Marina Beach and Birds at Sunrise in Chennai

Chennai, on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India, is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Marina beach is a huge natural beach in Chennai, at around six kilometres in length it is the longest natural beach in India. It is also one of the most crowded beaches in the country with up to 20,000 visitors daily during the summer months. It is not only people who flock to the beach each day, every morning at sunrise thousands of birds can be also been seen at Marina Beach. Click through the slideshow below to view the birds at Marina beach, the volunteers who feed them and the people who visit early enough to see this fascinating sight:

I stayed in Chennai for a few days on my travels around India this year. I liked the city and found it a great place for photography especially the beach area which is always full of life. I discovered the feeding of the birds one morning whilst I was at the beach ready to take some photos of the sunrise. There are volunteers daily at the beach as part of the Marina Beach Pigeon Feeding Centre. They have a designated area and feed the birds daily on a designated section of the beach. The volunteers control the area and make sure nobody gets to close to disturb the feeding birds. Along with pigeons there are also a large number of crows.

If you want to view this spectacle it is best to arrive at the beach early in the morning before sunrise. The beach is already starting to get busy at this time of day with a yoga class taken place by the Ghandi statue and several people running or walking along the promenade. Further along the beach during the summer months is a small funfair which is a great place to take documentary and street photography.

I spent six months traveling around India from South to North via Bangladesh before a brief visit to Nepal and finally Sri Lanka. I have literally thousands of photos from the trip which now need editing and I plan to write some more blog posts in the coming weeks. More of my travel photography from my India travels can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook and my Flickr account. If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or collaborating in any way please email:

Travels Around Morocco (Photo Essay for Dezine Magazine)

Morocco is one of my favourite places to visit and is excellent for photography.  It has a variety of landscapes from the rocky coastline, empty deserts, snow capped mountains, and bustling towns & cities.  The people are friendly, the food delicious and the travel is cheap.  For people in the UK I always think of Morocco as being the closest place that you can fly to that has the biggest cultural differences to home. This blog was published as a photojournal for the online magazine Dezine.  Click through the slideshow below to view my travel photographs taken around Morocco:

The first time arriving in Morroco can be a bit of a culture shock!  Marrakech for example is an ambush on the senses: street performers approach you with snakes and monkeys, dark twisting alleyways entice you until you get lost and a constant buzz seems to radiate throughout the city.  However, it is good fun, safe and always makes for interesting experiences.  A few years ago I returned to Morocco for a couple of weeks with a friend.  Starting in Marrakech we moved on to the Atlas Mountains for some solitude before heading to the coastline and visiting the cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Kenitra and Meknes. Below is a description of the photos in the slideshow above in the order they are seen with links to the individual images on my Flickr account:

1.  Golden hour at Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square and market place in Marrakesh's medina quarter.

2.  Berbers, are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa.  Three locals enjoying the view from their backyard in the Atlas Mountains.

3.  Locals play on the beach at Casablanca while the sun sets.

4.  The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II is on the coastline of Casablanca and is the largest mosque in Morocco.  

5.  A man enjoys nature and solitude in front of the Atlantic Ocean on the coastline close to the city of Rabat.

6.  A bodyboarder heads to the beach for a surf in Kenitra in the North of Morocco.

7.  A local enjoys the view of the coastline from the colourful cliffs of Rabat.

I have written several previous travel photo essays for Dezine which can be found on their website. More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook and my Flickr account. If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or collaborating in any way please email:

Winner of 'Wanderlust, the Original Travel Magazine' Photo of the Year 2018

Whilst I was recently travelling through India and Bangladesh I received the fantastic news that I was one of the winners of Wanderlust's 2018 Photo of the Year competition.

Winner of 'Wanderlust, the Original Travel Magazine' Photo of the Year 2018

One of my favourite images taken on a previous trip to Cuba was the winner of the 'Travel Icons' category. My photo taken of a brightly coloured pink classic car in front of a white Orthodox Church taken on the seafront of Havana took the prize!

