Posts Tagged ‘photography’

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Aloha! We arrived home from Hawaii late Friday night and – miracle of miracles – I had finished editing the photos by the end of the weekend.

Here’s a little virtual escape for you if you’re at work or in the middle of a dreary day as it is here.

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We stayed at these condos found on airbnb. In all there were 11 of us split over two condos – The Man & I, his parents, brother and sister-in-law in one and in the other my parents, brother and sister-in-law and their little bub (who of course got more attention than everyone else combined).

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We stayed on Kauai which is a less populated and popular island – perfect as we wanted a relaxed holiday with plenty of natural sights. We did a ton of swimming and snorkelling at various beautiful beaches and the condo pools – bliss!

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Around an open-air museum at an old plantation town.

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Since part of the purpose of our trip was to celebrate The Man’s and my 30th (the other part being to meet up with my brother’s family who live in the US) we had a special dinner at the nearby Hilton restaurant. ‘Floating’ on a koi pond and with a waterfall backdrop, it really was spectacular (and the food lived up to the setting!).

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The Man and I usually try to make our travel budget far by mostly doing free/inexpensive activities like walks, museums and outdoor sights. This time, we splurged on a helicopter flight (we needed four choppers to fit the whole family!) and it was worth every cent with view like these…

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To see the amazing and varied landscape of the entire island from the air was a totally unique experience. The photos make it look very serene when in actual fact it was noisy and windy as all hell, moreso than a usual helicopter flight as we’d opted to fly with the doors off!

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One of the days we went on a hike through one of the national parks. The walk itself was not too bad (probably the most challenging one we’ve done but nothing we couldn’t handle) however it was incredibly muddy and slippery which meant every step could be your last before ending up covered head-to-toe in mud.

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Not a bad spot to wash off the mud and sweat.

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Recovering on the beach after the walk ;)

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One night we went to a luau. I wasn’t sure what to expect (someone else did the research) and I must admit I was getting concerned at the gigantic hall with all-you-can-eat buffet. Thankfully, after the feeding frenzy we were led to an amphitheatre for a dance performance.

It definitely included more cheese than the buffet, but it was still a very entertaining performance.

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For the day in Honolulu on the way home we headed to Pearl Harbor. We had tickets out to the USS Arizona memorial but unfortunately they closed it five minutes before our tour due to high wind. Still, the rest of the tour was very moving and the exhibits were well done.

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Submarines? Totally on trend. Hex tile, industrial lighting and storage, mixed metals, label plates, typewriters, US Navy chairs…

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We ended our trip with a lovely evening at Waikiki with my in-laws whose stopover coincided with ours.

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It was unlike any other trip we had done before. Not only was it our first tropical holiday together, but we went with a huge family group. It was so much fun and everyone got along really well. And I got to meet my adorable baby nephew!

The Man and I share photography on our trips so mucho cred to him for a bunch of these shots. 

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Manfrotto 055X tripod

A new tripod had been on my wishlist for some time.

My el-cheapo one that I bought when I first got into photography back in my uni days was good for the basics. But these days most of my photography is for my business and this blog so it was time to upgrade to something a bit more pro.

Manfrotto 055X tripod

Specifically I needed a tripod that can take shots from directly overhead for my tutorial and product photography. As anyone who’s ever tried doing this with a regular tripod will tell you, all the legs (your own legs as well as the tripod’s) will get in the way.

So when the rep from the new photography shopping and sharing platform Snappit contacted me about reviewing one of their products, I knew exactly which one I wanted to try.

Manfrotto 055X tripod

They kindly sent me the Manfrotto 055X PROD tripod to test out. You can read my review over on Snappit.

Thanks to my very talented brother-in-law Dan Parsons for taking the action shots for me!

Disclosure: I wasn’t paid to write this post but the tripod was supplied by Snappit. Opinions are my own.

San Francisco Muir Woods

Yowza, well that was an EPIC series. That took me long enough and I still have to put together our album – eek!

Here’s a quick summary of the links:

Day 1 & 2: San Francisco

Day 3: San Francisco

Day 4: San Francisco

Day 5: San Francisco

Day 6: Napa Valley

Day 7: Napa Valley

Day 8 & 9: San Francisco

Day 10: San Francisco & surrounds

Day 11: San Francisco

Day 12: San Francisco

Day 14: London

Day 15: London

Day 16: London

Day 17 & 18: Berlin

Day 19: Berlin

Day 20 & 21: Dresden

Day 21 & 22: Prague

Day 23 & 24: Prague & Pilsen

Day 25: Cesky Krumlov

Day 26 & 27: Vienna

Day 28: Vienna

Day 29: Wels

Day 29: Salzburg

Day 30: Salzburg

Day 31: Innsbruck

Day 32 & 33: Dachau & Neuschwanstein

Day 34 & 35: Heidelberg

Day 36: Munich

Thanks so much for indulging me over the past few weeks. I’ve enjoyed sharing our travels with you but I’m looking forward to getting back into my regular content this afternoon.

I’ve got lots of fun things lined up for you, including new columns, themed months and easy projects. *Rubs hands together in glee* Can’t wait!

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Heidelberg

We left The Man’s family and took off to the beautiful university town of Heidelberg. Most of these photos are of the semi-ruined castle.

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Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Can you believe this is a model?!

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Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

There was a small museum on the history of pharmacy, including this fabulous turn-of-the-century shop fitout.

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Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

We had our last dinner at a restaurant that served 100 different types of schnitzel!

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Dachau

After our time in Austria and Czech it was time to head back into Germany, this time in the south.

After a homecooked lunch and catch up with The Man’s uncle (who lives in a town outside Munich) we made our way to Dachau, the location of one of the Holocaust’s most horrific death camps.

Dachau

We walked there from the train – not realising how far it was and that there was a bus – but it actually made the deepened the experience as we followed the journey of the prisoners’ arrival.

Dachau

“Work sets you free.”

Dachau

The bitter cold and bleak sky seemed appropriate for this awful place.

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Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

(I have to admit I was tempted to brighten up these photos so they looked nicer but it was actually nearing dusk while we were there so I kept them realistic.)

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Words cannot describe the chilling experience of visiting the crematorium.

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After our gut-wrenching sightseeing, we relaxed with another lovely homecooked meal, this time joined by The Man’s uncle’s niece and her husband (who all live in the house above). The niece and husband have excellent English, the uncle only a little, while The Man has good German and I have zilch. But we got by with a lot of bilingual talking and a lot of hand gestures.

The Man hadn’t seen his uncle since he was a boy and neither of us had met the niece, but they were so warm and friendly and their hospitality was embarrassingly good.

Neuschwanstein

They were kind enough to drive us out to Neuschwanstein Castle a couple of hours away. I had been there as a kid (in summer) and it was just as magical.

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

We were at the top of the mountain waiting for our guided tour to start, when we heard our names being called out. It was a guy and a girl we went to school with! Totally bizarre.

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Bavaria

Bavaria

On the way back, we stopped off at one of the couple’s favourite churches. It was very strange to see such an impressive church in what was essentially the middle of nowhere.

Bavaria

Bavaria

Bavaria

It was definitely a couple of days of opposites – both memorable in different ways.

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Innsbruck

We arrived in Innsbruck late at night and went straight to our hotel so we didn’t get a great sense of the city to begin with. Then we awoke to this view (above) from our hotel window. Wow!

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Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

We were on the opposite side of the river to the main town (closer to the ski slopes) but it was a beautiful walk so we didn’t mind at all.

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Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Just for a change – ahem – we went to an Imperial Palace (we were on first name terms with Maria Theresia & co by this stage). Apart from the usual things you’d find in a royal residence, they also had a great display of the furniture through the ages and showed how they were actually constructed.

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Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

My 10am instant coffee just isn’t the same now that I’ve experienced Austrian hot drinks like this amaaaazing hot chocolate. I still have no idea how I managed to not put on any weight with how we were eating and drinking!

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Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

The Man kept threatening me with a snow fight but thankfully I always had the convenient excuse that he couldn’t throw snow at me while I was holding the camera.

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Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Dear old men, you know they make small chess sets so you don’t have to play OUTSIDE IN THE FREEZING BLOODY COLD?

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

I’ve never got the whole moustache fad, but I had to admit this made me laugh.

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

There were plenty of galleries to choose from, but we felt we’d already covered a lot of 17th-20th century oil painting. So we ditched the idea of the fine art museum and instead went to the Volkskunst (Folk Art) Museum.

It was fascinating and well-presented. They even had entire rooms reconstructed to show how regular people would have lived (quite the contrast to the Hofburg Palace as you can imagine!).

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Goodnight, Innsbruck!

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Salzburg

I don’t know what it’s like in your part of the world right now but today’s photos might make you feel a little chilly!

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Pre-school children tobogganing - cutest thing ever.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

As you can tell by the volume of photos, we couldn’t get enough of the Mirabell Palace Gardens.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Our main activity of the day was a visit to the Fortress, which this guy is looking up to.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

We found the entrance to the funicular (hillside cable car) but it was closed due to the snow!

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Salzburg

Salzburg

It was not an easy walk, but thankfully the view was so beautiful I’m actually glad we weren’t able to take the funicular. Plus, it was probably good to work off some of the schnitzels and wine.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Sorry for the epic amount of photos – I couldn’t decide!

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Salzburg

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Salzburg

As well as the normal fortress exhibitions there was a also marionette museum which was quite cute.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

After a more leisurely walk back down the hill, we treated ourselves to some shopping. Actually we mostly bought gifts for our family but it was still great fun.

My face lit up when I saw this shop consisting entirely of Christmas decorations!

Salzburg

Salzburg

…and this other store window featuring a giant Missoni ‘A’!

Next up, we head to Innsbruck.

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Salzburg

After our morning in Wels, we arrived in Salzburg eager to start exploring.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

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Salzburg

Salzburg

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

We were blown away by the breathtaking view from the banks of the Salzach River.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

By now you probably won’t be surprised to learn that our next activity was – you guessed it – a walking tour! Our local guide was very friendly and knowledgeable, although the tour was bilingual and she spoke way longer to the German-speaking tourists so we did feel like we were missing out a bit.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

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Salzburg

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

After the tour concluded, we went to Mozarts Geburtshaus (Mozart’s Birth House) which was a small but well-curated and fascinating museum of the famous Salzburger.

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Salzburg

Salzburg

We had a pleasant (and by pleasant I mean pretty but effing freezing) moonlit stroll through the palace gardens.

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Wels

On our way from Vienna to Salzburg, we hopped off the train for a quick look around the small town of Wels.

The Man’s maternal grandmother and auntie lived here until they emigrated to Australia, where his mother was later born. His great-grandmother remained here until her passing.

His mum gave us a couple of addresses where the great-grandmother had lived and we set out to find them. Unfortunately they were both old folks’ homes (one of which had been torn down and rebuilt) so it wasn’t a charming little house where his grandmother might have grown up.

Still, it was a lovely town and we enjoyed our short wander around. Come for the tour with me…

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Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

It was a tad cold if you hadn’t worked that out.

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Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

There were some surprisingly flash new houses, like this one. Very cool, huh?

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Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

The main street was very pretty.

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Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

I think my mother-in-law was really chuffed that we took the time to detour off the original itinerary and visit her family’s hometown.

After a couple of hours it was time to continue our journey. We were thankful to the person who had cleaned the train window so we could enjoy the view!

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Wels

Having mostly visited cities, it was great to venture out to see the countryside and towns.

I took so many photos on this day that I’ve split up the afternoon in Salzburg into a separate post coming up tomorrow. See you then!

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Cesky Krumlov

The historical goodness continued in Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO Heritage Listed Town south of Prague.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

After the train ride there, The Man and I (sporting dreadful beanie-hair) stopped for a coffee while we waited for our guided tour to start. It was a cute cafe; the owner was obviously a bit of a collector as there were some great collections of coffee grinders, clocks and sewing tables.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Now being quite the fans of walking tours, we signed up for another one, this time with a lovely local lady who had witnessed the town rise out of neglect and hardship into a beautifully restored national treasure.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Despite the impressive the restorations were, it was actually really good to see one of the few remaining unrestored buildings to put the whole process into context. It’s charming in its own way, don’t you think?

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

The view from the top of the belltower was definitely worth the climb!

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Unfortunately much of the castle is closed in winter for safety reasons (there’s normally heavy snow that time of year) and due to the fact that it’s unheated.

Thankfully we were still able to enjoy the museum which chronicled 600+ years of local history, in an interior had been reproduced in its original style. I’m quite fond of historical buildings that are set up as if the owners have just stepped out of the room, I find it makes it so much more realistic.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

I’m so pleased we ventured off the major city route to visit Cesky Krumlov, if only briefly. We  hopped on the train back to our base in nearby Ceske Budejovice.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Tomorrow we go to Austria!

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