Breaking Away From the Beaches of Bali

If you are looking for a unique adventure in Bali, then you should go outside the comfort of the Bali hotels on the beach and start walking around the island. Because aside from the pristine white sand shores of the island, there are other wonderful attractions in Bali which you should never forget to visit – simple places which can give you the same excitement and relaxation that beach resorts do.

One ideal destination is the Bali Botanical Gardens. It is a place where learning and relaxing is done at the same time. Boasting a very extensive collection of plants for anyone to awe themselves with, this attraction teaches its visitors the use of these natural creations on the daily lives of the Balinese people.

The garden basically occupies a total land space of 157.5 hectares. It is a serene escape which is 1.2 km away from the heart of Ubud. It displays more than 2000 species of plants which includes ferns, orchids, cactuses, medicinal plants, ceremonial plants, roses and aquatic plants. Combined, all these create a very great spectacle perfect for photo captures.

In Bali Botanical Gardens, however, it is not only trees and plants which are the primary attractions. There are different kinds of fauna as well. People will surely feel the serenity as birds and butterflies flutter around them. There are also tree shrews jumping from trees to trees, as well as macaques.

Another attraction in Bali which you should leave your Bali hotel for is the Bali Bird Park.

As getting close to nature is one of the most interesting activities in the island, one of the best places to visit is the Bali Bird Park. Located in Gianyar, it is surely a great escape from the bustling life in the urban.

The Bali Bird Park boasts of the largest collection of birds in Indonesia. There are over 1000 birds of 250 species in this aviary. While most are natives in Indonesia, some came from far countries like Africa and South America.

Featured in the park are jungle and exotic birds. Among the list are the Javan hawks, serpent eagles, cranes, storks, and pelicans. In the park, the exceptional Pesquet’s parrot can be found; as well as the Bali Starling which is the rarest bird in the world.

But birds are not the only attractions in the park. There are also more than 2000 tropical plants of 50 varieties in the area, which definitely beautify the place. There are also sightings of butterflies and the Komodo dragon.

The park is designed to replicate the tropical rainforests in Bali and Papua; but it has pathways and bridges to provide its visitor greater ease in going around the whole attraction.

Attractions And Activities For Your Children When You Visit Albany, WA

There are so many things to see and do with your children when you visit Albany in Western Australia. Your entire family won’t run out of fun activities to pursue. In fact, the region is so rich in history and natural attractions, you may need to stay longer that you actually planned if you wish to explore all the best features in Albany. Your kids will surely enjoy every moment, especially when you choose the right activities for their age. Fortunately, most of the breathtaking attractions and activities found in Albany are suitable for all ages. Now here are some handy tips and pointers to lend you a hand:

Visit historical landmarks.

Take your children to various historic venues. Teach them the value of history. Numerous historical landmarks will make your kids see and appreciate life in a different light. Visit the Old Gaol and Museum. It’s a compound for men and women’s cell blocks as well as some warder’s quarters. It was built for convicts who were shipped to Western Australia. It will give you and your children an educational yet eerie experience.

The Brig Amity Replica is a must-see. It’s a full scale replica of the original cargo ship which brought the first settlers and convicts to Western Australia. Moreover, have your kids check out The Princess Royal Fortress. It boasts of armories, restored shore batteries, a collection of naval guns and torpedoes as well as the 10th Light Horse display and some trails. There’s a barbecue area and playground nearby.

More importantly, visit The Whale World-it is set on the site of Australia’s last operating whaling station. It offers an interactive journey into Australia’s whaling history. You and your kids can climb aboard the Cheynes IV whale chaser. It presents mesmerising skeleton exhibits, with state-of-the-art multimedia displays and vivid historic photo galleries.

Check out the National Parks.

Albany is a host to many different awe-inspiring national parks and natural attractions. The Porongorup Ranges and National Park are located roughly 40 kilometres north of Albany. The range displays unimaginable colour when over 55 different species of orchids are in bloom. There are numerous bush tracks and natural trails which are suitable for different fitness and skill levels.

