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Tag Archives: travel photography

The tunnel in Utrecht, the Netherlands, April 2023.

There is a tunnel in Utrecht that leads from the Ganzenmarkt to the Oudegracht wharves.  I discovered the tunnel by chance after a late night in the town as part of the conference dinner.  Walking back to my hotel, I passed by the restaurants and the bars.  My eye caught a flashing light and I looked over the railing and saw colourful lights radiating out of a tunnel close to the canal.  I walked down and found this colourful psychedelic tunnel.  The lighting of the tunnel kept changing and there were three people dancing in what looked like a trance.  They were oblivious to my presence and so I took some pictures and then headed home.  

The next morning I retraced my steps to the tunnel. The location is a photographer’s dream site for pictures especially as the colourful lights are constantly changing on a regular cycle.  The street art is colourful and the illumination provides a changing backdrop.  I asked a colleague to return with me so that I could place him at the entrance then use his silhouette to provide a focus to the pictures.  Enjoy the result.  Sorry if it is somewhat self-indulgent but it was such a great place to photograph.

The tunnel in Utrecht, the Netherlands, April 2023.
Figure at the end of a green tunnel.
The tunnel in Utrecht, the Netherlands, April 2023.
Lost in colour.
The tunnel in Utrecht, the Netherlands, April 2023.
Street Art in the tunnel.
The tunnel in Utrecht, the Netherlands, April 2023.
Artistic detail.
The tunnel in Utrecht, the Netherlands, April 2023.
Get down low.

Want to know more about Utrecht and this amazing tunnel.
Discover Utrecht
Ganzenmarkt
Student life in Utrecht

Also please see my companion piece to my visit to Utrecht.
Photographing the streets and canals of Utrecht

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Poppy field in Bewdley Postcard

Poppy field in Bewdley Postcard

These postcards are made from thick high-quality matte paper, so they serve as a great addition to a gift or…

Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.

I had the opportunity to take pictures during a recent visit to the streets and canals of Utrecht

Utrecht in the Netherlands was the base for the Ultrasonics Industry Association conference.  My research group were presenting at the international conference and I was there to support their activities.  We stayed in the Karel V hotel which has a picturesque view of the adjacent canal.  There were many opportunities in the early morning or during conference breaks to explore the streets and canals.  This Dutch city is very photogenic and I had brought along my Fujifilm x100v to accompany my iPhone13 for the photographs.  For the readers of this blog, I will just show a selection of the many pictures that I took during my short stay.  At the end of the blog, I have provided some links to Utrecht which provide ideas for your travel to this ever-surprising city.

Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Early morning in Utrecht.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Another early morning view.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Canal reflections.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
A nod to Greek architecture.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Flowers, bikes and the canals.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Canal scene in black and white.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Windmill
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Real and unreal.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Reflections.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Streetlife
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
The train station.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
More canal scenes in Utrecht
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
The Utrechts Conservatorium and part of the Utrecht School of the Arts
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
Biking over the canals of Utrecht.
Streets of Canals of Utrecht, The Netherlands, April 2023.
The holocaust memorial to people murdered in Utrecht during WWII.

So many pictures of this city and here are some more from both iPhone and camera.


Do you want to know more about Utrecht? Here are some links
Discover Utrecht
Holland Travel Guide

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Poppy field in Bewdley Postcard

Poppy field in Bewdley Postcard

These postcards are made from thick high-quality matte paper, so they serve as a great addition to a gift or…

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023

Scotland is a wonderful place to always visit and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a weekend on Loch Lomond in February with Sandy.  Having flown up on the Friday morning, we picked up our hire car and made our way to Duck Bay on the bonny shores of the Loch.  A magnificent rainbow greeted us set against the backdrop of Ben Lomond.  I knew then that it was going to be a lucky weekend.  

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
A rainbow at Duck Bay with Ben Lomond in the background.

So much to see around the shores and following Duck Bay, we headed over to the east side of the Loch. When we arrived at Balmaha, the low sun was reflecting off the water creating beautiful light reflections.  I love visiting such places out of season as the places are quiet and you have the place to yourselves.  Balmaha houses the Loch Lomond coffee house and the pub serves a tasty bowl of soup. After a stroll around the Lochside we drove back to Balloch.

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
The lovely view over Balmaha on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond.

Our destination for the end of the day was Loch Lomond shores. Whilst it is very commercial and more concrete than aesthetics, it is redeemed by the views of the Loch. Also I saw that renovation of the Maid of the Loch steamer was gathering pace and that the paint work had been stripped off and the metal was showing.