Here’s what one of the judges had to say about my image:

“A classic car with an extra splash of photographic flair. We loved the originality of this: the low viewpoint, the water splashed up by the wheels. Crucially for the composition, there’s space for the car to drive into (giving it a sense of motion) and no other colour to compete with that pink.”

For the prize I will be flying to Hong Kong and Macao for a photo commission supported by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Macao Government Tourism Office. I am extremely excited about this as I have never been to those destinations and always enjoy traveling to new places. So… more pictures to follow later on this year! My winning photo has also been used as the header banner on the Wanderlust results page which can only be good for further publicity.

I rarely enter competitions because you often have to pay, and I rarely win! However, it just goes to show that the extra effort involved can often be worth it in the end! I thought that the entries to the Wanderlust photo of the year competition were amazing, you can view the beautiful winning entries here for some inspiration.

My winning Cuban image was previously selected for a travel exhibition at the PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont, the photo also gathered a lot of praise on social media so I had a feeling it was a well liked photograph. A trip to Cuba can produce a treasure chest of travel images, I wrote a couple of previous photography blogs about my time in Havana including ‘Cuba and Cigars’ and one on the many colourful characters to be found there.

More of my travel photography from Cuba can be found on my website, my Facebook and my Flickr account.  Several of my Cuban travel images are available as prints. If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or would like further information please send me an email at:  

Giving Back via Photography - Pondicherry in India

A couple of months ago I spent a week in and around Pondicherry taking photos and relaxing. Pondicherry or Puducherry as it is officially known was an ex French colony until fairly recently. It is a nice place to visit especially if you are on a round trip of India as it is a small quiet town that caters for tourists well. You can feel spoilt eating European breakfasts daily and enjoying Pizzas, chips and European beers in the evening!

As with most places in India it is also a great place for photography. Like the majority of tourist places you do not have to venture far out of the bubble and as a westerner you become a rarity! This was true on the outskirts of Pondicherry where I walked to one day and discovered a quaint fishing village where the locals were as interested in me as I was with them! I returned to the area a couple of times that week with fellow photographer and couchsurfing friend Soufaine Ghzal who I had met in Varkala on a previous adventure. After sending some of the parents the images we took of some of the families we decided that it would be nice to print some of the better images and return to the village to give to those involved.

After getting around sixty different photos printed up we ventured back to the village to distribute them. It was a little difficult locating all of the children in the images but we had a lot of fun trying! The parents were genuinely appreciative of the gesture and the children seemed incredibly excited to see themselves in print for perhaps the first time. A lot of people in India will ask you to take their photo and many ask for a print or copy so it was nice this time to be able to return with what they had asked for. Click through the slideshow below to view some of shots we took of the local people living on the outskirts of Pondicherry:

After handing out the images and interacting with the locals we both agreed that returning with gifts of photography was much more beneficial and thoughtful than simply handing out money to strangers. It also enabled us to get some nice portraits and street style photography in this part of India.

More of my travel photography from Pondicherry can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you would like any more information about any of my images please send an email to:

Street Portraits of India

I am currently travelling around India taking photos and experiencing this amazing country. One of the aspects of photography that I am focussing on whilst here is portraiture. I am trying to improve my portrait photography by asking strangers if I can take their photo whilst I travel around India. Half of the battle for me is approaching people in the first place. Fortunately the majority of Indian people seem to be very friendly and don’t mind having their photo taken. In fact you often have to turn people away as a lot of people start asking for a photo… In addition to ‘environmental portraits’, which are often taken candidly without the subject knowing I have also been taking more ‘head shot’ style portraits, in which I normally ask for their permission first. Click through the slideshow below to view some of the street portraits I have taken so far on my trip through India:

