the best camera

16 05 2013

There’s a saying in photography that, ” … the best camera is the one that’s with you.”

Meaning, there’s no point having a Canon 7D if you’re always leaving it at home because it’s too big to carry about.

iPhones have only proven this point further. Often I can’t even be bothered slipping my compact S100 in my pocket, but most times, my phone is about.

With this in mind I shot this latest European trip on my iPhone only — a quick blast to beautiful Mallorca for an amazing wedding, plus a few days either side in London.

Any post-processing was done on the phone itself, using Snapseed. Maybe not the best shots, but they’re the shots I took with the camera I had.

Let’s get into it:

SHOREDITCH. I don't know what's going on here. I like that it's some sort of meta-thing about the subject of the lost poster becoming lost.

SHOREDITCH.
I don’t know what’s going on here. I like that it’s some sort of meta-thing about the subject of the lost poster becoming lost.

SHOREDITCH, nr BRICK LANE. Nice street art round this way.

SHOREDITCH, nr BRICK LANE. Nice street art round this way.

BATTERSEA. Cool to see some old signage and typography remaining here n there.

BATTERSEA.
Cool to see some old signage and typography remaining here n there.

SHOREDITCH. Street art by Roa.

SHOREDITCH.
Street art by Roa.

PALMA. The catedral is impressive from any angle. Damn it's big. Take that, Moors.

PALMA.
The catedral is impressive from any angle. Damn it’s big. Take that, Moors.

BUNYOLA. View of our mad villa from the train.

BUNYOLA.
View of our mad villa from the train.

BUNYOLA. Looking across to Villa Francisca from Villa Barcelona with the Serra de Tramuntana beyond

BUNYOLA.
Looking across to Villa Francisca from Villa Barcelona with the Serra de Tramuntana beyond

WEDDING GAMES. 'Battleshots' which we created as a wedding present.

WEDDING GAMES.
‘Battleshots’ which we created as a wedding present.

HONOR VELL. Wedding venue under the hills

HONOR VELL.
Wedding venue under the hills

HONOR VELL. This guy cooked enough paella for EVERYONE.

HONOR VELL.
This guy cooked enough paella for EVERYONE.

BUNYOLA Kimbo and FuzzPeach enjoying themselves.

BUNYOLA
Kimbo and FuzzPeach enjoying themselves.

BUNYOLA Entry courtyard for Villa Barcelona (stables too, I guess).

BUNYOLA
Entry courtyard for Villa Barcelona (stables too, I guess).

PALMA Downtown delicatessen, Mallorcquian style.

PALMA
Downtown delicatessen, Mallorcquian style.

PALMA Catedral again.

PALMA
Catedral again.

AIRBOURNE The sheer horror, excess and waste, that is an Air Brunei meal.

AIRBOURNE
The sheer horror, excess and waste, that is an Air Brunei meal.

LONDON. Stoked to see the RouteMaster buses still in action. I heard they were extinct.

LONDON.
Stoked to see the RouteMaster buses still in action. I heard they were extinct.

KENGSINGTON. Pretty church at dusk

KENSINGTON.
Pretty church at dusk

KENSINGTON. Posh, bland houses and stupid cars. Ahh, rich people...

KENSINGTON.
Posh, bland houses and stupid cars. Ahh, rich people…

 

 

 

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Adios España: High and Lows. Part 2.

14 01 2011

(…a continuation of the things I enjoy about Spain, and those I didn’t enjoy so much)

The Bad.

This is a regular-size Belgian girl.

  • Low doorways.

It seems to me that a large part of Mallorca was designed to accommodate some ancient race of midgets..

How else to explain doorways [inside and out] that barely reach five feet?

We once resorted to taping pool noodles to our bedroom doorways in order to prevent regular serious head injuries. Annoying.

  • Noise.

Spanish people have a certain lust for life. They also love staying up late.

And chatting. On the street. In front of my house.

This would be fine if so many bedrooms did not have absolute street frontage.

Combine this with the fact that at any given time, at least half of any Spanish city is under construction, and you’ve got a big problem.

Falling asleep and/or sleeping in, is only possible in Spain with the assistance of quality earplugs.

Goddamn you noisy Spanish.

  • Bicycle theft

In four years I have had three bikes in Palma.

