Saturday, February 28, 2009

Interview on James Robinson's Blog

I'm privileged to have been interviewed by James Robinson for his outstanding blog, which you can find here.

Thank you James for including me on your roster of photographers.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Johanna over at thepassionatecook is hosting another wonderful Waiter! There's Something in My........., this time round the challenge is for hot puds!

I have a real passion for puddings and if they are British, then so much the better. I have always been interested in the history of food, and particularly so, when it comes to a good honest British pud!

I chose a Delia recipe I have yearned to make for a long, long time, but have never somehow got round to making.

Sussex Pond Pudding is usually made in a large glass bowl and steamed for about 3 hours. This is, to me, the best of all the suet puddings. A whole lemon is placed inside the suet lined bowl with equal quantities of butter and sugar placed around the lemon, then topped with a suet pastry lid.
Now for the pond, once you cut into the pudding the buttery, lemony juices pour out around the pudding creating a pond. A piece of the cooked lemon is served to everyone along with the pastry and juices.

Note - if you don't prick the lemon all over with a skewer before placing in the pastry lined bowl you risk the lemon and your pudding exploding - unfortunately this happened to a friend of mine who had cooked this for us! Mary Norwak in her book of English Puddings, tells of a similar pudding where you leave the lemon whole and the pudding is called Lemon Bomb because of the exploding lemon!

There is also another version of this pudding that includes dried fruit to the mixture, and this is called Kentish Wells.

Recipes can be found in the following books, and obviously in many others - Jane Grigson in her book English Food, English Puddings by Mary Norwak, The Pudding Club and Bibendum. Bibendum Restaurant even have Sussex Pond Pudding on the menu from time to time. Now for an update on this pudding - Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food - his latest cookery book that he has written with Mark Sargeant - includes a recipe for this pudding, which is very similar to Delia's recipe.

Now back to Delia's recipe - these one portion size puddings were really easy to prepare, I was a little worried that I would be short of pastry to line the pudding basins, but as usual, Delia had allowed just the right amount. The pudding basins are lined with a very thin suet pastry. The addition of fresh white breadcrumbs to the suet mix, gave a very light texture to the pastry. This pudding certainly wasn't a poor relation to the huge pudding that would normally be served. Sussex Pond pudding isn't pretty by any means, but boy does it taste good!!

Here is a lovely nineteenth-century rhyme - all about boiled puddings, of course.

Mother Eve's Pudding

If you want a good pudding, to teach you I'm willing,
Take twopennyworth of eggs, when twelve for a shilling,
And of the same fruit that Eve had once chosen,
Well pared and well chopped at least half a dozen;
Six ounces of bread (let your maid eat the crust);
The crumbs must be grated as small as the dust;
Six ounces of currants from the stones you must sort,Lest they break out your teeth and spoil all your sport;
Six ounces of sugar won't make it too sweet,Some salt and some nutmeg will make it complete,
Three hours let it boil, without hurry or flutter,
And then serve it up - without sugar or butter.

This recipe and most of the content is from a previous posting. Johanna has kindly agreed to let me enter this very worthy pudding.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

John Delaney: Mongolia

Photo © John P. Delaney-All Rights Reserved

John P. Delaney’s series titled “Golden Eagle Hunters of Mongolia” garnered him one of the International Photography Awards' most coveted prizes. His work was chosen out of nearly 22,000 submissions spanning 124 different countries. Delaney is also a Master Printer working closely with photographers such as Bruce Davidson, Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Klein, Annie Leibovitz and Irving Penn.

With the Golden Eagle Hunters of Mongolia, Delaney presents a rich and beautiful collection of portraits and landscapes that capture an intimate glimpse of the ancient way of life for the nomadic Kazakh tribe, who date farther back than the 15th century and are once again in danger of being eradicated.

Among many Kazakh traditions is the ancient art of hunting with trained birds of prey. The tradition is believed to originate in Central Asia some 6000 years ago and was adopted in Europe and other countries. Historical chronicles relay records of Kublay Khan's lavish hunting trips in autumn and winter involving thousands of people and horses, with falconers in the thousands.

Kazakhs catch and train golden eagles, common throughout Central Asia. These huge birds weigh up to 15 pounds, and have wingspan of seven or eight feet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WSJ Photo Journal: Kathakali

Photo © Arko Datta-All Rights Reserved

A Kathakali dancer in the traditional South Indian dance, performing at the recent Kala Ghoda Festival of Arts in Mumbai. The nine-day festival showcases Indian arts and heritage.

I'm currently in Kasargod (Kerala) on my Theyyams of Malabar photo-expedition, and on my way to Thrissur and Kochi where we are planning to attend and photograph Kathakali performances.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

James Nachtwey: Congo

TIME magazine has published a photo essay by James Nachtwey of VII, along with an article by Ben Affleck, an actor, who has traveling to Congo since 2007 to learn, and to report.

Affelck writes:
"The warring parties in the east can be distilled into three main groups: the Congolese army; a breakaway faction composed mainly of Tutsis, led by a former general, Laurent Nkunda; and an outlaw militia, the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), led by the same Interahamwe Hutu extremists who committed the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in neighboring Rwanda. "

The accompanying article is here.

TIME magazine surely can do better than frame James Nachtwey's gripping photographs with this hideous slideshow platform. It's also incongruous to have banners and ads fro Samsung cellphones, TurboTax and W Hotels with these photographs of misery and conflict.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Big Picture: Tibet's Monlam Festival

Photo ©REUTERS/Reinhard Krause-All Rights Reserved

The Big Picture of the Boston Globe featured photographs of Tibet's Monlam Festival. Tibetans observe this important festival with prayers, ritual dances, traditional foods and giant tapestry-like paintings.

Chinese officials have prohibited the festival in the past, and still discourage participation, but ethnic Tibetans are maintaining their traditional culture as mucg as they can.

The above photograph is of a Buddhist monk walking in front of the Thangka tapestry outside a monastery in Tongren, Qinghai province.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Do you still have some marzipan lurking in the back of the kitchen cupboard from Christmas!! Here is the perfect recipe to use up some of the leftover marzipan.

This recipe is also useful to make if you have an orange that has possibly gone a little past its best. You simply cook the whole orange in a saucepan, pop it into the food processor, whizz to a puree and add this to the cake mix.

Unfortunately, this recipe is quite heavy on calories. Perhaps you would prefer just to look at the photograph, but then again, you might just be tempted. After all, they were really, really delicious. Mr Him tends to put on weight just looking at food, whilst I am the complete opposite and so it makes sense to mostly leave these type of indulgences for a special treat!

As you can see from the photograph I lined all but two of the loaf tins. A very wise decision on my part because the cakes have a tendency to stick.

For me, they were a little on the sweet side, whilst Mr Him thought the sweetness was perfect. If I was to make these little cakes again, I would definitely cut down on the amount of marzipan used.

The recipe came from Waitrose Seasons Winter Cookbook 2009, which just happens to be a freebie you can pick up at the check out!

David Zentz: Haiti's Saut D'Eau

Photo ©David Zentz-All Rights Reserved

David Zentz is a photojournalist based in Los Angeles, California. Following his master’s in mass communications at the University of Florida in 2005, David completed internships at a number of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times, before a full-time position at the Journal Star. In 2008 he left newspapers and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a freelance career. He has completed numerous projects, both domestically and abroad, on subjects ranging from mental health issues to the hip-hop culture in Haiti. His work has been recognized by CPOY, the Southern Short Course and the NPPA.

Haiti's Saut D'Eau is located in its central plateau The town is named after its waterfall, and the area has many streams and sources which make it very fertile. It is also the home of Haiti’s most celebrated patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose anniversary is celebrated annually on July 16th. Thousands of Pilgrims from Haiti and other parts of the world travel to the waterfall to participate in the festivities.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chris Bickfrod: Paris

Chris Bickfrod made his first appearance on this blog through his work published by The New York Times on Venice's Carnevale. Funding his expenses by working as a wedding photographer mostly in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, he devotes his summers and early winters to traveling to Europe and working on his street photography. He started work on books of Dubrovnik, Venice, and Paris.

In an infrequent departure from my geographical focus, I chose to feature Chris' work on Paris, which is a lovely collection of this city's scenes...combining street photography with its traditional landmarks.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Canon 5D Mark II Microphones

Kevin Reylek at B&H wrote an article on Recording Great-Sounding Audio with the Canon EOS 5D MkII, and listing 6 different options for affixing a microphone to the camera. These options vary in terms of price and quality...and practicality.

During my photo expedition in South India, I will test my own option, which is just plugging a Sony ECM-DS30P into the camera's audio in port. This is probably the cheapest, and I'll report back on this blog as to whether it's an improvement over the camera's built-in mic.

Also see this post on my ATR 6250 microphone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Around the World with TPN

Members of Travel Photographers Network (TPN) have collaborated to create a photo-book of juried travel images called "Around the World with TPN". The images in the book were selected by 6 judges (including Kah Kit Yoong, and David duChemin) and the books layout was created by professional graphic designed and photographer Sarah Clarehart.

Some of the 50 photographers with work presented in the book include Marsel van Oosten, Matt Brandon, Kah Kit Yoong, Chris Wilson, Paul Prince, Troy Feener and Nick Hall.

Proceeds from the book are going towards an overhaul of the TPN site which is owned and operated by Jim White out of London. This is a worthy effort to enhance the work of dedicated and quality travel photographers, many of whom have been featured on The Travel Photographer blog.

Alessandra Meniconzi: Hidden China

I now have Alessandra Meniconzi's new book Hidden China, which I've enthusiastically perused all last week. As I previously posted, this book explores some of the most remote regions of China and brings to life a world far removed from the great metropolises, a world nearly forgotten, where the people continue to live their traditional lifestyles largely undisturbed.

If you are interested in minority ethnic and traditional cultures of Asia, this book ought to be on your bookshelves. It's available at all major bookstores, and on the on-line book retailers as well. You'll be glad you did.

Alessandra Meniconzi is a Swiss photographer fascinated by the lives and traditions of indigenous people in remote regions of the world. After many years of working in Asia, she traveled in Iceland and became interested in the Arctic. She is the sole photographer for the books Hidden China (2008), Mystic Iceland (2007), and The Silk Road (2004), and she is currently working on the new book about Tibet, Arctic and Himalaya.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

POV: Mentorships

Photo ©Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

A recent spate of photography mentorships and scholarships have appeared on my radar screen...and for obvious reasons, some more than others.

For instance, the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops recently announced that it offers the opportunity "of working with a mentor to expand your photographic knowledge and skills, and to refine your photographic personality.". The mentors are from a group of photography "titans" such as Nevada Weir, Sam Abell, Mary Virginia Swanson and others.

The cost for the long-distance (ie telephone/online) mentorship is $4,500 for a 12-month (17 sessions) Photography Mentorship, $2,200 for a 6-month Photography Mentorship (8 sessions) and $375 for a single session of 60 minutes.

Regular readers of The Travel Photographer blog will recognize what I'm thinking of whilst writing this I'll leave it unsaid (or unwritten).

But hallelujah! Not everything requires a Wall Street bonus in the world of photographic scholarships and mentorships!

We have the stellar example of David Alan Harvey's generosity as just announced on the Magnum blog, and which describes a $10,000 grant which comes under the non-profit umbrella of the Magnum Cultural Foundation.

We also have the brilliant example of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, whose faculty of 20 or so photojournalists/photographers are not paid for tutoring the 100+ students expected to attend the workshop in north India.

Yes, there are some bright spots after all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jean Michel Clajot: Sacrification

Jean-Michel Clajot is a Belgian photographer, who began his career with a trip to Somalia. He worked for various newspapers, most recently with News Press Agencies in Brussels. Concentrating on Africa, he signed up with Cosmos Photo Agency in Paris for the worldwide distribution of his work, and with Aurora Photos for North American sales.

He has been working for the past three years on " Scarification " in Benin West-Africa. His ensuing book will be published in September 2008 and will be available in English and French.

A previous post on Jean Michel Clajot was featured here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

One Shot: Aloha Diao Lavina: Bali

Photo ©Aloha Diao Lavina-All Rights Reserved

Aloha Diao Lavina's photographs have been featured in Estamos! a lifestyle magazine in Ecuador, in an illustrated poetry book in the US, and various online magazines including Utata Tribal Photography. She won second place in the Betterphoto contest, and is a fellow of the Bangkok Photographic Society, and a featured photographer of Fotegrafik, an image bank in Singapore.

Aloha, apart from being a multi-faceted photographer, is also a doctoral student researching the interaction of culture and creativity in children.

From her many excellent galleries, I chose the above photograph for the One Shot feature, and it's from her Eye on Bali. Her travel galleries include Myanmar, Rajasthan, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I seem to be on a mission at the moment to find soup recipes with both 'bowl and taste appeal'. Lots of recipes disappoint me, and in the past I have had more than my fair share of failures. This winter has been unusually cold, and a bowl of homemade soup with freshly baked bread is the ultimate in mid-day comfort food.

Maybe, if you have thought about making soup, but the thoughts of buying fresh soup from the supermarket holds more attraction - I hope these following two soup recipes will help change your mind.

Lightly seeded bread straight from the bread machine was a perfect accompaniment.

Hot Food is a great cookery book and every recipe is accompanied with a photograph. It's always helpful and much more user friendly to look at a beautifully styled photograph.

There are recipes for most of us in this wonderful book. Chapters on soup, spicy, rice and noodles, hearty and pasta. Recipes such as asparagus soup with Parmesan crisps - lamb kofta curry - tamarind beef, bean and noodle stir-fry - Welsh lamb pie and for rainy day cooking - pasta with lamb shank, rosemary and red wine ragu.


ISBN 1740452259 - Page 65

Serves: 4-6 people

This is the slightly adapted recipe:

You will need: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 finely chopped red onions, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 diced red peppers, 90g tomato puree, 250ml dry white wine, 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes, 500ml chicken or vegetable stock, 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, 4 tablespoons chopped coriander.

1. Heat the oils in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the red pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the wine, simmer for a couple of minutes, or until reduced slightly. Add the tomato, stock and 500ml water. Season and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Puree most of the soup along with the herbs. Add the remainder of the soup mix to the puree. Enjoy!

My next success story is Tomato and Basil Soup taken from Olive Magazine, a link to this recipe can be found here on the BBCGoodFood website.

The recipe states that it cooks in 15 minutes, but I found it took a good 30 minutes to cook all of the vegetables. If the soup gets too thick, just thin it down a little.

Another soup to enjoy with some good crusty bread!

Aurora Novus

Aurora Photos has launched a new company, Aurora Novus, to cater to the needs of clients' demand for video, motion picture and interactive content, and for storytelling.

The new company seeks to offer a "one-stop visual solution" to such clients. It's not a new approach, with Media Storm being a well-known industry leader in this particular field.

Another reason to check out Aurora Novus' website is to watch Ivan Kashinsky's photographs of the lives of Bolivia's women wrestlers. The story is based on the September 2008 National Geographic story.

Here are more of Ivan's photographs of Las Cholitas.

NY Times: Venice's Carnevale

Photo ©Chris Bickford-All Rights Reserved

The Venice Carnevale is starting in earnest this weekend, and the New York Times has published a slideshow to remind us of the event. It has been celebrated on and off throughout the ages, in different ways and intensity.

The word carnevale comes from the Latin for "goodbye, meat!". As Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday) obliged people to fast, all meat, butter and eggs had to be consumed during the period up to Ash Wednesday . This religious formality became the excuse for a party that echoed pagan festivities. The eighteenth century was the heyday of Carnival, and Venice's decline in power was accompanied by a conspicuous consumption of pleasure.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Innocence: Child Soldiers of Sri Lanka

Here's Innocence: Child Soldiers of Sri Lanka, a SoundSlides production by duckrabbit multimedia, with the song of Irish singer Luka Bloom.

Before 2007, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebel movement was accused of recruiting thousands of children into their ranks. The LTTE has been accused of knowingly recruiting and using child soldiers as front-line troops. Amid international pressure, LTTE announced in July 2003 that it would stop conscripting child soldiers, but both UNICEF and HRW have accused it of reneging on its promises, and of conscripting orphaned Tamil children.

One Shot: Peter Bendheim: Sangoma

Photo ©Peter Bendheim-All Rights Reserved

Peter Bendheim is a documentary photographer in Durban, South Africa. He's represented by and his work is part of the permanent collection of the Durban Art Gallery, and his documentary work was exhibited in various galleries to include on the Digital Journalist website.

Peter's favorite photographers are Sebastiao Salgado, W. Eugene Smith, Gary Winogrand and Martin Parr. His favorite camera equipment is Nikon, and is the editor and principal photographer of MetroBeat, a full color magazine of 400,000 copies in circulation. He also worked with the National Geographic Traveler magazine on a specific assignment.

I chose his portrait of sangomas for this post. Sangomas are practitioners of herbal medicine, divination and counseling in traditional the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi societies of Southern Africa. The practice is based on a belief in ancestral spirits.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Matt Brandon: Thaipusam

Matt Brandon, aka The Digital Trekker, has just produced an audio slideshow using the SoundSlides platform of his photographs of Thaipusam in Penang. Some 800,000 Hindu Tamil and Chinese devotees of Muruga (also called Subramaniam), the Hindu God of War, gathered in Penang to celebrate Thaipusam, and Matt was there to record the images and ambient sound.

In contrast to the nervous energy from his pulsating photographs of the festival, Matt does an admirably calm and well articulated narration. A well done job.

Matt is now living in Malaysia, and travels all around South Asia and beyond on different assignments, and most often shoots people in their natural environment. He also authors an excellent blog called The Digital Trekker, so bookmark it if you haven't already.

As for Thaipusam, I read on Wikipedia that the largest Thaipusam celebrations take place in Singapore, Mauritius and Malaysia. The temple at Batu Caves, near Kuala Lumpur, often attracts over one million devotees!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Medford Taylor: El Corazon de Mexico

Photo ©Medford Taylor-All Rights Reserved

It is a delight to bring Medford Taylor, a photographer with an incredible eye for color, to the virtual pages of The Travel Photographer.

Since 1974 Medford worked on assignment for Time Magazine, Newsweek, GEO, National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler, among others. His photographs have been published in various books and publications all over the world, and he has received awards from the Virginia News Photographers Association, the White House Photographers Association, and the Slover Award from the Virginian Pilot. In 2002, he published his first book "Saltwater Cowboys: A Photo Essay of Chincoteague Island.

I chose Medford's work on Mexico, especially his lovely gallery titled El Corazon de Mexico, to show here. I also admired his saturated color work in his gallery Mariposa Monarca, which you can see on his website or as a music-accompanied slideshow on Burn magazine

My thanks to my photographer friend Cathy Scholl, who not only directed me to Medford's work, but also reminded me that I expressed to her my fears that I wouldn't find enough talent to fill the pages of my blog. That was in February 2007...two years ago!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Robot Posts

As I'm getting swamped in my final preparations for the imminent departure of my Theyyams of Malabar photo-expedition, I've set up and scheduled various posts which will be posted during as many days of my absence as possible.

This will ensure an uninterrupted stream of posts for a while so readers of The Travel Photographer continue to read one of their favorite blogs as long as possible. I will try to post while on the road, but I can't guarantee it.

In the field, my primary focus is on the 8 photographers who accompany me and who are making this photo-expedition a sold-out event, but I will try my best.

Foundry PJ Workshop 2009: Update

The Foundry Photojournalism Workshop has announced the availability of three separate tuition scholarships which will benefit 6 photojournalists.

Separately, Eric Beecroft just announced that the Foundry Photojournalism Workshops and N11/Lightstalkers are pleased and proud to announce the two winners of the full tuition Lightstalkers Foundry Workshop Scholarships. The winners for 2009 are Ashwini Bhatia and Dar Yasin. Ashwini lives and works in Dharamshala, India where he covers Tibetan affairs for the Associated Press, and Dar Yasin is an award winning freelance photojournalist, and native of Kashmir.

Check out the details on its website.

New York Photo Festival: May 13-17

The New York Photo Festival, which drew positive reviews when it debuted last year, has changed its plans to expand from four to 10 days in 2009. After announcing last year that the festival would take place May 14 to 24, NYPH '09 quietly rescheduled for May 13 to 17.

Festival co-founder Frank Evers said the change was the result of programming decisions, with the slowdown in the economy being a lesser concern. It made more sense to make the festival "intense and short" rather than trying to fill up a longer schedule, Evers says. The festival schedule has not been announced, but NYPH is adding some new events this year including portfolio reviews.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Marantz PMD 620

I finally succumbed. I dropped by B&H yesterday to check on whether they had any Canon 5D Mark II batteries in stock, and walked out with a Marantz PMD 620 audio recorder.

But first things first; the LP-E6 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries are unavailable. The salesman said that there were none available in the United States...perhaps an exaggeration, but probably not that far off. I guess the alternative is to buy a Canon 5D Mark II just to have a spare battery. In my view, Canon mismanaged the supply of both camera and accessories, and will eventually suffer the consequences.

Now about the Marantz PMD 620 audio recorder: I decided to replace my Micro Track which was showing its age...and it didn't perform that well in Bhutan last October. I had replaced its original microphone which had been damaged, but it still didn't perform as well as it should have...hence the new Marantz PMD 620.

I figured a new audio recorder would be useful during my forthcoming photo-expedition to South India to document Theyyam performances...I'm hopeful that the accompanying music and ambient sound during these performances will add much to my photographs.

I was glad that the Marantz PMD 620 was sold by B&H with a free 2gb SD card (it comes with a 512mb card), a free carrying case and a $100 rebate from Marantz. I briefly tested it yesterday, and think it'll work well. Why did I choose it over the other models? Well, because of these incentives.

For a detailed report on the Marantz PMD 620, check Transom Tool. I will put it through its paces in India and will write my own on my return.

BBC: Lalibela's Bet Maryam

Photo ©Karoki Lewis-All Rights Reserved

I'm not too fond of the BBC these days as a result of its unconscionable decision not to air the Gaza appeal, however it has recently published an interesting audio slideshow with photographs and audio by Karoki Lewis, and produced by Phil Coomes

As part of a series looking at religious pilgrimages around the world, Karoki recorded the all night ceremony at Bet Maryam (Church of the Virgin Mary) in Lalibela, Ethiopia, as they celebrated Orthodox Christmas in early January.

I recall being in Lalibela during Epiphany in 2004, and being part of, and photographing the pre-dawn rituals of the ancient celebration was an unforgettable experience. Ethiopian Christianity dates back to the 4th century, and as the festival of Epiphany nears, Lalibela’s population swells with 60 thousand pilgrims.

I visited the beautiful cross-shaped Church of St. George, but the awning that is visible in the slideshow wasn't it must be a new addition. It certainly preserves the stone church from the elements, but it's also hideous.

(Via duckrabbit multimedia)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Peter Gasser: African Tribes

Photo ©Peter Gasser-All Rights Reserved

Every now and then, I'm confronted with photographic work of such superlative quality that my jaw literally drops. Peter Gasser's photography is such work.

Peter Gasser is a Swiss photographer, and his biography as penned by Professor Helmut Gernsheim on his website reveals his affinity for precision work. While Professor Gernsheim commends Gasser's landscape work, comparing it to that of Ansel Adams, Brett Weston and Paul Caponigro, it is his ethno-photography that left me speechless.

