Look back

I was recently asked to send a friend some photographs that I have taken in the past. It was an interesting task as I focussed on photographs that I took in 2013, during my Project 365, where I posted a new photograph each day to my Flickr account.

I was amazed how I could remember each photograph and what I was thinking and doing when they were taken. I could associated each photograph with a memory, who I was with and what I had been doing that day.

I have added some of these photographs below with the memory associated with it, in no particular order.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I took this photograph on a team away day when I was consulting for Shell International Exploration and Production. The team I worked with was made up of Jelte, Herman, Ingrid, Jo, Jenny, Santiago and Fabian.
We had a great day out wandering from Amsterdam Centraal Station to the Rijksmuseum and then out for dinner at the Conservatorium Hotel. Needless to say the food, wine and company was spectacular. I remember getting a lot of photographs that day, but this is the one that I liked the most.


The Hague Centraal Station. I sat for hours at the bottom of these stairs waiting on a gap from people walking up and down to the Raandstad Rail Trams. They arrived and departed every five minutes but I was determined to get the shot that I wanted without people in it. It was a long exposure so when people were in the shot they 'blurred' and I didn't like that. Finally around 12:30am a gap in appeared and I got the shot that I wanted.


This was a Sunday afternoon in late autumn after spending most of the afternoon in Coffee Company, on Korte Pouten, which was just off the Plain. I just happened to have my camera with me (in those days it never left my side), and snapped this on the way home. I spent a lot of time that afternoon talking to Kiko about life, the universe and everything in between.


Courchevel. Ski and Snowboard trip with Megan, Mike, Marcela, Graham and Lisa (Moneypenny). This was a week of fun on the snow in February. We hired a chalet for a week and it was some of the most fun I have had snowboarding. I also cracked a rib. In fact, I think I have a picture of the x-ray somewhere. My most vivid memories of this trip was coming off the slope and getting back the chalet and having an ice cold beer, that had been chilling in the snow all day. There was always 'lively' debate about who had the most impressive wipe out night after a few beers. Mike and I always said that we were going out partying every night, which never really materialised due to the crazy amount of energy expended during the day.


The CCTV building in Beijing, China. I took this photograph from the building in which I was working. Beijing doesn't get many clear days but this day was very nice. Just a after sunrise, taken on my iPhone (the best camera you have is the one you have with you). I was in China working for a week and then did some travelling with my friend Sisi. When I think of this trip this is what comes to mind. It was a trip that changed me on a fundamental level and I am ever grateful that I was sent on it. Oh, I also think of Tsingtao and Sisi laughing at me trying to order it in Mandarin. I am so thankful to Sisi for showing me around her hometown, having someone local in a such a large city was so good. She was also great a haggling in the Silk Market for me!


This is probably one in a set of the most painful photographs ever taken. My camera gear was stolen on the train from Den Haag to Schiphol. I almost didn't go on the trip after that, but thankfully Mike, Marcela, Megan and Lisa (Moneypenny) convinced me to go. I did enjoy it, it was a very fun trip after all, even though I was taking all my photos (including this one) with my iPhone.
It has to be one of the most photographed waterfalls in the world, and to be honest, its 'over-exposure' makes me think it is much less impressive than it used to be. There is no fun in driving up to something like this, shooting a few photos and driving off again. There should be a mandatory 20 mile hike to get to something this impressive. Maybe that's just me.


A spur of the moment trip to Budapest, Hungary. Was asked if I fancied going to Budapest on a Wednesday and was flying by Friday afternoon. Megan was going on her own and wanted some company and as I was photographing pretty much everything at that point she knew it would be too tempting for me to say no. I had so much fun, learned how to drive a Segway, ate more Goulash than I thought was possible and walked so many km around Budapest taking photographs. I got a lot of nice photographs of Budapest but this was my favourite, Chain Bridge. It was a bridge that I had seen in a lot of movies and I never actually thought that it would be someplace that I would go so I am really grateful for Megan thinking of me. 


So, I am going to leave it here with six photographs. By no way my favourite ever photos, or my best, but they do have some of the best memories, taken with friends that are now spread around the world from Hawaii to The Netherlands and everywhere in between. I hope they are all as well as I am.


Incholm Abbey

I finally made it to Incholm Island and the Abbey last Saturday. It was actually on my list of places to see, but I totally forgot until the @alycoste invited me for a boat tour of the Forth River with a landing on the Island. So close to where I live yet I still have so much to see that's a stones throw away from me. I think I often forget that!

The shot to the right is of Alayne, who was kind enough to pose for me while I tried to do some artsy stuff... 

The island is dominated by Scotland's best preserved monastic buildings. It was established in 1235 when Augustinian canons built a priory, which was later given full Abbey status. The Abbey has an amazingly dramatic location and looks beautiful from the boat when passing on the south side. I can only imagine how great it most look in a storm, or with deep snow! Fortunately we had great weather on the island even though it was raining when we left South Queensferry.

The boat trip also went round the bridges; The Forth Rail Bridge, The Road Bridge and of course the new Queensferry Crossing. Have you any idea how difficult it is to take a good shot of bridges  when on a boat? Well, I do. Hence the lack of shots below! :-)

Ok, I got one and you can see it here.


Champagne is mandatory at 40

Just a short note to congratulate my friend, Clare, on reaching her 40th birthday earlier this week. I had a splendid time at her celebration and have had time since then to reflect upon my upcoming 25th (ahem) birthday.

I am constantly impressed by her bravery of stepping out of a conventional job and starting her own company doing something that she loves. It should be an inspiration to us all.



Maple Leaf

September, I just got to know you and now you are gone. 

For those that poo-pooed my "it's autumn" post at the start of September, for sure it's autumn now, look at that leaf, you don't get that colour from an Indian summer. Or maybe you do, I don't know, I'm not a botanist, but the 7 degrees this morning tells me that winter is on it's way!

October looks busy for me, lots of training courses on (Python, QGIS, PGAdmin) and new projects; building an interactive map using Leaflet (a javascript library) for this website. I am going to update it with locations of where I have taken photographs. I am thinking that it would probably be easier to use a database of locations than program every location into the code, which would also allow me to have a date, meta data and a link to the photograph. Eugh, suddenly my brain is bursting with the thought of how much work that would be. Perhaps I'll use it for new photographs from the time I get the map running and use the GeoJSON that it supports out of the box. Maps...so much fun.

I spent Saturday night at the Forth Bridges (yes, again) took some photographs and had coffee at the Hawes Inn. The coffee was required because it was cold because it's Autumn. I got three shots that I like that I have included below. I like the photograph that shows the three bridges that I managed to capture using a wide angle lens. I like the way that there is still some light on the left side of the photo that eventually fades to black at the right side of the photo, there are also a few stars that can be seen (faintly). This is also the first time I have visited South Queensferry since the Queensferry Crossing has been opened.