These were never stolen but I am firmly in the minority.

Bike theft is rampant in Palma and no cycle is safe from the brazen gangs of professional Pikey thieves. Gypsies!

  • Dog shit

I can’t stand little dogs.

Spanish people, however, seem to adore them.

They’re also fond of letting their little rats foul the pavement every four metres.

This makes me hate Spanish dog owners as well as their ridiculous pets. Gross.

  • Stink

I get it – Mallorca is an old city. Years of filth lie beneath its worn cobbles.

But why, why, why, is it acceptable for sewage to bubble up from the manhole covers every time it rains for more than an hour. Disgusting.





Adios España: High and Lows. Part 1.

14 01 2011

Heading back to Australia this weekend to give the motherland another shot.

During four years of working on boats, the majority of my time ashore has been spent in Spain, specifically Palma de Mallorca.

The place feels like home now.

My buddies are there; yacht work is there; the sun often shines – that’s home enough for me.

But it has been something of a love-hate relationship with ol’ Palma.

There are so many things I’ll miss, but so many others I hope never to experience again.

Here’s a quick rundown:

The Good.

  • Fresh bread.

Sounds simple enough. Easy to find, right?

Nope. I mean so fresh it’s hot.

Only in Europe can you hit the corner store at 7pm after work and expect to find warm, crusty baguettes, straight from the oven. Awesome.

  • The city as skate park

Downtown Palma is pretty flat. Cobbles are few. Bike paths lead you every which way around the city.

So it’s perfect for skateboarding and the cops could not care less.

Longboard sales are clearly booming in Mallorca, probably led by yacht crew but the locals are catching on fast. The buggers are everywhere.

And don’t even get me started on Barcelona.

Surely the only European capital to have been designed by skateboarders.

This can be the only explanation for urban architecture that attracts ‘skate-tourism’ from as far away as Australia. Freakin’ incredible.

under the bridge

  • La siesta.

Start work around 10am.

Take a long lunch at 1pm, chill for a few hours, then head back to work until 8 or 9pm.

When you contrast this with the Aussie/UK work system, ours seems like some sort of Orwellian nightmare.

Please introduce the siesta worldwide. Please?

playaaaah!

  • 500 Euro notes

Nothing screams ‘high roller’ quite like being in possession of 500 Euro beans on a Friday afternoon.

You can buy a house with one in Australia.

But that feeling is quickly swallowed up by the realisation that no one will cash it for you.

At least not until the banks open on Monday. Sucker.

  • Eating late.

I don’t always want to finish dinner by 9pm.

Sometimes I want to drink beer all evening then stumble into a rustic hole-in-the-wall for a much-delayed boozy feast.

And that is why I love eating out in Spain.

A 12.30am dinner is never frowned upon, in fact, it’s the norm. Handy.

  • Lazy cops.

Skating the wrong way down a one-way street last week.

Car swings round the corner, I leap from the board and end up pretty much on the dude’s bonnet.

Behind me, a Spanish bicycle cop appears. Uh oh.

Surely a stern talking to is on the cards.

Nuthin’. The cop doesn’t even stop, just offers a mumbled “Cuidado,” over her shoulder. Gotta love that.

*Cuidado  = Caution.





the other greece

29 08 2010

No islands for us, mate.

No whitewashed churches, blue-domed roofs, cute islands and all the rest of it.

We’re on the … mainland.

You never really think of mainland Greece. Or at least I never do, unless there’s a report of more riots in Athens.

But it’s there and it’s pretty big. And dry. And dusty.

Jumping off from Keffalonia in the Ionian group, we headed south rather than transiting the Corinth Canal and went around the bottom leg of mainland Greece.

Not much grows down there. Some olives, providing the only shade of green on otherwise barren hills, but that’s about it.

Limoni in the south of Greece

The architecture that hasn’t been leveled by earthquakes is vaguely reminiscent of Egypt or the middle east.

The arid grey-brown landscapes and rocky shores look a little like north-western Australia. (For the record, Oman and the Cape Verdes also look like WA. See: desert meets crystal ocean).

Small remote villages and the odd bigger regional town are scattered along the coasts supporting domestic tourism. God only knows what they do thru the winter.