Peter Gasser has exhibited his work in European and United States galleries, and is the recipient of a number of awards including the official recognition from the Swiss Confederation. His photographs are at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Art institute of Chicago, International Museum of Photography, Rochester; Center for Creative Photography, Arizona and others.

While all of his galleries are collectors' items, it's his images of the African Tribes that I liked the most...even more than his work from Ladakh. The black & white portraits of the Karo and Hamer tribes people of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, of the Himba of Namibia and of the Samburu of Kenya leap out of the if lifelike.

No question about it in my mind...this is jaw-dropping work.

My thanks to Alia Refaat, a freelance photographer from Egypt, for directing me to Peter Gasser's website.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Simon Norfolk: Future of Photography

My apologies for spoiling your Sunday, but here's a sobering interview by Simon Norfolk on the World Press Photo website.

I would say that two of his predictions for the future are ones that forward-looking photographers have certainly realized for a while, and have acted upon already. There are quite a number of "masterclasses" that have sprung up recently, such as Gary Knight and Philip Blenkinsop Master Classes for instance. I have no idea if these are aimed at "wealthy orthodontists" or not, but that's the general idea.

Simon Norfolk:

"So my predictions for the future? More "name" photographers will be cashing in their reputations to teach "masterclasses" to wealthy orthodontists.

None of us will be saying "no" to wedding photography or lucrative teaching posts which sell to young students the rarely-realized dream that they’ll one day have jobs as photographers."

Some of us will perhaps deem Simon Norfolk's view as being too pessimistic or cynical. I, for one, see it as realistic.

However, let me also point out there are some of us who accept short-term teaching posts for no pay...such as those who have lined up to teach at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop.

Some Canon 5D II's Fail in Antartica: Luminous Landscape

Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape has written a detailed report on his 2-week long photo expedition to Antarctica, and what has worked and hasn't. He writes this about the Canon 5D Mark II cameras used by some of the participants on the expedition:

"The largest group of failures though were among the Canon 5D MKIIs. Of the 26 samples of this camera onboard, one quarter (six) failed at one time or another, and while three recovered, the other three never did. In all cases it appeared to be water or humidity damage. Of particular concern were two cameras which stopped working while completely protected within Kata rain covers during a light rain ashore. They came back to life the following day though and were mostly fine for the rest of the trip, but one died permanently just before the end of our voyage."

For more of the article, go to Luminous Landscape.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Here in the West Midlands, we got off fairly lightly with the snowfall at the beginning of the week. I know others had a significant amount of snow and it brought lots of things to a grinding halt. The children loved it though, and it was definitely the right sort of snow to build snowmen and have lots of fun.

Curry is always good to eat when the weather is cold and brings with it lots of comfort.

This recipe is by James Martin and was taken from THE COLLECTION - ISNB 978-1-84533-350-8 - Page 146. I found a link to the recipe on the UKTV Food website. Simple this curry recipe may be, but it was totally delicious.

James says to use fresh tomatoes, even in the summer most of our tomatoes are unfortunately tasteless. I replaced these with half a large tin of chopped tomatoes, at least this way you get some tomato flavour.

Chilli powder - now how much, or how little! In the recipe it says one tablespoon of chilli powder - in this house we definitely aren't brave enough for that amount. I'm presuming he means mild chilli powder, still sounds quite a lot to me though. Perhaps some of you have used this amount of mild chilli powder in other recipes and can let me know if you think this sounds about right. Unfortunately, I didn't make a note of how much chilli powder I used, but I mostly use an organic hot chilli powder from Waitrose and am guessing I would have used half a teaspoon.

Coconut powder is a store cupboard essential, I never use canned coconut milk. It works out far better value as you can measure out the powder and then add water to make up the same amount as you would buy in a can. You can buy this at most Tesco Supermarkets.

I've never had takeaway but always make my own curry, for no other reason than I love roasting the spices and smelling the curry as it is cooking.

This recipe is for four people, but if there are only the two of you, make the full amount in the recipe and freeze the rest for a rainy day.

NOTE: I have added lots of new links and recommended blogs to my list on the right hand side of the page. Some you may have come across, and others may be new to you. Please pop over and check some of them out.

Jason Larkin: Cairo's Souq El Gomma

Photo ©Jason Larkin-All Rights Reserved

Jason Larkin is a British photographer currently based in Cairo, and works extensively throughout the Middle East region. Recent commissions include Monocle, FT Magazine, L’Espresso, New York Times, Der Spiegiel, and The Guardian.

Jason chose the unusual subject of Souq El Gomma (Market of the Friday) to feature on his website, which he describes as "an exploration of the myriad people, objects and spaces that make up Cairo’s Souq El-Gomma, the Middle East’s largest informal market gathering."

