|How can you ever forget this face - Visiting the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, |
still one of the most humbling experiences
What is your ""That One Photo!"? Why not tell me about your special photo in the comments?
Through our daily lives, especially now in the digital age and social media, we are constantly taking photos. It doesn't matter whether it's with the phone camera, a little point and shoot or the bigger SLR's...these photos inevitably end up in some album on our computers and/or online. But, through all the 100's and 1,000's of photos we take, there will only be a handful that will remain special because they are "That One Photo!" that just defines that whole time period, visit or trip.
Even though I've been travelling a very long time (15-16 years) and undoubtedly have had an incredible amount of different experiences, ranging from simply happy and mind-boggling to the adrenaline rush of fear in a war zone to just simply sad moments, there are still only a handful of photos that will always stand out between the other because they have become "That One Photo!" Here I've picked out a few that will in themselves represent a whole host of memories - hope you enjoy them.
Probably of the more epic trips I've done was the solo expedition from Zimbabwe to Mali in 2011 (See my book that chronicles this expedition - "10(k)m to Mali. This photo in Batibo, Cameroon has come to represent the rainy season for me in West Africa.
|Stuck along the road from Batibo in Cameroon to Nigeria|
The Congo River through central and west Africa has become the focus of many of my dreams of expeditions and explorations. Reaching this river in 2011 on my solo expedition to Mali, was a moment where I stared only, lost for words. Driving the truck onto this little ferry at Luozi in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), served to burn this day even more into my memory.
|Loading continues after I've driven the truck into the river and onto the ferry.|
Luozi in the DR Congo.
Further up into West Africa, many 'stories' from travel tales and books become reality as you visit a variety of places and markets. The Fetish Market is Lomé (Togo) is one of those places that you can never really be prepared to visit, and will leave you with vivid memories of sounds, sights and smells.
|Fetish market in Lomé will leave you shocked or amazed or simply disgusted; whichever emotion it was...it's unforgettable.|
Jumping across the water to an island that still has many close ties to Africa, Cuba. The capital Havana is a city of colours, music and people that will very likely put it high on the list of favourite places.
|HDR of the malecón in Havana that just encapsulates all my great memories of Cuba.|
Since a very young age I was always reading about expeditions and explorers and especially when reading about Mt Everest, the European climbers would've passed by the Eiger North Face - seeing this face to face in Kleine Scheidegg in Switzerland was like all my reading coming to life.
|Hotel Desalpes in front of the Eiger Nordwand (North Face) in Switzerland|
Back to West Africa and Mali this time. A country with an extremely rich cultural history which is (amongst many places) very evident in Segou. This girl in Segou that allowed me to photograph her personifies this area for me.
|While I was taking photos, somebody called her and I got this totally unguarded moment.|
Colombia has always been on very high on my list of countries to visit, so my expectations were high. When I reached Chachagüí, a village north west of Pasto in Nariño Departemento, my love affair with Colombia peaked and became my adopted country...and a cherry on the cake was falling in love here as well!
|Everyday the panoramas were just more spectacular than the day before. |
Sitting down enjoying this view over the Rio Pasto canyon, just cemented how I felt about Colombia.
When it comes to defining moments in one's life, I think they vary a bit in how much they stand out in one's memory. Some will always tower above the others - this is one of those days that totally redefined what I thought were my physical, mental and emotional limits...I had just skydived right out of my comfort zone! Read about it here at "Water was my omnipresent ghost"
|In the north of Congo-Brazzaville (People's Republic of Congo) where I did 25km in 10 hours, the section from the tree|
to this position...5 hours! I only had just over a litre of water left and had no idea how long I would be here.
Especially as travellers, our human subjects don't always get to see the final photo we took of them. With digital cameras this has become a bit more easier albeit with a small screen where the person/s can see their image. A printed photo though will most times still be the ultimate thank you and gift.
This old Uburozi (traditional healer) in the Kinigi area, near the Parc Nationale des Volcans in Rwanda openly had tears running down his cheeks when I gave him this printed photo - he had never seen a photo of himself. The photo became a defining moment for the subject!
|Old Uburozi (traditional healer) in the Kinigi area, near the Parc Nationale des Volcans in Rwanda|
Sometimes photos in themselves become a defining moment for the photographer. The portrait of this girl was my last portrait I did for many years; to me this photo is extremely powerful but then I got requests for this photo to be used for the UNHCR to show 'poor' and 'destitute' children. I refused on the grounds of me knowing this girl and her family and that, although poor (by Western standards) was a family that was not going hungry, and this girl was not destitute for sure.
...it took a very long time and many discussions with various artists and photographers to accept that once a photo/art piece is released into a public domain, the artist's/photographer's interpretation is no longer relevant.
|I took the photo of this girl in Kinigi in NW Rwanda. During the traditional dances going on,|
she would dance with other children but keep coming back to stand by me -
sometimes just hugging her arms around my legs.
What has been your defining photos that became "That One Shot"? Feel free to share them (or links) in the comments.