Tag Archives: Travel Photography

Indian Travel Photography

Indian Dancer, Udaipur

Indian Dancer, Udaipur

My wife Charlotte and I recently spent seven weeks touring Northern India. As independent travellers we followed a rather circuitous route through Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim.

I’d been to Nepal before so expected a fair degree of familiarity but I wasn’t prepared for what met us leaving Mumbai airport. Heat, hassle, noise, poverty and dirt. After the relative comfort of the plane and the airport, we found ourselves heading uncontrollably, or so it felt, into a sea of what looked like absolute chaos. It was human life in its entirety. Rich people, poor people, the infirm and feral animals all sharing the same space at the same time. To our eyes, the extremes were quite simply overwhelming.

I looked at Charlotte, as we travelled into the city, wondering why she hadn’t spoken for a while and saw she was in shock. She was staring open mouthed as she watched incredulously as our driver maneuvered around obstacles, vehicles and people. Organised chaos understates what it looked like and the cacophony of noise was overwhelming. Tuk tuks, cars honking and people shouting, beggars walking up to our vehicle, putting their heads inside, and asking for money; I think it was the first time we had ever arrived in a place and experienced instantaneous culture shock.

Acclimatising is always difficult but it happens. Within twenty-four hours we were navigating the city, eating street food and booking train tickets. Our big trip had started and we had once again left the trappings of home behind and become independent travellers. I can’t say it had become easy because it hadn’t but the big adventure had started and we were ready for our trip of a lifetime.

Photographs will be exhibited at the Millgate Arts Centre, Delph during the performance of ‘The Cracked Pot’ from 30th Jan to 6th Feb.

I hope the exhibition gives an insight into the wonderful culture and richness of life that makes India so special.

Photographs from the exhibition can be viewed at: http://www.stuartcolemanphotography.co.uk/documentary-photography-stuart-coleman/india-travel-photography/

Displayed along with the Indian photographs are photographs taken by Bob and Helen Conway whilst travelling through Burma and the arctic north.

Posted in Stuart Coleman, Travel Photography Also tagged , |

Variety….the spice of life

I’ve finally accepted that I suffer from a serious addiction to variety. It’s been leading me into adventure and trouble all my life. Those around me are often dismayed, surprised and troubled by my actions but, for all that, life is and has been full, fast and complete.

Since the start of the year I have; had my work accepted at the Royal Academy, been commissioned to photograph people, actors, bands, dogs, landscapes, wildlife, riots, weddings, celebrities, cars and politicians. So when somebody says, ’What do you specialise in?’ I can only answer photography.

It’s a passion that drives me forward with purpose. Earlier this week I got a phone call from a local journalist asking me if I wanted to cover his interview with the head of Alcatel-Lucent in Westminster. It didn’t need much thinking about especially when he informed me it was all expenses paid. Not knowing what tomorrow holds makes life unpredictable and exciting.

So, is an addiction to variety something I’m worried about? No not really…..life is too short, I’m going to continue to a enjoy it all.

Posted in Blog Notes, Documentary Photography, Photography, Stuart Coleman, Travel Photography Also tagged |

If you go down to the woods…….

We have been looking to organise a camping trip to Northern Canada for many years but have never managed it, so when Charlotte said she wanted to do something really special and different it was the obvious choice.  Planning a trip these days with modern airline restrictions is always fraught with problems especially when trying to squeeze camping gear and camera equipment into their luggage allowance but with a little creative packing and ingenuity anything is possible.

With all our luggage in one piece and safely stored in the back of our hire car we left Calgary and started our journey north. The plan was to follow the Trans Canadian Highway from Banff to Whitehorse then continue on to Dawson City and the Yukon, camping enroute. To see photos from the trip click here.

In a country as vast as Canada its reasonable to expect that wildlife will avoid coming close to people so if we wanted to see anything we knew we would have to leave the car and head off into the woods. How wrong can you be! We were leaving Lake Louise, looking forward to the delights of the Icefield Parkway, when, to our utter astonishment, we found ourselves side by side with a large light brown grizzly bear, happily munching  shoots on the grassy verge. A few cars had stopped and even in this land of the bears, they were surprised by the sight. We were in a state of complete amazement and excitement. This was the first bear in the wild that Charlotte had ever seen and the realisation that there was nothing more than flowers between the bear and us was mind blowing. This fully grown female was just nonchalantly ambling along, stopping only when there was something good to eat. She seemed indifferent to the small audience she had attracted, only looking up when three motor cyclists roared past obviously disturbed by the noise – I know how she felt.

We followed slowly like a pair of kerb crawlers, watching its every move with camera clicking through the  car window. Someone had phoned the ranger and we could see a white truck blue lights approaching on the opposite side of the highway. On reaching our location the truck suddenly shot across the central reservation, performing a perfect u-turn. A large highway sign above our heads lit up with the words ” Bears in the area”. The ranger (Smith), with dark glasses, leapt out of his truck and armed with a set of wire cutters prepared to cut the fence. He was hoping to give the bear an escape route, however the grizzly had other plans. On seeing him she suddenly turned towards the immense wire barrier and forced her huge frame underneath it and quickly disappeared into the dense forest. She knew it was time to go. The ranger was relieved when we told him what had happened, a not unreasonable reaction considering he was just about to meet it head on.

Throughout our trip we had many encounters like this. The snow on the mountains has been late melting this spring forcing the bears down into the valleys. They love the lush grass at the side of the highways so are willing to expose themselves to the dangers of passing traffic to get their fill. During our trip to Dawson City Charlotte counted 38  bears, from tiny cinnamon coloured cubs to huge lone males, mostly they would be grazing, but we also observed them swimming, stalking and climbing. To see a beautiful creature living in its wild state is a wonderful and unforgettable experience. The sheer incongruity of the bear on the highway, like a jewel in the mud, will stay with me for ever. A reminder that we share our planet with species who need space just as we do. It is a joy to see them outside the confines of captivity and thriving in an environment shared with people.

Would I recommend exploring Canada with a two man tent? Absolutely, I can’t wait to go back.

Posted in Blog Notes, Documentary Photography, Photography, Stuart Coleman, Travel Photography Also tagged , |