Studio session

I had the opportunity to work in a local studio to look at the effect of lighting in portrait work.  The following set of shots are an example of the results I achieved.

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I wanted to explore how the light can effect the mood of a photograph.  In the first shot I like the way the light reflects on the model’s hair and head scarf.  In the last shot I love how the minimalist lighting gives a broody feel to the photo.

Brixham, Devon

Brixham is a small fishing town in the district of Torbay in the county of Devon, in the south-west of England.  Brixham is popular for it’s fishing and tourism and has one of the largest fishing fleets in the UK. It lies at the southern end of Tor bay and across the water from Torquay.

Visiting Brixham is a colourful experience.  The town is known for it’s colourful houses which surround the harbour. When there be prepared for a few steep climbs because the town is hilly and some of the best views can be seen from the top of the town.

In the past Brixham had two distinct communities, the area at the top of the hill was known as Cowtown and the harbour area was known as Fishtown.  The views from the top of these narrow passages are well worth the climb.

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At the harbour there is a viewing platform which gives both great views  of the busy working port and over the town.

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Take a walk along the breakwater to the lighthouse or walk up to Berry head where you will find an iconic lighthouse and a Napoleonic Fort. As part of the coastal headland that forms the southern boundary of Tor Bay the views along the coastline are stunning.

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For photographers there are numerous opportunities to take pictures of the stunning views however there are also chances to take some different shots.

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Sarlat, France

Sarlat is a beautiful town to visit.  Set in the  region called the Perigord Noir in the Sout West of France.    Wander round the quaint little streets or stop for a coffee in the Place de la Liberté and just soak up the atmosphere.  I would highly recommend visiting Sarlat on market day where the stalls are set up along the main street and around the old town.  The Rue de la Republique runs the length of the old town, with lots of narrow streets on either side.

There are a good variety of shops in Sarlat which makes it worth a visit at any time.  You can park in the main carpark next to the centre or if it is market day use the car park up the hill and wander down into the town through the church grounds, it only takes about ten minutes. (maybe slightly longer on the way back)

You will find plenty cafes to have lunch or morning coffee. Take a walk up the hill from the square on Rue Fenelon and wander along Boulevard Henri Arlet and turn down Rue Montaigne.   You will come to the old Lanterne des Morts have a look inside at the structure.

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A visit to the Cathedrale Saint-Sacerdos will give you plenty photo opportunities. etd 8275_1024 copy

Wander back down towards town and look out for the quaint little houses.

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Montpellier, France

If you enjoy street art then the place to visit is Montpellier in France. Park at the Place de La Comedie and you are centrally placed for exploring.

Armed with a map you can wander round Montpellier searching for Space Invader mosaics

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When the urban artist Invader chose to “invade” Montpellier he decided to put his mosaics in specific places and in a way that when they were located on a map would form a huge Space Invaders alien from a birds eye view. Happy searching, we did manage to find quite a few but did not complete the whole thing.

Another unusual sight to look for is the bicycles which appear to be coming out of the buildings.

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In a square in the centre of the old city you can find painted bollards, a sight worth seeing.

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In the Saint Roch neighbourhood of Montpellier opposite the Eglise Saint Roch you will find the most wonderful mural which makes you look twice.

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Montpellier is a lovely place to visit even if it is just to sit in one of the many street cafes on the Place de la Comedie and admire the beautiful architecture of this city.

Genoa, Italy

Genoa is a lovely city to visit especially when the sun is shining. A good way to see a bit more of the city is to take the train tour leaving from Port Antico.

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Alternatively you could wander down through the streets to the port and sit and watch the world go by at one of the many street cafes.

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Of course being in Italy you must try the ice cream at one of the Gelaterias.  Wander round the port and look at the private yachts some of which come with their own helicopter!

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We stayed in the Hotel Continental which was centrally based and in the evening you could enjoy a drink on the rooftop bar which had stunning views across Genoa.

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As a first trip to Italy I would recommend a visit to Genoa.

Swiss Alps

Driving from Zurich through the Swiss Alps to Italy was a excellent experience.  Taking a moving shot as there are not any places to stop but I like the feeling of movement in this one.

The drama of the mist engulfed mountains in Switzerland through the Gotthard Road tunnel into the bright blue skies of Italy was a memory to keep.

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Even taking a long exposure photo in the Gotthard Tunnel was fun!

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Zurich

Zurich is a lovely city to wander around whether you are wandering along the Schipfe, the Artisans street on the River Limmat, or Niederdorf in the old town.  Take time to relax with a coffee in one of the riverside or street cafes.

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I would recommend the climb up to ETH Zurich as you get a fantastic view from the Polyterrasse across Zurich. Well worth the climb although you can take the Polybahn up. (funicular railway) Be warned that at lunchtime the place is hoaching with students from the Universities.

Another recommendation would be the boat trip round Lake Zurich which gives you fabulous views around the city.

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After the boat trip you can have a relaxing seat in the Sechse-lauten Platz overlooking the fountains outside the Zurich Opera House.

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One thing I cannot recommend though is the Alpine pasta dish which is macaroni and cheese with apple sauce, an acquired taste I think.

Luxembourg

This was our first visit to Luxembourg and I researched where the best places were for photography before we went.  You need to be fit to walk around Luxembourg as it is very hilly.

Casemates du Bock give fantastic views across the city and from the Chemin de la Corniche you get a panoramic view of the River Alzette.

Wander further round the city and you come to the Cathedral de Notre Dame.

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Opposite the Cathedrale you will find the Petrusse Casemates. When we were there the centre of the town was closed as they were opening the new suspension bridge for cyclists under Post Adolphe. A suspended bridge was a unique way to give cyclists their own path.  It offers great views of the Petrusse valley.  There was a festival atmosphere with stalls set up around the centre of town.  Lots of cyclists took the opportunity to cycle round a car free city centre.

We even listened to some Jazz

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Another place that is a must to visit is the Kirchberg area in the North- east of the city.  Here you will find MUDAM The Musee d”Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. This was designed by the same architect that designed the Louvre in Paris.  The museum stands on the site of the old Fort Thüngen and brings the contrast between old and modern.

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Exploring this area further you arrive at the Philharmonie, an impressive modern building.

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I can recommend the Eastern Garden Sarl on the Route de Treves for a meal but be warned that the portions are very large indeed but taste wonderful.

Dinant, Belgium

Last year we decided to go on a tour round Europe by car.  Our first port of call was Luxembourg but we decided to stop at Dinant in Belgium on our way.  

Dinant, which is situated on the River Meuse in Belgium, is where the inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax, was born and evidence of this can be found all around the town.  

As a keen photographer Dinant offered plenty of photo opportunities. The brightly coloured saxophones, which can be found on Charles De Gaulle Bridge in the centre of the town, make for a very colourful display.  Each one has a plaque at the base stating which country it represents.

Wander along the streets and you will find lovely little cafes to stop for something to eat.  Look for the amazing bakery with crafted scenes made from bread and watch out for the footsteps in the pavements where famous people are listed.

In the middle of the town the Church of Our Lady (Collegiale Notre-Dame) dominates the surrounding buildings. Above this is the La Citadelle de Dinant. You can ride the cable car up or if you are feeling energetic then you can climb the 400 steps to reach the top. From up here you can get fabulous views across Dinant.

On the River Meuse you will find a statue of Charles de Gaulle near the bridge where he was wounded in World War 1.

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I would certainly recommend stopping here for a wander.