience (see first and last image). It was a great day in a great place. I can’t wait to return!

 

 


Iceland – just amazing…

There is a moment when you know that you’ve fallen for a place. I’ve just been co-leading a workshop in Iceland, a land which is awesome in every sense of the word. But the place that encapsulates that wonder is the beach at Jökusárlón, where the bergs get washed up on the black sand and create amazing temporary sculptures. Stunning.

Iceland is not just black beaches and icebergs. It’s glaciers, fish, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, sulphur, mud, horses and expensive hotels. Empty roads too. Route 1, the equivalent of the Icelandic M25, is empty once past Reykyavik and the glory spots of the south coast. I drove for hours only passing a few cars the whole time… 2500 kms, empty most of the way.

 

 

I can’t wait to go again. Next year, perhaps in late March when it’s a bit colder, more icy, more dramatic, more raw. If you want to come, let me know. We will be in 2 4x4s, space for 6 passengers on the photographic trip of a lifetime…


Enjoying the craic!

When I was a student I was good at doing this. Large quantities of beer were the norm, and recovery time was minimal. Nowadays a great evening out takes about 2 weeks to recover…

 

I guess the best way not to suffer is to stick to one particular drink, and in Dublin that can only mean one thing, and try to drink slowly over a long period of time. Perhaps I didn’t quite achieve that (drinking slowly…) but at least I stuck to the black stuff, and mighty delicious it was too…

The other way to forget that you can’t quite be a student anymore, is to surround yourself with your student pals and just relive the old days. And that’s what we did, to great effect. Enjoying the craic! Inside I still feel like I’m in my younger 20s anyway…

And at no stage did I give up the ghost, put my head in my hands and drown all my sorrows. This pic isn’t me!


Next year: Galway!!!


Northumberland Castles, Seascapes, Big Skies and Roman Walls

Northumberland is a fantastic windswept rugged landscape. Big beaches, huge sky, imposing castles. A great area for photography, which is why I’m running a workshop there next year. I’ve just been on a quick recce to check out the locations. Here are a few resulting images.

Bamburgh Castle, a classic dawn and dusk location. Great for big land, and seascapes, beach reflections and rocky lead-in lines…

Alnwick Castle, home to much Harry Potter castle filming…

 

Holy Island and its famous boat sheds. Normally this is a great shot with Lindisfarne in the background, but scaffolding on the castle put paid to that this time (scaffolding that will be removed before the workshop thank heavens!)

Pilgrim’s Way across the mud flats of the estuary to Holy Island. I kept my feet dry and resisted splashing around in the mud…

Abstracts and long exposure in Berwick upon Tweed…

A day away from the seaside checking out Roughting Linn waterfall

No trip to Northumberland should be without a visit to Hadrian’s Wall. The Roman soldiers must have shivered and longed for return to the continent when they were posted here…

And finally, the famous Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall. Much photographed, but stunning nevertheless. Great location!

If you are interested in a trip to Northumberland, the workshop is 6th – 10th September 2018. Contact me at thomaspeck1@mac.com for more details or to request a brochure.  Stunning landscapes guaranteed.


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


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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