Swarovski pocket cl review 1

Binoculars. Truth be told, they aren’t something I have ever really spent much time contemplating. As a photographer I spend a great deal of time peering through bits of glass with one eye, rather than enjoying it with both!

This isn’t to say I’m not familiar with binoculars of course. I grew up on a small island in the Seychelles called Bird Island, which was famous, as you might imagine, for its hordes of nesting seabirds, not to mention being home to many passing migrant species. My parents and many of their friends were avid bird watchers, and I have certainly spent some time with my eyes up against binoculars having the virtues of various birdlife explained to me.

Are these the perfect travel binoculars?

Swarovski pocket cl review 1

Binoculars. Truth be told, they aren’t something I have ever really spent much time contemplating. As a photographer I spend a great deal of time peering through bits of glass with one eye, rather than enjoying it with both!

This isn’t to say I’m not familiar with binoculars of course. I grew up on a small island in the Seychelles called Bird Island, which was famous, as you might imagine, for its hordes of nesting seabirds, not to mention being home to many passing migrant species. My parents and many of their friends were avid bird watchers, and I have certainly spent some time with my eyes up against binoculars having the virtues of various birdlife explained to me.

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Sunrise from Iso Syote hotel finland

Don’t like the cold? Neither did I when I decided to go to Finland for a spot of Winter fun at the start of 2015.

On the other hand, I’ve always liked the idea of the northern lights, clear skies and fabulously frosted landscapes. All of which, it appear, seem to require putting up with a spot of chilly weather.

I travelled around various parts of Finland, and I’ve already told you about my amazing two day husky safari up near Rovaniemi in the Artic Circle.

Falling in Love with Winter in Finland at Iso-Syote

Sunrise from Iso Syote hotel finland

Don’t like the cold? Neither did I when I decided to go to Finland for a spot of Winter fun at the start of 2015.

On the other hand, I’ve always liked the idea of the northern lights, clear skies and fabulously frosted landscapes. All of which, it appear, seem to require putting up with a spot of chilly weather.

I travelled around various parts of Finland, and I’ve already told you about my amazing two day husky safari up near Rovaniemi in the Artic Circle.

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monastery in meteora

Well, the clue is in the title here folks! Regular readers will know that for the last few months I’ve been travelling around with this wonderfully travel friendly mirrorless camera system from Panasonic as part of the LumixGTheOne project.

I shared some photos using it here, and wrote up my thoughts on the Lumix G6 here.

But there’s no point me having a camera and just telling you about it! Presumably you guys would love to own a camera like this too. So today I’m delighted to be able to giveaway a Panasonic Lumix G6 with 14-42mm lens.

Win a Panasonic Lumix G6 mirrorless camera worth €500!

monastery in meteora

Well, the clue is in the title here folks! Regular readers will know that for the last few months I’ve been travelling around with this wonderfully travel friendly mirrorless camera system from Panasonic as part of the LumixGTheOne project.

I shared some photos using it here, and wrote up my thoughts on the Lumix G6 here.

But there’s no point me having a camera and just telling you about it! Presumably you guys would love to own a camera like this too. So today I’m delighted to be able to giveaway a Panasonic Lumix G6 with 14-42mm lens.

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bee pollen smoothie garnish

Today’s blog is a guest post from my friend Monica, who occasionally sends over some wonderful content for me to share with you guys. Today she’s sharing her favourite things to bring back from a trip to Gascony in France. Caution, you might be hungry by the end of this post!

I’m just back from another one of my pilgrimages to Gascony, a region in southwest France that I haven’t been able to get enough of since first visited in August 2012. When I go, I almost always go by ferry, so that I can drive my car and load it up with all kinds of local delights.

12 Things to Bring Back from Your Road Trip to Gascony

bee pollen smoothie garnish

Today’s blog is a guest post from my friend Monica, who occasionally sends over some wonderful content for me to share with you guys. Today she’s sharing her favourite things to bring back from a trip to Gascony in France. Caution, you might be hungry by the end of this post!

I’m just back from another one of my pilgrimages to Gascony, a region in southwest France that I haven’t been able to get enough of since first visited in August 2012. When I go, I almost always go by ferry, so that I can drive my car and load it up with all kinds of local delights.

