Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Travel Photo Thursday Mar 3

On Budget Travellers Sandbox , for Travel Photo Thursday, Nancie has an amazing photo study of a Korean gentleman dressed in re-enactment costume for King Jeongio’s royal pilgrimage to the shrine of Crown Prince Sado, 210 years ago at the Hwaseong Cultural Festival in Suwon, Korea.

I have always been fascinated at some of the portrait photo opportunities I have come across in our travels, so here's a shot taken in Sanbete Market, near Kombolcha, Ethiopia last July.

An interesting study in character and texture, the rock wall contrasting with the branch stockade.
Taken on a pocket Sony camera at 5 megapixels.

There was no way I'd wander around markets in Ethiopia with anything other than an inconspicuous pocket sized model. In Merkato Market in the capital Addis Ababa, we had an armed guard as a tail end charlie gunner.  Poverty driven theft is rife, we were told. However keeping things in perspective- the worst that may happen, is a jostling, and grab for your valuables and off they'd run. They don't wish to harm you, they just see a chance to feed themselves or their family. It is hardly the drug or alcohol fuelled mugging we may face at home in our own main cities which could see you beaten up all for a few dollars.
Our guard at Sanbete market



alejandro guzman said...

Good quality photos Jim. The man with the rifle looks quite harmless btw. lol

Cheers A

Jorie Pacli said...

I have always liken myself to pretty Korean or Japanese manga characters Jim. Have you seen my new profile pic though? Ahahaha! Little did I know that my thinking has to change now with portrait and for once admire your photos....Aahhahaa! Thanks for sharing Jim...:)

Ladyexpat (Nancie) said...

Great shot Jim!

Thanks for posting to Travel Photo Thursday.

Finding One's Way said...


I love the who you are so adventuresome!!
The top photo of the old man is really beautiful

RyukyuMike said...

You're making that Canon G12 I've been thinking about sound better everyday. There are lots of places, something that fits in a pocket would work better than a DSLR.
Interesting shots and captions. You keep me coming back !

Jim said...

Yes Jorie, saw your profile pic, but you don't need photoshopping anyway!

Thanks Nancie, I'm trying to follow any theme you put up just to tie in.

AJ, I asked the guy in sign language if I could take his pic, after we took the shot he harangued us for big money. So had to get our guard to sort him out for much less.
Pays to have an AK47 backup.

Jessica, thanks, trying to get to all the adventuresome places now before the bones give out! I would admit Ethiopia has been a highlight in our travels, but Scotland immediately afterward was heaven in comparison. Roll out the haggis and smoked salmon!
I love that top photo also. That guy just exudes character.

Kerry-ann said...

You sound like a celebrity Jim, walking round with your guard. He may look harmless but I wouldn't want to cross anyone with an AK47! Love the pic of the guy - texture and composition make me want to run for my paints and easel.

Susan Deborah said...


The old man in the first picture is wearing cool shoes. Greeeen. I like his casual demeanour. Sometimes people who are photographed become quite conscious but the two men are perfectly normal as if they are used being photographed. At the risk of sounding repetitive, these men resemble Indians.

Joy always,

Jim said...

Kerry_Ann, we sort of got used to armed guards around Ethiopia. And found them to be just guys doing their job, for our benefit after all.

RyukuMike, you honour me with your presence here. No Bull. I'm not in the DSLR league, merely try to capture a good picture. My trade as a shoe designer gives me a good eye for texteure and composition. And yes, a pocket camera is just so handy at times. I've actually thrown the video camera away, and concentrate on good photos thse days with a Canon SX10IS with 20 times optical and 10 megapixels.
Would love the newer model with 35 times optical.
Almost as good as a DSLR.

Hi Susan. Ethiopia has many similarities to India. You could be forgiven for thing those photos were shot in India. Stick around and I'll post a photo which is India all through even with TYuk Tuks.
Yeah the shoes are another story to follow.
You have a great eye for detail to notice.

Keith T. Graff said...

I love pictures of regular people like you have here. They really make a story come alive...

Jim said...

Hi Keith, not easy to take people shots in Ethiopia. Many object, or you have to pay. For some it's their only chance to earn a few cents.
But with an armed guard, any thing is possible. LOL.

Mary said...

Wonderful photos Jim! Especially the first one. What a unique setting in such a desolate place:( I appreciate everyone's blog that posts photos like yours, otherwise I would never be able to witness what goes on in the world.
Thank you for sharing:)

Leigh said...

I love the contrast in the second picture of the smile and a gun.
My daughter biked through Ethiopia for a month and the only bad experience she had was kids throwing rocks - mainly out of boredom.

Jim said...

Leigh, you've got a real adventurer for a daughter. Has she written about her travels? Gutsy stuff to do. But you're right, the only hassle with people was the kids who throw stones at vehicles. All the locals are genuinely pleased to see you and very welcoming. A very smiley place.

Hi again Mary,
My wife and I worked hard throughout our lives, and made good thrifty decisions which allow us to travel. But we have always travelled. Even with kids in nappies, we bought an old caravan and towed it up and down NZ. Our kids often talk about how they look back on those years with appreciation.

Michael Figueiredo said...

Beautiful shots, Jim. I love the depth of field in the first one, with the old fence going behind the man.

Cathy Sweeney said...

I love these photos, Jim, and your story about how you got them is so interesting. Your own armed guard! They're not just very well done technically, they make me think about the men in the shots.

Jim said...

Hi Michael, I think you're right. The wood stockade takes your eye down onto the central subject, and beyond. I was walking pat that pathway leading away from the market, and saw the old man standing there, and knew it would make a good shot. I've cropped the height to accent the effect of the rock wall and wood stockade leading you right into the pic.

Hi again Cathy, yes the subjects do make you think about the scene. I've taken a few more poeple close ups I'll publish later. The ethnic mix in Ethiopia gives photographers huge scope for character studies.