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Nine Days, Nine Photos // Gobi + Central Mongolia

russian vandesert shadow puppetsgoat at sunrisebarren landsromance karaoke. don
Finally some photos!

We are currently finishing up our 3.5 weeks travelling through Mongolia. Unlike our previous trips, access to WiFi is limited to the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. And Mongolia is really a country where you need to get out of the big city to experience what it has to offer.

Here is a sneak peak of our travel through the Gobi and Central Mongolia. We covered over 2200kms during 9 days in a Russian 4×4 van – amazing landscapes and people, bumpy, dirt roads, constant engine fumes all set to a soundtrack of Mongolian folk songs and our guide’s selection of trance/progressive house music. Oh, and there was one shower. Yes. One shower. No internet. But plenty of vodka! And perhaps some karaoke.

Tomorrow morning, we will head to Beijing via the Trans-Mongolian railway – a 30 hour journey. Provided we can find some Wifi in China (although no facebook! yeah google+!), you can look forward to sneak peaks from Ulaanbaatar, Terelj, and Northern Mongolia travels.

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melia - Safe travels! (No shower for NINE days?!) Bah. Fantastic images, as always.

mom - 1 shower in 9days??? lovely pictures.. take care

urna - Yessss….nice photos

» The Gobi Desert and Central Mongolia Riyad and Sarah's Travels - […] and Natisha posted a few awesome pictures to their photoblog here. Categories: Mongolia Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment […]

Riyad - Nice pictures and trip guys. Thanks for making our trip so much more enjoyable.

I finished my write up here – http://www.riyadmaznavi.com/2011/10/01/the-gobi-desert-and-central-mongolia/

Stella - It’s amazing! I’ve been longing to visit Mongolia!
Great pictures!

photo of the day // Gorkhi-Terelj

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Canon 5D Mark2, 16-35L, F4, 16mm, 849sec, ISO 200
Location: Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, Mongolia // starry night
Date: Sept 21th 2011, 9:38pm

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Chris Ridley - Wonderful image Amish, lovely. Need to catch up on a few of your blog posts.. better get to it!

photo of the day // mongolia

miat airlines // mongolia

Canon 5D Mark2, 24-105L, F4, 24mm, 1/500sec, ISO 100
Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia // About to land in Mongolia aboard MIAT Mongolian Airlines
Date: Sept 18th 2011, 5:48pm

Mongolia?! Who What? Yes we are back on the road again. A little bit of a last minute decision as our weddings season ended somewhat early for us this year, so we decided to pack up once again, and hit the road for 7 weeks, this time with our travels taking us to Mongolia, China, and Nepal. A little more remote places then our last trip, but we’ll still do our best to keep you updated.

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Chris Ridley - Very jealous of your trip – can’t wait to see the photographs!

scuba // indonesia palau philippines

Yup we’re still here. Back at home that is. The quiet front on this blog just means we’ve been incredibly busy with the wedding season, but its slowly coming to a end for us here, which means we’ll be on the road again shortly. More of that to come soon.

I wanted to share some footage I took while diving in Indonesia, Palau, and the Philippines, so I quickly put this clip together. All of this is shot on a Canon S95 point and shoot camera in a Recsea underwater housing.

For those that are interested, I did a write up regarding shooting underwater that I posted on the vimeo page. I’ve pasted it below:

I learnt to dive in 2005 in Fiji. Ever since then, I’ve been addicted to SCUBA diving.

During our 3.5 month trip, we travelled from Indonesia, India, Palau and Philippines. This video comprises of footage from Indonesia, Palau, and Philippines in no particular order.

Mucho thanks to everyone (Divemasters/buddies/boatmasters) who made all our diving adventures safe and amazing! (Yvette, Dino, Beau, Martin, Vinny, Kristen, and anyone else I might have missed!)

A little info about this video:

Camera: Canon S95

This little point and shoot is simply amazing. Everything shot at 720p HD.

You’ll notice in some shots that the color is outstanding (for a point and shoot) and some, well not so much. Anything above 10m+bright sun meant awesome light, but once I was getting down to 30m (ie: shot of the marble ray/sharks) the camera was really pushing for exposure (and unfortauntely I did not have any external strobes at the time). Regardless I’m extremely happy with the outcome.

The other thing to mention is the camera does NOT have any manual options for video mode. You do have options for locking exposure and setting white balance (tricky to set this quickly underwater).

Underwater housing: Recsea

Unbelievable little housing. Double the price of the camera (as are most underwater housings), but well worth the money. Built like a tank. I looked at both the Canon and Ikelite housing, however both those housings do not allow control over the rear dial on the S95. Since I was shooting stills+video underwater, I needed to have control over the rear dial to fully utilize the camera. This meant getting the Recsea housing. I did not use any wide angle adapter or macro lens with the housing.

It took some time to get comfortable using the housing, mainly due to it’s size. It’s tiny. Smaller then both the Canon or Ikelite housing. I have a pair of Tusa Tropical SCUBA gloves, which made using some of the controls easier.

I also did not have a tray or grip for the housing, so holding the camera stable took some time+practice. Lots of practice. In some locations (ie: Blue Corner in Palau) it was pretty much impossible to get stable shots due to the strong current, but it sure was fun to practice. I managed to get one good shot of the sharks there after I ‘hooked’ myself onto the reef.

The housing is made of aluminum, so it is NOT neutrally buoyant. It will sink, and sink fast. I made that mistake once, where I unclipped myself from the housing and dropped it (thinking it was still connected to me). Thankfully I was only a few feet above sand, and it landed softly.

After some practice, I did however use the heavy weight to my benefit and found bare rock/sand to place the housing on, to get the nice solid shots of some of the coral. I think in the future, taking a gorillapod down would work wonders.

One thing is for sure. For those who shoot underwater I have MASSIVE respect for you. It’s a totally different ball game down there.

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Ben - Great video. I’m impressed that it still holds detail even in busy scenes (e.g., school of fish or air bubbles), although not perfectly (could be Vimeo’s fault). Great pans.

Amish - Thanks Ben! It does seem a little jumpy on vimeo, however when I play it back on my plasma via my WD HD TV, it looks even better (and super smooth).

Erik - Amish, great work on this video, I think I’ll pick up an S95. Agree with Ben, very nice slow movements, amazing control.