Monday, June 15, 2009

Flying High

After a false start (turning up too late back in April) I had my long awaited flying lesson on Saturday afternoon. It was a present for my 40th birthday from some wonderful friends in Australia. It had taken me an age to get round to booking it, I suppose I was a little bit nervous about the whole thing. These aircraft are very small, the cockpit is cramped and they fly very slowly. I was allowed to bring a passenger so I took my Dad along with me. Being an ex RAF war veteran this would be a walk in the park for him. I'm sure he had worse days in Kenya back in 60's. Dad was a great passenger and took some brilliant photographs, especially when you consider the circumstances he was working under.

My instructor for the flight was Ian, a nice guy who was a very enthusiastic and entertaining pilot. He walked us out to the aircraft and we performed a pre flight check. Dad and I were wearing fetching high visibility jackets - the photo on the left shows Dad after the flight. Click on it to check out the logo on the back. He took us through the flying surfaces and gave us a brief lesson. in teh theory of flight. Then we clambered into the aircraft and buckled up. Not a great deal of space, especially for Dad who had to sit in the back but as it was only for an hour it wasn't a problem. Ian took me through the instruments and started the engine. We taxied out to the end of the runway and received clearance to depart. So it was throttles to the stops andIan pulled back at 60 knots. Then, all of a sudden we were in the air and heading towards the coast. We banked to the right as we climbed and headed north west. Ian gave me the controls and apart from 10 minutes I was flew the aircraft for the whole trip.

We picked up the A24 just north of Worthing and followed it to Horsham before turning south west towards Billingshurst. Circling the village I dipped the wing a few times so Dad could take some photos. What we didn’t realise was Abi was taking photographs of us at the same time. Judging by Abi’s pictures I think we were too far away, I should have come closer to the A29 and flew parallel to the house. However, you have to remember I’m only a trainee, so what do I know about flying? At this point we were just under Gatwick's controlled airspace. We'd been in contact with them and were told to stay south and not to climb about 1,500 feet. Unfortunately I climbed to 1,600 feet and we were told to go back to 1,400 feet. I’m sure everything was fine as the very professional young lady at the end of the radio didn’t sound too annoyed.

After a couple of circuits we headed west towards Dunsfold and flew over what most people know as the ‘Top Gear’ studio. Once again the camera operator in the back got some great photographs. Dad should see if the RAF has any openings. I could just see him in the back of a Tornado screaming across Afghanistan snapping away. Although he can't ask the pilot to hang aroung if there are missles flying all over the place. Flying makes you realise what a green and pleasant land West Sussex is. It has to be the most picturesque county in the England. While flying back I did notice a number of light aircraft in the vicinity. Flying under visual flight rules means that you are reliant on the mark 1 eyeball and not some high tech anti collision system. We passed underneath a glider, shot past a very surprised seagull and I saw several light aircraft pass underneath and over us.

From there we turned south east towards Shoreham and climbed to 3,000 feet. Ian took over and performed some hard turns through the clouds. He’d asked me to do it but I was too nervous so he showed us what the aircraft could do. I don’t think Dad enjoyed it as much as I did. Sitting in the back and not having a great view he told me he didn’t look down as we banked. It was at this point I reminded Dad I was sitting in front of him and I didn’t want to see what he had for breakfast.

We continued towards Shoreham, performed a circuit and under Ian’s supervision I landed the aircraft. I can remember him telling me to keep the nose down and watch the speed because if I flew too fast I’d rip the flaps off!!!!! I can imagine that wouldn't be good. We had a great view of Steyning College as we approached the runway and flew right over a busy A27. The landing was perfect although I had problems keeping the aircraft right in the middle of the runway. From here it was a quick taxi to the stand and a short walk back to the terminal (a fantastic 1930’s Art Deco building). I was presented with a certificate and then Dad and I then retired to the bar for a beer and post flight debrief.

