Sunsets of Senegal by Geraint Rowland Photography

Last year I spent a couple of months in Senegal where I experienced some beautiful sunsets.  I spent the majority of the time in the capital city of Dakar, but also traveled to Lompoul in the north of the country and Zinguinchor in the southern region.  Along with capturing a lot of travel and street photography style shots I also captured some stunning sunsets especially at Yoff beach close to the Airport in Dakar.  Click through the slide show below to view some sunsets from Senegal:

Senegal, like the rest of West Africa I have visited is fantastic for photography.  With so many people around there is always something interesting and or unusual to capture.  Whilst I was in Dakar they were celebrating the Tabaski Festival.  Tabaski is based on Islamic beliefs and culminates with each family sacrificing a sheep and then eating it.  There are sheep everywhere in Dakar, tied up on the roadsides, being washed in the Ocean or being sold at markets.  Here is a previous blog I wrote on the fascinating beach area of Yoff in Dakar.

In Lompoul in the north there are beautiful remote beaches, interesting fishing towns and a small desert with orange sand dunes where you can camp and take camel rides.  To the south lies Ziguinchor, the second largest city of Senegal lying at the mouth of the Casamance river and largely separated from the rest of the country by The Gambia.

Throughout the country I witnessed some beautiful sunsets.  Sunsets always seem to be amongst my most liked photos.  I think there is something instantly enjoyable about an image of the setting sun, it is something that everyone can relate to.  I especially like sunset images that contain an additional element, be it a person or an animal.  My favourite sunset image I capture in Senegal was of a fisherman feeding his two pet Pelicans at Yoff beach.  I love the composition, the lighting and the added comic nature of these peculiar birds.  Whilst in Senegal was travelling without a tripod so had to rely on taking hand held shots or creating abstract images when I ran out of light.  Here is a blog I wrote with some tips about taking sunset photos.

More of my travel photography from Senegal can be found on my website, my Instagram, 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: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Photo Shoots & Street Art in Lima

I have recently been doing some photo shoots in the Miraflores and Barranco districts of Lima, Peru.  If you are interested in a photo shoot send me an email or contact me via social media.  For part of this session with the Venezuelan Violinist Nataly Suito, I took some photos against the backdrop of some new street art in the Miraflores area.  The colourful art has been painted outside the new Wahios Miraflores Bar on Calle Berlin.  Click through the slide show below to view some of the photo shoot:

In the past I carried out some lifestyle type photo shoots for the clothing brand Sundried when it was first starting out.  I still prefer candid photography including travel and street photography.  However, this type of photography can be fun and challenging, offering new skills to learn as a photographer.  I love street art, graffiti and art in general so combining the two seems very natural.  The artwork is very colourful and includes excellent pieces of Einstein and the Mona Lisa.

The addition of the musical instrument as a prop added another element to the photos especially when using a wide angle lens.  For the images above I used a Canon 5D IV and the excellent Canon EF 16 - 35mm lens.

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in collaborating on future projects, or would like to purchase a print, please send me an email: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

The Q’eswachaka Bridge Building Festival near Cusco, Peru.

In June 2016 I was lucky enough to attend the first day of the annual Q'eswachaka Bridge building festival.  The Q'eswachaka Bridge is located over 100 kms from Cusco and crosses the Apurimac Canyon.  It is the last remaining hand woven Inca bridge in Peru, made entirely of long blades of grass and traditional materials.  Click through the slideshow below to view some of the photographs I took on the day.

The Q'eswachaka Bridge Building Festival lasts for four days each June when the neighbouring communities join together to celebrate and honour their Inca ancestors.  I took these photos in a candid manner of the people involved on that first day.  The day involved preparing the ropes for the new bridge with the women weaving the smaller sections and the men tying together the large knots.  It was a fascinating day and the local people were extremely friendly and very colourful.  I would love to return sometime in the future to witness the entire four days of the festival.   

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in collaborating on future projects, or would like to purchase a print, please send me an email: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

The Use of Negative Space in Photography

Negative space in photography is the space around the main subject of an image.  The use of negative space is an element of composition that has been used for hundreds of years in art and design.  The concept is equally useful in photography and can transform an average image into an outstanding photograph.  I personally love negative space in an image.  I found the technique was especially powerful when I switched to a full frame camera.  Click through the slideshow below to view some examples of my photography displaying the use of negative space:

What is Negative Space in Photography?

Negative space in a photograph refers to the area surrounding the main subject (the positive space).  The negative space can draw emphasis to the main subject of an image by removing any clutter and distraction.  Used effectively negative space will lead the viewers eyes to the main subject of the photo.  

