I have always wanted to be able to write on my “About” page something like “…a world traveller specialising in travel photography”, or “…photographs of amazing places you should have on your bucket list”.
Alas this will never come true!
Fortunately though my partner Lyn and I have been able to travel extensively as a result of careful planning and saving, and have in fact visited over 40 countries around the world. Our goal is to get up to 50 countries.
Naturally, throughout our travels we have accumulated thousands of photographs which fit more into the category of tourist snapshots rather than travel photography.
We have travelled to some places where we took no photographs at all. Not by design – but by disaster!
In 1995 for example, in the pre-digital photography era, on our first “big” overseas trip, we went to the USA. We had only been on American soil for a few hours when our Ricoh (film) camera was dropped onto the pavement outside Universal Studios and rendered totally useless. Who actually dropped the camera? Well…my lips are sealed on that. However we were lucky in that we also had a video camera with us and managed to keep some memories of our trip on VHS!
Great quality – not! Oh darn….this is sunset over the Grand Canyon from 1995.
Since that particular trip we have travelled to Fiji four or five times, Rarotonga a couple of times, to Australia and Europe several times, and back to the USA again….and Canada, but not necessarily in that order chronologically.
We have travelled by air, by train, by foot, by bus, by taxi, by motorcycle, on a river cruise and on an open water cruise, and more…like hot air balloon!
So – here is a short story about travel photography…with photographs of some of the places we have been and a few words to go with each photo.
These are my top 10 travel photographs in no particular order of preference.
They are not top 10 travel photos because they are great examples of travel photography, but because of the fond memories that they evoke when I look back on them.
Mousehole – pronounced Mouzill (more or less) – is a typical quaint Cornish village, about 10 miles from Lands End. Mousehole had been on my bucket list to visit for many, many years.
Disclaimer – I did not take this photograph – Lyn did!
We spent a week in Rome – visited the Vatican, climbed the dome of St Peter’s Basilica and marvelled at the beautiful Sistine Chapel – but this particular image of the light rays shining through the Oculus in the Parthenon in Rome is etched into my memory. I love it!
Also permanently etched in my memory is this particular photo.
In 2011 Lyn and I and a couple of very close friends hired motorcycles and rode anti-clockwise around Europe from, and back to, Barcelona, covering over 7,500 kilometres in 35 days.
The concentration camp at Dachau – the first camp established by the Nazis in the pre-WW2 years – was one place we had set our hearts on visiting.
The logo on the main gate – Arbeit Macht Frie – means “work will set you free”. This wording was subsequently used on the main gate of Auschwitz and other camps.
Dachau was, and remains to this day, one of the most sombre, thought provoking places we have ever visited.
Again on our motorcycle trip around Europe we happened purely by chance on the out-of-the-way village called Gilhoc-Sur-Ormeze when we diverted onto a back road between Valance and Lamastre in France, while heading for the Millau Viaduct.
The reason Gilhoc-sur-Ormeze makes my top 10 is because of the wonderful landlady at the B&B we stayed at – Mme Gambon, and the fabulous hospitality and typical French country food we enjoyed in her little hostelry.
Fiji is most definitely one of my most favourite destinations. I love the people, I love the country, I love the relaxed lifestyle.
This Fijian was waiting patiently – for I know not whom – on the kerbside in Sigatoka on the south coast. For me he typifies all that is so laid back about this wonderful island nation.
There are many fantastic memories from our Alaska excursion, and so many photographs to choose from.
We sailed the inner passage on the Wilderness Discoverer, a very small cruise chip with only 76 passengers. As the Wilderness Discoverer was at the heart of everything we did in Alaska – eating, sleeping, kayaking, bush-whacking, whale chasing, polar plunging, etc. – the ship makes my top 10 photos as the key to all our Alaskan memories.
After leaving Alaska, we spent a week in Vancouver, then took the 5-day train journey from the Pacific coast to Halifax on the Atlantic coast.
The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove is a must see attraction, but the inner harbour is a very picturesque place too.
The Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline from the water, and an -conic yellow taxi on Fifth Avenue – welcome to New York, the city that never sleeps.
What a place – absolutely top 10 photograph stuff! I would go again at the drop of a hat – if there weren’t so many other places still to visit.
And last, but ny no means least, in my list of top 10 travel photos is Gallipoli.
We visited Anzac Cove, snorkelled over the wreck of the Milo which was scuttled off the shore of North Beach in 1915, we walked some of the old battle sites and visited the Lone Pine Cemetery amongst other things.
I am sure that Gallipoli in general, and Lone Pine in particular, would make any Kiwi’s top 10 photographs.