Writing this as I sit in the public library in Rochester, Minnesota, it’s hard to imagine that one year ago we were perched on tiny plastic chairs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It’s still harder to fathom that almost two and a half years ago we landed in Japan, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to […]
**UPDATED** We have our winner! Click through and/or scroll down past our examples to find out who we thought shot the best face of a nation! Thanks to everyone who entered, we’re really happy with the great response! True to the travel plans we revealed in our last post, we have been madly darting around […]
I had been looking forward to our time in Kuala Lumpur for a while for many reasons, not the least of which being the chance to get some really great street photography time under my belt. Since well before we left on our tip I’ve been following Robin Wong, a KL-based photographer who primarily shoots […]
Our final stop in Borneo was Kuching, a sleepy riverside city masquerading as the capital of Sarawak province. In Malay, kuching means “cats”; even though the city is named for the Kuching River rather than any actual population (or governing body) of cats, the name still seems apt: like its namesake, Kuching slumbers during the […]
As I suspect it was for most of you reading this, in one way or another, 2013 was a big year. For us it marked a full 12 months of the calendar that we spent devoting ourselves exclusively to travel. To that end, it took us to 7 new countries… though, as you’ll see, in some cases, one visit just wasn’t enough and we found ourselves returning to a few favorites several times over.
One of my favorite parts of travel is how a place (and the people in that place) can surprise you, especially if you can find a way to get beneath the surface. Kota Kinabalu by all accounts, isn’t a very exciting city, but when Steph & I plunged into the fragrant, smokey labyrinth of the Filipino market we walked into another part of a very different town. Wandering the sun-dappled aisles of the local market the next day was a similar experience, one that felt very removed from the few tourist zones of the city. These markets weren’t especially large or flashy, but they were filled with local people simply living their lives before us and it was a beautiful thing to behold. We felt a very real sense of honor as we joked with the locals and exchanged smiles with the vendors, honor that we had so been so easily accepted into this weekly ritual with welcoming smiles and good-natured curiosity. I think we’ve said it before, and it remains true: the people are the places. And if you ever want to see the heart of an Asian city, find its local market and jump in with both feet. The sights, the sounds, the smells and the smiles… they’ll combine to give you an experience you won’t soon forget.
Melaka is a city of many faces. Its culture is so diverse, in fact, that there isn’t even a good consensus on how to spell the name of the place. For the sake of consistency, I’ll stick with “Melaka,” but I’ve seen several other forms on signs all over the city. While the different spelling may confound some, what is really interesting is the city itself: everything that Malaysia is, or was, can be found in Melaka. Straits Chinese, Indians, Malays and the remnants of British and Dutch Colonialism all struggle for space on the crowded streets of the old town. Swirling around the outside of the old city is the “new” Melaka, the kind of Malay city that can be seen anywhere else in the country. While the new town has much to recommend itself (especially for the Malays living there), old Melaka is the real star of the show for the visitor, and is where Steph and I spent five days wandering the streets, eating the food, gazing at the buildings and trying to avoid the oppressive heat and humidity.
Time and again I hear other travelers bemoan their lack of confidence when it comes to taking pictures of people they meet along the way. Finding the courage to break that barrier and get a really great shot of a stranger is one of the hardest parts of photography, but also one of the most rewarding. Many times I’ve found that a place is really interesting not due to any intrinsic qualities it may posses, but because of the people who live and work there, so being able to photograph them is critical to capturing the “feel” of a location.
When we heard that Travel Supermarket was holding their Capture the Colour contest again this year, we were excited. Last year, when the contest rolled around, we had only been on the road for a little over three weeks. We had a brand new blog and a few photos from an unfinished visit to ONE country to choose from. Still, despite all of that, we managed to land a second place spot in the Green category.
My senior year of high school, one of the art teachers offered an Introduction to Photography course. Due to my already-on-record overachieving, I had completed most of the courses that I needed to apply for university and was scrambling to find enough courses so I could take the requisite minimum number; I figured that photography would be fun. Unfortunately, so did most of the artsy kids attending my school and the instructor wound up having to give priority to kids who had already taken a certain number of art course (which, as a music geek, I had not) and I was shut out. I wound up taking Intro to Computer Science instead, which probably wound up being more useful over the next 15 years…
But I never forgot about my thwarted photography dreams.
In my first two posts in this series I went over the theory behind choosing the right camera for your trip, or even just for every day use. In this post I’m going to talk about the camera I chose and why, and how it’s been working out after three months of travel. I’ll also detail my complete kit and talk about the choices I made regarding lenses and accessories.
Just by the skin of our teeth, we’re entering TravelSupermarket’s Capture the Colour travel photography contest! We were graciously nominated by our friends Vicky & Dave of A Couple Travelers and we couldn’t let their nomination be in vain. Because we have only been traveling on our big trip for 20 days at this point, […]
In my last post I waxed a little poetic and dealt with the more esoteric considerations of choosing a camera. This time around we need to tackle some of the actual nuts and bolts of a camera purchase. Some of the jargon can seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry! Once you start to browse […]
The camera you choose is more about your travel style than anything else. It’s also about just how much you are willing to put up with to get the photos you want. It’s not true to say that there are unlimited options when it comes to choosing a camera, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed […]