I have always dreamed about visiting Mongolia. Ever since I was young boy and I first time read stories about Genghis Khan. I watched every documentary about this remote exotic country. With eyes glued to the screen I promised myself that one day, I definitely make the trip. My time came in fall 2015 and I visited the country twice! During my first trip I climbed Khüiten, the highest peak in Mongolia. I also attended the annual Eagle Hunting Festivall in Bayan-Ölgii province. Couple of weeks later, I had to unexpectedly relocate to different part of the world for work and with few months to spare in between the jobs, I decided to travel. Mongolia was the obvious choice again since I was so impressed first time. As before any trip, I usually do my research about destination, people, customs etc. Still to this day, more than half of Mongolian population lives nomadic lifestyle. Country is the 19th largest and distances are vast. There is so much to see and good planning is essential………
One of the most rewarding things about what I do is the fact that I get to become friends with strangers from all over the world. Isabelle, Florent and I met in person for the first time 3 years ago, just one day before their wedding and we’ve remained friends ever since. During that period, we’ve shared some fun moments together including celebrating a friend’s wedding, Bastille Day under the Eiffel Tower one summer evening and helping Florent put their kitchen together. In fact, their home has become my home whenever I am in Paris. And as fate would have it, I happened to be in Paris at the “right time” on various occasions – one during the latter stages of Isabelle’s pregnancy and the other around Yaelle’s first few months. However, doing a maternity and baby shoot was not something we planned in advance, they just happened, right there on the spot ; “my flight is in a few hours, should we grab some frames before I head out?”…….
I am an amateur photographer who has been an avid reader of your website for three years. Thanks for the great service you provide to the community of photographers. Recently, my wife and I returned from an REI trip to Peru where we hiked the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, and I would like to share our experiences with the readers of your site. I brought two cameras on the trip: Fuji X100s and Sony RX100III, both of which are great for travel photography. My go-to camera was the Fuji because of excellent image quality and ease of use. The Sony was kept in my pants pocket and came in handy a few times. We arrived in Cusco, where we spent three days acclimatizing to the altitude, since the Salkantay Pass is at 15,200 feet. Cusco has the population of about 450,000 and it was the historic capital of the Incan Empire until it was conquered by the Spanish in 1532. Nowadays, Cusco is a growing city, and it is a tourist hub for trips to Machu Picchu…..
Heads-up X100-series fans, the popular fixed-lens APS-C X-series camera from Fuji now has a younger sibling in the X70, and while the sensor size and resolution remain the same, much is certainly different about the Fuji X70. For starters, it’s a wider lens at 28mm eq, and the camera is much smaller and lighter. But of perhaps equal or even greater significance to many is that the X70 costs just a little over half the price of the X100T, and yet it still retains the characteristic wealth of vintage external controls that fans of X-series cameras tend to crave. The first question from us at IR with a new camera line is virtually always the same: „How’s the image quality?“ Our First Shots from our test laboratory Still Life target are generally the best place to begin………
Delhi is an enormous city – probably why it is in its own state. The size of it is mind-boggling, with 16.3 million inhabitants (London has 8.1 according to versus.com). It’s smoky, rammed with cars and people and extremely noisy, 24/7. Both Sarah and I were advised to get to India, adjust and then return to Delhi having experienced a bit of the country, acclimatising a little, as it can be quite a culture-shock. So, other than one night on arrival, that is what we did. In fact, we visited Varanasi before returning to Delhi so by then, Delhi was a walk in the park! On return to Delhi, we were keen to get into Old Delhi. We had been to Hanoi in Vietnam a few years earlier and I had a similar image in my mind. This was reasonably accurate but Hanoi has more motorbikes. Old Delhi is, well… old, hot, smelly and dirty. But we really loved it……..
Jaisalmer is a living fort in the Thar Desert, in north-west India, relatively close to the border with Pakistan. Ideal given my dislike of both heat, sand and the sun! It is one of the places in India that should be seen but is a bit of a slog to get to and out of the way of virtually everything else. Once there, it’s easy to see why people should and are encouraged to go and see it. Peppering the desert around the fort are old derelict ruins of entire villages, the fort stands high on its walled foundations and can be seen for miles around.The village shown below was abandoned (according to the events we were told by our guide, shown cooking) following a King’s forced marriage with a very young girl who he then maltreated, leading to the entire village vacating one night in protest of him and in support of her. We visited this old village on our way out into the desert for the most uncomfortable 45 minutes I have ever experienced – aboard a camel……..
I have always loved photography – ever since I was given a camera by a family friend as a 7th birthday present. I promptly took it to bits only to be discovered by Betty (the generous donor) when I was mid-panic about not getting it all back together. It never worked again but an identical replacement meant she was none the wiser. I should thank my Mum and Dad for getting me out of that one! It was a fixed, 35mm automatic film camera and I loved it. I barely took anything interesting but the process fascinated me and this interest steered many things from my GCSE choices – Art had an optional photography module – and then a Photography A-level as a 4th to accompany my highly academic subjects of Speaking/Reading (English) Colouring in (Geography) and Making Numbers Up (Business Studies). My time in the darkroom (mainly developing Ilford 3200 film) was a welcome break from school-life – which I never really enjoyed anyway……..
So, I have a habit of being naturally argumentative when it comes the things that are described as a ‘must see‘ but given the Taj‘s status as one of the wonders of the world, there was no way we were going to miss it. However, I had said to Sarah already that I had a suspicion it‘ll be no more impressive than the Golden Temple. Once again, allowing my preconceptions to cloud my judgement on something I had only seen online and I was proved wrong. Very wrong. The Taj Mahal is simply astonishing. Words and photos cannot do it justice. In this information age, where with a keyboard and screen, anyone can find out about and ‘see‘ almost anything on the planet – it’s easy to assume that some things don’t need visiting……
The market of San Miguel off the Calle Mayor is a bustling market attracting many tourists but also serving locals alike. The people who earn their living there work very hard and have long hours. At the end of a days work you can easily see the tiredness on their faces. These photographs were shot on a Fuji X 100S or a Fuji XT1 with the 16mm – 55mm lens. Information in exif data for shooting setup for each photograph……..
Marrakesh ; Beautiful and Chaotic. This short trip to Marrakesh served as a timely reminder of why I love travelling. I want to see the world. I want to educate myself. I want to grow and develop as a person. I travel to explore and experience different cultures and to see things through the perspective of others. I travel to build connections and trade stories, to try new foods and hear different music. “The further I get, the further I want to go” – There is so much more out there! I had a great time exploring this mystical city with the awesome folks at Travel Noire, let’s do it again sometime……..