Somewhere in Iceland
I miss travelling so much; some days the desire to be away can be overwhelming. To cope, I fire up Lightroom and play with my photos, applying new techniques and tricks for post-production to photos I once considered to be sub-par. Always shoot in RAW, my friends — it will give you pixels to play with when the urge strikes! Not too long ago I learned how to use graduated and radial filters in Lightroom, and since then my photos have come alive!
I visited Iceland two years ago this month, on my way home from a trip to England and Paris. I was thrilled to visit this small and chilly nation, and disheartened when after only one day the skies clouded over and it rained for the remainder of my 4-day stay. These photos are among some of my new favourites, photos I once was disappointed by but now feel like they’re maybe something special.
The colours of Iceland were both muted and vibrant, often at the same time. I found it very hard to photograph with my Lumix point and shoot, even though it had full manual control. It was on this trip that I vowed to not travel without my DSLR ever again, because the quality of the light captured in the photos wasn’t … right. I ended up buying a Fuji X-E2, which I adore, but maybe all I needed to do was learn how to up my post-production game?
The Binge Cave from Noah
A station house, opposite Skógafoss
More photos of Iceland
I’m seriously thinking of ditching WordPress for my travel writing, and using a new photography community called Exposure. The free account gives you three posts, here’s the first: a recap on my Denver trip (which Im sure you’re all tired of hearing about by now, but that town is just so amazing I cant stop writing about it!).
If I go this route, I’ll try and find a happy way to embed the content from Exposure here as well as an alternate way to display my writing. Has anyone out there used this service? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
One of the things about going to Denver that I was looking forward to the most, were the day trips my friends and I were planning on taking. Colorado makes me think of larger-than-life scenery, wide open skies over pristine mountains and rolling hills. Sure, I knew that somewhere along the way I’d developed an overly-romantic vision of what it would be like, but man was I ever happy to see that I wasn’t too far off!
Facing the foothills of the Colorado Rockies
After a late start on Sunday my friends took me on a trip into the hills on the outskirts of Denver, The Front Ranges. Mount Falcon is about a 40 minute drive west of town, a route that becomes very scenic once you’ve reached the hills. The road gets super windy, and is gorgeous as it cuts through the rocks as you ascend to the park near the top of the hill.
The park has several paths for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding
A path leading away from a covered gazebo
The perfect view to stop and catch your breath!
The paths were littered with chunks of quartz
Even though it was barely August, the fields were very dry
The foothills of the Rockies
One of the paths that you can follow, The Walker’s Dream trail, leads you to the burnt out husk of a former mansion. Also called the castle and tower ruins, the home was built by John Brisben Walker in the early 20th century, tragically burning to the ground in 1919. Walker owned a substantial chunk of the land in the Denver area, including the newly restored Union Station neighbourhood and what would eventually become Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
All in all, our wandering around the park took 2-3 hours. We took our time, mostly to account for my slow pace (I kept stopping to take photos, but also because of the altitude which while not as severe as in Peru, is definitely noticeable and it takes more energy to do simple things like go for a walk than I was accustomed). As with all outings in Colorado, bringing a litre (or more!) of water with you is a must to help combat the altitude and the dry air. Even though it’s at the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, Denver is really more of a prairie city . When you add in the higher altitude, which means you have 25% less protection from the sun (so bring your sunscreen!), you can get dehydrated super fast.
Stopping to smell the wildflowers on the Field Trail
Everything really is larger than life in Colorado
The Field trail
¡Me voy a regresar a Barcelona!
As long as I can remember, I’ve been in love with Spain. The love affair started in my high school Spanish class, where I easily earned straight A’s — the language rolling naturally off of my tongue. In my early twenties, I was fortunate enough to go on a whirlwind trip with 20 of my coworkers (a year-end bonus!) to Barcelona and Madrid, but with only 3 days in each city it was more of a tease than a taste. Somehow two decades have gone by, and while I’ve thought often of BCN, I somehow hadn’t made it back — until now.
Yesterday I bought a return ticket on KLM, an airline I’ve always wanted to fly, to Barcelona! I’ll be there for 7 nights, which should more than satisfy my catalan cravings. I’m excited to see the progress on the Sagrada Familia, which was hidden beneath scaffolding and completely closed to the public, and to photograph Gaudi’s buildings (which Id been too young to appreciate the last time). I don’t even know all that I don’t know about Barcelona, so the next few months will be filled with my eager planning of this visit. I’m also planning to take one or two day trips out of the city, to Monserrat and one other place perhaps? So many decisions, I’m stupidly excited!
You too, Amsterdam!
As KLM’s hub is in Amsterdam, I’ve worked in a two-night visit to that city as well. AMS is one of those great world cities that I’ve always wanted to visit, but not as my main destination. I knew that by flying KLM I’d be able to do a layover and I think two days is enough time for me to visit (and photograph!) the city’s iconic landmarks and to take a bicycle tour around town.
Hurray for dreams coming true!
These are the foothills of the Rockies (and no, that isn’t a speck of dust, I think it’s an eponymous falcon!)