My Favourite Photos of 2013
Rather than pick out a load of pictures I took in 2013 with my trusty old Nikon (or Olympus for underwater pics), I thought I'd showcase my Instagram skills. For those of you who don't know, Instagram is a popular, free photo sharing app available for your smart phone. It always you to crop, rotate and apply some basic effects to the image taken with the camera on your smartphone and I've been pretty impressed how easy it is to use.
Rio From The Air
Rio de Janiero has some of the most iconic landmarks in the world that are instantly recognisable. The statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks this sprawling city with the stunning Copacabana and Ipamena beaches, Sugar Loaf mountain and the world famous Maracana Stadium which will be the venue of the 2014 World Cup Final. Anyone who has been up the base of the 30m tall statue of Christ the Redeemer will tell you of the stunning views over this famous city.
Rhino Poaching Still A Major Problem In South Africa
Rhino have always been poached in Africa but until 2005, the numbers of animals killed illegally had been relatively low. Since then, the problem has escalated seriously and in 2012 a total of 668 rhino were poached. The increase has coincided with an increase in demand for rhino horn from Vietnam. The horn is ground into powder, mixed with water and the drink is used as a miracle cure for everything.
Zodiac Modern Art in Moscow
In one of the northern suburbs of Moscow I found this little park with 12 works of modern art. Closer inspection revealed that each represented a sign of the zodiac. Despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to find the name of the park but it is only a couple of minutes walk from Sviblovo metro station on the Orange Line (Number 6 - Kaluzhsko–Rizhskaya Line). There is also a pretty little white Russian Orthordox church with a golden onion dome which is also worthy of a photo or two.
View of Ipanema
Along with Copacabana, Ipanema beach is one of the best known beaches in Rio de Janeiro. However, there is more than just a wonderful beach to Ipanema. It is considered to be one of the more desirable areas of Rio to live in. Naturally, the beach is incredibly popular and people arrive early to secure their favourite spot for a lazy day in the sun. Ipanema faces south on to the Atlantic Ocean.
Umm Suqeim Beach In The Shadow Of The Burj Al Arab Hotel
The luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel is one of Dubai's most recognised landmarks. While most of us will never get to stay there, it is possible to sunbathe (fairly) close by on the Umm Suqeim public beach. The beautiful, white sands and waves gently lapping make Umm Suqeim an ideal place to relax. It offers some of the best views of the Burj Al Arab hotel and Dubai city tour buses pass along the road next to the beach to afford tourists a photo opportunity.