Posts filed under Holiday

Scotland Holiday 2009

Two and a half weeks driving around in Scotland. The weather was extremely good, which we didn't anticipate, so we didn't have enough t-shirts etc. Who would have thought that over two weeks of sunshine was possible in Scotland?

Saw lots of ruins, castles, sheep, churches, sun, beer, whisky, ruins, castles and stuff. No need to get bored when you're over there. Only downside to the extremely good weather was that I wasn't able to shoot many of those typical cloudy/rainy Scotland photo's.

The trip started with the ferry IJmuiden-New Castle. After that it was Dumfries, Oban, Spean Bridge, Struan (Isle of Sky), Ullapool, Thurso, Ballater, Glenrothes, and back to New Castle. Basically a trip covering the best parts of Scotland (we did miss the Orkneys though).

Also available on my flickr page or here.

Posted on July 16, 2009 and filed under Holiday, Personal, Photography.

New York City 2008

Empire State BuildingLast monday was the day of my return from the Big Apple a.k.a. New York. It was a 7 day (5 nights) trip the the wonderful city of New York. The weather was great, and the company was even better :-P .

The holiday had a bit of a slow start, because we missed the plane (my bad), but, with a four hour delay, we finally got underway. As usual, plane trips suck bigtime. Cramped seats, and no sleep.

When we arrived we got our NY City Passes + 3 day bus tickets. This way, we got discounts (or even free entrance) at sightseeing. After all, we're still Dutch ;-) .

During the 6 days we saw it all (well, almost....);

  • Empire State Building
  • Central Park
  • The Financial District (Lower Manhattan)
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Fifth Avenue
  • China Town
  • Little Italy
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Brooklyn
  • Chrysler Building
  • Grand Central Station
  • Tudor City
  • United Nations Building
  • B&H Photo and Video :-P
  • Saint Patrick's Cathedral
  • Saint Thomes Church
  • Trinity Church
  • New York Police Museum

We even visited the theater on Broadway. The show we saw was a comedy (not a musical!!!) on 48th street called 'The 39 Steps'. A play by 4 actors playing over 150 characters.

During this stay I shot nearly 500 photographs. Some of those can be found on my flickr page.

Posted on June 26, 2008 and filed under Holiday, Personal, Photography.

Rent a Lens

For my trip to New York City I need a (zoom)lens with a wide angle. My current 24-70 (which is a great lens) doesn't give me the wide angle I need on a crop-camera. So I was looking for a zoom lens with a bit more wide angle.

The 17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S DX (etc) would suit my needs. Enough wide angle and a bit of zoom. No need for 100* zoom lenses because it's New York. Everything is cramped on top of each other. If I need zoom, I can always get a 1.7TC @ Adorama or B&H Photo in New York.

The 17-55 is bit on the expensive side (>1000 euros), so I rented it for the week @ Kamera-Express. Not that expensive, and now I got a decent lens for exploring New York. I just hope that the lens isn't that good, otherwise I need to have it ;-).

Posted on June 16, 2008 and filed under Holiday, Personal, Photography.

NYC in Prime

NYC TimeSquareIn a couple of weeks I'm off to New York for a couple of days. This time I'm packing a DSLR instead of the old Canon IXUS V. And to save my back (and neck), I'm not taking any of the regular zoom lenses with me. It's just gonna be me and a couple of prime lenses. These lenses aren't as flexible as a zoom lens, but they weigh a lot less Three primes approx. equals 1 nice zoom lens (nearly 2 pounds), but you mount only 1 lens at a time on the camera.

Currently I've got a 35mm f/2D and a 50mm f/1.8D prime for my D300. The lack of zoom capabilities will force me to be a little more creative while strolling the streets of NYC.

It would be nice to have a 24mm f/2.8 (or 20mm f/2.8) as well for a little more wide angle. Downside is that those are relatively pricey, or not available. the biggest photo/video store in NYC sell those at low prices, but they're out of stock.....

UPDATE: first images of the Nikon 35mm f/2D looks promising. The lens is a bit larger than the 50mm f/1.8, but image quality looks better (contrast, colors).

Posted on April 29, 2008 and filed under Holiday, Personal, Photography.

Lion versus Buffalo versus Crocodile

I've been to Africa three times now. I've seen lot's of animals. Even fighting elephants, but unfortunately I haven't seen any real action. Some tourists in Kruger Parc (South Africa) captured some awesome piece of action between buffalo's, lions, and a couple of crocodiles. Oh boy, this makes me want to go back to Africa right now.....
Posted on May 22, 2007 and filed under Holiday, Personal.

Great Service in Africa

When we were in Africa, we had some money problems. Even though they accept credit cards in most of the hotels, it's hard to withdraw cash from ATM's. During our stay there were a gazillion number of public holidays in Kenya, and Tanzania, and during those holidays, the banks are closed. So getting some serious cash was a problem. Especially when you're on safari (not that many ATM's on the Serengeti). When we entered Tanzania, we needed cash, because we needed to pay some fees (in cash). We were taken to the Impala Hotel in Arusha. Here we could charge our credit card for cash (Tanzanian Shillings, and US Dollars). I seperated the 300 USD, because we needed to pay exit-tax when we fly home again from Zanzibar. At the end of our vacation, we needed to pay the exit-tax (or departure tax) to get form Zanzibar to Nairobi. The official in charge of collecting the departure money told us that most of our money was fake...... Well, that's just great. The only place where we could have gotten the fake dollars was in the Impala Hotel. 'Damn those bastards....' Back home, I contacted the Impala Hotel by e-mail, and explained the situation. Fortunatelly, they remembered the transaction and suggested to correct the problem. They were very cooperative on solving this issue. A few e-mails later, I got the details of a Western Union Money Transfer. They had sent me the complete amount of 160 USD. There is only one thing I can say about this: Awesome service. Keep up the good work.
Posted on November 18, 2006 and filed under Holiday, Personal.

Back home

Yesterday we got back from Africa. The trip was great, but kinda different, because of the things we ran into (literally at one time). Anyway, we made about 3000 digital photos, and shot about 5 hours of film. Here are some samples:

Cheeta having dinner Lion cub posing

Hippo More cubs

Ngorongoro Crater Panoramic view Zanzibar Panoramic View

It's time to wrestle through the thousands of pictures and upload them to Flickr. More on our Africa adventures in about a week (or so).
Posted on November 5, 2006 and filed under Holiday, Personal.