Street Art Around the World (Photo Essay for the Fifth Issue of Dezine Magazine)

One of the first things I do when I arrive in a new country is search for the local street art and graffiti.  I love the different styles around the World and the way the paintings provide colour and life to the streets.  

“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place.  Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.”
– Banksy (Wall and Piece)

I try to combine street photography with street art in a complementary way.  By adding a human element into the frame you can often enhance the artwork that already exists.  Through timing and placement you can end up with an image in which life imitates the art itself.  Here is a selection of street art photography from various places I have travelled around the World.  Due to the bright and vivid colours of the street art I prefer to present the images in colour as opposed to black and white:

1.  Taken in the multicultural neighbourhood of Raval in Barcelona, Spain.  The art on this wall is constantly changing, I like this fleeting moment of life mimicking the art.

2.  Long faces in the historic centre of Mexico City.

3.  Synchronisation on the streets in Santiago, Chile.

4.  The dog and his double, Valparaíso, Chile.  

5.  A Day of the Dead reveller walks past some crude but poignant graffiti in Mexico City.  'La Historia es Nuestra Venceremos/History is ours, we will overcome'. 

6.  A street performer practises amongst the graffiti in Barcelona, Spain.

7.  A Storm Trooper attacks in the Condesa neighbourhood in Mexico City.  

Travel in Black and White (Photo Essay for the Fourth Issue of Dezine Magazine)

I believe that by converting an image to black and white one adds an extra element that is often lost with colour photography.  With landscape photography, converting to black and white can add to the sense of scale and vastness of a scene.  With documentary photography, converting to black and white can make the scene more powerful and alive.  And with people photography, converting to black and white can add to and increase the captured emotion, whether that be happy or sad, lost or lonely.  Photographer, Ted Grant's quote on black and white photography sums this up beautifully:

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”

I rarely take a photograph thinking I will convert it into black and white, instead it happens later in the editing stage.  The reason for converting to black and white normally depends on the light in which the photo was taken, but it can also be due to the atmosphere or mood of the image.  Click through the slideshow below, descriptions of each shot can be found beneath:

1.  For a brief moment the light under the pier in Santa Monica was amazing yet it didn't quite work in colour.  Converting to black and white exaggerated the amazing light show and the addition of a photographer in the frame added to the image.

2.  Taken through the window on a road trip through West Africa I captured this boy as we passed through the border between Mauritania and Mali.  His eyes show a lot of emotion which the black and white conversion helps bring out.

3.  Taken during the Day of the Dead Carnival in Mexico City.   Here the black and white conversion adds to the atmosphere and spirit of the carnival.

4.  This confrontation between a shop owner and the Police in Downtown Mexico City is brought to life by the black and whiteconversion.  One can almost feel the tension.

5.  I love how the black and white conversion to this rural scene captured in Cusco, Peru, gives the image a dated and atmospheric feel.

6.  The genuine happiness and innocence of these children in Belen Market, Iquitos, Peru is magnified by the conversion into black and white.  The beauty of the light on the water is also accentuated by this process.

Photo Exhibition - New Partnership – The London Photo Show

One of my photos will be included in an upcoming exhibition in London following a competition I won held by PhotoVoice in partnership with Professional Photography magazine.  Information below:  

We are delighted to announce that PhotoVoice is the official charity partner of the London Photo Show.

Organised by the people behind the 36exp Photographers’ School, The London Photo Show is a celebration of photography in central London. Prizes, feedback and appraisal will be awarded to the exhibitors with the best images and the private view is set to be an exciting evening, with over 100 people expected and drinks included.

We will be exhibiting the winning images from our bi-monthly photography competition in partnership with Professional Photography magazine and the PhotoVoice images that have inspired each competition theme. We are excited to be exhibiting our projects and the outstanding winning images from our competition.  Full information and website:

https://photovoice.org/new-partnership-the-london-photo-show

Where:

The Strand Gallery 32 John Adam st London WC2N 6BP

Key Dates:

Exhibition – 18 – 22 October

Invitation only Private View – 18 October 6:30 – 8:30

Catalan Castells

A castell (Catalan pronunciation: [kəsˈteʎ]) is a human tower built traditionally in festivals at many locations within Catalonia. At these festivals, several colles castelleres (groups who construct towers) often succeed in building and dismantling a tower's structure.  

