Archive for December, 2011

Visited Planet 2012 calendar

In addition to the Cameras for Asia calendar project, Visited Planet has also launched a calendar featuring images from the database by photojournalist Joanne Lane.

The purchase of this calendar is an invaluable support for the work of Visited Planet in countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Myanmar.

The Visited Planet 2012 calendar celebrates the diversity of nations with colourful images of life, culture and joy. But it also highlights the ongoing struggles people face around the world and the ways in which Visited Planet has been involved with them. Your purchase of this calendar will enable the ongoing work and efforts of Visited Planet, particularly in Asia. This has sometimes taken place through classroom lessons teaching English, photography, sports and other subjects to equip people with new skills. It has also been documentary in nature photographing and writing recovery efforts and struggles after adversity in an attempt to encourage and motivate people. And support has also been in the form of monetary donations to enhance developmental programs whether that be fledgling businesses or small projects to enable people to feel empowered and instilled with hope for a future where freedom and restoration is possible. Please see for further details.

Click here to purchase your calendar!
Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Cameras for Asia: Myanmar 2012 calendar now on sale

In 2009 and 2011 Visited Planet taught photography skills to an orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar. The images from the 2011 lessons are now on sale and the purchase of a calendar will go directly back into helping these kids get an education, learn new skills and help build a positive future for Myanmar.

There will be further blogs with some of the other images the kids took in their lessons, in the meantime do click through to view the 16 images in this calendar and please consider supporting them.

This collection of 16 images are from the 2011 lessons that encompassed portraits, macro, action photography and composition. It was wonderful to see the children go from learning how to switch a camera on and release the shutter with unsteady hands to becoming eager and proficient photographers – for the first time learning skills we take for granted. With flowers, agriculture, markets and portraits their photos should give you an insight into how these children see and photograph their own country. The cameras they used were donated by people from Brisbane, Australia and were left at the orphanage for ongoing use. All profits from the sale of this calendar will go directly to the orphanage. Please contact for more details.

Click here to read more or purchase your calendar!


Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Photo gallery: Myanmar’s Buddhist monks

One of Myanmar’s most distinctive features is its population of Buddhist monks. In the next few posts I’ll feature a few images of them from my recent trip.

There is a curiosity that is reciprocated between monks and tourists. Each side seems equally exotic as neither can quite grasp the world from which the other comes and what that represents.

Every day in the early hours Myanmar’s monk population heads out to collect alms. I got a lot of these photographs from all around the country, but my favourite were these from Hsipaw, to the north east of Mandalay as the photos have something of an ethereal quality.

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Whispers from Burma

It’s been a full on month for Visited Planet with a week in Malaysia and three in Burma (Myanmar).

I’ll be posting images of the work and travel I did there in coming days including the photographic workshops with orphans on the outskirts of Yangon.

The highlight of the time in Myanmar was without doubt its rich, diverse and hospitable people. What an ethnic melting pot and such a generous and understanding culture who seem to embody such utter dignity with unfailing respect for all living creatures – no doubt born of a strong Buddhist culture.

They also seem to have come from somewhere in Asia’s ancient past, seeking desperately to emerge into the 20th Century – let alone the 21st. Their neighbours have left them all for dust and I fear they have a long road ahead. Still their story and struggle can’t help but captivate and move you.

There were some encouraging signs post the 2010 election. Although somehow I fear “democracy” is still a word only to be whispered in Myanmar – much like in Gladiator when they spoke of the idea of Rome being so fragile that you could only whisper of it.

But still let us whisper together now for Myanmar!

More coming …

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Kids with cameras

About a month ago I collected old digital cameras from friends to take into Asia and I’ve run a number of photography workshops with these since with orphan kids. More details will come shortly. In the meantime here are some of the better shots the kids have taken after we did a segment on portrait photography.

The great thing about this set of photos was they took these on their own. I didn’t go with them. They were instructed to talk to people, get close, interact and take the shots. When they came back they said how hard that had been. It is hard when you’re 8-13 years with a camera photographing adults but they did very well!

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

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Empower, Equip, Educate

Visited Planet's documentary and lifestyle photographic projects are designed to aid, equip, empower and educate people around the world.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.