senegal

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

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.

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.

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.  

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.