I really did get the bug and I’m keen to take it further, the only problem is £££££. To get the necessary hours and tuition I would need to find over £6000. Once qualified the costs wouldn’t be too prohibitive, around £90/hour plus landing fees, so not cheap but affordable providing I didn’t fly that often. It was a fantastic experience, one that I will remember for a long, long time. I’d like to say thanks to Jules, Murray, Alexandra and Neve for a wonderful present.

I'll leave you with a picture Dad took over Billingshurst at 1,300 feet flying south towards the coast. It was a great day and I'm glad that Dad could come with me. I look forward to picking him up at Shuttleworth in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Buffalo Michigan

New Buffalo Michigan, originally uploaded by tidy mind.

Another photo is published. This is going to be used on an American Travel site, Radius6 TV. Should be up there very soon. With all the high tech camera gear I have they pick a photo taken with my iPhone :-)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

See you again real soon

I'm writing this entry by the pool in our hotel as Abi catches some last minute rays. We've finally made it back to Phoenix after an epic 19 day tour around the Four Corners. We took Winnie back to the rental depot at 10:30 this morning and apart from the extra mileage charges everything was OK. It's be a remarkable holiday, up there with the best of them. We seen and done so much and the time has flown by.

It's the people that have made the holiday and I'd just like to say thank you to everyone we've met. From Jessa & James in Tucson, to John and Jan in Alamogordo, Jerry in Durango, the motorcyclist we bumped into at Monument Valley and the Dutch couple that helped us get back into our RV. Thanks to all of you.

For me the highlight has to be White Sands National Monument. An amazing place that has to be seen to be believed. I know Abi loved the Desert Museum in Tucson, especially the big cats and the humming birds. Silverton was fantastic and we'll always have the photos we took at Monument Valley.

So here's looking forward to next year....Abi & Rob x

p.s. One final note. After two weeks in an RV I'm sooooo looking forward to my bed :-)

Monument Valley

Please have a look at our photos on Flickr. We spent a lot of time at trying to get the perfect photo at Monument Valley yesterday. I still have some work to do with iPhoto and Photoshop but we're very pleased with the results. Click here for Flickr. In the meantime here is a taste of what we managed to take.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great days photographing

Yesterday we left Moab (I love that place) at around 10:30 and drove south on route 191 towards Monument Valley. This part of the Southwest is known as the Four Corners. Probably because the four corners of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet. A very arid part of the country but it has some amazing rock formations.

We stopped for coffee just south of Blanding, UT (can't remember the town, it was a blink and miss it sort of place) and chatted to a couple from Durango before continuing our journey (they were proper hardy campers with a tent and a car and that was it! There 3 kids have left home and they're 'touring' ... real style!) We then continued south on route 163 which goes right through Monument Valley.

We stopped short of Monument Valley and spent an hour taking photos. At home in our kitchen we have a large print on the wall of some lovely rock formations and I was trying to take my interpretation of that print. This involved us finding the right bit of road and then waiting for all the cars to disappear while I crouched in the middle of the road to take 100+ pictures. Abi was watching my back and getting a great sun tan at the same time. This area has been made famous by all the movies that were shot here. Just google 'monument valley and movies' to see what I mean. I think I got some pretty good shots but it took some time to get them right. The light is so strong I had to go fully manual and I discovered that playing around with the ISO (film speed) and White Balance helped a lot. Then I was able to fine turn the shots around in iPhoto and Photoshop. I can't upload photos where I am as the internet is so slow. I'll upload them tonight when we arrive at our last destination.

While we were taking photos a motor cyclist stopped to take the same shot. We got chatting and it turns out he lost his job late last year and decided to take a road trip from Detroit to the Southwest (2100 miles). Interesting guy. He had a lovely Honda tourer with all the mod cons. Sat Nav, Radio and a fixed camera to take video of his trip. We all had a drink (it was soo hot) before continuing our respective journeys.