Sort of interesting, but not something I’d come back to. Which also goes for Greece as a whole.

kind of middle eastern, right?

cute up close, but a long way from anything. Limoni





ideal croatia

5 08 2010

rovinj harbour flickr pic by ros aukett

My perfect day in Croatia might go something like this:

–         Wake up in my picturesque seaside village and wander to the square for coffee (real milk; not UHT) and a cherry danish.

–         Procure English-language newspaper and catch up on news from three days ago (close enough, right?)

waterside cafe flickr pic by markus spring

–         Stroll to the closest rocky outcrop for the first swim of the day in the postcard-perfect Adriatic.

–         Wander thru cicada-filled pine forests to a secluded cove or maybe take a sea-kayak to find my own private beach

lokrum flickr pic by jesus cm

–         Take a sail across to the nearest island (many are within an hour or so of each other) and compare the temperature of their local beers.

–         Go wakeboarding on impossibly flat seas once the wind drops. No swells to contend with here.

top spot for a few beers of a summer eve - dubrovnik old town

–         Finish up with a few more beers as the sun sets around 8 or 9pm. Grilled seafood at one of the many hundreds of harbourside restaurants.

–         Catch an international DJ touring thru the summer months. Croatia has a surprisingly progressive music scene.

–         Repeat as required…

one of my fave bars in the world flickr pic by rich ford





Croatia, you’ve still got it.

5 08 2010

Maybe some secrets shouldn’t be kept.

And it’s hardly going to spoil things.

So here goes: Croatia.

Do yourself a favour and check it out. Soon.

Sure, it’s hardly a new destination and I’ve been telling people since 2007 that thought I thought the joint was tops.

But that opinion has been re-assessed and updated – it’s a must-see.

how good??

Even our two week superyacht blast down the coast with limited time ashore was enough to convince me that I’ll be back and you should go.

But why? Simply put, it does seaside European summer better than anywhere else I’ve seen.

Greece has the hundreds of rocky islands and crystal seas, but many of those islands are tacky, grubby and overdeveloped. Croatia is just…pristine.

Italy has the dramatic ocean cliffs and fresh grilled seafood too, but it’s filled with tourists. Croatia seems to be mostly chilled families on low-key holidays.

hvar old town and adjacent islands

France has impossibly pretentious ugly harbours, rubbish food, rude inhabitants and oh…never mind.

Plus I happen to particularly enjoy mucking about in boats and nowhere is better suited to a few weeks of leisurely ocean-going exploration than Croatia’s craggy string of forest-lined islands.

It’s windy for sailors. It has sheltered flat coves for watersports.

Croatia is peaceful. There’s no fuss and few crowds.

The people are friendly. The women are beautiful. And really tall.

The fruit is amazing. The cherry pastries can’t be found elsewhere.

Local beer is cold and delicious.

And everything is cheap

Needless to say I was pretty impressed.

the walled awesomeness of dubrovnik





Piedmont

26 06 2010

view from the roof terrace of our b&b in neive

Owners are gloriously absent, sun is shining and we find ourselves in a harbour on the edge of the Italian Alps.

Time for a weekend in the country.

The Piedmont region of Italy is just a three hour drive from Imperia where our yacht is on the dock for a couple weeks, so Kasey and I folded ourselves into the appropriately named Nissan Micra and headed uphill.

Our destination was Alba, in the south of Piedmont and home to the Ferrero factory [Nutella anyone?] but a Saturday afternoon Alba proved pretty sleepy so we kept on truckin’.

lovely green green green after endless blue seas

A little further on thru rolling vine-covered hillsides and villages clinging precariously to the sides of mountains, we hit Barbaresco – known for its reds alongside the more famous Barolo and Nebbiolo wines.

Barbaresco was also kinda sleepy, but in a cute way and after some fresh pasta and an obligatory bottle of the local booze we headed even further into the green green hills, searching for…whatever.

It was just nice to cruise about and get away from the coast for a while and little villages such as Nieve and Tre Stelle provided a bit of ‘country tonic’ for us sailor kids, a chance to smell some grass fo a change.

So we cruised the leafy lanes, drank local wines in the sun (well, the ones we could afford), found  a super B&B overlooking the hills and generally had a rollicking time.

If you’re ever up that way, it’s a little south of Switzerland, slightly west of the Cote d’Azur and highly recommended.