Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who Left The Window Open?

This is a slightly different view of the Empire State Building taken from the roof of an open top bus as we passed the tower. Looking closely at the photograph what struck me, apart from the timeless and beautiful art deco style architecture, was the open window half way up the building. It was the only open window .... who left it open ..... was someone just getting some air .... or perhaps we had a jumper! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Prambanan is a ninth century Hindu temple compound in Central JavaIndonesia, dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound is located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta city on the boundary between Yogyakarta and Central Java province.
The temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and is one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia. It is characterised by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Restaurant and Social Club for Explorers and Mad Scientists

Jekyll and Hyde in New York City at 91 7th Avenue South (between West 4th Street and Barrow Street) is a haunted restaurant and bar where eccentric explorers and mad scientists can eat, drink among the unusual and the bizarre. It's a themed restaurant that serves typical American fare such as fajitas, nachos, buffalo wings, burgers, pastas and an array of ghoulish drinks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Minimilist Micturition

It took me a minute to figure out what this structure actually was ..... yes it's a toilet in central Amsterdam .... and definitely in the minimalist category. No need for those time wasting trips into a toilet when you can just duck behind the beautifully aquamarine painted walls of this stall in the street. You can even carry on that conversation with your loved one through the grill as you tend to your badly needed micturition in a quick, efficient albeit rather public manner.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Strawberry Fields

This is the memorial to the late John Lennon known as Strawberry Fields and is situated on the west side of Central Park directly opposite The Dakota where John lived during the later part of his life and where he was murdered. The Central Park memorial was designed by Bruce Kelly, the chief landscape architect for the Central Park Conservancy. Strawberry Fields was dedicated on what would have been Lennon's 45th birthday, 9 October 1985, by New York Mayor Ed Koch and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who had underwritten the project.

Let me take you down, 'cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out, it doesn't matter much to me.
Let me take you down, 'cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.

No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low.
That is you can't you know tune in but it's all right, that is I think it's not too bad.
Let me take you down, 'cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Always, no sometimes, think it's me, but you know I know when it's a dream.
I think I know I mean a 'Yes' but it's all wrong, that is I think I disagree.
Let me take you down, 'cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Dakota

Since I mentioned the Dakota building in my blog yesterday I thought it appropriate to post a picture of the building. This is where John Lennon lived prior to his murder in 1980. His wife Yoko Ono continues to live in the building although in a different apartment now. The building is situated on 72nd Street and Central Park West and has a wonderful view over the park. The building was constructed between 1880 and 1884 and was apparently named because at that time the upper west side of Manhattan was sparsely populated and was as remote as Dakota Territory. Just opposite the building there is now a memorial dedicated to the late John Lennon called Strawberry Fields.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Transco Tower

The Transco Tower in the Galleria area of Houston is now known as the Williams Tower ..... I somehow prefer the old name myself. It was designed by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee, in association with Houston-based Morris-Aubry Architects, and erected in 1983. The tower is among Houston's most visible buildings. The building is the 4th-tallest inTexas, the 22nd-tallest in the United States, and the 102nd-tallest building in the world. It is the tallest building in Houston outside of Downtown Houston. The building has the United States headquarters of the Hines Interests real estate firm.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Prinsengracht Canal

This is a view along the Prinsengracht canal or Princes Canal with the Westerkerk (Amsterdam's tallest church) seen in the background and on the left one of the buildings is the famous Ann Frank House. Many of the buildings along the canal were built during the Dutch Golden Age, a period spanning the 17th century when Dutch trade, science, military and art where the most acclaimed in the world. This canal is the fourth and longest of the canals in Amsterdam and is named after the Prince of Orange.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Eco Building

I loved some of the great advertisements and billboards around the Times Square area of New York and this colourful building was worth a picture. This building is the Ernst & Young Building and looks like they are trying to portray some kind of eco message with this large picture of the half globe half plant.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Canal Lights

The canals in central Amsterdam are delightful to walk around and as evening comes many of the bridges are lit up creating a beautiful sight. With many restaurants and bars along the banks of the canal it is easy to wander for a while then stop for a drink then head on for some dinner at a canal-side restaurant. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blue Lobster Pots

Fishing around Scotland is still a major part of life and in many of the seaside villages and towns there is a harbour for all the fishing boats. These bright blue lobster pots were seen stacked on the harbour wall at Plockton.

