Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Pornography

Overcrowded New Zealand – record tourist arrivals mean crowded resorts.

Thought for the day “The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” (Richard Nixon)

“Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.”

One of the problems at the moment is that New Zealand is getting too many tourists, resulting in overcrowding and an experience that is far from the idea that many people have of NZ.  With over 3.6 million tourists a year now (versus a population of 4.7 million), the country just cannot comfortably cope with the large numbers of tourists.  Queenstown for example, often called ‘The Adventure capital of the World’   has a population of around 16 000 locals but receives over 2.5 MILLION tourists a year (try finding a local person in Queenstown !) and the airport has plans for a 2nd terminal to handle up to 5 MILLION tourists a year (remember just 16 000 locals).    Part of the problem is that airfares to NZ are incredibly cheap at the moment, less than half the price that they were a few years ago.   Flights from Europe to NZ are being offered for around 500 euros return for the 18 000 km trip, with specials sometimes below 400 GBP return.   So whilst NZ is breaking records every month for tourist arrivals, the country is suffering, with overcrowded national parks, fully booked accommodation and crowded tourist towns.   Cheap airfares are not always a good thing.

One of my older photos here, but a historic one showing the now bankrupt Air Berlin.   Seen here at full power climbing out of Innsbruck Airport in Austria on a winters Saturday.  Now Air Berlin are history.

and another photo from the archives…deep thought on the face of this man…..

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS.

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End of the day…..sunset time

Thought for the day….” Some days you just have to create your own sunshine”.

“If opportunity does not knock then build a door”.

Is it my imagination or are the shops even more crazy this year than in previous years?  Just had ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Blue Monday’ and now the shops seem to be in overdrive for Christmas.    And yet it seems that each year that there is less actual Christmas spirit and just more and more Christmas panic.      Hard to concentrate on Christmas when the shops are starting it earlier and earlier each year.     As usual, it will be madness in the shops in the last couple of weeks.    Happy to see it over !!

Couple of photos to show just how good the Fuji jpegs are.     Slowly going through the masses of photos and I am trying to delete lots, but it is fun to see some of the better photos.     With the great colours from the standard Fuji jpegs, then I can save a lot of time in not editing RAW files.     Much easier to get a good jpeg that is just as I want it, instead of hours of editing RAW files.      Purists will argue that there is more detail in the RAW files, and that you can adjust them more, but for me, the Fuji jpegs are just right.    Have a look at two photos below and see what you think of the colours…….

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and another photo from the archives….. colours of the Caribbean (Antigua)

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Black & White or colour….which is best ?????

Thought for the day…” Broken pencils are pointless”       “Jokes about German sausages are the wurst”

Lots of fun to go back through the photo collections and re-edit the photos….and also get rid of a lot of earlier attempts.   Two versions of the same photo today, from the Spanish island of Menorca.  All photos from the Fuji X series….with the standard 18-55mm kit lens.    See which you like the best.  Same photo but one is converted to B & W.     My vote goes to the black & white version….

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and another photo from the archives….the lake at Geilo, Norway in early autumn…

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Thought for the day….”Winning is not everything, but it beats anything in second place”.

“Some people are alive only because it is illegal to kill them”

Part of the thrill of travelling is in the planning.   Several years ago, a collection of airlines offered a fantastic ticket called the ‘Navigator Ticket’.    You were given a large, fold-out map of the world, with lots of airline routings marked out in different colours (representing the different airlines), and you were free to map out and plan your own route.  Rules were simple, you could make unlimited stopovers provided that you kept going in the same direction (ie eastwards or westwards).   You were allowed to backtrack if the routes needed it, but basically you could plan a route with as many zig-zags as you could manage.   Such fun to plan a trip and work out an exotic route.  Then the final excitement. was when the ticket arrived in the post.   In those days, airline tickets were messy, carbon paper affairs, but it was great to receive though the post, a stapled bundle of carbon paper tickets.    Sadly the navigator ticket is no more.

