Tuesday, September 25, 2012
So after the cruise around Montego Bay, the girls from Trinidad want me to hang out with them for Carnival next year! I’m thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” But, I’m up for visiting their island and getting to know a little more about their culture and island influence. Travel is a lifestyle and one has to adjust to the fashion and beauty of it no matter where it takes you… ;)
Have you ever gone to Trinidad during Carnivale?
Monday, September 24, 2012
The duo fragrances in their retro chic charm offer two scents. Daisy is full of top notes like wild strawberry, violet leaves and ruby red grapefruit… with musk, vanilla and white woods as a base note. While, Daisy Eau So Fresh offers ruby red grapefruit, raspberry and green leaves as top notes with musks, plum and cedarwood as its base.
My favorite is Daisy! The set retails for $59 at select stores nationwide.
What’s your favorite use for a Shea butter product?
|Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy|
Walking down Hang Ngang Street in old Hanoi, I stopped at Nguyen's storefront/atelier...drawn by his very realistic portraits of French and American actors, and other luminaries as well as other common folk. His store's walls covered with his work, showing erstwhile French actors such as Jean Gabin, Yves Montand and even Alain Delon...Gary Cooper and John Wayne represented the United States.
Nguyen's craft is in drawing/copying old (or damaged) photographs in exquisite details; a painstaking task that can take him many days. Very cheerful, he announced that his English wasn't too fluent, and his French was somewhat limited.
Notwithstanding, we got along well...and he immediately grasped I wanted to make a short story of him and his work. He was very proud I had come into his "atelier" as he described it, and it took no effort whatsoever to have him speak of his work, his youth and his work. Normally, I have to goad the person I'm interviewing to talk more, but Nguyen needed no encouragement whatsoever.
Returning to my hotel, I listened to the audio I had captured during my couple of hours with him, and it was fine and perfectly suited to what I hope to produce. Depending on what I find in the couple of days to come, I may well return for another photo shoot at Nguyen's storefront.
Friday, September 21, 2012
After a somewhat restless night spent on the Victoria Hotel Express Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, we are now in Sa Pa...the launching hub for treks into the territories of the hill tribes such as the H'mong, Red Zao and Zao. Visiting minorities always carries issues relating to whether payment should be made for taking photographs of these very photogenic people. But I have no time here to go in any depth as to what is right or wrong.
However, if the Red Zao and H'mong seek to sell some of their handmade wares to visitors, I see no wrong in buying a trinket against taking photographs of their lifestyles. Having no need for the stuff they sell, I decided to buy large pack of biscuits/cookies for a group of Red Zao women, and gave it to them as an expression of 'giving back'.
That said, the Red Zao (in particular Mamei -shown in the lower photograph-) are incredibly persistent...some do so with humor and wit, while others do it less well and it becomes a drag.
Notwithstanding these issues, the eventful day will be on Sunday during the Bac Ha market during which many of the hill tribes come down from their villages to the market to sell, buy, socialize and so forth.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
|Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved|
Cao Đài is a syncretistic, monotheistic religion, officially established in the city of Tây Ninh, southern Vietnam in 1926. Its adherents engage in ethical practices such as prayer, veneration of ancestors, nonviolence, and vegetarianism. Estimates of its adherents range from 3 to 6 million, most of which are in Vietnam. Some of its saints are Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, William Shakespeare, Joan of Arc and Napoleon Bonaparte.
|Photo © Quoc "Ron" Anh- All Rights Reserved|
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
My family has even stepped in to make contributions… my mom and my cousin have been inspired to support the kids! My friends, Robin, Greta, Vernon, Samantha, Rolanda and others like Christa, Angela Myers, April (an absolute travel addict) and Debbi Howard have been generous with their support of my Haute Travels endeavors. Their sponsorship has allowed me to help more kids on this trip because of their recent contributions to my love of mixing beauty, travel and philanthropy. Although, their angel investments were for a Paris project, I redirected some funds to help the kids. I love Paris but this was more important at this time.
But the love doesn’t stop there… the girls who are coming along with me are also buying school supplies to encourage the kids to discover their passions. And even the Half Moon and the Jamaican Tourist Board sponsored activities or covered costs to help offset our expenses so that we can give more. The spirit of giving is contagious!
Those who stepped up to help did so without reservation, but others who could help just remained silent, even though, in the past, they’ve benefitted from my help in a number of ways, including getting paid to work with a brand that I sent their way, receiving fully funded press trips or helped promote their projects using my own platform. I’m reminded of those things because it shows that when God puts a promise in your heart; nothing can stop it from manifesting. There is always something so much bigger at work. I’ve learned… what you give out, you always get back and this is an example of what giving and karma is all about. Sometimes people want to help but simply can’t financially, but nothing can stop them from using their own platform to spread the word or encourage someone else to do something good if they want to. If you take nothing else away from my story… know that when something is in your heart to do, just believe that it will all fall into place as the universe intended. You already have everything that you need to move forward... just believe and trust that it was put in your heart and spirit for a reason. You can do it.
