Fun with Puffins (Lunga – July 2017)

landscape, Nature, photography, Travel, Uncategorized

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.

Making a next

Puffins breed in burrows often making use of rabbit burrows to avoid having to dig one for their own use.

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A puffins beak is only coloured orange during mating season. For the rest of the year the puffins beak is a dull grey colour.

Grooming

Facing the wind

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.

Searching for her Puffling

An average puffin weighs about the same as a can of Coke.

Puffin portrait


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!

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How tall was Hercules? -Amman Citadel

architecture, art, History, landscape, photography, Ruins, Temple, Travel

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!

Best guess?

The temple of Hercules

The temple of Hercules

The temple of Hercules

The Temple of Hercules

The road to Umayyad Palace

The road to Umayyad Palace

Jerash – Greek or Roman?

architecture, art, History, landscape, photography, Ruins, Temple, Travel

Sunset over the Temple of Artemis

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.

Pillars

The main street

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 Marketplace

The Jerash nymphaeum.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.
Temple of Artemis

Petra- Searching for the Holy Grail

architecture, History, landscape, photography, Ruins, Temple, Travel

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.

Emerging through the Siq.

Al Khazneh (The Treasury)

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 Treasury at Night

The Royal Tombs (incl The Palace Tomb)

A stretch of tombs and burial chambers line the North eastern edge of Petra.

The Palace Tomb

Inside the tomb.

Tomb Entrance

Exit the tomb.

Hopefully this may give an impression of the scale of the city of Petra; this is just one small part.

The Royal Tombs at Petra

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.

Petra postcard

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.

The Monastery (Ad Deir)

Stone tower

Ad Deir

Other sights..
The Nymphaeum

Petra Amphitheatre

Adventures in Ukraine: Pripyat.

History, landscape, Ruins, Travel, urbex

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.

Hotel

Pripyat town square

The boatyardJunk boatyard

The funfare
Fun at the fare!

Vehicle junkyard

School bus

Fire truck

The recreation centre; amazingly the stained glass hasn’t been broken.Recreation centre

Recreation centre

The hospital waiting room.The hospital waiting room.

Time to take your seat..Take you seat...

Out of tune.A little out of tune.

Conference centreConference Centre

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

Abandoned soviet aparment

View over Pripyat to Chernobyl

View to Chernobyl

Public Swimming poolThe council need to clean this up...

Schools out for…..ever!

Schools out for...winter..

Time for sports.Gym practice

Cooling tower.Eye in the sky

Hampton Court Palace

History, landscape

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.
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Getting lost in a maze…warning the maze isn’t “amaze-ing”, however it is the oldest puzzle maze in the UK.

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Choose wisely..many Tudors have been lost for days.

Choose wisely!

The haunting.

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Garden gate
 

Spring in Decay.
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…..

Little shop of curiosities

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Home Sweet Home (Canada Water)Canada Water

Night Photography: Part 1 of many.

landscape

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.

Tower Bridge from afar

Tower Bridge

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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)

Big Ben

London Eye

London Eye

London Eye

Also now that I have photoshop can have some fun:

London Eye Gif

Plitvice National Park; First Exposure to waterfall photography

Croatia, landscape, Travel

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.

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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.

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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).

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A few more photos from the surrounding area:

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