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Faces in far away places

Incredible faces of incredible people!

Over many years I have captured some amazing portraits of amazing people – with the focus on the people and not on my photography skills. I think the biggest challenge of a travel photographer or travel journalist is to bring home the heart of a country – the faces of its people.

It is always a question of posed portraits versus natural candid portraits. Which brings us to the question: Should you first get permission from your subject or should you first fire off the shutter to get a natural candid picture and then ask (or confirm) permission. My approach, generally but not universally, is to first take the photo and then ask for permission. It works perfectly fine for me, in most cases!

Every picture I take has a story behind it (in particular the portraits) and unless I share these stories, my photos won’t be appreciated by you as much as I appreciate them. So let me start by provided the story behind every portrait on this page – maybe you will then more appreciate the photo 🙂

Sahara man at Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou, Morocco

Sahara man at Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou, MOROCCO

Aït-Ben-Haddou is a mountain village some 200 km southeast of Marrakech, Morocco. This friendly man who I think is part of the Tuareg Berber nomadic pastoralists tribe are spread across the Sahara desert and in countries such as Libya, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and in southeastern Morocco. I was wandering through the adobe village of Aït-Ben-Haddou when I came across this friendly man. He spoke no English but was very talkative in French. He eventually led me to his very interesting shop where he was more than happy to pose for photos as he sat amongst his prized possessions.

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Cave people around Wadi Thughra, Petra, Jordan

Wadi Thughra, Petra, JORDAN

I was exploring and truly admiring the rock-cut architecture and water conduit systems built during the 5th century BC in the Nabataeans city now known at Petra. As much as I was intrigued but the stone carved city, I was slowly being sucked in by the surrounding desolate mountainous terrain. Before long, I was several kilometres away from Petro, hiking around Wadi Thughra where I came across several families living in caves. These people mainly live off their sheep and goats. Growing vegetables and fruits are all but impossible in this desert and mountainous area. I then came across two girls in a cave who were very friendly and with great interest paged through my Lonely Planet guidebook as if they have never ever seen a book, which could be reality. These people are quite isolated.

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Portraits - Indein, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Indein, Inle Lake, MYANMAR

I was walking around Shwe Inn Thain near Inle Lake, Myanmar, when I came across this lady. I asked for a photo, and she asked for money. I said “nope, no money”, and she said “nope, no photo”. I smiled and walked away.  After a few minutes I convinced myself that I could not let this opportunity go. Going against my policy, I walked back and offered her the money. She smiled, and now I will treasure this photo for the rest of my life.

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Wild Snake Singsing Group, 2014 Goroka Festival, Papua New Guinea

Goroka, Eastern Highlands, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

September 2014 and I have the immense privilege to be at the annual Sing-Sing Festival in Goroka, Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. This little boy was in the Wild Snake Sing-sing Group. He just looked so mysterious and could not believe that he was looking at me…. a white ghost from across the sea.

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Goroka, Papua New Guinea

Goroka, Eastern Highlands, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Another incredible face from the annual Sing-Sing Festival in Goroka, Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

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Portraits - Girl near U Bein's Bridge, Amarapura, Myanmar

U Bein’s Bridge, Amarapura, MYANMAR

The face is a lot more special than the story – in fact, there is no special story behind this lovely photo of this Burmese girl.

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Portraits - Village of Khumjung, Nepal

Village of Khumjung en route to Mount Everest, NEPAL

During a 16-day hike from Lukla (where the small plane dropped me off at a short and ng her moment of amazement I captured this photo. She was quite happy and posed for a few more. These people live in very harsh conditions with brutally cold winters – hence her cracked skin even during the summer months.

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Portraits - Sadhus (holy man), at the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Valley, NEPAL

Sadhus (holy man), at the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Valley, NEPAL

The Sadhus of India and Nepal are truly amazing people. This man was sitting in the sun with a few of his like-minded friends when I approached him for a photo. He spoke quite good English and very kindly said that I am free to take as many photos as I want, provided I pay $2. ogenic and enjoyed me taking photos of them and instructing them how to do some creative poses. Lovely time in Nepal!

