Photos from my Turkey, Albania & Croatia trip

I was a away for two weeks this month, on this trip:

The trip mixed business and leisure, but even the business was quite fun. First up, I spent a week at the Sundance Nature Park for the Turkish Juggling Festival. I posted loads of photos on my blog, and daily diary too, but I I uploaded some of the more interesting photos to the gallery. Like these ones:

The domes at the festival site.

View from the top of Tahtali.

Awesome parrot.

Mount Chimaera
Mount Chimaera

Following the festival I joined the HAL Prinsendam, a cruise ship I’ve worked on four times now. I’ll be back on the ship for another 19 days in November too!

The front of the ship looks great, but why a photo of the rear of the ship? Well, you see the two windows on the very back corner? Those are the two windows for my cabin. The view is great, as I can look back along the wake of the ship. However, awesomeness of cabins is not just down to the view. No, there’s also the issue of noise. Modern ships use pod propulsion propellers, and these create very little noise and almost no vibrations. Unfortunately the Prinsendam is not particularly modern (though only 20 years old, cruise ship design has come a long way in that time) and the whole back of the ship vibrates when the screws turn. Even worse, when the ship is moving and they throw it into reverse gear, it REALLY starts to vibrate.

But that’s not all… look closer at the images. What is below my cabin? Yes, ropes emerging from holes. As the ship approaches a port, the deck crew prepare the ropes and cables, then wind them in and… well, there are about thousand things that can make noise in the space directly under my bed, and between 5am and 7am is the usual time for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM to be used extensively.

So, I visited Albania, but didn’t do anything that exciting. I have a blog post I want to write about Saranda, but I need to sort the photos first.

Next the ship called at Dubrovnik, Croatia. I’ve been here before, so this time I re-visited some touristy sights I’ve seen before. This time I took a walk around the city walls, which was actually a lot of fun.

At one point I came across a man taking photographs of a woman. It was obviously some kind of official photo session, but they hadn’t organised it very well. Of course, it’s a busy day; not one but four cruise ships were visiting the city. The assistants kept asking people to not walk through the shot, but they were really up against it.

As I walked past I snapped a few shots of the photographer and model, and one of the assistants (or maybe the director, I don’t know) said to me “Go find your own model!” Not in a joking way either, she actually wanted to get rid of me. The thing is, I wasn’t trying to take the same photo of the model, I was taking a photo of the photographer+model pair, a much more interesting subject than the model herself. And what do they expect people to do? If you want privacy, hire a studio, or come back when the city is a little less crowded.

Thankfully I have a zoom lens, so took this photo from a distance. Yes, contrary to what it may seem like from this blog, I do use other lenses apart from my 10mm wide angle.

I found a huge flock of pigeons in the market. Someone had thrown down corn, and they were pecking at it like made. I wanted to get a shot of blurry pigeons in flight, with some interesting market scene behind. However, the pigeons were so focused on the food on the ground that I could walk right through them and they wouldn’t move.

In the end I had to stamp my feet to get them to fly up into the air. I did this five of six times, then the market traders asked me to stop. In this case I understood their objections completely, and stopped right away. I like this photo best:

Saturday was a sea day. In the afternoon I was sitting in my cabin and suddenly “BRRBRBRBBRBRNNGNGG…” the propeller kicked into reverse. The ship was stopping. Why? Turns out we had a scenic cruising stop at Stromboli volcano, which is located just north of Sicily.

Science fiction fans out there will know this as the exit point if one was ever to go on A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Like I did at Mount Chimaera, I took some triple expose photo sets, with a view to making some HDR images. Maybe one day I’ll actually get round it.

That’s the thing with my photography at the moment: I never do any post processing. Every single one of the photos on this blog are presented exactly as taken. I don’t particularly care about getting stuff perfect in photoshop, it’s the pointing and clicking that I really enjoy. Once I get to the limits of what I can do in camera, I’ll move on to balancing things out afterward. But, you know, I’m still almost completely incapable of holding the camera horizontally, and my horizons are always tilted one way or the other. When I learn how to do that I’ll buy a copy of photoshop.

The full album is over at

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