Amazing Langkawi Beach

It was an amazing and relaxing holiday!

Most of the other vacations I had were joining a travel tour, trying to capture as many beautiful shots of the places and absorbing as much “information” about the places (which I forget 90% of it after a few months or even weeks).

This holiday is different. It was a self-drive holiday to Langkawi and Penang from 21st – 28th July, 2014.

Of course we did not miss the classical tourist attractions, but we spent much time just to enjoy a swim in the sea or in the hotel’s pool, find some interesting eating places where we could devour the food plus chat about anything and everything.

The following shot was taken by Wynne. I love it because of the relax atmosphere depicted here.

Lankkawi

I also managed to capture a beautiful sunset shot. A clean and pure shot of the sun and the waves. Continue reading

Wish You Were There? I love to be there!

33 Unbelievable Places To Visit

God has created an amazing planet earth. Some of the most beautiful places here could make you breathless when you see them. There is no other alternative but to travel around and see them with your own eyes. Travel has always been my first choice of spending my free time and affordable money (if I have some).

I came across these 33 photos of beautiful places on this planet earth. Some of them I have seen them, like the amazing “Avatar Tianzi mountain” in zhangjiajie, China, the Reed Flute Cave in Guilin, China and the Pamukkale hot spring in Turkey. However there are still 30 others I have not seen.

I hop you enjoy these photos as much as I do.

The original post can be found by clicking HERE.

33 Unbelievable Places To Visit Before You Die. I Can’t Believe These Actually Exist On Earth…

Mark Pygas
So many other-worldly places exist right on our planet, and we never even knew about it. Here are 33 landmarks that look like paintings and scenes from science fiction movies.

Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar%20De%20Uyuni%2C%20Bolivia

During the rainy season, the world’s largest salt flat becomes the world’s largest mirror. The Salar was born when several prehistoric lakes joined into one. The salt flat is so reflective, it’s used to calibrate satellites.

Continue reading

Photography as a hobby – anyone?

I have been trying to learn photography, not so much I want to take professional-looking photos to impress others, it’s more that I want to take reasonably good pictures family activities, church events and my holidays. However, I always find it hard to pick up my camera. Time is such a scarce resource that I hardly find enough of it to rest, not to mention the luxury of taking a few hours strolling around with camera.

Someone told me when you have a will there is a way. I admit I don’t have enough passion for photography to sacrifice my other activities. However, there are specific times when we go for holidays. I would surely not miss the opportunity to experiment and try taking reasonable shots. If you are like me, hard to find time in your normal busy schedule to play with your camera set, don’t have enough passion to sacrifice others for this hobby – don’t loose heart, just learn the skills naturally when you are away from your normal routines – holidays and traveling. I am yet to form the habit to bring my camera along in my normal days.

I find the blog post below good for inspiration and motivation that we should not give up the hobby. You can find the original post here: http://digital-photography-school.com/3-tips-on-how-to-approach-photography-as-a-hobby/

One day we will be surprised that we can actually take good pictures that even amaze us.

Happy photographing! Continue reading

Tips for Photographing Popular Tourist Destinations

I know you frustration…….

When you visit a popular tourist destination, you will probably find that the place has been photographed thousand times by different people and you could hardly find something “new” to tell. I came across this article by Digital Photography School (http://digital-photography-school.com/) which can shed some lights on your next visit to places like London bridge, Venice, Pisa tower, Pulau Langkawi, Singapore’s Orchard Road……….

Happy learning together!

Tips for Photographing Popular Tourist Destinations

As photographers, we often note that one way to make interesting images that are different from the norm is to get our camera to out-of-the-way places that haven’t been flooded with photographers. But what about those times when you’re heading somewhere that has been photographed millions of times already? Is it possible to create interesting photos of tourist destinations? Can you create something intriguing if you’re headed to the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, Great Wall of China or Mount Rushmore?

I say yes. Let’s consider how you can make an interesting photo, or series of photos, at a famous location. Let’s look at an example from Alcatraz Island, the former prison that’s now a tourist destination in the San Francisco Bay.

Ahockley alcatraz 1

#1 First, cover the usual

Continue reading

Tips to Take Great Vacation Photos

Want to take great photos in your vacations? Here are some useful tips.

I received very useful photography tips regularly from Digital-Photography-School.Besides I also see great photos posted in the site, gratifying satisfaction of my visual desire.

This is one of the site which I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in photography to subscribe. The website address is http://digital-photography-school.com/

I must say I do not take any commission from the school in recommending this 🙂

Enjoy this article and learn.

