Archives For Travel Photographer

 

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The streets of Calcutta remind me of the streets of Cuba – fragile, unique, deteriorated, abundant with stories of years gone by. These streets contain a beauty that is not as obvious on modern, newly decorated streets evident in various wealthier cities I have visited. The beauty seen and felt on the streets of Calcutta is a deep beauty, a beauty born out of years of struggle, poverty and a class system that bewilders most people born in the Western world.

On landing in India for the first time there are 2 things I will never forget – the heat and the smell – these two intertwine seamlessly to become almost as overwhelming as the traffic and the overcrowding. In saying that the moment my feet hit Indian soil I was hooked and knew immediately this would be the first of many visits.

India just like the two paragraphs above is a land of contrasts, a land of the most amazing, jaw dropping contrasts. As a Travel Photographer it is these contrasts that evoke curiosity and a deep desire to return to experience these contrasts again and again.

Within the first hours of arriving in India on a Photography trip with The Hope Foundation we found ourselves walking the streets of Calcutta, smiling at the friendly faces that greeted us and capturing their beauty with our cameras.

The first person to catch my eye was a beautiful older Indian woman. She peered out at us from behind her front door, possibly wondering what all the noise was and who were the paler than pale individuals carrying large camera equipment. I stopped to greet her and as she had no English and i spoke absolutely no Hindi, our greeting and subsequent interactions were carried out through gestures and body language.

 

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Gestures and body language are often the only mode of communication available to Travel Photographers as most of the time we don’t speak the native language and the people we meet may not speak our language. This mode of communication does take getting used to but after a while it becomes second nature and almost becomes as easy as speaking your mother tongue.

On greeting the beautiful Indian lady she became shy when she realised I wanted to photograph her. My camera and lens were intimidating and I could sense it made her feel uncomfortable as her eyes averted from me for the first shot.

 

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On showing her the image in my camera she liked what she saw and began to relax. Her shoulders dropped and she became the perfect model – relaxed, assured and confident staring into the lens.

 

 

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Some images are better with a serious face or a half smile but I knew this lady’s face would come alive with a wide grin and I was right. As I gestured for a smile she nodded in agreement and I took the shot. Her eyes beaming with happiness, her skin reflecting radiance from the Indian sun, an Indian beauty indeed.

 

 

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I often think of this indian lady and wonder what her life was like, what life she had lived. I may never know this but what I do know is that my life was enhanced by our chance meeting that day on the streets of Calcutta.

 

Safe Travels,

Siobhain

x x x

 

The above image was part of my Travel Photography Exhibition recently exhibited at George Best Belfast City airport.

More images of my portfolio can be viewed on my website www.siodanphoto.com

 

 

Creativity

 

The Oxford English dictionary describes creativity as the following

‘The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work’ 

 

Creativity and the birth of creativity requires space. Space to allow the creative idea into our busy lives, to be processed by our busy minds and become reality in our busy worlds.

A few months ago I took a well-earned rest from the creative process of being a Travel Photographer. An ear, throat and chest infection stopped me in my tracks and reminded me that I had not taken a break from working in almost 4 years. Since becoming a Travel Photographer, as much as I love and enjoy it, holidays had now become more work less play. Carrying, charging and cleaning equipment, shooting, downloading and editing images while traveling is not really the break the mind and body needs. Lesson learned!!

From this lesson, here are the 8 R’s that I have found are critical to being creative and sustaining creativity.

1. REST

Without adequate rest your best ideas will remain hidden. It’s highly beneficial to know when your most creative time is, whether it is early morning, mid-day or late at night and plan downtime and quiet time around this time. My most creative time is early morning even though those who know me best know I’m a complete night owl!!!

2. RELAXATION

It is essential that you find time in your busy schedule to relax. Whatever you do for relaxation, whether it’s reading, listening to music, meditating or just being, it is so important to schedule this into each and every day. This will not only fuel your creativity, keep your mind and body healthy, it will also keep you sane!!!