According to my research, this market is nestled in a dusty patch beneath a flyover in the southern cemeteries of City of the Dead just beyond Cairo's Citadel. It's a repository of both cheap goods, discarded items found by Cairo's trash collectors, "antiques" and stolen goods. The hand gesture by the fellow in Jason's photograph is the typical Egyptian "what do you want? why are you taking my picture?".

All major cities have similar markets and while I haven't been to Souq El Gomma, Jason's photographs remind me of Bangkok's huge Chatuchak Weekend Market.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chico Sanchez: Island of the Dolls

Photo © Chico Sanchez -All Rights Reserved

Here's an audio slideshow on the SoundSlides' platform by photographer Chico Sanchez with the audio production by Leslie Mazoch titled The Island of the Dolls.

The island of the dolls is in the heart of the Xochimilco's canals, and has an unusual history. It is said that since the early 1950's, Julián Santana Barrera began collecting discarded dolls. He lived on this tiny island amongst the canals of Xochimilco and according to his family, these dolls kept evil spirits away.

The 1990s saw a program to clean up the canals, and Mexican style boats called trajineras vied its canals.

I posted quite a number of Chico's slideshows on this blog. One of the lastest was The Virgin of Guadalupe found here.

Canon 5D Mark II: CPN Video

The Canon Professional Network has put together an informative series of videos on the Canon 5D Mark II. These are presented by CPN's Technical Editor David Newton, who is also a professional photographer and photography tutor for Canon users.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Zackary Canepari: The Raika of India

Photo © Zackary Canepari-All Rights Reserved

Zackary Canepari is an freelance editorial photographer based in New Delhi, India and whose self-description on his website is "I am a photographer". That's the extent of his biography. His photographs have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, IHT, The San Francisco Chronicle and others.

He recently was awarded first place in the Travel Portraits of PDN's World In Focus (The Ultimate Travel Photography Contest); results which were published in PDN's February 2009 issue.

His winning image was the one above of Raika camel breeders Madharam Raika and Bawerlal Raika in the Kumbhhalgarh sanctuary in Rajasthan waiting for their herd to finish grazing. This image is part of a larger photo essay by this talented (but publicity-shy) photographer, and can be found on his website.

The Raikas are also known as Rabaris and Dewasi, and are migratory herders who keep camels, sheep, and goats. They are the largest pastoral group of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tyler Hicks: War In El Atatra

© Tyler Hicks/NYTimes-All Rights Reserved

The New York Times (perhaps in a spasm of conscience) has published a slideshow of Tyler Hicks' photographs showing the absolute devastation of a village in Gaza.

The War In El Atatra presents raw images of what Tyler saw and documented of this unfortunate village, and tells a piece of a story that will resonate and haunt those who've kept silent about the Gaza massacre.

For those of you who have the courage to look at the images, you'll see a photograph of a donkey shot by Israeli troops (was it a Hamas fighter in disguise?) thereby depriving its owner from a livelihood, a 70-year old Palestinian woman weeping and hiding her face in shame because she's digging a stump to use as firewood, and of a woman scrounging for potatoes, among other heartbreaking scenes.

However, the first panel of the slideshow demonstrates how tone-deaf the caption writer at the NY Times is. It reads in part: " Life there is difficult for Palestinians in the wake of the Israeli military incursion which destroyed much of the town".

Difficult!? The caption writer ought to attend school and read history to learn how war crimes are described.

The accompanying article is by Ethan Bronner & Sabrina Tavernise (with contributions from Taghreed El-Khodary and Nadim Audi).

Ethiopia's Saint by Cyril le Tourneur d’Ison

© Cyril le Tourneur d’Ison/LightMediation-All Rights Reserved

From the Lightmediation Photo Agency comes this very interesting photo story by photographer Cyril le Tourneur d’Ison. It's this kind of photographic storytelling that merges ethnography and religious traditions which interest me the most in travel photography, and this subject matter is particularly captivating because it's virtually least to me.

The sacred remote shrine of Sheikh Hussein is in the desert of Bale Province in south-eastern part Ethiopia. Similar to the marabouts of Morocco, or the Sufi saints in India and Pakistan, Sheikh Hussein was renowned for his miraculous powers. For the past 700 years, his shrine has become the site one of Ethiopia's most extraordinary pilgrimages where on a bi-annual basis, up to 50,000 pilgrims, most coming from Ethiopia's remote villages, make an arduous journey to pray at the shrine.

The more I come into contact (either directly myself or through the work of other photographers) with all kinds of religious traditions, the more I realize that all are similar. The above photograph shows pilgrims prostrating themselves on the way to the shrine, reminding me of the Tibetans doing the same around the Potala Palace, on the way to Mount Kailash or circumbulating the Swayambunath stupa in Kathmandu.

It's a real shame that the photographs are not displayed in higher resolution, but I suppose it is what it is because of Issuu's high compression. It's even a greater shame that this photo essay is not produced as an audio slideshow!