10 Ways to Improve your Vacation Photos

A Post By: Kai Behrmann

dPS-Detail

This has probably happened to all of us. We’ve just come back from an exciting trip and want to share all the wonderful moments with our friends and family. But after a brief moment we seem to be the only ones still enjoying the picture-show. Everyone else has quickly lost interest.

So what can we do to stop putting people to sleep with our vacation photos?

Here are some tips to help you take vacation photos that everybody will love. It’s easier than you might think, and it definitely doesn’t require expensive equipment. Keeping in mind some basic rules, you can take stunning images even with your mobile phone.

Let me take you to Paris and show you how with these 10 ways to improve your vacation photos: Continue reading

Memorable Travel at Zhangjiajie – Part 1 张家界之旅 (一)

鬼斧神工的张家界

I cannot remember when did I create this video. It must be when I first came back from the tour and was playing with some kind of video editing software.

我已经忘记什么时候制作这部短片。我想应该是我旅游回来没多久,在尝试录影软件时制作的吧?

Anyway, I am very pleased to share with you this beautiful place in China. The natural landscape is amazing. As you stand and gaze at the majestic mountains and strange-looking landscape near and far, you will not help but to praise the wisdom and majestic of our Creator.

我很高兴能够跟你们分享这个中国土地上的一块珍宝。张家界的自然地势是让人惊叹的。当你站立在连崖上观看雄伟壮观的山群和奇山怪石,你只能惊叹造物主的伟大和智慧。

I hope you enjoy it.

我希望大家享受观赏。 Continue reading

Travel Tips: How to choose a backpack?

Backpacking – the way to go when you are young…….

“I am probably too old to do backpacking travel.” This is a subjective statement, I know. Many travel enthusiasts will disagree with me, they can do backpacking though they are in their 60’s or even 70’s.

Well, I did backpacking in Western Europe when I was 20 with my then student flatmate Clarence Yeung. It was an experience that I would not want to exchange with any other forms of traveling. The thrill of finding all necessary information such as accommodation, eating places, supermarkets (for packed lunch), tourist attractions, train time table…..etc is really training us to make decisions quick in an unfamiliar land. We used to spend a few hours sleep on the bench (or even floor) in train stations just to get a connected train to a destination. Of course, you can choose not to do that. Being a student from Asian country where foreign exchange made it expensive to spend in Europe, we just tried to minimize traveling time and accommodation costs.

Both Clarence and I used backpacks. It was just not practical to bring bulky and beautiful luggage (this is reserved for exotic travel with escorted tours). My backpack was an inexpensive one made of nylon and with no famous brand. However, it had all the ingredients of a good backpack.

Yes. Choosing a good and suitable backpack is not an easy job. Most of the good and branded ones are quite expensive. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day – You want to travel?

Blessed Valentine’s Day (3 days in advance)

I received this message from Lonely Planet…… sharing with me the 10 “best” traveling places on Valentine’s Day – well, at least for the rich and well to do couples.

Personally I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because it is really too commercial. You may say I am not a romantic lover cum husband, I just don’t see the point to buy a stalk of rose for many times its’ price in “normal” days! My practical mind overcomes any slight impulse of wanting to be romantic. 🙂 I thank God that my wife Julia has the same idea. She said, “Why don’t we save that money and spend it on something else on another day, that gives us added purchasing power and value for the same amount of money.” Yay! It’s blessed to have a wife who has the same mind.

I want to share this not because I “condone” spending lavishly on Valentine’s Day………it’s just that the photographs in this are so beautiful that I want you to enjoy the places with your eyes if you are like me cannot afford to be there. Continue reading

Wow! These are in Malaysia.

I received this note from my friend, introducing 7 amazing places in Malaysia where we can visit without going abroad.

I have not tried them out, the pictures do look impressive. I guess they also come with quite a big PRICE Tag. 🙂

Extract from Female Magazine:

7 Amazing Places to Vacation at in Malaysia

December 27, 2013 2:36 PM by Rachel Au

Please forget to bring your passport and flight tickets.

Forget Paris and Hollywood land (okay, maybe don’t but let’s just put them aside) because if you’re really looking for a relaxing getaway, we say there’s no place better than home: Malaysia. We’ve listed down a range of spots within the country where you can just turn off and unwind for a few days.

 WITHIN KUALA LUMPUR 

villa samadhi

Villa Samadhi

Despite being 10 mins from the heart of KL, this villa residence is akin to a retreat within a retreat, where privacy and comfort is ensured. Especially perfect for couples, some rooms even come with a modern kitchen, a private garden or even a private Jacuzzi!

