Friday, 21 July 2006

The Apologist

I'm about to head to Auckland for a few weeks - mainly work, but some play, a few galleries, the odd book shop and trendy clothing boutique, maybe some wild drugs and sex, a bit of manly bonding over hunting poor defenseless animals, you know my usual weekend type activity (except for the work bit of course).

I'm leaving you with this nice cheery pic to remember me by. I believe it was snapped from a moving car (I wasn't the driver this time actually thank you very much!) somewhere around Taupo/Ruapehu - I know that's a big area, but I can't really remember without referring back to the film and I can't be bothered doing that just for the sake of clarification.

And a parting thought. This blog thing is kinda weird. I used to get lots of traffic from Hong Kong. Now I'm getting lots of traffic from Iceland - comparatively speaking, hits/head popn etc. Go figure!

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

The Update

Well after weeks of struggle, trying different programs, buying a seemingly decent program, working out what I was trying to do, working out what I wanted to do, dealing with extremely unhelpful support people for the software I bought who still haven't answered my last query and never satisfactorily answered any of my queries, bits of assistance from friends who I knew had nothing better to do than look at my new pages and tell me they didn't work, starting the design from scratch 4 times, rebuilding most of the pages again today, uploading it 5 times in the vain hope that the one page that didn't load properly would load properly, my new super-improved bigger fitter brighter stronger website is now online for all to enjoy.

And if you don't like it you can go and do nasty things to yourself for an hour or so.

Oh yeah, and a word of warning to you luddites still on dial-up the gallery pages may take a while to load as all images load on opening. I know this from personal experience.

Use the link on the left, and don't forget to bookmark it!!

The Dune

Monday, 17 July 2006

The Facade

So maybe I should just give up on the Hasselblad and Horseman, and stick with the Holga eh.

Sunday, 16 July 2006

The Swazi

I have to offer apologies to all of you who excitedly arrived at work after a long, arduous weekend hoping to extend your non-work time by a few more minutes by reading my latest country monologue picture journal ramble thing.

Today we look at Swaziland.

At least that was the idea.

However it appears that, even though we spent maybe twenty four hours in the country, during which time it rained from memory, I did not take a single picture. I remember walking around the capital 'city' with my camera on the morning before we departed, but clearly I did not press the shutter button once.

If you are a Swaziland native, please don't take that as a sleight on your nation. Rather accept that I was a tight wad (yes even more so than now) who felt film was precious (oh how times have changed) and unless the picture had a wild animal in it I wasn't going to take any photos.

Sadly I have not had the time to either scan any new countries, nor look through those which I do have scanned. Please accept my sincere apologies. I hope to rectify the situation next weekend - though it may well be busier than this one, what with Film Festival and things.

And if you really want to see some photos of Swaziland, google it you lazy buggers - you think I've got nothing better to do than do your googling for you?!

Thursday, 13 July 2006

The Bastion

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

The Pretence

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

The Difference

Wow that is different eh?! (I'm suggesting that it's not the type of image that I normally post. I am in no way implying that there is anything unique or groundbreaking about the image. In fact it is rather cliched and amateur photographer-esque. Just in case you needed some clarification.)

That's frangipani. Shot in some north- or eastern-African country. It's my favourite flower in the world (and yes I have seen all the flowers in the world, so I am well qualified to make such a statement). I really like the simplicity of it, the interplay of white and yellow, the pleasing shape and cool overlay of the petals. And it smells lovely too. Oh how I miss it. Why can't Wellington be warm enough to grow frangipani? Roll on global warming.

On a different matter I feel I need to introduce you all to the following blog - Xpan Battle. You can post your own Xpan shots and/or vote on other people shots. There is a permanent link on the left there, under 'photo blogs'.

Monday, 10 July 2006

The Vegas

Sunday, 9 July 2006

The Delta

Okay so after Jordan, Botswana seemed to be somewhat lacking in anything but boats and animals. I have to admit that at the time it was fantastic - considering I was planning a career in wildlife photography that should come as no surprise. But looking back on the shots I took, there was the realisation that we didn't see much of the country or its people at all - a couple of days poolside, a couple more days in the Delta, and a couple more days getting from there to elsewhere.

Anyway, there are some nice shots, so don't let me dissuade you from reading further. Here's a bird (egret?).There were two great places we visited. First up was Chobe National Park. It was special cos it was small, good looking, we got to go on a boat, and it had hippos.And elephants ...Impalas ...And lions - a lionese in this case (quite proud of this shot thanks very much)Here's the lay of the land.After Chobe we sat poolside getting bored, putting on makeup, doing our hair, inventing games involving a pool and a ball. To break the tedium we went flying.It had been a dry season so there weren't as many animals around as usual - at least that's the story we got. This herd of elephants was really about all we saw. But after this was the Okavango Delta which was just way cool.Firstly we camped in the middle of the park somewhere. Not a public camping ground, but a good old bush camp reminder of scouting days. Secondly we had to be ferried to the campsite on old gondola style boats. And the odd friend came along for the ride (so cute - the leg's not bad either).Being in the middle of a National Park surrounded by numerous wild, and potentially lethal, animals had its exciting points. The fact that we weren't allowed to wander far from the camp without a guide did temper the excitement value somewhat. But when we did get to go out with a guide we got to walk for miles in the early morning air and look for said numerous wild, and potentially lethal, animals.We saw some too, like these um numerous, very wild, and potentially extremely lethal um ... giraffes. Talk about scary!! They ran like the wind (or at least like a bunch of giraffes).Here's a nice misty morning just to prove that I can sometimes get up early.And here's an elephant we chased later that same morning. We were a bunch of stalkers. It was exciting but I did feel for the elephant as it was just trying to go about its day, and there we were interrupting its breakfast - pain in the arse bloody tourists.And I Know by now you're all going "yes but Mr Microphen what about the boats, sure you've mentioned them but where are the photos?". Don't you fear. Here they are in their arty splendour.

Friday, 7 July 2006

The Stop

Thursday, 6 July 2006

The Desert

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

The Golfer

Saturday, 1 July 2006

The Petran

The more observant of my regular readers may have noticed that I have started doing big travel blogs on the weekend - primarily because my life is currently so exciting I have hours to spend scanning the films, editing shots, and writing a whole lot of crap to make a (hopefully) vaguely interesting story to go alongside the (hopefully) vaguely interesting photos. Don'’t fret, only thirty four countries to go. And here's another one.

A couple of weeks back a friend forced me -– no shit, forced me; broke into my house, pointed a loaded gun at my head and forced me - to enter a competition so she could win stuff. (I haven'’t heard anything back so I'’m assuming she didn'’t win.) Anyway from what she told me the prize was a book about some woman who lived at Petra. Before the archaeologists and other such do-gooders moved in, kicked the locals out and declared it a World Heritage Site or something.

The upshot being that here is my rant about Jordan. Petra is the main reason anybody would want to go to Jordan. And everybody should want to go to Petra.

For us, our point of entry was from Syria somewhere, and the first shot I have of Jordan is this one of some fella 'swimming' in the Dead Sea. As the fella is apparently me I'll guess that I didn't take the photo.
We headed south to Amman, the capital, along the Kings Highway. Here's a view from somewhere along the Kings Highway.

Amman was a stunning city. We spent about um ... an hour there. Mainly driving around trying to find a supermarket. We also found a big public demonstration about something. What I saw of Amman made me want to stay longer, but mainly because it appeared to be a big horribly soulless bureaucracy. Anyway on to Petra.

Here's the Raiders Of The Lost Ark shot. The entry to Petra.

What you see through the gorge is The Treasury. It's a stunning piece of Art carved into a rock wall - rooms over two levels, facade, everything.

Isn't that the most gorgeous site you've ever seen?! OK maybe you had to be there. It's not often that I am just blown away by a location, cos I'm such an unemotional cynic, and even rarer that a level of 'Wow' is sustained for a day. Petra is that place. Here's some other piece of work by someone who clearly had too much time on their hands.

Petra is actually a city, and the site is huge. From memory the public access area is only a fraction of the entire site. Naturally as buildings are being carved into cliff faces and hillsides, Petra is a place if hills and valleys. Consequently exploring requires lots of walking, and lots of walking up and down hills. Here's a view from one of those hills, looking down on the Royal Area. You should be able to make out bits of architectural structures.

The Renaissance Tomb.

And lastly from Petra, two shots of the
Monastery. Go here for more information on Petra.

Sadly we only had a day on Petra. From memory you could buy a 1 day or a 3 day pass. I can't remember how much it was, and while it was pricey it was some of the best money I've ever spent.

From Petra, we kept going south to the beautiful desert of Wadi Rum - a place to get well and truly lost in (and not neceassarily in a good way).
That was most probably the sand dune I buried my then newly purchased 20-35mm lens in. Oddly enough it hasn't been the same since. Below is a land bridge. Parts of Lawrence Of Arabia were shot around here somewhere too.

Finally, here's a shot from about 6.30am. In the centre in the shadow you can make out our camp. It was probably a 20min walk. This place is huge and the scale is very deceiving. But it was fun, and added further proof that I really like deserts.
After Wadi Rum, we went to Aqaba, a coastal resort on the Red Sea. It was quiet and relaxing and apparently I didn't take any photos. From there we broke into Egypt. But that's another story.