candid portraits

Travel Portraits by Geraint Rowland

During my travels I often capture people around the world in a candid manner in their natural environment.  As my confidence has grown and my photographic skills have improved I have begun taking more portrait photographs.  These are often what are called 'environmental portraits', a portrait taken in the subject's usual environment and which normally include the surroundings as well as the person.  More recently I have also started taking 'head shot' style portraits, a tighter cropped image where the focus is on the persons face only.  For my head shots I normally ask the person for their permission first.  Click through the slideshow below to view some of my travel portraits:

With the majority of travel portraits above I asked for permission for the image to be taken. Often in touristy areas you are required or asked to pay for such portraits as was the case in Cusco, Peru, and Havana, Cuba.  The image of the Mexican girl in the Day of the Dead makeup and the final image of the Bolivian lady were the exceptions as both were caught candidly.  The beauty of head shots and or tightly cropped portraits is that you minimise the clutter in the background of the image.

All of the portraits were taken using a Canon 5D (Mark 2 or 4) and the majority were with the Canon 50mm 1.4.  Other lenses used were the Canon 85mm 1.8 and the Sigma Art Lens 135mm 1.8.  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.  Images of people from around the world fascinate me, I think that they tell you more about a place than a landscape ever can.  In the future I want to focus more on portraits and improve my skills in this area of photography.  

More of my travel photography 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: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Black and White Portraits in The Gambia

I recently spent two months in Senegal, during that time I travelled south to the Cassamance area staying in Ziguinchor.  From Ziguinchor I travelled north to spend a couple of weeks in The Gambia.  I spent a couple of weeks living in the Serekunda area some 11 km's west of Banjul, the capital of The Gambia.  This set of black and white photographs were taken outside a traditional Gambian home.  Click through the slideshow below for some black and white portraits I took of the local Gambian children there:

All of the above photos were taken with a Canon 5D2 and a 50mm 1.4 prime lens.  Some of the images were taken candidly whilst others were obviously posed.  I converted the images to black and white using Lightroom as I preferred the overall mood of the resulting series.  

The Gambia, officially the Republic of The Gambia, is a country in West Africa that is completely surrounded by Senegal except for it's coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.  Despite a third of Gambians living under the poverty line, the people there are extremely friendly and welcoming.  In fact The Gambia is often referred to as the 'Smiling Coast of West Africa'.  I hope to return soon to explore more of the country and take more photos.

More of my travel photography from West Africa can be found on my website, my Facebook 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.  

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.  

Two young girls paddle a canoe in the flooded village of Belen in Iquitos, Peru.   

Two young girls paddle a canoe in the flooded village of Belen in Iquitos, Peru.

 

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. 

More of my travel photography from Peru can be found on my website, my Facebook, my Twitter 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.