Posts Tagged ‘north’

On Chinese New Year Eve my family and I went on a road trip to Marken, North Holland. Its a little plot of land surrounded by water and is almost an island if it wasnt for the piece of land that stretches all the way out to the mainland which is how motor vehicles access the place.

As asians we always have to make numerous pit stops before we reach our destination. These are some of the shots that were taken along the way…

Mum!

Mummy obviously enjoying herself…

This is really one of the best places to put in a windmill…its SUPER windy!

On the left is the road, right is the bicycle path.

When we finally arrived we were greeted with beautiful seascapes, vintage houses and some very cozy restaurant/cafes…

Of course no dutch tourist spot is complete without a bar serving its legendary beer!

Mum and Dad

As you can imagine it didn’t take us very long to get lost…

This is cool! Jiaxen noticed this dude riding on a bike and so I quickly burst off a few shots in his direction…This is the only one I could salvage. What was so interesting you might ask? …he’s wearing CLOGS! -you know, those wooden shoes! They actually still wear them! (thats why the watermark had to be moved away from blocking it).

I noticed these clothes hanging outside one of the houses. I think this adequately represents their lifestyle and culture. Also, it was a B&W scene just asking to be taken…

I think I’m getting better at seeing things in black and white…Before I would never “see” the world in B&W but I’m slowly noticing some things which is wonderful! I have a great appreciation for black and white photographers because its one of the two main areas of photography that I feel I could really push the envelope with if I just practice a little more – the other one is portraiture.

Mummy and the lil guy! …in front of a green house!

As you can clearly see we had to ZIP UP coz its was freezing! …so we decided to go to a nearby cafe to warm up and eat some POFFERTJES!!! Poffertjes (pronounced [pɔfəɹcəs]) is a dutch pancake thats delicious! Unfortunately I’m not one of those who like to take pictures of my food…perhaps I should start? I did however take a portrait of my mum…

Mummy enjoying her coffee…

My favourite shot of the day is below…just before we went into the cafe we headed out to the coastline where the wind is strongest! I used a Hitech 0.6 soft edge graduated neutral density filter to get this shot…Should’ve used the Tian Ya 0.9 one but was too lazy once I zipped up my bag.

Here it is:

I went with the square framing not because I liked it but because of the cars on the upper left hand side which distracted from the composition. Thats the annoying thing about ultra wide angle lenses!

After that we headed home because we had a Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner that we had to attend…I took just two group shots of the two tables which are below. (Sorry I can’t remember all the names so I just didn’t bother)

women and childrens table

women and childrens table.

Mens table

Men’s table. I was on this table. I’m a man. – true story

Ok, straight to the point.

Steph and I took a short getaway to the Gold Coast to celebrate a special occasion. I planned a cool day of enjoying the Gold Coast and a day trip to North Stradbroke Island, an Island just off the Brisbane Coast. We didn’t take many photos in the Gold Coast as that wasn’t the purpose but we did head up to Q1, the worlds tallest residential tower. As a matter of fact, its the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. I just found out like 10+ seconds ago that Q1 stands for Queensland Number 1. Below is the view from the Obsevation Deck creatively known as QDeck. It is on the 77 and 78th floor. You have to pay to get up there. It cost a fair bit and you get into an elevator that whisks you up to the 77th floor in 40 seconds flat.

This is the view from the Observation Deck.

view from Q1, the tallest residential tower in the world
view from Q1, the tallest residential tower in the world

It was late by the time we got down so sorry for the crap shot but here it is from the bottom up:

Having been to the pinnacle of urban Australian, we headed to Stradbroke Island the very next day.

It takes about 20 minutes to get from the mainland to Stradbroke Island by water taxi.
It takes about 20 minutes to get from the mainland to Stradbroke Island by water taxi. The wide open view of nothingness is breathtaking!

It was weird because we left the mainland at about midday…3/4 way into the water taxi trip we went straight into a fog and by the time we arrived at the port it was raining cas and dogs. I was dissapointed because I thought thr whole day would be wasted but the other half of the Island was completely dry! We got off the bus and had some lunch before heading to the nearest short walking trails…This was the first thing we saw:

how beautiful is that! wish I had more time to wait for some better lighting.
how beautiful is that! wish I had more time to wait for some better lighting. In the meantime a Grad ND will have to do.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to stay around and wait for sunset because we had to take the bus back to the port, catch the water taxi to the mainland, and drive 2hrs back to Toowoomba…

Anyway, the short time we were there we were fortunate enough to encounter some beautiful scenery and wildlife. We weren’t even expecting most of it. We just stood there bathing in awe of  God’s glorious creation when sting rays, turtles, and even dolphins just swam close enough to the shore to see!

I’ll stop blabbering now and let the pictures speak for themselves…

ok, maybe no THAT close…pictures are cropped even with my telephoto lens…The dolphins would’ve been beautiful except I had my wide angle lens on at the time and didn’t have time to change. The sting ray was close enough but was underwater and was difficult to make out.

We followed the trail which is called the North Gorge Walk which tracks around the edge of a cliff at the tip of the island. According to the sign its a 20-30 minute hike. It took us 20 minutes to walk around the cliff and we stopped all along the way to take pictures but we had to catch the next bus back to the port so we turned around and headed back where we came from which was another 20 minutes. Only when we got back did we realised that the trail was actually a CIRCUIT!!! If we walked another 100m we would have got back to the same place and save 20 minutes! In the end we didn’t even get to touch the sand on the beach!

At least we managed to get some good shots while out there:

hehe, my tilt-shift miniature fake of a lifeguard on duty at the beach.

For those of you who don’t know – when swimming at a beach in Australia, lifeguards patrol the areas between the red and yellow flags.

This is perhaps my favourite picture of the day. Click to go the the flickr page where I put a more fitting description.
This is perhaps my favourite picture of the day. Click to go the the flickr page where I put a more fitting description.

Til next time, peace out!

…and by the way, this site is NOT dying. I’m just lazy.