All of the portraits were taken using a Canon 5D (Mark 4) with a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. All of the images were taken using natural light and without the use of a flash.  The images were often taken with a shallow depth of field to create a pleasing background and draw attention to the persons face.  I use a single point to focus whilst doing these close up head shot portraits and focus on the closer eye if the head is at an angle. Images of people from around the world fascinate me, I think that they are especially important to build up a picture of a place in travel photography. My travels in India started in Bangalore in the state of Karnataka before flying to Kochi for the Kochi Art Biennale 2018. I then made my way South down the beautiful Kerala coast through the backwaters of Alleppy and Munroe Island in Kollam. Next I stopped for a relaxing week in Varkala before taking the train to the very southern tip of mainland India, Kanyakumari. After witnessing the sunrise at the bottom of the World I travelled to Madurai, the City of Temples. Next up was Chennai before flying to Calcutta where I currently am. It has been a fantastic trip so far, the people are extremely friendly and the country is fantastic for photography with something going on all the time to capture.

More of my travel photography from India can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you would like any more information about any of my images please send an email to:

On the Streets of Varanasi

Along the banks of the historical Ganges River lies Varanasi, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. It is located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and is considered to be one of the holiest centres for Hinduism. 

Image source: Wiki Media

Image source: Wiki Media

This unique city is made up of stark contrasts — from death and birth, to indulgence and spirituality. Its vigorous spirit has been the source of inspiration for many people who have set foot in the city, not just travellers, but also artists who were influenced by Varanasi.

Bollywood fans might recognise Varanasi’s many stairs and alleys from various films, such as Neeraj Ghaywan's Masaan. The movie traces the lives and eccentricities of its characters that thrive within the ancient city, which is still just as complex and ever changing. Varanasi’s many dualities haven’t just inspired famous movies, as Indian-inspired games also crop up on celebrated gaming communities with European digital portal Slingo being a great example, hosting titles such as Nirvana and Bollywood Story. These games capture starkly different, yet equally captivating facets of life in the city. But no matter how pop culture tries to do it justice, it pales in comparison to the arresting, chaotic beauty of Varanasi in the flesh. That alone makes it worth the visit, but for photographers, this provides a wealth of opportunities to capture the rich local culture. The entire region is full of colour and eccentricity, so you won’t run out of sights to point your lens at.

Image source: Pixabay

Image source: Pixabay

Go down the ghats during sunrise

On your way down to the holy river, you’ll find a series of stairs called ghats. In Varanasi, there are roughly 100 of them around, with each having its own name, history, and purpose. If you head towards the ghats about an hour before sunrise, you’ll be treated to a surreal view of the sun peaking from the waters and slowly bathing the landscape in light. It also happens to be the quietest time in the city, with fewer crowds. But of course, witnessing rituals of life and death are a different experience to be had altogether, so watch out for them but make sure to document them respectfully should you choose to take photos. 

Image source: Pixabay

Image source: Pixabay

Explore the Gali

Another unique attraction in Varanasi is their Gali, an extremely narrow alley usually lined with vendors and people passing by. Though you might have to elbow your way through during busy hours, you’ll enjoy the play of light beams and shadows on your walk.

Image source: Wiki Media

Image source: Wiki Media

Make the most of the background noise

Some photographers prefer clean and clutter-free backdrops for their photos, but that’s a bit of a rarity in the constantly bustling metropolis that is Varanasi. Don’t worry though because whatever goes on in the background can only add more colour and life to your shots. Traveling Family Blog notes that Varanasi is not for the faint-hearted. It can get chaotic, but it’s all part of the city's signature vibrancy. When capturing the dynamic Varanasi environment, fix your aperture settings so everything is kept in focus, despite all the movement. Everywhere, you’ll find street cows, street vendors, children, and so much more that will fill up your frames.

Image source: Pixabay

Image source: Pixabay

Visit during festival season

For an even more rewarding trip, you can visit Varanasi during a festival such as Dev Deepawali, also known as the Festival of Lights. It happens every year during the month of November, with thousands of devotees coming together to immerse themselves in the holy Ganges. Most surreal is when they offer lit-up lamps to the Ganga — an act they call Deepdaan. Every single step of the ghats lights up as the sun goes down, which makes for a truly majestic sight.