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
Loch Lomond Shores
Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
The Maid of the Loch under restoration.

Saturday morning threw up some colours in the sunrise and an early morning photographic stroll allowed for some interesting long exposures.  We were staying at the Cameron House hotel and the grounds gave excellent access to the loch shore.

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
Early morning view of Loch Lomond.

After breakfast, we set off for Inveraray to visit the prison museum.  This attraction was excellent and gave an insight into the past society and the harsh life people led in the Highlands especially if they broke the rules.  There was a restored black Mariah which Bill one of the staff, showed us and also provided an excellent account of life at the prison.  It was an enjoyable drive along the Loch. After every turn on the road, there was spectacular scenery just asking to be photographed.  

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
This is Bill dressed up as one of the prison guards at Inveraray Jail
Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
Bill telling us about the Black Mariah prison transport.
Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
Inverary on the Loch Fyne shore.

My favourite picture of the day was stopping at the layby “Rest and be Thankful”.  There was a glimpse of the sun which lit up the valley and highlighted the old military road and the roadworks on the side of the mountains.  I just stood there for several minutes taking in the beautiful scenery.

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
Rest and Be Thankful.

On our last morning, the weather was dull with a great deal of cloud cover.  As I wandered along Duck Bay looking for photo opportunities, I passed by many people huddled together talking in low voices. I wondered what they were doing.  Undeterred, I found a good spot on the Loch shore and set up for a long exposure.  I found an interesting stone in the water and lined it up with the island in the background.  A very peaceful scene.  As I was taking the photograph, two women in wet suits ventured into the loch and I found out that they were freshwater swimmers.  They agreed to have their photograph taken.  Whilst they were well prepared for the cold waters, a man followed soon after and he looked unprepared and a likely candidate for hypothermia from the low temperatures.  

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
A Sunday morning swim in a cold Loch Lomond.

On my way back I then realised that all the people who were standing in huddles had transformed into swimmers.  I realised that a favourite Sunday morning pastime is to venture into the cold waters around the Loch. This is not something that I would enjoy.

My final picture is from Firkin Point which I had not stopped off at before on my visits to Loch Lomond. I discovered the lone tree over the Loch. The afternoon had closed in and so the picture leant itself really well to a black and white processing.

Loch Lomond Weekend February 2023
The lone tree at Firkin Point.

I you enjoyed this account of Loch Lomond then be sure to read these as well.

Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023

The streets of Edinburgh lend themselves to street photography. The natural backdrop of old buildings and captivating views of the surrounding countryside help to frame the people as they go about their everyday life. The winter light is strong and directional. The stonework reflects the light and makes for some interesting pictures. Here is a selection for you to enjoy.

Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Light and shadows on the junction of Fleshmarket Close and Cockburn Street.
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Looking up both Cockburn St and Fleshmarket Street.
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
In a rush for politics.
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
The view over Holyrood to Arthur’s Seat.
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Waiting at the corner.
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Detail from the Royal Mile
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Whose scooter is it?
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Old Infirmary Lane
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Jacob’s ladder with Waverley in the background.
Street Photography, Edinburgh, January 2023
Let us wait here forever. Calton Hill.

If you liked my take of the Streets of Edinburgh then please search for Street Photography in my blog.  Here are a selection for you to look through and enjoy.

London Streets

Back on the Streets

Walk on By


I have been to Brussels many times but never to the Atomium and it is one of the places on my travel bucket list.  We were in Brussels for an intensive feedback with Marie Curie funding at the European Research Council. Our visit was not helped by delayed and cancelled flights with Brussels Airlines. When we eventually arrived, the conference went well and we were able to catch up with the program.  Once the day was done we took a taxi to the north of the city and walked up to the Atomium.  

Atomium
Fun with shapes and reflections
Sunstar on Atomium

The Atomium was part of the world’s fair held in Brussels in 1958 (the year I was born) and consists of nine iron atoms in the shape of an iron crystal.  This is magnified over 165 billion times. It is an impressive structure and immediately commands your attention.

There is a plane in the centre if you look closely
Symmetry of the crystal
Looking up

They were getting ready for the start of the Tour de France so it was not possible to get a “clean” view of the front of the structure. There was fencing around the front of the structure with tents ready for the cyclists.  However it was a warm evening and the sun was out.  There were reflections on the metal structure of Atomium and with the low sun I was excited to be taking photographs.  We arrived when the building was shut but it was still possible to wander around and enjoy all those wonderful photographic angles.  It is a place where the locals gather and there were many people wandering around.  I converted many of my pictures to black and white so that the lines and metal texture came through.  Once I had done my photographs all taken with my Sony RX100v5, we headed back to the City for dinner. I was happy to have finally seen Atomium.

