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World’s most expensive photograph – USD 6.5 million

Thought for the day…” Scientists say that the universe is made up of protons, electrons and neutrons.  They forgot to mention morons”.

News from the dpreview.com website (a great website if you want to keep up on the happenings in the photography world) that a new record has been set for a single photo.  The photo, called ‘Phantom’ by Peter Lik has recently been sold for USD 6.5 million.  Two of his other photos sold for USD 2.4 million and USD 1.1 million as well.    A tidy sum for a black and white photo.     If anybody is interested then they can buy my entire photo collection for USD 1 million, and I will throw in a couple of cameras as well……

Some black and white photos below of tree ferns in New Zealand.      Worth USD 6.5 million?????  Offers please….

wordpress-fern-1wordpress fern 2wordpress-fern-3ALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

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Last light of the day….peace and tranquility

Thought for the day…”  You are never too old to feel young”    ” Life is not a rehersal, it is the real thing”.

Rather nice story in the news on the BBC (and a good news one too) about a runner in Portsmouth, England who used a running app and GPS to propose to his girlfriend.     He used a running app to track his route, which spelt out the words “will you marry me” as a way of proposing to his girlfriend.     After posting the route online, his girlfriend said yes.     A novel way to propose !!

Peace and tranquility for the photo today….last light of the day in a small bay on Pralin, Seychelles.   Just a lone fisherman and the breeze, captured with the Fuji X-E1 and a 50-200m lens.  A good photo needs good light, and both these photos had it.   The high quality of the Fuji lens also made these photos.

wordpress-Praslin-bay and a river scene from southern Brazil, near Florianapolis……

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More blue skies….Seychelles again

Thought for the day…” Doing what you like is freedom.  Liking what you do is happiness”

” A negative mind will never give you a positive life”.

It is sad to read that the efforts of one Russian newspaper to lift spirits have failed.  The ‘City Reporter’ newspaper had decided to only print good news and happy stories for a day, but the result was far from happy, as it lost about two thirds of its readers.   It has gone back to ‘regular’ news now.     And despite it being almost Christmas, when you visit the shops and shopping malls at the moment, the bad tempers and stress are very evident.  Hard to believe that it is the season of joy and goodwill…..

Blue skies and uncrowded beaches from the Seychelles again…..no signs of Christmas stress here….And if you think that the colours look unreal, then just visit the Seychelles !!  Fuji X-E1 camera again.

wordpress-beach-1and a photo from a market in Myanmar……

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Christmas Fireworks in Bergen, Norway

Thought for the day…” You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them”

”  Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but rather playing a bad hand well”.

Two photos of the Christmas fireworks in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway.  About 275 000 people live in Bergen, which is the second largest city in Norway after Oslo, the capital.   Shipping, oil industry and touristm are the main industries here.  It is known as the city of 7 mountains, one of which was used to get the photos of the Christmas fireworks.  These mountains mean that Bergen gets a lot of rain, with about 2.25m a year.   In the lower part of the photo you can see the lake in the city centre from where the fireworks were launched, complete with a large Christmas tree.   Fireworks are believed to have originated in China over 2000 years ago, from where 90% of all fireworks now come from.   Interestingly, on New Year’s Eve in 2002 in Zurich, Switzerland, a chocolate firework was fired containing 60kg of  Callier Swiss chocolates !! No such luck for the citizens of Bergen, Norway though!

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Holidays in Paradise – Seychelles duo

Thought for the day…” Keep smiling and one day life will get tired of trying to upset you”.

Airlines again…..just been trying to claim some missing airmiles from Qatar Airways.  Would you believe that they have asked me to send in a SCANNED copy of my e-ticket?    Yes, I had to read that twice to believe it, they want a scanned copy of an e-ticket?   If I had nothing else to do in life then I would print out the E TICKET (what does that e in E-ticket mean, Qatar Airways???) and then scan it and send precisely the same information back to them again.  They might like to play silly games, I do not.

Two more photos from the recent holiday, to the islands of the Seychelles in the Indian Pacific.   it was the first real test of the new camera, the Fuji X-E1 and the results were great.     The X-E1 is a camera that makes taking photos fun again, partly because it does not have fireworks/party/food/sport modes but does have dials where you can again take control of the photos.      Add to that a larger sensor and some Fuji lenses which are outstanding in quality, and it is not hard to get some great photos.   Guess who came back with a LOT of photos !!    The Fuji X-E1 does not take good videos (seems to be a problem with all the Fuji cameras, as there are a lot of people saying the same thing) BUT it does one thing well, really well.   It takes brilliant photos.     The previous Sony A6000 was quickly returned to the shop, as despite having instant autofocus and more megapixels, was let down by lenses that just were not up to the job.  The best camera in the world is no use if the glass at the front is poor, and Fuji have made sure that what is on the front of their cameras is not going to let what is at the back of the cameras down.

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And also from the Seychelles, an Airbus A330 arrives at Mahe, with a Twin Otter already on the ground below.

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Battle of the Paddle – Stand up paddleboarding

Thought for the day…” Success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.”

” The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

The Swiss have a wonderful system of democracy whereby if 100 000 people sign a petition, then a national referendum can be held on any subject.  There have been 9 during 2014, ranging from more funding for the railways to limits on immigration.  More will be held today, including one on gold reserves by the national bank and another on immigration.    But it is the story in the international news at the moment that is catching the attention…..that a group in Switzerland is trying to get enough signatures to hold a petition to ban the eating of dogs and cats.    Hard to believe that in Switzerland that dogs and cats are eaten in some areas, especially the Rhine Valley.     The cats and dogs are eaten as a form of ‘mostbröckli‘.  Dogs are more commonly eaten in Korea, Vietnam and China, but it is surprising to learn of the practice in Switzerland.

Florianapolis, Brazil was the host recently for the ‘Battle of the Paddle’ stand up paddleboard competition.    A couple of photos capturing the action during the final…….

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Birds of a Feather – photo together

Thought for the day…” I used to have a handle on life, but it broke”.

”  I am not a complete idiot…some parts are missing”.

Over the years, I have experienced lots of airlines, and lots of airports.     I recently go to fly with the Brazilian budget airline GOL, who promote themselves as Gol Intelligent Airlines.   Actually a pleasant experience, as they had clean aircraft, good customer service and sensible check in procedures.    Nice to find a budget airline that is cheap but good, and also one that seems to be trying.    The same cannot be said for Berlin airports.

I had the misfortune to have my first experiences of the 2 Berlin airports, Schonefeld and Tegel.   It is very clear why Berlin needs the new airport, although in the news this week is seems that it will not open until 2018 at the earliest.   Would you believe that at Berlin Tegel TXL airport, that they are using a tent as a departure hall for flights heading to places like Belgrade and Minsk??   Admittedly, it is the sort of tent that they use for exhibitions and functions, but a tent it is.   Hard to believe that the capital city of Germany, an advanced nation, is forced to resort to using tents at its main airport.   And the fiasko of the new Berlin airport, greatly overbudget, extremely late and seemingly, not near to ever opening……not very German at all.   The good people down the autobahn in Munchen, Bayern, know how to run a good airport, as do  the Swiss with Zurich airport.

But still at the top of the list must be Singapore Shanghi Airport SIN.   Normally top in all the surveys of the world’s best airports (and for good reason t00), it is a real pleasure to use.    It is one airport that I am happy to have a long stopover in.    I cannot say the same about the tents in Berlin Tegel !!!

Two photos of Brazilian birds for the pictures today, and both taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.

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Down By The River – Brazil

Thought for the day…” If the sky is the limit, then what is space, over the limit?”

”  Do coffins have lifetime guarantees?”

Another two photos from Brazil, and from the southern part around Florianapolis.   Florianapolis is based around one main island, and has a population of around 420 000 people.  I.T and tourism (including surfing) are the main occupations here, and the area has been voted as the best area of Brazil to live in.   Some villages still rely on fishing, but officials are attempting to make the area the ‘silicon valley’ of Brazil.   Long, white sandy beaches and small bays make it a popular tourist destination, including increasing numbers of international tourists.   It also hosts annual surfing and paddle board competitions.   The photos below come from the Barra De Lagoa area, where a small channel connects the lake to the sea.

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And a portrait of a local, complete with 2 mobile phones…….

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Paraguayian pair – two from Paraguay

Thought for the day…”Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved”.

” If you do not have a dream, then how can your dreams come true?”   (Jimmy Cricket)

Two photos today from Paraguay, and both taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.    The camera was ready, because photos like these have to be grabbed fast.    In both cases, it was only seconds before the scene changed, and the moment was lost, so there was no chance to frame or plan the photos.  But the results are great, and the new Fuji camera has done a great job with the exposure and colours.   Both pictures come from the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion and from the city centre.   Not an exciting place for tourists, and the sight of shanty towns built in the city centre will surprise you, as will the broken pavements, abandoned buildings and general decay.

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Variations on a Theme. Same same but different

Thought for the day….” Same, same, but different”.

“It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”  (Bill Gates)

Off to Paraguay for the photos today, and to the capital Asuncion.  This landlocked South American country was once a Spanish colony until 1811.  The money is called the Guarani and the capital, Asuncion is home to about 500 000 people.   Despite being the capital, Asuncion is not a fun place for tourists, as it has few great sights but does have a lot of broken houses, decay and abandoned buildings.    Paraguay is a poor country, and it certainly shows in the capital.   Paraguay has the honour of holding the world record for the largest barbeque, when 30 000 diners attended the record-breaking attempt.

Those who have travelled in Vietnam will no doubt have seen and heard the phrase “Same, Same but different”.   Today’s photos, actually the same photo, started out as one photo, but was given the photoshop treatment.    The first photo was the original colour photo, almost as it came out of the camera…..

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But then changed in Photoshop into a black & white photo, then converted to sepia to give it an old fashioned look, before editing it so that just the yellow chair and box remained in their original colours.   Finally, add the frame and bob’s your uncle…..

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Same, same but different,  as they say.

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