Interview With Travel Photographer Lynn Gail

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“My guiding philosophy would be: When first inspired by a seemingly unachievable goal – one that excites and focuses you like a meditation – follow it, stay with it, play with it. Follow it to fruition; the view is incredible.” If you haven’t read the interview that Lonely Planet and Getty Images travel photographer Lynn Gail granted me in 2016, make some time to do so.

Building blocks

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I haven’t stopped shooting since I’ve been in Guanajuato. The UNESCO Heritage Listed city itself is unbelievably beautiful, with that gorgeous colonial architecture framing an exhilarating assemblage of shapes and colors. It is impossible to ignore and for anyone who is visually inclined, an unending pleasure. Most of all, it’s impossible to ignore the binary play of light and shadow, where tone is all but lost to the camera’s eye before the long twilight sets in. A little bit of camera talk: the X-Pro 2 All pictures in this post were made with the pre-production X-Pro 2, now running production firmware. [Original, review and images here] I’ve been using it continuously since I got to North America in January, to Flemming‘s detriment, as this unit was meant for us both to share. The mildly stricken look on my face when I have to use anything else though, eventually led him to graciously declare that …

Captures from Colombo

Charlene vagabonding 8 Comments

November 2015 Colombo was white hot and turbulent slate by turns. We picked Sri Lanka on a whim. It was somewhere neither Flemming nor I had been before, and didn’t cost a fortune to get to from Singapore, where we were at the time. I was looking forward to my habitual approach to anywhere new: walk around the city everyday, get to know its rhythms, and learn something about it. Hopefully make a few decent pictures along the way. While I generally do a fair bit of walking everywhere I can, two things slowed the frequency of daily peregrination: first, the weather. Colombo in its cool season scorches the way Singapore does in July, the height of tropical heat. The ceaseless wet heat sucks the energy from your bones with every step that you take. I was …

2015 in Pictures

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Some time ago I was challenged by fellow Nordic X-Photographer Palle Schultz to post my 10 best pictures of the year on Facebook, which you can see here if you have an account. I’ve never done a year-end recap before this, but finding those pictures brought back some key moments from my year that I would like to share. This comes to you by location, because my perception of time is tied to where I am. Perth, Western Australia I loathe gardening, so making pictures of plants wasn’t something I ever saw myself doing. I’d returned to Perth in February 2015, with the intention of going back to corporate life, convinced that my sabbatical experiment of living on the road was over: I was dead broke, so there was clearly no way to sustain such …

Outside inside

Charlene journal 2 Comments

All is as if the world did cease to exist. The city’s monuments go unseen, its past unheard, and its culture slowly fading in the dismal sea. – Nathan Reese Maher Singapore to Kuala Lumpur: Fellow passengers make their way back to the bus, after a short break at one of the rest stops on the North South Expressway, Malaysia. I make this bus trip from Singapore a number of times each year to visit my family in Kuala Lumpur. Familiar as I am with the stops and starts of the journey, I’m normally fast asleep at this particular point in the ride. I spent my final years of secondary education commuting to a school on the other side of the island: it was a two hour ride each way by bus …

Parallels

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“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.” ― Beryl Markham, West with the Night I made the picture above in the middle of September, on the train from Hamburg Central Station to the little town of Flensburg, Germany, near its border with Denmark. It was the day Danish police shut down the rail, ferry and expressway links from Germany …

On the roving life

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Picture: Denmark to Germany –  ferry from Rødby to Puttgarden. When I first left for this voluntary nomad life at the beginning of 2013, I was scared. Throw-up-on-my-pants-at-boarding-gate scared. I was secretly hoping that a whole other me would emerge after some time intrepidly living in strange places. You know the one – the smart, courageous, bull-horn-grabbing adventurer. Pffft. Right after I started this journey, I fell sick. I was sick for 3 months out the first 12. My body, subject to the effects of the preceding 10 tense years, immediately realized that it could relax and fall to pieces without repercussion. My memory decided to do the same. Waking up and not knowing what the date was, was normal, but not recognizing my own name when it was called, wasn’t. When my father died at the …

The significance of walking

Charlene vagabonding 7 Comments

Picture: Streetside, downtown Copenhagen, Denmark. Safety is something that is always on my mind. Wherever I happen to be, I look to the local women to show me how much range I have. In a new place, how free women (like me, or not) are to walk, speak, dress, etc without inhibition, is the greatest reflection of how I can expect to be regarded as an individual. Do women and girls walk alone with head high, regarding the world in the eye? Are they comfortable in their surroundings? Or do they step watchfully, taking the shortest amount of time between origin and destination? Do those who are brown like me, have the same liberties as their sisters who are a lighter color, or do they actively downplay the spectacle that is their …

Putrajaya by Night

Charlene journal 18 Comments

Make a list of what you want to do/see in KL, my sister told me, once the emails and SMSes containing excited exclamations about the impending trip, died down a little. That gave me pause. Aside from visiting every known kopitiam in the area for every meal, every day, it hadn’t occured to me to actually go see KL. PutraJaya (read about it here) ended up being one of the places this tourist was brought to see. I was a bit mystified by why we were going at night, but I’ve never been one to argue with a local, and a good thing too: Putrajaya is magnificent by night. All that great architecture, sculpted gardens, so incredibly lit against the night sky, was a sight to …