VENICE CARNIVAL 2019

What an exhilerating but exciting experience.. If you have never been Venice its a stunning rustic city with heaps of charm, architecture, canals and hidden tiny streets and beautiful churches. If you have not ventured out at Carnival time , then its an absolute must.

We visited towards the middle of the two week event, although it was reasonably less busy at times the streets and bridges were gridlocked (especially over the weekend). This can be frustrating for those of you impatient or feel claustraphobic in crowds.

Midweek it was less busier and you could stand back and admire the city as a whole, the architecture and its intricate details. Personally I dont think there is a point of a map unless you need to be in one part for a specific time. Ditch the map and go wonder. You need a good pair of trainers to hold you up as you soon put in the mileage. Over 6 days we walked 102,700 steps which is in fact about 40 miles. A breeze for some no doubt but we felt it. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

The prices for food shopping nr the square are expensive but lots of cafes around the square do offer a few bargains if you stand and eat/have coffee from €4 for a latte. However if you venture to the side streets or even towards Academia (student quarter nr the station) not only will you find bargains but even more superb views.

Venture out to the islands, there are so many to visit. Murano is famous for its glass and lots of items to purchase as well as the courful buildings of Burano. Ive never seen anything like it. Quiet quaint streets canals filled with reflections, water so still the colourful buildings are clear as crystal. The lace filled shops and the cute bridges that lead you dwn even more stunning and rustic architecture doors and windows. Its nice to get away for a day from the hustle and bustle of St Marks Square. Its beautiful.

Back to Venice, a guide to Venetian Rioftop bars should be available give you some stunning vistas over Venice. The Hilton Hotel and the new shopping centre near Rialto Bridge are two so far on offer. Amazing perspectives over the vast Grande Canal.

Gondola rides are short and expensive but if you are visiting the city first time is deffinitely as MUST. Split the cost share with another couple/ family can reduce the cost to €40 the ride lasts 30 minutes and goes super fast. So make sure you are gopro and camera/iphone ready.

This was my second visit to Venice, venice Carnival was such an exhilerating experience im unable to put into words - one of those unforgetable experiences if you can do it once in your life you should.

My homemade masks.. yes i wore them too

My homemade masks.. yes i wore them too

The couple that matched the setting.. St marks Square

The couple that matched the setting.. St marks Square

Wedding

Bridal shoot

_DSF2796.jpeg

Superb Costumes

Intricate Masks

Intricacy….

Fretwork

Quaint streets and architecture…..

IMG_7436.jpeg

Street Photoshoots….

IMG_7517.jpeg

What Venice is all about, romance and gondolas

_DSF3386.jpeg

Dramatic costumes with stunning architecture

Londons Fashion Finest #LFW19 #ffaw19 #lfwAW19 16th February 2019

save the date - ill be shooting the fashion show on 16th February for Londons Fashion Finest for the 2nd year in a row - last years outfits blew me away how wearable and stunning they were cannot wait to see what the designers and organisers have in store for this years shows

Had an amazing day, the outfits were stunning and the event well organised. Images below more on my instagram.

016CF9F3-A865-49C0-81EC-7C0F9BCDD630.jpeg

TUNCER TONUN

BRITISH DESIGNER OF THE YEAR 2019

DEA539D6-D712-41B6-976B-C23187AF3DFF.jpeg

L’Yesseur

Fabulous bespoke jewellery

L’yesseur (2)

L’yesseur (2)

4F750C19-1812-4576-AAA6-7E371327DA35.jpeg

OLYA SOOKIE - Croatia

Lovely to see this designer again and so glad that the show promoted Ability not Disability with their model Chiara Bordi - more of this please!

Bottom left is Kepanza rest are Olya Sookie

F2A50B97-4AA5-4EA2-B0F7-7029D10A7D4C.jpeg

KEPANZA

Casual cosy and comfortable outfits with decorative hemlines absolutely loved the colours

48867CF4-80FC-4F8F-B53F-7B2971B4275E.jpeg

MISS BOSS LONDON

A few evening dresses but very beautifully made

9C7E0341-F88B-4E30-98A1-A00A904560C2.jpeg
D42D98F5-8621-4DB5-AB15-38DBA3543CFB.jpeg

NITYA SINGH

Beautiful tailoring suits for casual and every day wear

65B77416-8E25-4287-8CD1-CB71110E067A.jpeg
0912F7BA-8618-4C2D-BFE8-B0D1623EB55D.jpeg