The Natural Bridge and the Gap, situated in the Torndirrup National Park, clearly display the mighty power of Southern Ocean. You can view such natural rock formations on a safe viewing platform in the park or simply take pleasure in the abounding natural beauty while you drive around Albany and its environs.

The Stirling Range National Park is an ideal place for those who have an adventurous side. If you have children who want to further explore the beauty and wonder of Stirling Ranges, then it’s a good idea to try bush walks and trekking in this location. The park is also a home for exquisite wildflower species. Many exotic bird species are also protected in this area.

Explore Albany Marron Farm and Bird Park

The Albany Marron Farm and Bird Park is an ideal place for children who are animal lovers. It is situated 23km east of Albany in Upper Kalgan between Two Peoples Bay and Nanarup Beach. Your children can bond with guinea pigs, chickens, rabbits, goats and other fun animals. You can also take a walk in a bird aviary. Your children can hand feed native and exotic birds. They can also cuddle and play with some bunnies, donkeys, and ponies.

A picturesque garden is also provided for parents. Delectable food, refreshing beverages and samples of fresh local produce are available at Nippers Cafe. In addition, make an effort to visit The Albany Wind Farm. The wind farm provides an awareness of environmentally-friendly power generation. From this location, you can also enjoy spectacular views over the Southern Ocean.

Relax and enjoy different water activities at the beach.

There are lots of safe, pristine beaches around the Great Southern coastline. Middleton Beach and Emu Point are just a couple of the most popular attractions. They are perfect for family picnics and reunions. High-quality facilities are provided including playgrounds, benches, pavilions and clean toilets.

Other commendable beaches to consider include the Little Beach, Fisheries Beach and Goode Beach. Your children can enjoy sandboarding, snorkeling, surfing and other fun-filled water activities. It’s also recommended to check out The Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre. It has a leisure pool, rapid river ride, in-pool spa, steam room, pool-side cafe, gymnasium and other child-friendly facilities.

Get Albany holiday accommodation near the beach or a river.

It is a practical choice to go for accommodation in Albany that is in close proximity to several attractions. Fortunately, Albany takes pride in its range of holiday accommodation, from budget hotels to affordable holiday homes and luxurious self-contained accommodation. Numerous holiday homes in Albany are situated near the many natural attractions of the region.

You can even find a remarkable holiday house on the King River itself. Getting your Albany accommodation near Middleton Beach is also a wise idea. You can take strolls on the beach before you go to sleep. Your children will also have the chance to visit other tourist attractions that provide notable night activities.

Wedding Photography in Warwickshire

If you’re looking for wedding photography in Warwickshire, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning venues and beautiful backdrops. Wherever you choose to get married, it’s a great idea to work with your wedding photographer to make the most of your Warwickshire wedding venue and create some amazing wedding photos that you will look back on with pride for years to come.

First things first is to decide on your venue – a big decision in any couple’s journey towards their wedding day. Once you’ve got your ceremony and reception booked, start looking for a Warwickshire wedding photographer who knows the area and can provide you with the vision and style you’re looking for in your wedding pictures. Hopefully your photographer will be familiar with your particular venue, and so will be able to bring their own insight and expertise to your plans for wedding photos. Look through your photographer’s portfolio and research their reputation by looking at reviews and testimonials by other clients. A good wedding photographer will be open to your ideas and listen closely to your requests – after all, it’s your special day!

If you need some inspiration choosing one of the many spectacular wedding venues and backdrops in Warwickshire, here are just a few suggestions that lend themselves to amazing wedding photography:

Royal Shakespeare Company:

The RSC is based in Shakespeare’s home town – Stratford-upon-Avon – a historic and beautiful area of Warwickshire that is perfect for romantic wedding photography. Imagine yourselves as Romeo and Juliet (though hopefully with a happier ending!) as you pose in the countryside alongside the River Avon or on one of the two famous stages. You can even hold your ceremony at the top of the 100ft theatre tower!

Kenilworth Castle:

A 13th century castle that has hosted many royals and famous events, including Edward II, Henry III, Henry V, and Elizabeth I, who was famously wooed at Kenilworth by the earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley. The queen and earl enjoyed plays, music, dancing and pageants within the spectacular grounds of the castle, but their love was unfortunately not to be, as Elizabeth remained ‘married to England’ as the Virgin Queen.

The castle is set in the heart of Warwickshire within acres of beautiful grounds and surrounded by the English countryside. Restored by English Heritage, Kenilworth is now available for weddings and receptions and provides an amazing backdrop for wedding photography for Warwickshire couples.

The Ardencote Manor Hotel, Country Club and Spa:

For a more modern setting, why not choose the Ardencote for a glamorous and exquisite backdrop for your wedding photography. With 83 acres of landscaped gardens, a private lake and a fairytale manor house, Ardencote offers a wonderful waterside venue for a truly unforgettable ceremony and amazing wedding photos. You can also make use of the on-site spa for your pre- and post-wedding celebrations – perfect for those additional informal wedding photos of you as a couple or having fun with your bridal party.

Twycross Zoo:

For something a little bit different, Twycross Zoo offers wedding ceremonies that include feeding sessions, tours, and even a reception looking out onto an aviary! A completely unique venue for your wedding, and a great place for wedding photography in Warwickshire, with several locations available throughout the zoo where you can have your reception and photos with elephants, penguins and a whole menagerie of different animals.

Talk with your wedding photographer to decide on the best ideas for your wedding photography for your Warwickshire venue, and create a wedding album full of unforgettable moments.

5 Awesome Free Open Source Tools for Graphic Design

Graphic design can be both times consuming and costly. Web design needn’t be so complex or cost hundreds of dollars. Many of the top software suites used by professionals have alternative open source projects freely available.

Check out these complete solutions that cover all the graphic design tools for web development you’ll ever need.

Inkscape

Inkscape is an advanced graphic editing suite that uses the SVG format, Scalable Vector Graphics. It has an intuitive interface that’s friendly and easy to use. Inkscape is very similar to CorelDraw and Illustrator, so it can perform practically all the rescaling, node tracing and alpha blending you need. If you dig deeper among the features you’ll find clone brushes and blur effects in addition to the standard crop and resizing image capabilities.

Gimp

This neat little image manipulation suite is quite advanced and available cross platform for Mac OS X, GNU, Sun and Windows. The interface can seem overloaded but is fully customizable to each users’ preference. It performs the much needed cloning and colour retouching for all your photos and even allows you to modify brushes and bind scripted actions to keys.

Phoenix

Phoenix from aviary.com is a free online image editor with advanced image manipulation features such as layer filtering and image blending filters. Phoenix allows you to create an image from scratch or edit an existing one. There are many tutorials and tips on offer to help you get to grips with the tool and improve your design skills. The interface is a little basic and while easy enough to use, it lacks advanced editing features like blending or gauss blur. It does offer brush filters and dithers but this is aimed at the intermediate photo editor and is good enough for some basic photo manipulation in a quick squeeze.

Pixlr

A very modern web 2.0 sleek Interface greets you when you fire up this online editor. There are several modes available including Pixlr-o-matic, grabber, express and Pixl Editor. The Pixlr-o-matic allows you to play around with motion blur, liquid effects and instant image layer effects in real time. The grabber feature allows you to capture direct from external sources such as webcam. The editor itself is very user friendly and amazingly easy to use for even the beginner graphic designer. With pre-set filters to choose from this is one of my favourite editors for quick on the fly editing and even has a night vision layer pre-set.

Blender.org

By far, the most advanced and capable open source 3D graphic design program to date. Blender is simply fantastic and rich in features. This is one tool you absolutely need for 3D animation, shading, reflection, fluid simulation, hair strand processing and skeletal kinematics. The interface is loaded with huge choices of manipulation and effects, its customizable and supports python scripts. For more features visit the website.