3. RECONNECT

Reconnect with whatever or whoever you may have lost contact with that gives you joy. This can be family, friends, God, Buddha, Source or The Universe. Whomever or whatever grounds you will also nourish your creativity.

 

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4. REPLENISH

Replenish your body, mind and soul with what it needs – your creative soul requires constant nourishment.
Figure out what feeds your soul and schedule this into your day.

For me, the following ‘soul food’ are the basics required to be creative, solitude, time with family and friends, reading, writing, meditating, journaling and exercising.

Only you will know what feeds your soul as we are all unique – over feed your soul, then stand back and watch creativity be unleashed!!!!

5. REMIND

Remind yourself and reflect on what your driver to be creative is. Why do you need creativity in your life? Why do you need to create space for creativity? What positive benefits will creating this time and space bring to your life? For some creativity is a ‘nice to have’, for others it is as important as the oxygen we breathe.
6. RESEARCH

It’s always interesting to see what other people in your field of interest are up to and also interesting to broaden your horizon and see what creative people outside your field are up to.
This not only opens your eyes to different perspectives but also saves you heaps of time as you learn from other creative souls.

 

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7. REACH OUT

Now that you know what people in your field and beyond are doing, how about reaching out to them, introducing yourself and striking up a conversation on what you have in common or maybe what you don’t have in common?

I have many friends that I have met in such circumstances and these people inspire, amaze and motivate me, all key ingredients for creativity.

Don’t be afraid to reach out, everyone at the other end are just like you, creative and inspirational people!!!

 

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8. READING AND WRITING

Ok so writing starts with W but phonetically starts with R!!!
Reading will give you more knowledge –  knowledge thought of, created by and beautifully packaged by highly creative people – authors.
Writing will help you move your creativity from your mind into the physical world, try it, it’s a game changer!

Whatever creativity means to you, I hope the above helps you find time and space for it in your life.

 

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Safe Travels,

Siobhain

 x x x

 

DREAMS…..

September 12, 2014 — 1 Comment

The Oxford Dictionary defines dreams as the following…..

A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal:

Everyone has dreams, whether it’s to find a dream job, travel the world, fall in love, win the lotto or simply to wake up in the morning healthy and happy, we all have dreams.

 

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As we dream big dreams, work towards them and achieve milestones towards those dreams there always seems to be something else we want to achieve, something more to add to the enjoyment of this incredible journey.

Along the way we may lose sight of the amazing achievements we have accomplished and so it is worthwhile to reflect on results achieved and dreams realized no matter how big or small.

Robin Sharma wisely says

 

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Rewarding ourselves for a job well done, a goal reached, a dream realized is just as important as setting those goals, dreaming those dreams and working towards them.

Anna Neilsen’s ‘Follow Your dream’ print eloquently advises to follow your dreams and a while ago I promised myself this would be my reward for my first online sale.

http://www.annanielsen.com/prints/item.aspx?pid=fy

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I didn’t think it would take 3 years but that is how long I waited to build my Travel Photography portfolio, share it with the world and welcome my first online sale!!!!

Payment hit my PayPal account while I slept peacefully on a flight from Kuala Lumpar to London..
This irony of this made me smile even more than the payment did!!! It is a great feeling to know you can make sales while doing two of the things you love most, traveling and sleeping!!! 🙂

 

Dream It

 

And so I look forward to my reward for realizing one of my dreams, I look forward to reminding myself of the journey it took to reach that dream and the confidence it instilled in me to continue to pursue my dreams.

I hope you are following your dreams and rewarding your success 🙂 

 

 

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EVER WONDERED WHAT IT TAKES TO CREATE A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION?

My Travel Photography Exhibition was hosted by the 3 major airports in Ireland last year as part of ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’  – Cork Airport, Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport.

Here is an insight into what I needed to create it…..

ONE TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER……….

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WITH A BUNDLE OF PASSION FOR TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY………..

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APPROX 58,200 AIR MILES……..

Italy 2010 413

20+ HOTELS………

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2 CANON CAMERAS/2 CANON LENSES/1 TRIPOD/NUMEROUS MEMORY CARDS………

Cuba, Havana.