Monday, September 17, 2012
|Photo © tewfic el-sawy|
The main objectives of the rest of the day was for the participants start working on a personal photo essay, and learn the fundamentals of Soundslides. We had also booked a model for an afternoon photo shoot.
I initiated a photo essay which deals with an octogenarian and his wife who both own and operated coffee house, and hope to produce along the lines of the successful One In 8 Million series by the New York Times.
|Photo © tewfic el-sawy|
|Photo © Maika Elan- All Rights Reserved|
Sunday, September 16, 2012
|Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved|
Immediately upon arriving in Hoi An, we had a walk-about in the center of this historic small town, with its well-known yellow decaying walls, small alleys and tiny store fronts.
Whilst walking, we encountered a group of movie technicians huddled with their lights and cameras around a gorgeous Vietnamese woman. Naturally, I quick-footed over to her to see what was all the fuss about, and it turned out that she was Ngô T Vân, one of the top Vietnamese actresses. We chatted while her handlers fussed around, and she was just delightfully approachable.
Subsequently, I and Maika chanced on the house of an elderly couple, who welcomed us in their living room. Octogenarians, they had worked in the coffee business all their lives. I intend to return today and try to develop a photo story on their lives.
This morning, we woke up really early to catch the fishermen delivering the daily catch to the fishmongers in the market, but we were either too late (5:30am?) or the fishermen didn't make any deliveries. We heard conflicting reasons...however, we spent around two hours documenting the fishmongers and the going-ons in that market.
|Photo © Maika Elan- ALl Rights Reserved|
Morning photo shoot in Hoi An Old Quarter with Victoria Alexander, Colleen Kerrigan and Sharon Tennant-Johnson.
More to follow.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
|Instagram Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy|
Hai Thanh and I along with Graham Ware has a wonderful lunch at Highway 4, which I understand is one of the best restaurants in Hanoi as described by the Lonely Planet. And since we were alerted to the weekly night market by the Golden Silk Boutique Hotel, we spent most of the evening taking the sights there, photographing...and ultimately having dinner in an open air restaurant, joined subsequently by Hai and Maika Elan, who'll be assisting me on this workshop.
We ordered a hot pot that came with prawns, tofu, beef, pork liver, clams and other stuff including mushrooms. It was way more than we could eat, but we pretty much polished the wonderful broth off.
After all, we had photographed the length and breadth of the night market all along the Hang Duong and Hang Dao walking streets, and that had honed our appetite.
|Photo© Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved|
Thursday, September 13, 2012
After a long flight on Malaysian Airlines (excellent service, brand new aircraft, etc), and connecting from Kuala Lumpur, I landed in Hanoi and whisked to the workshop's hotel Golden Silk Boutique Hotel in the midst of Old Hanoi.
Grabbing my street photography favorite, my scarf and my cell phone I chanced the notorious streets of the quarter. I have to say that despite my having not slept for quite a while, the photo opportunities in these streets are just staggering.
Having risked my life in the streets of Cairo, Delhi, and New York City...amongst many other large cities, I found that crossing the Hanoi streets and dodging the scooters not such a big deal (so far).
Most of the group participants are arriving in waves today, and the workshop officially starts tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Eric Beecroft, the co-founder of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, has just announced the tentative dates for the 2013 workshop which is to be held in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Monday, September 10, 2012
I'm on my way to Hanoi to start my Vietnam: North Of The 16th Parallel Photo Expedition/Workshop.
During the coming two weeks, my posts will not be as frequent but I'll try to update my readers as to the progress of the workshop, and upload a few photographs.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
|Photo © Cedric Arnold-All Rights Reserved|
Having just spent some 10 days in Chiang Mai, I'm glad to have found Sacred Ink, the impressive work of photographer Cedric Arnold featuring the tattooing culture in Thailand.
The sacred tattoos in Thailand are much more than just an art form, and with a culture deeply rooted in superstition and spirituality, such tattoos are believed to have magical and healing powers. Thai men and also women have their sacred tattoos done at Buddhist temples, for protection against evil spirits, and as good luck charms.
Cedric Arnold's website tells us that these sacred tattoos can be scripts based on ancient Khmer, and the original Buddhist Pali, along with figures and mythical creatures. Using large-format and Polaroid cameras, formal black-and-white portraits were made of boxers, monks, construction workers, policemen, soldiers, taxi drivers, shipyards workers, a shaman, and tattoo masters.
