Category Archives: Travel

Stories and photographs from Jonathan Kingston’s travels around the world.

Thirty Days in Sixty Seconds – A Photographers Journey in Panama

I was inspired by David Guttenfelder’s “Ninety Days in Ninety Seconds”. If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a photographer working on a story like this Spanish shipwreck in Panama, here is thirty days in sixty seconds.  You can read the full story on National Geographic here.

 

Molokai Land Trust-Saving The Last Of Wild Hawaii

A place very close to my heart – it makes up less than .1% of US land but has over 25% of the plants and animals found on the nation’s endangered species list. Please join me in helping the Molokai Land Trust save the last of wild Hawaii.  I am giving away signed 12×18 prints to the first 10 people who donate $125.

Forbidden City’s north gate, Beijing, China

A lone person walks through the north gate of the Forbidden City, Beijing, China, a UNESCO world heritage site.
A lone person walks through the north gate of the Forbidden City, Beijing, China, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The late afternoon fall haze had settled over the bustling city of Beijing as the sun set on the Forbidden City.  The north gate, normally crowded with visitors silhouetted a lone figure leaving its confines.  Click…  A perfect evening.

Courtyard Saris, India

Colorful saris are draped in a courtyard in preparation for a wedding in Mathura, India.
Colorful saris are draped in a courtyard in preparation for a wedding in India.

Music from what sounded like a drunken high school marching band reverberated down the street full cows, hucksters, potholes and people.  I knew the cacophonous sound meant one thing – a celebration.  Walking toward the rowdy music, I turn into a courtyard regaled in reds, oranges and the many colors of the rainbow as the misty morning light began to harden.  A wedding was at hand!  My visual love affair with India is renewed.  She never ceases to surprise and delight in a visual feast for the eyes.

Musicians of the Thar Desert

Photographing a story on the Pushkar camel fair is something I had wanted to do since hearing about it shortly after arriving in India to teach photography in 2002.  In the fall of 2008, the right opportunity presented itself and I found myself under the Rajasthan desert sun surrounded by thousands of nomads.  What I realized immediately was the real story was not the fair, but the thousands of lives in the orbit of the mela.  Just as a satellite has a clear view of the earth, their lives told a story of the bigger picture beyond the surface of what any casual observer would see.  I chose to focus on just one family drawn into the fairs orbit.  Click the play button below to see the mela through their eyes. Don’t forget to click the full screen button on the bottom right for the full effect.

Musicians of the Thar Desert from Jonathan Kingston on Vimeo.

Every year, thousands of camel herders and tens of thousands of camels gather during the full moon of the month of Kartik to trade their livestock. In the midst of this mela, filled with a carnival atmosphere of tourists, hucksters, con men, and heavily mustached and turbaned desert nomads, a family of musicians counts on the festival to bring in the majority of the money they need to survive for the coming year.

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat – Mumbai, India

In the fall of 2008, I made a trip to India to visit former students and get my creative juices flowing.  After 20 hours of travel, crossing multiple time zones and very little sleep, I touched down to the mayhem of Mumbai at one in the morning and let Paul Liebhardt talk me into foregoing much needed sleep in order to photograph at the Dhobi Ghat before sunrise the following day.  So exhausted that I was not sure which way was up or down, we managed to spend three hours at the Ghat before succumbing to exhaustion.  Here is a little rich media piece I produced from those few short hours.  I look forward to returning to the subject in the future for more in-depth coverage.  Be sure to click on full screen for the full experience.

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai, India from Jonathan Kingston on Vimeo.

In the heart of Mumbai lies an integral feature of the city. The Mahalaxmi Dhobi ghat where 10,000 workers wash over 1,000,000 pieces of clothing a day, by hand, each individual standing in the soapy water near their washing stone for up to 16 hours. The dhobi ghat is one of the largest examples of this profession in the world and it is finding itself at the center of a a John Henry-esque story of man versus machine is unfolding in this rapidly growing city of over 18 million people.

Decompression day

There is nothing is quite as delicious as a day off after working 12 hour days for more than a week.  This evening, Dewitt and I headed down to the west end of the island where he has been photographing a beautiful series of wave images.  As we set up on the beach, we discussed plans for our October photography workshop on Molokai, and chatted about some wonderful ideas Rikki had for the upcoming class.  Soon the conversation drifted off into reverie of the musical scene that was before us, and the meditation of photography began.

Rock on Papohaku beach, Molokai, Hawaii (tonemapped HDR image).
Rock on Papohaku beach, Molokai, Hawaii (tonemapped HDR image).

Dewitt filmed this short video of me moments before the above frame happened.

Click HERE to watch on an iPhone or iPad