While we were at the camp we went outside, shut the door and for some unknown reason the catch on the back door slipped and locked us out. All the windows were closed except for the very small one above the cab. Abi spoke to some other Cruise America travellers to see if their keys would fit but no luck. Fortunatly a dutch couple helped. Using a broom and the picnic table I was able to put my arm through the small window and flick the latch on a larger window. Then ever so elegantly I hoisted myself through the larger window and unlocked the door. Another lesson learnt!!!

From Monument Valley (Gouldings Lodge) we drive south for about 5 1/2 hours to Camp Verde, AZ. This is our last stop before Phoenix and home. Tonight we'll be clearing out and cleaning the RV and then packing. Not the most exciting of days.

I'll publish the remaining photos tonight and finish up the blog.

p.s. While I'm blogging I wanted to let you all know that I've already planned our next holiday!!!!! Regalrdless of redundancies and work we're going to RV from Seattle to San Francisco next September. Neither of us have been to the Northwest so it should be fun. However, we won't be renting from Cruise America again. Although everything has been OK their RV's are old, ours was built in 2005, dirty and not that up to date (we have a cassette player in the cab for gods sake!!!), Next year it's probably going to be Moutris or El Monte. How are we going to pay for this I hear you say? Stop smoking from next week and cancel sky. That will be more than enough to cover the rental, flights, money, food, gas and plenty of excusrsions. As a plus we'll also be fit and healthy.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

4*4 Photos

Long Canyon Trail, Pucker Pass.

Shaffer Trail

Fins and Things

Fins and Things

I love my jeep

Fins and Things

Fins and Things

Fins and Things

We had a fantastic day taking our little jeep off road. After a 7am appointment at the pancake 'haus' we picked up the jeep up at 7:45. We weren't sure where to go and the gentleman at the hire shop suggested a trail called 'Fins and Things'. Although it was classed as a moderate trail he said he was sure we'd cope. Well it was mainly 'slick rock and sand' and had some vertical climbs and horizontal drops. Rob did all of the driving and did an admiral job - I walked up /down the really scary parts (under the pretence of 'I'll video you my love' ..). There were some stunning views and lots of mad people on mountain bikes, motor bikes and ATV's - some cuts and bruises were obtained, I'm sure!

All in all though it was great and the jeep can withstand some battering and it's just a case of having confidence. The guy in the RV next to us came home yesterday with a few 'bumps and dings' after he'd rolled his jeep and had to get hoisted out ... we didn't try that trial!

As we started early we had a full day of it, although the time went really quickly - we did go back to Shaeffer Trial (along the bottom of Dead Horse Point) and (Long Canyon Trial) Pucker Pass (and it sure did pucker too!) then it was time to return the jeep - in total 100 miles of fun :-)

We got back to the RV and decided to shower all the red sand off - lovely! Then we had a slight plumbing issue in the 'not so clean water' area and Rob had to stick his hand up the pipe and then flush it all through - he feels like a true camper now, but it did mean that a 3rd shower of the day was called for! (Rob here....I was draining the 'black' water tank but the value wouldn't close when I'd finished. I then discovered that the tank wasn't empty and a large wad of toilet paper was stuck in the value. I couldn't leave it as it was so I had to roll my sleeves up and clear it. It was disgusting but at the same time satisfying. Its another string to my bow and a possible career should I lose my current job!!!).

Off to Monument Valley tomorrow - so about a 3hr drive ahead, I want to get there earlyish so we can have a look around and I can hopefully get an hr or two tanning in before the sun goes down!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Todays surprise destination is....Moab..dude!!!!!

Moab Easter Jeep Safari 2007, originally uploaded by HuntWithCharlie

We arrived this afternoon and checked in to our usual abode, the Canyonlands RV Park. It's in the centre of town so it's very convenient. Once we'd got settled we headed down to Cayonlands Jeep Adventures to fill out the paperwork for our rental. Steve hooked us up with a 4.0L modified jeep so we are all set for some serious off roading.

