Camp Tamok, 75 minutes from Tromso, northern Norway, December 2011. This is Roar Nyheim, a Semi reindeer herder who brought a bunch of us around for about an hour on sleighs. Nyheim said it took up to a decade to train the reindeers. They had a variety of personalities that were more fascinating than the ride itself, especially the reindeer behind my friend, who was always looking for an opportunity to headbutt her with his rather large antlers (!).
Hargeisa, Somaliland, October 2012. I came across this dapper elderly gentleman who was enjoying tea with his mates beside the MiG fighter jet monument in the capital city. It took some persuading to get him to let me take his photo, and I had to enlist the help of his friends. But I was just keen to capture what I thought was a lovely, expressive face and personality.
Konso, southern Ethiopia, October 2012. This is probably my favourite photo of the trip. We were driving near Konso when a rainbow sparkled into sight after a light shower. I haven’t altered this photo at all, or cropped it in any way. This is exactly how it looked. It was such a bonus to also capture this young woman walking past in her lively coloured skirt.
Near Lalibela, northern Ethiopia, October 2012. I have to say I was totally over the moon when we passed by a sunflower field on the way to visit a cave church just outside the mountain village of Lalibela. After a few attempts, I managed to capture a shot of this wee bee feeding on the sunflower. I particularly like the little yellow pollen stuck on its body.
Omo Valley, southern Ethiopia, October 2012.
Berbera, Somaliland, October 2012. Somaliland broke away from Somalia about 22 years ago after the collapse of the Barre regime in the early 1990s. It’s still recognised internationally as being part of Somalia, but it’s been run by a separate administration for more than two decades. It doesn’t see a lot of travellers, so we were the centre of attention wherever we went. Here, a woman who bought some fish pretended to use one as a telephone.
I recently returned from Ethiopia and Somaliland, and hope to post some photos from there over the next few months. This photo was taken in South Omo in southern Ethiopia, where the bull jumping ceremonies by the Hamer tribe have become a bit of a tourist destination.
Rangoon, Burma, February 2011. I took this photo at a temple complex in Rangoon. There were so many temples and so much gold - very overwhelming. Visitors bought like blobs of gold and rubbed them on the idols as they made a wish. I thought this photo captured a slightly different scene - that of a warrior (I think) pointing his blade towards the top of the temple spire.
Tromso, Norway, December 2011. Dock houses along Tromso’s small wharf at night, or should I say early morning? My friend and had travelled to Tromso, on Norway’s northern coast to see the northern lights. It was a balmy -1 degree Celsius when we were there. We were heading to Stockholm on an early morning flight, via Oslo, to spend New Year’s Eve there and so I popped out of the hotel room about 4am and snapped a few shots. I loved the reflection of the orange lights on the harbour.
Rangoon, Burma, February 2011. Posters in Rangoon - local pop star, Manchester United, Jesus … and Justin Bieber?!?! One thing that probably surprised me, but shouldn’t have, was the love of all things football (soccer), especially English football. I guess that’s not unexpected given that Burma was formerly a British colony. Every guy I chatted to loved the game. Most supported Manchester United and a handful were fans of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City. One of my best nights was in Bagan, where I sat with about 200 men in a small teahouse, sipping tea anxiously as we watch the live telecast of the local derby between Man United and Man City. Good times.
Rangoon, Burma, February 2011. Old windows on a backstreet in Rangoon. One of the things I really enjoyed doing in Rangoon - in spite of the heat, which was making me look like an overcooked octopus - was wandering its streets and taking in the local architecture. While the military/government-built structures were often tall, imposing and blockish, the little shophouses dotting the lanes had a rundown yet lovely, organic feel to them. I was intrigued by the windows. Who lived behind them? What lives did they have? How long had they been living there?