Favourite Places

I am often asked which places I’ve visited are my favourite or where I could live of the places I’ve been. It’s a tough one but I normally answer promptly that home turf, Australia, is the best spot – and it is!

Sunset in South Australia

After that I would probably rank India, Italy, Turkey, Ireland, China and Laos not necessarily in that order. But I also love Thailand, Vietnam, Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

In terms of a photographic overview here are some of my favourite places to photograph and why.

Prayer by the Ganges, Haridwar (India). You almost can't take a bad photograph in India, everything is so colourful, so exotic and often very unpredictable. You just need to have a camera handy and switched on and you're guaranteed almost once-in-a-lifetime shots like this one.

Sunset in Pamukkale (Turkey). The sun caught the minaret of this mosque just beautifully at sunset. I love the food, the friendly people and the fantastic landscapes of Turkey.

Carnevale, Venice (Italy). Italian festivals are unlike anything I've seen elsewhere. The performers have an incredible ability to engage the audience and audience participation is so fluid and fun. Italians know how to enjoy life and it makes for good people photography.

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Feel free to email Jo at admin@visitedplanet.com with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at www.visitedplanet.com

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Climate Change Photography

Climate Change has become the number one issue here in Australia this year. Our politicians are debating it in parliament and even losing their jobs because over it, water issues such as the Traviston Dam continue to concern communities and rallies have been held around the country to send a message to leaders in Copenhagen.

Climate Change has also become a feature in the realm of photography too and I just discovered yet another competition seeking entrants for images documenting the process – see http://www.hpcapturechange.in.com/

I took part in the Canvas for Change competition with Oxfam last year and became a finalist. I can’t find the link now where you voted for images, but the winners are listed here. I always find it’s hard to compete as a photographer with fine artists and illustrators but I was pleased to be short listed. Here is the image I submitted which I thought might be of interest to those concerned with Climate Change.

The Sea is Coming

The Sea is Coming

The Motuans live in houses built on stilts over the sea on the southeastern coast of Papua New Guinea. As climate change effects sea levels the tides are inching closer to these peoples homes. In some parts of PNG rising waters have already swamped farms, destroyed crops and forced people to move and become climate refugees.

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Feel free to email Jo at admin@visitedplanet.com with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at www.visitedplanet.com

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The New Black

Aboriginal girl, Doomadgee

I just finished watching the fantastic ABC TV special tonight “The New Black” with short films averaging about 10 minutes telling Aboriginal stories. Wow! It was incredibly insightful about really pertinent issues such as rape, neglect, adoption, relationships and childhood in both Aboriginal communities and in the city.

Some of it was bleak, a lot was tough going but I often measure stories like this by the impact they have on me personally. And these films made me rethink experiences I have had with Aboriginal people both as a child at school when I might not really have been aware of issues going on for some of my Aboriginal classmates. And as an adult doing voluntary work in several Aboriginal communities and probably not fully grasping what’s involved in the drinking, truancy, suicide and relationships.

If these stories impacted me so personally and sensitively I can only hope that they have done the same for others. The incredible power of these stories are they are actually directed and written by Aboriginal people. They are telling their own stories and that is incredibly empowering both for them as a story telling people and for the wider Australian population. The director of Samson and Delilah, Warwick Thornton, said on the special that there is a real hunger amongst the Australian population for these stories.  I hope more are told and more people see them.

Which reminds me I still need to put the finishing touches to my Doomadgee Memoirs book, telling the lives of six people in a far north Queensland community. I’m still waiting for three signatures so I can print the book but I might just have to go ahead with only the three I have. You can read more about this project here: http://www.visitedplanet.com/page.php?f=doomadgee

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Feel free to email Jo at admin@visitedplanet.com with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at www.visitedplanet.com

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Maroochydore weekend

Every year on the first weekend of December I camp at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast with a group of friends. The Maroochy river, the beach, the cafes and the weekend market along with the company of excellent friends makes this such a fun weekend. Here are some images of the area to enjoy.

Pelican Dance

Rocks

Pelicans

Fishing at sunset

Tide coming in

Island in the river

Kite surfers

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Feel free to email Jo at admin@visitedplanet.com with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at www.visitedplanet.com

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Kuching article

Today I finished writing an article on Kuching in Malaysian Borneo for an inflight magazine. The piece described the varied cultures, cuisine, jungle wildlife, incredible architecture and sights of this refined city by the Sarawak river. It was a joy to step back into the humidity, smells and experiences that is Asia, even from here at my computer in Australia.

One of the things I loved about Kuching was how there was definitely jungle beyond the town limits, but you could also discover the flavours of Sarawak’s 40 sub-ethnic groups, rare flora and fauna, colourful arts and crafts and tasty food without leaving the city.

Here’s a brief photographic insight into some of the experiences of Borneo.

Silver leaf monkeys in Bako National Park

Pitcher plants, Bako National Park

Viper, Bako National Park

Colourful windows, Kuching

Traditional tambang, Sarawak River

To see more images of Sarawak click to go to this link on my website.

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Feel free to email Jo at admin@visitedplanet.com with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at www.visitedplanet.com

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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.