Salt Lake from the air...

This the the salt lake at Pedra de Lume in the northeast of the island of Sal, Cape Verde.

Situated in the crater of an extinct volcano, it measures a total of 900 meters (3,000 feet) in width. The salt evaporation ponds were built over a natural salt lake, formed because the crater is below sea level, so water flowed in but could not flow out, was therefore trapped and formed the salt lake.

Extraction began in the 1800s and was the island's main export (first to Brazil and then to France), production eventually ceasing in the 1990s. Part of the salt transportation system can be seen, whereby a system of rigs allowed the bags of salt to be transported out of the crater. Today, it is a tourist attraction where bathers can swim and float in the salty waters.

This image is a panorama of several images taken from the air by a Mavic drone and stitched together. Isn't is amazing what technology can do?!


It was 10 years' ago today...

On this day 10 years' ago, 26 October 2007, I was in woodland just over a mile from my house early in the morning taking this photograph. Why?

The company I worked for had decided on a change of name and image. As part of that process we wanted a picture that would represent our company, and, being in the timber business, something to do with trees sounded like a good idea. But other timber companies used a picture of a tree, so we needed something a little different. The marketing company we hired to help with the transition had proposed a picture of an oak leaf. It looked great, but oak is an hardwood and our company sells only softwoods, so not quite right. I was then asked, being known for taking a few photographs, to see what I could come up with. My prior attempts to this day had not been encouraging, and the others I took that morning were nothing to write home about. But then, just when I was getting frustrated, I looked through the viewfinder and macro lens to see this. Bingo!

I thought it was "the one". But would it get approved? It did, and was used in our marketing campaign when the new company name rolled out on 1 January, 2008. And a large, 8-foot version was printed onto the side curtains of our HGV transport - and is still being used to this day.  


Beverley Westwood from the air...

I haven't posted on my blog for quite a while. I've been concentrating on posting directly to Facebook and trying to grow exposure for my photography. But recently I purchased some equipment to broaden my artistic horizon a little - a drone!

And here's my first video. It's of the old mill on Beverley Westwood and as it's a first attempt at taking and editing video I've kept it pretty short. I've included at the end of the video the sunset image of the mill I posted on Facebook yesterday. You can play the video on this page or hit "YouTube" on the bottom right of the video once it starts playing to have it play directly in YouTube. And if you play directly on this page, you're better clicking on the little cog (bottom right) and choosing one of the HD formats for better quality.

I hope you like the footage. It's early days, but I hope to post more videos as I get more knowledgeable and experienced at flying, videoing and editing. There's a lot to learn!


Strasbourg...

Situated on the eastern border of France with Germany, next to the Rhine, the city of Strasbourg grew from a Roman camp first mentioned in 12 BC. It is best known for its medieval centre, with the magnificent gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame, construction of which began in the 13th century, being the focal point. But it is also the location of the European Parliament and various other European Union institutions.

A city of contrasts, where the old meets the new..


A favourite place...

On a recent trip I went to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales. I first visited here when I was 10 years old, on a week-long school trip, and have been back several times to enjoy its ruggedness and beauty.

Malham Cove

Malham Cove

The famous Malham Cove was formed by a waterfall that 12,000 years ago carried glacial melt water over limestone rocks creating the 260 feet (80m) drop and 1,000 feet wide (300m) curved feature. There is no longer a waterfall here, although in December 2015 water did again flow over the Cove for a while as a result of Storm Desmond that battered the area. Intriguingly, water flows from the bottom of the cove: Malham Beck appears from nowhere at the base. It was thought that this was coming from Malham Tarn, a glacial lake 2.5 miles to the north, because, just south of the lake and across the road, the stream of water from the lake disappears into the ground. But tests have shown the two are not connected.

Goredale Scar is an imposing, cathedral-like limestone ravine about a mile from Malham. After walking through woodland and past Janet's Foss, a small waterfall, the valley leading to the Scar gives a hint of the scene to come.

The valley leading to Goredale Scar 

The valley leading to Goredale Scar 

The circular route of Malham - Goredale Scar - Malham Tarn - Malham Cove - Malham is a lovely walk, but Goredale Scar requires a little bit of climbing close to the waterfall. it's not difficult - although as a 10 year old it was quite daunting! - but can feel quite intimidating if you've not got a head for heights (like me!). There's a certain majestic quality to the Scar. It seems to envelope you as you stand there, felling very small. But once the rocks are climbed, and you scramble up the scree to the top of the Scar, the rest of the walk to the Tarn and the Cove is typical Yorkshire Dales.

Goredale Scar

Goredale Scar

The walk to the Tarn is pretty flat, and the lake provides a very serene view and time for a nice little rest before carrying on.

Malham Tarn

Malham Tarn

And then it's onwards - mostly downhill through valleys and fields to the rim of the Cove, where there is a limestone pavement over which once flowed the mighty waterfall.

The limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove

The limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove

And then its down the rather steep, sometimes slippery and seemingly never-ending steps to the bottom of the Cove, to enjoy the ripple of the water as it flows from the base of the limestone wall before returning to the Malham village to enjoy refreshment and rest.

Malham Cove, close up

Malham Cove, close up

If you like walking that requires that bit extra, this walk is for you. It's not easy, but neither is it hard, with Goredale Scar being the most challenging part. Over the years the area has become increasingly popular, so choose the time you visit carefully. But, at any time of the year, it's worth it.