Archives for December 2010


Travel Photography – Christmas Sleigh Ride

Christmas Sleigh Ride

Our First Winter Christmas Celebration needed a Sleigh Ride.

Hang the stockings with care, Saint Nick is almost here.


4 Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for the Traveller

Biplane flight over Seattle

Biplane flight over Seattle

Christmas is upon us, you still have not finished the gift buying and the shopping malls are turning into a haven for psychopathic Christmas excess. If you are shopping for the traveller, avoid the shops and get them a gift that tells them you know what matters to them.

  1. Buy them a ticket to a favourite destination or check out the sales page of your local airlines or railways to find a new adventure for them. (Check JetStar for cheap flights in Australia.)
  2. Book a weekend adventure, and enjoy their excitement on Christmas Day and share the adrenalin rush of a new adventure. (Try Adrenalin for Australian adventure packages.)
  3. Buy a travel ebook or audio guide for their next vacation destination.
  4. Enrol them in a frequent flyer program or buy an executive lounge membership with their favourite airline.

Travelling over Christmas – Here’s an Idea–Attend Christmas Mass

Berliner Dom

Christmas Mass at the Berliner Dom

Christmas is about food, friends, presents and just plan old excess living–right?

No? But that is how most people celebrating Christmas will structure their day while barely acknowledging the birth of an extraordinary man–Christians, Muslims and Jews can at least agree on this fact–over 2000 years ago.

Now you nay not be inclined to attend Christmas Mass at home but on the road it is an opportunity for a unique experience of the local culture.

Whether you sit with the faithful in the grandeur of Westminster Abbey or in a small local church, it will enrich your Christmas travel regardless of your own faith or beliefs. It is a great time to meet and interact with the locals who will be brimming with Christmas joy, and they may just invite you to a meal.


How to Select a New Lens for your Digital Camera – Check out LensHero

LensHero launched this week with a tool to simplify selecting a lens for digital SLR camera. You type in your camera model, select a budget and let LensHero select a lens based on style, zoom or your current lens mix.

I upgraded the lenses for my Canon 20D DSLR last month, and I was interested to see how LensHero rated my choices. My Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM only rated 7th despite having the exact search parameters I used, and the Tokina 16.5-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AT-X DX Canon-EF rated 6th despite being a poorer lens. The Tokina got higher marks for having a greater zoom range but there is no sharpness rating, which is the weak spot for the Tokina. It also had only two reviewers whilst the Canon lens had been reviewed by over 400 happy buyers (Reviews used are from B&H Photo, one of my favourite retailers)

Entering my current lenses into the suggest function identified the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM as the lens I needed, and I agree as it has been on my wish list for several years.

Overall I found that LensHero will present you with suitable lens choices based on your inputs and but it still requires the buyer to assess the data before taking the plunge. If they can incorporate image sharpness into their algorithm, it could became a killer app for lens buyers.


Friday Travel Photograph – Mt Rainer, Washington

Clouds lifting around Mt Rainer, Washington USA

Clouds lifting around Mt Rainer, Washington USA