To open the document, click on the page below:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TTP's Twittering & on Duckrabbit's Island

The Travel Photographer's posts are now on Twitter!!! As many of you know, Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Not only that, but should duckrabbit multimedia be stuck on a desert island and could take one blog along with them, it would be the Travel Photographer!

Benjamin Chesterton, the force, creative director and now poet, behind duckrabbit multimedia generously wrote this:

"Proving that great, concerned travel photography and photojournalism are often indistinguishable. Written with generosity of spirit, The Travel Photographer is a conductor of Wanderlust, a Magna Carta of diversity and above all else a celebration of hope. Be in awe."

If you haven't visited and bookmarked duckrabbit for your multimedia fix, you must.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Foundry PJ Workshop 2009: Scholarships!!!

Eric Beecroft, director of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, has announced scholarships for emerging photojournalists to attend the workshop in Manali, India.

The scholarships are from The Travel Photographer and REDUX Pictures.

The terms and conditions of The Travel Photographer scholarship are:

1. Full scholarship of $450 for a South Asian photojournalists. (South Asian countries include India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and Tibet.)

2. Partial scholarship of $450 for a photojournalist of any nationality.

3. The scholarships are only available to photojournalists who have 5 years or less of full or part-time work experience.

4. To apply for The Travel Photographer’s scholarships, email 5 of your photographs to fpw_ttp at yahoo dot com with your email header “FPW-TTP scholarship”, including a short biography and a brief statement as to what your work objectives are. The photographs should be no more that 500 pixels on their long side and a resolution of 72 pixels/inch.

5. The application process starts on February 3 and closes on April 3, 2009. The two winners will be announced on April 15, 2009.

The REDUX Pictures scholarship covers tuition for two photojournalists (one South Asian, one from anywhere else).

Eligibility: Any photographer in the first 5 years of their career (no matter their age) or, if South Asian, any photographer (no limit on time spent in field).

How to Apply:

Send an email with the following EXACTLY AS SPECIFIED BELOW:

1. subject line- your name and the words “Redux Scholarship” in the subject line.

2. A LINK to 30 of your images, either singles or a cohesive photo-story/essay
(do NOT attach the photos or send them in the body of the email).

3. One to two paragraphs about your photography background, career goals and international ambitions in the photojournalism field.

4. The deadline for submissions is February 28. Winners announced March 15, 2009.

Email all of the above to: foundryphotoworkshop at hotmail dot com

Paolo Pellegrin: Guantánamo

From Magnum Photos' In Motion comes a photo essay by Paolo Pellegrin on Guantánamo. This certainly is a topical issue since President Obama announced his administration's decision to close the controversial maximum security camp.

The United States Supreme Court ruled that prisoners held as “enemy combatants” in Guantánamo could file habeas corpus petitions in US district courts challenging the legality of their confinement. Most have been held in the camp under brutal conditions, enduring solitary confinement and torture, for more than six years. None has ever had the merits of his case reviewed by a court of law.

There is talk that some of the prisoners ought to be transferred to Alcatraz, which would be rebuilt, and equipped with the most advanced security systems.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


How about making a heart shape cake for sharing and one that is perhaps a little too pink, topped with lots of butter cream. I bought the shimmer sprinkles and silver dragees from Sainsbury's (these were made by Supercook) and planned the cake around them. The cake is simply a three egg Victoria sponge mix.

We had a family wedding yesterday morning and lunchtime was spent at the bride and groom's house for snacks and cakes before we had a 'bit of a do' in the evening for the wedding reception. As cake is my domain, I baked three quite simple cakes to take along. Everyone seemed to enjoy them and I thought I would share the cakes with you. I made the heart shape cake, a Bakewell cake and an iced lemon drizzle cake.

Cherry Bakewell cake from the February 2009 BBC GoodFood Magazine tasted as wonderful as it looked. The only alteration to the original recipe was I used Bonne Maman Raspberry Conserve instead of the suggested morello cherry conserve. If you like Bakewell Tart then you will love this.

I topped a lemon drizzle cake with butter cream and a few pastel coloured dragees. Use any lemon drizzle cake recipe, but for the 'drizzle' you will need to make a lemon syrup by placing into a small saucepan 25g caster sugar and the juice of one lemon, heat gently to dissolve the caster sugar into the lemon juice, simmer until syrupy. Prick the cake all over when it comes out of the oven and carefully spoon over the hot lemon syrup. Leave in the tin until the cake is cold before turning out.

It's perhaps best to line the cake tin first with baking parchment so that you can just lift the cake out of the tin - it makes life easier. The buttercream was made with unsalted butter, otherwise the buttercream is just too sickly.

Followers of my blog might like to pop over to read a piece by Becky Hogge who has written an article for the NewStatesman called Recipes for Twitters. Becky has given my humble blog a little mention!