Image source: Wiki Feed

Image source: Wiki Feed

This was a guest blog written by Gabriella Esposito, a freelance writer. If you are interested in writing a guest blog or other forms of collaboration please send an email to: More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook Page and my Flickr account.

Travel in Peru: Andahuaylas

Around four years ago I was employed as a photographer by MINCETUR, the tourist department of the Peruvian government. My role was to take tourist-friendly travel photos in various places around Peru. In addition to visiting the usual tourist destinations such as Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu I also spent a week taking images in and around Andahuaylas. Click through the slideshow below for some of the travel images I took whilst in Andahuaylas:

Andahuaylas (Quechua Antawayllaanta copper, waylla meadow, "copper meadow") is a Peruvian city. It is the capital of the Andahuaylas Province in the Apurímac Region. It is known as the pradera de los celajes (Spanish for "prairie of colored clouds").

I spent a week in Andhuayalas exploring the various nearby villages and spending a lot of time in the small city itself. I didn’t see any other tourists during my entire stay in Andahuaylas. The culture was fascinating allowing for some interesting street photography such as this lady leading her pig to the market on a Sunday. I also managed to get some cinematic style street photos whilst practising with an anamorphic lens. The nearby Lake Pachuca and the archaeological site of Sóndor are also definitely worth a visit.

A blog about my week in Machu Picchu from the same trip can be found here as well as a blog about anamorphic photography. More of my photographs from Peru can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or would like further information please send me an email at:  

3 Tips for Capturing Unforgettable Family Moments

Whether you’re trying to make the everyday moments last forever or just capture those special times in your kid’s childhoods, there’s a lot to learn about the art of lifestyle photography. Even inexperienced photographers can master the basics to create a quality image that lasts a lifetime. These memories are what you’ll look back on as your kids age. They’ll love that you had an eye for these special moments and knew to capture them early on.

How exactly do you capture these moments? Not only do you need the right gear, but you also need some perspective. While smartphone cameras have come a long way, they’re not nearly as flexible and powerful as a DSLR. Luckily, the price of entry-level DSLR cameras has reduced dramatically recently, so photographers of all levels now have access to this technology. Next, you’ll need to follow the 3 tips below to master the art of capturing family moments:

Photography Tips for Capturing Unforgettable Family Moments

Photography Tips for Capturing Unforgettable Family Moments

Image via Pexels

1. Focus on the Details

The memories all rely on the details. In a few years, you’ll likely remember your child’s first birthday or their excitement on Christmas morning. What you won’t remember is their toothless grin or the way they twirl their hair. These are the small details that make your images come alive with stories.

This doesn’t mean you need to hyper-focus in on the smallest details (unless that’s your goal). Instead, focus on composition. Even the most ordinary circumstance becomes extraordinary if you consider how to build a photo around a single detail.

Think about the perspective of your composition as well. For instance, many adults opt for taking photos at their own height. This makes sense since it’s how you see the world. Step outside of that perspective and get on your child’s own level. Take the photo from their perspective. These are the small things that tell a very real story of our lives.

Taking photos of the family.

Taking photos of the family.

Image via Pexels

2. Artificial Conditions

While it’s important to take photos of everyday life, some special events call for a little more planning. Using backdrops and props doesn’t mean your photography will appear tacky. If done tastefully, it can be a great way to commemorate special moments in your family life. Denny Manufacturing makes a variety of unique props and backdrops, and these don’t have that stale quality you see at run-of-the-mill photography shops.

Artificial conditions also give you more freedom to play with lighting and effects. While natural lighting is usually best for most photography, when you’re working with a set, whether professional or homemade, there are no limits to what you can create.

The reality is that sometimes you have to make the magic happen. Kids definitely can be cute all on their own, but sometimes they need some help. Creating scenarios that bring out these adorable moments is just part of capturing memories.

Photography tips: taking photos of your children.

Photography tips: taking photos of your children.

