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]

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]




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]