When I travel to a new place, there are few things I make sure to look for and find (The rest I leave for serendipity): An area where I can find great graffiti and street Art, an area where I can find people hanging their laundry outdoors and the best view of the city.
There is nothing like walking all day in the streets of a new place and then (usually at the end of the day just before sunset) climbing up a mountain, a hill, a tall tower, a bridge, the 43rd floor (in case of Manhattan) the 6th floor (in case of Montmartre in Paris) or anything that helps you see the city in a whole new different perspective. When you are up, overlooking the city, you no longer hear the traffic in the streets (you just see the cars), you don’t see the people in eye level and you don’t smell the street vendor’s food, the smoke or anything else.
It is a sort of serenity. a state of mind. (and an important addition for a Travel Portfolio)
Here are some rooftops locations from Madrid, Barcelona, Bologna, Rome, Florence, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Paris and Manhattan. If you have more recommendations, please send me a message.
Few days after I wrote this post, I was chosen by Easy Jet Holidays as one of their Bloggers of the month as they chose to feature this post on their website. Check it out and some other great inspiring bloggers.
Some guys have the ‘black list’ (well, some of us women have it too) but mostly we have the Femmelist. Femmelist is (and this is what I copied from the blog itself) an inspiring blog about women who are succeeding at being amazing. Musicians, fashionistas, globetrotters, artists, film directors, painters, designers, writers, bloggers, photographers, or just plain awesome, these are FemmeListas. Women who break the mold, propose new ways of life and create paths out of dead-ends. Femmelist attempts to be an ‘online catalogue’ of amazing femmes, somewhere to get inspiration and find real role models.
The woman behind Femmelist is an inspiration herself. Lia!
She started this blog after doing research on women for her Anthropology studies and worked at Columbia University. The blog continued out of a personal interest and now has a life of its own. It serves as an inspiration for others who truly happy when women make it, as Lia says.
I love her definition for making it;Making it is when we do what we love and try to do our best while at it. I’m so excited to make it on that criteria, and moreover, make it to the Femmelist, with so many others inspiring women like those I met and know and those I want to meet.
When I met Aurelie, the Editor in Chief of Resource Magazine one afternoon in her office in Dumbo, I thought it was going to be just an introduction meeting. I never imagined Aurelie had better plans for me when she asked me to cover the story ‘Productions of the World; Tel Aviv’ for the Summer 2012 Edition. ‘I give you the full responsibility to cover the story’ she said ‘and I trust you get the best information to our readers’
The story ‘Productions of the World; Tel Aviv’ is everything a photographer should know in case he/she has a Fashion/Commercial/Editorial shoot in Tel Aviv. Here you can find where to rent your equipment, who are the top hair and make up artists, which hotel to stay, where are the trendiest bars, restaurants, night clubs, what to do in your down time (The beach, of course) and why Tel Aviv is THE place to be these days.
When people who have never been to Israel find out that I am originally from Tel Aviv, they tend to think I am from a provincial Middle Eastern city filled with slow-moving camels, armed soldiers and ancient Biblical monuments. I don’t even know where to begin to prove them wrong.
Tel Aviv is in fact a stylish, modern Mediterranean Metropolis with chic and bustling cafes, an exciting culture scene, trendy boutiques and a roaring nightlife. But the real appeal of Tel Aviv is in its people, who love the good life. Ever-crowded cafes buzz with laughter and conversations almost 24/7, and crowds spill out of theaters, music halls and nightclubs late into the night. The city feels self-confident, even hedonistic at times, but it’s mostly simply alive.
Tel Aviv has been developed tremendously in recent years-new high-rise buildings went up, while old buildings have been restored. The contrast of new vs. old, chic vs. conservative or local vs. international will make your visiting and shooting experience a successful and enjoyable one.
I often wonder what do people think about me when they see the title ‘Travel Photographer’ next to my name. People tend to think I’ve been running this jetset kind of life (sometimes it is true), living on suitcases (sometimes it takes me more than a week to unpack, just because I’m so busy with other things) or working for National Geographic (not yet). I must admit I had the same thoughts when I saw these two words next to Tracy Zhang‘s name.
Tracy commented on one of my posts few weeks ago, when I was featured in Dabble Magazine, and I got curious about her. I checked out her beautiful website and was so impressed by the number of places she has visited and shot. Some of them are on my ‘to-go’ list as well; Shanghai or Cuba to name a few. The more I looked into her website and blog, the more I got curious. And then I realized she is only 21! What a great portfolio for such a young age. I can’t even start to imagine where she few years from now! I can only say ‘World, Hold On!’ and see what Tracy has to offer.
Tracy is currently Traveling in North Europe. I managed to get hold of her to share some of her information and photographs while she was sitting in a cozy coffee-bar in Copenhagen on the canal. (Yes, can be the life of a Travel photographer). I’m really excited to feature Tracy today and I hope you enjoy same as I did.
Where are you from? I was born in Beijing China and lived there for 11 years before moving to Vancouver Canada with my parents. Sometimes I tell people I’m from Vancouver and other times I say I’m from Beijing. I have a Canadian passport but my roots are in Asia. Both places are unique and beautiful in their own right, and I consider both home.
Where did you study photography? I didn’t study photography in college or university. When I was in high school, I took a film photography course because I needed an Arts credit to graduate and I had heard that the teacher who taught the class gave very little homework. But that course was the pivotal point for me. Through it, I learned to develop my own negatives and positives, and became really interested in photography. I have been completely self-taught since.
What made you want to learn it? At the time, the film photography course at my school was the last one my high school ever taught, everything shifted to digital photography the year after. I took the course on a whim because I thought it would be an easy class, but I became hooked on photography because I loved being in the dark room. I used to spend hours in there, hunched over the enlarger and standing over the chemical trays. I was fascinated by the way the photographs would appear, almost out of nowhere, on the photo paper.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? I’ve always wanted to work in advertising and make creative and memorable ads, the kind they play in the Super Bowl and gets people talking. Well, I might still have time to change careers!
Where do you get your inspiration from? The places I travel to inspire me. Every destination is different, with its own mix of culture, food, and people. I try to open up all my senses to really soak up the essence of every place and incorporate that into my photographs.
How do you usually approach a new project? My projects are usually location-based; I start with my own emotions and thoughts toward the place. This usually happens at my hotel room or in a local coffee shop. I need solitude for this. I think about how I feel about my destination, usually writing a few words down to remind myself. These words then become the central theme of that project and my starting point.
What are you working on right now? Prior to this year, I was still shooting portraits and fashion. Since I transitioned into travel photography exclusively only earlier this year, I’m working on getting more of my travel photography work seen, which involves traveling a lot and then finding time in between to edit my work and get it out to editors. I just spent a month traveling through China and I’m making my way through Scandinavia right now. I’ll be working on getting more work from these trips out to publications in the coming months.
Window or Aisle? Window, always. You never know what might be out there.
We first met in a Food Photography’s weekend class at ICP. I think we both had the same camera (Nikon D90) and we worked together on some assignments. Since then we made it as a habit to meet each other once in a while, ALWAYS in a Le Pain Quotidien somewhere in the city (I think we almost covered all the branches in NY) and catch up about our recent or up-coming travels plans or the photography projects we both have in line. (yes, these images of mine were taken by Juliette during one of our Summer Session over a drink in the Lower East Side)
I think it was because of Juliette that I got the courage to travel by myself to Vietnam, as Juliette used to live in Hanoi few years ago. And maybe she got the idea to visit Tokyo because of my recent trip there. In any case, I find Juliette a vibrant photographer who is passionate about travel as much as I do. For my column Window or Aisle, Juliette chose to focus on Black and White portraits; ‘I thought it would add a B&W touch to your blog -haha!- and also thought it would be nice to show that travel photography is also about portraits and how you can travel even in your own neighborhood’ she wrote me, and I couldn’t agree more.
As I write these words I happen to be in Paris, waiting for Juliette’s first exhibit to kick in. The exhibit ‘NY Figures’ will be showing on June 14 till July 28 in Le Village Royal. If you happen to be in Paris on that time, don’t miss Juliette’s exhibition.
Where are you from? I am a French photographer. I grew up in France and I now live in New York.
Where did you study photography ? Like a lot of photographers I guess, I learned the fundamentals of photography from my father. I studied journalism and in 2001, I traveled to Beirut and perfected my skills at the news agency AFP’s photo service. This is where I learned how to shoot digital. Since I moved to New York, more than 7 years ago, I have been involved with the International Center of Photography, first as a student and now as a Teachers’ Assistant.
What made you want to learn it? I have always wanted to catch and frame certain moments, faces, looks and situations. It’s when I traveled to the US for the first time as a teenager, that I first realized that photography could allow me to take a step back and a certain distance with reality. By taking a picture I could literally “freeze” my surroundings.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you do? I would be a wine maker and oenologist, maybe in the South of France or in Italy. I LOVE wine!
Where do you get your inspiration from? I get my inspiration from the places I travel to. Different people, atmospheres, lights, streets, landscapes, architecture, that make each place unique. That’s what I try to capture.
How do you usually approach a new project? For me, the usual approach is to look at my environment with wonderment and to let me get “surprised” by a subject, a situation, an idea. Then I start working from there.
