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.


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: Duga-3 Radar

History, Ruins, Travel, urbex

The Duga-3 radar is found within the 30km exclusion zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Originally the first functional Soviet over-the-horizon radar in operation from 1976 to 1989. This radar array was used as an early warning network to alert the Soviets if the USA where to launch ballistic missiles against them.

Duga-3 Radar


Unlike a traditional radar which uses microwaves and can only see to the horizon c8 miles an over-the-horizon radar uses shortwave systems that reflect their signals off the ionosphere for very long-range detection. The Duga-3 was apparently able to cover distances as far as the central states of the US.


Duga-3 Radar

The signal was so strong it interrupted commercial signals as far as Europe causing issues with radios and televisions!



Japan: Miyajima


Famous for the  Itsukushima Shrine and it’s cheeky deer who love to eat your map/guide right out of your back pocket!



Spotted the next targets:
View of the beast

Purify your hands and mind before entering.

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Pagoda


Itsukushima Shrine


Wrath-filled and muscular guardian of the Buddha. Religion can be terrifying sometimes.

Visiting the island at dusk created an almost magical atmosphere:
Lantern Trails

Even monks make sake:
Sake Barrels


The main attraction:
Torri Gate

Torri Gate

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.


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:





dog, home, landscape

The great thing about the county I come from is how beautiful the landscape is with endless opportunities to capture a stunning landscape. I’m starting to understand how artists struggle to make a living when anyone with no training can capture the beauty of such a place.


One of my favourite reasons for visitng home apart from seeing my family is getting out of the big smoke and enjoying the fresh air and who better to share it with than the happiest dog in the world.


On the flipside my parent’s Springer spaniel is always ready for action:




Day 1: The Learning Curve

landscape, trees, Wildlife

Today was the first day I’ve managed to get out and about with my new toy; after finally taking the plunge and investing in a DSLR I thought I should take the time to learn how to shoot properly utilising the full manual mode of the camera.

With a bit of research from a few great websites which gave me a basic understanding of DOF, Aperture, Shutter speed etc.

This is a fantastic resource to start with:

Here are the results; hopefully with practice I’ll see some improvements over time. No post processing used, haven’t even started to learn adobe lightroom yet.

Any comments/help to improve would be appreciated!

This shot took me ages to capture the colours I wanted when trying to capture the blue of the sky and retain the lush green of the tree. After fiddling with the white balance (definitely something I need to read more into) the result is closer to what i was expecting.