All in Black & White

Five days left in this #GuruShots challenge and I’ve reached the Premier level with the following images:

  • Callao, Madrid
  • View of the River Boyne and the Maiden’s Tower, Mornington, Co Meath
  • Chuch at Sidari, Corfu
  • Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, Mendocino Co, California

I uploaded these images a few days back but this evening have swapped out the image I took earlier this week, that of the River Boyne and Mornington Tower for an oldie of Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. Let’s see if this is a successful swap. More when the challenge ends.

#Madrid #RiverBoyne #Mornington # Sidari #Corfu #PointCabrilloLighthouse #Mendocino

Update: Hurrah – finished with 878 which on this challenge resulted in an Elite ranking. This means I only need one more Elite finish to be a GuruShots Veteran. (Still chuckling to myself ’bout that). Given that I’ve another couple of challenges (not yet logged – bad Cath!) and one (“Relfections”) is a speed challenge in which I have also reached the Elite ranking, when this one ends, I WILL be a veteran. Putting the champagne on ice as I type! ;-)

[June 2018]
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Colours in Architecture

There are 7 days left for this #GuruShots Challenge and I’ve submitted a fairly eclectic mix of photographs – see below:

From left to right:

  • A jail in the Badlands, South Dakota – fairly sure no longer used! :-)
  • A hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates – an very impressive yet completely OTT and odd place. I’d like to go back and see some more but the place seemed almost overrun with Ex-Pats while I was there.
  • A shop front in Hoi An, Vietnam – loved the setting of the shopkeeper taking time out and reading waiting for customers but hardly worrying about an empty store
  • Outside Area in the Monastery of San Francisco, Lima, Peru – the orange paint was oppressive. Well worth a visit – has a surprise in the catacombes – not really for the faint-hearted.

The Top Photos in this Challenge are outstanding and my images will not be able to compete. See them for yourselves here and you are one of the photographers, congratulations, amazing work.

#Badlands #SouthDakota #USA #Dubai #UAE #HoiAn #Vietnam #Lima #Peru

Update: a Premier level finish which I’m very happy about. I didn’t make any swaps and the votes were as follows:

  • Peru image received the most votes with 138
  • South Dakota received 119
  • The seated and reading gentleman in Hoi An achieved 112 votes
  • Finally, the Dubai shot managed 100 votes
[May 2018 | Updated June 2018]

The Path

Another late entry but better late than never. I’ve got 70 hours until this #GuruShots Challenge ends and these are the photos I’ve uploaded:

I know the rules say that similar photographs shouldn’t be uploaded but I couldn’t decide which image was best and I do like them both. They are of woodland paths around the Cu Chi Tunnels,  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Viet Cong built a massive network of tunnels as part of their resistance against the American invasion. For more about the brutal history, click here.

The image on the left was taken about 11 years ago on the top of the Bluff on Cayman Brac. The cliffs are only 43 metres high and are a jagged limestone littered with birds. Standing at the end of the path, there is absolutely nothing but turquoise and blue sea. For more about the Bluff, click here.

The image on the right was taken in Arizona, on the walk to view Montezuma’s Castle near Camp Verde. This was sometime in November 2007 – check out the flame orange leafs – in reality, the colours were incredible – not sure I’ve captured it in this image but there’s certainly a hint of the depth of colour.

Let’s see what happens in this challenge.

#CuChiTunnels #VietCong #Vietnam #Bluff #CaymanBrac # CaymanIslands #ColoursOfAutumn #FallColours #MontezumasCastle #CampVerde #Arizona

Update: Premier finish – I did swap the photo of the Path at Montezuma’s Castle with an image I took in County Kerry on Skellig Michael.

[May 2018]

Centered

The #GuruShots challenge states “it happens sometimes the best composition while shooting is to center your subject”. I’m not sure mine do actually but I’ve submitted images and am currently at the Premier level with 5 days left. A little about the images I’ve submitted below.

IMG_2138

This image was taken on an iPhone around September 2015 (or possibly 2014) just after sunset in in Zadar, on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. It is known for the Roman and Venetian ruins of its peninsular Old Town and it’s a fantastic and compact city to explore. The Italian influence is evident in everything – from the architecture to the number of pizzerias (and I tried to taste test as many as I could!). I snapped this along the coast road while walking into the old town for supper one evening. Can’t remember exactly what I had but quite possibly a pizza.

