Tag Archives: Travel Photography
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.
I am thrilled to have an article printed in SURFGIRL Magazine, the raddest womens surf mag in The UK.
Antony Ledezma Mendin
& The Bethlehem Youth Club – A photo shoot for Opportunity Nicaragua
When Antony was eight years old his parents divorced, and his family disintegrated around him. Antony’s mother is Costa Rican, but his farther is Nicaraguan. When the family broke down Antony’s father returned to Nicaragua, forcibly taking Antony with him.
They moved to the Nicaraguan Capital of Managua and shared a house with Antony’s grandmother. Life at home was tough, and the family relationship was strained. Antony rebelled. He fought with his father and grandmother, who also fought with each other. At a young age he began experimenting with drugs, smoking and drinking, by 12 he decided living on the streets was better than at home. He ran away.
Antony lived on the streets with a group of friends. They stuck together and protected each other. To get money they would steel whatever they could, sometimes visiting local farms to rob fruit and then sell it on the street.
As he got older, the group of friends developed into a gang; drugs and gang related violence became part of life. Antony looks back on his past drug use with open honesty, recalling “I was crazy, but I liked it (to feel something different)”. The violence on the street was life threatening. At one point in a street gang related attack Antony’s skull was smashed open with a rock, he spent 15 days in hospital and came dangerously close to death.
His life reached crisis point after the sudden death of one of his close friends and soon after Antony was jailed for armed robbery. He spent two months in jail awaiting sentencing. While in jail, a Christian group visited the inmates. Their message resonated with Antony and when still in prison he accepted Jesus as his saviour. Antony was facing at least 10 years in jail and began to pray to for his freedom.
On the day he was to be sentenced an extraordinary string of events occurred. The official escort to court failed to show up. At the end of the day the police officer in charge did not know what to do. He called Antony inside and, astonishingly, gave him his release papers. The charges were dropped and he was free to go. In that moment Antony felt God had answered his prayers and became a committed Christian.
He was free, but with nowhere to go Antony was back on the streets and in danger of returning to his old ways. In his old neighbourhood he met Doña Suzie, who is part of the Bethlehem Youth Club community. The youth club rescued Antony from the streets. They gave him a place to live, food, clothes and support to turn his life around.
Now, the number one change in Antony’s life is a feeling of security. He no longer has to steal in order to eat or wonder where he is going to sleep. The Bethlehem Youth Club gives him a safe, supportive environment, for him to strengthen his resolve to live a new life.
Antony now dreams of being married and having a family, not such a wild dream. He already has a child on the way with his girlfriend, but is honest when he says he is not prepared for marriage. Antony feels inadequate about not finishing school and not having any job skills. He hopes to earn these and be able to support his own family before he asks his girlfriend to marry him. He also dreams of finding his mother who he has not seen since leaving Costa Rica.
Text by James Galletly, Freelance Travel Writer
Autumn in the Mountains
Recently, I was having a very interesting conversation with one of my closest friends in which she described heaven to me. I think of her every morning when I see the sun peek over the mountains and spread its long golden rays across the valleys before me, valleys that on most days are flooded by a thick layer of clouds. I’m staying in a beautiful part of the planet, where the intoxicating nature all around can let you forget about the developed, industrialised, fast paced world that begins down at the bottom of the mountain.
Right now, the landscape here is making a dramatic transition from green to red to orange. It’s heavenly. Every day the fog seems to sit a little higher in the valleys as winter draws closer, and the deer, squirrels and jack rabbits are harder to spot. I find myself gasping in visual pleasure nearly every time I go outside.
.I didn’t do any post production on these shots other than developing them from RAW to JPG in Lightroom. I guess my photography style is changing and I am gaining appreciation for getting the shot right in camera, because I was happy with the photos exactly as they were shot.
.I’ve always had a fascination with beautiful, old cars. The only car I have ever owned was a 1964 EH Holden, named Edwin. I love this shot for a number of reasons, especially the subject, the light quality, the angle and perspective and the dramatic clouds in the top corner.
I’ve always had a soft spot for wide angle shots.
I love these last three shots for the detail and texture.
.I’d love to hear your comments.
After 3 amazing months in Costa Rica I have arrived in Nicaragua. I felt the difference between the neighbouring countries immediately.
Nicaragua suffers a lot more poverty, but the people are just as welcoming and friendly as the Ticos in Costa Rica. I have had the privilege of being welcomed into the homes of many Nicaraguans, through work I am doing with a fantastic non-profit organisation, Opportunity Nicaragua. Here is one of my favourite shots from last weeks shoot. I will post more photos soon.
This dog takes a rest from the sweltering heat of dry season in a village outside of Granada, Nicaragua
This week I had my first sale through ETSY delivered to a very happy customer.
Check out my photos for sale, especially if you are looking to decorate your walls or give a special gift. International delivery is available.
“I received the print & I LOVE it! I’m taking it to the framer on Monday & can’t wait to get it back & hang it up. My husband & I recently bought a new house & Cloud Forest will be the centerpiece of our dining room.”
Cartagena is a beautiful, colonial town in the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. We arrived at night to the sounds of Cuban-infused jazz drifting through the warm, heavy air. There were kids playing football in the street, vendors selling maize bread and friendly men offering us water, marijuana, cocaine…
Inside the walls sits an elegant city centre, where we wandered the quiet streets and took in the Cartagena in all her beauty.
The traditional mixed with the modern. You can buy anything from local handicrafts from the artisanas on the footpath, to the latest fashions in air conditioned boutiques.
I have added a new page to my blog, Chugchilan in 30 Days.
Chugchilan is the little village I am currently living in. There is no bank, no post office and no noise. There is a whole lot of charm, culture and natural beauty.
