Chelsea, London

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Time for another Sunday photowalk. This week I went to Chelsea in West London. Chelsea has the reputation of being a wealthy area. I was expecting rich ladies in 4×4 cars (known as Chelsea tractors), plastic surgery, Lamborghini’s with Qatar plates etc.

But, it was more like churches, cute houses, old buildings and classic cars.

We did see one guy in a large new Rolls Royce / Bentley and he actually asked us if we wanted a photo.. haha.. I was like, “eh, no”

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Chiltern Street

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Today I went for a walk around Chiltern Street in Marylebone. I think it’s quite a famous spot with it’s beautiful red brick town houses.

I also spotted a couple of nice cars.

I normally take candid street photos, but I’ve been wanting to work on my confidence to ask people if I can take their photo. I saw some friendly looking people outside of ‘Trunk’ store, it was a lovely scene, so I asked if I could photograph them. They kindly agreed.













Tate Modern & East London Canalside

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I had a couple of nice days out recently that I thought I might share with you.

Last year Tate Modern; a famous modern art gallery, expanded with the new ‘Switch House’ wing.

One of the lovely things about Tate Modern is the location; a former power station. It provides a massive space for art and preserves a beautiful and iconic building.

The architecture of the new Switch House wing is quite striking and impressive both inside and out.

London is so full of interesting architecture that I think it’s difficult to create something which stands out, is different, yet is not ugly. I personally like this design, what do you think?

No trip to the Tate is complete without a walk along the Southbank. If you’ve never been the former power station is on the river side in central London.

Some shots of one of my other architecture favourites – The National Gallery and riverside scenes.

I also had a couple of lovely days out in East London recently. I’m in love with the canal walk from Kingsland Road (near Shoreditch); a fashionable bar, gallery, coffee shop area, which goes along past another cool area; Broadway, then alongside the huge and beautiful Victoria Park before arriving at the Olympic Park which has a couple of unique brewery bars in former industrial buildings.

It’s so beautiful there, the next time it’s sunny I’ll go out and take more photos. It’s especially nice to see the spring blossoms and check out the people living in houseboats on the canal.

 

 

Looking Back at 2016 Photos

germany, hong kong, japan, london, scotland, south korea, taiwan, thailand, Thoughts on Life

I thought it might be fun to spend one of the last hours of 2016 taking a quick look back through this years photos and picking out a few of my favourites by month.

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I took 6390 photos this year, that’s almost double what I took in 2015 and 2014. And I was a bit surprised to see that 2420 of them were taken in Thailand. It really is one of my favourite places to be.

There is a direct correlation between how I feel and how many photos I take. I was feeling pretty awesome in Thailand at the start of the year, but as the year moved forward I struggled to eat healthy and get into better shape; two big ongoing goals. And that coupled with difficult work meant my mood wasn’t great for the second half of the year.

I travelled quite widely, but didn’t really take full advantage of it. I’m glad I am thinking this through now as it’s now my main goal to improve eating, fitness and mood in 2017.

Without further ado, let’s take a look month by month through my pics of the year.

January

Only 55 photos taken in January and all in London. However there are a couple of nice ones including the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and the New Crossrail Station at Canary Wharf. I was back to using my old D3100 and 50mm lens.

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February

February and more London shots. I went around Soho / Chinatown / Shoreditch with a new ‘used’ camera. A D610 with the kit lens. I used this and my 50mm for the rest of the year.

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I also went to Thailand for a bit of rest and relaxation. Highlights were a great flight on Eva air with the nicest air stewardesses, the sunset at Bang Sare and the cocktail VW buses popular in Thailand.

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I also started a collection of photographs to capture ‘motorbike’ life in Thailand, they are such an integral part of Thai culture.

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March

1152 photos in March. A lot of motorbike and beach shots. I also discovered the awesome Baa Hop Fang festival / market in Pattaya. At the end of the month I went to Bangkok and started working my way through a book of Bangkok walks.

Pattaya

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Bangkok

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April

April was another Bangkok month. I had a great time walking around the city. I think my best pictures of the year are from April; especially one shot of the Maha Nakhorn building. I also enjoyed Songkran; the Thai new year festival. That’s an unmissable experience!

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May

May was back to London for work. I got some nice spring shots in Shoreditch. I also went to Scotland to see family but got a chance to take some pictures in Edinburgh, Crail and my mum’s garden.

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June

No photos! – My work project was managing the half year report for Standard Chartered so I can only guess I had no time at all to even think about the camera!

July

I think I was quite busy in July too, only a handful of shots from city walks in London and another Scotland trip.

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August

With work coming to an end I went of to Tokyo with an unexpected layover in Frankfurt due to a Typhoon.

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September

More Tokyo where I enjoyed some of the best Karaoke nights out and a few visits to my local Maid Cafe. I then went onto Taipei.

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Taipei

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OCToBER

This was another good photo month. Some more shots in Taipei and then off to Hong Kong and Shenzhen before heading to Seoul.

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Hong Kong

(I need to revisit the processing on these HK shots it’s not great)

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Shenzhen

The highlight was OCT Loft

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Seoul

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November

Last few photos in Seoul. Korea really has the most beautiful a palaces.

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December

Back to the UK, and I had a lovely chance to finish the year with some pictures in Scotland and London.

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That’s it, 2016 in photos. I do need to take some time to go through all the photos, there are some picks in their that haven’t been processed yet, but it takes a load of time to review photos.

I’m really grateful for the chance to see the places and people I have this year. On the other hand I know that I didn’t push myself with a positive attitude to get the most out of it. That’s my big goal for 2017.

So, watch this space, hopefully there will be a lot more interesting sights to come in the year ahead.

Happy Christmas 2016 from London – XMAS Day Photowalk

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Happy Christmas to everyone here on WordPress and any others that have found their way to my blog.

Today I want to share a handful of pictures from my Christmas Day photowalk around London. Without further ado:

The area around Seven Dials (between Covent Garden and Soho)

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Trafalgar Square

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Around Piccadilly

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Regent Street

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Carnaby Street

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As usual a huge variety of decorations around London and still some more to be seen. I plan to visit the Southbank and St. Pauls.

I would say that this years Regent Street decorations are much nicer than last years. The same goes for Seven Dials. I like the messages on the signs on Carnaby Street, but I think last years spectacular decorations were nicer.

Last Year

http://hakkanotogame.com/2015/12/22/christmas-in-london/

http://hakkanotogame.com/2015/12/27/christmas-in-london-part-ii/

Christmas in London 2016

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Five days left until Christmas, I think it might be time to inject a little festive cheer into my blog.

Last year I spent Christmas in London, I had a fantastic time taking photos and enjoying the quieter than normal city.  A lot of people leave; presumably to visit family or take the opportunity for a short break. This coupled with the beautiful lights make it a magical place to be.

Last year my ‘Christmas in London’ photos turned out so nice – see part I and part II.

I went Christmas shopping on Sunday and I bagged my first two photos of a Christmas tree at St. James. One of which features ‘blurry Alex in a bauble’ (that would be the name of my Scottish folk christmas themed music band):

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I also bagged a couple of other nice shots; not so Christmassy, but worth sharing. Was lucky to catch a Jaguar E-Type passing the Horse Parade / Cavalry Museum and London Eye:

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And a telephone box / Big Ben, I like the warmth from the lights. You can almost make out the star on top of a Christmas Tree at the bottom left in the grounds of Westminster / Big Ben:

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China, Tai Chi and A Little Autumn Regret

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I’ve done it! I’m so spontaneous (crazy?). In three days I converted an idea over a coffee into a shiny new Chinese visa and a new plan for the next month.

I’m a little surprised they are letting me back in. I went to China in 2014 and was obviously causing lot’s of trouble.

On my last trip I went to Yangshuo in Guilin to do some Tai Chi and Qi Gong Fu. I didn’t make much progress as it was a short stay; I also wanted to visit Shanghai.

I don’t know why, but I always feel nervous about applying for a Chinese visa and entering china. Despite my nerves my experience in China was quite positive. Not scary at all.

I think the nerves come from spending almost a year in Russia; which is not exactly happy happy la la la land.

I was browsing around the web a few days ago and I noticed there is a good Tai Chi teacher in Shenzhen who speaks English. I remember last time in Yangshuo most of us foreigners couldn’t really understand the Tai Chi teacher, he spoke English, but he would go into rambling stories in a strong local accent.

So I’m off to Shenzhen to have another go at Tai Chi.

I’m quite often tired and my digestion sucks which can put me in a little bit of a low mood. I think it stems from years and years of office work, electronic screens and not the best diet. In recent years I have improved my condition quite a lot through better diet, yoga and meditation. But when I’m travelling I can get fatigued quite easily which really throws a spanner in the works of being able to see lot’s of sights and experience local culture to the fullest extent. The blog is great at showing the beautiful days out, but doesn’t highlight the long lies and coffee shop days!

So my plan is to invest at least a few weeks in Tai Chi to see if I can get a bit of a reset on my system, balance out an increase my energy.

Let’s get into the ‘China’ mindset by taking a quick look at a few of my 2014 pics!

Yangshuo:

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