Smart Card 5 1003

This is sandstone butte located somewhere around the Utah / Colorado border – cannot remember exactly where but I do know it was a little before we drove down Monument Valley.

The last two images submitted have been in previous challenges:

The image on the left is one I took a week ago today at Old Mellifont Abbey, Co Meath and the image on the right is one I took over a decade ago at Point Cabrillo, Mendocino County, California.

As ever, I’ll update this post when the challenge ends – not sure I’ll be swapping any images.

Update: I got a Premier ranking at the end of the challenge. I’m very happy with that so off I go and search from more challenges!

[May 2018]

Simply Orange

I’ve not been feeling very well for the last few days – an extra special cough and respiratory infection has left me confined to barracks. Ive been looking through some of the latest #GuruShots challenges and they don’t particularly inspire. However, there is one challenge which I’ve been able to dig out a few relevant images to submit and it’s called, as the title clearly states, ‘Simply Orange’.

There are 7 days left before the challenge ends. As ever, the quality and skill displayed in the top photos is incredible. There some extraordinarily beautiful photographs of flowers in particular – well worth a peruse.

The images I’ve submitted are as follows – from left to right:

  • My fireglow Duesenberg Double Cat guitar (I also submitted this image in the ‘Musical Instruments’ challenge)
  • A Tiger
  • A snapshot of my commute one early morning in January 2018
  • Koi Carp

Something Orange

None of the images above will rival those in the top half of the challenge but I should hopefully gain a few more Guru points! :-)

These are the widest range of subjects I think I’ve submitted so far in any one challenge and for that reason, I’m going to be really interested to see which type of image is the most popular. I don’t think I’ll have any images to swap out for this one so the next point (in 7 days or so) will be the results! I’ve gained a few more votes since I took the above screen shot and have reached the Popular level – I’m not going to be close to Elite / Premier but I’ll keep voting to maximize my exposure and just wait and see what happens.

#Duesenberg #DoubleCat #Tiger # Mornington #Sunrise #KoiCarp #Orange

Update: So, I’ve found some relevant images for swaps! Seems like a lot of places I’ve visited actually have orange coloured dirt tracks so in many ways, I was spoiled for choice. The two images I swapped out were the tiger (which I do like but the quality wasn’t great) and the sunrise photograph taken during my morning commute. The images I’ve uploaded as (on left) a dirt track at Lake Tonle Sap, near Siem Reap, Cambodia, and (on right) the Red Rock Church in the outskirts of Sedona, Arizona, US. There are still 5 days to go before the challenge closes, so let’s see what happens ….

Simply Orange Swaps

Update: I made another swap: I removed the Cambodian dirt track photograph for the Llama image (also included in another challenge called ‘Start with L’. It seemed like a popular swap as the Llama achieved 153 votes which was a lot more than the other image.

Anyways, I managed an Elite level when the challenge closed. Hurrah for me! ;-)

[May 2018]

 

 

Abandoned

It’s been a beautiful day in Leinster today so I took the opportunity to drive up the coast road in County Louth. I wanted to try and capture some photographs for the ‘Abandoned’ GuruShots challenge. The brief simply states “abandoned places or things” and voting starts shortly. I have enough decent shots for some swaps – incidentally, I’m not buying swaps but have won one from the ‘Rocking the Boat’ challenge. I will use it wisely. Or maybe I won’t – we will see! :-)

The first photograph I’ve submitted is a shot of an abandoned cottage which is literally 10 meters from the cliff edge (of all 2 meters) which drops onto the beach. It looks like an old building but it’s not actually in terrible condition – once that roof goes though, the sea winds and Irish weather will quietly go to work on it. I’ve entitled the image “Oh I Did Like to Be Besides the Seaside” and now cannot get the tune out of my head. Check out that blue sky!

Farmhouse By Sea

The second photograph is of a tower of some sorts. I’ve no idea of the history of this building but presumably it was abandoned when the more recent beach buildings (public toilets and a life guard shed) were constructed. I’ve entitled this image “Tower at Togher, Co Louth” and the coloration of the bricks is wonderful.

Louth Beach Tower

The third photograph is of an abandoned house off Marsh Road, Drogheda. The street runs down to the River Boyne and with the right conditions combined high tide, the river can rise significantly – hence the sign. The street is a long block of stone terraces the vast majority have been abandoned, some with sandbags stacked against the door, windows smashed or boarded up and damp creeping up the walls.

