A taste of Cuba: September/October 2015

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My wife and I had often talked about going to Cuba before it changed and this year we decided to take the plunge. The first impression was of having gone back in time. There were very few cars and people were either walking or waiting for buses or hitching lifts. There were very few shops and no sign whatsoever of any advertising. Now that the country is opening to outside influence, this remarkable taste of history cannot be long in the changing.

Air China: The computer says NO as even flight-mode phones are banned

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Caught on Air China with my ebooks down: Over the past couple of years there has been a welcome relaxation in the pettifogging rules covering the use of mobile devices on aircraft. In Europe and the USA, to my knowledge, it is now increasingly possible to use devices in flight mode during take off and landing. And as far as I can remember there has never been a blanket ban on using mobiles in flight mode once at cruising height.

Orient Express from Istanbul to the Swiss Alps, a photographic journey

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The recent Macfilos story on the Swiss alpine railways bought back memories for me of a quite remarkable railway journey I made in October 1982. It was in an Orient Express reenactment from Istanbul to Interlaken in Switzerland. We travelled in a train using the original Orient Express rolling stock and pulled for much of the journey by steam locomotives. As I recollect, at that time the carriages were owned by a Swiss railway enthusiast who also ran a travel company.

Greece: iCloud, apps, music at risk in credit card block

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The new capital controls imposed by the Greek government are having unforeseen consequences in hundreds of different ways. Not only is it the grind of standing in ever-lengthening ATM queues for  the daily €60, it is the restrictions that keep multiplying, often in ways that had not been imagined.

Bièvres Camera Fair street style

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This beautiful special edition, a heavily worked M7 in army green, is just one of the wonderful cameras to be seen around...

Breakfast at Bièvres as camera fair gets under way

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Eight o'clock and camera dealers from all around the world are gathering in the main square of Bièvres, south of Paris, for the 52nd...

Bièvres Camera Fair: A weekend in France with Leica’s little D-Lux

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Setting off this morning with Ivor Cooper and the gang from Red Dot Cameras for our drive to South Paris and the...

Beijing Camera Style: Eclectic mix of fascinating street cameras and bons mots

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Tokyo Camera Style has long been on my list of sites to visit daily. It consists, largely, of people holding up their various cameras for posterity. Doesn't sound much, but it's compelling stuff and, over the years I have seen some stunning equipment on show. But over in Beijing things get interesting, thanks to Mr. Li.....

Photofair Mania: Fresh from the Horticultural Halls, it’s Sidcup and Bièvres next

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I have to admit I love camera fairs. It's not just the myriad bits of photographic ephemera, it's the atmosphere and the visitors that makes the day. I had a fantastic day yesterday at the London Photographica fair and I'm not booked in for two more within the next few weeks.

Doors of Mystery: Just what is going on inside the Bank of Greece? Fly...

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Makes a nice stock shot for future use...

Living Museums: A journey back in time to the grimy, gritty life in the...

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Living museums have become increasingly popular, nowhere more so than in the UK where “attractions” are seemingly around every bend in the road. I’ve enjoyed a number of these celebrations of, mostly, early 20th century life including Beamish in Northumberland and the sadly now defunct Wigan Pier museum. This last weekend I ticked another rather enticing museums off my wishlist, this time the Black Country Living Museum at Dudley in the heart of the Black Country. The area was at the forefront of the industrial revolution and gained its name from the pollution and generally dreary landscape that resulted from the mining and other works.

Photoshoot at 36,000ft: Flying Suites Class from Singapore to New York

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Looking for an unusual photo opportunity? You could splurge all of £11,000 on a trip from Singapore to New York in Suites Class. Travel blogger Derek Low did. Or, rather, he claims to have emptied his air miles account for the privilege. I suspect he could have had a helping hand from the PR gurus at Singapore Airlines.

Herrings, fancy hotdogs and seaweed: A weekend in Aarhus

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I now know more than is good for me about herrings, smorgasbord, seaweed and the heights of hotdog cuisine. Last week I spent a couple of fascinating days as a press guest at the Aarhus Food Fesitval in Denmark.