Sun or Moon?

If you live in the Algarve and didn’t stay in bed all day then you will have witnessed the sand and dust cloud blown over from the African deserts today. For those that are not in the Algarve and haven’t witnessed these, it’s not pleasant, everything gets covered in sand and if you have a respiratory issue, it’s very uncomfortable. The only thing worse is a sandstorm and I’ve witnessed one of those in Qatar, they hurt, a lot!

Anyway, the cloud and dust seems to be clearing now, but there was still enough in the sky at sunset to create a real diffusion of the suns rays and it almost looked like it was the moon rather than the sun.

If you have travelled to the Middle East, these sunsets are very common due to the dust in the sky.

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Misty River Captured On My Smartphone

Smartphone photography is a little restrictive which actually makes it fun. Trying to get a shot that shouldn’t work is a real challenge. This morning I was down at the river and the sun was beaming down onto the bridge/ford and the rising steam made it look amazing. The sun is a little blown out, but again, that’s the restriction on a smartphone as its dynamic range (the difference between the darks and lights) it can capture is quite small.

As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you, so I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to capture this. Once the world returns to some sort of normal, keep an eye out for my Smartphone Workshops!

(Click to view in Lightbox)

I Usually Like It When Nature Finds Me, Not Last Night

Being a Nature Photographer, my life is made much easier when nature finds me rather than me going out in search of it. However, in the early hours of this morning nature found me in a drastic way.

I love a good thunderstorm and here in the dark hills of the Algarve it can put on a great show. Last night it got a bit too close.

Around 3am I was awoken by an approaching storm, the rain was battering the roof and faint flashes of lightening followed by thunder was approaching. Within 10 minutes, it was overhead and I was lying in bed watching the flashes. Suddenly, there was a bright but small flash with a loud bang followed by a huge bright flash and an incredible crackling boom. This sound coincided with the sound of things breaking and being thrown through the air and even smashing glass.

I won’t type what I actually shouted as I jumped out of bed but I thought a window had broken so my first thoughts were our cats.

The power had tripped so with just our torches on our mobile phones we opened the bedroom door to find pieces of plastic on the floor. I picked it up and realised it was an exploded ADSL filter, quite a long way from the telephone socket. The power was fine, it had tripped on the board so with light returned I could investigate the damage. There was no broken window it was an outside lamp that had been broken by a flying plastic door! The lightening strike had gotten into the telephone line and exploded the cables, connectors and ADSL filter. It had blown the socket off the wall, the modem in the router had exploded and the strike travelled into my LAN (wired network in the house) taking out a few components along the way. The home phone also exploded.

MEO router destroyed

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Angry Sunset

Wow, if it wasn’t for my friend Roy, I would have missed this. I was busy locked away in my studio which currently has no windows (I’m working on it!) and Roy sent a photo of the skies. I dropped everything headed outside and set the camera up at a storm rolling in. Could I get a lightning fork coming out of what looked like a scene from a Sci-Fi?

Oh yes, what a dramatic sunset tonight!

{Click image to view in the shop}

Angry Sunset
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The Quinta Was A Natural Stadium For A Passing Storm

If you live in Portugal, you may have noticed we had some unexpected storms this afternoon. One particular storm passed to the north of the Quinta and as we are on top of a hill, our view north-east as the angry clouds passed us by was amazing.

I set the camera up to constantly take photos and I captured 8 separate strikes. It wasn’t one of our usual heavy, loud, wet and windy storms, but amazing to watch it pass us by.

Here are all 8 strikes merged into one photo.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Passing Thunder Storm
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