Tomorrow we're up at 6am to be ready for a 7:30 departure. No firm plans yet. We'll work it out tonight. We do know we want to end up at Dead Horse Point State Park (our favourite park) late afternoon to take some shots. To get there we'll probably head up Long Canyon Trail through Pucker Pass. To hardened 4*4 dudes this would be child's play but to us it's a great adventure.

More photos to come tomorrow.

Taking the high road

Today we drive the 74+ miles from Durango to Silverton and Ouray on US 550, the Million Dollar Highway. One of the best drives we've ever taken. We'd rented a car as we thought the RV would be too big for the road. Turns out bigger rigs were taking the same road. However, a car is a lot easier to drive and take the numerous switch backs.

Ouray and Silverton are lovely little towns but I fell in love with Silverton (see the picture below). It's much, much smaller than Durango (takes 5 minutes to walk from one end to the other), no chains (Walmart, McDonald's, Burger King), very much a small town. It has that gritty, outdoor feel that Durango lacks. Lots of lovely independent stores. We even met someone who had spent a lot of time in Devon and Cornwall so he and Abi had a chat for a while. Abi made friends with several dogs, including a 4 month old Rotti cross who appeared to want to make friends with everyone he met. We had coffee in a lovely little shop and they had a Lab Retriever crossed with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. We both agreed we'd love one of these dogs. As we sat outside we chatted to a couple we'd seen at our RV Park. They are travelling back to Canada on their 40th Wedding Anniversary. The fun part is they are travelling in a Truck Camper. If you have a look at the link you'll see it's just a pick up with a small camper on the back. Very small in American terms.

On the way to Silverton we stopped at a mountain pass and I climbed up on to the snow bank to take a better picture. Abi followed me and promptly sunk into the snow, right up to her knees. Poor girl.

I saw a great bumper sticker today. It said 'Hike Faster, I hear Banjos'.

More to come tomorrow from our mystery destination (what we mean is we don't know exactly where we are off to). Take care. Rob and Abi x

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Moon over durango

After a late start we spent a lazy day wandering around Durango. There's a free trolly bus from the park into the city centre. Durango is a outdoorsy kind of town but not quite like moab. It lacks the grit and the outdoor feel. It has more students (with more tatoos that I have EVER seen) and a smattering of trendy cafe's/restaurants and bars. Moab screams 'come here, get the 4*4 out and get dirty'. Still it's a likeable kind of town. Tomorrow we head up the million dollar highway (US 550) in a rented car. Have a look at the link and you'll be able to see it's going to be an interesting drive.

Below is a photo of the moon from our campsite. Looking forward to the full moon later this week.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bottom of the Hill

Look what woke us up this morning. A train from the Durango, Silverton Railroad. Very impressive but not being a 'train spotter' I couldn't tell you what it was.

White Sands/Antique Glow

Arrived in Durango, Colorado this evening after a fabulous drive along US-84 from Santa Fe. We drove through desert and then up into the mountains. We're staying in a small ish town on the edge of the Rockies. More to report tomorrow. In the meantime here's a photo of us at white sands. I've been playing around with my photo editing application and boosted the colour and given it an antique finish. I really like it apart from my three chins, Abi looks lovely as always.

And as a bonus here is Minnie looking mean. She is mean - only 10.12 MPG so far!!! Shocking.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Santa Fe Trails

We saw a real life cowboy in Santa Fe this afternoon. John Wayne Haynes has travelled 2000 miles from Michigan to Santa Fe with 2 horses and 2 dogs for company. Sounds like a very interesting person who is living his dream. As John Wayne said 'A man ought to do what he thinks is right'..he also said 'Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid'. Read an article here in the Santa Fe Newspaper. We didn't actually chat with him but followed his progress for half an hour. He didn't seem to go 100 yards before someone stopped him to chat or take a photo. I've attached a couple of photos. Click on them for the larger versions.

