Next Stop Africa


Last week I’m in Spain for our final holiday of the year. I was struck down with a little bout of food poisoning so getting out and about wasn’t ideal.
The above shot from the beach front from Fuengirola to Torreblanca across that sea somewhere is Africa, nice weathered boards made me think it would make a decent black and white image.


A stack of chairs above makes for a decent wee black and white too. This one was in Malaga where they were getting ready for the beatification of Padre Arnaíz who had once performed a miracle. A crowd of ten thousand was expected for the event.

Big Cat Diary in Spain


Imagine getting paid to photograph these fantastic cats. Like the rest of us mere mortals I don’t get paid to photograph them but I did get to see them everyday for the past week and could have sat and watched them all day.


The lion King of Beasts always looks regal when he decides to sit up and cast his eye over his land. Sadly this chap doesn’t have much land to look over however I suppose he doesn’t have to worry about predators with rifles hunting him down.


I pretty much had him to myself whenever I went to see him. Most days he would simply be sleeping in the hot sun as cats do.
I decided to sit with him and see if he’d pop his head up to see if I could get the money shot, face straight on with eyes locked on me.
Once he decided it was time to poke his head out from the grass his gaze followed me wherever I walked, too hot for him to walk out for a close up shop though.
Below is the money shot, my crack at the greatest photograph of a lion ever!


A photograph I’m pretty happy with. Originally I wasn’t going to take a camera on this trip as it was going to be relaxing by the pool for a week. Thankfully I did or there would be no close up shots of these beautiful cats without my trusty old zoom lens.

Burtonesque Barcelona

A wee jaunt to Barcelona last week right before Catalonia decides it’s going to declare independence from Spain. There’s a fairly heavy police presence around one of the squares but mainly it’s just tourists and locals going about their daily business.


First stop is the Sagrada Familia. They started building it in 1882 with Gaudi taking over as chief architect the following year and dedicating the rest of his life to it. 1926 and Gaudi is dead, the project is less than a quarter completed. The goal for completion? Somewhere around 2026!

I’m not what you’d call a religious person although it was always good to see the Reverend Powrie walking into the primary school classroom. A scene which meant the maths books are being put away and we were getting a tale from the good book. I’m not what you’d call a mathematician either but not sure you can blame that on stories from the Bible.

I’ve done a little bit of research on the Passion side of the cathedral, my favoured side. The statues made me think of a Tim Burtonesque world which is probably not what was in mind during construction.

First photograph above is The Denial of Peter the three women looking on refers to Peter’s three denials the cockerel means something too but I’ve closed that tab so it’s lost to me now.


Above The Last Supper and below the crucifixion a few meanings in this sculpture.


Finally the Resurrection below. A bit gutted that I didn’t shoot more of it, gives me an excuse to return. Well worth a visit if you’re in Barcelona absolutely rammed with tourists, it’s the most visited site in Spain.


Almost forget the video below is how it’s going to look when it’s completed. Roughly 100 years after Gaudi’s death.

Stumble Bumble


If I’d known then what I know now I’d have gotten all the bees in the image.
This is a plaque on the bottom of the Ferdinando I statue in the piazza Santissima Annunziata, Florence.
The circle of bees facing the queen represent the industrious Florentines ruled by the grand duke.

Apparently local legend says it’s impossible to count the bees using only your eyes, no pointing or touching you cheaters. Good fortunes is said to find the person that can count the correct number whereas bad fortune follows those that are a bit sneaky in how they came to the correct number. You’ve been warned!

Turns out I did grab all the bees in a photo. Good luck counting and remember no cheating.


Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence

Stadio Artemio Franchi-Edit

Back to Florence for a wee walk around the Viola’s stadium you can see the name above, three photos stitched together.
When it was first opened it was named after a Florentine fascist Giovanni Berta although it was also nicknamed “Comunale”
Opened in 1931 construction was completed in 1932 the architect Pier Luigi Nervi was also the man behind the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican.

Stadio Artemio Franchi

Tower of Marathon

Above the 230 foot Tower of Marathon. The stadium itself is built entirely of reinforced concrete. A decent looking stadium although it looks like they’re hoping to move to a brand new stadium. The Italian football season kicked off whilst we were in Florence I was hoping for an opening home match but Fiorentina travelled away to the San Siro and Inter.

Stadio Artemio Franchi

Nice to cross another Italian stadium of the list could have included Sienna’s ground but didn’t even bother to check its location, I was bit gutted when I found out it was basically across the road from where the buses stop.

Just kicking down the cobblestones…

DSC_0180-EditPiazza del Duomo

A few weeks back I had been reading up on some photographers and ended up going through loads of photographs taken by Gianni Berengo Gardin. In one interview I read that he said something along the lines of shoot everything with a wide angle, so I decided to take only one lens. An old rabbit eared 28mm slapped on the Nikon, at the last minute I chucked in a zoom lens too for any hard to reach architecture but mainly shot with the 28.

Ponte Vecchio
Florence Streets
Via del Trebbio

The shot above because I love Italian signage as I was taking the shot I could hear a Vespa coming up from the right so carried on firing and hoped I could get it bang smack in the middle. Close!

Fotoautomatica machines are all over Florence and I assumed they were all over Italy but no they are just for the good people and tourists of Florence.
I thought they were a pretty cool relic of bygone days so fired of a shot of this one. By the time I lifted the camera everyone was in the photo, I think it works well though. Should have used the booth. Aaaaaagh!

Via Santa Monica
Chiesa di San Cristoforo

A wee breather in the Siena while a guide takes a group through the streets. Looking at the Exif this was shot with the zoom lens.

Bologna Or Bust
Bologna Or Bust

Bussing our way to Pisa and quickly snapped off these two chaps hitching back home, sure they made it eventually. Below a street performer outside the Uffizi nowhere near in focus but looks good in the black darkness, I’ll get it sharp when I go back.