Category Archives: Travel Photography
It’s time to give another shout out to all the wonderful people who helped make my Amazon photo project dream come true.
In June 2012 I launched a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible.com to invite supporters to be part of my photo project to create Portraits of the Disappearing Amazon. The response was overwhelming and as a result I was able to spend two months visiting and photographing ten different tribes in the Amazon of Peru, an amazing experience which I will never forget.
This week I’m posting out the final Thank Yous to supporters of the project, including prints of the portraits I created in the jungle. I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on the Photo Books that I’ve had published as gifts for the major supporters, which are in the post to me right now. I can’t wait to hand them over in the next few days.
Muchisima Gracias Amigos!
If you would like to see photographs from the project, please go to my New Work Folio on my website.
I’ve discovered a fantastic new currency – Gifting. It’s a wonderful feeling when a stranger offers a gift.
Recently, my friend Gavin (pictured below) showed me the Fox Scarf he’d just bought – it was the last one in stock at the local health food store, here in California. I thought it was adorable and wanted to buy one of my own, so I looked up the company. Andean Gifts is a fair trade distributor of products made by women in Andean villages in Peru and Bolivia, similar to many villages I visited over the past 3 years.
I contacted Nick at Andean Gifts. He had a look at my website and saw my photography from South America. Nick told me he’d contacted the warehouse and a scarf was in the post for me.
“Dont worry about paying, its on us. Keep up the great work!” he wrote. “We will be proud you have one of our scarves.”
What a wonderful surprise! His generous gift made me want to give to others and make other people feel the joy I was feeling. What a fantastic way of life!
Giving is like karma, it always comes back to you.
Dreams are worth chasing.
It was June 2012. I had a dream to travel into the depths of the Amazon and photograph tribes that I’d heard may disappear within my lifetime. If I didn’t follow my dream, perhaps no one would capture images of these people, whose cultures had fascinated me since I was a little girl. Perhaps no one would create a visual memory of their traditional way of life for the future generations to remember and appreciate.
I had no contacts and no leads, but something within me told me I could do it, and that I had to do it. I committed myself to the project and spent the following 2 months exploring the Amazon of Peru in search of tribes to photograph in their traditional dress to create a visual documentation of how life looks, or looked, for peoples whose traditional way of life is being slowly, or in many cases, rapidly forgotten.
I hope to return to the Amazon soon to continue encountering and photographing the vast and diverse tribal cultures that live within the mysterious jungle. This project turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Dreams are worth chasing.
Here is a tiny sample of the mountain of photographs I was fortunate to capture during my adventures. I hope you enjoy them. There are more on the way.
Here are the first two behind the scenes videos shot by my assistant/partner James. Check back here for additional videos in the coming months.
This March, James and I met with Cuba’s female surfing population, all two of them.
Lorena is the only female bodyboarder in Cuba and Yaya is the only female stand-up surfer. These passionate women inspired us to write their story about what it’s like to live and surf in a country where educated people live off government rations, surf shops don’t exist and waves go unexplored because people don’t have cars or gas to get to them.
Here’s the article from this months Surfgirl Magazine, available in The UK and Europe.
Photos by Alicia Fox
Words by James Galletly
Cuba may not be well known as an eco-travel destination, but its eco-credentials, like its musicians and cigars, are first class.
In 2006, the WWF’s Living Planet Report named Cuba the only nation on earth achieving sustainable development. This big claim was based on Cubans having a high standard of living (assessed via levels of health, education and GDP) and at the same time maintaining a sustainable Ecological Footprint….
To view more of my published work please go to www.aliciafox.net/published
Cuba Pobre : Poor Cuba
Cubans showed me that in some ways their country is one of the richest places on Earth. The music, the culture and the spirit of the people are so strong. So alive!
But economically, many Cubans are struggling. Even with food rations that the government provides for the population, people are struggling to survive on wages which average just $15 per month.
In March 2012 I shot a photo essay for Newsmax, documenting the poor side of Cuba. Completing this assignment lead me to meet and spend time with some outstandingly wonderful human beings whose spirits actually shone stronger because of their hardships. It lead me into buildings that were literally crumbling where families still lived and into a world where I got a brief sense of what life is like in a city where food is so scarce that a cup of rice or a couple of bananas are hard to come by.
And all these hardships just make Cubans stronger; more unified and more positive. They are people who live for the moment, enjoying life simply because they were lucky enough to be born Cuban!
To see more of my published photos please visit www.aliciafox.net/published/
I am six weeks into my trip to Peru, that’s about half way if James and I follow our loose schedule.
I am so excited about the images I have been capturing here in this vibrant country. Here is a sample of what I have been up to over the last month.