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husky dogs sunset finland lapland

Rule one of husky sledding? Don’t let go of the sled. Whatever happens – you don’t let go of the sled. How did that work out on my recent husky sledding adventure in Finland? I’ll get to that shortly. Let’s rewind a bit first.

As you might know, I grew up in a warm place. The Seychelles to be precise. And I normally do my best to escape cold places for Winter if I can.

Husky Sledding in the Arctic Circle

husky dogs sunset finland lapland

Rule one of husky sledding? Don’t let go of the sled. Whatever happens – you don’t let go of the sled. How did that work out on my recent husky sledding adventure in Finland? I’ll get to that shortly. Let’s rewind a bit first.

As you might know, I grew up in a warm place. The Seychelles to be precise. And I normally do my best to escape cold places for Winter if I can.

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Acropolis sun beams athens 1 - scaled

Those Roman numerals sure are stacking up aren’t they? Yes, this is the seventeenth edition of the most popular photos from this site’s Facebook Page – where I share at least one photo from my travels every day! Currently almost 400,000 people are following along. And don’t forget – all the photos are taken by me.

This round-up, the first of 2015, features photos from all sorts of places. I’ve been travelling in England, Scotland, California and Finland since the last update, plus of course there are photos from my previous travels. Let’s get started – and don’t forget that you can check out the previous entries in the series right here.

20 Spectacular Photos from Around the World: XVII

Acropolis sun beams athens 1 - scaled

Those Roman numerals sure are stacking up aren’t they? Yes, this is the seventeenth edition of the most popular photos from this site’s Facebook Page – where I share at least one photo from my travels every day! Currently almost 400,000 people are following along. And don’t forget – all the photos are taken by me.

This round-up, the first of 2015, features photos from all sorts of places. I’ve been travelling in England, Scotland, California and Finland since the last update, plus of course there are photos from my previous travels. Let’s get started – and don’t forget that you can check out the previous entries in the series right here.

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Snowy landscape finland Panasonic G6

Towards the end of 2014 I was contacted by Panasonic UK who asked if I’d be interested in trying out one of the mirrorless cameras from their range – the Panasonic Lumix G6 – as a part of their Lumix G The One programme.

For those of you not au-fait with a mirrorless camera, it offers many of the advantages of a traditional SLR camera – interchangeable lenses, great image quality – in a much smaller and lighter package. Not having a mirror inside the camera body means manufacturers can really trim the fat.

I was of course interested to try a mirrorless system out and see how it fit into my normal travel photography workflow. As you probably know, my normal photography gear is kind of bulky and not exactly subtle, so having something light and easily portable as an option was very appealing.

Wanders with my Panasonic Lumix G6, and some thoughts on the camera

Snowy landscape finland Panasonic G6

Towards the end of 2014 I was contacted by Panasonic UK who asked if I’d be interested in trying out one of the mirrorless cameras from their range – the Panasonic Lumix G6 – as a part of their Lumix G The One programme.

For those of you not au-fait with a mirrorless camera, it offers many of the advantages of a traditional SLR camera – interchangeable lenses, great image quality – in a much smaller and lighter package. Not having a mirror inside the camera body means manufacturers can really trim the fat.

I was of course interested to try a mirrorless system out and see how it fit into my normal travel photography workflow. As you probably know, my normal photography gear is kind of bulky and not exactly subtle, so having something light and easily portable as an option was very appealing.

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new years eve fireworks edinburgh castle

New Year’s Eve for me has often involved good parties in the company of friends at someone’s house. The times I’ve gone to pre-arranged events haven’t always been great – everything is costly, the crowds are intense, and I never seem to be in the right place at midnight.

Take London for example. I was there for New Year’s once, with the plan of watching the fireworks. Unfortunately, I didn’t leave early enough, and so ended up being able to hear the fireworks, but not actually see them. Slightly frustrating way to start that year off!

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay–The world’s best New Year’s Party?

new years eve fireworks edinburgh castle

New Year’s Eve for me has often involved good parties in the company of friends at someone’s house. The times I’ve gone to pre-arranged events haven’t always been great – everything is costly, the crowds are intense, and I never seem to be in the right place at midnight.