Image via Pexels

3. Bring Your Camera Everywhere

Finally, as said before, you never know when your kid will be doing something special. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of smartphones which we have with us at all times. Bringing your camera with you everywhere is the best way to capture both the exciting and the mundane. While your smartphone might get the job done, do you want to look back on your images only to discover they’re blurry and dark?

The more you get accustomed to traveling with your DSLR, the easier it will be to scope out these special moments. Your children only have one childhood. You don’t want to miss out on a single second, and these photos will last a lifetime.

Final Thoughts

Understanding just a few simple things will help you make the most of these family photos. You don’t need a lifetime of professional experience to get the hang of family photography. Since you know your family the best, you can determine when the camera needs to be nearby to create snapshots of those once-in-a-lifetime moments.

You’ll be surprised by just how incredible even the small things are. Every moment you spend with your loved ones is precious. Make the most of it with your camera.

This was a guest blog written by Wendy Dessler from The Blog Frog. If you are interested in writing a guest blog or other forms of collaboration please send an email to: More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook Page and my Flickr account.

Geraint Rowland Photography on Getty Images

For the last couple of months I have been going through years of old photos and adding them to my Getty Images account.  It’s a very laborious and time consuming process but hopefully one that will bring in some financial gains in the months to come.  You can view some of my photographs available via Getty images in the slideshow below:

I was originally invited to join Getty images around seven years ago when they joined a partnership with Flickr.  Several of the photos on my Flickr account were chosen to be part of the Flickr collection on Getty including: this travel image of a cat in Chefchaouen, Morocco and this street photograph of a bicycle locked up in London.  I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time and only made a couple of sales over a twelve month period.  If I recall correctly it was only images that they invited from your Flickr account that could go on to the collection at that time.  

In 2014 Getty ended their partnership with Flickr but maintained the user’s contracts.  Therefore if you were an existing Flickr contributor to Getty you could continue on the platform.  In fact they began inviting those contributors to upload more photos to Getty images.  It was around this time whilst travelling in Peru that I met a couple who made their money through stock photography.  They encouraged me to get on board but it did sound like a lot of time and effort at the time, especially whilst travelling. 

How to sell photographs via Getty Images

The upload process for all stock agencies is time consuming and monotonous.  In addition it is difficult to discover concrete information about how stock photography agencies work (especially with Getty) and there is also a lot of competition.  A search for ‘Travel’ on Getty images will produce over four million results, and that is just one of many stock agencies.  So what do you have to do?  Well firstly you have to have sellable, high quality images.  Getty seems to favour artistic imagery more than some of the other agencies but the photos still need to be technically correct with regards to focus and composition.  Next you have the upload process, this involves uploading the images to the Getty platform and adding information to each image.  This information includes: Title, Description and up to fifty key words.  Although you can attach this information to a batch of uploaded images this process takes a long time!  

After submitting your images you then have to wait for the Getty employees to review your work and either accept it, decline it, or send it back for revision.  This waiting period used to take a very long time and could be weeks before anyone even checked the images.  This was another reason I used to tire of the process and gave up trying.  Another is the two month delay in royalty payments and a third issue is their outdated, difficult-to-use upload system.  However, Getty have drastically reduced the waiting time for this process and in my experience images are accepted (or returned) much faster now, often in a 24 hour period.

As I have been finding out there are several reasons for rejecting an image: Getty will not accept images with children under the age of 18.  Images that have recognisable people or property in them need a signed model release form or they can only be sold under an Editorial License.  Certain famous buildings and landmarks in the world are copyrighted and therefore need further information added to the description field of the image.  This is true for the City of Arts & Sciences buildings in Valencia.  Any recognisable trademarks or branding will also be rejected or returned and asked for a revision of the image with the logos removed.  Getty also seem to reject images with street art or graffiti, presumably due to fear of trademark or copyright themselves.

Is it worth it and can you make money via stock photography?

