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East Iceland by Alpha Whiskey Photography

The trip that keeps on giving while I'm busy not taking many photos this month. Well, Iceland is a bit like that, a small island with no end of beautiful places to marvel at and reap images from.My time in the east of the country spanned essentially one whole day from sunrise at Hengifoss to a rainy night at Hofn. But these images cover the day up to Seydisfjordur. I actually arrived at Hengifoss the night before but I hadn't realised it was a 2km uphill hike from the car park to the... 
waterfall. And in any case it was dark and the northern lights were displaying. But the following morning I headed out during a vivid sunrise towards Hengifoss, the only person there or en route, allowing me to enjoy the quiet solitude for over an hour. I headed further east towards Seydisfjordur, enjoying a spectacularly colourful drive flanked by stunning autumnal colour. I'll add images from that to a post dedicated to shot taken along roads. Seydisfjordur is a small coastal town with not much going on but for some great views from the hill overlooking it and a small waterfall called Gufufoss.After taking in a few views of the fjord I found Fardagafoss, composed of upper and lower waterfalls but I'll add images from that in a separate post.For now enjoy these shots, processed to bring out bolder colour and contrast and hopefully convey a sense of the beauty of this land. Mostly shot with the Olympus E-M5 and 12-40mm F/2.8. 

Godafoss And Dettifoss by Alpha Whiskey Photography

To name but two. After Hraunfossar I drove for most of the day towards Godafoss, only to be met there by unrelenting rain, wind and mist making any photography impossible. So, after returning from Alderyarfoss and the aurora display I spent the night at Godafoss hoping for some better luck in the morning. To my relief, the morning brought clear weather and a colourful sunrise.After Godafoss I hurried towards Husavik for a spot of whale watching, images from which I'll probably add in a... 
separate post. Curiosity took me to the Asbyrgi Canyon, another potentially expendable item on my itinerary but one I'm glad I took the time to visit. An eerily empty and tranquil place, full of autumnal colour and embraced on all sides by high canyon walls. At its heart was a serene, silent and still pool, teeming with beautiful rocks. Navigating to Dettifoss, Europe's largest waterfall, my trusty sat nav once again sent me along an apparently short route that belied its rocky and treacherous ride. At least I could enjoy some lovely scenery en route while trying to stay vertical. Before long I could see the plumes of mist from Dettifoss and hear her roar. Dettifoss is mighty indeed, the magnitude of her sound and breadth overwhelming the senses. I hadn't realised that further on was another waterfall, Selfoss. By now the light was fading, the mist was intensifying and I was running out of time. I trudged over to Selfoss only to be stopped by large puddles around slippery rocks. I managed to hop and skip my way over to the edge of the cliff near the waterfall, and I still don't know how I set up a tripod in near darkness on a wet surface next to a steep drop, manually focusing with a 50mm lens to get a shot off. Returning to my vehicle was a blind battle through a chokingly thick fog and it took me a while to locate my vehicle. Driving through the fog was even more challenging but as I headed east towards Hengifoss it cleared up to make way for a beautiful moonlit sky.All in all, a good day.

Ghana-the land of Kente, Cacao & beautiful smiles...and to that, I say, Me Daa Si! by blissfulwanderlust

Africa, the motherland. The land full of history & mystery...I had only seen and heard about this beautiful land...I began my exploration in and around Accra with a taxi driver turned tour guide, at least temporarily. National forests, the gold coast, & busy markets in the heart of Accra...

Bangkok-through the lense by blissfulwanderlust

Living in Dhaka, Bangladesh has it's perks, for sure...travel is one of them! It is 1.5hr flight to Nepal and Bhutan. It's 2hrs to Bangkok, and a 3hr flight to Sri Lanka. Given all the perks, living in Dhaka can also be quite difficult. There is no adequate health care services, limited access to clean water, frequent power outages, endless stares from men, and pollution and poverty, that at times, doesn't seem real. Leaving Dhaka is a must to find normalcy again. Bangkok is frequently... 
visited by Expats, and the experience of leaving was once described by a friend as the following, "If you want something that feels normal, go to Bangkok where you have access to mostly everything you would ever want or need. You will blend in and feel "normal" again." 

Friends of the Faroes... by blissfulwanderlust

On the island of Vidoy, in the Faroe Islands, there happens to be the friendliest of sheep...most of the time sheep are curious, but when you get close, they become shy and reserved...not these sheep. Today, as the wind continuously blew through the northern most Faroe Islands, I found myself staying inside the car and driving slowly and taking in all of my surroundings...see below who I happened upon!