Psst… TripAdvisor rated it #2 of 245 hotels in Kuala Lumpur.

villa samadhi kl

Address: No. 8, Jalan Madge, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2143 2300
Reservation Tel:  +603 2161 0769
Email: reservations@villasamadhi.com.my
Website: http://www.villasamadhi.com.my
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VillaSamadhi

anggun boutique hotel kl

Anggun Boutique Hotel

A hidden gem within the Golden Triangle, the cool retreat is as its name perfectly describes it: elegant. With the designs and furnishings (handmade, by the way) of a good ol’ Malaysian house, you’ll definitely feel at home instantly!

Psst… The building was once home to a very successful Chinese immigrant.

anggun boutique hotel kl 2

Address: 7 & 9, Tengkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-2145 8003
Email: reservations@anggunkl.com, hello@anggunkl.com
Website: http://www.anggunkl.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anggun90210

 AN HOUR AWAY FROM KL 

sekeping serendah 2

Sekeping Serendah Retreat

Two words: glass house. If you’re looking for an entirely unplugged weekend, this is the retreat for you. Nestled within 5 acres of a tropical rainforest, get in touch with nature and just enjoy the peace and quiet. Great for a party of people, there’s also a BBQ pit and a swimming pool!

Psst… There are also waterfalls, Orang Asli villages, fishing lakes, the Serendah golf course and jungle treks available nearby for you to explore.

sekeping serendah retreat

Address: N3.368050, E101.631150
Tel: +6012 324 6552 (Christina)
Email: serendah@sekeping.com
Website: http://www.sekeping.com/serendah/home.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sekepingretreats

 MELAKA 

calanthe artisan loft melaka

Calanthe Artisan Loft

Quick! Pack your friends and load them into the car for a roadtrip to Melaka coz we’ve found a pretty snazzy place for you to stay! A creative home concept, it’s comfortable for 4 peeps and is quite the sight for everyone’s eyes with its intense decor.

Psst… It’s just a few steps away from Jonker Street.

calanthe artisan loft melaka 2

Address: 16, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, (Heeren Street), 75200 Melaka
Tel: +6019 656 5619, +6019 355 9829
Email: calantheartisanloft@gmail.com
Website: http://calantheartisanloft.webs.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calanthe-Artisan-Loft/507937325901044

 PENANG 

Macalister Mansion penang

Macalister Mansion

Feel like a Queen when you check in to this ultra-luxe destination that has been designed based on an old English mansion. All 8 rooms in the boutique hotel are not the same; each has its own bespoke features and artwork to match its individual themes. Let’s just say, you’ll forget you’re actually still in the same country.

Psst… CNN listed it as one of its 9 Best Luxury Resorts in Malaysia!

Macalister Mansion penang 2

Address: 228 Macalister Road, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604 2283 888, +6012 632 7729
Email: contactus@macalistermansion.com
Website: http://www.macalistermansion.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Macalister.Mansion

 IPOH 

banjaran hotsprings retreat

Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

Rejuvenating geothermal hot springs, cascading waterfalls, natural caves; this place is fully equipped with the resources to put your body, mind and soul back to its peaceful balance. Located in a valley and surrounded by 280 million-year old towering Paleozoic limestone hills and a lush rainforest, it’s practically a sanctuary!

Psst… Other facilities include: a Thermal Steam Cave, Ice Bath, Garra Rufa Doctor Fish Pool, geothermal-heated swimming pool, Spa & Wellness Centre, jacuzzi and many more!

banjaran hotsprings retreat 2

Address: No. 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, Sunway City Ipoh, 31150 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia
Tel: +605-210 7777
Email: info.kl@thebanjaran.com
Website: http://www.thebanjaran.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/banjaranhotsprings

 SEREMBAN 

the shorea seremban

The Shorea

Built within a tropical forest reserve, the resort is an appreciation of nature itself. Build mostly from recycled shorea timber, it’s a great place for some R&R with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

Psst… You’ll also get to catch the beautiful sunrise and sunset at the Sun Decks.

the shorea seremban 2

Address: Kampung Kolam Air, Mukim Pantai, Jalan Jelebu, 71770 Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Tel: +6017 338 5698
Email: info@theshorea.com
Website: http://www.theshorea.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheShorea

*All photos via their respective FB pages/websites.

