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This post has been building for a while!

So, photography. In previous years I’ve taken quite a few pictures and even blogged about some of them, but this year it’s been at a different level; in 2010 I have taken something in the region of 14,000 photos, and published well over 1,000 of those. It’s down to a combination of things; moving house and having a better garden in a nicer and greener area of Reading is really inspiring and in the summer particularly gave me an endless array of things to photograph. Also worthy of a mention is my friend MarcT, who lent me his 100-400mm in the spring, enforcing my desire to get one of my own; and it was his lens that I was using when I took my red kite photo in February. In addition he lent me his macro extender in the autumn, and I still have it, muahahahah! Some of the macro shots later in the year were taken with that.

So now to my photos of the year. There are 24 here; two for each month. I’ve really enjoyed developing my skill and imagination over the year and I think it shows; I started this list in the summer which has been great in itself as I’ve been challenging myself to take photos worthy of inclusion! I’m pleased though that I have such a better idea now of how to go about getting the photo I want, though I’m also not too proud to use the automatic settings if there’s no time to think or plan what I’m doing.

While I really like all the photos here, my favourite of the lot is probably obvious (and it has nearly 450 views on Picasaweb in comparison with a maximum of about 200 for any of the others), but I’d be very interested if anyone thinks any of the others are better. I’m a bit blinkered when it comes to red kites! Not all of them are technically excellent, but the ones that aren’t make me laugh (the kestrel in particular). Some of them were deliberately set up and others are snapshots.

The photos... )

So that is my 2010 in photos.

In 2011 I hope to finish my garden birds project, or at least get as close as reasonably possible to completing it; I also have a lot of new skills to build on and I know I can get a better red kite, one day! I have tentative plans for a year-long project later on in the year, but that’s another post. I am proud of the fact that in 2010 I have gone from being a keen but bored amateur to a really keen amateur with some nice kit; I also occasionally think I have a flash of talent, though I think persistence normally gets me further than that anyway. That and a generous dollop of patience!

Honeymoon

Apr. 17th, 2009 01:41 pm
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Instead of doing a highly boring day-by-day account I thought it would be much easier for you, my dear readers (as well as for me!) if I just did a quick dash through the highlights of what was without doubt the best holiday I've yet been on.

The flight to Egypt was fascinating; at least, the last hour or so of it was. We started our descent just as we were coming in over the Nile delta, and then flew over a distinct dividing line between the green irrigated areas and the sandy gold of the desert. Then over the southern end of the Suez Canal which I got very excited about, and then over the simply spectacular mountains and dry riverbeds of the Sinai Peninsula.

Sharm el Sheikh )

Cairo )

Tiran Island snorkelling )

Jordan and Petra )

After another couple of quiet days (involving snorkelling off the hotel's beach, reading, sleeping, drinking cold beer and eating good food) we did a trip snorkelling in the national park called Ras Mohamed. They didn't deliver me a Napoleon fish as I'd hoped they might, but it was gorgeous nonetheless and we had another great day.

Cat! )

Our last official outing was last Saturday night on a trip that Thomas Cook call Arabian Nights, because they took us out into the desert and then we were fed and entertained by Bedouins. We also got to ride camels! The dinner was lovely- traditional Bedouin and Egyptian food and local beer, and then there were burning signs, dancers and a whirling dervish who was very impressive. Then we had a slightly futile star-gazing attempt (there was a full moon and quite a lot of cloud).

Sunday we mostly mourned that it was our last day, snorkelled one last time, and went out for a lovely meal in the evening and got mildly drunk!

As I said at the beginning, it was easily the best holiday of my life and I'd love to go back, to Egypt and to Sharm. One thing I've learned, though, is that not one person in the entire world looks good in a thong bikini, although lots of people are under the sadly deluded impression that they do.

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