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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.  

Day of the Dead at the Cementerio Nueva Esperanza in Lima

In 2015 I spent a fascinating day experiencing the Day of the Dead at Cementerio Nueva Esperanza in Lima, Peru.  This huge sprawling cemetery is the second largest in the World and on the 1st of November thousands of Peruvians visit to pay respect to their departed.  Very much a family affair, the Day of the Dead is a celebration of happiness and remembrance of the deceased as opposed to one of sadness.  A day where musicians play music to the dead, traditional Peruvian Dancers (Danza de las tijeras) perform, couples share beer by the graves and children embrace and play.  Click through the slideshow below to view the Día de Muertos images taken in Cementerio Nueva Esperanza in Lima, Peru:

Day of the Dead, also known as All Souls Day is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and other parts of Latin America on October 31st, November 1st, and November 2nd.  In Spanish, the Day of the Dead is called Día de Muertos, or Día de los Muertos.  Click through the carousel below for more images from the day of the dead in Lima:

A photo blog of the Mexican day of the dead can be found here.  More of my travel photos can be found on my website, my Facebook 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: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Silhouette Photography by Geraint Rowland

I have always enjoyed taking and viewing silhouette photographs.  I think that the simplicity of silhouette images adds to their overall beauty.  And I believe the lack of detail in silhouette photography often makes the imagery more interesting by adding an element of intrigue.  I particularly like silhouette photography when there is an interesting background such as a colourful sky, dramatic cloud formation or a strong sunset.

Silhouette photography by Geraint Rowland, two surfers at sunset in Peru

Silhouette photography by Geraint Rowland, two surfers at sunset in Peru

How to take silhouette photos

As with everything in photography, when taking silhouette photos, the most important thing is the lighting.  In basic terms, you want the background to be lighter than your foreground subject.  The best way therefore is to take the image at either sunrise or sunset.  At this time of the day you may also have the added bonus of colour in the sky.  The best silhouette photographs are often taken when the sun is low, for example during a dramatic sunset.  However, equally as impressive silhouette images can be taken against a blue sky.  Alternatively silhouette photos can be taken against the bright shine of a fjord in Oslo, the expanse of the ocean, or a snowcapped mountain.  Finally silhouette images can be created against the backdrop of artificial lighting such as at Lima’s Circuito Mágico del Agua, the World's largest water fountain complex.  Click through the slideshow below for more examples of silhouette photography I have taken on my travels:

Silhouettes are a great way of adding mystery and drama to an image, drawing the viewer in and letting them use their imagination.  They can transform a simple scene into one full of emotion lifting an otherwise throwaway photo into a standout shot.  There is a wealth of useful information online regarding silhouette photography and the techniques involved.  Without getting too technical here are some tips for shooting powerful silhouettes:

1.  It's all about the light: As with all photography the importance of correct lighting can not be emphasised enough.  For silhouette photography your subject (the silhouette) should be in front of the light source (sun/sky/artificial light).  You then need your camera to set the exposure on the brightest part of the image as opposed to on the subject.  This will result in your subject being under exposed and becoming a silhouette.

2.  Keep it simple: Look for locations that have a large amount of open space and are uncluttered.  The less distracting elements in the frame the better, and make use of negative space.  

3.  Don't use flash: You want as little light in front of your subject as possible, so do not use flash whilst taking silhouettes.  If shooting on automatic mode your flash may fire automatically due to the low light.  Instead switch the camera to either automatic, shutter, or aperture priority modes.

4.  Choose a strong subject: Choose subjects with a strong and recognisable shape and form for silhouette photos.  When photographing people up close, try to catch them side on so you can capture the detail in the profile.  Somethings work better than others, experiment and have fun.

More examples of my silhouette photography can be found on my Facebook or on my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any of my silhouette images or would like further information please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Abstract Ocean Art Photography by Geraint Rowland

I am a big fan of this kind of abstract artwork, both in paintings and photography itself.  I think I first saw the technique being used by Surf photographer Morgan Maasen.  So, how do you make abstract style photographs?  Producing these abstract photographs is fairly easy, you simply take a photo of the ocean with a long exposure (up to a second or more depending on the light) whilst moving the camera from left to right (or right to left depending on you preference).  It's often a good way to create interesting and often beautiful shots at an often bland location.  In addition it is a technique which doesn't require a tripod, which I often can not be bothered to carry about with me.  Meaning you can still have fun, and produce some nice images whist others are carrying out long exposures with a tripod.  The end result being a painterly type of image often more similar to a painting, or piece of art than that of a photograph.  

An abstract water photo at sunset by Geraint Rowland Photography.

An abstract water photo at sunset by Geraint Rowland Photography.

The same technique can be used for trees, for example in a forest or jungle.  The trick is to move the camera in the same direction as the main lines within the frame.  For example, with the Ocean or Sea you go from left to right, following the horizon and the swell lines.  In a forest or woodland you would move the camera vertically from bottom to top, or top to bottom.  Click through the slideshow below for more examples of abstract ocean photography.  These photos were taken in Peru, England, Spain and West Africa.

I was involved in an 'Emerging Artists Exhibition' in Lima in 2013 in which I exhibited and sold several large abstract ocean art pieces which were printed on to canvas.  They were 1 metre by 1 metre in size and looked excellent hung on the wall.  More examples of my abstract ocean and surf art can be found here on my website.  

My abstract photography can now be bought on Etsy via LindaWisdomPhotoCo. The Red Lima sunset above for example can be purchased here.  More of my abstract 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.