At the end of it all, you will probably exclaim “WOW”, hopefully it follows “it’s so amazing that they are all in Malaysia” and not “it is so expensive”. LOL

More about Shakespearean Sites

Yesterday I shared with you our family’s visit to this beautiful English town Stratford Upon Avon. (Click here for details)

Today, I am sharing this great article published by Lonely Planet. It is surprising to see the Shakespearean effects in different cities and towns. We can find the shadows of William Shakespeare, not only in the beautiful English town of Stratford Upon Avon, but in many other places in the world.

Ten Shakespearean sites for travellers

by SARAH BAXTER· 28 October 2013

With 2014 heralding the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, celebrate the Bard at some of his old haunts and best play places.

Shakespeare's Birthplace, in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Image by Glenn Beanland / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Image by Glenn Beanland / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.

Stratford-upon-Avon, England

It all started on Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, in 1564. In a half-timbered wattle-and-daub house on a busy thoroughfare in this Warwickshire town, William Shakespeare was brought into the world. The 16th-century pad could hardly have foreseen its future stardom. Now, it’s one of England’s most famous dwellings, converted into a museum that recreates Will’s world, complete with period furnishings and a Tudor herb garden. But really, the whole town is Shakespeare-upon-Avon: pay your respects at Anne Hathaway’s comely cottage (former home of his wife), Mary Arden’s House (home of his mum) and the RSC Theatre, home of his living literary legacy.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is based at the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres in Stratford; for program see www.rsc.org.uk.

Verona, Italy

‘But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?’ ’Tis likely the flash of a thousand cameras! The balcony of Verona’s Casa de Giulietta is not a secret spot. And though Shakespeare’s teen-love tragedy was set in the city, it’s rather doubtful that this humble 13th-century courtyard had anything to do with anyone who may have inspired Romeo and Juliet. But why let the truth get in the way of a good tourist attraction? Besides, with its enormous Roman amphitheatre, red-brick Castelvecchio, cobbled old streets and twisting River Adige, the city exudes plenty of real romance.

Entrance to the courtyard of Juliet’s House is free; there is a fee to enter the house and stand on the balcony.

Turrets and gables of Elsinore (Helsingor) Castle, made famous in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet,' framed in the castle gate. Image by Tom Horton, Further To Fly Photography / Flickr / Getty Images.

Turrets and gables of Elsinore (Helsingor) Castle, made famous in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, framed in the castle gate. Image by Tom Horton, Further To Fly Photography / Flickr / Getty Images.

Helsingør, Denmark

The first Kronberg Castle dates back to the 1420s, when it was erected on the eastern tip of Zealand to guard the narrow Øresund Strait. Then, thanks to Frederik II ’s fancy renovations in the late 16th century, it became one of Europe’s key Renaissance fortifications. This reputation obviously travelled fast, for when penning Hamlet around 1600, Shakespeare placed his troubled prince right here. Now forever known as Elsinore, the castle has embraced its literary associations. Frequent productions of Hamlet are performed within Kronberg’s walls, which over the years have seen Laurence Olivier, Derek Jacobi and Jude Law take on the role of the great Dane.

Trains runs from Copenhagen Central to Elsinore (45 minutes). Kronberg is a 15-minute walk from the station.

Scotland

Macbeth has a bad rep – Shakespeare did not write the 11th-century Scot well, making him out to be a power-hungry murderer with an unhinged missus. But was he really so bad? The Macbeth Trail driving route, launched in 2013, might suggest not, linking locations from Shakespeare’s play to the actual man. Glamis Castle (Wills called Macbeth the ‘Thane of Glamis’), Lumphanan (the Aberdeenshire village where Macbeth was killed in battle in 1057) and Cairn O’Mount (where Macbeth took his supporters en route to Lumphanan) are all on the trail – with some suitably dramatic Scottish scenery in between.

The castle and gardens at Glamis, 20km north of Dundee, are open for tours March to November (www.glamis-castle.co.uk).

Statue Of King Charles I with Scotland's Glamis Castle as the backdrop. Image by Helena Smith / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images.

Statue Of King Charles I with Scotland’s Glamis Castle as the backdrop. Image by Helena Smith / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images.

Maruyama, Japan

Did you read the one about the Bard and the bullet train? No one did – until 1997, when some Surrey-based architects built a slice of Elizabethan England not far from Tokyo. The flashing neon of Japan’s capital is still visible from Maruyama’s incongruous Shakespeare Country Park. An animatronic Will welcomes bardolators to this cluster of half-timbered cottages arranged around a village green, complete with stocks and maypole. Imported British oak supports the replica birthplace, Mary Arden’s house and a windmill, all constructed using traditional methods – though earthquake-proofed to suit the new location, 16,000km and five centuries away.

