Tag Archives: travel

Going underground

Thanks to Tom Standage for pointing me at this fabulous collection of fake signs people have put up on the London Underground.

Some examples:

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Pram fans

I had to take a picture of these steps in Chicago’s Union Station recently.

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If you’ve seen The Untouchables, you’ll know why. The ‘pram scene’ is a brilliant piece of cinema; you can see it here, though this clip is missing the long build-up which is part of what makes the original so effective.

Of course, it is itself an homage to the scene in Battleship Potemkin at the Odessa steps, but I didn’t know until today that it too had inspired a later cinematic tribute.

Packing a punch

One thing I haven’t generally had to pack when going for walks in the countryside – until I went to Montana – is bear repellent.

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These are standard issue in that part of the world – you can buy them everywhere.

To an Englishman, an aerosol seems more appropriate for dealing with a small insect than a charging grizzly, but since the usual alternative advice is to lie down and play dead in this situation (which may cause the grizzly to ignore you), I can see why these are popular travel accessories.

From Falls to Autumn

Well, one quick transatlantic flight, and I’ve lost even more degrees of centigrade than I have hours of sleep!

For my more geeky readers, I can report that I return with a Scottevest Transformer jacket, and a Google Chromecast.

But the highlight of the trip was definitely the hikes we did in Yellowstone and in Glacier National Park. I leave you with my favourite picture from the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.

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(Click for a larger version.)

Beauty and the beasts

We’re in Montana, and it’s beautiful.

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No, I mean really beautiful.

Shadow Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

We made some friends amongst the natives.

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The humans are friendly too. All in all, a lovely spot.

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More pictures are sure to follow soon…

White Balance

I was quite pleased with this shot, taken by the Marathon Petroleum plant in Dearborn, Michigan last night.

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(You can click it for a larger version, which looks much better)

This was handheld – I wish I’d had a tripod, but at this point the security guards pulled up and asked us to move on…

Part of what makes it ‘pretty’ is the use of two different types of lighting – given the industrial location, I imagine the golden light is sodium and the silver is halogen – and the camera’s auto white-balance did a good job of reproducing what I saw.

But when I got home and loaded it into Lightroom, I thought it would be fun to try calibrating the white balance based on a chimney lit by the sodium light. (I could have achieved a similar effect by selecting tungsten white balance in the camera.) The result was also pretty. Can’t quite decide which I prefer…

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The call of the wild

East Anglia seems rather tame today. This was the view, a few yards outside our door, last weekend.

View from Bull Point

Good Morning

Good morning

Dawn, a few days ago, at Castletown, Isle of Man

Safe Harbour

Castletown, Isle of Man

A room or two with a view

Near Capvern, Hautes-Pyrenees, France.

The Englishman Abroad

Complete with fashionable headgear, knobbly knees, trusty hound, and Brompton (on kind loan from John)

Even mad dogs and Englishmen have been choosing early evening for cycling excursions here: it’s been very hot over the last few days. Light showers have made for a more autumnal climate today, though, which makes a nice change.

You’ll notice that, despite this being prime Tour-de-France country only a few miles from the Col de Tourmalet, my parents and I have somehow managed to cycle in the one flat valley in the area.

That’s just for our warm-up training, of course…

Thought for the day

A good holiday is when you can't remember whether it's Sunday or Monday.

 

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser