As soon as I saw the subject of this week’s challenge, I immediately thought of a series of photos I took outside of Moab, Utah a few years ago. Coming back from a ski trip to Colorado, we decided to go through Moab via the beautiful highway 128. Along the way we came across this old ghost town right by the side of the road. Although we didn’t spend much time there, I did snap a few photos of these relics (houses and vehicles) of days gone by.
If you’ve been to my blog before, you probably know that one of our joys is being able to travel the world and see it through our own eyes rather than just the filter of the daily news. I went back to our India/Nepal trip of last year and picked out just a few of my photos that I haven’t shared that say Joy to me. I say “a few’ because there are so many more that I could have used….hope some of these bring some joy to you.
This photo was taken as we walked around a small Indian village to see how the locals lived and worked. This little girl was one of numerous children who followed us around and seemed greatly amused at their own pictures that I showed them.
This is from that same village where we visited a local school and were blown away by the enthusiasm and joy that the students took in their studies.
I captured this solemn moment at Buddhist temple in Nepal. Obviously a visitor like us (by the camera strap in the photo), she was enJOYing a moment in meditation while spinning the prayer wheels at the shrine.
Our Indian guide was gracious to let us join in his celebration of his wife’s birthday. In her honor, he decided to pass out small food packages to the poorest of the poor in the city of Varanasi. This man was expressing his appreciation to my wife as she handed out some of the packages.
Couldn’t think of another way to express this. These young men saw me taking pictures along the banks of the Ganges River and wouldn’t stop waving and greeting us until I snapped their smiling faces. I can imagine the disney tune “its a small world after all” playing every time I see this photo.
I’m not sure who enjoyed this impromptu meeting more – my wife (on the left) or these young female college students that we met at a university outside of Varanasi. They were as interested in who we were and where we were from as we were in their studies and lives and as students.
This man was very involved in his son’s progress in learning his father’s trade. Their expressions and manner showed pride in what they did and also in their relationship.
I thought this little girls smile was amazing and it made me think of how different her life as a gypsy was from ours in the US. They were in an ox drawn cart on a major highway -obviously carrying all their possessions – but enjoying life in a very different way.
Our trip was an amazing experience and we were exposed to many different cultures and religions. One of the things that struck us was the joy and serenity that most of the people in that part of the world take from their beliefs. I thought this photo captured the individual focus of those beliefs – a stark contrast to our more communal system in the west. A quiet joy to close my post….
We had many things we were looking forward to when we went to India earlier this year but if I had to choose one, it was to see and photograph a Tiger in the wild. It turned out to be much harder than I imagined as it took until our last game drive in the last national park we would visit to finally see one. We had chased all over 3 different national parks/tiger preserves to no avail. We had heard them growl, had gotten close to where we knew there was a Tiger, but they remained elusive until our final day. Then, a quick report by radio, a mad dash across the park and finally a good view of the majestic beast. She didn’t do anything of great interest but the thrill of actually watching her in the environment she rules was just amazing. It was an experience that I will always remember and something that I hope we can preserve for future generations. Of all the incredible animals I have seen in the wild this may be the most spectacular “one”.
When most people go scuba diving, they focus on big things of interest – turtles, sharks, rays, etc….. One of the things that I love to do is to just find a nice little patch of coral and quietly observe the local community at work. You can see families, predators, cleaning stations, and all kinds of other everyday behavior – all in an environment that is as foreign to us humans as aliens from far off galaxies. For todays challenge I thought I’d show a snapshot of one of those communities in Fiji – nothing unusual or exotic – just a community going about its “business”.
I’ve had the great fortune to have been to many “grand” places around the world so this was a hard challenge to decide on. I finally decided to expand on some previous photos I’ve posted from the western US and specifically the area around Moab, Utah including the Arches and Canyonlands National parks.
This next one is from the Canyonlands park. A spectacular setting with amazing panoramic vistas…..
The last one for today is from the Colorado River gorge – a very pleasant drive to enter the area from the East along Hwy 128.
I couldn’t let this challenge go by with only an artificial light example. This one is all about the best light source we all use – always changing, always challenging, and always creating interest – the sun. It also highlights the golden hour surrounding sunset – in this case at the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico. Since my previous post for this challenge featured a silhouette, I thought I’d use another silhouette, this time a Sandhill Crane coming in for a landing, against the sunset sky. I think this photo also goes well with Thanksgiving – how can you not be thankful to see something like this?
I’m usually looking for natural light for my photos but since the focus of this challenge seemed to be artificial light, I chose this photo from Lima, Peru where they have nightly fountain light shows which are pretty incredible. I liked this one for the fountain effect but mostly for the silhouette – where the light isn’t……
In my previous post for this challenge I mentioned that I like wildlife photography because it is always unexpected and unplanned. I thought I’d post this photo of an endangered Channel Island Fox to illustrate that fact. We had been on Santa Rosa Island for 3 days and I had been out every morning and evening with hopes of getting a photo of these illusive animals. As we were waiting for our boat to arrive to go back to the mainland, my wife and I were sitting by a small tidal pool watching some birds play in the water. As we were chatting, I saw movement over her shoulder and I saw a small face (the foxes are about the size of a house cat). I told Dee to freeze for a second so I could get a shot of this totally unexpected visitor – this was that first photo. Once again, I relearned that when out in the wild always expect the unexpected…..
To me, unexpected is what photography is all about. That is why I could never imagine actually posing someone or something for a shot. It is probably why I also tend towards wildlife photography where you have no control over your subjects. That being said, I chose a different interpretation of this challenge taken on the French Riviera. We had just gotten off the train and were heading out for a hike when there, right in front of me was….Marilyn….just her face – about 50 feet high. I liked the mural but I also liked the geometric framing of the mural from the station – a totally unexpected photo but one that brings back memories of that moment very vividly and fondly.
Thought I’d post another for this challenge using the same set of subjects but with the focus on a different “layer”. This time the focus is on the “middle” generation who is a beautiful young woman speckled in mud from working to repair their home made of logs, branches and held together by mud. I again used depth of field (aperture) to control the separation of the layers of the photograph (the other family members). Hope you enjoy this additional “layer” of their story….