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Portraits - Sadhus (holy man), at the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Valley, NEPAL

Sadhus (holy man), at the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Valley, NEPAL

This colourful man goes with the colourful man above :). Same tribe, similar story.

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Portraits - Boat ride on "The Rocket" from Dahaka to Barisal, Bangladesh

Along the Bengal Delta, BANGLADESH

I was sailing on the historic steamer boat from Dhaka to Barisal in southern Bangladesh when we passed a small village. Along the river were a few villagers dressed up for some special occasion. Fortunately, I have a long camera lens and as we so peacefully sailed passed them, I snapped a few photos. People in Bangladesh almost universally don’t mind their pictures being taken. In fact, most of the people enjoy it, and even ask for their photo to be taken. This lady obviously noticed my camera aimed at her and most happily smiled at me. Wish I could share this photo with her.

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Portraits - Tarim, Hadramawt Valley, Yemen

Tarim, Hadramawt Valley, YEMEN

I was walking around the villages of Tarim in the desert of the Hadramawt Valley when I came across a few kids playing around the ruins. They were all too happy to pose. What a pose!

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Portraits - Al-Mahwit, Yemen

Al-Mahwit, YEMEN

Far north of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, is the rather remote village of Al-Mahwit. While the people are generally friendly, I had an uncomfortable feeling about this place. These Muslim people are very conservative and I was wary of the radicals in their midst. When I pointed my camera at a mosque they yelled at me and vehemently protested my actions.  As I walked along the village market I came across these two guys working at an auto repair shop. I asked for a photo and they immediately accepted and posed on a bench.  They are hard working guys and dirty from top to toes.  Wow – what a life!

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Portraits - Around the Jokhang temple, Lhasa, TIBET

 Outside the Jokhang temple, Lhasa, TIBET

Tibet is one of the countries with the most photogenic people, with a rich and colourful culture. Sadly the Chinese communist government is fast (not slowly) eroding the Tibetan culture and oppressing the Tibetan people. At the Jokhang temple, founded in the 7th century, and located on Barkhor Square in Lhasa, people prostrate clockwise around the temple. I found an obscure spot from where I photographed the crowd, one at a time. The few people who did notice me, smiled and obviously approved my photography (or so I conveniently read their body language). This boy (or girl) was among the crowd and become one of my most treasured portraits.

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Portraits - Monk, Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Georgia

Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, GEORGIA

En route to the mountain village of Kazbegi in northern Georgia, close to the border with the Russian Chechen Republic, I stopped at the village of Mtskheta to photograph the Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral. Outside the cathedral I found this discrete photos from a distance and then, once I had enough courage, walked up to him and asked if I could take a photo. With a much reserved smile he agreed, and with a big smile in return and started to shoot. He did some great natural poses for me for which I am thankful for life.

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Portraits - Monk, Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Georgia

Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, GEORGIA

This monk, at the same location as the monk in the photo above (the Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral in the village of Mtskheta, Georgia), spoke almost fluent English and eagerly accepted my request for a photo. He even asked me to take a few more than I intended and then gave me his email address to forward the photos to him, an order which I fulfilled. What an amazing man!

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Portraits - Cave Monastery (Mănăstire în Peşteră) of Orheiul Vechi overlooking the Răut River, north of Chisinau, MOLDOVA

Cave Monastery (Mănăstire în Peşteră) of Orheiul Vechi overlooking the Răut River, north of Chisinau, MOLDOVA

It was a long and tedious journey to reach the Cave Monastery of Orheiul Vechi in northern Moldova. As I descended the steps into this highly sacred cave monastery, I was met by this showing my camera. With not much emotion he pointed to his face, which I took as a signal of approval.  I smiled and started to shoot about 2 or 3 photos. He seems very uncomfortable but at least he did approve. I walked out of the cave monastery feeling like a true National Geographic photographer. I photo I truly treasure.

