Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kristin Anderson Photography featured in the West Australian

Some of my wedding photographs were featured in Wednesday 18 March's West Australian newspaper.  The photos were included in the WA Venues liftout section promoting Exmouth's Novotel Ningaloo as not only a holiday destination but as a fabulous place to have your wedding.

I was happy to see my name in lights at the base of the photos, too - that doesn't always happen, despite agreements!

The photos were from Nikki & Michael's wedding and Jeni & Matt's reception

I can't wait to shoot more weddings at the Novotel Ningaloo this's just such a beautiful venue with great opportunities for photographs!

I still have some 2009 availability for weddings and am accepting 2010 bookings, too. Contact me via email or at Kristin Anderson Photography to arrange the perfect photography for you special day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Big Trip 2009...Iguazu Falls

OK, this is a long, photo heavy one, so be prepared! I know it's been a long time coming, but I promise to be better with the rest of the posts for my trip.

We spent Wednesday and Thursday up at Iguazu Falls on the borders of Argentina and Brazil.  Well, we were meant to spend both days there.  Thanks to LAN, one of the local airlines, we didn't get our Wednesday as our 0830 flight was canceled and we were moved to a 1330 flight.  None of us were very happy as that flight didn't see us getting in to the hotel until after 4.  Which meant that we missed the last train of the day to head up to Devil's Throat, thus throwing off the plan to be able to get a taste of everything in!  Oh well, that's just what happens on holidays.

We checked in to the Sheraton and Amber had arranged a Falls view room for us.  I highly recommend that you spring for the extra dollars (this is NOT a cheap side trip anyway, so be prepared) for the Falls view room.  There are actually two full sized beds in the room, but I thought this looked nicer ;) We had room 364 and the view was pretty dang near perfect with no real obstructions.  We were straight on to one of the main falls, could see the resort on the hill over on the Brazilian side and had a wonderful vista of waterfalls to the right.  Some of the rooms do have obstructed views, Amber had one last year, so it's worth requesting a particular room number or at least being clear about wanting something with no obstructions!

The view including the pool area at the Sheraton

Me on our balcony with the Falls in the background.

It's amazing to be able to sit on your balcony and watch the sun come up and the sky change colours over the falls is magical. I watched from when the sky was still black until the last of the dawn was gone

I'm sure sunset is equally impressive, but we didn't get to see that.

The Sheraton at Iguazu Falls is the only hotel on the Argentinean side that is in the park.  This is the big hotel on the Brazilian side

The town of Iguazu is about 20ish minutes away by taxi and there are many hotels there, too.  It looked like there were ample tour buses to take you from those hotels to the National Park, but I'm very glad we stayed right there.  Not only for the view, but it was nice to just be able to decide when we wanted to go and *go*.  The rooms are comfortable but the bathrooms are pretty small.  The showers seemed to be funky for all of us (we had three rooms for our group)...our shower would go along merrily at the right temperature and then suddenly go cold for a bit, then back to the right temperature.  Irritating, but fine for a night or two.

The service at the lobby bar was a bit hit or miss, but they have excellent chairs and a killer view.  Everything at the Sheraton is expensive.  We only ate lunch on our second day there and sandwiches were fine, the beer cold.  The breakfast buffet, included with the room rate, had quite a lot of choices including plenty of varieties of fresh fruit.  We decided to eat in town on our only night and went to Tio Guerido on our cab driver's recommendation.

We got out of the cab, started walking down the block and BAM!  Huge torrential downpour!  We couldn't believe it.  We were completely soaked through after having to run across the road to the restaurant, but it was fun.  Tio Guerido seems be a popular place and filled up as we were there.  They had a three piece live music act, who sold cds after their set, a huge selection of wines and a festive atmosphere.  The meals were meh...three of us had some sort of steak, so we thought, but it came out on rib bones and was extremely tough - when you could find any meat at all.  The mashed potatoes and the chocolate ice cream were great.  The six of us enjoyed conversation and cervazas and still had a good time, despite the mediocre meal. There is an outside patio (closed due to the rain!) next to their outside bbq area where the meat is prepared and two large inside rooms. I really liked the interior of the restaurant, but was a bit slack and didn't take any photos of it!