Off Marsh St 1

The final photograph uploaded was taken at the end of street above. I walked towards the river onto wasteland which offers possibly the best view in town of the Boyne Viaduct on which the Dublin/Belfast train runs. I guess there is little incentive to develop or even tend to the ground given the floods.

Railway Bridge

I’ll update this post with swap info and the end result.

#GuruShots #CoastalRoad #Drogheda #BoyneViaduct #Abandoned #NoParking

Update: I’ve removed the image of the abandoned house as it wasn’t performing very well. I had a free swap (am not intending to buy swaps on this platform) and replaced it with the following:

Abandoned Car at the Petrified Forest Nortern Arizona

This is a photograph taken of an exhibit to commemorating US Route 66 that ran through the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona until it was decommissioned in 1985.

If you’ve never been here, it’s so worth a visit – it’s desolate and breath-taking. Take a look at the US National Park Service site for more information on the park.

#Arizona #PetrifiedForest #Route66

Update: the challenge has ended and I achieved an Elite status finish and actually got another Top 30% award – Top 30% of Photos. the votes were as follows:

  • 449 for the Route 66 image
  • 60 for the cottage by the sea image
  • 60 for the tower at Togher image
  • 39 for the Boyne Viaduct image

So, there was one clear winner in my photographs! I was messaged by another #GuruShots photographer who had entered the same subject and who pointed out that there was another image of the same subject by a third photographer.

I do believe I could have achieved better scored for the other images had the day I shot the photographs been a bit gloomier and less spring-like. Still, I enjoyed the afternoon and that’s what counts the most to me.

In terms of the levels, this close of this challenge resulted in me moving up from Challenger to Advanced – I’ve a fairways to to reach the next level however ….

[April 2018]

B&W Architecture

Another day, another #GuruShots challenge!

There are 14 days left from the time of this post until the challenge has ended. IMHO, images of buildings are often shown at their best as B&W, and as usual, some of the images submitted to this challenge by other users are incredible. There’s a wide range of subjects – from the brutalist style through to abandoned farm buildings – well worth a browse.

The photographs that I have submitted as as follows (from left to right):

  • The Maiden’s Finger, Co Meath
  • Calle de la Princesa 3, Madrid
  • Catedral de Santa Maria le Real de la Alumdena, Madrid
  • Plaza del Callao, Madrid

B&W Architecture

They were all taken with an iPhone 6.

I’ve more images I could submit (unlike other challenges) – I need to go through some of the images taken on a very recent trip to Edinburgh this weekend – and will check to see if there are any decent swaps should I need.

As ever, any updates will be included at a later date.

#VivaEspaña #Madrid #B&WPhotography

Update: The photograph of the Maiden’s Finger is not doing quite as well as the other images, so, as I’ve a free swap from another challenge (Pathways & Roads), I’ve decided to swap it out with an image I took of Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, in Mendocino County, California in 2007 (wow – over a decade ago!). The perspective ideally should be fixed but I actually like the fact that the slant upwards creating a point inwards drawing the eye upwards to the top of the tower. There’s a kinda spookiness to the structure – it’s eerie and quite bleak in B&W but the building certainly has more of a presence than in the original colour version. BTW the photograph was taken on a FujuFilm FinePix 480 digital camera which I still have but no longer use.

I think this image should probably get a few more votes that the Maiden’s Finger (which achieved 19), and given there are still 9 days left before this challenge closes, it’ll be interesting to see if this swap is successful.

Point Cabrillo, Mendocino Co, CA

Point Cabrillo, Mendocino, CA

#California #Mendocino  #PointCabrillo #Lighthouse

Update: There is another week to go before the challenge ends but I’ll have no further free swaps before then. I swapped out the image of the Cathedral in Madrid for a snap I took of a church in Sidari, Corfu, Greece – not that you can see it too well under the text. If you’ve never been to Corfu, I’d strongly recommend it – I didn’t stay in Sidari (bit too lively for my liking tbh) but its a wonderful island for a relax holiday. #Corfu

SnipImage

Update: With a little under 48 hours to go, I’ve made another swap – full details when challenge ends but hoping that the vote will help push me up the rankings further.

Update: The Challenge has just finished and I’ve made the All Star level – which I’m both amazed and chuffed to bits about. I got a total of 1144 which broke down as follows:

B&W Final

The last swap I made was an image I took a year or so ago of a cinema in Collins Yard, North London. As it gained more votes than the image I swapped it out for, I got another swap which I’m going to put to good use in the ‘Simply Orange’ challenge.

[April 2018]