Gallery: the roads I take
Photography isn’t about just pushing that button. It’s about the experience of being there.Don McCullin
I suppose for me the main question the quote above provokes is, so where is ‘THERE’? While I enjoy taking photos close to home, ideally my answer to that question would be, somewhere new, interesting and different. Somewhere that takes me out of my comfort zone both photographically and more generally. Somewhere that isn’t HERE!
It’s only eighteen months since Anne asked us to define our ‘photography groove’. My answer then was travel photography, and now that John asks much the same question about our favourite style or genre, the road we most often take, my answer remains the same.
Travel photography isn’t a genre in the way that landscape or macro or street photography is. In fact, it’s all of those things and more, depending on where you go. I wouldn’t go on safari in Botswana with the aim of capturing candid people shots, or look for dramatic landscapes on city streets.
In the same way, I will choose a style that I feel suits my subject. While I sometimes opt for monochrome, I always shoot in colour. Sometimes I’m already aware that black and white will work better, or I may make that decision later. My preferred software on these occasions is always Silver Efex Pro, which has so many options and is fully ‘tweakable’. I also enjoy ‘colour monochrome’, filling my shot with a single colour. And on occasion I like to get creative and use software such as Color Efex to generate a very different look, maybe high-key or painting-like.
But always, the important thing is trying to convey the essence of a place in my images, so I must adapt my choice of genre and style according to that essence. Almost every post in this blog is an example of that. So today I simply want to share a personal favourite in each of a number of genres. To me these images reflect what I saw, and how I felt, travelling in a particular destination. Some of these shots may have appeared here previously; others will surely do so in the future, simply because they are among my favourites!
Little Bee-eaters in Senegal, 2016
Manhattan from the Top of the Rock just after sunset, NYC, 2008
High key edit
The view from Souimanga Lodge, Senegal, 2016
(vintage filter from Color Efex Pro)
Cascada Paine, Torres del Paine NP, Chile 2016
Young leaves, Selvatura Park, Costa Rica, 2022
(I don’t have a true macro lens but my Lumix bridge camera does a decent job of close-ups which I can then crop further)
Monochrome (black and white)
Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria, 2019
(edited with Silver Efex Pro)
Grass in Mount Rainier NP, WA, 2017
My feature photo was also taken in Washington State, in the North Cascades
Fisherman in Fort Kochi, Kerala, 2017
Street musician by Jourdain metro station, Paris, 2021
Sunset in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, 2018
Early morning sunlight falling on an apsara carving, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 2020
Elephant among papyrus reeds, Okavango Delta, Botswana, 2018
Can you imagine how hard it was for me to pick just one in each category?!
I’ll finish with another quote which says it all really:
Travel and photography have always been intertwined. I think we have such a brief amount of time in this world that I can’t think of a better use of my time than to travel, to photograph the world, experience life in different places. To me, there’s nothing more important than that.Steve McCurry
In one word….BEAUTIFUL
Love them all. Thanks for the express travel…
(I may have a preference for the fisherman… Looks like the people of my childhood. That one could possibly work in B&W too…)
Merci chère amie.
Thank you as always for the feedback 😀 The fisherman seems to be the firm favourite here. Yes, he could work well in B&W, although one of the reasons like it is the pure serendipity of his turban colour matching that of the fishing net! I took similar photos in Kerala and while I’m very pleased with them too, they lack that one ‘bonus’ detail. Maybe they would benefit from some BW experimentation too? I feel a post coming on, of B&W portraits!
I did a sketch a while back, based on an old photograph of my parents. An old fisherman on the coast of Karachi, ages ago. And B&W of course. I can send you the link if you like. Now, B&W has one advantage for portraits, it takes “details” away, which forces us to look deeper into the portrait… Just a theory.
Look forward to your post…
Yes I’d be interested to see that – thank you 🙂 I once read a quote on the lines of, if you photograph a person in colour you look at their clothes, if you do so in B&W you look at their face. I think that could definitely be the case with this one. The first thing that strikes you is the turban and matching net. That’s one of the features I like about the image, as I said, but I hope that people then look beyond that to see his character. However, take away the colour and they would be more certain to do that!
That quote is probably correct. Most likely. But then there are so many dimensions in photography, so many ways to look at one, depends on the viewer so much… We’ll probably never understand it all. (Which is great…)
Let me look for the link.
Here’s the link (To the sketch) (I need to find the pic somewhere in my archives…)
No link in your comment that I can see?
“To convey the essence of a place in my images.” Yes. You do that well, Sarah. And yes, I can only imagine how hard it was to pick favorites this week. I am glad the fisherman made the cut. I had seen him before and it was a favorite of mine as well, This week I also loved the elephant in the papyrus grass. Fantastic gallery and true to “your road”.
Thank you so much Donna 😊 I hesitated about including the fisherman because I knew a lot of people would already have seen him but in the end I had to put him in as he is one of my favourite ever photos! Glad you loved the elephant too as that’s another personal favourite (and not her first appearance either!)
It was great. And sometimes repeat photos ARE necessary. Our favorites define who we are.
Well you certainly do manage to capture the real spirit of a place with your photographs, Sarah – always!
Ah, thank you – I do try!
