Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Worldwide Photo Walk - Fort Collins

Group Photowalk

On July 18th, 2009 I'll host the Fort Collins edition of Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk. We'll be cruising around the Colorado State University campus. The walk starts at 4 PM and goes until we're all wore out.

If you live in the area, please come join us! It will be lots of fun. For more, and to register for the walk, visit the photo walk's web site:


Eiffel Tower

I took this shot from underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You see so many cliche photos of the tower, but rarely do you see any from underneath. I wanted to come away with both the cliche photos and some neat shots showing some of the different views you have.

Friday, May 22, 2009

National Monument, Edinburgh

Welcome to the National Monument of Scotland in Edinburgh. It began construction in 1822 up on Calton Hill, just east of downtown Edinburgh.

The monument was intended to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens. Popular knowledge is that the monument was never completed due to lack of funding. There's even a sign in front that states this. But apparently the original plans survived and only show the 12 existing columns that you see.

So it begs the question, did the city really run out of money? Or did the designer really plan the monument to look this way? Or maybe, he never finished the plan, possibly due to the funding issue.

We'll likely never know. So it ended up being a cool place for locals to spend time on nice sunny days. And it's got a great view of Edinburgh.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS

I just got this lens and boy is it awesome.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Loch Ness

Not much to say here really. This is beautiful Loch Ness, Scotland's largest lake. We were driving along the loch on our way out west to the Isle of Skye, and stopped to take a quick photo. I climbed down over lots of moss covered rock and found a nice spot for a photo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Eileen Donan Castle

While you may be tempted to pronounce this like the woman's name Eileen, it's actually Gaelic for "island". Just pronounce it "eelan" (go ahead, say it aloud) and you'll instantly see the connection.

We found that Gaelic is VERY similar to English, you just have to sound things out. I think given some time in Scotland you could actually understand the language.

This was taken on Scotland's west coast, on our way out to the Isle of Skye. This whole area speaks Gaelic fluently, and on the Isle of Skye, it's the first language.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Westminster Abbey Entrance

Westminster Abbey cathedral in London was probably the most incredible man made structure I've ever been to. Simply amazing.

Not only is the church itself impressive, but there are some impressive residents. Such greats as Charles Darwin and William Shakespeare are buried here, right in the middle of the church. There were countless other historical figures buried here. Quite the experience.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hairy Highland Cattle

Meet my new friend Harold. We named him that. They say the hairy highland cattle of Scotland are friendly, and it's no joke. This guy followed us around like a puppy and would not leave us alone.

We became quite fond of the guy, and stuck around feeding him fresh green grass he couldn't reach for about a half hour.

We found him just outside the Cardhu distillery, who makes the bulk of the whisky that goes into the Johnnie Walker blended whisky. Cardhu is in Speyside, in the north east of Scotland.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Edradour Distillery

This is Scotland's smallest whisky distillery. There are three employees and they only make one barrel of whisky per week. To put this into perspective, Glenlivet distillery produces that barrel in just a few minutes.

However, these guys do it with gusto, and produce what I believe to be the finest Scotch whisky in Scotland. I plan to do MUCH more research on this though. You know, so that a can know what I'm talking about *wink*.

As an aside, I found on my tour of Scotland that nearly all the distilleries were in far out locations and were surrounded by lots of natural beauty. This is because Scotland went through a period of prohibition, and the only distilleries that survived were hidden, tucked deep into the countryside. You can see from this photo that they ended up in some beautiful locations.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Skye Bridge

More Scotland coming your way.

On our second day in the highlands of Scotland, we drove west out to the Isle of Skye. The landscape here is completely different from the rest of Scotland. Ever seen those "Aerial Tour of Scotland" type videos that show the jagged and jutting coastlines? Skye is it. I'll post more photos of Skye as I continue the tour.

This is the Skye Bridge, which connects mainland Scotland with the island. We stopped here for dinner before heading back to Loch Ness. We got a beautiful sunset the whole time we ate dinner (since sunsets last about three hours this time of year).

Of course one of the highlights of Skye for me was going to the Talisker whisky distillery, the only distillery on the island. Good whisky.

Beautiful place.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quaint Scottish Countryside

So since life has been so busy lately and I haven't been photowalking much, I thought I'd start putting up a series of shots from a recent trip to Europe.

Stops in London, Paris, and throughout Scotland. Came away with some great memories and photos.

For this shot, we pulled over to go for a walk. We never expected to find this, and I'll bet no one even knows it's there besides locals. And they probably don't care, considering this view is nothing special in Scotland.

Taken in Invermoriston, Scotland, just a few hundred yards off Loch Ness.

3 exposure hand held HDR.