If you’re anything like me, travelling the world is rated very highly on your mental to-do list. I am endlessly amazed by the variety and beauty to be found in the landscape, culture and artworks of places I didn’t even know existed. The desire to see these things with my own eyes is immense. The term for this sensation is ‘wanderlust’ and it pretty accurately sums up what it represents. I’d like to share just a few people, places and phenomenon that have contributed to my personal sense of wonder at the beauty out there.
I have been lucky enough to travel a fair share in my young life. Just before my last trip, which was to London and Northern Europe in August of 2012, I was given a new camera by my wonderful parents: a Nikon P510. It’s no Canon 5D, but it afforded me hours of photographic fun while travelling around Scandinavia. My photos are by no means professional, but I would like to share the things I saw that interested me in my wanderings.
I wasn’t able to travel far enough north to see the Northern Lights, which is something that I really regretted about my trip. In non-scientific terms, the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis are caused by gas particles from the earth and electrically charged particles from the sun colliding in the earth’s atmosphere. The colour of the lights is determined by what gaseous particles are involved and how far from the earth’s surface the collision occurs.
Yeah, I’m not a science buff either, but it is interesting to know the reason behind the mysterious and beautiful phenomenon. I would have loved the opportunity to see and capture it for myself, but for the mean time at least, the spectacular photographs of Tommy Eliassen will have to do.
Tommy is a landscape and astro-photographer from Mo i Rana, Norway. He has the privilege of living and working on the doorstep of the Northern Lights. The majority of his photographs involve long-exposure, which means keeping the shutter of the camera open for an extended period of time, thus allowing light in that may not even be visible to the naked eye. The results are extraordinary. This technique is often used to capture constellations in the night sky, and in conjunction with the Aurora Borealis, the photographs that one can take really are breathtaking.
Aspiring travellers of the world come in all shapes and sizes, as has recently been proven by photographer, Andrew Whyte, and his Legographer. He has completed a 365-day project, in which he travelled the world and took images with a Lego photographer in the foreground. It sounds arbitrary, but the end product is unique and quirky, framing predictable tourist shots in a fresh light. Follow my lead and check out every shot the duo took on their travels here:
It can quite easily be noticed that my conception of wanderlust is almost exclusively linked with landscape and the natural world. South Africa has some of the most varied natural life on the planet, but as a South African, the idea of my country being as mysterious and exciting to others as, say, Japan is to me sometimes escapes me as being a reality. However, if Hougaard Malan’s photographs are anything to go by, it isn’t hard to understand why South Africa – and the Western Cape in particular – is such a desirable spot to visit. Cape Town was recently chosen as being the top tourist destination in Africa and top ten in the world. Perhaps this fun (and frankly, just awesome) music video shot in the beautiful Mother City will shed light on why:
If you’re more interested in the man-made or manipulated side of artistic photography, look out for my post next week. It’s going to be epic.