(Above) This is an image I shot on a floating reed island of Lake Titicaca, Peru. The young boy was playing on the other side of the tiny island. I knew this line of reeds would make a beautiful background for a shot and I wanted the little boy to run towards me, so I got into position and set up my camera with a fairly shallow depth of field (f/6.3) and fast shutter speed (1/640sec) to freeze him in motion. I waited a few minutes till he came my way then I made eye contact and got his attention, making him smile. I shot three frames and this is my favourite of the three.
(Above) Visiting Machu Picchu was an INCREDIBLE experience. Even as I was ascending the harsh mountainside to the entrance I could feel that I was arriving to a special place in the world. Exploring the ruins was inspiring, but (as a portrait photographer) I found myself time and time again returning to the only residents of the area – the llamas. I spent a few hours stalking these lovely animals in different parts of the ruins. This one was my favourite because her name is Alicia (her ear tag told me).
The lighting was moody that day – the sun was nearly breaking through the clouds but only in certain areas – leaving the background mountains shaded. I shot with my wide angle lens (at 24mm) to capture a feeling of closeness with Alicia, while still including a wide area of the ruins in the background. With an aperture of f/6.3 the far ruins fell out of focus just enough to make Alicia stand out.
I recently discovered Sunbounce photography products and had been drooling over them ever since, so I was thrilled when I received an email from Sunbounce asking me to be their Travel Ambassador, trying out their lightweight reflectors and lighting equipment on the road.
Last week I did my first shoot with the Sun Mover, Micro-Mini and Flash-Bracket. I took James out to the Peruvian desert and had some fun in the sand dunes.
Below is the set up for the shot above. I exposed for the background then attached the Flash-Bracket with my Speedlight to the Micro-Mini, to create a strong light source.
Photo by Kaye Fox
For the second setup (below) we used the Micro-Mini and Flash-Bracket, with the Sun Mover providing some fill light. Many thanks to Kaye(Mum) and Kate for assisting me.
A photo essay of women weavers in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, shot for Vision Guatemala.
Lake Atitlan is a magical part of Guatemala that draws many tourists who want to experience its reputed energy. But for many women and families living in this area, life is tough and money is very scarce. I shot this photo essay for Vision Guatemala, a small non-profit organisation that is working to help women find a source of income, offering micro-finance, training and community development. In doing so, their tradition of weaving beautiful textiles can be kept alive.
Being fortunate to enter their homes and witness this amazing art gave me a deep appreciation for their skill in weaving. The women I met have amazing talent and beautiful spirits.
I was looking for a place to stop and do a bit of work and I wanted to make it a kind of retreat, to get my creative juices flowing. Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is the perfect place for a photography and writing retreat. I spent time at some beautiful hotels in Panajachel, San Pedro and San Macos – three different villages, all tranquil in their own way. I was doing work for hotels while also working on my own projects.
Here are a couple of shots from one beautiful sunrise I spent in San Pedro la Laguna.
Lake Atitlan has risen dramatically this year and buildings, shelters and lakeside recreational areas such as the one above have become submerged. Some of the local Mayans think the rising water is related to The 2012 Shift, some just blame the rain.
These are the traditional fishing boats used by Mayan fishermen each morning on Lake Atitlan. They spear the fish with reeds then take their catch home or sell them in their villages. It’s beautiful to watch and a wonderful example of slow, simple living.
To see more of my travel photography, check out my website www.AliciaFoxPhotography.com
This week I have been shooting photos of women weavers in Guatemala, for an organisation called Vision Guatemala, a grass roots NGO that provides micro finance and support to women around Lake Atitlan and Guatemala.
Above: Cecilia is weaving a table runner in the style typical to San Pedro. She spends a few hours weaving each day in between cleaning and making tortillas which she sells to her neighbours at lunch and dinner time. In Guatemala tortillas sell at 3 for Q1, which is about 13 cents. When she finishes weaving after 3-5 days, the table runner will sell for about $4.50.
Camera Settings: 1/50sec, f/4, ISO 400, 28mm lens
Above: The weaving loom, used by Guatemalan women.
Camera Settings(Above): 1/50sec, f/2.8, ISO 800, 50mm lens
Camera Settings(Above): 1/50sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, 50mm lens
Camera Settings(Above): 1/60sec, f/4, ISO 320, 24mm lens, flash (bounced off wall)
Camera Settings (Above): 1/60sec, f/4, ISO 400, 65mm lens
Take a look around my blog to see more of my NGO & Humanitarian photos. I’ll have a new folio on my new website dedicated to the humanitarian projects I’ve been shooting over here in Central and South America.
At the moment I’m going through all my photos to choose what to put up on my new website. Finding these geisha photos took me back to that magical day in Kyoto when I had so much fun photographing these beautiful women. So much effort has been put into the presentation of their kimono, hair, make-up. They fascinate me and I just wanted to share them with you. Enjoy!