Over the years I travelled many thousands of miles through India by rail, mostly hauled by diesel engines, but when I first went there, a lot of venerable steam engines were still in daily service, a honeypot for rail enthusiasts and history buffs alike. As is often said, the ‘Golden Age’ is never the present one; would one see the age of steam as being a golden age for India, or is that just for the hard bitten nostalgic ?
The predominant images of China are dominated by its huge population, by the dramatic pace of urbanisation and industrialisation, but vast areas of China tell a very different story. Southeast China in particular has spectacular mountain scenery around the Yangtse River and south to the border with Burma (Myanmar) there are many isolated but self sufficient ethnic minorities with characteristics very different from the Han majority.
A collection of images from the natural and the human world especially the geometric forms found in Islamic architecture. The structure of lichens is of endless fascination, and they are easily found in most landscapes if you take the care to look. The strictures in Islam against the representation of living creatures produced an ingenuity of construction and of pattern that almost makes the onlooker dizzy with detail, and a source of continuing pleasure.
This gallery has a lot to live up to, as our exposure to incredible wildlife photography is commonplace now. I was, of course not in a position to wait hours or days for a particularly spectacular picture, so the images are those taken by a passing admirer rather than a devotee. Read more . .
I visited Pakistan in 1984-5, at a time when the military ruled the country via the harsh and unpopular General Zia-ul-Haq. Just across the northwest border the Russians were embroiled in a war in Afghanistan that would be fatal to the failing USSR. I travelled with a girlfriend from Karachi up to the tribal areas around Quetta, Peshawar and Swat in winter time. Read more . .
I drove 3 week camping tours through Sweden, Finland and Norway over the course of 5 summers, becoming so accustomed to the ground that I could barely sleep in a bed for weeks after each series of 4 tours. It is of course a part of the world renowned for spectacular scenery, but a great deal of that is large scale, and I found a new delight in the micro landscapes. Because of the rapidly changing climatic conditions there I was lucky to revisit places in varying light and seasons, finding plants flowering or berries in profusion on my next trip. Read more . .
The collection of photographs from India, a tiny selection of those I have, is eclectic in nature, as is the country. I spent a total of 7 years in this fascinating, maddening place, adding up all the 3 and 6 month stints working there. The main areas I visited were in the North and West, and in the South; I do not have much to show for the middle bits. The diversity – desert to jungle to city and village is a reflection of Indian geography and society. Read more . .
A landlocked country in middle Europe, Hungary is stranded by language which is almost impenetrable. It has high hills in the north, much of it covered by beech forest, some on top of very extensive limestone cave systems, with tiny hamlets, some barely touched by the 21st century. The Puszta is the name for the great Hungarian plain, located in the south, is the start of the vast expanse which becomes steppe as you travel eastward. Read more . .
The island of Cyprus is actually a very rural one away from the teeming beaches of the south coast, once you get out and explore on foot. Historically a centre of trade, especially in copper, coveted by all surrounding powers through time, the island presents stark contrasts. Tiny villages carry on much as ever, rooted in tradition; gleaning some supplies from the surrounding forests.
Landscapes range from sere heath land to proper montane forest getting a fair share of snow even in the Mediterranean. I only visited the north of Cyprus in the divided city of Nicosia, through the NATO ‘green line’ checkpoint that has existed since the 1960’s and continues today.
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