The color of travel
(Thanks to Ashley of No Onion Extra Pickles for the inspiration for this post.)
I only shoot in color — black and white has never seemed an equal reflection of the exciting world I encounter in my travels. Spots of color, not swaths, draw me in. In sharing these photos, I also gave myself a bonus challenge: to choose photos no one has seen before, thus far unedited and utterly ephemeral on my computer (ok, I confess, that also helped narrow my choices).
These travel photos are now colorful moments no longer hidden. Click to embiggen…
Todd and I didn’t do much in Palermo, Sicily besides wander the streets. There were some churches and cannoli I suppose, but the projections of people’s lives into shared spaces were the draw for us. Due in part to heat, gossip, and fresh air, we often spied Palermo residents on balconies and fire escapes, sheltering from the sun, but not from their neighbors.
This quasi-military man in camouflage was tossing a badminton shuttlecock around with a little girl in the back alleys of Xi’an, China. When I squatted nearby, easily settling into my haunches after months of traveling in Asia, the girl fled, leaving me and the military man face-to-face, both wondering if we should continue the game.
Manila in The Philippines for me was a perfect state of charming decay. And a perfect hell if I was trying to get anywhere that was further away than could be reached on foot. Since lazily strolling the streets was faster going than a jitney, I was left with lots of walking time to observe the nooks and crannies, simultaneously cruddy and captivating.
No seriously, Manila sucked and rocked. Todd and I never seemed to get where we were going, but on the way we were disarmed by every bit the chaotic city offered to us.
No, seriously, Manila was a bombed out bomb-diggity. I love controlled chaos, intentional neglect, and MacGyver-inspired efforts at rehabilitation and restoration. Manila serves it up with a touch of colorful island flair. The crustiness got old, but somehow never boring.
Which of our colorful travel photos is your favorite?
Weee – thanks for the nomination!
Had to return the favor for inviting me to meet Ashley!
Thanks so much for the nomination! I soooo wanted to take part of this contest :)
Whew, that’s a relief. I was worried about nominating folks that would roll their eyes. I spent as much time picking nominees as I did picking photos!
Love your white one! Manila is high on our “places we need to visit right now gosh darnit” list – I suspect it’s the influence of living in Daly City for a few years ;-)
(P.S. when is our next pizza meeting – and it doesn’t have to be pizza – I just like food)
I need to see your list if Manila is high on it! It was a crazy, dirty, traffic-loaded place. We would have benefited from better planning and research on our parts (the up-down-side of RTW travel is that you just can’t plan ahead much). But Manila’s art scene, if you can find it, is nascent and exciting.
(p.s. I literally just put “Lunch w SF travelers” on my to do list. Let’s do it soon! Let’s go somewhere adventurous but BARTable…I vote in Daly City.)
I like your red and yellow picks the best, but that photo of the Chinese security guard is pretty memorable. I love his curious smile! Anyway, I need to get to Manila!
Thanks Cassie. I’m sometimes so unbrave about taking photos of people, especially when we don’t speak the same language. The non-verbal communication I shared with the guard is one of my favorite memories of Xi’an.
Wow, it’s hard to pick a favourite–all of your photos are great! But I think I like green the best. I love his expression. Like you, I’m often nervous about taking photos of people while travelling, so your success with this one inspires me to keep trying!
Thanks Laura. I just have to remind myself that it’s ok to take photos of people if you ask (and they say yes, of course!). Even without a common language pointing at the camera and then pointing at them, with a smile and raised eyebrows usually gets the question across.
What gorgeous pics!
Love the moodiness of the Yellow Jesus of the Trash. I too am always drawn to scenes like this.
Great bunch of pics!
Sometimes I feel like an utter weirdo taking some of the pictures I take. While other tourists take a photo of Machu Picchu and there I am, taking a pic of a wild strawberry.
Great red picture. Pop of red colors on streets always grab my attention and this one is really cool with the bright red chairs and muted red curtains. Love it.
It was such an odd thing to catch my eye, and it was all because of the color. I’m so flattered that you love it.
Blue is definitely my favorite photo…the window curtains look like a bunch of Greek flags :)
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