A castell is considered a success when assembly and disassembly can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect, in a gesture said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag. The enxaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest to lowest order until all have reached safety. (Taken from Wikipedia)

This particular castell festival took place in the centre of Barcelona on the 18th June 2017 in Placa Sant Jaume.  It is a an amazing spectacle to watch, the strength and agility of those involved is impressive.  The atmosphere is very friendly and the emotions of those involved upon completion of a castell are highly visible.  Click through the images below of the Catalan tradition and the people involved.

More travel photography can be found on my Facebook Page at: 

www.facebook.com/geraintrowlandphotography

#Travel #Spain #Canon #Catalonia #HumanTower #Castell #Barcelona 

Travel & Street Photography Tours in Barcelona

For information on my travel and street photography tours in Barcelona please drop me a line at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.  I carry out one-to-one and small group sessions regardless of your level, ability or type of camera!  Let's explore the streets of beautiful Barcelona together and capture some of it's magic.  

Get to learn your way around Barcelona whilst taking photos of the architecture, the street art and the locals.  I can take you to the best spots in the City for photography ensuring you return from your trip with great photos.  I can assist with technical or compositional techniques to ensure you achieve better photographs whilst here in Barcelona.  At the end of these sessions we can review the photos taken in a traditional Catalan Bar over a Vermut or cold Beer or at a Cafe over a Coffee, depending on your preference!  Click through a selection of street shots taken on previous tours in Barcelona:

I am an International Travel & Street Photographer who has exhibited in the UK and South America.  I have held street photography Tours in Peru, London and more recently Barcelona. Contact me if you have any enquiries at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

See you on the Streets.  Saludos!

Geraint Rowland Photography by PhotoVoice

The March Photography Competition Winner is…

The third PhotoVoice photography competition, in partnership with Professional Photography magazine was inspired by an image from PhotoVoice project ‘MAMPU. Photographers were asked to submit up to six images inspired by the theme ‘Discovery’. Photographer and Photo-facilitator, Meredith Hutchison selected Geraint Rowland as the winner. 

How did you get started in Photography?

I bought a digital SLR camera around 8 years ago and decided to enroll on a photography course instead of tackling the user guide.  I completed two courses, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Advanced’ at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff.  Since then, I have been doing a lot of travelling and documenting my travels through photography.

How would you describe your work and your practice?

I consider myself a travel and street photographer.  I like catching candid moments in everyday life around the world.  I am also a lover of nature and enjoy taking photos of landscapes and the ocean.  I like to show the beauty that exists throughout the world.

Tell us a bit more about your winning image and the series that it is from

I took this image during the yearly pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe in Mexico City.  Millions of Mexicans make the pilgrimage each year on or before the 12th of December.

The pilgrimage is very much a family affair, the Mexicans often referring to the Lady of Guadalupe as Mamá or Mother.  

I took this photo around a week before the 12th when there was already a lot of activity at the holy site.  I was lucky to capture this candid and touching moment between mother and child during the celebrations.  The photo was captured on a Canon 5D2 with a 85mm lens, I converted it to black and white, which gave the image more emotion.

© Geraint Rowland, Familia

What do you think the future for your photography will be?

I think both social media and advances in technology mean that photography is increasing in popularity all the time.  The vast amount of information online means that the still image continues to play a vital role in catching peoples attention and telling a story.  Hopefully this will mean an increasing need for photos and photographers in general.  In the future I would love to work with some international charities, where my photography will have a direct impact on the world for the better.  I also want to continue travelling the world and documenting it’s beauty along the way, and if I can find some work which allows me to do this all the better.

Are there any other up and coming photographers that you think people should know about?

Yes, Linda Wisdom is a street photographer based in London.  Her black and white imagery is beautiful and she always seems to be in the right place and at the right time to capture the perfect moment.  She runs Street Photography Tours in London. Another is Aliette Bretel, a Peruvian photographer who now lives in Cambridge, she has a very unique and timeless selection of images.

How did you hear about PhotoVoice and how do you think your work relates our vision and mission?

I found out about PhotoVoice on Facebook, I was very interested in their commitment to supporting underrepresented communities through participatory photography.  I believe that my photography contributes to positive social change by inspiring and informing others about people and places they may not know about.