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Portraits - Lady, Beehive Houses, Village of Twalid Dabaghein, Syria

Village of Twalid Dabaghein, SYRIA

This is one of my top 5 most treasured photos. I hired a car and driver in Damascus, Syria, to take me to the so-called “beehive houses” in the villages of Sarouj and Twalid Dabaghein in the desert not far from the Iraqi border. We passed the little “Bagdad Hotel” on the lonely road, and sadly I did not ask the driver to stop for a photo. This was pre-civil war, so now this area is under the control of ISIS (Islamic State extremists). These villages are famous for their cone-shaped mud houses, reminiscent of beehives. The huts are about 6 metre in diameter and about 5 metre high. At the top of the cone-shaped hut is a small opening which allows the hot air to escape. I met this lady outside her house and even though she speaks no English, and I speak no Arabic, she invited me into her bare hut, devoid of any furniture except for a few red carpets. Tea was on the menu. As she prepared the tea, she kept talking non-stop, assuming that all people understand Arabic. We both smiled a lot and I tried to make some conversation in English. While she most likely understood no English at all, she kept speaking in Arabic. She reluctantly agreed to a few photos. After about 30 minutes of non-stop talking, we parted our ways.  I often wonder if she survived the current civil war and what horrific treatment she may have endured under the invading extremists. A truly special photo in my collection.

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Portraits - Ghashghai (Qashqai) Nomads, Firuzabad, south of Shiraz, IRAN

Ghashghai (Qashqai) Nomads, Firuzabad, south of Shiraz, IRAN

This is another truly special photo of this 120 year old Ghashghai lady. In the southern city of Shiraz, I rented a car and driver to take me to the nomads in the fields outside the town of Firuzabad, southern Iran. These people, of Turkish descent, live almost entirely off their goats, and move location every few weeks in the interest of their grazing animals. We stopped at the main road and then hiked for a while to reach this small family of about 10 people. They have set up a few home-made tents in the greenish meadows where they guard over the goats. The tents are rather haphazardly made from the hair of their goats. Most of their food, which include meat, cheese, yogurt, and milk come from their goats. Me and my guide had a long conversation with them and with their approval I took a few photos. This lady was really shy to the camera and eventually said that she will only pose if I offer money. I wholeheartedly agreed to offer them something for their time and lovely yogurt, bread and tea which they served as lunch. As soon as I said “of course I’ll give money”, she turned in a very willing model.  What a special afternoon I spent with these amazing people! I just love Iran and its people so much!

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Akameku village, Papua New Guinea

Akameku village, Eastern Highlands, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

September 2014, and I found myself in Akameku village, in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. I was sitting around a smoky fire inside a hut with a thatched roof with this little boy staring at me. He was truly baffled by me and did not smile once, despite my jokes and other efforts to established some form of communication between us. He looked rather unhappy and just kept staring at me. The light was low as we were sitting in the smoke waiting for the rice to cook. I did not use a flash and thought the photo will be way too dark. Thanks to modern technology, the photo ended up being one of my all-time faves! How much I wish I could read his mind!

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Portraits - Iranian girl with daddy, Persepolis, Iran

Ancient Ruins of Persepolis, IRAN

I was leaving the ancient ruins of Persepolis when I saw this daddy with his little girl. I sneaked up from behind and took this photo. That’s the whole story!

