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Colombia, the Sequel

another travel addiction

in Travel , Sunday, January 24, 2016

Things have been a little quiet around here for the past week or so, and they’re going to get quieter for a while longer. A couple of weeks ago we made a snap decision to head back to Colombia for three weeks or so, and getting that organised, along with general Life stuff, has kept me away from trivia like blogging.

I did start publishing a series of posts on Colombia a while back, but that got overwhelmed by other topics, and I never got around to Cartagena.  That’s a real shame, because Cartagena is ridiculously, hopeless photogenic, a wild riot of chaos, colour, and fading colonial architecture. We won’t be going back there this time, other destinations await, but for now, here’s a lightning quick selection.

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Hasta la vista. I’ll be back.

 

Late Summer II

on an island

in Photography , Monday, September 21, 2015

The second instalment.  If you’ve been following this blog at all, you might realise that I’ve got bit of a thing about islands. I’m sure a psychotherapist would have plenty to say about that. I particular like the smaller Italian islands, these little droplets of slightly out of time Italian culture, where everything goes slowly, where life revolves around the port, the coming and going of the aliscafi and the traghetti, Tirrenia, Ustica Lines and the others. The sun, the buzz and whine of the precarious ape, the clutter and confusion that soon gives way to tranquility, the classic Italian vacations, the vivid green sea in rocky bays.

So the lure of another small, new to me archipelago, the Tremiti Islands, lying a hour or so out in the Adriatic, was too much to resist. And the jewel, to me, of our all to brief visit, was the island of San Nicola, dominated by its massive, semi-derelict castle and XIth century Benedictine monastery. Just time to grab a quick impression, but one that remains, to be added to the memories of Marettimo, Stromboli, San Pietro and all the others.

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Wired
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Late Summer I

life’s a beach

in Travel , Wednesday, September 16, 2015

After a fairly stressful year so far, it was nice to get away for a week to a part of Italy I haven’t seen much of so far, Puglia, in the South East. We stayed close by the characterful town of Peschice, perched on a rocky outcrop in the extreme east of the Gargano peninsula national park. The whole of the Gargano is entrancing. It’s quite off the beaten path, although the coastline is clearly very popular in August. Getting there generally involves several hours of very twisty roads that even Italians can’t drive along at any great speed. Away from the seasonal tourist resorts, the towns have a very authentic southern Italy feel. The countryside is hilly, parched, and stone strewn, largely occupied by extensive olive groves, but there is also extensive forestation, “la forest umbra”, the shadowed forest, which demands a return visit.

It was not a photo-oriented trip. I don’t really do those much any more. But nevertheless plenty of opportunities presented themselves to be grabbed. Here’s the first set, all from Peschici.

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Colombia: Barichara

lugar para el Descanso

in Photography , Thursday, January 08, 2015

Barichara, a bucolic hilltop town in the Santander province, is frequently described as a gem, and it’s a justified label. Classified as a Colombian national monument, Barichara is a treasure trove of vernacular Spanish colonial architecture laid out in a classic grid of steep, cobbled streets. It isn’t particularly easy to get to (but not that hard either), and may be overshadowed by the more hyped and accessible Villa de Leyva, but it’s well worth the trek. The perfect place to just slow way down and relax. And take a few snapshots, of course.

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(oh, and if you’re planning a visit to Barichara, stay here. You won’t regret it)

 

Venice, again

preparations for a journey

in Photography , Saturday, May 24, 2014

In a few weeks I will be going back to Venice again, but this time in a different context. I decided to sign-up to the Olympus sponsored workshop led by landscape photographer Steve Gosling and Travel and Portrait photographer Neil Buchan-Grant.

At this point I should probably have a clear idea of my objectives and how I expect this workshop to “take me to the next level”, and to “further developing my own eye and style”, as photo guru Ming Thein puts in in the prospectus for his own (far, far more expensive) Venice workshop.

Of course, the truth is, I haven’t got a clue. I don’t know if can get to the “next level”, never mind if I want to or need to.  I’m not sure I even know where it is, or if I’d recognise it if I walked into it. What I do know is that I have a recurring dissatisfaction with my photography, which is increasing in frequency, and I think it might kick me out of a rut to be able to spend some dedicated time with other photographers, in a location I know well enough that I won’t be hampered or distracted by unfamiliarity. And I like the work and writings of both of the two workshop leaders. And, I assume thanks to Olympus, the cost is astonishingly low (slightly more than 1/10th of Ming Thein’s offering).

To get some idea of what my objectives might be, I decided that establishing some kind of baseline might be a good idea. This meant finally getting around to selecting 16 photos for a Venice set to add to my galleries. I was surprised how quickly this fell into place, normally it takes much longer. It was helped by the extensive pre-selection I’ve been doing over the past few months, but even so.  Maybe it will give me some idea of where the mysterious next level is, although in Venice of course one never really knows…

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Maybe in a few weeks time I’ll have been transported to a higher (Olympian) plane of photographical excellence and I’ll be able to junk all these. We shall see.

 

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