Shakespeare Country Park is around 80km northeast of Tokyo. The on-site theatre puts on Shakespeare’s plays (in Japanese).

Alexandria, Egypt

Antony & Cleopatra is all over the place: location-wise, the play flits across the Roman Empire. But it’s the scenes set in Alexandria that are the most exotic – and most tragic. In today’s Mediterranean-side city, mementoes of Cleo – Queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC – are scant. Her royal palace was destroyed by earthquakes, and lies sunken in the ancient harbour (though an underwater museum has been mooted); the Pharos lighthouse, built by one of Cleopatra’s ancestors, is likewise submerged. For now, the best bet is to promenade the Corniche, and ponder the glories that wait beneath the waves.

The Alexandria National Museum, located in an Italianate mansion on Tariq Al-Horreya St, documents the history of the city.

Mount Párnitha, Greece

Mount Párnitha National Park has nothing to do with Shakespeare. But since the main setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a rather non-specific ‘wood outside Athens’, it’s as good a bet as any. It’s certainly the most enchanting. While the capital’s suburbs have gobbled up much surrounding countryside, this swathe of caves, gorges, peaks, trails and fir forest – just 30km to the northwest – is an accessible and surprising wilderness. Inhaling its fragrant pine, walking amid its wildflowers and gazing up to 1413m Karavola (the park’s highest summit), it’s easy to imagine Titania and Oberon dancing amid the trees.

Bus 714 runs from central Athens to Thrakomakedones, where a cable car runs up into Mount Párnitha National Park.

Vancouver, Canada

Some historians believe Francis Drake stopped by the spot we call Vancouver in 1579; most think the Spanish got there first, but not until 1791. Either way, Shakespeare would have known little of this distant western land, and certainly set no works there. Yet, each year, Vancouver celebrates Will like he’s their own. Every summer since 1990 the Bard on the Beach festival has provided affordable access to Shakespeare: two stages are erected in waterfront Vanier Park, and a program of plays, talks and even a tasty bard-b-q is put on, against a breathtaking backdrop of mountains, sea and sky.

The Bard on the Beach festival runs from June to September in Vanier Park, Kitsilano; tickets and information are available from www.bardonthebeach.org.

Isola Bella, Taormina. Image by Slow Images / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images.

Isola Bella, Taormina. Image by Slow Images / Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images.

Messina, Sicily, Italy

Shakespeare set Much Ado About Nothing in Messina, northeast Sicily. A creative decision, or a hint at much more ado? In 2002 Sicilian professor Martino Iuvara put forth a theory: Shakespeare actually hailed from Messina. Iuvara alleged that young Sicilian noble Michelangelo ‘Crollalanza’ (‘Shakespeare’ in Italian) emigrated to England and went on to wed Anne Hathaway – an excellent translator. Maybe. Maybe not. But when it’s drizzling in Stratford-upon-Avon, Messina’s sunshine, pizzas and piazzas might seem a more attractive bard-honouring option.

Ferries connect Messina to Villa San Giovanni on Italy’s mainland (20 minutes).

Shakespeare’s Globe, London, England

The Globe, one of the first purpose-built playhouses in London, was constructed on the Southbank in 1599 – and Shakespeare was a shareholder. It burned down in 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII (stage cannons and thatch roofs don’t mix). Sketches of the theatre are, well, sketchy. Best guesses reckon it was a 20-sided roofless polygon built of oak laths and lime plaster. In 1997, these guesses took shape and a new Globe opened, 230m from the site of the original.

The Globe’s theatre season runs April to October; the exhibition and site tour is open year-round (www.shakespearesglobe.com).

Stratford Upon Avon – A Beautiful Town with substance

Those of us who studied English literature would never miss this famous name, William Shakespeare. One of his well known quote, “To be, or not to be: that is the question”. – Hamlet (Act III, Scene I) is becoming a “must” when we talk about play and literature.

How many of us know the birth place of this great writer? We might have read “Stratford Upon Avon” as we studied Shakespeare’s life story but it seems to be a far away town that has no connection with us at all.

My family had an opportunity to visit this Shakespearean town and was amazed by the richness it offers. We enjoyed the historical sites as well as the beautiful scenery (and the graceful swans too) along the river side. I am here to share some of the photographs captured in this town. Being a new and learning photographer, we did not manage to take great pictures. However, all these pictures form happy memories for the family – because we spent time together in this beautiful town together.

