It’s rare for me to write a blog post just for the sake of it. Usually each post takes weeks of meticulous planning, editing, searching through my archives for the right images or heading out on the road to take just the right photograph.
However this month, five years after I built my first website, which has since gone through three complete rebuilds, and four domain names; I finally have achieved my initial vision of showcasing my incredible travel photos whilst offering various prints of each image, straight from my website.
But this isn’t just a sales pitch because I fucking hate those and can smell them a mile off. This is me, sharing my world, because there’s a story behind every single photo, which together, tells the story of my life; from the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, and the things that inspire me.
It may not sound like much, but after losing every photo, souvenir and unsent postcard from every trip I’d taken, up until 2013–when my family’s house burnt down; and the hours I’ve since spent building each website, I’m ecstatic to have achieved a vision from years ago, and damn it, I’m going to shout it to the world.
From now on, every photo, in every blog post will have a ‘buy print | Buy card’ link above it. Click on it and a little window will pop up, showcasing available options, including:
- Print sizes
- Canvas art
- Metal prints
- Wall stickers
- Cards and postcards
- Send free e-cards of any image
These are processed by a company called Fotomoto, but I get a chunk of any sales, which means I can continue writing blog posts, creating podcasts, producing more incredible photos, and most importantly making the world a better place through the arts, all thanks to you. So thank you.
Here’s some examples of what you’ll find in my online store:This image was taken in Lombok, Indonesia. I was really annoyed because outside was hot and humid, and my camera had been sitting in freezing air-conditioning for a few hours and the lens kept fogging up; which is one of my pet peeves when travelling in tropical destinations. However the sunset was too incredible not to capture, so with fogged up lens I took a couple of photos anyway. The result ended up perfect because the condensation on the lens blocked out enough of the rays to give it a stunning ethereal glow. This is one of my favourite photos because it reminds me of some ancient lost world. Occasionally the Blue Mountains gets covered in fog, but this wasn’t winter, it was summer, which was even rarer, so it was actually really humid. Normally you can see across the valley (check out the photo – Cabin in the mist) but on this day, there was only the trees. This image works well as a square image of just the fern trees in the centre, and I actually have a copy of this in my bedroom. I took this in Ningbo, China in 2016 and was constantly on the lookout to replicate a photo I took in 2007 in Shanghai of a bunch of apartments. Every apartment window is someone’s world-each with a story to tell. It’s like a series of novels or movies, waiting to be told. There has to be love, sadness, birthdays, death, struggles, and joys, because every apartment has a human element. Maybe that’s just my train of thought. I particularly like the reflection off a puddle, and the cross-lines by the road. This photo was taken in Cape Palliser, New Zealand. It’s my absolute favourite place in the world (I’ve written an entire blog post about it here.) I remember waiting hours till sunset to take photos, and then an hour beyond that for the colours to appear in the sky. I was driving back home, when I saw the silouhette of the Cabbage Trees and had a split second decision—Do I stop and take a photo, or keep going?
I chose to stop, and it was only when I looked through the camera that I noticed the possum, staring out, contemplating life. I took a couple of photos of just the tree, but there’s so many elements to this photo, that years later, I still love looking at it.
Earlier this year I re-visited Cape Palliser, and I recognised the pointed rock in the rear of the photo, but the trees are no longer there, making this photo even more magical and special. This photo was taken in Bohol, Philippines in 2015. It’s a unique land formation called the Chocolate Hills and whilst there’s plenty of photos of the Chocolate Hills, I love the impending storm, which adds an element of strangeness. If you haven’t seen or heard of this place, it could be another planet. I hired a scooter from my hotel, and rode through tiny seaside villages, along bumpy pot-holed roads, dodging chickens to get there. Like many attractions these days, there was dozens of tourists taking their selfies, but as I was taller than most, I stuck my arm up high, and took this photograph, before everyone ducked for cover from the rain. This photo, this is what drives me. This is what travel photography is to me. It was my last night in Bohol, in the Philippines and I hadn’t taken many photos of the beach, and none at sunset and I was exhausted from exploring all day, but I forced myself out. The colours weren’t so bright, and a German couple helpfully told me “Oh the colours yesterday were incredible.” But the water was still, and perfectly reflected the clouds which was pleasing. I took a couple of pics, but the photo felt empty, like it was missing something. I then noticed a bunch of kids tearing down the beach running straight for the water, and I had that moment of “oh my gosh, is this it?”
I tiptoed through the water, trying not to make any splashes or ripples, and nervously held my camera just above the water, whilst the camera-strap dangled into it. I tried to get a straight horizontal angle, which is hard when you’re standing knee-deep in water, you’re petrified about tripping, and even more worried about breaking the glassy top.
The kids ran into the water, one of them had a boat, but miraculously they all spread out and I had about half a second to snap that shot. A second later, they had splashed their way out of the water, the reflection was gone, and the colours drained away, leaving me staring in disbelief at my camera screen, at what I’d managed to capture. This photograph is essentially part of the Blue Mountians, but it’s a section few visit. It’s called the Capertee Valley and is not only the widest valley in the world, (wider than the Grand Canyon, but not quite as deep) it also has the highest concentration of bird life, in the Southern Hemisphere. I discovered it by accident, on a short road trip, with my (new to me) car and new camera. It’s the kind of lookout you could stare at for hours, watching the clouds drift in and out, and no doubt, would look different in alternate weather conditions. As a fan of clouds, I love the added depth they offer in this photo and because I stumbled upon this view, I felt like an explorer, like Percy Fawcett in his quest for the Lost City of Z.
These are merely a small sample of images you’ll find on my website. For more, head to my shop And if you love any of the images, please feel free to send a free e-card (click on ‘buy print’ to see the e-card option) to all of your family and friends to tell them you love them, and that they should buy you a print for Christmas or just because, or buy it yourself. Or don’t it’s up to you.
Oh and the story behind the Red Hibiscus flower? It was at a museum, Casa Manilla which is an old colonial Spanish house in Manilla, Philippines. I wasn’t intending on visiting it, but it was hot, and I’d spent three hours in traffic getting to the old part of town, and I didn’t fancy another trip back. You weren’t allowed to take photos inside the museum, but they had plenty of fans going, so it offered some respite from the heat. You were permitted to take photos in the garden, and to get this photo, I actually had to hang out the window, leaning over the courtyard, whilst the security guard was in the other room. A photo of a flower may not seem so important, but considering it was a seven hour flight to Manilla, followed by a four hour taxi ride in traffic to get to my hotel, then another three hours in traffic to get to Intromurros (old town), I consider it a remarkable flower.