I would recommend that you plan to spend two nights at Iguazu Falls so you are sure that you get two good days to explore and enjoy.  We thought taking the 0830 flight would be a great solution, but once they canned the flight that whole day was not only wasted, but it meant that we really didn't have enough time at the Falls.  It was very disappointing, especially as the sky was a flat grey overcast for the time we did have at the Falls themselves.  And that means no rainbows, no beautiful shimmering light...just flat grey.  There was also a tremendous amount of "mist" coming off the Falls while we were there and sometimes it completely wiped out the Falls themselves!  The Falls are still awesome in their power and very pretty, but photographically - blech. I had a great time though.

We did the jungle and falls tours during the one day we had. It's a wonderful tour and I highly recommend it, but make sure you bring a towel because you are going to get wet. Drenched, really. We started off with the 4x4 portion of the trip through the jungle and our guide did a nice job of pointing out the different plants, animals and points of interest in both English and Spanish. It was overcast, as I've said, and I wish I had brought a warm and learn.

I was with the best group...these three are from SoCal and have been friends forever (and of course my bud, Amber is with us!). They were extremely welcoming and we laughed a lot!

After the jungle portion, you walk down a pretty steep staircase (nothing like the stone one you get to walk up on the other side, though!) to the waiting boats.

where you get to put on stylish bright orange lifejackets, stow everything you don't want saturated in a waterproof bag and then hang on as you shoot the rapids down to the Falls.

The views are pretty nice on the trip down and I can only imagine they would be spectacular if we had some sunlight.

If you ever wondered if it was worth it to buy one of those splash or waterproof cameras or cases, the answer is YES, definitely. I had all of my "good gear" stashed in the dry bag provided but kept my little Olympus SW720 out with me, so you'll have to forgive them, I'm not sure this little Oly was up to the movement of the boat! I was the only one on the boat who was able to keep a camera snapping away for the whole trip as it does get a tad dampish when we get up close to the Falls...

The hike back to the hotel is pretty hard work and can take well over an hour. Along the way, there is plenty to see and you get to walk through some beautiful jungle areas with lots of outlooks over more waterfalls. You also get to watch the next boatload of touristos head for a dunking!

Once we regrouped at the hotel, three of us decided to do the hike up to Devil's Throat. OK, so we did the train (and what a train it is) up and back, but it's still a hike to the Falls, including scary signs!

We had a quick break in the overcast - for like three minutes - once we got to Devil's Throat. This is just before you get right to the edge

And this is out on the platform where the best viewing normally is. There was a nice wind blowing so as soon as you went on to the platform you got soaked to the skin and it didn't let up for more than a few seconds at a time. We went out, looked, snapped a couple of photos and got out of there again! Last year my friend Amber went and had perfect conditions where she was able to see rainbows and really enjoy the view. Luck of the draw, nature is.

Back at the train station, one of the mulitudes of butterflies decided to land on this unsuspecting man. It really hung around with him and no matter how he turned, it wouldn't fly away.

There are roughly 10 million types of butterflies at Iguazu and if I ever go back I'd love to spend a couple of days just concentrating on them.

There are quite a few trails and waterfalls to explore at Iguazu and I could have happily spent several more days there. It's on my "visit again" list for sure!

Rompin' with the Girls

It's been awhile since I've added any doggie doin's so thought I'd pop a few action shots up from our beach outings over the past week or so.  I love going to the beach with my two Rhodesian Ridgebacks - Dora & MatildaLily - and I try to be good about taking a camera with me most of the time!  Lately I've been concentrating on getting them in full run's easier with Til as she's a nutbag and is always going a zillion miles an hour.  Dora is tougher as she's much more sedate (who said "lazy"?  She's refined, that's all :) )

MatildaLily trying to get airborne

a hard landing...

another bounding leap

Dora can get airborne, too, she just chooses to only do it to get back into the car!

Looking for mud crabs with Dad

then deciding to try to tackle Mom coz wouldn't it be funny to jump all over her while she's in the mud?!

Tilly loves the mud

In fact, Tilly pretty much just loves life - just like her Mom!