Who Should You Travel With?
So what are we going to shoot? At least the way we've got a few photos, which we're just gonna quickly explain what it is because there's essentially a list. Icons, people, clothing, street life, food, stitches. Stitches isn't actually a subject, but it's a way of doing it. Night time is a time.
Hotel rooms, that's an interesting one, Peter.
Hotel rooms, I often do my hotel room and the view out of my window.
I find that fascinating. Flora, fauna, buildings, all that sort of stuff. What haven't I put on that list? Nothing really. So there's lots and lots of stuff. It's a matter of going out with that blank canvas and giving it a go. So, icons is important. This is Hill Inlet on Whitsunday Island up in part of the Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. Everybody goes there. So, you've got to do an iconic photograph of that. So you can see my long shutter speed, getting a little bit of blur in there, etc. And that's my interpretation of an iconic image. We moved over to peopl...
e. When you travel, people are so important. This is a coin seller in Turkey. Well, it used to be Armenia, so that's a question. But he was trying to sell me old Roman coins. And I didn't want to buy them, because if he was selling them to me and they were real, I could get into trouble taking them out of the country. Or if they were fake, why was I paying a high price for something that wasn't actually real? So anyway, I declined, but I managed to get a photograph of him.
This is totally different. So you know, sometimes when you're driving along, you think, what a shame about all these power poles. What a shame about these old buildings. And yet at the end of the day, that's part of what you're seeing when you're traveling. And I look at this, and there's whole layers of meaning in this. That it's about roads and travel and transport, so it is about travel anyway. And it's a little bit of a reflection on new topographics, you know? Again, reflecting back to some of my inspirations of Stephen Shore and people where I'm looking at the way man has started to create his own landscape. And you've got man building off his landscape, kind of moving in and melding with nature's landscape. So those things attract me, which is a little bit different to you, Pete. As you said, you do a lot of culture.
Well, when we get into places, the clothing that people wear, I'm always amazed at the clothing you wear, Tony. But apart from that. So this is also in Turkey, and the headdress that the sheik is wearing just fascinating. And that to me is a portrait as much as seeing the face. And I actually have got his face later on. But the repetition of the dome-shaped buildings, this is in Iran, which is talked about in the Bible so it's one of the oldest places that you'll find in the world.
So just before we move to the next slide, that's the sort of shot that maybe not everybody would get. Coming out of the wedding industry many years ago, often the guests would not get the back of the dress or the back of the veil. I'm aware that to the bride, the back of the dress could be just as important as the front of the dress. Because there'd be a certain detail or design. The back of the veil, what's on the back? How the hair was done? Here we've got the back of what goes on. And most people think of a picture of a bedouin or that style of dress from the front. You want to see the face. The rest of it is secondary. But removing the face, what I like is you've shared that part of the culture with us, without the distraction of the personality.
Thank you, Tony. So this is a slightly different travel location.
It is and it isn't. Because this is the back of a building. In the same way that you had the back of somebody, people look at the front of an industrial building and they see this is a mining place, one of the big mining companies in Australia. And it's all about iron ore. What fascinated me about this, we got taken in, had to get permission. We got out of the car, and they said well, we're gonna take you up to give you the view. So at the top of this building, about five or six stories high, would be a view over the plant. But what I saw when I walked here, is I looked at it, and the first thing that went through my head was you know when they built this, this road would've been black pitch. That wall would've been probably another color. That pipe would've been black. These wires would've been reds, greens, yellows, and so on. We're in a part of Australia where there's red dust, that very same red dust that I like to (poof) and it had covered everything in a short space of time. And I wanted to share that part of what I'd seen on my travels. So that's why that was put together that way and framed that way, to talk about how this dust has permeated this industrial area. And that's the back of the building. It's something most people wouldn't see.
Okay, well it's interesting you talk about the back of the building because although this is the front of the castle, I've picked an angle so that I isolate the castle. So you can choose. Behind us too, behind the camera viewpoint, there's a whole new nursing home being built. So some residents can have a wonderful view there. So I think it's a matter of finding that angle that lets you tell the story without necessarily telling the whole story. Because if you'd moved to some slightly different viewpoints then the background was gonna have houses and buildings and high rises, which say 20th century, 21st century, rather than 15th century. What century are we in?
21st. But on that note, it's important because often we go to places when we travel because growing up we've heard stories about it's a place that's got a history. But when we get there, the history is masked, and there's a distraction of modern technology or modern culture, or commercialism, or tourism. And we look at it, and there's a disappointment. Because we went there to see the history, and there's the guy selling balloons and popcorn and all of that. And the way you've done that, Pete, what I like about it is it kind of makes me feel like it could've been a couple of hundred years ago. Maybe that's what it felt like for somebody living back a couple hundred years ago. So I get to experience more of the history that you went to see in your travels.
One of the places I've always wanted to get to is this one which you've just been to.
Yeah, I wanted to get to the Palouse, and this image was only shot a couple of weeks ago with Christian Fletcher on a road trip to the American West. We had set out with a goal to get there. And I must be honest, Christian was the one who sort of set it as a target, and he knew what it would be like. We were hoping to get this beautiful location with blue sky and lovely texture through the fields. And when we got there, basically, we were covered in smoke. It was a time when there was a bit of bush fires around in the Northwest of the Americas and the smoke was permeating everywhere. We got up to quite a high vantage point and we were looking down through about 1,000 to 2,000 feet worth of atmosphere and with all that grit and smoke, it flattened right out. Good example, if you saw the original of this picture, it is super flat, super flat. But that vantage point gave me at least an essence of what that part of America was like, that part there. So, you know, simple. And also for me as an outsider, if you like, I saw something that was what I expected to see when I came to the farmlands of America. And that's what it means for me in my travels.