Stratford Upon Avon -  "Avon" literally means river. It is based on the word "afon" in Welsh, with the same meaning

Stratford Upon Avon –
“Avon” literally means river. It is based on the word “afon” in Welsh, with the same meaning

My two children standing between a "king" and a "queen" - we have to pay to take pictures with them though

My two children standing between a “knight” and a “queen” – we have to pay to take pictures with them though

Both Julia and the swans seem to love this avon

Both Julia and the swans seem to love this avon

A must place to visit - Shakespeare's Birth Place

A must place to visit – Shakespeare’s Birthplace

The old Shakespeare's Birthplace is now a library -  The more modern building next to it is where all Shakespeare's information and multimedia presentations are

The old Shakespeare’s Birthplace is now a library –
The more modern building next to it is where all Shakespeare’s information and multimedia presentations are

British starter at Red Lion Public House

British starter / snacks at Red Lion Public House

A statue in the middles of a garden besides the avon

A statue in the middles of a garden besides the avon

Henry had his favorite scone and tea set in a cafe by the quiet waters.

Henry had his favorite scone and tea set in a cafe by the quiet waters.

The house of Shakespeare's mother (Mary Arden)

The house of Shakespeare’s mother (Mary Arden)

The British is taking Shakespeare's historical sites very seriously, gradually unearth precious information for further studies

The British is taking Shakespeare’s historical sites very seriously, gradually unearth precious information for further studies

Shakespeare came from a rich family - but the facilities in the room is somewhat simplistic by today's standard.

Shakespeare came from a rich family – but the facilities in the room is somewhat simplistic by today’s standard.

Can you guess what this is? Well, it is used for toileting at night in the room.

Can you guess what this is? Well, it is used for toileting at night in the room.

A happy couple smiling away in the town centre. You would love to walk in these streets.

A happy couple smiling away in the town centre. You would love to walk in these streets.

One of relatively inexpensive way of traveling in UK is to stay in Bed & Breakfast. It is still expensive to me!

One of relatively inexpensive way of traveling in UK is to stay in Bed & Breakfast. It is still expensive to me!

Relatively comfortable room to have 4 of us staying in

Relatively comfortable room to have 4 of us staying in

It wasn't that sunny - the sunglasses just made us look cool - the entrance of B & B

It wasn’t that sunny – the sunglasses just made us look cool – the entrance of B & B

Do you believe that there are people staying inside this boat? It's a boat house.

Do you believe that there are people staying inside this boat? It’s a boat house.

We were told that this is a favorite spot for afternoon tea - but it's a bit pricy

We were told that this is a favorite spot for afternoon tea – but it’s a bit pricy

In front of the theater which screens Shakespearean plays

In front of the theater which screens Shakespearean plays

This is a typical tudor style buildings in Stratford Upon Avon

This is a typical tudor style buildings in Stratford Upon Avon

You shouldn't miss the farm where you could freely feed the cattles

You shouldn’t miss the farm where you could freely feed the cattle

It's an extremely precious shot - because 4 of us are in this picture

It’s an extremely precious shot – because 4 of us are in this picture

So dear friends, I hope you enjoy these photos. If you do visit the U.K., please consider include Stratford Upon Avon in your visiting list. You will not be disappointed. It is a beautiful town with substance.

Unique and Awesome Places of the World

Be in awe at these places

I received a wonderful email from my friend Simon, sharing with me these unique and awesome places in the world. I really hope that I could have the opportunities to see some of them some time…..

I hope you enjoy reading and seeing these photos too.

Somewhere in Vietnam .. Canal River through a paddyfield

Beautiful New Zealand.. !!

Facing a Barracuda through a Giant Aquarium

Enchanted River is found in Philippines. It is called “enchanted” because no one has ever reached its bottom. Many people, including scuba divers, have tried reaching for the bottom but have failed, hence the legend of its bottomless pit. Moreover, locals share that NOBODY has been successful in catching the fish in this river, whether by hand or by spear. They say its bluish color is a result of its depth and the water clarity changes throughout the day. At around 12:00 pm, the water becomes clearer and even more majestic. 

Under the clear blue water of Lake Huron in Ontario,

3D Street Art , Rennes, France.

Tree house,Philippines

A stone path across a lake in Poland

Ausangate mountain, Andes, Peru. Want to go on a trek

The water spirals of Elakala Waterfalls ~ Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Zhangjiaje Stone Forest in Hunan, China. It is the inspiration for the floating mountains in the movie “Avatar.”

Hong Kong.