ABILITY to model NOT Prejudice against Disability

IMG_3869.jpeg

LINDA BASSETT

Variety of dresses with quirky styles loved the element of The scottish feel

IMG_3879.jpeg
IMG_3797.jpeg

KANNA YEUNG

IMG_3788.jpeg
IMG_3764.jpeg

PATHOS

IMG_3733.jpeg
IMG_3747.jpeg
IMG_3742.jpeg

All Expenses Paid - Barcelona Landscapes

Never say never, having won a competition we were whisked off to Spains Landscapes - exploring the beautiful places an hour from Barcelona. All i can say is wow so many stunning places, the hospitality was amazing, the weather good, and the food.. amazing

We started in the medieval gothic town of Tona, Vic then moved onto the caves, Manresa Suria Catalonia, Rec in the Suria Region.. We visited the Toll Caves, the surrounding parks and the fabulous Sau Resevoir. It really was amazing and a nice change to a city break.

huge thanks to Igers london and Bagnesturisme and everyone involved with showing us how beautiful Barcelonas landscapes are. You can see the group of 10 who went, all of which partook in a competition and won a place on this fab little break. The Hashtag you will find many more fabulous photos on is #igerslondoninbcnlandscape

Space Shifters at the Hayward Gallery

If you adore creativity, illusion and perception you will love this new exhibition opening today.

We were fortunate to have a press sneak peak yesterday and i have nothing bad to say about the whole exhibition.

It involves 20 talented artists Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama and Richard Wilson but to name a few. One thing i will suggest is view it with an open mind stand still and absorb other items ill suggest you look up down and sideways but most importantly be imaginative. Its very innovative and at times i found myself leaning into what was real and what was an illusion. I loved every single piece.

This marks work panning over 50 years and ties in nicely with the stupendous space the gallery offers as well as its 50yr anniversary. Highly recommend a visit and please don’t rush it we were there 5 hours. Time flew most of all enjoy the creativity these artists have to offer.

https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/hayward-gallery-art/space-shifters

Olympus Event at Cahoots With Marcus Clarkson

I was fortunate enough to be invited to sample some Olympus products and challenge their equipment in low light.  The fabulous venue was in London and i have never been there before. Gosh i have missed so much.  It was called Cahoots and its a vintage bar with an underground theme.  Absolutely amazing venue.

We shot cocktails and them being made various recipes and varieties.  The event last a few hours with a vintage model shoot.  Im still editing so only have a few images to show, but i can assure you will agree they are great as was the equipment.  So huge thanks to Olympus for the invite.

Norfolk Charity Walk

Sometimes i like a challenge but usually im prepared for it.

Due to recent events this trip I was not ready at all.  You see i signed up to support the charity that assists disabled photographers in Norfolk with a charity walk.  Its called Summer Solstice its a walk on the longest day of the year starts at sunrise and ends at sunset. It took place in   beautiful Norfolk on 21st June 2018.  It should have been 12 miles due to circumstances it turned to 18.5 miles. (the tide was high and we could not walk along the coast on the beach so we had to hike up the cliffs and walk zig zag around the cliffs).  it was a tough one. We all survived bar a few blisters. Most of all it was fun and the coastline stunning.

It was my first time visiting Norfolk coast, Cromer Sherringham and a few other areas along the way ending up in Maudsley but it was truly breathtaking.

As i don't usually shoot landscapes it was fun to learn and i have produced some lovely images im very proud of.  it was extremely windy and keeping the tripod still was a tough one.

Doing photography has brought together so many of us and to go out as a group of 16 strangers having never met before, spending 19 hours together during our walk just proves how much a passion can bring so many like minded people together.

in hindsight, I struggled as i said i should have trained and i didn't but then again i did not assume it would be a long walk as such, the support and encouragement from one another in the group when they knew i was finding it hard with immense.  There is no way on earth i could have finished the walk without their support.

Motto, life isn't to be lived in your comfort zone! Get out and explore push your boundaries.

check out https://www.throughthelensworkshops.co.uk/product/summer-solstice-norfolk-coast-charity-photo-walk/

The charity we raised funds for: http://www.the-dps.co.uk

 some pictures on instagram https://www.instagram.com/through_the_lens_workshops/

some of my images https://www.instagram.com/sparkle71h/

The 2nd photo is c/o Sital Patel the last photo is c/o Venesha Thompson both who participated and their support was much appreciated 

enjoy the snaps

Alicante in the Spring

Sometimes its always good to get away, sometimes we can't do long haul and its amazing what a few days away can do to the soul. 6 days in Spain was just perfect.