This image here, which is in Bhutan again, the prayer wheel, the people. It's just a little room with that prayer wheel. And the locals would come in, and they'd just turn it around and they'd pray. It's just a very intimate location, very welcoming. They allowed me to sit in there. And, super wide-angle lens. So just sitting there, and I actually spent around about half an hour there. I took photos for five minutes, and then I just sat and watched and listened to the bell as the prayer wheel went around. And he chanted as well. So sometimes it's good to put your camera down when you're traveling, and just enjoy the location that you're in. A little bit like this one for you.
Yeah, this is in New Zealand. It's out of the workshop, and we bring our guests out to this little mound in the middle of nowhere. And when we get there it's dark. They can't see the mountains. They don't even really know where they are. But as the light starts to come up, it reveals the landscape slowly. And so it's just more about the magic of being in a place where you're surrounded by mountains and there's an ambiance and it's a very isolated little hill and it gives people a feeling of just how large this place is.
Again, back in Bhutan, there were monks running forwards and backwards, up and down these stairs. So it's a matter of finding the composition that works and then standing there and taking the photo as the monk went running through. So relatively straightforward.
Again, what I like about this is it's from the back. So we're not distracted by the face of the person. It's more about where they are, and they represent other people.
And it's not that we don't photograph the faces. We'll get on to it in a little while as well. So another one of yours.
Yeah, traveling through Idaho, I think it was. I had a problem with a knee, and I had to go to a doctor. So we went in and checked in case I had DVT from travel. You have to look out for your health when you travel, and I'd never had it but I had some symptoms. Went and saw a doctor, and he said look, I got a feeling this is what you've got. But you have to be conscious of these things. So he said look, I can get you in for a scan, but it'll take three days. I didn't want to be stuck there for three days. He said but, what do you do? I said I'm a photographer. He says oh, I'm a photographer too! He said, have you got any of your work? So I showed him my phone. He said, hang on a minute. He said, I can get you in in two hours. I got a mate who does the ultrasound, and he's a photographer as well. He'll look after you. (Peter laughs) So we had a bit of time to kill.
That's it. We had a bit of time to kill. Old school tie and all that stuff, we look after each other. We went around some of the local shopping centers. And we were again looking for this urban landscape. When you think about what we'd been looking at, there's a huge variety. And this is the sort of stuff I like. Now I know if I take this home to show my wife, she's gonna look at it and go, what is that? That's not a landscape. And there will be a lot of people who feel that way. But for me that's just as relevant a landscape. It's just a man-made landscape. Very reminiscent of Jeffrey Smart, Stephen Short, et cetera.
So again in Papua New Guinea.
What, are they burning the guy now?
No, he's actually running through it.
Again, a composite image because it wasn't possible to get everything happening together but everybody was just, all of the masked men were standing around. And as they went running through, so again, capturing those iconic moments that are particular to the Baining fire dances, which is up in the north of Papua New Guinea. Tony, the Icelandic horses are certainly...
Yeah, we've been, as we were doing the road trip through Iceland, a lot of people were talking about wanting to get the horses. And as you know, I talk to animals quite well. And a few people couldn't find any horses and the buses, we had four different transport. And our mode of transport, our bus went in one direction down the wrong road, actually. That's actually a good point. We took the wrong turn. Everyone else went the right way. But in taking the wrong turn, we found the very thing everyone else had been looking for. And often on your travels, you'll see a road. You'll think well, we're supposed to be going that way. But you know, I've found for me, Peter, some of my best pictures are the ones I find when I took a mistake.
Serendipity is a wonderful thing.
Yes, and sometimes things just happen like that. (both laugh) This is a good story, Peter.
The pilgrims. We got again the opportunity of just happening to be in the right place at the right time when this willy-willy started. What do you call that? It's more than a willy-willy now, isn't it?
Well this was a thunderstorm that was building up. And at the same time, when it starts to cause almost like mini tornadoes, but we call them willy-willies, which are smaller. It starts to pick up that dirt, the red sand. And you can see. And also there was the lightning causing spot fires. I don't think you can see a little bit of a bush fire running through there, which is caused by that spot fire.
And the red you might question, but then you look at the red in Tony's photo.
Yeah, so that's a straight shot. Straight out of camera. And if you look at the red, that is exactly the color of that red. And if you go back to Peter's, it's the same.
So it really is a strong... It's like that jacket. (Tony laughs) So Tony, let's...
Yeah, again, I wanted to throw this in because I would like to remind people to be prepared for the incidental picture. This is when we got that Palouse shot. You can see the sort of atmosphere in the background. As we're coming back down, I think it was Steptoe Butte, might have been. And some of you look like, nods, you've been there. It's not even exotic for you guys. You got there. (Peter laughs) So we went up there, because you do. You visit these new places. And on the way down, a little deer, mule deer I think it is, just happened to stop in the road and looked at us. And I looked at it and thought, your curiosity is what I need to make sure I keep hold of. The way he just stopped and looked back, and then he was gone.