Friday, June 27, 2008

Uraguay Here I Am

Uraguay--what a place. My perceptions of this country--one where I've always wanted to go--are vastly different than how this country really is. Getting there in a ferry was a comfortable snap. I rode from Buenos Aires to Colonia, a quaint little town just an hour away. When I walked on the boat a huge lobby with a fully supplied duty free shop shocked me--this was by far the most luxurious ferry I'd ever seen. I felt like a passanger on Carnival Cruise line when my feet were cushioned as I walked on the red carpet. When I lined up for the full course meals from which you could choose in a large serving area, it was not the sight of the food, but the smell that made feel I was in a country kitchen. After I saw Colonia and now that I'm in Montevideo, I've found out my perception of places I've never been aren't usually valid. I can confirm that my mind was full of it. It being sterotypes of South Americans and false assumptions of modern South American life. My Perceptions of Uraguay 1. Third World 2. Poor People 3. Cars from the 50s and 60s like they drive in Havana. 4. No good coffee or coffee shops 5. Rough-and tough neighborhoods noone would want to walk through The Reality of Uraguay 1. Awesome colonial architecture 2. Mid and early century cars, but not used for driving, instead, they are used as flower pots and outdoor sculptures. 3. Food as good as, if not better, than any European country 4. Cheap, but not as cheap as Buenos Aires. 5. Beautiful landscaped downtown and neighborhoods (okay, not all of them, but many)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Frederic Courbet: Lamu (Kenya)

To highlight the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop starting in Mexico City this coming Monday, I will focus this week's The Travel Photographer blog posts on various photojournalists and their work. I start off with the work of Frederic Courbet, a Belgian freelance photographer currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. His biography tells us that he started work in Africa 4 years ago, and had had ihis images published in The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, Der Spiegel, The Observer and other international publications. He has also worked for various NGOs including CARE in Nairobi. Courbet is represented by the London-based Panos Pictures. I liked Courbet's imagery...and his galleries are well worth spending time on. For instance, look out for the wonderful image in his Somalia gallery of a multi-colored tent and clothes hanging in the wind. However, my favorite are his photographs of Lamu in Kenya. I didn't know that Lamu is Kenya's oldest living town and port, and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa. It has existed for at least a thousand years, and was an important center of the slave trade. The town's architecture is a mix of African and Islamic styles with inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors.

Kate Orne: Pakistan Brothels

To highlight the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop starting in Mexico City this coming Monday, I will focus this week's The Travel Photographer blog posts on various photojournalists and their work. This is the second in the series. Kate Orne is a New York-based photographer who worked amongst the neediest people in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past seven years. Her mission was to use her craft to fight against indentured slavery and to support the wellbeing of women, children and animals. She worked on several essays on indentured laborers in South East Asia, on victims of domestic abuse, on Kabul orphanages where children lack basic facilities, maternity wards without basic care and imprisoned women. Her website has a number of galleries, documenting the brothels in Pakistan, the maternity hospital and orphanage in Kabul, refugee camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the red light district in Mumbai. I thought her work on the brothels in Pakistan as her most powerful and thought-provoking, as it highlights the paradox that exists between the sex industry and Muslim fundamentalism in this part of the world.

Succulent with Light Purple Flowers

These purple flowers can carpet areas near the beach all over California. They're flowers of a succulent plant, which I don't know the name of. Some of these succulents have bigger flowers that are yellow. If anyone has more info on these succulents, please comment. This photograph is part of a larger one that I cropped out. The picture was taken with a Canon 5D with a Canon L series 24-105mm lens.

"Starry, Starry Night"

"Starry, Starry Night"
This image is a variation on a theme from Wednesday post. The late evening, a cool breeze, crickets chirping everywhere. It's getting late, almost time to turn in. What does the image say to you? Read the post below to see why it was made. Be sure to view the image in it's larger version by clicking on it to see the stars in the sky. Camera specs - same as Wednesday - Nikon D1X fitted with Tamron 24-135mm lens at 24mm, F4.5 @1/60 second, ISO 400.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Fabulous Friday - I Feel So Inspired

It's Friday already and I have to say, "Inspiration Friday" is one of my favorite days to post. It's really the culmination of all the cool stuff . At least I think its cool . It's subjects or photographers that I find on my Internet travels through out the week. As I've said in these posts before, Friday is about creativity. It's about getting those brain juices flowing in ways that let us look at our art from a different perspective. It's from that different perspective, they we conjure up new ideas for our own photography. I've found a couple of links that really impressed me. I hope you enjoy them too. Also, I've done something a little different this week. Since this is "Inspiration Friday" please read my thoughts and mental preparations on how to stay excited and inspired about your wedding photography -or any kind of photography for that matter. I think you will enjoy it. Anyway, let's get to it, Ive got to get ready for my wedding tomorrow. So off we go...

Just Fishing

There's something relaxing about fishing. You cast out your line and ... wait. The pier the fishermen are standing on was built in 1928. So what are fishermen catching? Here's an answer that describes what one can catch on each part of the pier: "Inshore, anglers should expect to see corbina, spotfin croaker, yellowfin croaker, a few sargo, barred surfperch, guitarfish, various rays, and small sharks. The mid-pier area will yield all of these (but in a lesser number) and, in addition, offer white croaker, queenfish, halibut, sand bass, silver and walleye surfperch, sculpin (California scorpionfish), salema and jacksmelt. The far end of the 1,296-foot-long pier will see all of these but also yield up more bonito, mackerel, jack mackerel, barracuda and, in some years, even a few small yellowtail."