Find out more about Geraint Rowland’s work here or visit his Facebook page here

 

The Floating Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca (Photo Essay for the Third Issue of Dezine Magazine)

At almost 4,000 metres above sea level on the border of Bolivia and Peru lies Lake Titicaca.  Lake Titicaca is impressive being both South America's largest lake and the highest navigable lake in the World.  

Seven kilometres from the shores of Puno on the Peruvian side are the floating Uros islands, home to the Uros or Uru people.  These unique islands are built entirely from the totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake.  The reeds are also used to build the homes they live in, the boats they travel in and handicraft they sell to visitors of the islands.  The semi edible reeds are even eaten by the locals who playfully refer to it as Uros icecream.  Some 1000 Uros people live across forty two islands on the lake where the younger children even attend school.  The island people make a living from fishing, textiles and in more recent years through selling crafts and tourism.   (Click through the images below)

The Uros islands are easy to reach with regular boats leaving throughout the day from Puno.  The islands are now firmly on the South American tourist trail, however they are well worth a visit.  Lake Titicaca has some of bluest skies I have ever seen and the islanders are amongst the most colourful.  I took these images over the course of a few days when I visited the islands last June.  Due to the vivid sky and the striking clothing of the locals the imagery is best portrayed in colour.  The Uros Islands really are a picture perfect travel destination.

The Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City (Photo Essay for the Second Issue of Dezine Magazine)

Millions of Mexicans make the pilgrimage each year on or before December 12th. The Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic church in the North of Mexico City.  Pilgrimages have been made to this shrine almost uninterrupted for hundreds of years, and today it is the most visited catholic shrine in the World.  Many pilgrims crawl on their knees as they make their final approach, and devotees believe that the Virgin of Guadalupe can cure almost any sickness.  

The 12th of December has a carnival atmosphere with thousands of people filling the square in front of the church. Indigenous people dance and play music from sunrise until sunset.  Many pilgrims carry large framed pictures of the Lady of Guadalupe on their backs or hoist depictions of her above their heads.  Others wear cloaks or robes with the Lady painted or printed onto the back.  (Click through the images below)

The pilgrimage is very much a family affair, the Mexicans often referring to the Lady of Guadalupe as Mamá or Mother. Entire families make the pilgrimage with many sleeping around the site in make shift tents.  I visited the site on several different days leading up to and including the 12th to document the pilgrimage.  

Belen Market, Iquitos Peru (Photo Essay for the First Issue of Dezine Magazine)

These photos were taken earlier this year in the village of Belen in Iquitos, Peru.  The entire village is flooded for several months each year by the nearby Amazon river.  The only way to get around is by boat so even the children learn to navigate and paddle in small canoes from an early age.  

 

Our local guide manoeuvred us around in a motorboat for a couple of hours exploring the streets which at that time of the year become waterways.  The area is fascinating, and our journey through it gave us a brief insight into life there.

Around every corner were amazing photo opportunities, with the local people using the river to work, travel and play.  Children would sit selling food and produce to passing boats, Men would offer taxi boat services or fish, and the Women would wash the family clothes in the river.  Some 65,000 people live in the Village of Belen on either moored floating houses or houses on stilts.  It is a very poor neighbourhood with many of the people living in impoverished conditions. Yet those we encountered seemed genuinely happy: laughing, smiling, and greeting us as we passed by.  (Click through the images below)

I took all the photos candidly and found that converting them to black and white gave them more emotion.  For more information on Dezine go to: https://issuu.com/dezinemagazine. 

Saal Digital UK Photo Book Product Review

I was recently offered a high quality photo book from Saal Digital UK in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Saal_01.jpg

 

I have had several photo books in the past but this one is by far the highest quality.  The set up process was easy to use with a selection of templates, layouts and colours to choose from before simply dropping in your photos.  You can also add text which would be useful for Wedding etc. 

Delivery of the product was extremely quick with the photo book being dispatched within hours of submission and arriving just one day later in very secure packaging.

The photo book itself is of very high quality, the pages are very thick, and it feels great as you flick through it.  The colours are bright and vivid, the full page spreads are beautiful, and the printing quality exceptional.  Click the image below for some example images:

I will be recommending Saal Digital UK to my friends, family and fellow photographers.  I will definitely use them again in the future.

If you are interested in getting one made up, here is a £20 voucher code that can be used on a photobook of your choice:

GWPSDUK17