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Portraits - Boy in Yubeng Village, Yunnan, CHINA

Yubeng Village, Yunnan, CHINA

Northern reaches of China’s Yunnan province near Tibet: After a 6-hour hike over the snowy mountains slipping and sliding, I reached the very remote village of Yubeng. Most people here are of Tibetan descent as this is part of the real Tibet. As I walked up from the village on a narrow slippery path, I saw this young man coming towards me. My immediate instinct was to photograph him so I lifted my camera and boom – without having time to think (or to ask), I captured this amazing photo. As usual, after the shot I asked for permission and he smiled and kept walking.  Wow… I smiled and continued up the path, only to later turn back after being stuck in deep snow.  The Tibetans of Yubeng village are true survivors! (So was I in getting there and away – I though I’ll never again see civilisation 🙂

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Portraits - Girl along the backwaters visited by the houseboat on the backwaters of Alleppey, Kerala, INDIA

Along the backwaters of Alleppey, Kerala, INDIA

Alleppey is the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala, southwestern India. Rent a large houseboat for a few days and slowly drift on the canals along the Malabar Coast.  Once in a while the boat will stop at a small village where you can get off and mingle with the friendly locals.  I met up with a lovely family with a few kids. This little girl was totally mesmerised to see a foreigner and she was thrilled to pose for many photos. What a beautiful and innocent look.

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Portraits - Lady on the circular train trip around Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, MYANMAR

I met this friendly lady at the Insein market on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar. She was very excited to communicate with me but, sadly, we could not understand each other, so we did it through smiling and taking a few photos which she appreciated on my camera monitor.

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Portraits - Monk tt Pa-Auk-Taw-Ya Monastery south of Mawlamyaing, Myanmar

At Pa-Auk-Taw-Ya Monastery south of Mawlamyaing, MYANMAR

I visited this large and very prominent monastery with my Australian-born friend Greg, who has been living in Myanmar for many years.  We served the many monks a lovely breakfast and then spent some time with a few monks talking…. monk-things. This allowed me a golden opportunity to get some close-up photos. Thanks guys!

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Portraits - Monk at Pa-Auk-Taw-Ya Monastery south of Mawlamyaing, Myanmar

At Pa-Auk-Taw-Ya Monastery south of Mawlamyaing, MYANMAR

This is the same novice monk as in the previous photo.

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Portraits - Lady at Lat-ka-Na village, outside Hpa-An, MYANMAR

Hpa-An, MYANMAR

At sunrise I was at the rice paddies just outside the town of Hpa-An, the capital of Karen State, Myanmar. Here I met a few ladies who were smoking their thick cheroots before they started to work. They were more than thrilled to pose for me while I had such a fun time taking photos of them puffing in all directions!

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Portraits - Lady in Lat-ka-Na village, outside Hpa-An, MYANMAR

An, MYANMAR

This lady goes with the story above 🙂  Kinda shy at first, but with a bit of convincing she posed.

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Portraits - Lady in Village of Kinmun, MYANMAR

Village of Kinmun, MYANMAR

In the wee hours (03:45) I left the village of Kinmun. Along this tiny mountain path I came across several small clusters of basic huts with very friendly people. This lady was one of the many people whom I met and photographed. This hike turned out to be one of my most pleasant hiking / photography experiences of my life. Such friendly and fun people!

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Portaits - boy with red betel nut mount in Village of Kinmun, MYANMAR

Kinmun, MYANMAR

No, he does not eat babies, but he constantly chews on betel nuts. I met this guy on the same hike as the picture above.  No story behind this picture other than to show how the chewing of betel nuts among many people in this part of the world can discolour their mouths.

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Portraits - Village of Shughnan, Afghanistan

Village of Shughnan, AFGHANISTAN

In the small mountain village of Shughnan in rural Afghanistan I met many interesting people. This man was sitting at his little shop selling some basic household products. At first he looked grumpy so I wasn’t sure if I should approach him. However, I have learned over time that I should never waste a Kodak moment. So, I walked up and said “as-salamu alaykum. Photo?”.  He gave me a big smile I nodded, so I took about five photos of him. Not much of a story I know, but you should have seen the authentic market where it seems time has not moved over the past 100 years!

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Portraits - Old man in Village of Shughnan, Afghanistan

Village of Shughnan, AFGHANISTAN

This man was in the same market as the guy above. He showed no emotions. I greeted him with “as-salamu alaykum” with my usual right hand on my heart, asked for a photo, he said nothing, so I took a photo and expressed my sincere “shukran” (thank you). Seems like he had no idea what a camera is….