Take London for example. I was there for New Year’s once, with the plan of watching the fireworks. Unfortunately, I didn’t leave early enough, and so ended up being able to hear the fireworks, but not actually see them. Slightly frustrating way to start that year off!

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Glencoe sunset reflection ice water mountain highlands scotland

I have to admit that 2015 has started off rather well. I spent the New Year celebrating in Edinburgh, at one of the world’s most impressive New Year’s Eve celebrations – Scotland’s Hogmanay. My thoughts and photos from that adventure will up coming up on this blog soon.

After that, I took a road trip with some fellow travel photographers up to the Scottish Highlands, and specifically Glencoe. Marred with a tragic history, this also happens to be one of the most spectacular locations for landscape photography that I’ve ever had the privilege of visiting. Plus, I had some quite wonderful lighting conditions.

I was only in the area for a couple of days, but I managed to get a fair few shots to give you an idea of why you need to fly to Scotland, hire a car, and just visit as soon as you can. Let me know if you agree by the end of the photo essay!

The Stunning Landscapes of Glencoe

Glencoe sunset reflection ice water mountain highlands scotland

I have to admit that 2015 has started off rather well. I spent the New Year celebrating in Edinburgh, at one of the world’s most impressive New Year’s Eve celebrations – Scotland’s Hogmanay. My thoughts and photos from that adventure will up coming up on this blog soon.

After that, I took a road trip with some fellow travel photographers up to the Scottish Highlands, and specifically Glencoe. Marred with a tragic history, this also happens to be one of the most spectacular locations for landscape photography that I’ve ever had the privilege of visiting. Plus, I had some quite wonderful lighting conditions.

I was only in the area for a couple of days, but I managed to get a fair few shots to give you an idea of why you need to fly to Scotland, hire a car, and just visit as soon as you can. Let me know if you agree by the end of the photo essay!

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Fano pier Italy le marche sunset

It’s time for my end of 2014 post! It’s been a heck of a year – starting in Ecuador and finishing in Scotland – with so many moments and adventures in between. It’s not all been highs though, 2014 has had it’s lows as well.

It’s also been a great year for photography, so rather than two separate posts, I thought I’d intermingle my highs and lows of the year with some of my favourite photos from the year, in case hearing me go on about my year is less interesting to you than my favourite photos. It’s ok, I don’t mind.

Read on to find out what I loved, loathed, and took pictures of in 2014!

2014: Highs, Lows, and my 11 Favourite Photos

Fano pier Italy le marche sunset

It’s time for my end of 2014 post! It’s been a heck of a year – starting in Ecuador and finishing in Scotland – with so many moments and adventures in between. It’s not all been highs though, 2014 has had it’s lows as well.

It’s also been a great year for photography, so rather than two separate posts, I thought I’d intermingle my highs and lows of the year with some of my favourite photos from the year, in case hearing me go on about my year is less interesting to you than my favourite photos. It’s ok, I don’t mind.

Read on to find out what I loved, loathed, and took pictures of in 2014!

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20141102-P1000370

Recently I’ve been doing some work with Panasonic UK, who have kindly sent me their mirrorless Panasonic G6 to play with. It’s a lovely little camera, especially for travel as it is so light.

They also invited me to pop by the Luxury Travel Fair which is held every year in London, where I had the pleasure of meeting one of their resident photographers, Hugh Hastings. Hugh was an inspiration to meet – he’s been shooting for decades, and was even the official photographer for Chelsea Football Club for a decade. He was a big fan of the Panasonic gear, and listening to his enthusiasm for photography and the Panasonic gear was infectious!

A bit of Luxury in London with Panasonic’s #LumixGTheOne

20141102-P1000370

Recently I’ve been doing some work with Panasonic UK, who have kindly sent me their mirrorless Panasonic G6 to play with. It’s a lovely little camera, especially for travel as it is so light.

They also invited me to pop by the Luxury Travel Fair which is held every year in London, where I had the pleasure of meeting one of their resident photographers, Hugh Hastings. Hugh was an inspiration to meet – he’s been shooting for decades, and was even the official photographer for Chelsea Football Club for a decade. He was a big fan of the Panasonic gear, and listening to his enthusiasm for photography and the Panasonic gear was infectious!

