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From the Ferry

I've been holding on to a bunch of interesting pictures from my now rather dated trip to Australia and New Zealand.  Is there a good reason for this?  Not particularly, as there are some really exciting ones, so stay tuned.  These shots were from a very pleasant afternoon spent in and around Sydney Harbour, which most feel is kind of the heart of Sydney itself.

I took one of the ferries out to Manly, a rather extensive 7 mile journey which provides fantastic vistas both there and back.  I didn't end up staying in Manly too long, although it sounded like a very pleasant area of its own, with some fantastic beaches in particular.  On the return trip the sun began to set behind the Harbour Bridge and then later behind the Opera-house and the Sydney skyline.  Really couldn't have asked for a better afternoon out on the water...

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Kiwi Dolphins

While I was visiting New Zealand I was lucky enough to stumble upon a chance to dive with the local Dolphins.  Now this wasn't quite the same diving as I had just done at the Barrier Reef in Australia, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.  We were outfitted with wetsuits and snorkels and then took a boat out to the bay where the dolphins are usually found.  After a sighting the boat attempted to close with them, and once close enough everyone jumped out and splashed around making silly dolphin noises and doing shallow dives before our wetsuits and lack of air dragged us back to the surface.

 Sure enough many of the rather more suave dolphins would notice these ridiculous looking humans clearly out of their element and come over to investigate and tease us.  We were largely able to really interact with them underwater as they swam around us before deciding to move on to more interesting attractions.  Here are a few I took from the boat during our afternoon out on the water.   

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To the Depths

Beyond starting to mine crypto currencies this Xmas, I've also finally found time to go back and process a bunch of diving photos from last year.  I had worked on several shots while on the live-aboard diving boat during the trip itself, but then came back to London and was distracted for oh...a year or so.  Now I've caught up a bit, and the results have been fun to see. 

During the trip we participated in a shark feed, in which all the divers sit in a shallow rock amphitheater about 10m underwater and watch as the trip operators feed tuna heads to 25+ hungry sharks.  The heads come out in a barrel like device attached to a float, and the sharks I gather over time have become somewhat used to this event and clearly eagerly anticipate it.   

Most of the sharks involved are reef and whitetips and so aren't a real threat of any kind, but still look pretty impressive close-up and in the wild.  As a precaution the operators wear a chain-mail type glove to open the bucket and release the heads which are attached to a line, and then the sharks along with smaller fish swarm the device and fight each other for 5min or so before each head is violently torn off and the lucky owner quickly disappears into the deep with his treasure.  At one point a shark even became stuck in the mess, attached to the line and the animal thrashing about, before freeing itself and leaving numerous teeth behind for divers to collect as mementos.  

I was about 10 feet away from this event with my camera and I have to say it was one of the cooler things I've ever witnessed.  They are massively impressive animals even more so during a virtual feeding frenzy at close range.  This experience and my adventure diving with the great whites in South Africa taught me that as humans in the water we are very much guests in their element!   

Here then are some of my new favorites from the trip and that experience in particular... 

BBQ

Sunset over the Coral Sea

Trapeze 

Elusive Manta Ray

First in Line 

Duo

Bubbles

They can smell it

Bucket Loaded

Ready

The moment...

Feeding Time

Feeding

Food Fight

Tuna...it's what's for dinner

Aftermath

Loner

Blue

Defending 

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Field and Stream

I was lucky enough to find myself back in the Lake District late last year with my parents visiting England.  I had a been a year or so earlier, but this time knew the area and had at least some idea of where I wanted to shoot.  I've found that while the lakes are nice, the real action requires one to find elevation.  Small roads creep up what count as mountains in the UK, with the A4's auto hill hold function coming in handy to stop to take pictures!  There one can find some amazing vistas as rock filled streams meander down into the lowlands.  Here are a few below.       

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Collective Farming

Many seem to think fertilizers, singing, or a bit of extra rain is what is required to make their flowers grow.  I however had found the real secret, that of course being exposure to ex-Soviet leaders and their revolutionary oversight and inspiration.  Lenin might have said "A lie told often enough becomes the truth" but what he really meant was put me in your garden and watch your flowers rise up like good proletarians!  

 

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