Archive for the ‘spain’ Category

Work of Art, Silver Award – Portrait Classic Category (NZIPP Awards 2013)

August 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Work of Art

It has been such a long time since I’ve posted any images on my personal blog – it has been a busy year. But this weekend I was thrilled to receive two Bronze Awards, two Silver Awards and a Gold at the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography’s 2013 awards. So I thought it might be worth sharing some of those, particularly ones from recent travels.

The first – Work of Art taken in a Spanish art gallery (shown above, and previously posted on this blog) – won a Silver Award in the Portrait (Classic) Category. I received another Silver for a wedding image – Mirror (posted on my business website). However, I will post the award-winning images from the Travel Category in my next three posts. Hope you like them!


Spanish Nights

October 26, 2012 12 comments

A companion piece to last year’s post: Spain through the Hipstamatic eye … Images taken in Burgos, León and Lugo – all in the north of Spain.

Silver and bronze

September 29, 2012 12 comments

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I was really thrilled that three of my images won awards at this year’s EPSON / NZIPP Professional Photography Awards. All three images have been previously featured on my blog: the Lamp Posts (Silver Distinction), the Pilgrim and the Black Cat (Bronze), and La Confesión (Bronze). The Lamp Posts was taken in Meknes, Morocco, and the other two in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Check out the other images that also won awards in the Travel and Illustrative categories – there is some beautiful work there!

The Spice of Life

May 13, 2012 17 comments

The Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Another image from the Spice Bazaar

Olive Stall, Marrakesh

Covered Shoe Market, Rabat

The ‘Upmarket’ Market of Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid

Pastries, Marrakesh

Paprika! Budapest

It’s been almost two months since I’ve posted anything taken with a ‘real’ camera! So, to make up for lost time, here is a selection of images taken at some very different types of markets in Turkey, Morocco, Spain and Hungary …

The Pilgrim and the Black Cat

March 16, 2012 13 comments


Every year, thousands of pilgrims walk the Way of St James (‘El Camino de Santiago’ in Spanish) from France to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest of Spain–a journey of 780 km–just as pilgrims have been doing for more than 1000 years.  The Camino has now become popular for people of all ages and faiths (or lack of faith!) who want a quite unique experience–some who walk the whole distance, and others who just try out a few kms (like me!)  Actually I took the bus, and watched the pilgrims out the window …  Nonetheless, I have to say, watching them was quite inspirational.

Once there, seeing pilgrims arriving at the end of El Camino, in front of the magnificent cathedral, a whole mix of emotions came over them–relief, exhaustion, happiness, pride, and so on.  In fact, I think I would quite like to do it myself one day.

This photo was taken in Santiago of a pilgrim who had just completed his long journey, about to go into O Gato Negro–a tiny restaurant (only five tables!) marked by its bright green door and by the sign of the black cat.

To see what the pilgrims see inside the cathedral once they reach the end of their journey, have a peek at my earlier post on the Botafumeiro of Santiago de Compostela.


February 6, 2012 15 comments


I have been a bit out of touch on my WordPress blog because of work, but I’m hoping no one has forgotten me … I’ll be catching up with everyone’s posts soon. Meanwhile I’m leaving you with an image taken in Salamanca, Spain.

When I saw this gentleman walking on the street covering himself from the rain lots of thoughts came to my mind – how long has he been walking?, where was he going?, what was he thinking? – and then I also thought of Antonio Machado‘s poem: ‘Caminante no hay camino’.

Here is an extract from that beautiful poem:

Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind
one sees the path
that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road–
Only wakes upon the sea.

Living Statues

January 15, 2012 18 comments

Street Performers

I was watching the movie “Biutiful” starring Javier Bardem, and one scene reminded me of these images I took in Barcelona and Madrid last year when I was travelling in Spain and Morocco. In the scene, some African street vendors were being chased by police down Las Ramblas in Barcelona, and the angel (top left) broke her pose for just an instant to see what was going on.  These street performers are artists who pose all day like statues in hot weather conditions or in the rain!  Apart from changing position when you put one euro in their tin, they generally keep completely still.

In the bottom left image, taken on Plaza del Neptuno in Madrid, can you tell which one of the two statues is a real statue, and which one is a person?

Plastic Lens Flare

January 10, 2012 14 comments

Light Leakage

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I really like the random effects you can get with a plastic toy Holga camera.  This shot of the sunlight on the cobbled streets of Toledo, Spain, came out with some cool lens flare.  And if you look closely, you can see a little cat in the distance walking towards me …

The Botafumeiro of Santiago de Compostela

December 23, 2011 7 comments

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Seeing the Santiago de Compostela Botafumeiro in action was one of the highlights of this year for me and my husband, because we happened on it by accident as we finished a tour of the cathedral roof on a non-religious holiday.  The Botafumeiro is a metal ‘censer’ in which incense is burned during services – the day of the Feast of St James (ie Santiago) is one of them.  The Botafumeiro in Santiago de Compostela is one of the largest censers in the world with a weight of 80kg and a height of 1.60 m. This Botafumeiro is swung from a rope hanging from the dome of the cathedral- a pendulum movement – by eight red-robed men called tiraboleiros. It produces thick clouds of incense, and at the top of its 65m arc it reaches an angle of 82 degrees, about 21m from the floor of the cathedral.

We were told that it is expensive to fill the Botafumeiro with incense so it is generally used only on religious holidays, however, tour groups can pay about 300 euros to have a private session to see it burning and swinging. We exited our roof tour into the locked cathedral where a group of Italian pilgrims were being given a private showing, so now you understand why we were delighted to be able to see it swing.

This tradition started in the 11th century as pilgrims finally arrived at the Santiago de Compostela cathedral, after crossing the north of Spain, tired and a bit ‘fragrant’; so, the Botafumeiro was used to take care of this tiny problem. But the burning of incense is now a standard part of the traditional Catholic mass.

Plaza Mayor at night, Salamanca

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca, Spain