Purple and Orange Starfish on the Beach

Greenland

Poland has a forest full of bent pine trees (Crooked Forest)

Christ the Redeemer Statue overlooking the whole of Rio was pretty special. You could see it from everywhere you went. I also have to say that the majority of the people who lived there, including the ‘natives’ (especially in the favelas) knew exactly who it was and respected it and what it stands for.

Every home should have this! – The staircase slider

The Astonishing Annual Red Crab Migration
Each year millions of bright red land crabs leave their burrow homes on Australia’s Christmas Island and start a long, laborious trek toward the sea. They descend cliffs, climb banks and maneuver around obstacles to reach the shoreline and lay their eggs, eventually returning to the island’s central plateau with their offspring in tow. The synchronized migration resembles a crimson-colored river undulating across the island and can last up to 18 days. The event typically takes place in November or December (the crabs will only move when it’s raining) and coincides with the turning of high tide and the arrival of the waning moon.   

The Inhabited Volcanic Island of Aogashima, Japan.

Guelta d’Archei Oasis, Sahara Desert

The Victoria water lily is native to the Amazon river

Gudvangen, Norway

The Tibetan Bridge in Claviere, Piedmont, Italy.

Awesome Lighted Cherry Blossom Lake (Sakura, Japan) – Beautiful

Prskalo Waterfall, Serbia

Perspective, The Redwoods, California ( The Redwood Forest)

Zachariasbryggen – Bergen, Norway

Cave Hotel in Cederberg Mountains, South Africa.

Vanishing Underwater Roller Coaster in Japan !!

Off the Amalfi Coast, Florence in  Italy

A Bougainvilla Patio Garden

Gorgeous reflection

Voringfossen is the 83rd highest waterfall in Norway on the basis of total fall.

Preikestolen, Norway

The Great Artificial Elephant, Nantes, France,

A Great Article on Photography

Looking with a Creative Mind

I came across this excellent article by Digital Photography School (Click here to go to the site),  which I just copy and paste into this blog. This is a resource site that you may want to spend time reading it. The “Tips and Tutorial” section contains thousands of gems. This article is just one of the many good ones, it is very well written and it really helps me to understand the importance of perspective and positioning of the photographer to take a creative and great photo. I hope this is helpful for all of you.

How to take extra-ordinary photos by thinking creatively – By Digital Photography School

A Guest Post by Piper Mackay from www.pipermackayphotography.com.

The creativity in your photographs is what will make your imagery stand out. Most of us, if we commit the time, can technically master the craft of photography. Capturing a compelling image can be much more difficult especially when you are excited, experiencing something for the first time, and are visually overloaded.

You begin pointing and shooting at everything you see. You arrive home, look at your photographs, and see that you have captured extraordinary subjects or a beautiful location, but the images are somewhat mediocre. Taking an extraordinary photograph of and extraordinary subject is what you want to strive for.

I want to share with you a few tips that can quickly help elevate the creativity in your photography and help you to focus on the artistic side of photography; without the creative process, you are really only turning dials and pushing buttons.

Portraits

Thinking creativelyThe eyes are the windows to the soul. If you are going to place your subject in the center, get close, fill the frame and deeply connect with your subject.
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Thinking creatively 1

A more interesting portrait composition is to place your subject off center, looking into the frame at a slight angle, with a blurred out or clean background.

Thinking creatively 2

Now up your game and add layers of impact by adding a simple, but beautiful background.

Thinking creatively 3

Take it one step further by adding a second person to draw the viewer more deeply into the frame.

Drawing the Eye

Thinking creatively 4

One of the basic rules of composition is leading lines, but if there is more than one, it can be more effective in keeping the viewer in the photograph longer. In this image there is a leading line from the bottom right to the top left and another one that leads the viewer back across the photograph.

Thinking creatively 5

Using layers of impact makes for a very powerful image. When photographing people I love to use a wide-angle lens, getting up close to my main subject with something interesting in the background to draw the view into the photograph. Here my main subjects are interesting, positioned in front of a beautiful background along the Omo River that curves and leads to the women in the distance, creating layers of impact and depth in the image.

Thinking creatively 6

I love using selective focus to draw the viewer’s eye exactly were I want it. This usually works best with repeating patterns and groups of items such as: spices or vegetables, crafts at a local market, flowers in a field or a herd of animals, as a few examples.

Change your Perspective

Thinking creatively 7

Being at eye level with your subject makes for a more dynamic image. So, if your subject is down on the ground, hit the dirt and get dirty. Picture in your mind how this photograph would look if you stood and shot down on these subjects. This angle makes the viewer feel as though they are there.