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Abbey road landcruisers

Dubai. I’ve recently visited for the second time. The first time round, I spent a lot of time in a conference hall talking to the travel industry about travel blogging.

My glimpses of the city were snatched from the air conditioned confines of taxis, and my impression was of a shiny land in the midst of a desert, offering a lot of style but not a great deal of substance.

On my second visit, I discovered that that impression was wrong.

What To Do In Dubai

Abbey road landcruisers

Dubai. I’ve recently visited for the second time. The first time round, I spent a lot of time in a conference hall talking to the travel industry about travel blogging.

My glimpses of the city were snatched from the air conditioned confines of taxis, and my impression was of a shiny land in the midst of a desert, offering a lot of style but not a great deal of substance.

On my second visit, I discovered that that impression was wrong.

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 Rotonda a Mare Senigallia Italy pier

I’m starting to notice I wander a lot. I wandered in Sri Lanka. I wandered through Bologna. I even wandered through Wellington.

I do very much enjoy a good wander, particularly if time isn’t on my side. If I’m limited in that resource, then my first choice will always be to just wander around a location and take some photos, to see if I can get at least a feel for the location – to get my first impression of it.

Impressions of Le Marche: A Wandering Photo Essay

 Rotonda a Mare Senigallia Italy pier

I’m starting to notice I wander a lot. I wandered in Sri Lanka. I wandered through Bologna. I even wandered through Wellington.

I do very much enjoy a good wander, particularly if time isn’t on my side. If I’m limited in that resource, then my first choice will always be to just wander around a location and take some photos, to see if I can get at least a feel for the location – to get my first impression of it.

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plane gopro

Hey folks! Ever been to India? Well, I haven’t, but the nice folks at Southall Travel would certainly like you to think about it.

They’re one of the leading UK experts on travel to India, and would love to give you guys the chance to win a GoPro Hero 3 White edition, the perfect travel companion for your trip, in return for answering a question. More on that further down.

Southall sent over some text to explain why you might want to go to India. Personally, the photographic experiences would be enough for me!

Win a GoPro Hero 3 White Edition with Southall Travel! (UK residents only)

plane gopro

Hey folks! Ever been to India? Well, I haven’t, but the nice folks at Southall Travel would certainly like you to think about it.

They’re one of the leading UK experts on travel to India, and would love to give you guys the chance to win a GoPro Hero 3 White edition, the perfect travel companion for your trip, in return for answering a question. More on that further down.

Southall sent over some text to explain why you might want to go to India. Personally, the photographic experiences would be enough for me!

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sirmione view from castle ramparts italy garda lake

Oh Italy. You never cease to amaze.

When I visited Milan earlier on in the year, I wasn’t expecting a great deal to be honest – general feedback was that it wasn’t the most wonderful of Italian cities, being more industrial than some of Italy’s hotspots, with not quite so much to offer the visitor.

I was pleasantly surprised therefore to find that, in fact, I really loved the city. Waterways, cobbled streets to explore, a gorgeous pile of churches, and the feeling that this is a city that is really lived in with people and stories to discover. You can read more on all that in this post on Milan.

Sirmione: An Essential Lake Garda Experience

sirmione view from castle ramparts italy garda lake

Oh Italy. You never cease to amaze.

When I visited Milan earlier on in the year, I wasn’t expecting a great deal to be honest – general feedback was that it wasn’t the most wonderful of Italian cities, being more industrial than some of Italy’s hotspots, with not quite so much to offer the visitor.

I was pleasantly surprised therefore to find that, in fact, I really loved the city. Waterways, cobbled streets to explore, a gorgeous pile of churches, and the feeling that this is a city that is really lived in with people and stories to discover. You can read more on all that in this post on Milan.

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Rotana exterior shot 2

When I had a real job that involved me wearing a suit and tie every day, I spent two and a half years living in a major brand chain hotel as a result of a project I was on.

When it got to the point where I was invited to the staff Christmas party, I realised that perhaps it was time to move on with my life. Although I did have some pretty excellent holidays thanks to all the rewards points I’d been able to accumulate, so that was good.

As a result of that experience I was, for a long time, sort of over hotels except in necessity. Give me an apartment, or a funky hostel, or, well, anything which doesn’t have seemingly endless corridors of carbon copy rooms.