Lobster traps are usually constructed of wire or rope and wood. An opening permits the lobster to enter a tunnel of netting. Pots are usually constructed in two parts, called the "chamber" or “kitchen”, where there is bait, and exits into the “parlour”, where it is trapped from escape. Lobster pots are usually dropped to the sea floor about a dozen at a time, and are marked by a buoy so they can be picked up later.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

B. B. King Blues Club & Grill

On West 42nd Street in the heart of the Times Square area in New York City is the B. B. King Blues Club and Grill, a premier supper club offering a wide array of live music in intimate surroundings.

Lucilles Grill, named “Best Great Bar That You’d Never Suspect Was a Great Bar” by the New York Press, where local acts from the New York music scene jam away with no cover price every night of the week. The mahogany framed, bi-level bar & grill offers a unique atmosphere, complete with signature saxophone beer taps. Colorful contemporary art and iconic photography of all the legendary blues masters in the rich history of this uniquely American music form adorn the restaurant walls.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Arc de Brooklyn

Heading through Brooklyn I did a double take when I saw this familiar looking monument. Yes this is Brooklyn's answer to the famous Paris Arc de Triomphe monument. Only in America! This is in fact the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, New York.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chicago in New York

Chicago The Musical was playing in Ambassador Theatre right next door to our hotel in the theatre district of New York so it was an easy decision to go and see the show. It was an even easier decision given that the lead role was being played by Christie Brinkley, the ex-model who did a great job at this highly professionally produced and executed show.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This building in Spuistraat in central Amsterdam was painted a bright blue colour and had BOOM! painted across the top making it very distinctive. In this area of Amsterdam there were quite a number of these old buildings with brightly painted graffiti.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

West Coast Dawn

This is an early morning view at Plockton on the north west coast of Scotland with a glassy smooth sea and moody atmospheric skies. It was certainly very peaceful and apart from the occasional sounds of the seagulls it was deadly quiet. Yes this is a very soothing way to start the day with a slow walk along the seafront breathing in the fresh west coast air.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hey Honey I'll be a Little Late

This lady at the easter Parade in New York City provided a great candid moment as she was on the phone to whoever. You can almost hear the conversation ..... "Hey Honey, I'll be a little late back today .... I'm still tied up at the Easter Parade on 5th Avenue. Go heat up that corn pie I left in the refrigerator for your lunch and I'll see you later".

I loved her outfit, especially the hat with the matching lipstick. Bit it was her expression and transfixed eyes which attracted me to grab this image. Would have loved to have heard the conversation though .......

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Yellow Taxi

Yellow cabs in New york City are a common site and they always remind me of that famous song by Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi.

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot 
Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone 
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 

They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum 
And then they charged all the people twenty-five bucks just to see 'em 
Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone 
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT now 
Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees, please 
Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone 
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 

Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone 
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 

Late last night I heard the screen door slam 
And a big yellow taxi carried off my old man 
Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone 
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 

Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone 
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 

Text & Musik: Joni Mitchell 
(c) 1970 Siquomb Publishing Corp. (BMI) 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bicycle Bells

Bicycles are a common form of transport to get around Amsterdam and everywhere you go you will see stacks of bicycles parked. This row of bicycles had a colourful array of bells.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Turn To Clear Vision

This classic viewing binocular was shot at Seaport, East River, New York just close to the Brooklyn Bridge. This was a 3 bracket HDR shot post processed in HDR Efex Pro and then Silver Efex Pro 2.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Artistic Amsterdam

During the Queen's Day celebrations in central Amsterdam you see a multitude of street artists, musicians, exhibitionists, vendors, etc and it's a very colourful day to spend people watching. This image was captured  of a couple of street artists showing their products and looking chilled-out to say the least. Perhaps the copious beverages consumed during this national holiday helped in attaining this chilled-out composure. I loved all the strong, vibrant colours in this scene as well as the individual characters.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Yellow Lichen, Xanthoria Parietina