A touch of colour

On the website the copyright of pictures is outlined as the creator of Atomium, the late engineer André Waterkeyn protected his design.  So please be aware if you copy any of my pictures which are being used on my website for personal reasons only  . 

https://www.atomium.be/copyright

My photograph of the winter lights festival in Reykjavik that was taken on my visit to Iceland has featured in the Rove.me travel web site. Although I did not get to see the Northern lights, the Winter lights festival more than made up for it. Enjoy my picture and visit in person to photograph the experience. Thank you to Rove.me for the feature. Here are a few more of my travel photographs from Iceland for you to enjoy.

The Sun Voyager – an ode to the sun – Reykjavik
Gullfoss – A spectacular waterfall on the Golden Circle in Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is an experience and the water is so warm especially on a very very cold day. This picture reminds of the “where’s Wally” series. Sandy is posing for the camera

A night shot from Ryekjavik and their Winter Lights Festival to counter the long winter days of darkness.



St Paul’s Spire between the trees

A few views of St Paul’s Church, Gas Street Basin, the Library and the Cube.  The sunlight always gives the local landmarks an added boost.

Light, leaves and windows.

St Paul’s Spire in the trees

Sun flare over the long boats

Early commuters with the reflections in the water

The Library reflected in the International Convention Centre’s windows

A favourite picture of mine with the Cube in the background and the boats arrange in an arrowhead point to the distance.

Early worker getting his long boat ready for the day

Next stop Singapore and it is 6 years since I have visited so I was interested to see what had changed.  Looking out from the airplane window flying into the country, the success of Singapore’s trade is seen by the numerous ships waiting to enter the port.  The flower lined drive from Changhi airport to the city brought back memories of previous times.  For this visit, I was participating in a conference at Nanyang Technical University (NTU) which is to the west of the island.  To the taxi drivers, it is the furthest distance from the airport taking 40 minutes and occasionally during my stay, there would be the occasional grumble that NTU was too far out for them. The University Campus is well planned and even in the heat and humidity, most of the places are easily accessible.  There are some interesting buildings including the Hive (a student learning hub), and the School of Art, Design and Media with its curving double buildings. Other interesting NTU departments that I visited included the Medical School which had a mixture of old and new architecture.  If you are interested, the conference that I attended was organised jointly by the University of Birmingham and Nanyang Technical University.

During the conference, there was also some downtime and I visited an old friend, Gareth Pearson, for a drink in the Marina Bay at night.  He also arranged for me to visit Altitude which is the highest bar in Singapore with spectacular views over all the city and the Island. Following this I came down to Sea Level and caught a taxi from the Fullerton Hotel to an evening reception at the Tanglin Club which is one of Singapore’s oldest and prominent social clubs. The meal and company were great and the bar was well stocked as can be seen from the pictures.

In between my numerous meetings and the conference, there was also a chance to briefly visit Clarke Quay and the surrounding area of the Singapore Cricket club which not had not changed much since my last visit. The weather at midday is hot and humid so I took some photographs but did not linger very long.

On my last night in Singapore we had a reception at the National Art Gallery. The bar in the Gallery is called Smoke and Mirrors and has commanding views over the Cricket club and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Its central position allows for great photographic opportunities of the skyscrapers around the city both day and night.

Singapore is one of THE places to visit in the world and it does not disappoint.  The place is always changing yet retains that British charm that made the place what it is today.

The coast of Singapore with the ships waiting to enter the docks

Founders stone for Nanyang Technical University

Chinese Heritage Centre (NTU)

Inside the Hive (student learning centre – NTU)

Inside the Hive (student learning centre – NTU)

The Hive (student learning centre – NTU)

NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

Selfie at the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

The media centre at NTU University. A curving structure that provided many different views.

The media centre at NTU University. A curving structure that provided many different views.

The media centre at NTU University. A curving structure that provided many different views.

The media centre at NTU University. A curving structure that provided many different views.

