Shaking off the cobwebs // Amsterdam

Sitting here, writing this…..being well aware that it has been months since I have posted anything. What’s worse…..it’s been months since I have used a camera in anger. An even greater sin is that I STILL have 5 rolls of Portra 400 sitting on my desk waiting to be developed. The ‘final’ shots I need to complete my 365 project. I’m overlooking the fact that at the moment, late August is as far as I have got with updating it. At least I have taken all the photos…….I will get off my ass and send them off soon.

During the last part of the year, photography has taken a back seat in my priorities, as I have been bitten by the triathlon bug. Some may know from following me on instagram that I’m a keen cyclist, but I’ve always wanted to complete in some way. So I’ve been training hard since late 2018, particularly in running and swimming, both of which I’m reasonably new to. This has taken up quite a bit of my travel time, where before I would get back to the room and head out with my camera, I’ve found myself often heading to the gym (or outside if suitable….or safe!)

This will continue in 2019, as I have entered quite a few events, including a few half iron man distances. But I WILL be picking up my cameras more too. Especially my Hasselblad. I can’t even remember the last time I used it!

This trip to Amsterdam was not my first trip of the year, but the first opportunity I had to spend any time with a camera, with enough free time. I’ve visited the city many many times, but I’ve never really seen enough to say I’ve been there properly. Despite only being able to make the most of a couple of hours daylight one very cold and wintery afternoon, I finally had the chance to explore the endless canals and narrow streets. It goes without saying that there are so many photographic opportunities, and I often found that the most beautiful streets were the least touristic.

All photos taken with a Fuji X-T2 and 35mm f/2 lens

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The Maldives......almost

When you hear the news that your next work trip is to the Maldives, you’d be forgiven for getting a little excited. Beautiful white sandy beaches, warm waters and picturesque views…..what could be better. But then you dig a little deeper and discover you’re actually working in Malé, the capital of the Maldives. Just google images of Malé (don’t just search ‘Male’ otherwise you’ll get images of something rather different!), and you’ll see how un-paradise-like it is. The island itself is just over 2 square miles, and over 130,000 people live there. Soon after arriving there, you can certainly see why it’s one of the most populated cities in the world.

As you can imagine, there’s a pretty hectic atmosphere on the island. There are literally mopeds everywhere. There are cars, but they struggle to make any progress in the narrow streets and melee of bikes and people.

The people there are incredibly nice and friendly, with a Caribbean-like relaxed way of life. I was even kindly offered to be picked up and dropped off at the hotel each day on the back of someone’s moped. I think that’s the first time I’ve sat on a motorbike since I was a child!

It certainly was a trip to remember, but next time I’ll have to make it out to some of the outer islands – the real Maldives.

Fuji X-T2  //  XF35mm f/2

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Oslo

This was another quick visit to Oslo. I was here last late last year, but only staying at the airport for a couple of days, so sadly I never made it to the city. This time I was staying in the city centre. The last time I was in Oslo itself was over 7 years ago……a LOT has changed since then. The best weather was on my first day, where I had a bit of time to walk around near the opera house and barcode project. All of this was new to me, and there’s still a lot of construction going on even now.

It took a bit of time to get used to walking on the icy streets, and feeling like I was walking like a penguin the whole time, but it was nice to re-visit places I remembered and explore new areas.

Although I was only there for a few days, here's a few recommendations...

Brus Bar Olso - A great little bar, with a wide variety of Norwegian beers, and from further afield too. 

Dognvill Burger - This has to be one of the best burger joints in Oslo. It's in a nice location too along the harbour. Definitely try the sweet potato fries!

Oculus Bar - Another great little bar, specialising in Cervisiam beer. These 'cuckoo' brwers from Oslo rent other brewery space and come up with their own beer, all of which I tasted, was amazing! 

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Bucharest

Another short trip, this time to Bucharest. I was staying right by the airport, and was only due to be in the country for just over two days. Things didn't entirely go to plan at work which meant I had to stay an extra day. The good news for me is that I had a free afternoon to walk around the city. I was dropped off near the Old City, and explored near there......

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I also stumbled across a beautiful book shop, called Cărturești Carusel. The interior is stunning, and although they do have English books, and many more things well worth checking out, I was more amazed with the interior. 

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