• Costa Rica; A Portrait.

Costa Rica; A Portrait.//February 2, 2017

My last adventure took me across the Atlantic to Costa Rica. The rainforest had been on my hit list for a while now so I was pleased to spend Christmas and New Year among different kinds of primates. Unlike my previous travels the priority this time was not to take too many pictures. I really wanted to fully immerse myself in this new type of terrain. I travelled to four different regions of Costa Rica spending a few nights in each place. These included Nosara on the North Pacific, Manuel Antonio on the Central pacific, Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast and then into the central highlands, specifically La Fortuna. Of course the camera did come out in small doses, I found myself fascinated by the pockets of light forming in the rainforest. I wasn’t organised enough to get myself out at ‘magic hour’- I was more likely on the beach supping a cocktail, it was Christmas after all. The rainforest canopy acted as a diffuser for the harsh midday sunlight. Passing clouds were frequent, offering a more subdued light on the forest floor. Wildlife of course was the star but I wouldn’t consider myself a wildlife photographer in the least. However I did get involved now and then (when in Rome). So I now have more far away monkey pictures that I know what do with. One morning a beautiful howler monkey took a dislike to my camera and weed on me and it! Fair enough.

The pacific coast and Caribbean are extremely different in atmosphere. This is due in part to the different cultures. I didn’t have a preference, both sides are beautiful and I could speak a lot more on the subject. I will just note that it is on the Caribbean side I had one of the most fascinating experiences. Somewhere near Puerto Viejo in the Talamanca region I went to visit the Bribri tribe. The only people pictures I took during this trip. The Bribri is a small tribe at an estimated 11,500 (according to Wikipedia). They grow cacao, bananas and plantain and live entirely of the land. I was offered some delicious food wrapped in a palm leaf. Long story short I was lucky to meet the Shaman of the tribe that day. He cleansed and blessed me. I have to say it felt good, even with the burning embers in my hair and he let me take one picture. I also met a Bribri lady called Vicky who made me a necklace from a plant and some hot Chocolate. The hot chocolate was the business.

Unfortunately the camera never came out in the central highlands. I was busy rafting down rapids in Jurassic park land or climbing the steepest of Volcanos (Cerro Chato) in torrential rain. Most people were equipped with go pros or waterproofed I phone cases. I was just happy to skid around in the mud and get propelled through the air over rivers. Oh and the best of all spend hours just floating in hot springs. I did go at the most touristy time of year but it was manageable. I met many backpackers passing through Costa Rica in a hurry to get to Nicaragua for more of the same but much less of the expense. Holiday makers were perfectly happy.

In brief; Costa Rica is fabulously Eco friendly. There is a huge respect for nature being it holds 5% of the world’s biodiversity. It has no army and has banned Zoo’s. I considered it pretty safe for a solo traveller. Being able to travel is a luxury and I felt lucky to be able to visit this part of the world.

I present a portrait of Costa Rica with a small selection of images featuring things which caught my eye during my trip; pockets of light, Bribri, creatures and the likes. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Simple Objects.//November 15, 2016

   

In my field working among so many people I take pleasure the simple things. These kind of objects do require a certain amount of problem solving and patience.

 

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Roll up to the events 2016//November 15, 2016

I just don’t know where to start with events this year. I never intended to become an events photographer but the demand in London is fairly high. I  would say for any aspiring photographer it’s a nice little side line if not a full time occupation. For me it’s a side line and a great way to get to see inside London. When I say inside I mean into iconic spaces you pass on the bus but may never have a reason to enter. This year I have got to shoot in Buckingham Palace, The Leadenhall building, The Imperial War Museum, Wilton’s Music Hall, Mansion House, The Gherkin, Somerset House, The Natural History Museum and Shoreditch House for various clients. The events themselves have also been varied from a presidential visit to exhibition openings. It’s kept me on my toes that’s for sure! Here is just a very small snapshot of my 2016 in events.

    

 

 

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Hackney street festival 2016//November 14, 2016

Street festival fun and games from Hackney carnival earlier this year. This is no Notting Hill for sure but the tiny scale gave it a bit of charm and room to breath. I myself joined friends there for a day, killed my iphone with rum and enjoyed a dash of street photography. Something I sorely miss. **Must find more time for street style**

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Colours of South America, Blog 2//December 29, 2015

Following up from my previous blog from South America, here are some more pictures to add to the pot. This part of the trip differs from the first leg. Moving away from the towns the people were sparse and the landscape was the star. The roads were long now, traveling up to 12 hours a day in our sturdy truck. Still at altitude, moving from La Paz to Uyuni (the entrance to the salt flats), the air consistently dry and the view baron. The Salt flats are so vast, being the worlds largest stretching to 4000 sq miles.  I was looking forward to the seeing ‘mirrored effect’ seen so often in pictures of the flats but it hadn’t rained recently so I saw the flats in their dry state.  This wasn’t a disappointment as the lack of rain revealed a carpet of hexagonal shapes formed by a salt crust. Our guide offered little insight into why these tessellations form, which is probably down to my limited Spanish, and its something I am still researching.  Salar de Uyuni was formed as a result of transformations of several prehistoric lakes. It is a few meters deep in salt and has a massive store of lithium or ‘happy salt.’ It’s basically just very, very cool.

The trip moved on and another highlight was met at the Altiplano. This is the most extensive high plateau on Earth. We stopped occasionally to admire the view. It may be the effect of the thin air and my music selection (some of which featuring swooping string arrangements) but the landscape blew me away. It felt as if we were on another planet. The earth seemed scorched, volcanic. Vast jets of Sulphur steam pushed out of crusty ground. The light was blinding, yet it was cold and the wind bitter. Surrounded by volcanoes and vivid coloured lakes, the only life I could see were flamingos and a skinny pale fox. The flamingos were bathing in the red lake (Laguna Colorada). The alge in the lake is supposed to be what makes the flamingos pink. This is when I blasted myself for coming all this way and not bringing a zoom lens, I couldn’t get close. However these were the limitations of the kit. On this trip I went as sparse as I could due to camping and the need for backpack space. It was also a little bit of a ‘getting to know you’ with my film camera.  Apart from little Fuji xpro1 for street style work I took a Hassleblad 500 c/m medium format film camera. On this camera just a 80mm lens.. not long enough for flamingos!

Crossing boarders we moved on to San Padro, Chile. We visited Valle de la Luna in the Atacama Desert.  Aptly named due to it’s moon like surface formed from various stones, wind and water over the ages. It is considered to be one of the driest places on Earth (my lips were still suffering at this point from the altitudes) and it was here they tested a Mars Rover prototype. This is also near the famous observatory, which we missed out on due to a full moon. But I did see an incredible sunset setting over a near by volcano made holy with a cool South American beer!

Another boarder crossing took us to Argentina, we traveled  huge distances to Salta and Mendoza, viewing more incredible rock formations but breathing considerably less dry air. The landscape eventually peeled into green. I didn’t realize how much I would appreciate the sight of a tree. This inevitably increased the populations and animals, especially cattle and dogs. In Argentina we lucked out with the weather having an unusual for this time of year downpour of rain. In the city’s I suddenly felt like I was back into civilization, which is good and bad after so much vast space to look at, it was a little jarring as pretty as these cities are. However another highlight of this trip was in the vast land surrounding the cities. We stayed at an Estancia owned by an Englishman but run by Gaucho’s. It featured stunning farmland and I relieved my cameras of it’s duty to ride horses in the rain. Oh the romance.

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