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Portraits - Village of Shughnan, Afghanistan

Village of Shughnan, AFGHANISTAN

This man goes with the two men above. No special story, other than “I wish I can see a 30 minute documentary about his life.”

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Portraits - Girl around Song-kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan

Around Song-kul Lake, KYRGYZSTAN

I was staying in a yurt along the shores at Song-kul Lake, central Kyrgyzstan, where I met this little red-cheeked girl. She’s the daughter of the lady from whom I rented the yurt. At first the girl was quite reserved but with a few jokes she opened up and posed for me while maintaining a “no-photo attitude” 🙂  It is one of my favourite portraits.

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Portraits - Old man at Sunday live stock market, Kashgar, China

Kashgar, Xinjiang Province, CHINA

The animal market outside Kashgar in the far west of China (close to Kyrgyzstan to the west and Pakistan to the south) is quite famous due to its authenticity. It’s almost like you are in a different world when you see these hundreds of sheep, goats, cows, yaks, donkeys, horses, camels and other creatures, surrounded by the many buyers and sellers. These are very rugged animal farmers. This man was sitting down, resting his head in his hands. I took a few photos of him and when he raised his head I asked him if I could take a photo. The rather rudely refused, but I happily walked away with a “shukran” as I already had some special photos of him.

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Portraits - Old man at the Western & Central Asian Bazaar, Kashgar, China

Kashgar, Xinjiang Province, CHINA

This man was also at the Kashgar Sunday animal market. No special story. Just one of my favourite portraits. Wish I can get someone to do a large painting of this man! Any Leonardo Da Vinci’s or a Diego Velázquez out there?

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Portraits - old man in Kerman, IRAN

Kerman, IRAN

I friend of mine in Kerman, southern Iran, introduced me to his friend who then took me home and introduced me to his father, who is a leader door I was met by his very friendly wife who took us to the living room where his father was waiting. The son acted as translator while I had about an hour discussion with his father. A very friendly man, who told me all about Sufism which was indeed an interesting introduction. However, the current Iranian government does not tolerate Sufism and as such his father keeps a very low profile.

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Portraits - Monk in Kha Khat Wain Kyaung, Bago, MYANMAR

Kha Khat Wain Kyaung, Bago, MYANMAR

No special story, other than this being a nice portrait – I think.

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Portraits - Boy, Khorog, Tajikistan

 Khorog, TAJIKISTAN

I was walking down the streets of Khorog (which was heavily shaken in the Oct. 26, 2015 earthquake in Afghanistan) on my way to cross the border into Afghanistan when I came across this boy and his father building a little wall. His dad spoke some English, so we exchanged a few words. Before I left I just had to take a photo of this little youngster who was so friendly. Tajiks are such nice people!

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Portraits - - Smoke blowing woman near Kalon mosque and minaret, Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara, UZBEKISTAN

Just after sunrise I was walking around the famous temples of Bukhara when I came across this lady who was casted blessing. Deal done and she happily posed. Her smoke came from a little contraption with coals and wet towels 🙂

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Portraits - Old man begging outside the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'matollah Vali mausoleum, Mahan, IRAN

Mahan, IRAN

Outside the Aramgah-e Shah Ne’matollah Vali mausoleum in the town of Mahan, I found this man begging at the gates. He has this incredible and unforgettable face and I so much wanted to photograph him. I contributed my donation and then asked: “photo please”. He happily agreed, and that is the end of the story behind this picture. I felt truly sorry for him.

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Portraits - Monk at ShweGule Maha Paduma Teaching Monastery, Bago, MYANMAR

ShweGule Maha Paduma Teaching Monastery, Bago, MYANMAR

I was visiting a nearby temple when I spotted the ShweGule Maha Paduma Teaching Monastery across the street. I walked in and then out through the backdoor where I found a pond. At one corner of the pond this monk was sitting and as I walked by, and signalled to me to sit down. We tried to communicate but it was not going too well. With a smile I asked for a photo and he happily agreed. I thanked him and left with a bigger smile.

