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Natural Light Portraits in Senegal

Some natural light portraits I took of a friend in Dakar, Senegal. The portraits were all taken with a Canon 5D2 and a 50mm 1.4 lens in and around Dakar. The model, Fatima is a photographer and model from Dakar, she is available for photos shoots and collaborations. Click through the slideshow for some of the natural light portraits of Fatima taken in Dakar:

All of the portraits of Fatima were taken in Dakar, either on the Northern coast of the peninsula or on the island of Ngor. The colourful braids seemed to be the fashion trend in West Africa at the time of my visit with Fatima’s pink ones only available from Ghana.

I have written several other photography blogs about my trip to Senegal including:

More of my travel photography from Senegal can be found on my website, my Instagram, and my Flickr account.  Fatima, the Senegalese model in the portrait images can be found via her instagram at @fatou.gueye.bello. 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

Photojournal - Streets of Havana (Photo Essay for the Sixth Issue of Dezine Magazine)

I recently spent a week photographing the streets of Havana, the Capital of Cuba.  It is an amazing city for photography: full of colourful vintage cars, beautiful people who are full of character, and interesting ramshackle architecture.  This blog was published as a photojournal for the online magazine Dezine.  Click through the slideshow below to view my Cuban travel images from the capital:

Cuba is a country located in the Caribbean, south of the US state of Florida, west of Haiti and north of Jamaica.  Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and has over 11 million inhabitants.  Havana is the capital city and leading commercial centre of Cuba.  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.  Havana is full of colourful old classic cars.  Here one causes a splash after a rainfall in front of an Orthodox Russian Church along the seafront.  

2.  The city of Havana attracts over a million tourists annually, subsequently the entrepreneurial locals have figured out ways to cash in such as posing for photographs with the local cigars.

3.  The streets of Havana are full of energy and life.  Here a taxi driver stops to buy some fresh fruit, while a man on his bicycle sells freshly cut flowers.

4.  You hear music everywhere in Havana, here some street musicians play the classic Cuban song, 'Guantanamera'.

5.  Along with classic cars you will find many other forms of transport in Havana including the Horse & Cart which is used an an alternative form of taxi for the locals.

6.  Evidence of Cuban's communist past still exist throughout Havana.  Here a local poses as Che Guevara for the benefit of the tourists.  

7.  Havana is full of beautiful, colourful, old colonial buildings, many of which have fallen into ruin including these along the seafront.

I have written two previous photography blog posts from my trip to Cuba, the first being, 'Street Portraits in Havana, Cuba', and the second, 'Cuba and Cigars'.  More of my travel photography from Havana can be found on my website, my Facebook and my Flickr account.  This photo journal, 'Streets of Havana' can be viewed in full here in the sixth issue of Dezine magazine.  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

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.

Down by the Sea, Senegal

I recently spent a couple of months in Senegal, a country in West Africa.  I spent the majority of that time in the capital Dakar, mainly at the beach town of Yoff.  The town is built along the broad beach at Yoff Bay which faces the Atlantic Ocean, directly north of the city centre of Dakar.  In West Africa the beach is much more than a place to relax and soak up the sun.  Click through the slideshow below for some of my travel photos taken at Yoff Beach in Dakar:

The beach at Yoff is used as a means of transportation with Horse & Cart transporting people and produce along the beach.  In the afternoons the beach becomes a huge gym with hundreds of Sengalese coming to exercise in groups or alone.  Several football games take place along the stretch of sand and men practice the Sengalese form of wrestling by the shore.  Yoff is also a place to pray with one of the biggest Mosques in Dakar situated overlooking the beach.  

The most important function of the beach however is access to the ocean for it's fish.  At the far end of the beach lies the fishing centre where many colourful fishing boats line the sand.  On the shore women wash and prepare the fish, old fridges lie around storing the catch of the day and locals visit to make a purchase.  Everyone here seems to be involved in some way with fishing, be it transporting, cleaning, cooking, catching or selling the daily catch.  A very lively and colourful place it was great for photography.  The beach also has regular and consistent surf, another good reason to visit and spend a few days there...

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.

Photographing the Coastline of Great Britain

In the summer of 2015 a small group of cyclists set off from Anglesey in North Wales for a 64 day journey, circumnavigating the coastline of Great Britain.  At the start of July the cyclists began their epic journey cycling the entire coastline of Wales, Scotland and England before finally arriving back at their starting point seven weeks later.  I was employed as photographer & social media manager, and in addition to capturing daily images of the riders I also documented the coastline and countryside as we travelled around.  Over the course of the 6,700 kilometre journey I took over 20,000 photographs.  Click through the first slideshow below for a look at some of the sights we saw along the way:

In addition to the cycling element the Countrywide Great Tour was also a celebration of the beautiful and varied coastline of England, Scotland and Wales.  With the cyclists always riding in sight, sound and smell of the sea we got to witness the beauty of Great Britain during the summertime.  

I wrote a previous blog on the Countrywide Great Tour of 2015 with a selection of cycling photos which can be viewed here.  In addition I posted a photo everyday to my Flickr account, which can be viewed here: CGT2015 Flickr Album.  Here are some more images from our trip around the coastline of Great Britain, click through the second slideshow below:    

The Countrywide Great Tour was an amazing experience and I recommend anyone to get involved in 2018 when the Great Tour is returning.  More of my images from the Countrywide Great Tour can be viewed 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.  

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.  

Black and White Photography at Belen Village, Iquitos Peru

These photos were taken in the village of Belen in Iquitos, Peru.  Some of the photos formed part of an earlier blog and photo essay for Dezine Magazine.  Belen Village is part of Iquitos, the largest metropolis in the Peruvian amazon.  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.  Click through the slideshow below for a selection of the Belen Village photos:

Belen Village in Iquitos is full of amazing photo opportunities: The local people use the river to work, travel and play.  Children sit overlooking the river selling food and produce to passing boats, Men offer taxi boat services or fish, and Women 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.  

More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, and my Facebook page.  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.

Monkey Love, Bijilo Forest Park, The Gambia

I recently spent two months in West Africa visiting Senegal.  I have a Senegal album on my Flickr account with photos from Dakar, Lompoul, and Ziguinchor.  Whilst visiting the Casamance area in the south of the country I decided to take a trip to The Gambia.  The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa and is completely surrounded by Senegal except for its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.  It is home to the Bijilo Forest Park (aka Monkey Forest).  Click through the slideshow below for some images I took of the monkeys there:

The Bijilo Forest Park, or Monkey Forest is situated next to the coast in the Serekunda area some 11 km's west of Banjul, the capital of The Gambia.  There are various trails through the park that take you through the forest and coastal scrubland.  Many local people told me that there are no longer any monkeys left in the park but there were plenty on the day I visited.  I think the diversity of the monkey population has diminished over recent years with the Western Red Colobus monkey being pushed out of the area.  This has been blamed upon deforestation of the area as well as the practices of the park itself:  By encouraging tourists to buy nuts and feed the green monkeys, their numbers have risen massively pushing out the red monkeys.  I didn't see any red monkeys in the park whilst I was there but did see some along the main road in the mornings.  The green monkeys however are in an abundance (click through the carousel below for more monkey love):

Some major construction was taking place close to the entrance of the park when I visited with more of the park area being cleared for commercial development.  Hopefully enough forest survives for the existing monkeys but their future looks fragile. 

More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram and my Facebook page.  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.  

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!”

Black and White Photography by Geraint Rowland.

Black and White Photography by Geraint Rowland.

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.

More of my black and white photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, 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.