The bee-eaters and young leaves were my favorites, Sarah. The leaf picture has lovely shapes and color.
Thank you Siobhan 🙂 As I said to Jane below, I’m finding it really interesting to hear which ones people choose as favourites!
An excellent set, Sarah. Enjoyed every image- all thoughtfully composed and edited. Your portraits of the guitarist, the fisherman and your Botswana elephant all made me smile. Terrific work.
Thank you Jane, I really appreciate those kind words 😊 And I’m finding it so interesting to hear which ones people pick out as favourites. The fisherman and elephant seem to be general winners but you’re the first, I think, to mention the guitarist. Not everyone likes B&W, I know, so that may be one reason.
Hiltbrunner Andreas Beat
Thank you for sharing these photographs that I like very much. It is a great selection of themes and samples of your work. I enjoyed your explanations, too and find your approach to the issue of style and genre enriching.
Thank you for that lovely feedback Hiltbrunner 😀
So many beautiful photos Sarah! For me, the fisherman in Fort Kochi remains a favourite … oh, and the sunset in the Okavango Delta.
Thank you 😊 I always seem to come back to that fisherman, at least when it comes to people shots. I’m glad you like it too!
Wonderful collection of photos! I love the high-key edit and that sunset! WOW! I’m a sucker for sunset pictures…maybe because there isn’t much chance of me getting a sunrise one…haha. The macro shot is fantastic…that is one area I would like to branch out and try more of.
Thank you so much Linda 😊 I do quite often manage sunrise shots too, while travelling, because I’m always keen to start the day!
Remarkable photos, Sarah! The changes with location are so great. Thanks for showing us the changes through your beautiful travel photos.
Thank you so much Amy 😊
Great pictures! Those mountains in the national park of Chile are incredible! 🙂
Thank you 😊 I think the scenery in the Torres del Paine is the most awe-inspiring of any I’ve seen anywhere in the world, with the possible exception of Nepal’s Himalaya ranges.
Aletta - nowathome
A wonderful gallery of photos Sarah!
Thank you Aletta 😀
Great great selections. The banner shot and elephant are among my many faves.
Thank you very much John 😊 I’m very fond of that elephant myself, although I wish I’d been quick enough to also capture the baby that was with her!
That is very true, as every country has their unique “essence”, as others have mentioned regarding your images; you nailed it, Sarah. I particularly like the mountain road image as it makes us humans feel relatively insignificant and them rather powerful.
Thanks so much Suzanne 😊 I do agree about the power of mountains to make us feel small and keep things in perspective!
I enjoy following travel photographers because they show us the world in a unique way – and you did that here – and it aligned with your opening quote about depicting
“the experience of being there”
Thank you 😊 And yes, that reflects why I enjoy following fellow travellers too, both for their photos and words – that, and for the inspiration as to where I might travel in the future!
Thank you Nora 🙂
This is as good a gallery as I’ve ever seen here on WordPress, Sarah. And that probably includes Steve McCurry.
Now you’re just being silly Jo 😍 But I do really appreciate the compliment 😊 ❤
You’ve excelled yourself here Sarah – a wonderful portfolio, all put in context with your opening remarks….
Thank you so much Marie, I’m happy you liked the photos and my thoughts on my style(s) 😊
splendid. 💖 “The view from Souimanga Lodge” 👌
Thank you Graham, I’m happy to hear you liked that one!
Oh my goodness, Sarah, these are stupendous. No wonder they’re among your favourites.
Thank you so much Margaret, I really appreciate the compliment 😊 😊
Very nice portfolio of work. Is there a book coming soon?
Thank you Brad – but no, no book on the way 😆
A beautiful selection of pictures Sarah! I especially like your picture of Manhattan, the fisherman in Kerala and elephant in Botswana.
Thanks so much Sylvia 😀 The fisherman and the elephant are among my own real favourites so I’m glad you like them!
Mike and Kellye Hefner
I think you picked the perfect ones for each category, and each one is absolutely stunning!
Thank you Kellye 😊 I promise you though that I had several contenders for each and spent some time deciding in a few cases!
oh my! I especially like the New York sunset. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that angle before.
The Top of the Rock is a great vantage point – not so crowded as the Empire State Building and of course you can see the latter from here, which you can’t do when actually up the ESB!
I think most photographers agree with both of us this week Sarah, and it’s especially important in travel photography as you’ve illustrated here. Beautiful images illustrating the importance of “seeing” and shaping our images to their subjects.
Thank you Tina 😊 I’ve been interested to see how many others feel the same way and are adopting a variety of genres and styles rather than focusing on just the one or two.
Thank you for the wonder of traveling precariously with you. Such beauty and magnificience. I am reminded of the greatness of God.
And thank you for commenting 🙂
Wow those are really spectacular photographs Sarah. I could not pick one as a favourite.
Aw, thank you Denzil 😊
For once – I think I am speechless!
Now that’s something I wouldn’t have thought I could achieve 😆 😍
Your genre changes with the subject which also changes with the location of your travel. I get that, in many ways, that applies to me as well. I love your sunset image, but I think my favorite is the portrait of the fisherman.
That’s one of my all-time favourites – thank you John (btw, you were quick off the mark with this comment!)