Photography in and around Fort Kochi

Last year I set off on a six month journey around India. I didn't really have a plan aside exploring and taking lots of photos on my travels. After a couple of weeks settling into the Indian way of life in Bangalore (also known as Bengaluru) I decided to fly to Kochi. Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a coastal city in India’s southwest state of Kerala. I always prefer being near the coast and the area had been recommended to me by both tourists and Indians alike. As a bonus, India’s largest arts event was being held in the city whilst I would be there, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018.

I spent a few days on the mainland of Kochi in the Ernakulam area before moving to the coastal area of Fort Kochi. Whilst in Ernakulam I experienced one of the elephant festivals which are popular throughout the state of Kerala. The festivals contain a large number of decorated elephants, elephant handlers, music and dance. Scroll through the slideshow below to view photos from the Elephant Festival:

Fort Kochi is a fascinating area by the sea, rich in history and well known for its Portuguese, British and Dutch architecture. Another attraction of Fort Kochi are the large Chinese fishing nets positioned along the beach. The Nets look picture perfect on the right day but I didn’t see a good sunset in the four days that I was staying there. I did however manage to capture some minimalist style silhouette photos above Kochi beach one evening.

As part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale being held during my stay, there was an excellent photography workshop that I attended in the Jew Town area of Fort Kochi. The full day event was presented by Nick Ut And Mark Harris. This pair of world renowned photographers told us their incredible life stories and guided us with concepts, ideas and techniques to help guide our photographic goals. Both of the presenters were extremely helpful and motivational in their delivery. At the end of the event, inspired by the masters, I joined another photographer on the course to explore the area and take some photos. Sri Harsha Pamu (Instagram: shellzero) from Hyderabad but now living and working in California is a big fan of street photography and made the visit to Kochi purely for the workshop.

Fort Kochi is an excellent place for photography. It is a small area which can easily be explored on foot. We wandered around for a few hours following the coastline and explored the many streets and alleyways within the town. Due to the Biennale there was a lot of art work around which when combined with people can make for some interesting street photography. The area has some beautiful old buildings as well as an interesting mix of Churches, Temples, Mosques and a Synagogue. The small town is still a place of work for the people who live there so there is plenty of authentic photographic opportunities to capture. The people are also very friendly and open to having their picture taken. Click through the slideshow below to view some of my street photography and street portraits taken in Fort Kochi:

I enjoyed my time in Fort Kochi but it was time to move on so I took a taxi a couple of hours south to my next destination, Alappuzha (also known as Alleppey) in the south of Kerala. Alappuzha (or Alleppey) is a coastal city who’s area is best known for it’s rustic backwaters, a network of tranquil and picturesque lagoons and canals. More of my travel photography from India 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 at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Travels Around Morocco (Photo Essay for Dezine Magazine)

Morocco is one of my favourite places to visit and is excellent for photography.  It has a variety of landscapes from the rocky coastline, empty deserts, snow capped mountains, and bustling towns & cities.  The people are friendly, the food delicious and the travel is cheap.  For people in the UK I always think of Morocco as being the closest place that you can fly to that has the biggest cultural differences to home. This blog was published as a photojournal for the online magazine Dezine.  Click through the slideshow below to view my travel photographs taken around Morocco:

The first time arriving in Morroco can be a bit of a culture shock!  Marrakech for example is an ambush on the senses: street performers approach you with snakes and monkeys, dark twisting alleyways entice you until you get lost and a constant buzz seems to radiate throughout the city.  However, it is good fun, safe and always makes for interesting experiences.  A few years ago I returned to Morocco for a couple of weeks with a friend.  Starting in Marrakech we moved on to the Atlas Mountains for some solitude before heading to the coastline and visiting the cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Kenitra and Meknes. 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.  Golden hour at Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square and market place in Marrakesh's medina quarter.

2.  Berbers, are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa.  Three locals enjoying the view from their backyard in the Atlas Mountains.

3.  Locals play on the beach at Casablanca while the sun sets.

4.  The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II is on the coastline of Casablanca and is the largest mosque in Morocco.  

5.  A man enjoys nature and solitude in front of the Atlantic Ocean on the coastline close to the city of Rabat.

6.  A bodyboarder heads to the beach for a surf in Kenitra in the North of Morocco.

7.  A local enjoys the view of the coastline from the colourful cliffs of Rabat.

I have written several previous travel photo essays for Dezine which can be found on their website. More of my travel photography 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

Travel in Peru: Andahuaylas

Around four years ago I was employed as a photographer by MINCETUR, the tourist department of the Peruvian government. My role was to take tourist-friendly travel photos in various places around Peru. In addition to visiting the usual tourist destinations such as Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu I also spent a week taking images in and around Andahuaylas. Click through the slideshow below for some of the travel images I took whilst in Andahuaylas:

Andahuaylas (Quechua Antawayllaanta copper, waylla meadow, "copper meadow") is a Peruvian city. It is the capital of the Andahuaylas Province in the Apurímac Region. It is known as the pradera de los celajes (Spanish for "prairie of colored clouds").

I spent a week in Andhuayalas exploring the various nearby villages and spending a lot of time in the small city itself. I didn’t see any other tourists during my entire stay in Andahuaylas. The culture was fascinating allowing for some interesting street photography such as this lady leading her pig to the market on a Sunday. I also managed to get some cinematic style street photos whilst practising with an anamorphic lens. The nearby Lake Pachuca and the archaeological site of Sóndor are also definitely worth a visit.

A blog about my week in Machu Picchu from the same trip can be found here as well as a blog about anamorphic photography. More of my photographs from Peru can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook 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.  

Grande Mosquée de Yoff, Dakar, Senegal

This time last year I spent a couple of months in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. For much of that time I stayed in the beach town of Yoff. At the west end of the beach is the Grande Mosquée de Yoff, a beautiful large white mosque overlooking the ocean. Click through the slideshow below to view some of the photos I took around Grande Mosquée de Yoff:

The town of Yoff is built along the broad beach at Yoff Bay which faces the Atlantic Ocean, directly north of the centre of Dakar. Here is a previous photography blog I wrote about Yoff Beach and the people that live there. The large mosque is built right on the beach just metres from the ocean.

For much of the week the mosque seemed relatively quiet without much activity, almost ignored by the locals. However on a Sunday morning the mosque is full of locals who attend the weekly service and then often congregate on the beach afterwards. The beach is a fascinating place and great for photography, it is full of life and activity on a daily basis. During the time of the Tabaski Festival you will see children leading animals to the ocean for a wash. At the far end of the beach, past the mosque is the fishing village full of traditional, colourful wooden fishing boats. The surf at Yoff beach is also very consistent and is home to a couple of surfing schools and cheap friendly hostels. During the summer the beach also has some some of the best sunsets I witnessed in Senegal.

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.