I’ve been to many celebrations of the New Year around the world, including Paris and my home town, Sydney. Last year I celebrated New Year in Tokyo, Japan. Considered one of the great cities (or at least one that always makes the world clocks list in vintage newspaper offices), New Year takes on a different flavour in Tokyo to other places I’ve visited. As always, it’s a time for reflection and renewal.
After an incredibly busy period of work, I’ve finally got back into my writing. It’s been a very creative two weeks, attending writing workshops, talks and doing some poetry of my own. This poem is for some of my friends who live in Varanasi. I only visited the city for three days, but it had a profound affect on me, and I will never forget the city. Varanasi is built on the Ganges, and in several of the ghats along the river, they burn bodies and float the remains into the holy river.
The Holi festival is one of the most visibly beautiful festivals to photograph for any travel photographer. Holi, otherwise known as the festival of colour, is celebrated in March or April every year. One of my main reasons for visiting India at this time of year was to photograph the festival, with the aim of getting some very colourful portraits.
Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit. But for me, it’s also one of the must see destinations of the world, where peaceful park spaces intersect with one of the most technologically advanced cities. Thankfully, it’s easy to experience Tokyo without spending money except on food and transport. It’s a great city to wander and watch the individual styles of the local people.
Kat: We’ve encountered a number of Guinness World Record holders in Korea. We’ve been to the closest train station to a beach. Listened to Psy’s record-breaking YouTube video Gangnam Style (if you haven’t seen it yet, you must be living in the Antarctic). And now we’ve been to the world’s biggest department store. Shinsegae shopping mall.
Autumn in South Korea is one of the best times to visit. It’s not too hot or cold, and you’re treated to the most amazing display of colours. Over the past month I’ve visited two temples in the local region in order to shoot the autumn leaves. That’s fall for those of you who don’t speak proper English! It’s difficult to get a clear shot in Korea because of the high rise developments. There are apartment complexes even in the countryside. But temples provide a beautiful park space combined with oriental architecture.