A Travellerspoint blog

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The colour red

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I thought it might be fun to theme one of these entries around not a subject matter but a colour. Red is a wonderful colour to use in photography – it pops off the page or screen, adding not only vibrancy but also a sense of perspective.

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Emir Hussein Mausoleum, Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand

Look at the way the tourist in the red dress and hat leaps out at you in this photo taken at the Shah-i-Zinda in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. This photo is of course predominately blue as are all the mausoleums there, rich with complex mosaics – this one is the Emir Hussein Mausoleum, but all are similarly rich in their decoration.

The remaining photos here though will be dominated by the colour red. Let us see where that theme takes us …

Japan

This is the country that I associate most strongly with red. I have already included lots of photos in my Japan blog so I’ll only add a handful here.

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Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto, and gate at Senso-Ji, Asakusa

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Sanjūsangen-dō Temple - Kyoto

Plant life

Red flowers, red leaves, red berries – all great subjects for photos that ‘sing’. These berries were photographed in December at Druridge Bay on England’s north east coast:

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Winter berries at Druridge Pools

And here is the vivid red of a ginger flower at Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica:

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Ginger lily, Dunn's River Falls, Ocho Rios

And of course we can’t forget poppies, one of my favourite flowers. Italy is a great place to find them, as in this display outside the ancient town walls of Bevagna in Umbria:

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By the town walls, Bevagna

Or these by a roadside in Marche:

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Marche poppies in May

This poppy however was growing in the grounds of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz, Germany:

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Ehrenbreitstein garden poppy

And this one in a cottage garden in Adlestrop in the English Cotswolds:

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Poppy in an Adlestrop garden, Gloucestershire

[Have you worked out by now that I especially love poppies?!]

But here’s a dahlia for a change, photographed in Pashley Manor Gardens in Sussex, England:

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Dahlia, Pashley Manor

Back in Italy, look at how this red geranium glows against the grey stone steps of Corinaldo in Marche:

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La Piaggia - Corinaldo

And a cyclamen on a windowsill in the old town of Monopoli:

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In the Centro_Storico, Monopoli

Bougainvillea is most often seen with bright purple or deep pink flowers, but there are red varieties too. I came across this one in Faro, Portugal:

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Bougainvillea in Faro

And this at Ngala Lodge in Gambia:

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In the grounds of Ngala Lodge, Fajara

Where I also photographed another of my favourite flowers, a beautiful red hibiscus:

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In the grounds of Ngala Lodge, Fajara

When it comes to edible plant-life, red is often the colour of heat, as in these chillies drying in Albuquerque, New Mexico:

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Chillies for sale, Albuquerque

And in Sorrento, Italy:

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Outside the Fattoria Terranova, Sorrento

Or chilli powder in a Jaipur market:

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In the spice market, Jaipur

Around and about

I found this vibrant red bench in Rapperswil on Lake Zurich:

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Bench near the castle, Rapperswil

And here is a brightly painted Parisian door:

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Door details, Paris

A red Harley in Deming, New Mexico:

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Harley Davidson, New Mexico

And also in New Mexico, these classic red cars in the Route 66 museum in Santa Rosa:

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In the Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa, NM

And one from Havana, Cuba:

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On the streets of Havana

A bright red chair for sale in an antique shop in Rye, on England’s south coast:

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Shop in Rye, Sussex

And a cheerful red fishing boat in nearby Hastings:

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On Hastings beach

Closer to home, an old fire station just around the corner from my house in Ealing, West London:

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Old Fire Station in South Ealing

Red to wear

What about some colourful red clothing? Such as a scarf wound round the head of a villager in Gambia:

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In Albreda, Gambia

And a beautiful dress worn by a visitor to the Qutb Minar in Delhi:

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Tourist at the Qutb Minar in Delhi

The red turbans of some elderly residents of Narlai in Rajasthan:

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Local men in Narlai

And the dress of a Morris dancer at Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire (northern England):

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400 Roses dancer - costume detail

And finally

The centenary of the outbreak of World War One was marked at the Tower of London with an amazing art installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. A tide of 888,246 ceramic poppies filled the Tower's famous moat between 17 July and 11 November 2014. Each poppy represented a British military life lost during the war. The individual poppies were later sold, raising millions of pounds which were shared equally amongst six service charities. I was fortunate to see them in place at the Tower – a powerful statement about the loss of lives, especially young lives, during that war.

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Posted by ToonSarah 05:37 Tagged london boat flowers england japan temple india colour cars italy garden red jamaica usa poppy delhi photography costume gambia narlai Comments (13)

Faces of the world

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In my last entry, Markets, I mentioned how much I enjoy taking photos of local people on my travels. Of course, people’s willingness to be photographed varies enormously from place to place – they certainly don’t always share my pleasure, I have to confess. I also have to confess to shooting candid photos on many occasions – not only because I realise that my chosen subject may be unwilling to pose but also (and primarily) because I prefer the natural look of an unposed portrait. That said, if anyone sees my camera and asks me to put it away or not take their photo, I always do so.

