Lightning Storm over Kraków, Poland

Posted in Landscape, Nature, Travel at 10:51 pm by Warren Williams

The following morning, we left Budapest, heading northwards across Slovakia and into Poland. The air was thick, as the skies darkened over Kraków, as the heavens above decided to unleash a powerful two hour display of lightning and thunder.

Amazing castle on road through Slovakia
Stunning castle on the road through Slovakia

Bolt lightning over Ikea, Krakow, Poland
Lightning grounding over Ikea, Krakow

Massive bolt lightning
Massive bolt lightning over the fields

Red lightning over Krakow
Lighting up the sky over Krakow

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Hungary for Budapest

Posted in Architecture, History, Landscape, Travel at 10:00 pm by Warren Williams

The hottest day of our tour involved walking the beautiful streets of Budapest with the temperature creeping over 37°C. Budapest was once two cities – Buda and Pest, seperated by the great Danube River which officially combined in 1872.  The Buda side is located on the western banks of the Danube, featuring the hilly terrain and historic castles. Across the river on the expansive Great Plain, lies Pest, where much of the style is on 19th century architecture.

Budapest, overlooking the Danube
Buda side

Romantic couple overlooking Danube Budapest
Overlooking the Danube

Terror Museum, Tank, Budapest
Inside the Terror Museum – some disturbing scenes from WWII victims. Featuring photographs from Jewish victims, historic video footage, and torture devices.

Terror Museum, Budapest
Photography wasn’t permitted in the rest of museum, but was worth visiting for harrowing accounts of concentration camps, suffered by Jewish people from the Hungarian region.

St Stephen's Cathedral (St István Parish Church)
St Stephen’s Cathedral (St István Parish Church) – Is the largest church in Budapest, with building commencing in 1851, but not completed until 1905. This Neo-Renaissance church is often simply known as the Basilica.

Inside of the Basilica, Budapest
Inside the Basilica

Inside the Basilica.

Basilica winding staircase, Budapest
Winding staircase up to the tower

Basilica winding staircase, Budapest
Looking back down the staircase at the Basilica

View from Basilica, over Pest
View from the Basilica, over Pest and the Great Plain

Front view of the Basilica
Front view of the Basilica

Mercedes in Budapest
Mercedes in Budapest 😉

Budapest Parliament Building on Hot Day
Parliament Building on the scorching day

Castle in Budapest
After walking across the Chain Bridge, headed up the hills into Buda.

With the extreme heat and dehydration setting in, Peter, Nic and I ventured into the Labyrinth of Buda Castle, where the temperature is a constant 14°C and 90% humidity all year round. Without a tripod, photos were near on impossible due to the dark conditions. Walking down one of the corridors the sweet aroma of wine became apparent, where we found a wine fountain.

Wine fountain, Labyrinth, Budapest
Wine fountain, Labyrinth (ISO 6400)

Stepping back outside created instant stickiness against the still hot and humid conditions after 6pm local time. Once back at our hostel, a quick freshen up and we were back out again with a few others from the tour group to watch the vibrant sunset from the Chain Bridge spanning the Danube River.

Chain Bridge, Budapest
After climbing the bridge supports

Sunset over Buda

A well deserved meal and drinks were rapidly consumed following this physical, but amazing day around this grand city.

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VIP Tours around Vienna

Posted in Landscape, People, Travel at 10:11 pm by Warren Williams

With a full day to kill around Vienna, arranged to meet up with my friend René who was kind enough to show myself and Peter around the various sights and history of the magnificent city.

Donauturm Park

Vibrant Flower

René borrowing my Canon 17-40L lens + Lee filter setup
(And his new 5D II)

View from Donauturm Tower
Overlooking Vienna from up the Donauturm tower

Tour of Austraia 2009
Our trip into the city also coincided with the Tour of Austria, final leg.

Tour of Austraia 2009

Tour of Austraia 2009

In the afternoon, we visited the Schnapps museum for some exciting alcoholic beverage tasting, including gold leafed Schapps, and some stronger Absinthe.

Schnapps Museum, Vienna
Ann about to take a milky Schnapps shot

Grant showing the after taste effects from the hot chili Schnapps!

Following the milky drinks, René and his partner Anja took me along to the Danube River for sunset. The Danube is famous for being the only river to pass through four major cities, and also the second longest in Europe, spanning ten countries!

Long grass alongside the river… and as I figured out, a haven for mosquitos.

Anja, also wasn’t safe from those nasty mosquitos

Danube Vienna Sunset
Twilight over the Danube, with the Donauturm tower

Candid with the 85L in very low light – ISO 3200, F1.8

Danube River, Vienna at Night

A massive thanks to René and Anja for the tour of the city, and following drinks alongside this grand river.


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Onwards through Northern Italy and Austria

Posted in Landscape, Nature, Travel at 12:30 pm by Warren Williams

Travelling northward from Venice the following morning, we quickly headed to the border of Italy and Austria. The high quality roads through the Alps were absolutely amazing, offering unparalleled views.

Italian Alps
Making a quick stop at a service station

Endless Italian Vineyards
From the coach, endless vineyards in northern Italy.