Klaksvik to Kalsoy- A Windy Venture by blissfulwanderlust

The wind in the Faroe Islands is well...strong to say the least. Before I came, all the photos I looked at and Blogs that I read, all talked about the dangers of the wind, fog and unpredictable weather. Well, they were right. The way the weather can change, is to say it bluntly, frightening...especially when you happen to be hiking on the side of a mountainside, with a cliff straight down to the water on the other side of the ridge. I took the car ferry from Klaksvik to Kalsoy in the middle... 
of the winter. An island with only 20 inhabitants and no stores to grab a hot coffee. I brought the warmth of my rental car, a thermos filled with hot tea and snacks to keep me going as I ventured up one hill and down the other...with the wind sometimes at my front and other times helping me along from the back. 

Bonjour Paris, Tussen Tak Norway by blissfulwanderlust

A collection of favorite photos from my 2 weeks traveling in Paris, France and Bergen/Lofoten Norway.

Faroes-wildly beautiful, wandering alone, windswept thoughts by blissfulwanderlust

No sheep on the mountainside today. I was alone, with only the weather and it's unpredictability and the occasional ray of sunshine, which was a welcome relief to snow, hail, rain, wind and any other kind of weather one can experience... I spent most of the day trying to take in as much sunshine as humanly possible. And you guessed it, as soon as I came off the mountain, the storm rolled in. The beauty of being on top of the world, is that you can see weather approaching...for this, I was... 
grateful. I was not scared hiking today, the winds were calm, and even though I was still on the side of a cliff, I was happy and content. No fear until the snow and driving collided as one. Down switchbacks I went, over a pass, with limited guardrails...and after a few unanswered texts that I sent to a friend for comfort, I continued onward and downward on my own...as the snow continued to fall, I tried to connect to my surroundings. They were raw, ready for anything, and strong. I took their advice and found myself at sea level safe and sound...full of gratitude.

2016 - A Year In Pictures by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Well, it hasn't been a boring year.Unfurling with typically merciless speed it brought us chaos, tragedy and abrupt and painful loss, but also celebration, triumph and discovery. New horizons beckon on both sides of the pond and as a compulsive optimist I subscribe to the idea that joy cometh in the morning. Perhaps my optimism is naive and misplaced but the alternative must be far worse.For I can gratefully report another enjoyable year of life on Earth. Being busy with personal and private... 
projects seemed in no way to inhibit my travel, foreign or domestic; to see some old friends, foreign and domestic; and to keep peering through a window on the world from behind the shelter and solace of my camera(s). In terms of photography the beginning of the year was a little quiet until a trip to Central America by way of Costa Rica and Panama. Diverse, exotic wildlife in dense cloud forests, humid mangroves and even a night in the jungle thrilled us before visiting the towering metropolis of Panama City. Hummingbirds, capuchins, iguanas and sloths preceded the gateway between two oceans and two continents. Hot, enlightening and thrilling I relished every moment of it. Historical Colchester was a town I hadn't appreciated until I took the time to do so with Zuzana as my guide. And a little street photography in London was a brief interlude until my next overseas trip to Gothenburg, the first of two visits this year to this beautiful city. A remarkable place with a cosmopolitan culture and some truly magnificent sights, all seasonably clad in vivid springtime blossom. Upon my return from Sweden my good friend and fellow photographer Parrish invited me to join him at the top of the United Kingdom's tallest building for a view of the capital. Down on the street the miserly Londoners can be abrupt and rude and would rather step through you than around you but when the dusk descends the city becomes an irresistibly radiant spectacle of lights and colour. The United Kingdom may be geographically small but I have lost no faith in its ability to continually surprise me with its beauty and the Isle Of Wight was no exception. Much like the Isle Of Man two years ago the Isle of Wight impressed us with its vast range of interests. From history at the stunning Osborne House to its picturesque beaches, from fascinating castles to golden sunsets on the coast, and of course the rare red squirrel, the island has something to offer everyone.The summer had me take a brief trip through Wales, no less scenic or special whatever the weather. Back home I enjoyed a local car show and availed myself of a little National Trust before spending some time in Central/Eastern Europe (depending on your relative location) and driving back. Another trip to Wimpole and to Stowe and a spontaneous drive down to the south coast to capture the Milky Way arching over Durdle Door rounded off the summer. The autumn began with a terrific road trip to Newcastle, yet another pleasant surprise within Her Majesty's Realm, a friendly and vibrant town as abundant in bars and eateries as it is in the grand architecture lining its streets.I had a little time to kill in October so I popped over to Iceland to cover nearly 3000 exhilarating km of its mesmerising landscape, left soaked by its waterfalls, dwarfed by its glaciers and speechless by the Northern Lights.Being my favourite season I naturally had to capture the colours that autumn had gifted us and this year had a prolonged and vibrant display.The end of the autumn saw the annual November fireworks, this time rendered through a great fish-eye lens that also proved useful on a trip to a vast car show in Birmingham.My final trip this year was another visit to Gothenburg to enjoy some Christmas lights and winter nights. Poseidon still presides proudly over his city, surveying its festive radiance under a low crescent Moon.This wonderful pastime called photography has again taken me to new destinations both near and far, enriching my life with new experiences and knowledge. My photographic postcard style hasn't changed much. My emphasis on practice over theory and gear hasn't changed at all. But Alpha Whiskey is thankful to be a year older and wiser with a little more mileage on the clock. My horizons are broader at the end of this year (as indeed are my lats) and I look ahead with confidence that a new year, as quickly as it may unfold, will deliver even more intrigue. And however much more time the future generously gives me I intend to enjoy it.

