Home to the largest carnival in the world, the fabled Carnaval and set enviably amongst the stunning natural surrounds of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in South America. The stomping ground of the rich and famous as well as the more budget constrained traveller, Rio was the next stop for us after São Paulo along the well worn tourist trail..
We prepared for our arrival in Rio by watching José Padilha’s Tropa de Elite (gang violence in Rio and the elite police squad tasked to combat them), City of God (gang violence in the Cicade de Deus suburb of Rio) and Rio, the animated feature. Not sure to expect drug lords with AK-47s ruling the streets and street kids toting handguns or colourful macaws singing and dancing along to a Samba beat when we arrived, we got off the bus with expectations for pretty much both ends of the spectrum.
I have to report that fortunately (unfortunately?) we saw neither, the few macaws that we saw at Jardim Botanico were gorged full on bananas and lazily preening themselves, they could hardly be bothered to fly, let alone sing and dance, and the kids we saw on the beach were more interested in selling us Caipirinhas than crack coccaine. We hear that things have been cleaned up significantly in recents times, ostensibly for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics and that favelas, traditionally the hotbed of crime, had mostly been ‘pacified’.
Caipirinhas for 5 reals on the beach anyone?
See full article and more pictures on handcarryonly.com
British photographer Craig Easton has been announced as the overall winner of the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) 2012 competition. Craig beat entrants from over 90 countries to win the world’s leading travel photography competition with four evocative, moody images of the ‘dreich’ – an old Scottish word to describe wet, miserable, dank weather – and an elegant series of four striking silhouettes of people in Paris. The New Talent award went to Alessandra Meniconzi (Switzerland), while 15-year-old Samuel Fisch (USA) has been named Young Travel Photographer of the Year.
See on www.photographyblog.com
At the end of the day, on the now iced shore of the Hudson Strait, the dogs are hungry. They are chained on the edge of the village because they are inuit dogs sleds, specially trained for the hard life of traditional sled pulling and race. As the sunset below the mountains, the cold and dark night sets.
Johnny Angnatuk from Quaqtaq drive his truck to get near the pack. He comes to feed them and they know it. They pull on their chain, anxious to see what he is bringing.
Tonight, it’s going to be frozen seal meat. He cut big piece with his ax and the dog get their share.
Johnny has been training his team for five years for the Ivakkak race, a traditional dog sledding race of 300-500 km in the harsh winter of Nunavik. Not satisfied with his last year performance because of a too young team, he hopes that they will be stronger this year, led by the big “Kajuk” (The Brown one).
See on waseyaimages.net
I am very excited about my second trip to Nepal. In 2010, I had opportunity to visit the country for the first time and I made it up to Kalapattar just across the valley from Everest. This time I decided to visit Annapurna base camp which is the second most popular destination after Everest base camp. I am doing it off season, in winter so I am hoping for less tourists and more snow. Let’s see how it comes together. I’ll be on the road for 15 days and mainly following the traditional trek route. I am quite happy that I will be joined by my friend and guide from 2010, Agasta. He is a great guy with extensive trekking experience and knowledgeable about mountains and people. He also speak many of the dialects used by people in mountains. It would be possible to do this all by myself but I don’t need to be a hero and besides, altitude sickness can strike anybody, even a seasoned mountaineer, so it is good to have somebody around especially somebody who speak the local language……
See on framinghands.com
Baltimore is a cozy little village in western County Cork, Ireland. It is the main village in the parish of Rath and the Islands, the southernmost parish in Ireland. It is the main ferry port to Sherkin Island, Cape Clear Island and the eastern side of Roaring Water Bay (Loch Trasna) and Carbery’s Hundred Isles. And mostly, it’s only about 10 Minutes away from where we live.
The last time Rebecca and I went to Baltimore was in August 2012. This time it was completely quiet. No tourists around, only a couple of locals and some fishermen. I liked the atmosphere a lot.
