A year ago, I left the cold late February of my beloved Montreal to depart on a great adventure – I knew I had to be in LA in early March and Tokyo in mid May, but in between was wide open. My friend Adrian invited me to Bali, where he was staying for the Winter, and so I decided to fill the time gap by investing in a 10 weeks photo trip through South-east Asia. It started in Bali, then I hopped to Java, had a short stop in Kuala Lumpur, then spent some time in Vietnam, South Korea and landed in Tokyo. There are no words to convey how brilliant, eye opening, heart lightening and overall wonderful this experience has been. Oh and of course productive. Through my several encounters, many discovery trips and lucky finds, I came back home with close to 15000 images and clips to edit, or, in other words, add to my already heavy back catalog of images to submit. It’s now been 9 months since my return and I’ve managed to retouch and submit 820 images of this journey – which is about two fifth of what should be the final number of available photographs.
So time to present a few of these amazing series. Here’s one. While I stayed in Bali, we would enjoy the great food that Uni cooked for us and one day, wanting to know the source of these delights, she took us to the Seririt food market. In the smoldering heat and humidity, we discovered heaps of colorful food ingredients, various items of clothing and more than one luminously happy faces. Uni introduced us to many of the vendors who allowed us to take their photos while working. The food looked so fresh and good, vibrant colors, gorgeous spices and fruits. I don’t know exactly what it is with Asian food markets, but it makes the return to our cold, huge – dead in a way- supermarkets particularly difficult. Here’s a sample of these images. You can view this series either by itself on Photoshelter (with links to purchase on Istock) or amidst my other Indonesian images directly on Istock.
These are all unreleased, so only available for editorial use.
Last Fall, I took part in my 4th official Istockalypse after Berlin, London and Hong Kong. This one took place in Istanbul, where I spent two weeks in late October. Upon coming back, amidst the stress of relocating, finding a place to live, move all my stuff and rediscover my inner strength, I pushed over 250 images of this event, more than I ever did on the previous ones. I participated in 2 walkabout shoots organized by Getty Images, 2 pitch shoots also sponsored by Getty Images, and 3 side shoots. I also photographed the city whenever I could, in all its historic grandeur: mosques, markets, commercial streets and skylines of piled up apartment buildings. So, yes, lots of images… And I have tons more to go through.
Here are three galleries I put together today on Photoshelter. As usual, links to buy the images on IStock are provided on each image’s page in bright orange. Go ahead and splurge.
Hello readers, first off, thank you all for your support yesterday during 100% royalty to the artists day on Istock, especially the ones that acted from my suggestions on twitter (@mccomberphoto) and transformed the day from blah to exciting. It was the first time that I sent multiple tweets in a day and the response was far better than I expected, so I might just make this a habit.
Anyhow, I’m back from the Hong Kong 2014 Istockalypse event, and what a blast! Everything was well organized and smooth: we had great models and art direction, believable settings and of course an extraordinary destination to discover through our lenses. I spent an amazing 8 days in HK and discovered a rich, vibrant and welcoming megapolis with the kindest strangers I’ve ever met. I mean somebody actually ran after me to warn me that my photo bag was unzipped. No, we’re not in New York.
Since I registered too late to put together pitch shoots, a brilliant new concept for the Lypses, I had ample time to just walk in the city and visit some locations without feeling rushed. I did so with my two friends Lorraine and Adrian whom I met during the Switzerland minilypse in 2012 and since then had the good fortune to meet again and again all over the world at the Istock events. Really fun times.
Unlike London last Fall, I decided to try and get into people’s faces and shoot some editorial images of the daily life of the Hong Kong people. Boy, was I surprised at the reaction. Whereas in many large cities of the Western world being targeted by a camera is seen as an intrusive, borderline aggressive gesture that is often met with a frown and sometimes outright outrage, over in Hong Kong, people kindly posed and walked up to me to discuss what they and I were doing, hand me cards, invite me to participate, etc. It was wonderful. I love this city!
So I came back on the 10th and I started uploading right away. You will find my work in this Istock Lightbox as it arrives. I should work only on this shoot for the remainder of May, so check daily to see the new work. I have no firm plans yet to upload the new work to the Photoshelter site, as it is rather time consuming and brings back weak results. Here’s the banner to the lightbox:
And here are 4 early acceptances from the trip:
I’m editing in chronological order, so there are lots of nice surprises coming and don’t be disappointed by the more mundane material: I’m putting up anything that I think has a market. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of “wow” shots along the way. Model shots should come later, probably next week, when I get the releases.
And yes, of course, huge thanks and bravos to the team behind this event – Elissa, Rebecca, Simon, Bill and all the others: you made this one of the best Lypses ever and I hope the format survives for many Lypses to come.
I’m back from London where I attended the 2013 London Istockalypse. I had a marvelous time getting back together with good friends and shooting my ass off for 6 days. Did I get everything I could out of it? Probably not, but I have enough to work on for months to come. Next will be another Orlando minilypse in February, and then no more Lypses for a while unless I get bucketed again: I have a gigantic backlog of photos to edit as you all know.