Experiencing Arabian Hospitality with Rotana in Dubai

Rotana exterior shot 2

When I had a real job that involved me wearing a suit and tie every day, I spent two and a half years living in a major brand chain hotel as a result of a project I was on.

When it got to the point where I was invited to the staff Christmas party, I realised that perhaps it was time to move on with my life. Although I did have some pretty excellent holidays thanks to all the rewards points I’d been able to accumulate, so that was good.

As a result of that experience I was, for a long time, sort of over hotels except in necessity. Give me an apartment, or a funky hostel, or, well, anything which doesn’t have seemingly endless corridors of carbon copy rooms.

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Alpine lake reflection scaled

As you’ll know if you’ve been following along for the last few years, one of my primary passions is taking pictures of landscapes.

Sure, I enjoy taking pictures of people, and architecture, but really I’m happiest somewhere in the middle of nowhere with my camera gear and a stunning mountain or two to shoot.

In today’s post I want to share with you some of my tips for helping you to take better landscape photos. If you find them useful, I’d also recommend signing up to to receive exclusive photography tips direct to your inbox, that I don’t share anywhere else. Let’s do this, starting with:

How To Take Better Landscape Photos

Alpine lake reflection scaled

As you’ll know if you’ve been following along for the last few years, one of my primary passions is taking pictures of landscapes.

Sure, I enjoy taking pictures of people, and architecture, but really I’m happiest somewhere in the middle of nowhere with my camera gear and a stunning mountain or two to shoot.

In today’s post I want to share with you some of my tips for helping you to take better landscape photos. If you find them useful, I’d also recommend signing up to to receive exclusive photography tips direct to your inbox, that I don’t share anywhere else. Let’s do this, starting with:

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rock formations meteora greece blue sky 1

Meteora first caught my eye in April 2014, when a chap wandered past me with an iPad showing some pictures of landscapes that I knew I had to find time to photograph. I asked him where the pictures were of, and he said Meteora.

Fast forward a few months, and I found myself in Athens again doing a whole host of exciting photography related activities, from teaching through to the official event photography for Europe’s largest travel blogging conference, TBEX.

All a lot of fun, but you as guys know that my real passion is landscape photography. Even if taking pictures of beautiful people have a wonderful time does come a close second.

Visiting Meteora: A photographer’s paradise

rock formations meteora greece blue sky 1

Meteora first caught my eye in April 2014, when a chap wandered past me with an iPad showing some pictures of landscapes that I knew I had to find time to photograph. I asked him where the pictures were of, and he said Meteora.

Fast forward a few months, and I found myself in Athens again doing a whole host of exciting photography related activities, from teaching through to the official event photography for Europe’s largest travel blogging conference, TBEX.

All a lot of fun, but you as guys know that my real passion is landscape photography. Even if taking pictures of beautiful people have a wonderful time does come a close second.

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Conques, Aveyron, France

The Aveyron region in the South of France is ridiculously picturesque – it has mountains and rivers, hills and valleys, forests and gorges, and a combined 900 km of footpaths that can keep you occupied if you’re the type who likes to discover places by foot. It also has ten towns that have been declared to be amongst the “Most beautiful villages in France”, which makes Aveyron the leading department in France in that category.

Conques–Visiting a Saint

Conques, Aveyron, France

The Aveyron region in the South of France is ridiculously picturesque – it has mountains and rivers, hills and valleys, forests and gorges, and a combined 900 km of footpaths that can keep you occupied if you’re the type who likes to discover places by foot. It also has ten towns that have been declared to be amongst the “Most beautiful villages in France”, which makes Aveyron the leading department in France in that category.

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"Oeil-de-boeuf" - View from the Château Belcastel, Aveyron, France

And we’re in Southern France again, once more in the beautiful Aveyron region. This is the part of the country which sports most of “The most beautiful villages in France”, and one of them is picturesque and idyllic Belcastel, on top of which sits a splendid château.

Belcastel–The Middle Ages are Alive and Kicking!

"Oeil-de-boeuf" - View from the Château Belcastel, Aveyron, France

And we’re in Southern France again, once more in the beautiful Aveyron region. This is the part of the country which sports most of “The most beautiful villages in France”, and one of them is picturesque and idyllic Belcastel, on top of which sits a splendid château.

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