Santa Fe was a nice little place to visit. Great to wander around, fantastic architecture, lots of Adobe buildings. We wandered down 'Canyon Road' which is full of little galleries and studios. I bought Abi a silver ring with Turquoise stones mined in Nevada. Before we left we visited a gallery owned by a lady called Lisa Kristine. Have a look at her website, there are some fantastic photos. Very expensive but I'd like to see if I can pick up a print when I get home.
We're camping about 6 miles outside the centre of Santa Fe in a lovely little RV Park, the Trailer Ranch RV Resort. There are restaurants within walking distance and a bus stop just outside the main gate were you can catch a 'Santa Fe Trails' bus into town and back again for $2. A bargin. I found this park on a blog I'm following written by a couple of 'full time' campers. It makes for interesting reading. They're got a second blog reviewing all the places they've camped. That's something Abi and I would love to do for a year or two. Just rent out the house, take off and hit the wide open road. Who knows what will happen, you can achieve anything you put your mind to, or so I'm told.

Tomorrow we leave for Durango, Colorado for a few days. Further updates to follow.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


After leaving Alamogordo we drove 200+ miles north and then west to Grants, NM. Just off I-40 this was an overnight stop before visiting Acoma Pueblo. We stayed in a KOA (Kamp of America) for the first time. Lovely little camp site where I was given a cookie on arrival and you can have 'home cooked' meals delivered to your rig. How good is that? We opted for a Pizza with the works, some Cherry Pie and a six pack (of sodas!!!!)

The following morning we took the short drive to Acoma Pueblo. This is a villiage set on top of a messa (large lump of rock). The Indian tribe has lived there for 1000+ years although most now live in the surrounding area. After arriving at the visitor centre we paid $20 each for the 90 minute guided toor. Each camera also had to have a permit and no photo's were allowed in the Church or the Graveyard (where they are burried 4 deep, but are now on the last 'layer'). It was really interesting and we opted to take the 'steps' down to the bottom ... well it was all carved out of the rock (as I guess it would be) but some bits were a little 'vertical' and narrow - glad we had sensible shoes on!!

Leaving Acoma we headed west back to Albuquerque and then north to Santa Fe, following a thunderstorm with lightening going off all around us, but we only got caught in a little of the rain - although we felt a fair bit of the wind! We are currently camped a few miles s/w of the city centre. Once we've showered and dressed we'll take the bus (yes America has public transport) into the city and explore.

Tomorrow we're heading north towards Taos, NM or Durango, CO. A decision has yet to be made. I leave you a photo of Acoma below and if you click on it to enlarge, you'll be able to see the village perched right in the middle at the top - wow!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Historic Marker

Drove past the following marker today. We were probably 20 - 30 miles from the actual site of the first atomic explosion. A sobering thought.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Photographing White Sands

The following photo and those in the next post were take at White Sands National Monument on Thursday 30th April. I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taking them I'm still having trouble with sunsets and I tend to under expose most of the time. Practice makes perfect. Any comments are more than welcome. There isn't a lot I can say about White Sands, the photos speak for themselves. However, it was hot - very, very hot BUT the sand (and it's not actually sand) was cool to the touch. Very strange.

Today we don't know what we're doing. Plans are up in the air. We can go North, South (been there), East or West. Who knows where we'll be going but the plans are a changing. Watch this space.

Note: You can click on all the photos to enlarge them or why not go to Flickr and see the good stuff.

White Sands National Moument, New Mexico

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fat Cottonwood

Here we are in Alamogordo, NM. The name means 'Fat Cottonwood' or something like that. An hours drive from Las Cruces on a long, straight road. It's in the middle of the NM desert on the edge of White Sands Missile Range, south of Trinity (site of the first Atomic explosion) and next to Holloman Air Force Base. So you could say the military like the area.

When we arrived last night a camp host (volunteer worker) directed us to our pitch. Turns out he's ex Air Force and married an english lady back in 1960. They've lived in the US since the late 60's but spent a lot of time overseas. After a brief chat we hooked up and were just about to sit down to dinner when the guy came back (can't remember his name) and invited us over for a 'cup of english tea'!!! Fab. So after eating our dinner we wandered over to his rig. We'll never having been in a large RV before we were amazed. He had a 40ft A Class with more slide outs than I've seen before. In fact one whole side slid out. He had a huge kitchen, lounge area, desks, dining room table, a bathroom bigger than ours, bedroom, two flat screen tv's, wardrobes, washer drier - all the mod cons. We had a lovely couple of hours chatting before coming back to our ever so small rig for bed. What a lovely evening which just goes to show how friendly other campers are. Everyone waves to each other and I've never talked to so many different people on a holiday.

We're just off to explore White Sands National Park after stopping at a pistachio farm for supplies (apparently they farm a lot of nuts here - Abi should feel at home..:-) ).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Down New Mexico way

We arrived in Las Cruces, New Mexico last night after a 4 1/2 hour drive from Tucson, Arizona (all of which I drove and praise the Lord for sat-nav).

Let me just got back a bit and report on our last few days in Tucson. We spend Monday at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.... (Abi's bit...) it was a loop of about 2miles and then had exhibition halls etc off to the sides. Fortunately it was quite cloudy as we walked round, but it was still lovely and hot... in fact as we didn't get up and get moving too quickly (shocker!) so by the time we were at the 'mountain lions' they were having their siesta and we could only see feet and the shapes of their bodies. The little piggies were all snoozing under a bridge and the coyotes were no where to be seen (but we heard them every morning and evening around our campsite). There was an aviary which was not that great (saw most of the birds around our site) but it was nice to see them close up (and on their nests). The highlight had to be the hummingbird house with the tiny colourful 'shots' as they wizzed by, sitting still though one did come to check me out (by all accounts they are really nosey) and all I could hear was the buzz of his wings and the chirping. Rob got some great shots, but it's so hard as by the time you spot one, it's gone! We saw one sitting on the smallest thimble type nest and if it hadn't been pointed out, you would have walked past easily. I stroked a snake and had it wrap it's tail round my finger - at which point Rob was admiring from a great distance!! It wasn't poisonous - so I felt quite happy, but still wasn't able to convince Rob to come and get closer.

(Back to Rob ....) Yesterday we stopped off at Pima Air Space Museum on the way out of Tucson. It's a fabulous place filled with 250+ planes. From a Hawker Hurricane to a giant B52 and everything in between. They even had the worlds greatest aircraft, the Harrier (albeit a US AV8B in marine colours). There are two things that make it a great place. Firstly all the guides are retired pilots and secondly it's right next door to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base so we had A10's and F16's buzzing us all morning.

So what next? Las Cruces is just an overnight stopover. A place to rest and replenish supplies. From here we head north east to Alamagordo (love that name) and what I hope will be one of the highlights of the trip, White Sands National Monument

As a final note I'd like to say that everyone we've met in the parks has been lovely. We always chat to more people when we camp. Everyone is helpful, friendly and 'loves our accents!!!'.

Oh and another thing the mobile valeting companies will come and clean your RV onsite. How much I hear you ask. Well they charge by the foot!!!!! I suppose they would. At $6 a foot our RV would cost $132 or £91...So Abi, go fill your bucket!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Currently in Tuscon, Arizona. Our luggage arrived at 11am yesterday afternoon so all is good in Arizona. Abi hasn't worn most of the clothes she purchased so we'll be returning them later this week. As we had to hang around yesterday we spent the afternoon wandering the park and sitting by the pool. Lots of nesting birds and a wonderful owl chick that everyone is keeping an eye on.

Although this is the end of the season the park is only 1/4 full. Everyone here is lovely and we've been chatting to so many people. We met a young couple who live here (Jess and James) and they invited us down to their pitch to last night for a drink. They lit a fire which encouraged a few more people to pop over. We had a relaxing evening putting the world to rights and talking nonsense. This couple are artists - painters and writers. Jess paints 9ft by 4ft pictures of insects. It's difficult to explain so have a look at her website. It's very interesting.