A few years ago, I photographed at Wat Bang Phra, a Buddhist temple about half an hour's drive from Bangkok. It is here that every March 30 thousands of Thais and foreigners gather to watch or participate in the 'Sak Yant' festival. Sak means "tap tattoo" while Yant translates into "sacred design".
After being granted permission by a head monk, I photographed during a non-festival day, a couple of Buddhist monks were already busy tattooing Thais. The 'sak yant' is done with a 'mai sak'- a long bamboo stick sharpened to a point. The ink is said to be made from various ingredients including snake venom, herbs and cigarette ash. I was told these was no payment made nor expected, but that gifts of cigarettes and food were accepted by the tattooing monks.
The above short clip is also by Cedric Arnold and I believe must have been filmed during the annual Sak Yant festival at the Wat Bang Phra temple.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Back in April 2011, I was getting used to the ergonomics of my then-new Leica M9 and found that it needed an add-on in the form of the extremely well made Thumbs Up EP-1, produced by matchTechnical (see above photo). It has remained on my M9 since then, as I found it to be invaluable while shooting with it...adding stability and improved handling.
|The Lensmate Thumbrest|
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Fujifilm has just announced the new X-E1 mirrorless camera, which is a smaller sibling to the successful X Pro-1. It features the same 16.3 mp CMOS sensor as the X-Pro1, but has a smaller and lighter body.
It features a 2.8-inch LCD, a pop-up flash, ISO of 200-6400 (expandable to 100-25600), and RAW and built-in RAW conversion, but doesn't have the hybrid viewfinder found on the X Pro-1. It only has a EVF. It's much lighter than its larger sibling, and in terms of size, it's 30% smaller.
I haven't used my X Pro-1's video mode (relying on the Canon 5D Mark 2 when I needed to) but the X-E1 can shoot 1920×1080 video at 24fps, and Fuji's Film Simulation option can be enabled during video recording...nice!
I leave it to you to decide if the X-E1 will be as successful as the X Pro-1. My initial reaction is that it might be too small...even for a second body. However, it's supposed to have a retail price of $1000...$700 cheaper than the X Pro-1.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
In under 10 days, I'll be once again back in South East Asia...this time in Hanoi, to lead another of my photo trips Vietnam: North Of The 16th Parallel Photo Expedition/Workshop™!
The itinerary will only include the northern half of Vietnam...so the title of the photo expedition is based (almost) on The Seventeenth Parallel, which was the provisional military demarcation line between North and South Vietnam established by the Geneva Accords of 1954. It will include Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and naturally Sapa and Bac Ha.
On this itinerary, the participants will be emulating real-life photo assignments, and produce multimedia bodies of work ready for publishing. The workshop is devised for photographers interested in documentary photography, ethno-photography and multimedia, and for those ready to create visual projects from their inventory of photographs, and learn how to control story length, intent, pace, use of music and ambient sound, narration, field recordings and interviews.
The participants are from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Australia...a veritable multinational group. I will be assisted by Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai), an award winning freelance photographer from Hanoi.
From a technical standpoint, I will be putting my two "rangefinders" (M9 and the Fuji X Pro-1) through their paces on this trip. Probably shooting in monochrome in the Sapa and Bac Ha, and color (with the Canon 5D Mark II) on the rest of the itinerary...with mostly wide angle lenses on all my cameras.
Everything is prepared and ready...the hotels, the visas, the internal flights...and even the local eateries seem to have been alerted of our arrival.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
One of The Travel Photographer blog's objectives has always been to provide a modest platform to further the exposure of emerging travel and documentary photographers from all over the world, so it's a distinct pleasure to feature a slideshow of photographs by KL Foto.BOM, a collective of documentary photographers from Asia/Malaysia. The actual slideshow presentation was held at The Leica Store Malaysia, Avenue K on 2 September 2012.
The photographs/photo essays are by Andri Tambunan, Adli Ghazali, Maika Elan, Edward Khoo, Lim Paik Yin, Binh Dang, Azahari Salleh, Ahsan Qureishi, Ridzki Noviansyah, Mervyn Leong, Azreen Madzlan, Izzat Yahaya, Khairil Safwan, Vignes Balasingam, Rahman Roslan, Javad Tizmaghz, and Hanif Maidin.
The slideshow can also be viewed directly on YouTube
Monday, September 3, 2012
|Photo © Ed Peters-All Rights Reserved|
"It’s the challenge of capturing the texture of life, created by these contradictory elements, which draws me to India’s streets." -Ed PetersAnd so writes Ed Peters prefacing his Beyond The Indus photo gallery... and what a photo gallery of captured moments of life! Just take a look at the photograph above...a man asleep, horizontally inert..and sort of Hindu angel floating above him, next to an askew small painting of the Taj Mahal, and a sliver of a woman staring at the photographer...
I was torn between featuring Beyond The Indus or Mexican Proximity (many of the photographs are from Oaxaca, my favorite Mexican town), but I decided to feature Ed's work from India because I was so taken by the above image.
A New York-based retired photojournalist, Ed is a Leica M9 user, as well as a Canon 5D Mark II for his photographic work. Possibly influenced by the work of Costa Manos and Alex Webb, Ed is obviously drawn to color...to the interplay of contrasts between shadow and light...and to the streets.
In an interview with Leica Liker, this is what he says about why he does street photography:
I find it enjoyable. Otherwise why bother? I like the process of walking, the challenge of making successful images, and the element of gamesmanship involved.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Ed Peters worked as a freelance photographer, before joining the staff of The Star Ledger in Newark, New Jersey. He subsequently relocated to Asia where he photographed the plight of Burmese refugees, and the pro democracy movement in Nepal. Returning to the United States, he joined a photo agency and photographed a wide variety of stories. These include the famine in Somalia, war in the former Yugoslavia, traditional wrestling in India, and the continuing AIDS crisis. He is now focusing on his personal work, especially street photography.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Southern Sports & Travel
The Lamar Raiders took their 2-0 record and #5 Class AA ranking into Louisville on a soggy and humid Friday night and earned a tough fought 55-27 win over the Winston Patriots.
Senior tailback Corey Skinner continued his quick start to the 2012 season with a 219 yard rushing performance that included two touchdowns behind a make-shift offensive line that has been ravished by injuries this season.
"We started four sophomores and a senior who had never started before on our line against Winston," said Lamar head coach Mac Barnes. "We had some guys out and we were pretty thin."
Lamar took an early 6-0 lead on Corey Skinner's 3 yard plunge with 8:51 remaining in the opening quarter but Winston answered quickly and tied the game at 6-6 on an Orien Dailey 58 yard dash one minute later.
Lamar capped a wild opening five minutes of the game with a Lee Martin 81 yard kickoff return to regain the lead at 13-6 just seconds after Winston had knotted the contest at 6-6. Winston finished the quarter on Zach Taylor's 3 yard touchdown run with 25 seconds remaining and followed that up with a successful 2-point conversion to take a 14-13 lead into the second quarter.
Lamar fired back with a strong second quarter as senior quarterback Barrett Dudley connected with Corey Skinner for a 40 yard touchdown strike at the 8:44 mark and the Raiders extended that lead to 21-14 following a successful 2-point conversion.
The Raiders increased the margin to 27-14 on a Chase Davis 8 yard reverse with 4:43 left in the half.
Winston got back into the game less than two minutes into the second half when Logan Webb hit Taylor Moody with a 23 yard pass to trim the deficit to 27-21 but Lamar was about to explode.
Lee Martin scored from 6 yards out and Corey Skinner added an 8 yard burst to give the Raiders a 41-21 cushion to close out the third quarter.
Lamar quarterback Barrett Dudley's 17 yard run with 5:09 remaining in the game pushed the lead to 48-21 and sealed the win. "It was a battle against Winston, they really took it to us," said Mac Barnes who is in his 12th season at Lamar. "We've had a rash of injuries and wound up playing guys Friday night that we hadn't worked with on defense and on top of that it's been a really chaotic week, we didn't even practice Thursday. Our skill players did well and that was the difference in the game."
Lamar racked up 329 yards rushing on the night and for Barnes that's not a stat that most of his past Raider squads have been known for. "When they're healthy this is the best offensive line that we've had in a long time, we average around 250 lbs," said Barnes. "We have only thrown the football 39 times this season and I can't remember that ever happening while I've been here."
Barnes says he's pleased with his team three games into the season and thrilled with the production of his senior quarterback Barrett Dudley and senior tailback Corey Skinner. Dudley was 6/11 for 147 yards and a touchdown passing and rushed for 76 yards and a score. "Barrett played free safety and was our backup quarterback last season," said Barnes. "I feel really good about him."
Lamar will look to improve to 4-0 next Friday night when they host much improving Central Hinds who shocked Class AAA Copiah 13-7 behind 257 yards rushing from tailback Bryan King. "Central Hinds has a big offensive line and a good running back," said Barnes. "Mitch Mitchell is an excellent coach and it will be a challenge for us."
Southern Sports & Travel