London – 1 Day Course

First 1 day group course in London on Sunday with some lovely moody skys. Thanks for those that attended. A walk from Embankment to St Pauls then onto Covent Garden. We have 2 more London courses in the summer. Check out our 1 days here: https://www.fotocourses.co.uk/1_day_1-2-1_Courses/1_day_Courses.html

Sarum Lights Visited

Last night Helen and I visited Salisbury to see the display. Huge projections on the outside and inside of the cathedral set to music. It was a challenge to photograph as the projections were constantly moving so a long time exposure was not possible. Decided to go for a high iso 12800 and a wide aperture. Shots were noisy but managed to reduce with lightroom. All shot on my Canon 6D mkII with a 24-105 L Lens.

Here are a selection of pics.

Greetings from Route 66.

I found this book in a local charity shop today and can highly recommend it for anyone who has travelled Route 66. The book is £20 to buy from all good bookshops and is a great nostalgic collection full of old photos from places along the route. Here’s what Amazon has to say:

“John Steinbeck famously christened Route 66 America’s “Mother Road” in The Grapes of Wrath, and that chapter about Tom Joad’s exodus is just one of the classic pieces collected in this ultimate anthology. Here’s history, roadside attractions, pop culture, ghost stories—even recipes from famous greasy spoons. And it’s all illustrated with the largest collection of vintage art, postcards, travel decals, collectibles, and other memorabilia ever amassed. This is a truly a worthy tribute to the Main Street of America.”

Ruby's Inn – Bryce Canyon

In around 4 weeks time we will be arriving at Bryce Canyon on our Las Vegas and the National Parks Tour. We will be spending a night a Ruby’s Inn and visit the Canyon – the park entrance is under a mile from the hotel. Bryce is 2336m above sea level so gets pretty cold in March but with the close proximity of the hotel we can go out for a sunrise then come back to warm up with a buffet breakfast.

This is another of my favourite hotels on the trip with great history. In 1916 Reuben C (Ruby) Syrett moved to the area and built a ranch near the present site of Ruby’s Inn. By 1919 they had obtained permission to build a ‘Tourist Rest’ near the canyon and when Bryce Canyon became a National Monument in 1923 the tourist rest was moved to its present location and named Ruby’s Inn.

You can visit their web site: https://www.rubysinn.com

If you want to book a place on our trip next year: https://www.fotocourses.co.uk/America/lasvegas.html

My Favourite Travel Blog App

Find Penguins

I have been using this app for years and think it’s really great as a Travel Blog app. The app is called Find Penguins and is a free app you can use on android, Mac and the web. You can either have it as open to the public or restrict users to family and friends and with each entry on the blog you can add up to 6 photos and write a daily diary. The app records where the entry was made via GPS on your phone so if you are travelling you get a record of your travels on a map.

Entries recorded in find penguins.

Another nice feature of the app is that when you have finished the trip you can make a book using the entries you have made. The books can be edited and make a nice record of your travels. They are good quality and cost round £40 – watch out for notifications offering discounts on the books from time to time.

Check out the website https://www.findpenguins.com it’s free to download and use.

Golden Nugget – Las Vegas

On the last night of our trip in March we will be staying at the Golden Nugget – a luxury hotel in downtown Vegas. Originally built in 1946 it is one of the oldest casinos in the city. It has 2419 rooms, a shark tank and the largest golden nugget in the world. The whole hotel has a great retro feel and opens out onto the Fremont experience. It can be seen in the James and film Diamonds are Forever (1971) in the police chase scene.

If you would like to visit our site and book our 2021 tour: https://www.fotocourses.co.uk/America/lasvegas.html

Flamingo Hotel – Las Vegas

This is our first stop on the tour coming up in a few weeks. Originally built in 1946 and located on the strip this Art Deco style hotel has 3460 rooms on a 40 acre site. Last renovated in 2018 the hotel was owned by Bugsy Siegel and has features in the Elvis Presley film Viva Las Vegas and Oceans 11 in 1960.

If you would like to visit our site and book our 2021 tour: https://www.fotocourses.co.uk/America/lasvegas.html

Monument Valley

Here are some pictures taken from last years trips to Monument Valley on our photography tours. In a few weeks time we will be staying at the View Hotel and driving the 18 mile circular tour around this special place. We also visit on our Route 66 trip. Monument Valley is not technically on the route but is so close it would be a shame to miss it out. Its a highlight of both tours.

If you get the chance to visit then stay at the View Hotel. This is built in the Navajo run park and has stunning views over the valley. It is expensive in peak season but well worth the money. You wake up to one of the best sunrises anywhere in the world. The hotel is the only hotel for miles and they have just opened some cabins nearby which you can also stay in – These are very good quality and also have views across the valley.

We still, have 2 places available on our Route 66 trip for 2020 Click on the link to find out more https://www.fotocourses.co.uk/America/route66.html

Best Free Views of London

London is a great city for photography. Here are my top 3 best places to get an aerial view of the London skyline. Best of all they are all free.

No 3 View of St Paul’s

St Paul’s

Just across from St Paul’s is the One New Change shopping Mall. Take the lift to the top floor which is a roof terrace with some bars. This gets busy so has limited access at popular times.

No 2 Tate Modern

Tate Modern

This is a great view a 360 degree walk around. Go to the basement and get the lift to the top.

No 1 Sky Garden

Sky Garden

This has to be booked in advance but is well worth it. The top of 20 Fenchurch Street which is know as the Walkie Talkie Building. The top floor is an indoor park with restaurants and a cafe.

Here’s a link to the website: https://skygarden.london/sky-garden-home