I ventured out to this part of Spain,  little town called costa Blanca also known as Benidorm.  Yes unfortunately it does live up to its name  its rowdy loud and there are lot of lager louts about, however having said that there is still so much charm about the the little town. Just make sure you pack the earplugs if you want an early night and your stay is Friday to Sunday night.

Aside from the good weather (the maximum temperature was 27 degrees). Yes I came back brown and very relaxed.  What I did discover this time round how easy it is to use their local transport system to venture out to the other cities.  Everything is within reasonably close proximity.

Firstly visiting the old town is a must, the quaint streets, the balcony filled buildings, the politeness of the Spanish people is very warming.  They are a little conservative, very strong in their faith and don't appreciate people walking down the shops in their bikinis, bear this in mind and cover up if your wondering around the town, often being told you won't be served without a shirt on, often offends. (Don't worry im not guilty of that)

The stunning Balcon del Mediterraneo is a popular spot which over looks the whole of Coast from one side to the other.  Fabulous at sunset, you will see from some of my photos the jagged edge of the cliff where the steps have been carved from has its own beauty.

From a short walk up the Levante Beach you come to Ave de Europa, from there nr the Pizza restaurant is the bus terminal, You can purchase most tickets for any trips from there.  I managed to venture in my favourite town of Alicante for a whole day, just keep an eye on the coach return times it took an hour door to door and cost a mere eight euros.  The coach was comfortable and the hour went very quickly. Unfortunately due to times i couldn't just stay for sunset.

Things to see in Alicante : MUST - Santa Barbara Castle,  Id never been read about it and i have to say wow.  the stone remains of the castle the palm trees the blue skies and the views - 360 degrees of Spain.  Took my breath away.  Very reasonably priced to go up and you can stay up there as long as you like.  Its kind of wheelchair friendly although with the grounds of the castle it may prove a little difficult.  There are slopes and steps in-between and various levels.  

Once your down from the castle take walk into the marina the beach and venture into the side streets, the buildings are very quaint with the balconies and intricate wrought iron details.  Don't forget the famous La Explanada De Alicante, walk the whole length enjoy the flooring the tiling is very unique and there are details at the bottom of the castle with a picture of its creator the Mayor Agatalangelo Soler 1954-1963.

Another trip I would highly recommend is to go to Guadalest (from Benidorm).  At the moment there is one bus that goes once a day it leaves at 1005 and returns into Benidorm at 1305.(journey time is approaching 40 mins each way. The tourist office will advise where to catch the bus from but from the balcone de Mediteraneo it's not far. Two hours is enough up there its very old and so absolutely beautiful the views are simply superb.  Nature is so overwhelming sometimes i think some of us just do not appreciate it.

Again from Benidorm, down load the bus bud app https://www.busbud.com  you can book your coach tickets online, fairly straightforward.  Don't panic if it states the drop off point in say is the airport as before that they will always stop at the bus station, just make sure you have done your homework and planned where you want to go and what to do.  Please jump on a bus to the bus terminal in Benidorm unless your super fit and have ample time, i luckily had ample time but it was a good 45 min trek from where i was, part of it is along side a main road - it was 26 degrees at 1015am -  i would not recommend coming back alone at night that way.  Going to Valencia for the day was I have to say the highlight of my trip.  sometimes there are places you just want to go, and considering i knew there was a lot of superb architecture im so chuffed I went.

The Cathedral is a must as is the tower, check opening times, allow ample time for your day in Velencia you will need it, i was there for 11am and returned on the 2145 back and it was great. Once there download the app My Taxi https://es.mytaxi.com/index.html - it very similar to uber. Quick and simple to use - and good if you want to wait for sunset but need to dash back to the bus station in time - remember the coach won't wait.  

Now ....a must is the city of sciences, ciutat de les arts i les ciencies http://www.cac.es/va/home.html if you start your day early you will gain entry to all the museums for a fee.  Part of it is up in scaffolding but not to worry there is so much to see.  Have a wonder take in the views venture into the museums.  Even after they are closed it seems to be a great place for families an friends to sit and enjoy the views.  Lots for the children to see and do and plenty of selfie fun for the adults, or like me architecture to photograph.  id say i think ive taken my best photos here.