Fast forward to today, with buying an airline ticket a frustrating challenge.  Fares seem to change at will, from day to day and at the whim of the airlines.    I will never understand why the same flight on the same aircraft can change price from day to day.    Buying a cheap air ticket now involves so much planning that surely a computer programme is needed for it.   Bring back the navigator ticket !!!

They say that the best camera is the one that you have with you at the time.   Up early for the sunrise near North Cape, at the top of Norway and at 71 degrees north.    Good to have the camera ready for this quick photo….just as the sun came over the horizon to start another day.

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and a photo from the streets of the Danish Capital, Copenhagen….

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Were there some red faces recently?

Thought for the day…” A goal is a dream with a deadline”.

” When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”

Now I am wondering if there are some very red faces at the American toymaker Hasbro over it’s ‘Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset’.    Red faces probably, not over the spelling of ‘shoppe’ but probably over the transparent plastic tube that is used to squeeze out Play-Doh to appear like cake frosting.   More than one person has commented that the plastic extruder appears to be very much like a sex-toy.  Remember that this item was sold in a set aimed at children, and was sold through reputable retailers.

LOW RES cake extruderComments were posted on Facebook, including on Hasbro Inc. own pages about the ‘toy’.  More than a few parents have been upset by the shape of the ‘toy’.   And if you have time, then check out some of the comments and reviews that purchasers have left on Amazon.com.  Sure to bring a smile…….and good that most people can see the funny side of life.  Hasbro are replacing the item with an alternative design.

Something more serene and less controversial here…Lake Hawea in Otago, South Island New Zealand.   The photo shows the main highway which heads through the Southern Alps up to the Haast Pass, before dropping down to the West Coast.   Lake Hawea is a popular fishing spot, whilst Hawea village has a wonderful cafe and restaurant (Sailz), well worth a short detour off the highway to visit.  Highly recommended !!

LOW-RES-roadand another photo from the archives…the rare Rothschild giraffe…WORDPRESS-ZAMBIA-South-Luan

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Busy Bee, and colourful too.

Thought for the day…” Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon, and wise too late”.

”  An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”.

For years and years, I have used toothpaste without problems.   But now, when I go through an airport security check,, apparently, toothpaste is dangerous.  And talking of airport security checks, why do they also make pilots go through the security checks??   Are they afraid that the pilots might gain control of an aircraft (!!!!).    Crazy.   And in one of the current photography magazines, I read that Manchester United football club in the UK is banning people from bringing in electronic devices larger than 150 mm X 100 mm.  So things like Ipads are no longer allowed into a football stadium.   The club said that it was following airports and also following security intelligence.    I would like to ask what sort of ‘intelligence’ says that Ipads are a security risk??    And also, what sort of ‘intelligence’ says that toothpaste is also a security risk.   Bring back common sense, and also get rid of this sort of paranoia that appears to be spreading now from airports to even football stadiums.

And today’s photo is a close up of a bee collecting pollen.

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and one out of the archives….a rag and bone collector in Albania…….

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Mirror reflections in Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..”  Happiness is no laughing matter”      ” Give up for a second and that is where you will finish”.

Are you happy?  Perhaps, if you are living in Denmark.  Interesting to read the 2013 World Happiness Report, which came from the Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and paid for by the UN.   Top place goes to DENMARK, second place goes to Norway and third place Switzerland.  At the bottom of the list were Benin and also Togo, both in West Africa.      All of the countries at the top of the list are expensive places to live, but this does not stop the residents being happy.     Suprisingly, high taxes also do not make people unhappy, as in the top countries, the high taxes pay for high standards of public services.  And another surprise is that in 8th place is Bhutan, where despite a low GDP per capita (USD 1400), the people are extremely happy.    And as for the world’s happiest people, according to the Gallup 2012 survey of about 150 000 people,  then the top place goes to Panama, followed by Paraguay.

I was happy with this photo that I took one morning recently in Norway.  It took a little bit of planning, and a lot of good luck to get it, but after several attempts, this was the final shot.  For those who are interested, it was taken in RAW and then converted into jpeg, using a wide angle setting on the camera (Panasonic Lumix)

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Summer in Croatia – Not the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies”.

” If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them”.

There is a strange story in the news at the moment about Brent Council in London, England.  They have installed a hologram ‘receptionist’, a moving human image who ‘answers’ questions from visitors.  Brent Council says that the hologram will save GBP 17000 a year.    This is after they spent GBP 90 million on a new civic centre, which opened this year.   And perhaps they forget, that one less (real) person will now not have a job, and will presumably have to be supported by the government there.    False economy??   And in these hard economic times, should any local government be spending GBP 90 million on a new civic centre??   Surely hospitals and schools come first, well before any civic centres.   Perhaps we should ask the hologram receptionist for the answers?     Stop the world, I want to get off……………………………………

Off to Split, Croatia for the photo today, and the harbourside in the city centre.   Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia was the home of the famous traveller Marco Polo..   It was formed in 1991 when it became independent from the former Yugoslavia, and it has recently become a member of the European Union.    It has more than 1000 islands along its coast.   An interesting fact is that the White House (Washington, USA) is built of Croatian stone, as is the Austrian Pariliament building in Wien, Austria.   Croatia was also the site of the world’s first hydro electric power station in 1895 (Sibenik).  The town of Hum in Istria is said to be the world’s smallest town, with just 23 citizens.

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Lake Wanaka sunset – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Generosity is giving more than you can, whereas pride is taking less than you need.”

“Walking forwards or backwards makes no difference as long as you are moving ahead”.           ” You always get lucky,  sometimes”.

Did you know that Japan’s Okinawa island has more than 450 people aged 100 years or more?   It is said to be the healthiest place on Earth.

Last light of the day over Lake Wanaka New Zealand for the photo today.    The different colours of sunsets are caused by the amount of dust and particles in the air.   The sunlight has to refract through hazy layers, and this splits the white light into the various colours during a sunset.   When the times for sunset are calculated, they are based on a sea level horizon, and do not take into account height or mountain ranges.    The Earth’s atmosphere also bends light rays, so the actualy time of sunset can be 3 minutes later than the ‘official’ time of sunset.  People making sundials will use the ‘Equation of Time’   to correct for the difference between solar time (sun time) and solar mean time (the solar time based on 24 hour days).   The difference can be over 15 minutes, which is why sundials need to be corrected.    Did you know that on Spitsbergen, not far from the North Pole, that there is a sundial (the world’s most northerly sundial)  which shows the time 24 hours a day, due to the continous daylight during the summer months.   The pole or stick on a sundial (which casts the shadow) is known as the gnom0n, and has to be at the same angle as the latitude of the sundial.

LOW RES NZ Wanaka lakefront sunset 3 April 2012 (1)

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Happy not to be working at the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.


Old and new in Helsinki, Finland – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”Life is an echo.  Whatever you give, you get back.  Love others and they will love you.  Abuse others, and you will be abused.  So behave yourself according to you”

” Time is like money.  You should not spend it all in one place”.

A little work photo editing today to give a new photo an old look.   The photo is of the main harbour in Helsinki, Finland, with the Uspenski Cathedral visible in the background (the black building visible behind the front of the ship).   It is said that Finland has 1.8 million saunas, for a population of around 5.4 million people.   Finland was the first country in the world to allow women to vote.   Helsinki is also unusual in that it has more women than men, around 53% woman and 47% men.  Another unusual fact is that the tap water is so good in Helsinki that it is bottled and sold to Saudi Arabia.   The water reaches the city through the world’s longest rock tunnel.  Finland also has the honour of being the biggest coffee drinkers per capita in the world, perhaps due to the long, dark and cold winter nights.

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