Archive for June, 2010

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Adventures in the land of the Midnight Sun – Chapter 1

June 26, 2010

22 June 2010 “Norway in a Nutshell”

This round-trip is one of the “must-dos” while in Norway, at least according to Rick Steves.

We took the journey across Norway’s rugged mountainous spine from Oslo to Bergen, through the most amazingly varied landscape in all of 12 hours.

Sure, it was a little “touristy” (we probably met more Americans than Norweigians along the way) but the absolutely spectacular scenary more than made up for it.

Pictures probably don’t do it justice. We have all heard about the Norway’s natural beauty – and the fjords, of course – but seeing it all really took my breath away.

Right out of a picture book

Finse, the highest point on the journey, is 1222 metres above sea-level

Flåm is the most prettily situated town I have ever seen

Crusing Norway's famous fjords

Sognefjord - Norway's deepest and longest fjord, is on UNESCO's world heritage list

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Pig is in Oslo, Norway

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Something to share

June 24, 2010

So here we are in Norway.  I know I ought to sharing about the majestic fjords (which really are something) – and I will – but first, I wanted to quickly post this picture that made my day.

We came across these roses for sale while strolling in the pretty city of Bergen in western Norway.

Maybe the setting of the buckets of fresh flowers outside a quaint little florist played a part, but I thought they were the prettiest flowers I have ever seen. The whole feel was completely Gabrielle Kai-esque, if you know what I mean.

However, as luck would have it, my camera had run out of battery.

I should mention that, at that point, the boyfriend and I were headed back to our hotel to get our luggage and catch the bus to the airport. But I was adamant about getting the shot.

So after we trudged up the hill to our hotel (it was quite the trudge) and grabbed our stuff, we made a detour to the flower shop on our way to the bus stop.

Fortunately or unfortunately, by the time we got back, the shop was closing. Unfortunate because the flowers had been taken in, and I could not get the picture I had in my head. Fortunate because, as she was closing up, the shop’s owner was still around, and she nicely obliged to me sticking my head into the refridgerator to take a few snaps.

Of course, I was so grateful for that that we ended up spending the 139 Kr on a bunch to take back.

I’m bringing this up because the lady who owns the flower shop is a great example of my experience with the people in Norway so far. It is so refreshing to meet a bunch of people who don’t seem to sweat the small stuff.

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Pig is in Oslo, Norway.

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I love getting snail mail

June 20, 2010

Thank God for friends who still send birthday wishes by regular post after all these years.

Although I must admit, I’m one of the lazy ones who rely heavily on Facebook.

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P/S: Yes, I really ought to be packing right now, but I really have the gift of doing everything but.

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Good luck to us

June 19, 2010

My travel countdown widget tells me it’s less than 24 hours to our departure for Norway.

That also means the same amount of time to 16 days of being with the boyfriend 24/7; and ten of those days while on a boat surrounded by a large body of water.

I wonder if we’ll kill each other.

The last time we were together this much was when I stayed at his apartment in Perth for two months after graduation (and even then, he was having classes and I was touring Western Australia with my girl friends much of the time).

I recall there was Kopiko sweets-throwing and broken plates.

But seriously speaking, this is our first trip to somewhere more than 7 hours away together, and I can’t wait!

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Why they say photography is an expensive hobby

June 19, 2010

OMG, I need that prime / wide-angle / walk-about / telephoto / close-up lens!

OMG, now I need those same lenses but with a smaller f/stop.

OMG, I need to get a filter (UV, polarizing, ND) for in each size.

OMG, my photos suck. I really need to take classes.

OMG, I need to buy books on photography (by the way, I thought Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure and Scott Kelby’s set of The Digital Photography Book were absolutely great investments for someone starting out in photography.)

OMG, I need a camera bag to protect my camera!

OMG, now I need to get a nicer one. OMG, I can’t decide which to get, should I just get both?

OMG, I need a waterproof camera casing shipped in from the UK in case my camera gets wet. Yes, even though I never go near the water.

OMG, I need that flash!

OMG, I need another flash! And another.

OMG, I need a studio set-up.

OMG, I need a good tripod. OMG, luckily I got a great one for my birthday.

OMG, I totally need to attend this workshop by (insert name of photographer you admire here), so I can kid myself that my pictures will look more like his after the one-day.

OMG, I totally need to attend this workshop by (insert name of photographer you admire here) in New York / London / on an Arctic Cruise.

OMG, I need to travel to this place… and this place… and this place… and this place. Excellent photo ops!

And this is barely six months into the hobby.

Maybe in another six months:

OMG, I really need to upgrade my camera body!

OMG, now I have an excuse to change my whole lens collection to ‘L’ lenses!

And so the cycle continues.

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En-Lightened

June 14, 2010

After an eye-opening lesson with @hanshoots – and yet another heavy investment in the Speedlite 580EX II – I think I’m starting to discover the joy of flash photography.

*crosses fingers*

The challenge now is whether I can sustain this new-found motivation to actually lug around the huge-ass Speedlite when I am out and about with friends and to pluck up the courage to blind everyone else in the process of snapping a picture.

My partner, and guinea pig, of the night is food blogger, David (www.theimportanceofsalt.com), who I just discovered is a great writer. It’s always a pleasure to read the works of someone with such affinity with the written word… and erm, with food too, I guess.

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Having an Epiphanie

June 13, 2010

I have L.V., Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Kate Spade and Coach in my closet, but I take my Epiphanie bag wherever I go.

Yup, so I get did get an Epiphanie since my last gushy post, and it arrived just in time for the trip to Norway!

So, I have been receiving a lot of interest and compliments on my new bag  (yeah, so maybe I was fishing a little by exclaiming, “Look, how cool is this?” to everyone I met), and I have taken to distributing the Epiphanie Bag’s website on napkins over dinner.

All the girls want it; and the guys, well I’ve been telling them that it is the perfect way to score points with their woman.

To those who asked, here’s the site once again : www.epiphaniebags.com.

P/S: Interesting observation – Only photographers will tell you “That’s quite alright” when they ask the price. Yes, even the men. I guess, in their mind, it’s barely a fraction of the cost of a new lens! :p

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