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Portraits - Kathakali dance, Kumily, Kerala, INDIA

Kathakali dance performance, Kochi, Kerala, INDIA

The above and next two photos were taken at the Kathakali dance performance in Kochi along the west coast of Kerala State, India. I also attended the same dance performance in the town of Kumily, but performed by a different group. Both venues are intimate and the audience Its an incredibly creative show with a long history in this part of India. Truly amazing individuals! No, I don’t know why his eyes are so red. Toxic paint perhaps? 🙂

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Portraits - Kathakali dance performance, Kochi, Kerala, INDIA

Kathakali dance performance, Kochi, Kerala, INDIA

A Kathakali dance performer starting with the bottom layers of his very elaborate face painting.

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Portraits - Kathakali dance performance, Kochi, Kerala, INDIA

Kathakali dance performance, Kochi, Kerala, INDIA

Another performer started with the basic stripes first, but by the time he is done, you won’t recognize this man!

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Portraits - Clown at Defence Force Festival, Okinawa, Japan

Clown at Defence Force Festival, Okinawa Islands, JAPAN

Japan’s Okinawa Island is one of the most beautiful places on our planet. Even the people are friendly and colourful. During the annual Defence Force Festival (as well as the Chatan Festival) complete with singers, dancers, and drummers, the clowns are an essential element in the performance of the Eisa drummers and dancers. The clowns (called the “chondara“) play a clown-like role to pump up the spectators and keep the formation of the performers in order. Clowns are mostly performed by the more experienced Eisa dancers. I was sitting in the front on the grass when this guy clowned all over me!

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Portraits - At the Chengdu Teahouse, Chengdu, Sichuan, CHINA

Chinese opera at the “Chengdu Teahouse”, Chengdu, Sichuan, CHINA

To see Chinese opera performed at the “Chengdu Teahouse”  is a very special experience. In fact, the most special part is that photography is allowed.

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Portraits - At the Chengdu Teahouse, Chengdu, Sichuan, CHINA

Chinese Opera at the “Chengdu Teahouse”, Chengdu, Sichuan, CHINA

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Portraits - Old man at the Teahorse Village, Tiger Leaping Gorge north of Lijiang, Yunnan, CHINA

Teahorse Village, Tiger Leaping Gorge north of Lijiang, Yunnan, CHINA

I was hiking the crazy path along the ‘Tiger Leaping Gorge’ which goes along the Jinsha River – a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River. At this stage the river is only about 3 Yay! What a face!

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Portraits - Young boy at the Sera Monastery, Lhasa, TIBET

Sera Monastery, Lhasa, TIBET

No long story here. I visited the amazing Sera Monastery (one of the ‘great three’ Tibetan monasteries) when I spotted this boy. Typical of kids in Tibet, his cheeks are still red from the past winter :). Non-typical is his nose was not running – how strange!  He must be a healthy boy.

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Portraits - Young boys at the Yakel Village on Tanna Island, VANUATU

Yakel Village on Tanna Island, VANUATU

This is an old photo from my Fiji Film vault. One of my most memorable trips was to the South Pacific Island of Vanuatu. From the main island of Efate I flew by small plane for about 60 minutes down to the island of Tanna. I came to Tanna to photograph the very active Mount Yasur volcano, to meet the people of the Prince Philip cult who revere the Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, to swim with the special dugong (a manatee), and most importantly to meet the Yakel tribe. After a long ride with a 4-wheel bush-buggy we arrived in this small village where I met these interesting people.

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Portraits - Polish man outside Noorderlicht, East Coast Trip, Svalbard, Norway

Svalbard, NORWAY

The Svalbard Islands are the gateway to many North Pole expeditions. Just over a thousand kilometres north and you’re on top of the world. Svalbard in winter is bitterly cold. So cold that I threw a cup of boiling water into the air and it drifted away as snow flakes. I came here to photograph some of the many polar bears. This man was the expedition leader on my dog sledding trip. Of Polish descent, I think he will beat Bear Grylls in an Arctic survival challenge, for sure!

