Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77 – Favourite photos of 2019

For the photo challenge this week, I picked these photos. May the 2020 be a great year for all of you, full of great moments to cherish.

The Old Swanage Pier
Oustide of Picasso Museum – Malaga, Spain
Gay Pride in Bournemouth
Fire Walk with Me – Spectacular stunt performed by Pyronix in Bournemouth
My first visit to Kingston Lacy, UK
A trained owl during an exhibition in Bournemouth town centre
Dusk at Heginstbury Head, UK
Sunset in Torremolinos, Spain
Street photography in Winchester, UK
Lens-Artist Photo Challenge, Photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #63 – Magical

For this week challenge I picked some of my archive photos.

The first one is Gaia, I named this picture after the Greek word which means “Earth”. The technique I used to take this shot involved merging circa 30 pictures and using a special software to create a polar effect. I wasn’t familiar with it the first time so it took me 5 hours (shooting+editing). Still, I love it and even if it is an old picture I use it for my portfolio or as a flagship photo.

The second entry is a photo of a beautiful jellyfish sensitive to UV lights. A simple shot taken at the Bournemouth Oceanarium, but during the editing phase I started imagining more light coming out from the creature. So I played with settings until the whole scene took life.

The third entry is one of my first macro pictures. It was a misty morning in October 2015. My former company was renting a flat with a garden and I only had my full frame camera for a few months. I came out and I saw a spiderweb entirely covered by droplet. I fortunately had a tripod with me and also a Raynox 250 filter that transformed my zoom lens into a macro.


My last entry is a memory of my trip to Turkey last year. It was taken in Goreme, Cappadocia. The place itself is out of this world to say the least, and features a unique landscape. Cappadocia is still one of the few regions that is not too touristy (yet) and as such it is still very “traditional”. Some years ago a few companies started offering hot air ballon rides over the region to tourists. The activity grew so popular and expanded that many more company started the same business. So every day, if weather allows, hundreds of balloons fly over the skies of Goreme, starting at 5:30am.

The result? you wake up to this.


Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #62 – Silhouettes

For this week photo challenge I picked a mix of pictures taken during my previous travels and excursions in local areas.

My first entry is a picture I took during my holiday in Turkey last year. It was a great experience and I had the chance to do tandem paragliding myself. In spite of (and to conquer) my fear of heights, we took off from Babadag mountain, at circa 2000m height.

40 minutes of stunning views that is worth having a heart attack for! 😀

A paraglider in Oludeniz – Turkey

Two modern buildings in Berlin town caught my attention in February 2013.

Modern buildings in Berlin

On a more reflecting tone, I decided to post a picture of the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. The write “Arbeit Macht Frei – work sets you free” was a nazi slogan originated by the title of a novel written in 1873 by German philologist Lorenz Diefenbach, and used at the entrance of a number of concentrations camps, including Dachau (Germany), Auschwitz (Poland) and Theresienstadt (Czech Republic).

Entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp – Berlin

The idea of the Clifton suspension bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge and the river Avon was born in 1753, but the first attempt at building such structure did not come before 1831, due to lack of enough fundings available. In that same year, the Bristol riots took place, after the House of Lords rejected a proposal to give Bristol more significant representation in the House of Commons. This resulted in significant further delays of the bridge construction, which was concluded in 1864.

Today the bridge is an iconic landmark and perhaps the most representative of Bristol city. In the last decades it has also been the venue for significant events, including the last Concorde flight (2003) and the handover of the Olympic Torch (2012).

Clifton iconic suspension bridge, Bristol UK

Last but not least is Corfe Castle, another UK landmark placed in Dorset. It was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century on Purbeck Hills, between Wareham and Swanage. It was partly built in stone, which indicated significant status, considering most of the castles were built with timber and stone at the time.

It was under the Crown’s control until 1572, when Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton. It was later bought by Sir John Bankes in 1635 and later defended by his wife, Lady Mary Bankes.

The Castle successfully resisted the first siege in 1643 (I will spare you the gory details and the casualties here but I can tell you that lady was really good!), but fallen 2 years later because of an internal betrayal. The walls and the castle were blown up with explosives by order of the Parliament (no worries, no harm was done to Lady Mary Bankes who was actually allowed to leave).

Today the castle and its ruins are protected by the National Trust. Visitors can enjoy a stroll within the walls for a fee and also admire the stunning scenery around.


Lens Artist Challenge n.61 – Precious Pets

My entry for the lens artist challenge. This is a collection of photos taken of various pets in the last few years. Other pictures are available on my portfolio page

Some of these friends are sadly no more, but they left an indelible mark of their happy life and unconditional love.

It is one of the very reasons why I am a pet photographer today. Beyond my love for all animals, I am always fascinated by the unconditional feelings that our special pet friends are able to give although their life span is not the same as ours. We should all learn from them, then we would live a much happier life.

A lovely girl photographed at the Family Fun Day and Dog Novelty Show – Margaret Green Animal Rescue, Dorset.
Another beauty framed a the Family Fun Day and Dog Novelty Show – Margaret Green Animal Rescue, Dorset
Meet Batman – Retired and Loving it!
Handsome Sunny would be about 5 years today 🙂
Say hi Bodhi 🙂

Once upon a Macro

A selection of some old and new macro pictures I added to my portfolio.

The first one I ever took is the one of the droplets on a spider web. I still remember the day I took it. It was a misty morning of October 2015 and I was in Poole, on a rented flat with a little garden. I did not even have a macro lens but only a normal zoom lens and a Raynox 250 filter (strongly recommended!!).

I saw a rather big spider web completely covered with droplets and so I decided toI set up my tripod and camera equipment.

Fortunately it wasn’t windy so keeping the droplets in focus was relatively simple. Max zoom, a sufficient aperture to have enough depth of field and…click! 🙂


Lens Artist Photo Challenge – Angles

Bournemouth Pier

My chosen subject for the photo challenge is the Bournemouth Pier. Coming to think of it, it is one of the subjects I have photographed the most since I moved to Dorset about 4 years ago.

No matter the season, no matter the angle or time of the day, it always captures my eyes and ends up being on my frame.

A brief History of the Pier

Bournemouth Pier was firstly created in 1855 and took the form of a wooden jetty 100 ft long. The full version (1000ft long) was later completed in 1961 and then replaced by an iron version, designed by Eugene Birch on 1880, at a cost of 21,300ÂŁ (back then…a fortune!).

The Pier is of Victorian style and was used for anti-invasion measures in 1940. It was later re-opened in 1946 and reconstructed in 1950. It’s development continued to include a two-storey, octagonal entrance building/leisure complex and facilities including shops, kiosks, an amusement arcade, a show-bar and a multi-purpose hall.

It also hosted the historic Bournemouth Pier Theatre until 2013, when it was closed to be converted into an adventure sports attraction, complete with surf training wave, climbing walls and high ropes courses….not without protests from the National Pier Society.

Today the Pier hosts the world’s first Pier-to-Shore wire zip, together with a an amusement centre with climbing wall, restaurants, bars and outside area for kid’s entertainment.