Puffins spend more time at sea than on land. Most of the year a puffin lives out on the ocean, only returning during mating season. During this time Male and female puffins share the responsibility of building a nest for the safekeeping of their eggs.
Puffins breed in burrows often making use of rabbit burrows to avoid having to dig one for their own use.
A puffins beak is only coloured orange during mating season. For the rest of the year the puffins beak is a dull grey colour.
A baby puffin is called a ‘puffling’. A mother calls for her puffling below, on land Puffins are very talkative however at sea, where they spend most of their time, they are silent.
An average puffin weighs about the same as a can of Coke.
I’d highly recommend a trip to Lunga off the west coast of Scotland as a great way to visit these animals and explore all of the wildlife this part of the world has to offer!
The ruins of this temple in the Amman citadel complex once held a statute of the hero of Greek mythology, Hercules. Built between 162-166 CE scientists have not been able to accurately determine how tall he actually was!
The road to Umayyad Palace
Name drop ‘Alexander the great’ founded this place; as an ancient greek city you’d think you were in Athens rather than 30 miles north of the modern day capital of Jordan.
Jerash thrived during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods which is evidenced by the expansive ruins which remain. Despite the 749 Galilee earthquake destroying large parts of Jerash a significant portion of the site remains.
What remains of the old market place.
The Jerash nymphaeum.
The temple of Artemis
Artemis is known as the hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women! Built in CE 150 this was once the most important temple of Jerash but was later turned into a fortress and mostly destroyed by a great fire.
Petra has to be visited to be truly appreciated. One of the new seven wonders of the world and it really deserves its place. The complex named Petra is vast and has so much to explore; after spending over 6 hours and walking somewhere in the region of 30km there was still so much to see.
Al Khazneh or The Treasury
Originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st century AD. Its Arabic name Treasury derives from one legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level.
Visiting the Treasury at night is a captivating experience; a candle lit walk through the Siq leads you to the base of the structure softly illuminated by hundreds of small candle lit lamps. This is the only time I saw more than a handful of tourists in one place!
The Royal Tombs (incl The Palace Tomb)
A stretch of tombs and burial chambers line the North eastern edge of Petra.
Hopefully this may give an impression of the scale of the city of Petra; this is just one small part.
Ad Deir or The Monastery
Built by the Nabataeans in the 1st century and measuring 50 metres (160 ft) wide by approximately 45 metres (148 ft) high.
The climb to reach this ruin snakes up the mountainside covering somewhere close to 900 steps. After avoiding the numerous Bedouins trying to rip-off the tourists selling trinkets and donkey rides you turn a corner to witness this tremendous site.
Pripyat was home to around 50,000 residents when the Chernobyl reactor exploded on the 26 April 1986 causing radiation levels in the town to skyrocket to 200,000 times normal. The evacuation order wasn’t given until 14:00 on 27 April 1986 leaving the residents exposed to deadly levels of radiation. Told to pack for 3 days the residents had no idea they would never be returning….
What is now left of the town is an urban exploration dream; a whole town abandoned and left to rot. All that is needed is a permit from the Ukrainian government and you’re in. Current day radiation levels are fairly safe in most parts of the town not exposing you to any higher levels of radiation than you would receive on a transatlantic flight.
I spent two days on a guided tour where we were shown the highlights and given freedom to explore all sorts of parts of the town.
We weren’t officially supposed to be up here; a 15 minute pit stop gave us enough time to sprint to the roof of the hotel in Pripyat town square.
The recreation centre; amazingly the stained glass hasn’t been broken.
The hospital waiting room.
Time to take your seat..
Out of tune.
One of many abandoned apartment blocks. These places have been totally looted. Its crazy considering the amount of possessions that would have been left behind after being told you were only going to be gone 3 days
View over Pripyat to Chernobyl
Public Swimming pool
Schools out for…..ever!
Time for sports.
A friend kindly lent me a couple of lens; a wide angle 11-16mm which I have had my eye on for a while; I’ve fallen in love with wide angle….goodbye savings!
A few shots taken around Hampton Court Palace.
Getting lost in a maze…warning the maze isn’t “amaze-ing”, however it is the oldest puzzle maze in the UK.
Choose wisely..many Tudors have been lost for days.
Spring in Decay.
The strangest shop I’ve seen in London; essentially a small building full of junk and bric-a-brac with a mobile number to call if you were interested in anything. Saves on staff costs I suppose…..
Home Sweet Home (Canada Water)
Home of the infamous graffiti artist Banksy, famous for Brunel’s clifton bridge and of course like every great city it has a zoo!
Choose your path
Overcast weather ruins the scene a bit!
Quick little trip this evening to my two favourite buildings in London.
Really feel like I nailed the sharpness in these which I am happy with!
Please give generously (How Ironic?)
Inside Out Industrial
Old vs New
Shard in the Moonlight
Exploring the city at night is great fun; less traffic,less people and incredible lighting.
This was the first time I’ve ever attempted night photography and the first time I’ve ever used a tripod. Note to self: go later in the night to avoid having hundreds of people asking for photos!
I thought I’d keep it simple and choose fairly obvious landmarks as my practice..Let me know what you think in the comments.
Now that I no longer have to look at another ICAEW textbook I thought I’d try and re-create the front cover….Wish I knew how to properly expose all the details though (eg clockface)
Also now that I have photoshop can have some fun:
London Eye Gif
Plitvice is gorgeous with over 73 acres of woodland, lakes and waterfalls the opportunities here are endless. Your choice of route around the park will greatly alter the views which you receive so I recommend researching the routes before you go.
The sheer size of the place was difficult to capture without a wide angle lens but I enjoyed the opportunity to play artistically with the flows of water and still cannot decide whether I prefer the silky smooth effect or the more realistic droplet effect between the two pics below.
Reviewing my work benchmarked against others found online I’ve noticed my composition of waterfall centric photographs needs to be improved which has resulted in low volume of pics posted as most of them I didn’t feel were presentable. As i thought definitely a learning curve, maybe one day I’ll travel to Iceland again and take what I’ve learnt there and also have a chance to capture the Northern lights (added to Bucket list).
A few more photos from the surrounding area: