Alfama, Lisbon

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Lisbon stole my heart when I first visited it back in 2017. I have now had the pleasure of going to this wonderful city three times and intend on taking a fourth trip there over Christmas. I can’t quite put my finger on what keeps drawing me back there, as usually I am not one for revisiting cities, especially not in such a short space of time. I think it might be the combination of the beautiful but run down architecture, the friendly people and the wonderful food.

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Lisbon is a city that despite it’s hills is made for walking. For me it’s the only way to take in all that it has to offer, this is particularly true of Alfama. The oldest disctrict in the city, Alfama is a maze of cobbled streets that are made for getting lost in. Along every street you will find beautiful buildings decorated in traditional Portuguese tiles and chances are you will see one of the old ladies of Alfama selling Ginja, a sweet cherry liqueur that originated in Lisbon.

During my latest trip I decided to stay in the Alfama District and spent most of my spare time just exploring the area. It has a chilled out relaxed vibe. The streets are lined with bars and restaurants but it does not have the party scene that the Bairro Alto district has. So if partying isn’t your bag, Alfama is the perfect spot for sitting back and relaxing with a big glass of sangria and watching the world go by.

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There is something about Alfama that makes me feel like I have stepped back in time. I’m not sure if it is it’s slightly run down exterior or the lines of laundry that are hung out of the houses, or the old ladies gossiping on the street. To be honest, it’s probably all of the above. What I do know is, it is a joy to photograph and I hope it never loses it’s charm.

Plitvice Lakes

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Back in July I booked a last minute holiday to Split, Croatia. During my stay there I took a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Renowned for it turquoise lakes and abundance of waterfalls, the park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and rightly so. Plitvice is exceptionally stunning and even though it took a few hours to get there I am very glad I took the time to visit. In fact, I am not sure why it has taken me so long to edit my photos from my visit but now I have I am desperate to go back!

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Despite the glorious sunshine that I left in Split it was a lot cooler at the lakes which are much further inland. The weather was changeable and at times stormy, I got caught in the rain a couple of times! It just added to the atmosphere of the places though and made for some much more interesting photos. It took a few hours to walk around the park but there were waterfalls everywhere and the lakes were gorgeous and so clean (they don;t allow anyone to swim in them).

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I’ve always been a massive fan of Croatia in general, the whole country (or at least what I have seen of it) is ridiculously beautiful but these lakes are on a whole other level. In fact their beauty might be their downfall as the national park was jam packed full of tourists. Mass tourism aside though, if you are ever in the area definitely don’t miss out on this natural beauty.

New York, New York

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Visiting New York is always such a joy for me. I always feel like I take some of my best photos when I visit this city. It always inspires me to try and get the best shots. New York always gives me more freedom to try out new things such as street photography as no one gives a shit if you are walking around with a massive camera looking more than obvious that you are trying to photograph them in a cool outfit, or with their cute dog.

Then there is the architecture, which despite being captured by a million people in a million different ways, never gets boring. Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrysler, the Empire State Building, all icons, all worth capturing over and over again, and each time I go back I can’t help but get sucked in my their charm.

This was my third time in the my favourite city and as well as exploring all the usual haunts I spent a lot more time in areas I had previously neglected such as Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan. This trip was very much about getting inspired by photography again as a big chunk of 2018 saw me barely pick up a camera. I made sure to spend every single day I was there taking as many photos as possible and I managed to find my love of photography again.

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Now I am back home, trawling through the hundreds of images I took during the week I was in NYC and I am once again enjoying the editing process. Experimenting with black and white photography is something I have always been a little wary off, mainly because a lot of my images are of landscapes and don’t always lend themselves well to this medium. However, New York has the architecture and clean lines that stand out even more in black and white and I am pleased with the results. Fulton Street Subway and the Oculus both provide some great shots. I only discovered them after taking a photography tour of that area.

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I am currently plotting to get back there in the summer to experience the city in a different season. All my previous trips have been in December and whilst the city is wonderful when it’s dressed up in festivities I would like to experience it in the warmth.