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Postcards From A Drive Around Iceland by Alpha Whiskey Photography

So I recently had some time to kill and I thought it might be rather fun to drive around Iceland in the autumn. I had been to this charming little island twice before but this time I was on my own, driving around its ring road in an SUV that was also my home for the duration of my trip. My main aim was to see as much as possible in the limited time I had, which often meant I wasn't always fortunate enough to have the best light or indeed the best weather. Nevertheless, in less than 8... 
days I crammed in over two dozen waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, canyons, a volcano crater, humpback whales and the aurora borealis, the last of which was a stunning display that was worth the trip alone.Iceland is, of course, a beautiful land unlike anywhere else, with contrasting landscapes, volatile weather and spectacular natural features. Much of the country was appropriately dressed for the season in autumnal hues, decorating the countless waterfalls, streams and mountains in a kaleidoscope of colour. It is certainly true that one cannot help but regularly stop at the sight of something unexpected and beautiful. I ended up seeing far more than my itinerary intended for me.I may elaborate in a later post how I planned and executed my trip but for now I simply wanted to share a brief snapshot of some of the things I saw. And despite all that I did see it is still probably just the tip of the iceberg (so to speak).I realise Iceland has been photographed to death and I may not have anything original to offer but this was a trip I wanted to do for myself and most of the images I captured please me. In the coming days and weeks I may expand on individual landmarks/locations. Rather bizarrely, the inclement weather towards the end of my trip became particularly severe whenever I visited a place I had been to before, and miraculously cleared up at places I was seeing for the first time. Spooky. I must thank my good friend Brubaker for all his invaluable help kitting me out for vehicular camping and navigation. Without his help I would literally be lost, cold and powerless. He was due to join me on this adventure but his draconian employers would not free him from work. I must also thank my good friend and fellow photographer Parrish who very generously lent me a set of ND and graduated filters, enabling me to capture some long exposures, particularly at the glacier lagoon. Well, nearly 3000km and a supertanker of diesel later I had made it back to where I had started my journey at Kirkjufell in Snaefellsness, the most photographed mountain in Iceland. A small sense of accomplishment quietly crept under a stronger longing to finally get back home, light up a fat one and swig down a cold one. Job done.Most of these shots were made with the E-M5 and Olympuses 12-40mm F/2.8 and 40-150mm F/2.8. I used the DSLR primarily for the auroras as the larger sensor was more capable at capturing them. 

Postcards from Prague by Three-Quarter Works

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, sits majestically on the banks of the river Vltava. The city in itself is quite a popular tourist attraction at any time of the year but draws especially large crowds during the Christmas time thanks to its renowned Christmas markets. These winter wonderlands that magically mushroom up in the weeks leading up to Christmas in every city across Europe symbolise the beginning of the festive season, building up a palpable sense of excitement as the days... 
dwindle down to the joyous and warm family occasion epitomised amongst other things by the illuminated Christmas tree, the act of gift-giving, a feast and the Christmas Mass.The roughly 250km drive from Regensburg to the city limits of Prague was straightforward but the last few kilometers were anything but. It was a labyrinth of narrow roads with heavy traffic snaking one moment in one direction and then immediately to the other that left our GPS device rudderless, the voice-guide bellowing out confusing and contradictory commands, us at our wit’s end and just short of ripping our hair out. We eventually made it to our hotel in one piece and decided straight away that walking is really healthy for us and that the public transport is better for the environment.

Out n' About in Regensburg by Three-Quarter Works

Crisp, cool air, sky a clear blue and the early morning sunrays filtering through the dense foliage. Ah, the perfect weather for a hike.We began at Winzer High, a small hill overlooking Regensburg. As it was a few degrees colder up there, we sorely missed our gloves on this frosty November morning.

Cathedral Church Of St Nicholas by Alpha Whiskey Photography

A small but no less beautifully ornate cathedral in the heart of Newcastle, St Nicholas has all the usual photographic opportunities found in these historic buildings. From the grandeur and scale of the columns to the geometric patterns in the architecture, everything in between is a treasure of statues and ornaments with plenty of interesting lighting upon them. All images shot with the Olympus E-M5 and 12-40mm F/2.8 or 60mm F/2.8.

Newcastle Architecture and Street by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Lots of interesting architecture in the heart of Newcastle, particularly around Grainger Town, where the terrific Victorian and Georgian stone and geometry offered plenty of photographic and abstract opportunities. The bright sun cast some pleasing shadows, further helping to accentuate the shapes and spaces under the masonry.And many of the ladies out in town seemed to have a standard dress code of short skirts and high heels; nice to see but somewhat perplexing attire for a Sunday afternoon. Not sure what the owls were doing there either but by then little could surprise us. Most of the people shots were taken by the quayside.All images were made with the Olympus E-M5 and 12-40mm F/2.8 or 60mm F/2.8. 