Glacial Riverbeds over Italy
Glacial Riverbeds over Northern Italy

Church on the Hill, Italy
Church on the Hill, dwarfed by the Alps

First view of Austria
First view of Austria

Snail on plant
During lunch stop at another service station, with spectacular views over the valley

Fly on flower

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Venice – The City of Water

Posted in Architecture, History, Landscape, People, Travel at 9:21 pm by Warren Williams

Exploring the wondrous city of Venice, can only be achieved by water and on foot. Venice is unique in many ways, with endless beautiful detailed buildings perched alongside the water. Capturing the sights from the gondola boat ride, through the twisting passages and underneath low bridges was definitely a highlight and impossible to ignore. Later in the afternoon, took in the spectacular views from atop St Mark’s Campanile, witnessing the sprawl of intricate architecture over hidden islands.

Venice from Rialto Bridge
Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

Narrow passage of Venice
Narrow passageways

Venice Wedding Photographer
Wedding photos in St Mark’s Square

View to San Giorgio Maggiore
View to San Giorgio Maggiore

Gondolier in Venice
Venice Gondalier

Pigeon in St Mark's Square, Venice
Pigeon in St Mark’s Square

Pigeons overun Venice
Too many pigeons for my liking

Venice Gondola Top Deck
Gondola Riding – Niki, Pete, Grant, Richie and Warren

Venice Gondola Bricks
Passing old buildings in the narrow canals

Cindy at the Grand Canal
Arriving into the Grand Canal

Having a laugh in Venice
Cindy, having a good laugh

Gondola, Grand Canal, Venice

Venice Gondola Ride

Gondola, Venice

Gonola Ride, under bridge
Riding under one of the 400 bridges

Slow shutter speed on Gondola, Venice
0.6 seconds on a Gondola

San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore

View from atop St Mark's Campanile
St Mark’s Square – Notice the water patches from high tide

Endless views over Venice
Endless views over Venice

More views from the Campanile.

Pigeon passes St Mark's Campanile
Yet another pigeons flies by St Mark’s Campanile

Venice Moorings

Thunderstorm approaches Venice
Terrific thunderstorm approaches Venice

Speed boat in Venice
Speed boat, passing St Mark’s Campanile

Venice Thunderstorm
Heavy thunderstorm clouds over Venice

Painting Santa Maria della Salute from Accademia Bridge
Painting Santa Maria della Salute from Accademia Bridge

Slow waters over Venice
Slow shutter speed over Venice

Slow shutter over Venice

Sunset over Venice buildings
Low sunlight over Venice after the thunderstorm clears

Rich buildings in Venice
Rich coloured buildings are always a spectacle

Constitution Bridge, Venice
Ending back at Constitution Bridge after 24 hours

Ready for an early morning departure, over Northern Italy, and into Vienna, Austria.

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Destination Roma!

Posted in Aviation, Landscape, Travel at 12:00 pm by Warren Williams

With one of my best friends from New Zealand visiting, decided to tag along on a 16 day Eastern European tour with the Top Deck company. We had to rendezvous our group at 2pm in the city of Rome, so needed a fairly early departure from London Gatwick to get there. Flying in with Easyjet to Rome Fiumicino, it was a smooth non eventful ride.

G-EZAN - A319 Cockpit
Cockpit of our Easyjet A319 (G-EZAN)

Flying across English countryside
Flying over English countryside

Alps from A319
Flying over the Alps

Rome from Air
First view of Italy, village on outskirts of Rome

Following this, we caught the recommended train from the airport with the Leonardo Express. This is where our first bit of trouble happened, as we weren’t told we had to validate tickets on a machine, despite just buying them from a cashier next to the trains. The €11 tickets, soon became an extra €50 on the train, after the conductor wasn’t accepting our lack of knowledge as an excuse.

All smiles, about to board the Leonardo Express

Don't travel Leonardo Express in Rome
The resulting fine, and expensive first day!

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Pink Thames

Posted in Landscape at 9:15 pm by Warren Williams

Spent an evening again with Jason, down to the Thames to catch a sunset. Beautiful pink and mauve colours filled the sky, against the city backdrop.

Millennium Bridge Sunset
Millennium Bridge Sunset

St Pauls


Jason visits London!

Posted in Landscape, People at 10:38 pm by Warren Williams

My long time kiwi friend Jason came visiting London for a few days, before starting his new position in Geneva at CERN.
Decided to show him some of the more impressive views of London, including the modern Canary Wharf, Greenwich Meridian line and a walk along the Thames before sunset alongside Westminster.

Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Westminster Bridge and Houses of Parliament at Twilight
Houses of Parliament at Twilight


POTN All Nighter – Strobist

Posted in Architecture, Landscape, People at 4:59 am by Warren Williams

Some of the London and South-East UK photography-on-the.net (POTN) members converged on central London for an all night shoot, featuring off camera flash (strobist), followed by sunrise soon after 4:30am around the Millennium Bridge. Some were pumped on Red Bull, eager to get every shot, whereas a few of us, it was a desperate game to keep awake. This shoot immediately followed the road trip to Warwick Castle, so a new form of zombie like shooting was formed.

Neal managing his best awake impression

Millennium Bridge and St Pauls at 2am

Tate Modern at Night

Gosia dreaming of the next shot

Millennium Bridge Sunrise
Couple hours later over Millennium Bridge just after 4am

Against the fast incoming tide

Millennium Bridge Sunrise

Millennium Bridge Sunrise Glow


Sunrise over the O2

Posted in Landscape, Nature, Travel at 5:00 am by Warren Williams

With London having such a high latitude, sunrise/sunset in the middle of the year is rather extreme. This mornings sunrise was up before 5am, which meant leaving home at 330am to venture towards the Isle of Dogs near Canary Wharf for a view over the Thames and O2 Dome. What a beauty of a day, she turned out to be…

At this point, I also created a sequence of shots that I pieced into a video:
85L @ f2.8 DOF test

O2 Dome Sunrise
Dawn over the O2 Dome

Another version of the same angle

Shooting over the grass

O2 Dome Morning Glow
Silhouette of the O2 Dome

O2 Dome Sunrise

Sunrise over O2 Dome London

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Borough Food Market, Camden & Tower Bridge

Posted in Architecture, Landscape, People at 10:06 pm by Warren Williams

Hosted the photography meetup group meetup again, starting at the tasty Borough Food Market near London Bridge. From there, we ventured off to Tate Modern, and the pub on the Thames. Following this, we headed off to Camden Market, and finally watched the sunset from Tower Bridge. Another highlight of the walk, was meeting Pink Floyd album cover artist/photographers, Storm Thorgerson & Rupert Truman who produce some amazing work.

[ cheese ]

Got beer?

Walking along the Thames walkway

Photographer shootout

London Underground

Camden Market



First time catching the bridge lift in operation as a ferry goes beneath


Primrose Hill – London Photography Meetup

Posted in General, Landscape, People at 10:00 pm by Warren Williams

Primrose Hill was the starting scene for the 8th London Photography meetup group, that I was hosting for a walk and shoot around London. After meeting at Chalk Farm, and ascending Primrose Hill (not exactly that high!), we wandered through  neighbouring Regent’s Park before venturing into the pub for a drink and meal. Later in the evening, a few who remained practiced some off camera flash lighting in Leake Street, with the known Waterloo Graffiti, before watching the sun go down behind Westminster.

Click for HD video
Click to watch HD video, captured with a Canon 5D II

Standing bright in yellow

Leake Street Graffiti Can
Leake Street




Thames River, London
South Bank

Westminster Big Ben Sunset
House of Parliament as the sun goes down

Wireless off camera lighting (under railing)

London off camera flash
Neal again with some more off camera flash

Photographymeetups.com next meetup will be on Saturday 16th May at the Borough Food Market. And will be hosted by myself again, sharing technical tips/suggestions to improve your shots.


Soaring above Dubai to London

Posted in Aviation, Landscape, Travel at 12:02 pm by Warren Williams

After an uneventful evening departure from Melbourne via Singapore to Dubai, had 16 hours of night time flying to catch up on the lastest movie releases. So sadly there were no Australian desert, or sub tropical Asia to take photos 40,000 feet above.

Dubai at night time
Flying into Dubai at 5am local time – Emirates 777

A6-EBA - 777-300ER over motorway
Departing Dubai on a 777-300ER (A6-EBU)

Mountains of Iran

Sea of Azov
Sea of Azov, Ukraine – world’s shallowest sea

Aerial of Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany


Bells Beach – Rip Curl Surf Champs

Posted in Landscape, People, Sport at 3:51 pm by Warren Williams

Beyond Geelong to the start of the beautiful Great Ocean Road in Victoria, took a drive out to see the Rip Curl World Surf Championships. Unfortunately upon arriving, realised it was a “bye” day, due to lack of surf in the morning – however many pros and locals were still out there making the most of the good conditions.

Very steep beach, mixed with plenty of sea foam from the ferocity of the waves makes Bells Beach very unique


Sydney, Australia

Posted in Architecture, Landscape, Travel at 9:30 pm by Warren Williams

Flew into Sydney during the early hours of the morning for a three day quick sightseeing trip with my mum who lives in Melbourne. Sydney is Australia’s largest city with just over 4 million residents, surrounding the beautiful Sydney Harbour and coastline of New South Wales. First day in Sydney involved plenty on long walks around the CBD, Opera House and finally a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, for a spectacular view of the bridge and CBD from Luna Park.

Beautiful Sydney Aerial
(Reposted from last year, showing vast stretch from CBD to the beaches of Bondi in foreground and Manly across the mouth of harbour)

Iconic Sydney Opera House
The iconic Sydney Opera House

Pacific Dawn Sydney Harbour Bridge
The enormous Pacific Dawn passes under the Harbour bridge

Sydney Opera House and CBD from Harbour Bridge
Opera House and CBD viewed from the walkway on the Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge at Night
Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

Sydney Skyline - Harbour Bridge and Opera House
Sydney Skyline from Luna Park

Sydney Harbour Bridge flag
The flag atop the Harbour Bridge flutters at night

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