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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Palma pictures

14 01 2011

A few shots I just didn’t have room for elsewhere…

Skatergrrl Camilla next to the 'river'.

sweet office block

Erika in the palm forest

portixol view

...and that's it. Later, Spain.





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.





black n white, proper

1 07 2009
cala deia, looking a lot like thailand

cala deia, looking a lot like thailand

Thought i’d throw in a few shots taken just before i left Mallorca.

Shot with my trusty Canon F1 (now undergoing emergency surgery) on real black n white film which i purchased by mistake.

Normally i shoot C41 b&w which they process in colour labs, but i screwed up and this happy accident resulted in some much better shots, even if it took a month to get my film back.

my buddy marius atop hercules the cycle

my buddy marius atop hercules the cycle

farewell drinks in the winter sunshine

farewell drinks in the winter sunshine

church near valdemossa

church near valdemossa





Dirty stinkin superyachts

10 06 2009

YEH, I know, everyone thinks yacht crew have it made — swanning from port to port in those shiny love boats, schmoozing with the like of Paris and Diddy, sunbaking on the aft deck during crossings.

Sure, we do all this and more. But occasionally we work and sometimes this gives rise to some surprising insights. So don’t hate us. Hate the yacht owners. They’re the rich jerks.

And as I learned over the winter, they’re nothing less than environmental terrorists. Simply put, owning a superyacht these days, is the equivalent of giving a middle-finger salute to the environment, the universe and everything else.

being lifted in the yard

being lifted in the yard

It’s amazing when you consider it, how selfish an act owning a giant white boat is. (For the purposes of this tale I mainly refer to powerboats, yachts at least being occasionally powered by the wind).

At its very best, all a yacht can offer is an enjoyable holiday in some exotic locale with family, friends or Eastern European hookers, depending where your tastes lie.

These yacht owners are not donating holidays to terminally-ill children. They’re not using the boat to transport starving refugees out of Sri Lanka. Their yacht is just a giant overpriced toy.

Most toys however, don’t spew millions of litres of exhaust fumes into the air when the owners’ wife decides the waters off Cannes are too choppy.

They’re not painted yearly with highly-toxic antifouling and they don’t require daily cleaning with all manner of horrible chemicals.

making sure everything is shiny

making sure everything is shiny

Consider the fuel issue alone. A large boat I know of had new gas-turbines installed this year at a huge cost so they could go faster.

And go they did, reaching speeds of nearly 40 knots (about 70kmh). This is pretty quick for a boat more than 70m long.

Shame they were using 5000L of diesel PER HOUR to achieve this. Yikes.

The same yacht also travelled from the Balearic islands to the Channel islands off England to pick up guests who do not enjoy flying. Quite a taxi fare.

tented up. It's huge! see car bottom right.

tented up. It's huge! see car bottom right.

Another yacht I was helping to re-fit over the winter required a paintjob. All 48m of boat had the old paint sanded off and this is currently blowing around the Med somewhere.

A dust-free environment was then required to complete the new spray job, so a giant plastic tent was stretched over scaffold to cover the entire yacht. A further 60-odd yachts got this same treatment in the yard. That’s a lot of plastic.

But what are you gonna do? Hundreds of new superyachts are currently in construction and now the price of diesel has lowered, very few owners are considering bio-diesel or the groovy green alternatives.

Do we boycott his horrid industry and go work for Greenpeace? They’re just going to hire some of the many eager new yachties waiting in the wings.

Beats me. But it’s worth thinking about.





Notes on Mallorca. Part II

8 06 2009

My stay in Mallorca was made especially fun due to two main factors:

A] the fantastic west coast of the island, and

B] my gang of international drunken misfits.

Valdemossa

Valdemossa

A] West Coast.

Heading north from the city, Mallorca looks fairly unremarkable until you approach the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range running diagonally along the north-western coast.

As the road winds upwards, ploughed fields make way for crumbling terraces of olive groves and pine forests.

Further on, the road tracks through the clouds, even on summer days – not that surprising considering 10 peaks are more than 1000m high.

After dodging the multitudes of lycra-clad masochistic cyclists, and navigating numerous hairpin turns, you eventually emerge on the dramatic west coast.

FormentorSheer cliffs plunge hundreds of feet from tree-lined ledges and expensive villas line impossibly picturesque coves, blending – for the most part – quite tastefully through the use of local stone.

Highlights here include Cap de Formentor, a rugged peninsula of limestone stretching north-east toward Menorca and Sa Calobra – an ancient riverbed which has carved a towering ravine through a tiny gap to the sea.

The west coast also houses various tiny settlements such as Pollenca, Valdemossa and Deia – the latter an oasis of green perched on the side of a valley. Pretty, but also pretty expensive.

Prices for basic two-bedroom apartments in Deia start at around 500,000 euros. It does have a lovely beach though.

Pretty Deia

Pretty Deia

valdemossa panorama

valdemossa panorama

B] Yachties.

Love ‘em or hate em’, yacht crew now make up a significant number of Palma’s year-round residents.

And who could blame them for staying? The city offers world class restaurants, a multitude of late night bars, cheap accommodation, relaxed drinking laws and a climate more in line with northern Africa than the Med.

Sure they get drunk and stupid, but they also have ridiculous disposable incomes and not much else to do, except spend it.

double-exposure Lomo shot. goodtimes.

double-exposure Lomo shot. goodtimes.

I don’t know any figures, but I’m sure a huge part of the city’s wealth can be attributed to the yacht industry and crew.

The majority of Spanish pretty much ignore the yachties except the clever few who have opened bars and restaurants catering specifically to them.

The Palma gypsies arguably cause far more trouble anyway.

Placa Drassana where I lived was the epicentre for regular beatings and muggings, yet more than once I the local dealers casually leaning in the window of a police car for a chat.

another refined poolside bbq

another refined poolside bbq

The mix of young Antipodeans, English, South Africans, Scandinavians made Palma an always interesting place to live and if nothing else, I left the city with some fantastic new friends.

Like any gathering of irrepressible youngsters, most of our fun did centre around getting loaded, but we were just having a good time.

We always have a good time.

downtown

downtown