And so we come to the end of the two month long photography quest to capture the colour. I hope you’ve had the chance to enjoy some of the fabulous travel pics from around the globe. I’ve picked out a few of my favourites here and here and you can find the complete collection on the TravelSupermarket Pinterest board over here.
The time has come, however, for me to make my choice and announce the winner of the “green” category.
When I sat down to write this post, I dreamed of writing about chlorophyll, the pigment that gives nature its very green colour and that also helps create oxygen and sugar from sunlight and water. Photosynthesis, the amazing scientific phenomenon that pretty much keeps us all alive, seemed a fitting subject for reflection when viewing and reviewing images awash with green.
Then, Kermit the frog popped into my head and all I could think about was “It’s not easy being green.”
In the end, I thought I’d better just get on with it and talk you through my shortlist. As a person who’s frequently moved by words as well as pictures, some of my favourites spoke to me because of the story that framed the photo – which will become clear as you read on.
Ultimately, though, I had to remember that this was a photography competition and that it was the picture itself that had to be the most important thing.
At the beginning of the contest, this is what I said:
“I’m looking for something unusual: an image from a place that makes me think of it in a whole new light. Show me something I’ve never seen before. Tell me about how the place relates to its people, their attitudes and their history. And make sure you had fun snapping it. Somehow, that always shows!”
These are some of the photos that I’ve enjoyed the most. You’ll find a list of the winners at the bottom.
Snaps and Blabs
Traveling with children means that we spend entirely too long in various playgrounds around the world. They are like little pauses from life where the international language of childhood is widely spoken no matter in which country one is.
We were invited to this one by a family of six that became part of a favorite memory from our time in Malaysia. We spent the day in the pool near by and waiting for the children to enjoy their bubble of pure pleasure.
Glass Poisonous Tadpoles found in a leaf in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. The most amazing part of this was the fact that they are inside this strong jell-like formation and inside, each tadpole, is in their own individual jell-like egg. The contrast of the jell-like material with the green of the leaf is one of my favorite things of this picture.
This green intentionally made forest in Bohol, was planted after the world war 2, a man-made forest that are now known for its beauty in the region the untouched greens along the highway is extremely refreshing. This particular spot is one of most tourists favorites.
Noticing a Vespa in Brooklyn is becoming as frequent as spotting a yellow cab in Manhattan. Well, almost! This photo may as well have been taken in Rome; the Vespa looks vintage with a bit of comic appeal stuck to its face.
Walking down from the mainland of Siracusa, over the bridge onto Ortigia island, the market is almost the first thing that you see in the morning. Traders tout for business alongside permanent shops, and the area hums with activity.
The shop from which I took this picture was stuffed to the gills with exotic ingredients which can be hard to find in Italy. However, the thing that caught my eye was the inventiveness of the signage: green tub lids scrawled with what looked like Tipp-Ex. The thin plastic floated in the breeze and let the light through until it became translucent, like one of those violently coloured fruit lollies that you used to suck as a kid. In a moment of synesthetic sense memory, I tasted lime and my mouth started to water.
The Black Twig
GREEN LOTUS LEAVES
Small circles afloat
While tracing the roots of life
To earth, they return
Hike Bike Travel
This broken glass was implanted into the concrete wall and used as a security barrier around a building in Salta, Argentina; it’s a cheap but effective way to keep the unwashed masses out – or just your basic run of the mill burglar. In many developing countries I’ve seen broken glass used on top of concrete walls. Some of it’s very beautiful – and a detail that’s easy to miss.
This photo was taken in Pocatello, a town on the way between Yosemite and Yellowstone. Our motel receptionist recommended we stop into The Green T for a steak, and we were welcomed by one of the friendliest waitresses we met in the States. The exterior had that classic Americana look, with the western sign and advertisements for Budweiser. An all American joint.
My Several Worlds
This image was taken in front of the Hong Kong Space Museum in July 2011. We were on our way back to our hotel when the beautiful changing lights of the museum caught our attention. I am always looking for ways to photograph John and Caleb together, because we only have Caleb for two months out of the year. This was the very first photo I shot from that session and it happened just before they started posing for their pictures. John had just finished explaining to Caleb that he shouldn’t run in front of people and cut them off. Caleb was very obviously taking John’s lesson to heart. I think this is one of the sweetest photos I have of the two of them together.
Finalists for the Green Category
And the winners are…
First Place: Banana Skin Flip Flops
The well-worn routine of a day’s work amid the serenity of the rainbow’s most relaxing colour. No wonder this worker is lost in thought in Roopangarh, India.
The winning photo stands out because it blends together a sense of place, personality, history and mood. You can almost feel the texture leaping out of the image and you want to will the man in the photo to lift his head and look you in the eye. He seems almost consumed by his surroundings, shoulders slumped, head down, simply getting through the working day. The other colours guide your eye around the image so that nothing is missed. It’s really striking.
Second Place: 20 Years Hence
Every year at the Obon festival in Matsushima, celebrants release thousands of paper lanterns inscribed with the names of their ancestors into the harbor. This ritual, toro nagashi, is followed by one of Japan’s best firework displays. This photo was taken moments before the fireworks began, when the harbor was lit by giant green floodlights of passenger ferries and the last few lanterns were floating into this secluded alcove.
I love the sense of peace in the lantern shot from Japan. So many festivals there are marked with bright and bold red, so it surprised me to see the scene awash with green.
Third Place: The Candy Trail
Fishermen on Ulleung-do (an island 120km from the east coast of) South Korea 2006
Again, I love how photo number three highlights how people interact with the landscape. They’re involved, they’re a part of it but (perhaps unlike the visitor) they’re not standing and staring, they’re quietly going about their business. (Plus, that view is wonderful.)
A huge thank you to everyone who took part. And don’t forget, there’s still the overall portfolio to judge for the £2000 prize.
Watch this space.
Interested in photography?
Check out my upcoming photography workshop in Girona, Spain at the European TBEX conference.
Alternatively, check out Travel Photography Live in London, England on the weekend of 5th to 7th October.