So what did I shoot while in London? Here’s a list of subjects you will see appear over the next year:
Day 1: After a long commute to my hotel (the London tube is disappointingly slow, when you combine the often irritating distance between the street and actual subway ramp, and then the time it takes to reach another ramp when you transfer… plus buses are stuck in dense traffic if you want to avoid subways… I had to count 2 hours of transit whenever I wished to go somewhere. That’s the biggest downer of the trip really), I picked up my camera bag and hopped on a bus to London Bridge. Overcast day, not ideal for tourism shots, but then sooo London. Maybe someone’s looking for gray weather shots. Anyways, that’s what I got so I tried to make the best out of it. I did a bunch of editorial, realized I was surprisingly rusty, and quickly switched to architecture mode as I walked down the South bank looking North towards the Tower bridge, pictured above. Oh and that shot is the first to make the Vetta collection out of what I hope is many. On the way I stopped at The Scoop and More London and shot the City Hall, nicknamed the glass testicule, and surrounding buildings. By that time the sun was setting, so I crossed the Thames on the Tower Bridge and covered the Tower of London, views of The City and Southwark and the bridge itself, until it was full dark. Since I hadn’t brought my tripod, I called it a day, went to eat at Brown’s (which was not as delicious as I remembered from Cardiff in 2011), and went back to the hotel.
Day 2: Up early, it’s sunny outside and down I go to the City, enjoying the fact that on early Sunday mornings, everything is deserted. Lots of empty street shots for composites, some architecture stills and views from the modern buildings under construction in the area. I also covered an empty Leadenhall market which attracted my sight from the bus the day before, and then I did what I could around the Gherkin, Lloyds of London and other buildings in the area. I then walked down towards the bank and stock market where I shot buses and general London city life. St-Paul cathedral was not far so it became next on my list, I had lunch on its front steps and was soon surrounded by a flock of pigeons that enjoyed my Marks and Spencer scone more than I did. Back up on my feet, I crossed the Thames on the Millennium bridge and walked towards the Globe theater and an empty Borough Market. I then got on the tube and lost half an hour finding my way out of Westminster station and shot the Palace of Westminster, the abbey and cloister. Unfortunately I couldn’t visit the cathedral because it was Sunday and tourists aren’t allowed. Of well. I walked and photographed the very posh Westminster residential area nearby (so Mary Poppins) and headed to St-James park, which had been deemed the most photogenic park by a local I met earlier that day. It was a bit blah, so I walked back towards the Thames and got some shots of The Eye and crossed the Westminster bridge to get the photo everybody does with the buses and Big Ben. Mine isn’t very good and will undoubtedly flop, but hey, no photographer would go to London and not try that shot. I spent the sunset hour shooting the Palace from across the Thames and waited for Lorraine to arrive. We got on a bus, back to Shoreditch where we stayed, selected a packed Inidan restaurant and waited for Adrian to join us. Thus the big fun began. Cocktails, stories and laughter galore.
Day 3: I didn’t shoot a thing that day. It was all about education at the Lypse and social activities with friends and colleagues.
Day 4: Adrian, Lorraine and I decided to head to the first official shoot to an urban garden. We spent an hour shooting transit scenes on the way there since we had to take the overground which afforded great light. Once there, I was lucky enough to shoot the models taking a break and having tea, which gave me a few very natural shots that I think only three of us exploited. I then shot gardening nick-knacks and joined the mob of 20 or so photogs for the ruthless paparazzi-style shoot of two beautifully dressed women planting grass in late October (!) and interacting in a number of ways. I tried to not get bumped too much by the others all crammed up in a big pile of artists and get a few good shots out of it. I then moved away, as this is decidedly not my kind of scene. Lorraine, Adrian and I then tried to find the second walkabout, which was about transit, and so covered a few of the Shoreditch streets on the way. I staged a little romantic scene in Autumn leaves at a local park and shot a few store fronts. We never reached the walkabout. So we went to lunch instead and a bus ride later, we were downtown shooting on the London bridge again. The idea for that afternoon was to climb up to the top of St-Paul for sunset, which we did – and it’s a lot tougher than you think – to get some great views. Back at the hotel, I staged a series of self portraits as someone doing business in a hotel room in underwear and a dressed shirt using laptop and mobile phone.
Day 5: The official shoot day for the bucket winners and invited artists. I got to shoot first so I had to get up at 5:30 to get to the suburb where the shoot was by 8:30. I shot a few portraits against a wall to be composited into both London and Paris, using the background shots I did there in September. I then spent the rest of my 45 minutes shooting romantic couples interacting, also with composites in mind, although the scenery was quite beautiful so a few will find their way as they were shot. I helped out Adrian who was up next, and did a few shots with his idle models. I then set up my return to London early, as I wanted to catch the last hour of sunlight somewhere downtown, which I did in Hyde park with Lorraine. Although by then we were so tired that we just ended up eating a pizza by the lake and calling it a day.
Day 6: Last day of the Lypse. I showed some of my work to my art director who was quite happy with what I did and was looking forward to seeing the composite images with the models. Lunch at a good Dim Sum place and then I parted ways with my friends to go shoot buildings alone in the residential Shoreditch area. The feverishly fun evening was spent at the Halloween farewell party at Cargo. Huge thanks to everyone involved in getting this event together. These are so much fun, educative and surprising… I had a lovely time.
Day 7: I couldn’t sleep so I decided to head downtown for the sunrise. I shot in the West end, Piccadilly circus, around Buckingham palace, in the Green park, and went to Royal Albert Hall before heading back to the hotel to start the long transit back to the airport.
There you have it. It was one of the most fun Lypses I’ve attended, even though it was the least productive. But that’s all on me. I still should have a good number of very useful images. Stay tuned!
I’m going to London at the end of October – my name was picked again for the official Lypse – yay! If this kind of images continues to sell over the other kinds, I’ll probably keep at least one day to go around shooting unreleased ordinary people doing ordinary things. Heck, if that pays for the trip…