Africa

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Musician in Essaouira

My experience of photographing people in the various African countries we have visited is quite variable. In Morocco I found most locals very wary of my camera – even to the point that on a recent visit I was challenged to show two men the photo they claimed I had just taken of them, when I had not actually done so. It was only when I showed them every image, right back to those of our flight the previous day, that they believed me. You can imagine that I was very careful not to alert anyone there when taking pictures, and to restrict myself to long range shots. Some of these may find their way into later entries, but this one is focused (literally) on faces.

But in sub-Saharan Africa, on trips to Senegal and the Gambia, I found people much less interested in me and my camera, and portraits were relatively easy to capture.

Gambia

I have already shared some images from the huge street market of Serekunda in my earlier entry on Markets, so here are just a few of the portrait shots I captured there:

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In Serekunda Market

Our tour to the small villages of villages of Albreda and Juffureh offered much better opportunities to take photos of local people. I described that tour as follows on my Virtual Tourist page about the Gambia:

If you have read Alex Haley's book, Roots, have seen the TV series or are simply interested in the history of slavery in The Gambia and West Africa, this tour provides an interesting insight into the places and people behind his story and that of thousands of others. You board a boat in Banjul for the two hour journey on the River Gambia to the villages of Albreda and Juffureh. In the former you visit a museum dedicated to the slave trade and see various monuments to that time, as well as getting the opportunity to observe village life (albeit somewhat distorted by the locals' understandable desire to entertain and thus make money out of the many tourist groups). In Juffureh you meet the village chief (when we visited, February 2014, the role was taken, unusually, by a woman) and also members of Kunta Kinteh's family. The latter was the ancestor of Alex Haley to whom he traced his roots, and this village was his home.

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Kinteh family member, and village chief, Juffureh

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Villager, Albreda

Senegal

To visit the southern part of Senegal, as we did, you need to start in Banjul, Gambia, and catch the ferry across the river – a perfect people-watching and people-photographing opportunity:

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Once in Senegal, we took every opportunity to get out and about from our hotel bases, and met local people wherever we went:

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Local woman in Djifere

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At the market in Ngueniene

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At the market in Ngueniene

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Locals after mass in Mar Lodj, and animal trader in Ngueniene

India

There is no difficulty in India in taking photos of the people. While a few may wave away your camera, most are tolerant of it and many not only willing but eager to pose. As I have said, I prefer a natural look to my photos, so while I will take the posed shots, and show or share them if asked, I usually take a few extra when my subject is less aware that I am doing so.

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Security guard, Khimsar Fort hotel

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In Khimsar

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Locals in Udaipur

On both our recent visits to the country we have spent quite a lot of time driving (or rather, being driven) from town to town, and with all the activity to be seen on and beside the road there are plenty of opportunities to grab some candid shots. I already shared this photo in my Road to Jaipur blog, but it's one of my favourites and I can't resist also including it here:

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Camel herder on the road to Jaipur

Japan

This was another place where I found it very easy to get some good portrait shots, with many people willing to pose or to ignore my camera:

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Wedding at the Meiji Shrine, Tokyo

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Rickshaw driver, Takayama

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Market stall-holder, Takayama

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Two different faces of modern Japan - Buddhist nun and bullet train guard

Latin America

On occasion it is worth ‘paying’ for a shot. The lady below, in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, was happy to pose in return for our purchase of one of the little bead key-rings she was selling, while the guy in Jamaica was equally happy to be in my shot once I had bought a cold drink from his shack:

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Others there though were perhaps just too spaced-out to notice my camera at all!

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Guy selling grass at Bob Marley's birthplace

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At the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston

A few more of my favourites from that part of the world, taken on our recent trip to Chile, and a couple of years ago in Ecuador:

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Kebab seller, Machuca, Chile

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Souvenir seller, Rapa Nui

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In the Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Chile

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Local in Otavalo market

Europe

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Musician, Tallinn

Special events often provide an opportunity for candid photography, such as the Old Town Days celebrations in Tallinn which I saw while at a Virtual Tourist meeting there in 2014, and the same city’s Medieval Days a year later on a return visit:

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Musician and stall-holder, Tallinn Old Town Days

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Stall-holder, Medieval Days fair, Tallinn

Closer to home

Here’s a selection from much closer to home, in London:

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Performers at a carnival at City Hall, London

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Portobello Road Market

And finally, let us remember that portraits don’t always have to include the face to tell you something about the person portrayed, so here are three photos taken from behind the subject:

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In Rajasthan

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Football fan in Lisbon

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Geisha, Kyoto

Posted by ToonSarah 05:42 Tagged people parties london japan india chile guatemala jamaica photography tallinn ecuador rapa_nui street_photography Comments (8)

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