Olympus 300mm F/4 - A User Experience. by Alpha Whiskey Photography

When Olympus first announced the 300mm F/4 for the m4/3 format there was understandably much enthusiasm for its arrival. After all, it would give users the equivalent field of view of 600mm at F/4 in a far more compact and lighter lens than a DSLR equivalent. I wasn't personally aroused by the prospect but curiosity prompted me to ask Olympus if I could borrow the lens to write up a user experience and they very kindly sent me a copy. 

Kingfishers And Dragonflies by Alpha Whiskey Photography

We were incredibly lucky to see the kingfisher, having been told that they had now left the nature reserve. In fact, we had literally just entered the hide and it showed up, perched neatly on a branch right in front of us! And in between waiting for it to fly back into view I had a great time capturing the very many dragonflies swarming around the hide. I have to thank Natalia's eagle eyes for spotting all of them.All of these images were shot with the Olympus 300mm F/4, kindly loaned to me by Olympus and for which I shall be posting a user experience next. The lens was mounted to the E-M5 via the MC-14 teleconverter, offering an equivalent field of view of 840mm. 

Evening On The Tyne by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Not one to easily resist night lights and reflections I spent an evening on the quayside by the River Tyne hoping to capture some decent exposures at sunset and dusk. I usually do this kind of thing alone (after all, who in their right mind would want to shoot with Alpha Whiskey?!), but on this occasion I benefitted greatly from Natalia's company, and in fact it was her enterprise that had me running back and forth across bridges and by the water to best make use of the sunset hues. By dusk... 
I was able to take some long exposures using a gorillapod wrapped around the railings. After dusk the night brought out the lights and colours a little more but I'm not really a fan of black skies, even with long exposures. Dusk blue is best for me. These images were mostly made with the Olympus E-M5 and 12-40mm F/2.8. 

Postcard From Newcastle by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Probably one of the friendliest towns we have visited, the few of us that made the trip to Newcastle Upon Tyne were pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone we met there was. A stark contrast to terminally angry and miserly Londoners. A small and walkable town of less than 300,000 people, Newcastle boasts a beautiful quayside with some stunning bridges, the most imposing of which is the Tyne Bridge, opened in 1928. The River Tyne is also cradled by the beautiful glass Sage Building and the... 
Millennium Bridge, as well as the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art. Within the city, Grainger Town is the historical heart of Newcastle Upon Tyne with stunning architecture designed in the 19th century by Richard Grainger. Amongst the Georgian and Victorian buildings are the now familiar array of shops and eateries that make up a typical city centre. But one can still be impressed by the Theatre Royal and Grey's Monument.We made time for some art at the Laing Gallery and Biscuit Factory, the latter of which is mainly contemporary work for domestic ornamental possession. We also enjoyed St Nicholas Cathedral, small but no less ornate.And of course, we had to see the Angel Of The North on our way out. All the images here were taken with my usual travel complement of the Olympus E-M5, 12-40mm F/2.8, 45mm F/1.8 or 60mm F/2.8. They have been composed and processed in my usual postcard style. In the coming days I will post more from Newcastle, including some dusk and sunset shots from the quayside, more from inside the Cathedral and some architecture. 

Durdle Door At Sunrise by Alpha Whiskey Photography

A few hours of sleep after watching the Milky Way we headed back down to Durdle Door to see the sunrise. It wasn't the greatest sunrise but it did give me ample time to run around capturing a few shots. After which we spent the rest of the day lazing on the beach or swimming in the crystal clear water.The images were processed in Lightroom to my personal taste, and mostly shot with the Olympuses E-M5, 12-40mm F/2.8 and 40-150mm F/2.8. A couple were taken with the Nikon DSLR and wide angle lens I had used on the Milky Way.

Introducing SlickPic's Exhibit

Your Portfolio

The Portfolio is the place to showcase your very best photos. Think of it as the collage of the best pictures you've taken. It's separate from your Albums and you can choose whether to make it visible.

Private Affairs

As always, the privacy of your photos and videos is in your control. Because SlickPic offers both private and public photo sharing, you can host all your photos privately and choose to submit only your best photos to your public Portfolio.

High Exposure

The Exhibit allows you to showcase and promote your best work like never before, offering greater visibility and recognition. SlickPic's team of curators looks through all photos in public Portfolios and adds the photos they love to be displayed in the Exhibit.

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