Dubai is like no other place that I’ve been to. I mean it’s just ODD. I’ve heard it being described as an adult version of Disney Land and actually that’s a pretty good comparison. It’s a man-made bubble where nothing seems real. It’s brand new and squeaky clean and where the design philosophy seems to be ‘the bigger the better’. So that means the tallest building in the world, the biggest mall in the world, the biggest fish tank in the world etc etc. And all this carved out from a vast inhospitable dessert – surely that deserves a “wow”. It’s a city full of workers, there are no ‘natives’ and those that can be called that have probably only been living there for a decade or so. I liken Dubai to the Venus flytrap: it lures you in as a safe haven and a place to find riches (tax free salary, big bonuses) and then you’re trapped. It is a superb trap nonetheless; having everything you could ever want and all those things that you could miss from your real home too like a Big Mac perhaps or Heinz beans and if it’s too hot to leave your air conditioned apartment to go get them then don’t worry, they’ll deliver it all to you! But sooner or later the workers do want out and hopefully it’s before the flytrap devours their souls.
One of my most popular photography posts has been my 25 non-technical tips for better travel photography, but I still get loads of questions asking for more detail about a few of them. So I’ve decided to write an expanded version of that post which I will soon release as a totally free downloadable ebook. All you have to do to get your hands on it is sign up to our email list:
I’ll cover all of the topics in the post in more detail and with plenty of examples. If you want to improve your travel photography without worrying too much about camera settings, then sign up to make sure you don’t miss out. And if you have any friends who might benefit, please let them know and ask them to sign up too!
In other news, I recently published a guest post on Her View Photography. It’s called ‘The making of a good travel photograph’ and I speak about one of my favourite shots of Mount Vesuvius from our trip to Southern Italy in May last year.
You can read the post here.
We spent 4 wonderful days in Istanbul at the House Hotel Bosphorus at the end of December and it left such an impression on me that I just had to share my thoughts about our stay there. You should definitely read this whole review for the full story but in summary the House Hotel was fabulous; in fact, I think it may well be my most favourite hotel EVER!
One of my favourite photos this year was this shot of Positano off the coast of Southern Italy. I really wanted to capture what I saw with my eyes, but this turned out to be a little more challenging than I thought it would be once I started snapping away. Keep reading to find out how it was taken.
The travel photo of the week (TPOTW!) is a new series that I’m going to start today to cater for this site’s many photography enthusiast readers. Each week I’ll take one of my favourite photos (some may have already been posted, some not) and try to break it down in order to help you understand why I like it and how it was taken. Hopefully these little bites of info will help develop your travel photography skills without being too overwhelming. Let’s get started with this boy on Venice Beach in California.
The Fuji X-E1 is almost the perfect travel camera. With that out of the way, this review is based on having used the X-E1, the 35mm 1.4 XF lens and the 18-55m 2.8-4.0 XF lens over the course of a weekend during our trip to Copenhagen in November 2012. I shot everything in RAW and developed the files as I would have with any other camera. So, if you’re looking for out of camera jpegs & photos of charts, go elsewhere. Now let’s get down to business.
Christiania is an anomaly. Located only a few minutes from the centre of Copenhagen, this fristaden (freetown) is an isolated borough which has its own laws and even its own currency. Cannabis is traded openly, drunks roam the streets foraging through garbage cans and graffiti is plastered across every surface. But it’s not all seedy underworld: there are jazz bars, museums, organic grocery stores and even a 24/7 bakery to discover for those who dare to wander through the grit, the grime and the crime.
Snow tubing basically involves riding a rubber tube down a steep snowy hill. It sounds a bit like sledding, the main difference being that your tube can spin and rotate freely which makes controlling the direction of the tube pretty difficult. The lack of friction between the rubber tube and the snow means that high speeds can be attained quite easily, so despite looking like a kiddy sport it is actually surprisingly good fun and really gets the adrenaline going.