I hope you found this review helpful any queries please drop me an email ill try and help.   As well as Calpe and Altea there are lots of towns to list even Barcelona, which is another world too.

Hoping now I can put in for my licentiate with the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photography and catch a certificate or two for architecture. fingers crossed.

Happy travels Anila

 

Berlin

Always wanted to visit and now i can finally cross this one off my list.

Great city immense history, a little like London and totally felt at home. Lots to see and do the most important for me was The Reichstag.  In fact this needs to be booked well in advance, and as i love architecture i knew i would adore this structure i booked two visits.  One for sunset and one for early morning in the bid to get it empty.

Brilliant building, a little military in passing through security and entering the building etc but obviously as its a government building its a must.  You must have your passport or some form of photo ID without that you cannot enter. You can roam at your leisure once inside go out on the balcony which shows off immense views over Berlin - loved every minute and we had a superb sunset.

Next is the Jewish Museum. Sad eery and so intense, i left feeling so sad i can't even tell you.  But its a must if you visit the city.  If you have a gold card (3 days travel pass) you do get a lot of discounts entering most sites so i would suggest getting one.  It acts like a hop on and hop off for all the transport.  Its your mini passport around the city and we used it from 6am through to gone midnight.  We must have walked in excess of  35 miles around the city the 4 days we were there.

There are may rooftops you an visit most bars have an external terrace and you can also attend the Park Inn for €4 and visit the top fab views.

 

Copenhagen

When you have family aboard you don't often see much of the city as its all shopping centres and get togethers.

Having visited after 6 years i was fortunate enough to be taken everywhere by my lovely nice and nephew in turn they discovered a few places they had not been to or could not remember. 

Yes it was cold grey and a little miserable aside from one day we caught a spectacular sunset even though my fingers froze.

Its easy to get to and lots to see. The architecture in denmark is something else.  You can also visit malo which is only 30 mins via the bridge and the emporia shopping centre is rather spectacular. 

Will update more tomorrow

Lisbon

Well Lisbon was amazing lots seen and done - the rain was imminent however its such a gawjus city.

How a city can look so colourful in the rain is beyond me.  The stunning architecture the history the steep roads and sidewalks  and the stunning views over the city from so many vantage points was just simply stunning.

The people warm and friendly a city where time actually stood still for all of 5 days.  The kind of place you return from and feel as if you had been away ten days rather than just 5.

If you plan where you want to go well you will almost see everything.  Apart from the striking architecture, coloured houses, sloppy streets, you will find lots of stunning mosaic pavements - paved in marble the shapes and intricacy just stunning.

My advice if you go don't take any luggage buy everything there, its very economical warmer than London and only 2 hours away.  Im already planning to go back 

 

Mercedes X-Class Launch Party 26.1.2018

I don't often win competitions but lately I have been fortunate to Im truly grateful for the experience.  

Last night I had the privilege to attend the launch for the new and stunning Mercedes Benz X Class launch - #60minuteswithX and our guest appearance was Tinie Tempah himself giving an absolutely exhilarating concert for 60 mins - what a fabulous evening canapés, drinks, music and an array of Mercedes on display.  Having owned a CLK Coupe in the past it really was the best car I've ever driven and its not an #ad.  The vehicles on display were just amazing i won't even look at the prices.  Huge thanks to our @uk_shooters @hubrick and @mercedesbenzuk for the invitation organisation and an excellent night out.

There are some videos and sneak clippets on my instagram/twitter take a look. Were you there? are you in my photos? get in touch.

 

 

Attendees striking some poses with the illuminated Mercedes logo

Attendees striking some poses with the illuminated Mercedes logo

Undecided if I adore the black or the white but it an amazing piece of machinery

Undecided if I adore the black or the white but it an amazing piece of machinery

Top effort to these young ladies that make my role more fun

Top effort to these young ladies that make my role more fun

XClasslaunch5.JPG
#60minuteswithX

#60minuteswithX

IMG_4295.JPG
Xclasslaunch9.jpg
...now i like white.....

...now i like white.....

grid launch12.JPG
captivating the crowd for an hour absolutely fabulous night

captivating the crowd for an hour absolutely fabulous night