I like images that are simple in composition and uncomplicated and this is exactly what negative space is good for.  Stripping a photo down to the bare basics of the subject and it's surroundings can produce an end image that is both artistic and pleasing to the eye.  When taking such photographs imagine that the negative space of an image is as important as the main subject.

How to Incorporate Negative Space into your Photos

Negative space images are uncomplicated by nature and rely on the concepts of simplicity and minimalism.  Negative space often breaks many of the traditional photographic rules of composition.  When framing your photos be generous with the amount of surrounding space you leave.  Experiment with composition until you have the right balance of positive and negative space.  Remember less is often more.  

Examples of Negative Space by Geraint Rowland Photography

I find that the use of negative space can benefit a wide range of photography types from Street Photography, Architecture, Landscapes, Portraits and Abstracts.  Street Photography by its nature can be hectic with a lot of different elements going on in a photo.  The use of negative space can bring an artistic and calming feel to a street photo with some planning.  With this image of a man walking over a bridge in Miraflores, Lima at Sunset I exaggerated the space above the bridge.  Using a wide angle lens I made use of the interesting sky surrounding Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The use of negative space can add scale to landscape images such as this capture of people walking the dunes in Huacachina, Ica, Peru.  Negative space works very well in abstract images such as this minimal ocean abstract taken in Senegal. Negative space is also a good way of drawing attention to the subject, such as with this billboard advertising strippers in Las Vegas.  Finally negative space can be used for comic effect like in this funny photo of a giraffe at a zoo in Lima, Peru.

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in collaborating on future projects, or would like to purchase a print, please send me an email: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Photo Art and Prints for Sale by Geraint Rowland Photography

You can now buy prints of my travel photography via Linda Wisdom Photography Co on Etsy. Check out the shop for a selection of my travel images as well as a range of excellent photos from the talented photographer Linda Wisdom herself.   The images are available in a range of sizes and on high quality Fuji photo paper.  There is currently a 10% sale on all the images!  For a visual representation of some of my images for sale click through the slide show below:

A range of my travel photography is available via Linda Wisdom's Etsy shop including some of my abstract ocean images, my colourful Cuban car shots, photographs from Machu Picchu, and some colourful and cute photos from Senegal.

Geraint Rowland is a travel photographer from Cardiff who is currently based in Lima, Peru.  He has spent a large amount of time living and traveling in South America.  He enjoys taking candid photography of people around the World as well as capturing the beauty in the nature.

Linda Wisdom is a street photographer based in London.  She takes beautiful timeless images in black and white throughout the streets of London.  She runs Street Photography courses via Airbnb in London & Lisbon.  Take a look at some of her street photos on Facebook.  

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any prints, or are interested in collaborating please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.  

Parque Kennedy, a Park full of Cats in Lima, Peru

In Lima, the capital of Peru you can visit Parque Kennedy, a park full of cats. It's up there with Machu Picchu with things to see and do in Peru...  All joking aside, Parque Kennedy or Kennedy Park is a beautiful, well kept park in the tourist district of Lima called Miraflores.  Full of fresh flowers, cats, and with free wifi it is a great place to go and relax amongst nature in the city. Click through the slideshow below to view some of the adorable cats living in the Park:

Where is Parque Kennedy?

Parque Kennedy is located in the centre of Miraflores, one of the main tourist areas of Lima. Miraflores is full of shops, restaurants, hotels and hostels, a very clean and safe area to walk around at day or night.  Miraflores is approximately 18km (11 miles) away from Jorge Chávez International Airport and some 11km (7 miles) from Lima's downtown area.  Parque Kennedy is less than a mile away from the coastal park areas (Malecon de Miraflores) on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and the beaches themselves of Miraflores and the Costa Verde.

Why all the Cats?

At some stage in the not too distance past people started dropping off their unwanted cats to the park.  It didn't take long and there were over one hundred Cats in Parque Kennedy and further breeding started.  When I first visited Lima in 2011 there were actually a lot more cats than there are today due to the help of a local feline adoption association called 'Gatos Parque Kennedy'.  The majority of the cats are now sterilized, and well fed and looked after by the local volunteers.  Via the association people can now adopt the cats which has helped to keep the numbers down.  Although the numbers have gone down there are still plenty of Cats throughout the park, climbing the trees, shading in the flowers and getting spoilt by the tourists and locals alike.

Kennedy Park, aside from the Cats

In addition to the cute cats, and well kept gardens there is plenty to do and see in Parque Kennedy making it a regular attraction for both tourists and locals alike.  Surrounding the park are  several artists who sell their arts and crafts including paintings, fabrics and so on.  Delicious fast food, sweet and savoury can be bought at affordable prices throughout the park.  In the centre of Kennedy Parque is a small amiphetre which is often used for small concerts, performances or dancing.  Sunday's in particular are a good day to go and watch the local people dance salsa which always draws a big crowd.  There is even a beautiful church, so visit Parque Kennedy when in Lima and stroke some cats...

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any prints, or are interested in collaborating please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.  

Volunteering in Lima, Peru with Reciprocity NGO

I have recently been volunteering for Reciprocity NGO, a great NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) in Lima, Peru.  Reciprocity NGO is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the living conditions in the pueblos jóvenes (shanty towns) of Lima, Peru.  Visiting these areas is a real eye opener.  They are a short distance from the posh high rise districts of Miraflores and La Molina but a World apart.  These communities live in extreme poverty, many in small wooden huts without access to running water or electricity.  Click through the slideshow below to see some of the communities supported by Reciprocity:

About Reciprocity NGO

Through various humanitarian projects they strive to improve the lives of those living in extreme poverty within Lima.  The projects combined with the hard work of the Reciprocity volunteers and locals helps to establish a foundation for the communities to build on and become self-sustainable in the future.  Work varies to cater specifically for what is needed most, but the aim is to ensure the people have basic infrastructure.  This may include: building safe stairways and supporting walls, community centres and schools, clearing the communities of garbage and planting flowers and trees.

Although the organisation works with the communities as a whole,  their primary focus is on the children.  Reciprocity NGO believes that by providing the younger generation with access to education, nutrition, social capital, and hope they are giving them the tool to escape the poverty cycle.  More information about Reciprocity NGO and the story behind their founder Edwin Rojas can be found here.  Click through the slideshow below to view some of the cute & cheeky kids supported by Reciprocity NGO in Lima, Peru, South America:

Reciprocity NGO are always looking for volunteers and donations.  The volunteers are a really nice group of people from Peru and around the World.  They take you safely to the communities via mini bus from Miraflores before dropping you back later, and there is no cost involved.  If you want to help, send them an email: ong.reciprocity@gmail.com or you can Whats App or call.

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any prints, or are interested in collaborating please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.  

A Frame within Frame: A useful composition technique in photography.

What is a 'Frame within a Frame'?

In photography, a frame within a frame is when the photographer uses something within the scene in front of them to frame the main subject.  Therefore a second frame is created within the image hence: a frame within a frame.  This compositional technique can improve your image in several ways: Firstly it draws attention to the subject helping to isolate it from any distraction and clutter within the image.  Secondly it can add depth and layers to an otherwise flat and boring image.  Finally a frame within a frame can create mystery and intrigue within a photo resulting in the viewer exploring the picture for longer.  Click through the slideshow below to view some of my travel images which use the 'frame within a frame' method of composition:

Why should you use a 'Frame within a Frame'?

Composition is one of the most important aspects of photography.  Correct composition can transform an ordinary scene into a great picture.  Unlike certain elements of photography such as lighting, no technical knowledge is required for successful composition.  Finally, anyone with a camera can take images using this technique.  Regardless of price, make or model, anyone with a camera or mobile phone can go and try today.

Opportunities for Framing

Opportunities for framing a scene are endless but often go unnoticed.  For example, nature often provides a vast number of natural frames such as trees, clouds or flowers.  In addition there are many man made objects which can be used equally well.  These can include: windows, archways, bridges, buildings and so on.  The more of this kind of image you take, the more potential you will see in everyday situations.  In the slide show above, framing examples have included: modern art in Havana, car window frames in West Africa, a boat in Peru, shadows in a street shot in Cuba, bananas at a market stall in Lima, and an archway of a palace in Madrid.  Wedding, travel, and street photographers all regularly take photos using this compositional method of a frame within a frame.  

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any prints, or are interested in collaborating please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.  

Down by the Sea, Chorillos, Lima, Peru

Chorrillos is a district of the Lima Province in Peru and part of the city of Lima. It gets its name from the Spanish word for "trickle of water".  Chorillos is located next to Barranco on the coastline of Lima and has several different beach areas facing the pacific ocean.  

'Playa de Pescadores', is a small fishing beach that is full of activity and a very interesting place to spend a few hours, people watch and enjoy the sunset.  On the shoreline you can have fresh ceviche (Peru's national dish consisting of raw fish marinaded in fresh lime juice and chilli).  On the small pier you can have a go at fishing for crab and small fish or take a boat tour around the local coastline of Chorillos and Lima.  From this side of Chorrillos, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the bay of Lima taking in the views of Barranco, Miraflores and beyond.  On a clear day, in the distance you can see La Punta and the San Lorenzo island in the district of Callao.  