Thinking creatively 8

Most people would have just taken this photograph from the shore with a zoom lens but I wanted something more powerful. I planned to be in this area during the dry season, suffering in 110+ heat when the river would be at its lowest. I got into the river with my wide-angle lens and photographed this at eye level with the canoe. There were a lot of challenges, watching out for crocs was one of them, and although I did not get the photograph I had envisioned, I knew I and a unique perspective.

Thinking creatively 9

Shoot from a different angle. Getting lower than your subject adds drama and power. The opposite can work as well—get above your subject and shoot down on them.

Most importantly, it does not have to be new; it has to be you. We all see things differently and express them differently. This is the reason many of us picked up the camera, to seek out places for ourselves that we have already viewed through someone else’s eyes. We want to experience it for ourselves, capturing our own vision. The way you express your unique view through the lens is what makes it new and interesting.

Piper Mackay is a professional travel and wildlife photographer whose work is heavily based in Eastern Africa. She is currently leading both wildlife and cultural safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Her work is represented by Getty images and she is and instructor for the Travel and Editorial track at Calumet. View her work at www.pipermackayphotography.com.

– See more at: http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-take-extraordinary-photos-by-thinking-creatively#sthash.GODybyTm.dpuf

Beautiful landsacape at Zhangjiajie

SwedenBeautiful Landscapes

Recently I received an email informing me about an amazing book “Ten of the world’s most mind-blowing landscapes” (Press here to view) from Lonely Planet.

Some of the highlighted landscapes are so beautiful that you cannot imagine where on earth could you find such places. My photography friends told me that much of these beauties can only be captured if you are a professional and experienced photographer. I cannot agree more. To say the least, I can never take such beautiful landscape even I live there. 🙂

My interest in photography “happened” just about 3 years ago when my brother Soon Meng introduced it to me. He showed me some of his photos taken in his family trips. I noticed his pictures have much better composition and sharpness than what I could take from my “fool-proof” fully automatic camera.

As I mentioned in my previous post (read here), traveling is in my top list of interests and hobbies. Although it is not a cheap hobby, I have no regret to be thrifty in my ordinary days and save all I can, just to visit my dreamed cities and countries.

ZhnagJiaJie (张家界) in China

One of the best places I visited after I’ve got my semi-professional Nikon camera was Zhangjiajie (张家界) in China. At that time, I learned very little about photography (and with little improvement since then). I saw the majestic mountains and the beautiful landscapes. However, I could not capture 10% of their beauties and majesty using my camera.

I still think it is worth sharing a few pictures with all of you. If I have more time, I may share more next time. Please don’t laugh at me but I truly appreciate your feedback and comments about these pictures. Your comments will surely help me to improve my photography skills.

Glass Walk Way

Glass Walk Way

天门山 Mount Tian Men

天门山
Mount Tian Men

御笔峰 Emperor's Brush

御笔峰
Emperor’s Brush

将军列队 General's array of army

将军列队
General’s array of army

三姐妹 The Three Sisters

三姐妹
The Three Sisters

金鞭溪 Golden Wip

金鞭溪
Golden Wip

模仿土司雕像的英勇 A Hero of the Tsui clan

模仿土司雕像的英勇
A Hero of the Tsui clan

老院子凉亭乘凉的侠侣 Lao Yuan Zi

老院子凉亭乘凉的侠侣
Lao Yuan Zi

If you are keen to know more about Zhangjiajie, you may read it from the Wikipedia site (Press here to read).

Those of you who can read Chinese, this is a great article (which I read before I went on the tour) introducing the 10 best scenic spots in Zhangjiajie. (Press here to read)

I hope you enjoy all these photographs. I know there is nothing to shut about at all but they mean a lot to Julia and I. We truly enjoyed the trip – one of the reasons was that our two teenaged children were not with us – we did not need to take care of or worry about them. A great “honeymoon” trip for us.

Appreciate your comments on these photos – I am a keen learner and I want to shoot better pictures in our next trip.

Thank you.

Be Creative In Travel Photography

TravelTraveling is my hobby

I love traveling.

Travel around the world, learning about different cultures, enjoying the beautiful scenic places, seeing the majestic creation of God – that is what I would like to do when I am much older and I am free from financial obligations to my children.

Invariably I will bring my camera along when I travel. Taking pictures I have no problem but taking great photos is really not something that I dare to dream about.. Those of you who know me well, you know me as a person of order and discipline. Creativity is far removed from my traits.

A Great Photography Workshop

In this year’s church family camp, I attended Continue reading