Clearly we were seeking more than relaxation and expensive wine. The whole point of our little adventure was to witness the Aurora first hand. As I said previously Hurtigruten are so confident you will see the Aurora – they offer a weeks free holiday if you fail to see it. The weather in the early part of the trip was cloudy and frustrating, I was closely monitoring the weather and had convinced myself we were going to miss our chance. Then as we approached Havoysund Port on a clear starry night I got my first indication that tonight was going to be different. The temp was around Ms 8 minus windchill. As we sat in port bang the sky went mad, out came the tripod, ISO was set for 3200 and a 15 sec exposure at F4. After my first couple of shots I realised the only chance of capturing the aurora effectively was to be on land as the long exposure not only caught the wonderful colours but drew seagulls with stars from the ship movement (no matter how calm the sea). The first shot you see is what we saw in Havoysund, it was snatch shot as the Captain decide to depart port just as I was getting the hang of it (something to do with a schedule to keep). The challenges were obvious, loads of ambient light and movement, but I know you get the idea. I have not tweaked the colours at all in fact I had to reduce the highlights & clone out the wobbly stars.

First Light

We took lots more shots that night but from the deck of a moving ship – disappointment – that said we had both been told it’s not about capturing just absorb and value the chance to see the lights this freely. We had 3 straight nights of Aurora lasting about 2 hours each. We had learnt a huge amount about what settings to use; so I was ready when at midnight the following evening we sailed in to Tromso. I knew we would have 3 hours in port on a steady-ish platform. We had a view of the Arctic Cathedral which was going to be an excellent subject for some night photography. Anyway we docked up I hit the office and the light show begun – the next shots were my best auroras of the trip.

Tromso Artic Cathedral Lightshow

One final Aurora was taken using the relative steadiness of the lifeboat (moving in unison lol) – anyway I will return to Norway with this experience under my belt fly and drive next time so I ensure a steady shooting platform but either way it was a wonderful experience for Mandy and I.

Lifeboat Aurora

My Norway blogging is not complete – so keep watching :-)

Cityscape, Landscape, Norway

Norge ~ Finding the Light (Aurora Borealis)

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I had it in my mind to post another Scottish Landscape but I have been working on my Lightroom skills and had come across the opposite view of an image which I shared recently  Castel Sant'Elmo

I had it in my mind to post another Scottish Landscape but I have been working on my Lightroom skills and had come across the opposite view of an image which I shared recently Castel Sant’Elmo – this is the complete reverse of that shot – this time the gentleman is in the foreground – the image is a little noisy in and around his character due to the fact the original was blown quiet badly in the strong light (this simply didn’t work in my normal medium of colour) so I decided to dampen the highlights and use the classic wet film process Cyanotone – which wont work for everyone but for me allows me to share a rather interesting shot which tells a little more of the Castel Sant’Elmo shot – enjoy

Cityscape, Landscape, People

Castel Sant’Elmo – Reversi

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I suppose this would be perfect for a leading lines competition - that is certainly what I saw when  I was composing this image - simply couldn't get rid of my shadow so I decided to include it.

I suppose this would be perfect for a leading lines competition – that is certainly what I saw when I was composing this image – simply couldn’t get rid of my shadow so I decided to include it. These are images I shot over 4 years ago whilst in Naples on business. Just going through the images and editing – enjoy 

Cityscape, Landscape, Photography, Travel

Metro – Napoli (a selfie)

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So I thought to myself I am quiet enjoying this meander between the highlands of Scotland and Italy - so I went for wee wander in to my archive and had a play with some bleach toning - I hope you like the result - I am extremely pleased with it - when I took the shot I simply didn't have the skill-set to cope with recovering the strong light around the figure at the end of the tunnel - but more importantly I am pleased that my composition has stood the test of time (well that's my view anyway - lol)

So I thought to myself I am quiet enjoying this meander between the highlands of Scotland and Italy – so I went for wee wander in to my archive and had a play with some bleach toning – I hope you like the result – I am extremely pleased with it – when I took the shot I simply didn’t have the skill-set to cope with recovering the strong light around the figure at the end of the tunnel – but more importantly I am pleased that my composition has stood the test of time (well that’s my view anyway – lol)

Castel Sant’Elmo is a medieval fortress located on a hilltop near the Certosa di San Martino, overlooking Naples, Italy. The name “Sant’Elmo” derives from a former 10th-century church, Sant’Erasmo, shortened to “Ermo” and, finally altered to “Elmo”. It presently serves as a museum, exhibition hall, and offices (Description via Wikipedia)

Cityscape, Freshly Pressed, Historical, Landscape

Castel Sant’Elmo

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The Florence Baptistery or Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John) is a religious building in Florence (Tuscany), Italy, which has the status of a minor basilica. The octagonal Baptistry stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza di San Giovanni, across from the Duomo cathedral and the Giotto bell tower (Campanile di Giotto). It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128. The architecture is in Florentine Romanesque style.

Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John) is a religious building in Florence (Tuscany), Italy
The octagonal Baptistry stands across from the Duomo and Giotto bell tower (Campanile di Giotto) which is where I shot this from. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128. The architecture is in Florentine Romanesque style.

Cityscape, Historical, Landscape, Photography

Battistero di San Giovanni

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Situated on the sunniest corner of Piazza San Marco, at the foot of the Clock Tower, in front of the Basilica, the Caffé Lavena has been one of Venice's most renowned coffee boutiques since 1750.    The Caffé Lavena is a meeting place for illustrious Venetian guests and tourists, and has always actively participated in the cultural life of Venice, experiencing the most important historical events in the city during the 18th and 19th centuries.

I loved the professionalism of the musician giving of their best despite the weather and lack of audience.  Situated on the sunniest corner of Piazza San Marco, Venice at the foot of the Clock Tower, in front of the Basilica, the Caffé Lavena. One of Venice’s most renowned coffee boutiques since 1750. The Caffé Lavena is a meeting place for illustrious Venetian guests and tourists, and has always actively participated in the cultural life of Venice, experiencing the most important historical events in the city during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cityscape, Historical, Photography

Performance Sold Out

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Cityscape, Freshly Pressed, Historical, Photography, postaday

Sistine Chapel Interior – Rome

Cistine Chapel Interior copy

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