The Cosmo Restaurant next to my accommodation at NTU

Singapore Cricket Club surrounded by Skyscrapers

Statue of Raffles in front of the Victoria Memorial Hall at Empress Place

Boat Quay

Boat Quay

Boat Quay

Boat Quay

Boat Quay

Boat Quay

Boat Quay from Altitude leading to Clarke Quay

View from Altitude

Marina Bay from Altitude

Colours of the Fullerton Building

Tanglin Club

Tanglin Club

Tanglin Club

A reflecting pool at the National Gallery, Singapore

Atmospheric view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Bartender busy at work

The winner is the conversation or the view?

How wide is that Hotel?

National Gallery

Shapes and lines at the National Gallery

This is a view

Discussions before dinner

St Andrew’s Church at night

Dramatic night vista of Singapore

Night on Marina Bay

Marina bay skyscrapers

Sunset – Heat and humidity after the rain

 

Visiting São Paulo is an experience. It is the third largest city in the world with 17 million inhabitants. As soon as you leave Guarulhos International Airport, you enter into wide multi lane (10 to 12 lanes each way) freeway which straddles both sides of the Tietê river. Slowly you do become aware of the smell from the polluted River as you drive into the city. The amount of traffic is incredible and they all drive as if they were Ayrton Senna. This was a business trip for the University of Birmingham and we had three dental schools to visit across the centre and outlying suburbs of São Paulo. We stayed in a small boutique hotel, Estanplaza Paulista on the Alameda Jaú near to Paulista Avenue. The hotel’s position gave us access to local restaurants and shops in the area. We arrived very tired on the Saturday night and woke up to sunshine in the morning.

Paulista Avenue
We wandered up to Paulista avenue and found that the whole road was closed to traffic and there was a large street party taking place. People were dancing and generally having a great time. We walked along the length of the avenue chilling out and enjoying the atmosphere. There were many good photographic opportunities.

São Paulo Museum of Art
We also took time to visit the unique São Paulo Museum of Art. There is a wide range of interesting paintings and the Museum Web site on provides a good source of information.  There was an exhibition “Imagens do Aleijadinho” which displayed statues of the African-Portuguese influence on the development of Brazil. Some of the exhibits were disturbing although the photographic record of the area the statues were found was fascinating. The Museum is on several floors and the paintings were imaginatively exhibited in a large exhibition area. There were canvases by both well-known artists plus fun contemporary exhibits such as “the Table”, where the blackboard was under the table.

Jungle Park
We spent time in the “Jungle Park “called Parque Trianon (officially Parque Tenente Siqueira Campos) which is only small in area but is key how the Atlantic Forrest would have been in São Paulo. The high tree canopy with the dense vegetation makes it dark and gives respite from the noise of the large city around it.  Then it was back out to the street party and we returned later in the afternoon and it had become even more crowded. Bikes, dancing, skateboarding on normally busy roads and underpasses and lots of street stalls. When there is an excuse for a party then Brazilians know what is needed to make it a success.

Reflections on São Paulo
Take home memories from this time in Brazil. The food and the drinks especially the Ciprihania made with cachaça (sugarcane hard liquor), sugar and fruit. The traffic congestion around the city, the picturesque University Sao Paulo campus with Capybara roaming free (previously I had only seen them in zoos). The Brazilian friendliness and positive view on life is also refreshing.

Hope you enjoy all the pictures as well.  I may have taken a few too many!!!

Spectacular buildings on Paulista Avenue

Dancing on the Avenue with the Professor

São Paulo Museum of Art

Street shapes

I just love Coconut Juice

Surfing the City – this would be a packed freeway during the week

Biking the avenue

Walking the Avenue

Street Graffiti

More street graffiti artwork

Lots of fun on the avenue

Any excuse to have a party

Dancing in Brazil is a serious pastime

Selfie in the sunglasses

Head above the clowns

The street party in full swing – taken behind the Museum of Art

More Biking in the street

Selfie in the park (Picture by Phil Tomson) – wearing the clothes I travelled in as I lost my suitcase – I have a similar picture from 1997 on the same seats.

Beautiful paths only a short distance away from the City

City residents sit in the cool shade provided by the park

It is a popular place

A glimpse to what the “Jungle” looked like

The City surrounds the small park but the noise is cancelled out.

 

Image of the mix of Christianity and art

Some disturbing images

Books and photographs

Browsing through the collection

The blackboard under the table

There were many striking images

Intersting architecture and walkways

There was one big street party under the Museum

The morning rush hour coming into São Paulo

The USP campus with views over the river of São Paulo

Capybara roaming free but they are a nuisance to the University Boat Club

Sunset over São Paulo

The final word is a Glass of Ciprihania – a real knock out drink 🙂 This one was made with Passion Fruit.