The couple I met in Peru were making around $1000 dollars a month when I last spoke to them around 5 years ago.  They had been in the stock photography game a long time and treated it as a full time job, researching the trends thoroughly and uploading a lot of photos.  Even back then I remember them telling me that it was becoming harder to make a living via stock photography.  Recent feedback I have been receiving from other members on the Getty forum has supported this:  The average price for images sold seems to be constantly decreasing whilst the struggle to get your images seen amongst the huge collection increases daily.

In addition, Getty take a huge slice of the profits, around 80% of the sale, putting a large amount of photographers off using their platform in the first place.  However, Getty is the largest stock agency in the world, and as such they are far more likely to sell the image than you are.  Once the initial time consuming task of uploading the images is completed, all you have to do as a photographer is sit back and wait for the money to roll in (or not as the case may be!). 

If like myself you have a large amount of photos on various hard drives that you are doing nothing with, why not have a go at stock photography?  The key to making it work in the least painful way is to make regular uploads to the stock agencies as and when you take new photos.  Instead I have delayed it for over five years, with tens of thousands of disorganised photos making the task far more complicated than it should have been.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing. 

I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with Getty images or one of the other photographic stock agency companies.  It has been a steep learning curve for me and I am still trying to figure out the system.  At time of writing I have over one thousand images available for license on Getty images (double the number I had six months ago).  I still have several years of travel photos to plough through and upload in the new few weeks.  The images I have available for license via Getty images can be found here.

More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you would like any more information about any of my images please send an email to:

Photos Selected for Exhibition at Photoplace Gallery

I was delighted to discover this week that two of my images have been selected for PhotoPlace Gallery’s juried exhibition, "Travel: Places and Faces". Juror Krista Rossow selected one of my photographs from Cuba to be exhibited in the Middlebury, Vermont gallery of PhotoPlace, and one of my images from Senegal to be displayed on their online gallery. The selected travel images are all beautiful so I am honoured to have two of mine included. My image chosen to be hung in the PhotoPlace exhibition gallery is titled, ‘Colourful Cuba’ one of my favourite photos from my trip to Havana last year:

'Colourful Cuba' my image from Havana to be exhibited as part of PhotoPlace's upcoming Travel exhibition.

'Colourful Cuba' my image from Havana to be exhibited as part of PhotoPlace's upcoming Travel exhibition.

I took the photo on the malecon after the weather cleared following a heavy rainfall. Using a wide angle lens and a low angle I was able to capture the pink car in front of the beautiful white Orthodox Church. Using a fast shutter speed I was able to capture the splash from the car as it drove through the puddle. Here is a photo blog I wrote with some other photos from Havana, the capital of Cuba.

My image chosen to be displayed on PhotoPlace’s online gallery is titled, ‘Preparing for the Tabaski Festival’ and is one of the photographs I took last year whilst living in Dakar, Senegal:

'Preparing for the Tabaski Festival' my image from Senegal selected for the online gallery of Photoplace.

'Preparing for the Tabaski Festival' my image from Senegal selected for the online gallery of Photoplace.

I took this photo on Yoff Beach, which is close to the centre of Dakar leading up to the Islamic Tabaski Festival which is held every year in August. A photo blog I wrote about my time at Yoff beach where I took this photo can be viewed here.

Travel: Places and Faces - About the Exhibition

The gallery exhibition will take place between November 7th and December 8th 2018 at the PhotoPlace gallery in Vermont at: 3 Park Street, Middlebury, VT 05753. The ‘Call for Entry’ for this particular exhibition was as follows: Every place has its own smells, sounds, and ambience, whether amid the energy of a city or the serenity of a mountain lake.  Capturing the particular aura of a place and of those who inhabit it is the great challenge of travel photography. For Travel: Faces and Places, we especially seek photographs that capture the unique quality of a place or its people, whether across the world or in the next town. Tell us about the places you've been and the people you've met.

It’s always nice to have some recognition, it’s a shame the gallery is so far away as I would have loved to attend! More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you would like any more information about any of my images please send an email to: