Photography For Beginners – By a Beginner

So this week I have been getting out and about with my new camera, and trying various things and getting used to all the functions and settings on the camera. If you missed it, read my previous photography post on me getting started.

Thankfully, we’ve had some great weather this week, which has really helped me to capture some of the gorgeous sights I actually have right on my doorstep. It’s weird, because ever since I’ve got this camera, I seem to think I see an opportunity in everything, and I carry my camera with me EVERYWHERE. Can almost say I have become a little bit obsessed. But they say practice make perfect, and I certainly want this improved before I head out on my next trip in less than 2 weeks.


So my first tip would be, take your camera wherever you go, because you never know when you come across a good photo opportunity.

Now, I’m still learning all about angles, and lighting and all these other variables you need to thin about when it comes to photography. If you’re like me, who is a self confessed perfectionist, I’m never happy with the first picture I take, or even the second or the third or even the fourth. But this is ok, I’ve realised your not going to get the perfect shot the first time, so you keep going till you’re happy.


So my second tip would be, don’t be too worried if you don’t know too much about the basic principles of taking a great photo, because this will come as you snap away, and of course by doing continues research on internet.

I wish I had this camera when I did my last trip away, which was to Berlin. However, I do have an iPhone 6s Plus, which does take some great photos, but I never really thought about photography until I came back. I took some great pictures, but I think with a proper camera, I could have captured some much more amazing pictures. You can catch some of my iconic captures from Berlin on one of my Berlin posts.

To me, from what I have read so far, and what I have come to experience by shooting all these pictures, there are 5 fundamental elements that need to be considered in taking a picture:

  • Exposure
  • Light
  • Perspective
  • Focus
  • Composition

I know these will all come with experience, like anything else, and my photos will become epic, and I can put it all into practise on my upcoming trips, which is in my Next Adventure post for Copenhagen in Denmark & Malmo is Sweden.

For now, please enjoy these other shots I took, one I particularly love is my and 4 year old daughter enjoying a moment watching the waves.


More of my adventures can be found on my Instagram


New To Photography

Hi Everyone. I wanted to write this post about photography, because before now, I have never done any, or even thought about it. However, with all my new found travelling, I wanted to be able to have decent and high quality photos. So I decided to invest in a good camera. I contacted a friend of mine who is big on photography to ask his advice on cameras. Daley is an award winning photographer based in Lancashire, UK Daley Wilson Photography.

So I ended up going for a Nikon Coolpix 310L. I didn’t buy a brand new one as this is my first time. Instead I found someone who was selling one for £60, and in the end I paid £55 for the camera. It’s in perfect condition.


Nikon Coolpix L310 Features

The L310 has a 14 megapixel CCD sensor and 21x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-525mm. There is sensor shift VR (vibration reduction) to help reduce the effect of camera shake.

Shooting is made easy thanks to Easy Auto mode, which automatically adjusts the cameras settings for the scene. There are also 17 scene modes which can be manually selected as well as Sports Continuous and Smart Portrait System. This includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof, Skin Softening and Red-eye Fix.

Videos are recorded at 720p HD, with optical zoom available during recording.

Key Features

  • 14 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 21x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-525mm)
  • Sensor shift vibration reduction (VR)
  • 3 inch LCD screen
  • Sports continuous mode
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 80 – 6400
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Smart Portrait System

I went out to have a play and took several images, and even played around with the timer, as I always wanted one of those images you see where someone is just standing there with a great backdrop (I always did wonder how they did that), and I managed to get one. I was super proud. Needless to say I enjoyed that. But I know I have a long way to go. I am looking forward to getting back out on the road and testing my photography skills and learning about it along the way, so my images on my Instagram in particular become that so much better.


This photo was taken at The Humber Bridge in Hull, Humberside UK.

I’d love to hear from anyone who can give me some tips on travel photography, and the best way to capture the best images while travelling.

Instagram @weekendsolotraveller – Facebook weekendsolotraveller – Twitter solotr4veller


Hostel Review

I wanted to write this post to review the hostel I stayed in while I was in Berlin. Now obviously there many hostels to stay in, and its hard to choose which one to stay in when it comes to booking one, book you do your research, and check out the reviews, then you should pick the right one. And that’s exactly what I did with this one.

The Circus Berlin Mitte

Initially, their reviews were great, and the accommodation looked fab on the website. I found them through HostelWorld, which is the site I personally use to book all my accommodation while I travel around. After booking, I trolled their website, and it was filled with so much good information, from getting to the hostel from various locations, to what’s on. This was exactly what I needed, as it puts your mind at rest. so perfect. 

You can however book with them direct, and if I had known about them beforehand, then I would of personally booked direct. If I was to visit Berlin again, then I will definitely be booking directly, as there is so much more information they can provide by doing so. They add the personal touch that they like to add during the booking stage: like sending you their  top berlin picks, a berlin guide and updates on our events happening at the time of there stay

I flew in to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport, and getting to the hostel from there was fairly simply. I headed to the train station opposite the airport, headed directly to Alexander Platz, change there for the UBahn, and then just two stops to Rosenthaler Platz, and as you head out the UBahn station, the hostel is directly opposite on the other side of the road.


Now, like anything, first impressions are everything. I walked into The Circus Hostel and I was given a very good first impression. You are greeted with a pleasant foyer, walking through to then the main reception. Staff are very pleasant here, and they were all very happy to answer questions I may have had.


You can book a whole range of rooms from 10 people shared dorms, to private rooms with balcony. I personally was in an 8 person mixed dorm, with shared bathroom. All the facilities were very clean and tidy, the room was quite spacious, and it particularly had a great view over Rosenthaler Platz. Part of the excitement with these rooms is not knowing who you’re going to be sharing with. Luckily, I had some great people. I had 2 guys from America, another from the UK, two girls from Italy, and I never got to meet the other 2 in the room. My only drawback from this was the lack of sleep I had, due to people coming and going at all hours in the night, as people arrive and leave all at different hours. img_1591

Now one of my favourite parts of the hostel was the bar in the cellar. It has it’s own brewery. how cool is that. The circus Hostel brews its on beer on site, which it then serves in It’s bar for only Euro 4. The Circus Hostel Brewing Co. began as an unheated bar on a street called “Am Zirkus”, and now houses our very own microbrewery located right inside the Katz & Maus Bar at Rosenthaler Platz. You can read more about the brewery Here. They do serve other beer if you don’t wish to drink the home brewed beer, and that will only cost you Euro 3. It’s good beer.


And then there is the café/restaurant. It’s very well set out, very nice atmosphere, and you can get in incredible all you can eat continental breakfast for just Euro 5. I highly recommend this breakfast. I made very good use of it. They do say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets you up for a very eventful and adventurous day around Berlin.


I met some great people during my stay here. All in all I highly recommend The Circus Hostel if you are planning a visit to Berlin anytime soon.

The Next Adventure

Ok, so as part of my 12 different months, 12 different countries and 12 different cities, trip 2 of 12 is now all planned and ready to go. Now when I came up with the idea of doing this back in August of 2016, I had a clear plan of where I was going to go and when. But actually, I didn’t really like that idea, and decided to plan month by month, and not decide where I was going to go till a month before. This is far more exciting for me and much more enjoyable. I have kind of contradicted this though again, as I have planned the next 3 trips. But on this occasion, I’m going to talk about just the next one.

So the where!

Trip 2 of 12 will take me to Copenhagen in Denmark. Copenhagen; Danish: København; Latin: Hafnia is the capital and most populated city of Denmark. It has a municipal population of 591,481 and a larger urban population of 1,280,371. The Copenhagen metropolitan area has just over 2 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.



Once again, I used my trusted site of to book  my flight. I particularly like this site as you can put your dates in when you wish to fly, input your budget, and it gives you places you can fly within those set parameters. It’s a very handy tool. My flight cost me all of £26.80 return to Copenhagen. Bargain. My visit will be from Friday 3 March – Monday 6 March. My birthday is the 1 March so It’ll be a nice birthday weekend.


I normally use Hostelworld for my accommodation, but this time round I used, and after some research, and looking through reviews, I chose Danhostel Copenhagen Amager. Only 4 km from the center of Copenhagen you will find Danhostel’s Copenhagen Amager beautiful buildings and amazing view. On one side of the building you will find some of the newest constructed parts of Copenhagen with the metro, shopping mall, an international conference center and the big city life. On the other side of the building you will quickly forget the fact that you are only 4 km away from the city center, when you see the beautiful nature of Amager Fælled. They are Denmark’s second largest hostel with approximately 80,000 nightly stays a year. The original building was erected in 1980, when a group of out of work youngsters landed the building assignment from the Municipalities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. When the building project was complete, it was decided that Danhostel (then named Danmarks Vandrerhjem/ Denmark’s Hostel) would take possession.


I have a good idea of what I will do while I’m in Copenhagen, and thanks to VisitCopenhagen, I have been able to find lots of information for places to visit, places to eat, and what’s on in and around Copenhagen.

25 days to go………………………..

Delayed Travel

What an epic journey leaving Berlin to travel home became. I thought I’d get to the airport in good time, relax, get some dinner, and catch the flight. Flight was at 9.30pm, which would get me back in time to get the last train home. Little did I know this would not be the case.

So I head over to Terminal D of Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld, sitting having dinner in the restaurant, minding my own business, when I notice the guy sat on the table next me acting all strange. He was watching some of the airport staff very intently, and there was 2 police guys walking the terminal, which he was watching their every move intently. This guy would then push against his top left pocket and start talking quietly, but I could see no evidence of anything in terms of ear piece. This got me quite worried and suspicious. I got up and followed the 2 police guys to the other end of the terminal, and told them what I had witnessed and was concerned. Turns out they knew about him, and he was part of an undercover operation that was going on, and that I did well to spot what he was doing. I was very relieved about this let me tell you.

So that was the first thing………………………

Hours later, it came up on the board which gate we were flying from. I start to make my way there, and notice out the window that it started snowing, which I was happy about being a snow lover. I got to my gate, went through passport control and took my seat, and the snow really started to come down. It was heavy thick snow. Everyone was excited, all taking their phones and cameras out to take pictures and film, me included, but what we hadn’t thought about at that point, was the potential delays this could cause us.


We then watched the planes not coming and going. We watched people board a plane directly in front of us, but the plane went nowhere. You could hear whispers from around the room with people worrying we weren’t going to be flying anywhere. Our thoughts were proved, we got the first announcement that our plane had been redirected back to Stansted Airport as it couldn’t land due to the bad weather, but we hadn’t been told it had been cancelled. We are all waiting patiently………………….

Then I get a text message from the airline, advising that our new estimated departure will be midnight. I’m not holding my breath. The snow is too much. But then we are told that the plane hadn’t gone back to Stansted, it landed in Leipzig, which is an hours flight away. The plane was going to be heading back. We were very happy. Eventually we were told the plane was on its way back, and that we had to move to a different gate. So we all proceeding to said gate, and at 2.18am were taking to our plane by bus. We were all seated, and the captain came on to advise that there will be further delays, as there are other planes in line waiting to take off, and all the planes needing deicing beforehand, but there was only one team of 2 men doing all the work, so could be a while.


And then joy, the plane starting moving. we are heading to be deiced, and finally get in the air. But then the realisation of trying to figure out how I’m going to get home when I’m back in the UK, as I knew there wouldn’t be any trains running at the time we would land back in Stansted. We finally landed at 4.25am, and the first train out wasn’t until 6am. So I sat in the coffee shop, ordered the biggest coffee there was, and waited until the 6am train and made my way home.