travel photography

Iceland

I’m going to keep this fairly short and let the images below do the speaking. My wife Nic and I have wanted to visit Iceland for a long time and over the Christmas break decided we should book our trip. We were both really keen to go during the winter with the hope of seeing the northern lights. (Which did not disappoint). 

We used Reykjavik as a base, which allowed us to take a couple of day trips to explore the Golden circle as well as some of the beautiful south coast as far as Vik. We also took a break from the road on our last day and spent the afternoon relaxing at the Blue lagoon which is a must for anyone visiting.

Reykjavik is a great city. It's perfectly sized to be able to wander and explore easily. There are loads of great restaurants and bars to dive into and escape the cold. Everyone we met on our trip was so friendly and keen to share their knowledge of the country. 

Anyone who has been to Iceland will know just how beautiful and unique it is. Anyone who hasn’t been or is thinking about it, you really need to get there. Everywhere we visited was truly breathtaking and I hope my photos go some of the way to convey the incredible beauty we saw on our trip. Hopefully we will get to return one day and explore more of this incredible country. 

All images below were either taken with the Hasselblad 500CM and the Carl Zeiss Planar CF 2.8/80 or with the Leica M6 and the Summicron 2/50 on Kodak Portra 400 and Fuji 400H. All images scanned and processed by UK Filmlab.

Barbados

It already feels like a lifetime ago we took this trip. I wanted to share these photos sooner but had a big hold up getting my film developed. I had sent off my rolls on the 21st September and they only arrived at Carmencita Lab in Spain on the 3rd November, that’s 6 weeks! Not good from Royal mail! Finally getting the email saying they had arrived at the lab was the best feeling, as I really thought I wouldn’t see them again.

Travelling to Barbados in September was a bit of a gamble as it falls in their rainy/monsoon season. But after doing some research and speaking to friends that had been at that time we decided to go for it.

As our plane touched down we were greeted with some of the heaviest rain I have ever seen. It was so heavy that they didn’t let us off the plain until it calmed down. We looked at each other and hoped we hadn’t made a terrible mistake. Luckily throughout our trip we experienced a couple of days of rain but on the whole the weather was great.

We were staying on the south coast near the village of Oistins. The island is much smaller than I had imaged. Measuring just 21 miles from north to south and 14 miles across. This made it fairly easy to get about and see a lot of the island's beautiful landscape. It's amazing just how different the coastline is on each side of the island. The south coast is dotted with smaller hotels and a lively strip of bars called St Lawrence gap. Then there is the more expensive west coast where the 5 star resorts line the pristine beaches and the celebrities hang out. Across the island on the east the coastline is rugged and baron. The water is too rough there to swim but great for surfing.

Whilst we were there we had a mixture of chilling on the beaches as well as doing a few trips. Some highlights were snorkeling with the turtles, going down 150ft in a submarine, exploring Harrison's cave, St Nicholas Abbey and taking the Mount Gay Rum tour. The local people really are some of the friendliest we have ever come across. They were all so welcoming and made our stay really memorable. For anyone thinking about going I would highly recommend making the trip. You won't be disappointed.

I knew for this trip I wanted to shoot mainly film. Having recently bought a Hasselblad 500cm it seemed to be the perfect time to get to grips shooting medium format.I also took along my trusty Leica M6 as well as my Xpro-1. My Fuji didn’t get a lot of use, as the light was so good I just wanted to shoot film. I had a few rolls of b&w Tri-x but I couldn’t bring myself to shoot them, as Barbados is a place, which needs to be captured in colour.

All images below were either taken with the Hasselblad 500CM and the Carl Zeiss Planar CF 2.8/80 or with the Leica M6 and the Voiglander Nokton 1.5/50 VM on Kodak Portra 400, Fuji 400H & Cinestill 50. All images scanned and processed by Carmencita Lab in Spain.



Lisbon

A couple of weeks ago I hit a big milestone in my life. I turned 30. As this was a special birthday, my wife kindly said she was going to take me away to a surprise destination to celebrate. We both booked a week off work and I had no idea where we would be going. All she said was that it would be hot, so to pack for good weather. After a weekend of celebrating with family and friends, Monday morning came and we set off early for the airport. On the way I was given a poem written by my wife which held the clues to our destination. It took me longer than it should have to decipher the clues and work out that we were off to Lisbon for 6 days. 

I have been lucky enough to visit many amazing parts of Europe. However had never made it to Portugal and didn’t really know what to expect from Lisbon. I was given a guidebook after cracking the poem so was able to begin reading up on what we would be experiencing.

We had a small apartment in Alfama which is the old part of town. This was great as we were able to walk everywhere. It also meant we were in the perfect place to wonder the side streets where the locals hang out. Lisbon really is a beautiful and picturesque city. The mixture of old and new architecture along with the San Francisco like hills and trams make it such a cool place to explore. 

As well as Lisbon we took a day trip out to Sintra to visit the national Palace and the Moorish castle. I can honestly say as castles go it was the best I have visited. Perched high on a hilltop it gave some breathtaking views over the towns and valleys below. Another great thing about Lisbon is that it is only a 30 minute train ride to the beach. With the temperature hitting 32 °C we had two days at Cascais which had great beaches and restaurants and was perfect to escape the city when it got too hot.

During this trip I was really keen to shoot primarily with film. This was all going to plan until I accidentally managed to knock my M6 and bent the winding lever out of shape, which meant it wouldn’t advance properly. I was gutted so switched to my trusty X-pro1. Later that night I did  manage to bend the winder enough to make it turn, so the M6 was just about usable for the rest of the trip. I have since had the winder replaced.

This really was an unforgettable week and for anyone who hasn’t been I would definitely recommend adding Lisbon to your list of places to visit.

All images were taken with the Leica M6 and Nokton 50mm 1.5 VM on Kodak Portra 400 film. Developed and scanned by Carmencita Lab.