1 MACBOOK PRO LAPTOP……….

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1 LIGHTROOM EDITING SOFTWARE………

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1000’S OF HOURS OF EDITING………

10000-hours

4 EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES………

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OVER 50,000 IMAGES………..

LIMITED EDITIONS

4 GUESTBOOKS……..

thanks to BARBARA HUBERT BOOKBINDERY in Cork City for my gorgeous custom made guestbooks 

DUBLIN AIRPORT GUEST BOOK

 

100’S OF BUSINESS CARDS…….

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64 FINE ART PRINTS/18 INFORMATION POSTERS………

thanks to Tony O’Brien at RIGHTBRAIN Fine Art printers in Cork City for my beautiful prints and posters

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70 PROFESSIONAL MOUNTS………

thanks to THOMAS STREET FRAMING CENTRE in Limerick City for the professional mounts

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Initially the goal for my Travel Photography exhibition was to inspire people with images from my travels and it turns out I was the one who became inspired. From the generosity of all 3 airports for hosting my exhibition especially Cork Airport for sponsoring the exhibition to the people I met while putting the exhibition together at the airports to those I have never met but who left amazing comments in my guestbooks. These comments amazed and inspired me, I am very moved by the fact that people took time to write such very nice comments about my images.

Thank you to everyone who sent me good wishes and who viewed my exhibition and took time to sign my guestbooks. Below are some of the comments people wrote and the images they shared.

GRAHAM NORTON

(Yes that’s THE Graham Norton!!!)

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Now where will I exhibit next?

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2013….an amazing year!!!

January 17, 2014 — 5 Comments

For me 2013 was in a word…..Amazing!!!!

Since the end of 2010 I have been focusing on becoming a Travel Photographer, a pretty ambitious goal when I already have a full time job in the pharmaceutical industry. In order to achieve this goal 2011 and 2012 were spent traveling around the world camera in hand, learning and building my portfolio and presence on the internet. Along the way I met incredible people who taught, inspired and motivated me, from the amazing group I shared time with in Cuba to the travel experts and enthusiasts I had the pleasure to mingle with at Book Passage, every single person added a different dimension to my journey. At the beginning when I decided I wanted to be a Travel Photographer I was slow to tell people what I was doing, afraid people may laugh at me (which of course some people did!), fearful that I would not be a good enough photographer, unsure if I could follow through with such an ambitious goal. 3 years later and you really have to stop me telling everyone that I am a Travel Photographer; I’m proud of my accomplishments, proud of my work and proud of the journey it took me to get here.

My most ambitious goal for 2013 and what took most of my time and energy was showcasing my Travel Photography Exhibition in all 3 major airports in Ireland, Cork, Dublin and Shannon (where it is currently being hosted).

And so early in 2013 I set my sights on this goal, decided what I needed to do to acheive it, planned how I would do this and I went ahead and did it!

This shows the power of planning. Of course executing your plans is also crucial to success but if you do not have plans in the first place best of luck with that execution!!

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My Travel Photography Exhibition – Cork Airport

These exhibitions would not have been possible without the help and support of the following people whom I am ever grateful to.

Kevin Cullinane (Cork Airport), Ciara Carroll (Dublin Airport) and Dorothy Quinn (Shannon Airport).

A very big THANK YOU to Kevin and Cork Airport for not only hosting but also sponsoring my exhibition.
Thanks also to RightBrain fine art printing studio, Cork City, Thomas Street Framing gallery, Limerick City and Barbara Hubert Bookbindery, Cork City.

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My Travel Photography Exhibition – Dublin Airport

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My Travel Photography Exhibition – Shannon Airport

As well as Photography goals (portraits, wedding, commercial and press work) my plan included the following goals,

Spend more time with my family and friends,
Give more to charity
Exercise more
Read more books
Learn more
Spend less
Meditate more
Have more of a presence on and learn more about Social Media
Meet people/authors whom I admire and who inspire me
Attend amazing workshops
Basically do everything that adds to my happiness and wellbeing and remove everything from my life that doesn’t!!!