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Portraits - Man around Kulusuk Village, GREENLAND

Kulusuk Village, GREENLAND

At the edge of southeastern Greenland is the small settlement of Kulusuk. This Inuit man performed a song of the eagle and the polar bear. Dressed in his polar bear skin white boots, he did a great performance and got lost in his own song. Incredible!

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Portraits - German couple in the Blue Lagoon outside Reykjavik, ICELAND

Blue Lagoon outside Reykjavik, ICELAND

Iceland is known for their “blue lagoon” which is the largest and most famous of their many hot springs. Located not far from Reykjavik, I met with this lovely German couple. Is is customary of bathers to apply the white clay from the pool over their faces as it apparently has invigorating powers.

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Portraits - Old man in Shanghai, China

Shanghai, CHINA

I was walking around the Longhua Temple in Shanghai when I spotted this man through an open window. I leaned in and took this photo without disturbing his afternoon nap.

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Portraits - Man at the Nizwa Souq, Nizwa, Oman

Nizwa Souq, Nizwa, OMAN

At the Nizwas Souk (market) I saw a few men sitting on the steps. I walked up, greeted with a respectful “salaam a’alaykum”, smiled, and then asked for permission to photograph. He covered his face with a smile which I interpreted as an invitation to shoot a creative portrait. Both he and I smiled afterwards and he asked me “where are you from”. Nice.

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Portraits - Kids at Dieu De National Pagoda, Hue, Vietnam

Hue, VIETNAM

Walking along the canals of Hue, these kids were quite pesky. All wanting to be photographed to then see their photo on the camera monitor. This is one of the many photos I took to make them happy – and I was happy too.

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Portraits - Man in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka, BANGLADESH

No big story here. Just one of the many portraits I shot in Bangladesh where everyone who breathes wants their photograph to be taken. Yes, people would really line up to have me take their photo. Such kind souls!

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Portraits - Novice Monks, Village of Mingun, north of Mandalay, Myanmar

Village of Mingun, north of Mandalay, MYANMAR

I travelled by boat to Irawaddy river north of Mandalay. As I left the village I came across this funny bunch of novice monks.  So I captured another red betel nut smile.

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Portraits - Peruvian Girl, Village market in Sacred Valley some distance from Cusco, Peru

Village market in Sacred Valley some distance from Cusco, PERU

This girl was sitting at the bustling village market in Peru’s Sacred Valley, not too far from Cusco. The market is incredibly authentic with many people dressed in their traditional clothing, and about every second young girl carrying a lamb with her like it is a Barbie Doll. Really funny to see these lambs enjoying the pampering. Not sure she even knew I took this treasured photo of her.

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Kashgar, China

Kashgar, Xinjiang Province, CHINA

I was walking down the street in Kashgar when I saw this man sitting in the front shop area of his modest home. I immediately stopped and asked if I could take a photo and a bit to my surprise he happily agreed with a smile. So glad I asked!

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Kashgar, Xinjiang Province, CHINA

I was on an 8-hour train ride through the desert of China’s western province of Xinjiang from the town of Hotan to the town of Kashgar, some 500 km apart. The train was packed with people and my seat number was directly opposite the small table of this young woman. She was very shy and tried not to make eye contact for the first 6 hours but after she eventually accepted some of my snacks, she made eye contact. I so much wanted to take a photo but I knew it was a no-no. She had several male family members around her to whom I talked and started to play with my camera and I let them take pics of each other until I took over the camera and took some nice photos – of all but her. She was shy but was laughing and started to open up. While we all had fun I ever so kindly asked her for a photo and to my surprize she agreed, but I had to wait until she had most of her face covered. Thanks my dear!


See my latest collection of portraits in Globerovers Magazine: