Welcome to the first in a series of posts looking at some of my photographs at different focal lengths.
I chose 55mm to start with as for a long time this was the telephoto limit of my 18-55mm zoom which I'd use for the majority of my photography. Since switching from Nikon to Fuji my standard walkaround lens is now the 15-45mm, however I've recently bought the Sigma 56mm F1.4, meaning I'll be returning to a similar range for telephoto shots, albeit with the shallow depth of field that will allow me to isolate subjects in street photography (something I had limited ability to do with my old 18-55mm kit lens). Anyway, please enjoy!
Inle Fisherman, Inle Lake, Burma (Myanmar), taken at 1/400 sec, F5.6, ISO 100 on the 20th January 2014. This has been, from a long time, my 'favourite photo', in as much as I think of it representing all the travel photography I have taken over the past 10-15 years. Perhaps it's the combination of the light and the moment. Taken from another fishing boat, the 55mm range allowed me to isolate the subject perfectly - I was fortunate that our boats were so close! A magical place to visit, although I can't help wondering how tourism has changed it in the ten years since I visited.
Cat on Sofa, Cemoro Lawang, Indonesia, taken at 1/320 sec, F5.6, ISO 100 on the 4th August 2015. Speaking of good light, I think that this is what really makes the second photograph for me - as well as the beautiful textures of the old sofa. This was taken on a morning (either before or after, I can't remember) of trekking up to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo - before driving down to explore the lunar landscape around the crater.
If good light is the key to the first two images (as well as timing for the Inle Lake shot), then these two are more snapshots. However the 55mm range has allowed my to isolate the subjects even at a higher aperture. The first one taken in Sevilla at 1/250 sec F8 ISO 100 on 11th July 2016, the secon in the Algarve at 1/320 sec F5.6, ISO 100 three days later. My main memory of this trip is the baking sun, with temperatures up to 40 degrees celsius in Seville!
The two shots here are snapshots from Japan. At 55mm I was able to isolate the subject in Kamakura for the first (29th March 2018, 1/250 sec F5.6 ISO 100), while the second was just a perfect moment (and good fortune of standing directly behind the dancer) at a festival in Kyoto (1st April 2018, 1/800 sec F5.6 ISO 100).
The first image is of Burana Tower, a 9th century minaret outside of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (27th July 2018, 1/500 sec at F5.6, ISO 100). In some ways it's little more than a snapshot in the afternoon light, but the effort it took me to get there and the age of the building made it a really memorable place to visit. Then another overlooked (by me) image here, this time the figures silhouetted against the sun are in Khiva, Uzbekistan (6th August 2018, 1/1000 F5.6 ISO 100). Khiva is one of the three Silk Roads cities often visited in Uzbekistan and is by far the most authentic, having not (yet) been rebuilt and remodelled as Bukhara and Samarkand have.
The final two images are from last summer's trip to Colombia. The first is my shot of the trip - I really like the composition and timing of this one. It's from Barichara, a pueblo I'd highly recommend visiting (it was the highlight of the trip alognside Jardin) taken on 24th July 2023 at 1/250 sec F8, ISO 100. The second is from Cartagena on the same trip (8th August 2023, 1/250 F9 ISO 100). Cartagena is run down, atmospheric, bustling, frenetic and touristy all at the same time. I didn't warm to it - but it was great for photography.
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