I completed almost all of my ‘non travel’ photography projects and enjoyed working with and grateful to those who chose me as their photographer.

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The grand opening of ‘Raspberry Red’ boutique with Fiona Hayes of FHStyle, owner Marge Kenny and Marge’s husband Jon Kenny.

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Sharon Shannon at the Shannon Airport charity Christmas concert

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Samhradh ‘Irish Summer’ from my friend Yvonne Twomey’s perfume range ‘YVE Perfume‘, launched in 2013.

My other goals were a bit hit and miss, some I completed, some I did not, I was happy with how some went, I was less than happy with how others went.

Ironically one of my goals for 2013 was to travel less, giving me more time to dedicate to my Airport Exhibitions and also giving me a chance to pay back some of the finance it has taken for me to become a Travel Photographer. However I did manage to leave the country a few times this year and rediscovered the immense beauty of Ireland by taking weekends away in my homeland.

Combining my love of travel with my plan to meet inspirational people I travelled to Oslo for Chris Guillebeau’s End Of World party in April. I have been following Chris on social media for a few years now and it was an honour to meet him and celebrate his amazing achievement of visiting every country in the world. Chris is as nice and kind as he is inspirational. It was an amazing gift to meet him and share a weekend with people who are also following his path.

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Me, Chris Guillebeau and Angela Petersen

A much shorter journey to London to attend the Lean Academy Lean Summit helped me combine my love of travel, meeting inspirational people all things Lean. At this Summit I was lucky enough to meet Art Bryne (author of The Lean Turnaround). He is a wise man with a motivating opinion on Lean and Leadership and a great sense of humour. Knowing I am Irish he signed my book saying ‘Kaizen is good for you’ imitating the popular marketing phrase from Guinness!!

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A shorter journey again to Dublin took me to my first ever TBEX….I had heard of TBEX from fellow travel enthusiasts that I met at Book Passage in 2012. This was a super few days immersed in all things travel. I was so delighted to again meet up with the legend that is Don George (author of Lonely Planet’s guide to Travel Writing) and fellow Book Passage friends Candace Rose Rardon and Gary Arndt as well as many more amazing speakers and attendees. As with all good conferences I learned that I have a lot to learn!!!

Join me at TBEX

There are a few charities I have been sponsoring for years and some I have been involved with for a short time. In 2013 I raised money for and gave my time to these charities, I could have done more and this will be more of a focus area for me in 2014. The Hope Foundation is a charity I thoroughly enjoy working with, not only because they have amazing people working with them but also because the work they do is most crucial to the well being of so many children in Kolkata.

I was delighted to exhibit my Hope Foundation images from Kolkata in my airport exhibitions and also at the 2013 Rose Of Tralee festival as The Hope Foundation are sponsors of The Rose Of Tralee.

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Me with the winning Rose – the Texas Rose Hayley O’Sullivan (next to my Hope Foundation exhibition)

There are so many books on my bookshelf that I wanted to read but didn’t read as many as I would have liked. Again this will be more of a focus area for me on 2014. One of the books I did read was ‘The Power Of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. If you read one book in 2014 let it be this book. It is a life changing, perspective altering book. It’s not easy reading but anything worthwhile is never easy eh!!

The Power Of Now

I fell in love, hadn’t planned on that one but I had spent so much time working on myself when someone special turned up I was more than ready to welcome them into my life!!

Love

There are many reasons why some of my goals were not reached but my best guess would be I underestimated the time it would take to carry out all of my goals. It’s one thing setting goals and another thing executing them in a defined timeline. One of the key lessons I have learned this year is to be a little more realistic about what one person can achieve.

My goals for 2014 will be more realistic but every bit as ambitious.

I hope you are setting your goals and plans for 2014 and that it is your best year yet

Robin Sharma

Thanks to everyone who has shared this journey with me, each and every one of you have a made a difference to my life.

Mark Twain

Safe Travels,

Siobhain

x x x

How did your 2013 go?
Did you set out a plan with goals at the beginning of the year?
Did you reach your goals?
What did you learn from reaching/not reaching your goals?