This lichen is a common site on much of the Scottish coastline rocks. Xanthoria parietina is a foliose, or leafy lichen. It has wide distribution, and many common names such as common orange lichen, yellow scale, maritime sunburst lichen and shore lichen. It can be found near the shore on rocks or walls (hence the epithet parietina meaning "on walls"), and also on inland rocks, walls, or tree bark. It was chosen as a model organism for genomic sequencing (planned in 2006) by the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI). In the past it was used as a remedy for jaundice because of its yellow color.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


The Times Square are in New York is a small area which is very intense with shops, restaurants and an array on neon-lit billboards providing a feast for the eyes. There is always something to capture on camera and a great people watching spot.

Over the years the advertising billboards have become more complex and larger with brightly lit large posters and Jumbotron screens to capture attention. This corner of buildings was being used to promote Guess with a number of different billboards focused on this brand ..... just wonder how much this type of advertising actually costs?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Ronde Lutherse Kerk

This lovely building can be seen on Singel, Amsterdam and provided a good opportunity to use Silver Efex Pro 2 to post-process the image into an antuique style photo. 
The church was designed by Adriaan Dortsman (ca. 1636-1682) and was opened in 1671. The organ was built by J Batz in 1830 and it was restored in 1983 by Flentrop Orgelbouw. In 1882 it was rebuilt after a fire. In 1935 the Lutherans left the building and it became a concert hall.
In 1975 a tunnel was built by the neighboring Sonesta Hotel, today called the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel, for its own access. The hotel rents the church from the Lutheran church which is still the owner today. In 1983 the church was closed for a long period of restoration, but ten years later in 1993 the dome burned again. The church was again restored.
Today curious visitors and potential customers may enquire at the Renaissance hotel for an opportunity to view the church, which is not open for the public. A security guard must accompany visitors through the underground tunnel to the church where the ground floor of the consistory has been converted to bathrooms and the upper floor to a meeting room. Of the main hall, the impressive columns, galeries, organ and pulpit can still be seen.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Final Resting Place

This Chinese grave in the Birch Road Christian Cemetery in central Kuala Lumpur offers a very peaceful resting place beneath a lovely old tree. This small graveyard has been left abandoned for many years and is a wonderful place to capture these atmospheric images. The rich tropical greens of the trees, the overgrown undergrowth and the dilapidated grave stones adds to the overall atmosphere of the place.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Boy Liam

It was low tide at Plockton harbour and this little fishing boat Boy Liam was sitting proudly above the shore waiting patiently on the incoming tide. The tide in this part of the country moves in quickly as we found out when my mother was almost stranded on the small island just in the distance of this shot due to the rapid influx of the water. Luckily she made it back to shore with only a few blue stains on her feet from the seawater soaked shoes!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Red Phone Box

These classic old red phone boxes can still be seen in a few locations and this one was photographed in the small village of Plockton in north west of Scotland. This image was post-processed using Silver Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software and the red colour of the phone box recovered back to create impact.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


The Torridon area in the north west of Scotland has some of the most spectacular scenery with a number of stunning mountains. The mountain in the image above is Liathach with Beinn Eighe seen partially on the right. 

Liathach is one of the most famous of the Torridon Hills. It lies to the north of the A896 road and has two peaks of Munro status: Spidean a' Choire Leith at the east of the main ridge, and Mullach an Rathain at the western end of the mountain. The name Liathach means 'The grey one'. Liathach conveys an aura of impregnability when seen from the roadside below, as the slopes appear to rise up in a series of near vertical rocky terraces

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


This beautiful BMW R80 was seen in central Amsterdam. The BMW R80G/S is a motorcycle manufactured in Berlin, Germany, by BMW Motorrad from 1980 to 1987. Production totalled 21,864 bikes. It was the first in the BMW GS family of specialised dual-sport bikes, of which over 500,000 have been produced. The designation G/S is an acronym of the German words Gelände/Strasse, which mean offroad/road – highlighting the bike's dual sport design.