Northern Lights Reward by Alpha Whiskey Photography

It caught me almost completely by surprise (although my app did suggest some aurora activity that evening) but the display turned out to be a consoling reward after an epic journey to find a remote waterfall. I had just driven for most of the day to reach Godafoss, only to be prevented from capturing it that evening by unrelenting wind and mist. So, I decided to pop over to the next stop on my list, Alderyarfoss, gullibly believing my satellite navigation's assertion that it was a mere... 
45-minute drive away.Alas, what my navigation didn't tell me was that it probably determined that time over an aerial distance in a straight line. On the ground I had to take what I assumed was a road but seemingly more crevassed and cratered that a beaten up asteroid. Consequently, 45 minutes was something of a fantasy, taking more than double that time along a route that evidently no one else was stupid enough to travel. But there I was, utterly alone in the dark with my poor vehicle trying not to flip over on this rodeo ride of gravel and rock, not a single solitary droplet of life anywhere to be seen or heard and evermore committed with each passing metre. Finally, I had managed to scale the vertical cliff to the car park where I found myself, unsurprisingly by now, completely isolated but within earshot of running water. The waterfall. But that subtle scent of relief quickly evaporated when I realised I still had to walk a few hundred metres downhill through muddy rocks. Telling myself I was committed by now was no consolation for carrying my camera bag and tripod, grumbling frustration under my breath with each precarious step. At least I could see the ground clearly with a full moon at my back and a Brubaker-supplied headlamp strapped around my temples.I paused for a moment to contemplate my frustration and fatigue, looking up at the moon-lit sky where I saw two pale strips of cloud reaching over me from behind the hills in the distance. Hang on a second. Those can't be clouds. I set up the camera on the tripod and took a ten second exposure.The strips were green. The aurora borealis was about to display. This was my reward. Ribbons of light began swirling through the sky, as if someone on the other side of the hills from where they emerged was holding them in their hands and gesticulating wildly. The lights became brighter and larger and more saturated with hues of green, yellow and pink.So there I was, exhausted and alone on the side of hill under a spectacular aurora display, Alderyarfoss a few metres away. It would have been great to capture the lights over the waterfall, or any other landmark for that matter, but they were firing in the opposite direction and the full moon would have challenged my exposure.Once the peak of the display seemed to be over, I quickly walked down to snap the waterfall before trudging back up the car park and enjoying the fading glimmer of the display.The following night I was also graced with the lights while driving east so naturally I pulled over and shot what I could before the lights faded once again.These are by no means great aurora images and would have been far better over a mountain peak or reflected in a lake, but I consider myself fortunate to have seen the display twice on two consecutive nights and they were certainly a prize for my efforts. The last image is actually from my last night in Iceland when a momentary break in the clouds allowed me to quickly capture a mild aurora by the Milky Way. Sorry to take you on this epic journey of prose but I wanted to share the experience. These were virtually all taken with a Nikon-something-or-other-who-cares-DSLR and wide angle lens between ISOs of 1600-3200 for around 8-13 seconds, manually focused to around infinity at F/2.8.

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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