Today we are off to the Arizona Sonoma Desert Museum. More to come later.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The missing bag

Where is Abi's luggage? It's not in Phoenix and BA don't appear to know where it is/ Not a great start to our holiday but at least we are both OK. We have credit cards and travel insurance so it's not the end of the world. More updates to come later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Which phone

Its official. The Blackberry storm is not an iPhone, not even close. Its a touch screen Blackberry with an awful UI. What makes the iPhone great? The UI, the Apps Store, Itunes integration but most of all it's so simple to use. Keep it simple!!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge, originally uploaded by tidy mind.

This photo has been chosen for the latest Schmap guide to Sydney. We think Abi took it from a ferry but it could have been from Milsons point. Regardless it was taken with the cheapest camera we own. Click here for info.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Storm in a teacup

Just upgraded with Vodafone and purchased a Blackberry Storm. They still don't have an iPhone and as I'm not keen on O2 I've decided to stay with Blackberry. A friend bought one round at the weekend and I was very impressed. It's not an iPhone but it's not that far off. I get it on Wednesday so I'll post my first impressions then.

East Wittering, West Sussex

East Wittering, West Sussex, originally uploaded by tidy mind.

Taken on Saturday at East Wittering. Not the nicest of beaches. Lots of stones and no sand but it was a great opportunity to take some photos.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Boathouse, originally uploaded by tidy mind.

Taken today when Abi and I took a short walk on some local footpaths.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Moab Canyon from Gold Bar Rim - Moab, UT

Love this place.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Cross Processing

Billingshurst, originally uploaded by tidy mind.

A fantastic photoshop technique called cross processing. Looks very 1970's/1980's. Professional photographers used to achieve this by 'deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film'. All I had to do was click on a few buttons. Awesome.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

24 Days until we roll

The vacation is getting closer and closer and I'm soooo excited. I've spent a couple of evenings over the past few weeks researching the sites of the Southwest, in particular southern Arizona and New Mexico. I'm reasonably confident I've got the basis of a fantastic road trip. A total of 1750 miles and 32.5 hours driving :-) A lot of ground to cover but nowhere near as much as last year.

Phoenix, AZ - Start and stop.
Tucson, AZ - Destert Museum and Pima Air and Space Museum
Bisbee, AZ - Small southwest town
Tombstone, AZ - Home of the OK Coral and Wyat Erp
Alamogordo, NM - White Sands National Monument
Magdelena, NM - The Very Large Aray
Acoma Pueblo, NM - Indian Pueblos
Santa Fe, NM - The heart of the Southwest?
Taos, NM - More Indian Pueblos
Durango, CO - Home of the Durango Silverton Railroad
Monument Valley, AZ - Need I say more
Sedona, AZ - The first place Abi and I visited in the Southwest and a great place to end the vacation.

Road to the Farmhouse

Road to the Farmhouse, originally uploaded by Sian Bowi.

Lovely photo I found on Flickr last week. Great composition. I like the way your eyes follow the road. I would have been tempted to move to the left and place the majority of the road in the centre of the frame which would have been wrong.

Monday, March 23, 2009


LANGE, originally uploaded by whisqui.

This is a great photo taken in the US during the depresion. There is a fantastic stor behind the photo, read about it here.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

, originally uploaded by Taharqa.

Found on Flickr in the Architecture pool. Great lines and looks amazing in B&W.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Daffodil Stems - 3

Daffodil Stems - 3, originally uploaded by tidy mind.

I'm getting the hang of the macro lens. Now i need to concentrate on depth of field.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Matchbox Twenty - Exile On Mainstream - Front Cover

As you may or may not know I love Matchbox Twenty and Photography. Combine the two and you have a fantastic CD cover. Black and White photography interests me more and more, especialy when there is a good spread of grey tones (is that the correct expression). Check out the new U2 CD cover too, simple but it works. BTW - I'm listening to Girls Aloud before I head off to bed....Is that bad :-(?