Monthly Archives: March 2011
I remember the first time I saw this series by Celine Clanet. Her photos of an unfamiliar and seemingly fragile culture left me spellbound in a way I couldn’t quite understand. Perhaps it was because the location (Máze is the highest point on the European map) is about as far away from my home of Tasmania (next stop: Antarctica) that you can go on the planet. Or maybe it’s just because the photos are simply captivating and beautifully shot.
Based in France, Celine began traveling to Máze in 2005 and began spending time with the local Sámi people.
“There, I met quiet people, sometimes melancholic, captivating, who are very proud of their village and territory. They often have binoculars at hand, even in their homes, to gaze at these beautiful landscapes,” she says
I have photographed Sámi people, houses, land and reindeer that were almost not here today. They barely escaped being flooded by the waters of a hydroelectric dam project that the Norwegian government planned in the early 1970’s and thanks to Sámi people’s protests and resistance was fortunately aborted.
To me, Máze is an ambivalent symbol of resistance and helplessness.”
It’s unfair to the time and research that Celine put into this project to label it as travel photography, but it should act as perfect motivation for anyone hoping to document any unique part of the world. Through simple, well composed and uncluttered images and a mixture of landscape, portrait and details she portrays a perfect sense of place. Very inspiring indeed.
If you like what you see here, the series has been published as a book which you can purchase on Celine’s website.
Dear New Zealand,
thanks for the turquoise lakes and misty hills, for the laid-back pubs, yummy seafood, and especially for the view of multi-coloured mountains from the plane window as we were leaving.
Just so you know, we’ll be back.
Here’s some travel photography that really sums up the Skip Town ideology.
The beautiful work of João Canziani conveys a perfect sense of place, without having to resort to tired “postcard” photos of landmarks and tourist attractions.
I love that he’s breaking many of the traditional “rules” of photography: shooting into the sun, blowing out the highlights and using a low aperture for landscapes. It’s also obvious that he’s not using much gear – most of the shots look to be hand held, proving that there’s no need to lug around a heavy tripod.
My favorites are these two taken on the beach. Both are shot facing into the sun, creating atmosphere through flare and shadows which look great. The first image includes Rio’s famous Sugar Loaf Mountain, but it’s much more creative that your average tourist snap.
You can tell from the vignetting that he is using a low aperture for brilliant low light photography:
Shooting directly into the sun in Denali National Park, Alaska:
Guilty pleasures in Valladolid, Mexico:
Joao is an incredibly talented and in-demand photographer ( he’s shot campaigns for Nike, American Express and others) but his travel photography shows that with basic gear and a fresh perspective you can come home with truly unique photos. Make sure you check out the rest of his folio.
Just spied this super stylish wooden tripod over at Wired. While we’d never suggest that this would make a travel-friendly accessory, I couldn’t help but want to share it with you.
Apparently they’ve been in production for 100 years! Makes me think of old time expeditions, like this amazing collection of Antarctic shots by Bernard Kalb, Walter Sullivan and Allyn Baum. Taken in 1955, they were unearthed only recently by the New York Times. Just incredible!
Two above by Walter Sullivan
Sean and I recently spent an excellent (but not nearly long enough) five days making our way around the South Island of New Zealand. As you can imagine, the scenery was amazing, the locals lovely, and we had some mighty good seafood.
However, this is the story of one little island within one very blue lake, sitting up high in the New Zealand Alps, and the lengths we went to for a great shot.
It went a bit like this.
Me: Wow, that is one cute little island. So round. So nicely framed with all the mountains behind it. That would make a great landscape shot for Skip Town.
Sean: Okay, let’s have a go.
Me (after taking a few shots): That looks okay… but wouldn’t it be nicer as the sun goes down? Get a bit of colour in the sky?
Sean: Alright, we’ll come back a bit later then.
Me: Damn, that blanket of cloud is not very exciting… and the water doesn’t look nearly as blue as it did before… maybe we should come back early in the morning when it’s nice and still? Maybe we’ll get the island’s reflection on the water – that would look awesome.
Sean: Mmmm, really? I guess we could.
5.30am the next morning
Me: Oh! It’s not still enough for reflections… and the sky is still kinda muted… and the water is not looking very blue… and I’m tired!
Sean: Me too.
So we tried – and in the end we did get a few nice shots. But the moral of the story is that landscape photography is often about being in the right place at the right time. If the weather doesn’t want to play nice, you can’t do anything about it.
And even though midday sun is generally regarded as one of the worst times of day for landscape shots due to the harsh sunlight and lack of defining shadow, we actually got the best shot of the bunch at noon. In this case it was due to the subject matter – Lake Tekapo’s best feature is its incredible azure blue water which is most vibrant in sunny weather.
The Skip Town Travel Photography Field Guide has a whole section dedicated to photographing lakes, so do check it out if you’re interested.
Here is our eventual favourite photograph of Lake Tekapo. What would you have done?
Skip Town’s favourite photography magazine, The British Journal of Photography, has just posted a great video of the highly anticipated Fujifilm Finepix X100. We are very excited about the release of this camera as it looks like a perfect fusion of compact and DSLR cameras, plus it has a beautiful vintage-look design.
Some observations from the video;
The optical viewfinder: This will be fantastic for use in bright conditions as an alternative to the LCD screen. I love my Olympus Pen but find using the LCD screen in broad daylight can be rather tricky (note: external viewfinders are available for Pens).
The quality: Seeing it being held by the beardy fellow shows the size and build – it looks robust, solid and very compact. The aperture ring and shutter dial look well made and easy to use.
The fixed lens: We love fixed lenses, not only for their superior image quality but also because you’ll come home with a cohesive series of images.
I did something silly a couple of years ago when I was traveling with my old digital SLR.
I’d been on the go for three months by this stage and had staunchly refused to use a camera bag, instead stashing my camera in my shoulder bag along with wallet, snacks and god knows what else. So anyway, on this day I’m in the cliff-top village of Oia on Santorini, waiting to watch the famously beautiful sunset, when my camera dies. Dead.
I know – I had it coming! But there were several reasons for my neglect, some of which were more sensible than others. Firstly, if you’ve got anything bigger than a compact camera, the usual cases are quite bulky which means you end up carrying two day bags instead of one. Secondly, they’re very recognisable as camera bags and depending where you are it may not be a good idea to advertise the fact that you’re carrying expensive gear. Thirdly, *shame* camera bags are usually so ugly!
I’ve since learned my lesson, but I still don’t like big camera bags. I currently use an Olympus Pen which I carry in one of those snug leather cases, so I can still fit it in my shoulder bag. But if you’re a digital SLR user and want to fit everything (camera gear plus personal stuff) into a stylish but protective bag while traveling, here are some ideas.
For the ladies;
Man I love these! Emera do classic designs, with quilted and canvas styles available.
If you like a bit more colour, check out the Epiphanie range featuring such styles as the ‘Clover’ below.
The Cloak camera bag suits those stealth shooters who don’t want to miss a thing – it doesn’t have a base which means you can shoot out the bottom! Okay, so you can’t fit anything else inside, but it’s still very cool.
The reliable folk at Photojojo have designed their own camera bag – the SLR Sloop.
But for something more utilitarian, try the Incognito camera bag from Courierware.
And for the record, I did get a few nice shots before the ‘incident’. Here’s one.