What are you working on right now? I am completing a series called ‘Faces of the Lower East Side’. It’s a series of portraits I started to shoot last summer in my neighborhood, the lower east side of manhattan. I have been leaving in this neighborhood for 7 years and have been witnessing the recent evolution of the neighborhood. Gentrification is slowly forcing out low-income families of all ethnic backgrounds. One day I realized that the deli down my building was closed and that I won’t see the Pakistani owner and his nice face any more. That is when I decided to start this series, in order to document my neighbors, the people who live on my block, in my street, who are the faces of the Lower East Side. Taking these pictures make me travel in my own neighborhood. It is a journey through places and time: people from Cuba, Porto Rico, Jewish people, Chinese, young hipsters…
Window or Aisle? Window definitely! I want to see what is going on down under. But you don’t want to seat next to me as I will constantly go back and forth, I can not seat still in a plane! I am too impatient and cannot wait to arrive to the next place.
I don’t really remember when and how exactly I found out aboutSkip Town but I do remember quite well how much I liked it instantly. Its simple yet sophisticated design, the useful and detailed information and the diversity of the featured photographers, made it all so appealing. At least for me. Moreover, its title ‘the online resource for creative travelers’ grabbed my intention right away, but let’s face it; when it has to do with traveling, I’m quite biased.
I was first featured in Skip Town on April 2011, when Jess saw my ‘Intimacy Under the Wires’ project somewhere, and I got all very excited when I saw it online. But now I’m even more excited to be featured for the second time, in the blog’s category ‘Through their Eyes’ where pro photographers share their travel snaps. Read all about it.
So this morning I got few tweets from my friends who informed me the feature is now on-line. Here is the link to the 8th issue of the magazine. I love how it came out, with the background of Paris rooftops.
Thanks Victoria for having me!
Stay tuned for more collaborations in the near future.
Window or Aisle? is a new column on my Travel blog, in which I feature some of my colleagues and people I meet either on-line or off-line. People with whom I have at least one thing in common: The love of Traveling.
With some of them I was working in the past or collaborated on some projects, some I met through my travels and we were just shooting the breeze and shooting what was around us. With some, I know I would love to collaborate somehow somewhere in the near future.
My first guest is a good friend of mine, Peter Zullo, a photographer from Bologna, Italy. I first met Peter in a photography class we both took at ICP during the winter semester. As quiet and shy Peter was at first, his pictures really blew me away. Especially his on going project Bologna Specular Reflections which spread out to other cities in Italy and New York as well. I met Peter again when I traveled to Florence last October and we shot together in Venice. I was looking for Laundry shots and Peter was looking for Reflections (yep, that’s me in the picture above)
I’m really happy to introduce you to Peter’s work and have him answer some of my questions. Thanks Peter!
Where are you from? I’m italian. I live in Bologna.
Where did you study photography? I have studied photography for the last fifteen years and have attended courses and seminars with professional photographer both in Spazio Labò (Bologna) and in ICP (NYC).
What made you want to learn it? I was very disappointed by the pictures I took during my first trip in the West of the USA. So I decided I should improve my skill. Since then, I continued studying and taking pictures of people and places while traveling.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be? A teacher
Where do you get your inspiration from? Famous photographers (like Steve McCurry), Italian photographers I met (like Giulio Di Meo www.giuliodimeo.it) and talented colleagues. But I think my greatest inspiration are people. I’m a great observer and I try to shoot people and the places around them.
How do you usually approach a new project? I try to keep my mind open. Usually the result is really different from the first idea. My “Specular Reflections” series should have been a project about all kindS of reflections. After a few weeks of shoots I realized I could do something more specific and unusual.
What are you working on right now? I’m working on a couple of projects of social photography in Bologna. And I’m ready for my next trip: Berlin
Window or Aisle seat? I can’t sleep on airplane flights. I spend my time organizing my pictures and admiring the landscape. The world seen from an airplane is so quiet and amazing. No doubt. Window.
My on going photography-travel- project ‘Intimacy Under the Wires’ is now featured in May issue of Shamenet Magazine in Israel. This project has been quite popular and been featured on some Travel and Photography blogs for the last couple of months, but this is actually the second time it is on print and the first time it is featured in Hebrew.
Here is a little confession: When I first saw Dalit Katzenellenbogen Viva Italia blog few months ago, all I wanted was to be her. Meanwhile I’ll do with being a guest blogger on Viva Italia. Here is a short interview with me and featuring some of my photos from my trip to Florence. Here is the link to read the full article. Sorry, but the text is only in Hebrew (but the photos are not)