You can also get a written perspective of the village on my partner James’ blog.
My boyfriend James is on a mission to recycle everything possible. While in Peru, he designed a funky wallet that can be made from used milk, juice or wine 1 litre cartons.
He taught some local kids how to recycle the cartons into wallets, and he started a 1-man factory in our apartment where he created wallets from the piles of cartons which were donated. All wallets come from either Peru or Ecuador, with a variety of images and writing in Español.
These wallets will be for sale. If you want some early inside info, send me an email at email@example.com
I have left the coast of Peru to spend a few months in the mountains of Ecuador.
The sunsets in Huanchaco were stunning. Here are a couple of silhouette shots that I took during my last few days in Huanchaco.
I have been living in Peru for three months now. I have a nice little apartment, with running water (until 3pm) and everything I need to live comfortably. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how thousands of people around me are struggling to get by every day.
This week I visited the ACJ Project, which is working to improve the lives of families living and working on a city dump. These men, women and children spend their days sorting through rubbish to sell to recyclers for less money per week then what I spent on a Chai laté in Japan.
I stepped out of an ancient VW combi and watched the dump dwellers sort through garbage outside their home. I felt compelled to walk over and talk to them. As I approached, the father waved to me and I felt encouraged. I had been told that the people were shy and that I had to be discreet when taking photos. I didn’t want to offend anyone by pulling out my camera.
I walked closer and saw the little boy crying to his Mum. I pulled out of my bag a small koala that my Mum had sent me, to give to Peruvian children. ‘Tengo un regalla para tu’ (I have a present for you), I said in my best Spanish. He took the toy and the conversation opened up. De donde eres….cuantos anos tienes….
I asked the little boy his name. Ronaldo told me he is six years old and I told him that his is tall for his age. I showed him how to use the little koala and I clipped it onto his finger.
I was a bit afraid that these kids who literally live on piles or rubbish, would be jealous of his toy and beg me for a present. But they just seemed happy that Ronaldo got something and asked me for nothing.
Before I knew it, the children were asking me to take photos of them. Even Ronaldo had wiped away his tears and was waiting for his photo to be taken. Mama arranged the niños into a row, before returning to her work of smashing bottles into a bag. She was injured years ago and now cannot walk well. She seemed proud of the recycling job that she was doing.
The kids loved having their photo taken and soon wanted to have a go at the camera. I held it for them (it’s so heavy) and taught them how to take photos, helping them to reach their tiny fingers around the camera to the shutter button.
I may not have had much impact on these lives, but they certainly touched mine. The adults have been living on the dump for 30 years. I felt like there are certainly a lot of people out there who really struggle through life. With living on a dump comes injuries, diseases, uncomfortable living conditions and a feeling of alienation that I cannot even comprehend. These people are not citizens. They do not exist on any records. They live in their own world, a world that I briefly brushed up against before returning to mine.
If they taught me anything, it’s that you should never be ashamed of what you are. We are all the equal people doing our best to get through life, and if we can do it with a smile then we are doing okay.
For more information on the ACJ Project:
There is a new mini ramp in the little town where we were living in Peru. Two months ago, it hadn’t even been thought of, but thanks to the chance meeting of 2 super keen travellers – Ollie and Hanes, the kids up the hill who live with next to nothing, now have a skate ramp to call their own.
It has been amazing to see the progress of the ramp from an inspired idea, to pieces of wood, to a playground in the desert village where kids can’t wait to play at 3pm every day. It took just over one month to see the kids ripping on the ramp, and 5 of them are already dropping in.
The blog for the skate ramp is: http://introductiontotheproject.blogspot.com/
While I was San Francisco recently, I went to a screening of the amazing documentary ‘The Cove’ which exposed the brutal mass slaughter of whales in Japan. www.SaveJapanDolphins.org
As a surfer and vegetarian, I was horrified by what was depicted in the movie, yet moved by the progress that has been made by the people standing up for the dolphins, especially Ric O’Barry (trainer of Flipper cum eco-activist) and the Sea Shepard crew, who risk their lives on regular occasions.
This morning as I walked along my now local beach here in Peru, I was shocked to come across the head and tail of a dolphin. The decapitated animal looked as if was still smiling – just as they do at Seaworld and other marine parks.
These photos will be used by an amazing organisation in Peru, Mundo Azul, which is working to protect Peru’s beautiful cetaceans. Killing dolphins is illegal in Peru, however this is rarely enforced.
Fotógrafo de las ONG en el Perú
While I am living in South and Central America I will be photographing for NPOs and NGOs to help with their publicity. I will be in Peru until February 2010, when I head to Ecuador. I will then be travelling to Central America. My location and schedule are flexible and I will be in South/Central America until 2011. Please contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are looking for a photographer or if you would like further information.
These photos are of some of the beautiful children I have been working with in Peru with the organisation Otra Cosa.
After 6 amazing months in the east, I have left my temporary home of Japan and headed to new shores. I now call Huanchaco home – a little seaside town in the north of Peru.
The lifestyle is very different and pace of life is much slower than in Japan. For this new chapter of my life, I will be take a break from fashion photography and focus my energy on the surrounding environment with more of a documentary style. I will be travelling around South and Central America for 2 years – surfing, dancing, working with NGOs and documenting the journey for magazine/newspaper articles and an upcoming book, with my partner James Galletly.
I look forward to putting up new photos for you to see from this side of the world.
Here are some of my final photos from Japan
Above: Early morning fishermen (and women) gather on the beach of Ichinomia to gather food the old fashioned way in this dramatic landscape. (See more photos in the TRAVEL folio on my website)
Above: James and I spent our final month in Japan relaxing in the Okinawa Islands. This was one of the many glorious sunsets I enjoyed there.