I enjoy travel, both to explore how other parts of the world work, and to find new things to point my cameras at. I've always taken lots of photographs on holiday, but as I've moved into digital photography and blogging, I've become both more able and more inclined to keep and share a digital record of my travels.
It started as a way for Frances and I to remember where we have been on holiday, but I now try and keep a more detailed daily blog, with observations about the location, the people, and what worked and what didn't.
It's fun for the two of us to write together when we are travelling together, the "where I've been" information may be of interest to family and friends, but I hope the "what worked" details may be of wider use to other prospective travellers and photographers.
This page acts as an index to my travels, my travel blogs, and my albums of travel images.
We've been lucky enough to visit the magical Caribbean island of Barbados several times. While we don't keep a blog for each visit - there's only so much interest you can work into "sat in the sun, had dinner" - as we've got to know it better we have engaged more with the local sporting and cultural events, and there are also always great flora and fauna to point a camera at.
Although there's no blog for individual trips, photos and observations on Barbados do provide occasional themes for my more general blog. To have a look at these items, please read my Barbados blog collection.
In 2019 we finally managed a trip to Hawaii. This had been very long in the planning, as we had to cancel at very short notice in 2016, and it was great to finally implement our plans.
We visited three of the islands: Maui and Kauai for their scenery, and Oahu to see Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri. The scenery and the organised events absolutely lived up to expectations: I could have spent much more time at some locations, and I got some great photos, especially from my helicopter flight over Kauai.
However, Hawaii does have a few curved balls to throw at the normal expectations of “first world” travel. If you’re thinking of a visit, I recommend you read A European Visitor’s Guide to Hawaii
Otherwise, to see what we did and sample my images, please read our Hawaii Blog.
Namibia is a remarkable country: composed of stunning, empty, wild landscapes, it’s home to some of the world’s most charismatic wildlife and fascinating indigenous people. It had a hard time under colonial rule extending right until the end of apartheid, but it has transitioned into a peaceful, modern nation. It’s very much African, but you can drink the water out of the tap, a rare trick on that continent.
I was lucky enough to join a tour with Lee Frost in late 2018, which covered a lot of ground and provided great photographic opportunities for scenery, flora and especially fauna. The odd night of sleep deprivation and the long dusty roads were offset by wonderful accommodation, friendly people and near-constant wonder.
Please enjoy reading my Namibia blog.
In 2017 I was again able to join a Light and Land trip to Myanmar (Burma). Myanmar is struggling to emerge from years of military rule, and reconcile a still very controlled political environment with a desire to become a fully-fledged member of the international community and especially to welcome tourists to their beautiful and friendly country. Both the modern and ancient religious architecture are fascinating, the scenery, especially around Lake Inle, stunning, and the people remarkably welcoming.
We had a great trip, under a brilliant local guide, Shine, who has developed a deep understanding of how photographic trips differ from others, and what he can do to make them a success. The schedule was a bit relentless, but the results worth it. To read about the Light and Land Burma Sleep Deprivation Experience (TM), please have a look at my Myanmar blog.
In 2015 I was privileged to join a Light and Land trip to the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan. Although mainly comprised of Himalayan foothills, and with a population well under 1 million, this country is punching above its weight, managing a difficult political transition well and becoming a definite world though leader in issues such as the environment and global warming. As well as the standard tourist sights, we had some unusual opportunities to interact with the people, including a member of the royal family and one of the country's intellectual leadership.
Photographically this was a very rich treat, with impressive mountain scenery, inspiring temples, and beautiful and cooperative people. To read about what we got up to, and see highlighted images, please have a look at my Bhutan blog.
In 2014 we returned to the USA, to explore the South Eastern corner. Starting in Washington DC, we flew down to Memphis to pick up a car, then drove back via Nashville, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, effectively a 500 mile long road back to DC under National Park rules.
We kept a blog, focusing largely on the highs and surprising lows of Deep South culture and cuisine. Read our USA 2014 Blog.
In 2013 I joined Lee Frost's Photo Adventures in a trip around Morocco. We started and ended in Marrakesh, doing many of the traditional sites, and a few less traditional ones as well, with the tail end of the trip being a two-day trek across the Erg Chebbi on camelback.
This really ticked all the boxes for a photographic trip: stunning scenery, fascinating architecture, colourful markets, surprisingly pretty camels and friendly people all happy to pose (albeit for a donation).
We love Italy, especially for the scenery, the history, and the food. In 2013 we spent a few days travelling in northern Italy, covering Bergamo, Verona, Cortina D'Ampezzo, Lake Garda and Lake Como. We kept a blog, as there was a surprising amount to comment on each day, and a need to calmly review after somewhat hairy driving in a couple of cases.
In 2012 we returned to the four corners region of the USA. Our trip started and ended in Albuquerque, looping up through the North of New Mexico into Colorado, visiting Mesa Verde National Park and the region around Durango, then over into central Colorado at the southern end of the Rockies, including a visit to the newest US National Park, the Great Sand Dunes. On our return to Albuquerque we spent two days at the Balloon Fiesta, with one day somewhat washed out but made up for by a great "mass ascent" of over 600 balloons on our final day, of which we were part.
Getting onto organised photographic trips is non-trivial, as there's no guarantee that they will have enough bookings to be viable. My Cuba trip in 2010 was actually my second or third choice, and in 2011 after a couple of attempts I finally got to Iceland. I went with the excellent Icelandic group Nature Explorer, a father and son team who are both experts in photography, geology, and getting superjeeps into and out of quite scary places!
Although the core of the trip was through the Icelandic highlands, with a lot of lava and waterfalls, the trip was timed to start with the celebrations of Reykjavik's "culture night" and end with the end of season fireworks on the icebergs at Vatnajokull, both of which were highly entertaining and leavened the scenery-intensive sections very well.
In 2010 I joined Lee Frost's trip to Cuba. This was a great opportunity to see this fascinating country right at the start of major change, as Fidel Castro had only recently retired and the reforms were only just getting started. I hear from more recent visitors that the place is already noticeably different, but actually a more difficult place to run a photographic tour.
Artistically this was one of my most successful trips, with a great mixture of street, architectural, artistic and scenic subjects, and at a point where the people of Cuba were all very happy to pose, which is changing with increasing tourist numbers.
I kept a blog with my observations, although communications were so poor that most of it didn't get posted until the return to Havana at the end of the trip. Read my Cuba travel blog here.
We've managed two trips to the charming Greek island of Santorini since I moved fully to digital photography in 2006, firstly in 2009, and then again in 2015. As well as a gently, relaxing holiday it's a photographic gift, with the "sugar cube" houses, blue-roofed churches and great sunsets over the volcanic caldera. We haven't kept a blog of our trips, as they consist largely of sunbathing, walking along the caldera path and shopping. However I'd hope that our album is worth a look!
I escaped the foot-deep snow of February 2009 by joining a Light and Land trip to the Venice Carnevale, under the leadership of the lovely (if slightly barmy) Desi Fontaine. This was very much a focused trip to photograph the ladies (well, probably ladies :)) in their Carnevale costumes. I didn't keep a blog, but the trip generated some of the best people photography I've done. Please take a look at my album.
In 2008 I went on my first dedictated organised photographic trip, to Arcadia National Park in Main. The trip was run by Light and Land and led by the constantly amusing and inspiring Clive Minnit and Phil Malpas.
At the end of the week Frances joined me in Boston, and we had a wonderful week travelling down through New England to end up with a few days in New York. I didn't keep a blog, but got some great photos.
In 2007 I was really getting into my renewed, digital, hobby of photography, plus we were getting itchy feet to return to the USA. These came together in a trip to undertake the "Grand Circle" tour, which in our case started and ended in Las Vegas, taking in Grand Canyon West, Page (including Antelope Canyon), Monument Valley, Moab (with Arches and Canyonlands National Parks), and a multi-day trip back to Vegas via several of the multitudinous National and State parks which dot the sourthern part of Utah.
As the trip developed we realised that we had a lot to record for both our own memories and as advice to others planning a similar trip, so we made notes into a "trip report", which I published on the web site, as a fore-runner to the later trip blogs.