Photography of Chateaux and Vineyards in France

Photography of Chateaux and Vineyards in France

Today as I played with my new Canon 550D, I stumbled across some photos from a holiday in France back in 2011.

Mostly photos of architecture, all shot on my old Canon PowerShot A495.

Sadly I didn’t realise when I was taking them, that the datestamp was being added to every photo. What an annoying feature! So I had to go through all these photos and remove the dates in Photoshop… what a pain.

Here are some of the best I think.

I’ve just uploaded a little comparison to show some of these photos before and after post-processing.

As always, any feedback to help me take better photos would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks for reading… well, looking. Whatever, thanks!

007’s ghost island exists!

007’s ghost island exists!

In this years instalment of James Bond, the epic Skyfall, they visit a truly bizarre and quite spectacular place. Without spoiling any of the plot for those one haven’t seen the film yet, they visit an island that is completely deserted and bereft of human life. A ghost island.

Not a single human soul lives there.

Okay… nothing too unusual about that, we see it in plenty of films these days, dreamy tropical islands encircled by rich golden beaches.

The main difference with 007’s deserted island is that it’s a jungle of concrete; a labyrinth of apartments, corridors, cinemas, offices and shops. The only thing that stops it being a fully functional city is the key ingredient – people.

Deserted Hashima island as seen in James Bond

The crazy thing is that the island that James Bond spends some tense moments, isn’t a fictional place. It’s a real town. Well… it was… I suppose. It lays some 10 miles off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan, and has a population of zero.

Zippo, nothing, nada, nobody… no one.

James Bond's Deserted Island - Hashima off of Japan's coastBuilt entirely to support an underwater coal mine, it reached a population of nearly 5,500 people in an area of 0.02 square miles. That’s horrendously built up! Not surprisingly it had the highest population density in the world.

Then petrol came along. Suddenly coal became less and less important, the mine closed and the people literally moved back to the mainland over night.

When I saw the island on the screen at the cinema I assumed it must be a wacky creation to maximise the tension and emotions of the scene. How could such an unusual island exist, why would it exist? Us humans have a habit of building stuff and… well… then living in them.

James Bond's Battleship Island
Hashima Island is also known as Battleship Island due to its silhouette
Hashima succumbing back to nature
Large areas of the island look like they’re on an apocalyptic movie set
Scenes of utter desolation
Chaos, with just a hint of the past
Rubble and debris outside the residential parts of Hashima
Rubble and debris outside the residential parts of Hashima
Decaying buildings on Hashima (Japan)
It must be a wonderful and eerie place to take photos

These photos are by random people I found while Googling information about this strange place, credit to those guys.

For some reason I really want to visit this island and experience it for myself. It must conjure up some truly bizarre emotions as you walk among the skeletons of these old buildings.

Anyone want to buy me a ticket to Japan then?

Photos from South Korea

Photos from South Korea

I never got round to writing up my little adventure over in South Korean, I’ll put this partly down to lethargy and the liver infection I picked up.

What I can summarise though, is that the Korean people I met were so caring and incredibly respectful. Their culture imposes a sense of calm and community.

In fact, their society seems to be the culmination of several aspect that the western world is lacking. There was always a sense of safety, friendliness and support.

But I’m not here to do an extensive write-up, I’m here to show you a very small snap shot of my travels over there.

… I will say though, a big hug for my friend Kathryn who put up with my western grumblings and moaning when I was ill. Massive love to her. She’s a star.