nature

Marina Beach and Birds at Sunrise in Chennai

Chennai, on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India, is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Marina beach is a huge natural beach in Chennai, at around six kilometres in length it is the longest natural beach in India. It is also one of the most crowded beaches in the country with up to 20,000 visitors daily during the summer months. It is not only people who flock to the beach each day, every morning at sunrise thousands of birds can be also been seen at Marina Beach. Click through the slideshow below to view the birds at Marina beach, the volunteers who feed them and the people who visit early enough to see this fascinating sight:

I stayed in Chennai for a few days on my travels around India this year. I liked the city and found it a great place for photography especially the beach area which is always full of life. I discovered the feeding of the birds one morning whilst I was at the beach ready to take some photos of the sunrise. There are volunteers daily at the beach as part of the Marina Beach Pigeon Feeding Centre. They have a designated area and feed the birds daily on a designated section of the beach. The volunteers control the area and make sure nobody gets to close to disturb the feeding birds. Along with pigeons there are also a large number of crows.

If you want to view this spectacle it is best to arrive at the beach early in the morning before sunrise. The beach is already starting to get busy at this time of day with a yoga class taken place by the Ghandi statue and several people running or walking along the promenade. Further along the beach during the summer months is a small funfair which is a great place to take documentary and street photography.

I spent six months traveling around India from South to North via Bangladesh before a brief visit to Nepal and finally Sri Lanka. I have literally thousands of photos from the trip which now need editing and I plan to write some more blog posts in the coming weeks. More of my travel photography from my India travels can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook and my Flickr account. If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or collaborating in any way please email: 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.  

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.