Directly next to Playa de Pescadores is a private exclusive beach and sports club called Regatas.  Regatas is one of the most exclusive sports clubs in Lima and attracts the rich and famous Peruvians who go there to exercise, sunbathe and relax.

Around the headland you have the small secluded beach of La Herradura which was a deluxe beach resort in the 19th century.  These days the seafront has several seafood restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Peruvian cuisine and watch the sun go down.  The beach is also home to one of Lima's best surfing spots, La Herradura.  The wave needs a big swell to work properly and has hosted several international surfing competitions.

On the coastal road between the malecon of Chorillos and La Herradura you pass the rocky headland peninsula of El Salto de Fraile.  Here lies an exclusive restaurant with the same name, and a legend of forbidden love that ended tragically.  The tale involves young love which resulted in a pregnancy and the young man being sent to a convent for his sins and made into a friar.  These days at the same spot you can watch locals reenact the tale.  Men from the local Chorillos area dress as Monks and dive off the cliffs into the perilous ocean below.  I have heard rumours that at least one person has died doing this dive.  It’s a fascinating place however and I intend to return in the next few weeks to capture more of their dives.

More of my Lima photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, 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: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Fotografía con efecto panning o barrido

¿Qué es panning? 

‘Panning’ es una técnica usada para capturar sujetos en movimiento. La idea básica detrás del ‘panning’ es seguir con tu cámara al sujeto en movimiento. Una vez perfeccionada la técnica podrás producir imágenes con el sujeto relativamente bien enfocado y con el fondo barrido o ‘blureado’. Este barrido del fondo nos agrega la sensación de velocidad y movimiento, por lo tanto puede ser usada perfectamente con cualquier sujeto en movimiento rápido como carros, animales, ciclistas, etc. Da clic a través de la galería y encontrarás algunos ejemplos de fotografías que he capturado en mis viajes con la técnica de ‘panning’.

Cómo dominar la técnica fotográfica de ‘panning’

La fotografía con ‘panning’ requiere mucha práctica y algo de suerte. Para tener un ‘panning’ exitoso deberías seguir con tu cámara al sujeto en movimiento emparejando la velocidad y dirección del mismo. El ‘panning’ es más fácil con sujetos que se mueven en una línea relativamente recta, de esta forma se podrá predecir hacia dónde se moverá el sujeto. Un reciente y famoso ejemplo de esto es la foto de Usain Bolt ganando la carrera de los 100 metros en los juegos olímpicos de Río 2016. El fotógrafo aquí habla sobre cómo capturó la foto

Tips para capturar exitosas fotografías con ‘panning’:

Usa una baja velocidad de disparo:  Experimenta dependiendo la luz y la velocidad del sujeto, pero, es bueno empezar con 1/60 o menos. Ten en cuenta que entre más rápida sea tu velocidad de obturación, más fácil será mantener el sujeto nítido. Cuanto más rápido sea el sujeto, más difícil será seguirlo, lo que significa que los ciclistas y patinadores serán más fáciles de seguir que las motocicletas y los autos de carreras.

Trayectoria del sujeto. Sigue el sujeto antes, durante y después del disparo con un movimiento suave y continuo. 

Establece el modo de disparo continuo. Esto te dará más oportunidades de capturar el mejor momento así como minimizar el movimiento de la cámara al presionar el obturador.

Elige un fondo interesante. Aunque el fondo se verá borroso, es de suma importancia para tu foto, por lo cual es importante que tu fondo sea interesante y colorido.

Mantén tu cámara tan estable como sea posible. Debido a la baja velocidad de obturación hay una mayor posibilidad de desenfoque en movimiento. Te recomiendo que uses el visor en lugar de la pantalla cuando hagas ‘panning’.

La práctica hace la perfección:  Como todo en fotografía, la práctica es requerida. Intenta hacer ‘panning’ con diferentes objetos en movimiento en distintas locaciones hasta que te conviertas en un maestro de esta difícil técnica. Recientemente tuve la oportunidad de hacer ‘panning’ en La Habana, con sus coloridos coches antiguos.

Más sobre mis fotografías de viaje pueden ser encontradas en mi sitio, instagram y flickr. Si estás interesado en comprar alguna de mis fotos, usar la imagen online o para cualquier información, por favor, envíame un email: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.