Asian photographers who live and work in Asia, and especially in developing countries like Myanmar, don’t often get much attention in the West. This is now beginning to change, but only slowly. One such photographer breaking through is Burma’s most famous all around lensman, Kyaw Kyaw Winn.
Over the last three years, I have been photographing cities with an IR-converted Nikon D80 DSLR while traveling on business trips. I am very fortunate that my job duties involve the administration of international projects, so I travel once or twice per month, mostly in Central Europe, but also in Western and Eastern Europe. Whenever I travel, I try to plan at least a very short window for photographing, even if it is sometimes only 1-2 hours long. In this article, I share some insights after photographing with an IR camera for almost 3 years in roughly 20 European cities.
When your everyday life consists of commute-work-commute-sleep-repeat, holiday time is scarce and precious. What better incentive to make the most out of it? Earlier in July, I decided to set up for a quick adventure in the Scottish highlands with a keen photographer friend of mine. I had seen wonderful pictures of this country, and wanted to experience it for myself.
I am very fortunate to be living in a highly photogenic area of the Czech Republic. It is called Bohemian Paradise (Bohemia is the historical name of one of the regions in the Czech Republic). The dominant feature of the Bohemian Paradise landscape is its sandstone rock formations. But since these rock formations are often hidden in woods, the symbol of Bohemian Paradise is an extinct volcano, which rises above the horizon and can be seen from far away. It is called Trosky. This remnant of an old volcano is rather remarkable as it consists of two towers. On top of them, a medieval castle was built in the 14th century. Today, only the ruins of the once beautiful castle are visible.
It was the year 1987, living in São Paulo, three friends and I decided to undertake a trip to the south of Brazil. We took our surfboards and cheerful for the information we had collected in the region, we boarded the bus to face an 11-hour trip. I had a camera with me that was borrowed from my stepfather. It was a Penthax Sphotmatic with a 50mm and a 70-250mm lens. The photometer did not work, so I used a hand-Weston. I rewound 20 films and left.
Being married to a university professor has its advantages (and disadvantages, but this is not the time or place…), the most important being the international conferences and research trips. After-all, if one airline ticket and hotel is already paid for, it makes sense to buy another ticket and make a holiday of it, right? So when my wife announced a research visit to Chile in 2013, I didn’t need much encouragement to join her once most of her work was done. The only condition was that she would still need to spend several days of our time together working, and during that time I would be her “official photographer”. Since these “work days” would be at abandoned nitrate mines in the middle of the Atacama desert, you might wonder what the attraction was – but the prospect of “leisure” days looking at volcanoes, salt lakes and mountains soon persuaded me.
On May 15th I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh is a vibrant city, known for its industrial heritage. Downtown is located at the convergence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers into the Ohio River, called “The Point.” The hills surrounding the city offer excellent viewpoints for photos. I spent my last two semesters at CMU (August through May) creating images of Pittsburgh’s skyline and architecture during my free time. Twenty of my favorite images are shown below accompanied by a discussion of my creative process.
Well, it was a pretty long drive back but my friend and I made excellent time. From Eastern Slovakia (where most of these shots are from) through the Czech Republic (where my friend is from), Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and then finally back home in the UK, we made it back home in just over 15 hours. And when you’re speeding along endless miles of motorways that all look the same there isn’t much opportunity to shoot anything.
After a week in Ireland, I have seen some incredible sights. This is a beautiful country, and the people are incredibly warm and welcoming. Although most days here have been rainy, I’ve tried to make the most of foggy landscapes and simply enjoy my time in such a unique place. However, the weather has made it difficult to take colorful sunrise and sunset photos, which is a bit unfortunate — it is no secret that golden hour is a wonderful time to take pictures. Still, there has been one incredible morning for photography so far. In just a few minutes, the sky turned from a dull sheet of gray into a magnificent show of color, and a rainbow appeared during the best light. In this article, I’ll cover the entire story and thought process behind my favorite photo from this beautiful sunrise.
I arrived in Ireland a couple days ago, and I have been taking plenty of photos along the way. I’ll post them in future articles, but there is something more important to discuss for now: the dangerous, idiotic behavior I saw at the Cliffs of Moher.