All the shots below were taken with the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Fujinon 35mm 1.4 lens
See more pictures on www.johnnypatience.com
The Sedlec Ossuary- or “Bone Church”, located in the town of Kutna Hora, an hour or so from Prague, is amazing for two reasons. First, it’s decorated with the bones of 70,000 dead plague infected humans. Second, Sedlec Ossuary was the subject of an article I did on the very first day of Yomadic. And well, that first post is the only page on Yomadic where nobody left a single comment. I took this to heart. There was only one thing to do. A couple of weeks ago, I returned to the Sedlec Ossuary, to redeem myself.
The prospect of re-visiting the Sedlec Ossuary, in the unassuming town of Kutna Hora, reminded me that I need to get back to China. I’m digressing, but remind me to tell you about the whole China tours incident of 2006. I have unfinished business in China, lets just leave it at that. For today, it’s all about human bones.
That first Sedlec Ossuary article was entirely presented with grainy, moody, good old fashioned black and white film (film that was produced locally in the Czech Republic no less). I felt the result perfectly complimented the mood of the somewhat macabre and mysterious Sedlec Ossuary. This time around, I used my Fuji Xpro1, a digital camera. But, it almost didn’t work out this way.
See more pictures on www.yomadic.com
Bolivia, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, December 2011. The camera stares at, grins at me lying on my hostel bed in tropical heat–I shoot angry glares back. The camera has been kicking my butt every day for some weeks and I hate it right now. Despise photography. But I need to pick it up and go create something. Need an outlet. A dark storm hovers in my mind, I am depressed, all purpose seems lost and recent events including a suicide made me fall in a black hole devoid of all light. I walk the world feeling completely disconnected from human life. Despising myself and my existence. As always, light this bright casts some very dark shadows. Despite an abundance of sun light in tropical Santa Cruz I have been in the shadows for days. I like extremes–I seek extremes. Fitting then I guess, that I am in the darkest of moods in the brightest of warm tropical weather. Get out. Walk. Standing still never worked for me. Must keep moving. Or shadows catch up. Grab the damn camera and walk, walk the streets of this hot, weird and interesting melting pot of a city. Get out of this hostel from hell. Walk, damn legs, walk. A market appears. A gigantic chaotic market bigger than any market I have seen in Asia or anywhere else. A world inside a world. No hiding here. Not a single gringo in sight anywhere. I break out the camera. Channel my darkness into looking, seeing, shooting, making images…..
Memories are funny. These words are written about a year after the images were made. And I want to return to Bolivia. Have been on my mind recently. Calls me back. It is one of the hardest places to work in that I have experienced. I was in a dark, dark place for the 10 days I was there. But it was a very interesting place filled with awesome people and places of contrast and extremes. That’s why I want to return of course. The challenge. And I need the extremes. To create. To feel alive.
See on www.flemmingbojensen.com
Two weeks ago, I traveled to Pushkar for the annual Camel Fair. For 8 days, I was armed with only my X-pro 1 , the 18mm f/2, and the 35mm f/1.4. This was my first experience working extensively with the X-pro 1. It felt different. Last year I walked the grounds of the Pushkar Camel fair armed with a Canon 1D Mark II with a 70-200 2.8 IS and a Canon 5D with a 16-35 II f/2.8. A 35mm 1.4 and a 50mm 1.4 were stowed my backpack. I came away with images I really liked, but also came away each night with a sore neck and back and an ever growing frustration of hauling so much stuff. For one day I decided to carry just my 1d Mark II with the 35mm 1.4 to “free myself.” It saved my back but not quite my neck and I still felt like this big camera was all people looked at when I first approached them to have a chat, ask questions, etc. I needed something less obtrusive. Along came the X-pro 1 that I purchased a few months ago. The Pushkar Camel Fair was the first event I felt I could give it a good working test and compare its performance and image quality with the performance and images I shot last year with my Canon gear. I also wanted to see how it held up in the sandy elements of the desert. I am very pleased with the results. The image quality, I feel, with the X-Pro 1 and 35mm f/1.4 combo is as good as the image quality of my Canon 1D Mark II and 35mm 1.4 combo. I love this. Performance wise, the auto focus SPEED with the X-pro I doesn’t even compare. It is slow in the world of pro SLR’s but then again, for travel, I am usually not shooting anything that is moving fast, so speed is not an issue. It is not too slow to frustrate me in any way…especially since the firmware update a couple months ago. I have found that shooting in manual AF mode and using the AEL button for auto focus is a bit faster and easier. The auto focus ACCURACY with the X-Pro 1 is great. Once it locks on, it’s good to go. I took 2-3 extra shots in certain situations early on in the camel fair just to make sure I got one in focus as I was a bit skeptical. All the images came out tack sharp. Very nice! ….
Courtesy to Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) in Dubai, I got to take the FujiFilm X-1 PRO for a three day test run earlier this week…
They give the camera on loan, for a nominal fee of 150AED. A no brainer if you are on the fence of buying, especially since they provide a full refund if buying a unit through them! I’ve been on the lookout for a lighter travel/street photography camera for the last 12 months. It was the renown Atlanta based photographer Zach Arias which I first heard talking about this camera at a GPP event earlier this year. The post is by no means a full camera review but rather a collection of some thoughts are having used the camera over a three day period. I suggest you check out the dpreview X-1 PRO review for a full multi page review.
Even though the size of this camera compared to a full frame body like my Nikon D800, is relatively small; it is by no means an ordinary point a shoot! The X-1Pro is a mirror-less camera with interchangeable lenses, that has a large size APS-C CMOS sensor. I got to test all three prime Fuji lenses, 18mm f2, 35mm f1.4 and the 60mm 2.4 Macro/Portrait lens. This allows for a real shallow, DSLR like, depth of field like in the image above! If properly exposed it shows no signs of noise up to ISO1600 and with just a tiny bit of noise reduction images up to ISO6400 are more than useable! Because the camera is that much smaller, one can almost be invisible like in the images above shot at the Dubai Fishmarket and in the Dubai Metro. Most of the images have all been shot in the RAW format. Even though Lightroom does not have the different camera profiles like what is available for the Nikon and Canon DSLR’s the RAW image quality and colour accuracy is extremely good! What surprised me even more is the quality of the in-camera jpeg rendering. Especially the Black and White Film simulation modes… Fuji is known for its Black and White Film and this clearly shows in this digital camera! Even though the auto-focusing is a bit slower than most DSLR’s, it is more than adequate and once focus is achieved, it is right on!
Will I be buying this camera? No, but I do have a the newer FujiFilm X-E1 with the 18-55 f2.8/f4 zoom lens on order. This camera has exactly the same sensor as the X-1Pro and is even a bit smaller and lighter, due to the lack of the Optical viewfinder (OVF). By the way, on the X-1Pro, I did hardly use the OVF and really like how the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) works. Will it replace my full frame Nikon D800? No of course not. For the moment there is clearly room for both. The X-E1 will go on my travels whenever I need to go light. I do however believe that the D800 might be the last DSLR body I bought. The future of the mirror-less is surely exciting and I sincerely believe they will eventually replace most if not all DSLR bodies.
More images from the three days can be found here.
See full review and pictures on bjornmoerman.blogspot.fr
October and November have been very busy months. I was stuck in client projects for a long time and after these were finished, Rebecca and I worked on the relaunch of her website. Even though that all was a lot of fun (check out the cool preview tool we developed), my beloved X-Pro1 was sitting on my desk the whole time making these sad eyes at me.
This week we finally had two days off work and sun. Rebecca got the X-E1 meanwhile and we took both Fujis with us and went to Kinsale for a day (you can find her pictures here). This was the first real outing with the X-Pro1 and I have to say that I’m really impressed. It does almost everything better than my Nikon. The level of details, the colors and the dynamic range are so much fun to work with. The only thing I am still adjusting to are the different field of view (crop sensor vs. full frame) and the depth of field (50mm f1.4 vs. the equivalent of a 50mm f2.0).
All the shots below were taken with the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Fujinon 35mm 1.4 lens
See all pictures on www.johnnypatience.com