Yosemite, friends & a 35mm

Words & Photography by Emanuel Hahn

Recently I was in San Francisco for a wedding and on a whim, I posted on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in doing a quick trip to Yosemite. Two of my friends (David and Melody) were down and we quickly worked out the logistics.

Yosemite was one of those places I had heard about but couldn’t quite envision in my head. The first thing that struck me was the name Yosemite, which literally means “those who kill”. I knew that Yosemite had a special, almost spiritual, place in the hearts of Californians, and wanted to find out why for myself.

The trip was eventful – On the first night, David and I were driving down from Glacier Point towards the Valley when it started to snow, in June! We prayed that we would clear the snow before it got too heavy but alas we saw the snow slowly starting to pile up on the road. The snow got heavier and our visibility was reduced to barely 10 feet ahead of us. We saw cars ahead of us skidding off the road and we just hoped that we would not be like them. However, it was not meant to be: our car started skidding of the road and soon our back wheels were stuck off the road and we couldn’t get back on. We were blocking about 15 cars behind us and soon a ranger came over to tell us to stay put and that snowplows and a towtruck (for us) would be on their way.

After 6 hours, the snowplows finally arrived and cleared the roads. The tow truck arrived soon after and brought us to down to the garage in the Valley. We then drove another 3 hours back to our Airbnb, which we discovered was in the middle of an off-the-map dirt road. We arrived at 6am and immediately passed out.

The next day, our friend Melody drove down from San Francisco and joined us at Yosemite. The weather proved to be much friendlier (in the high 70s F) and the rest of the trip was much more enjoyable. The highlight of the trip was sunset at Glacier Point, which provides an incredible view of Half Dome and the rest of the Valley. The way the light at sunset hits the peaks provides for very interesting photos.

The overall experience of being there was sublime. When I witnessed the grandeur of El Capitan and Half Dome, I was speechless. I felt tiny and powerless in comparison to the vastness and scale of sheer rock I was standing in front of, even if it was from a viewing deck. I understood why Yosemite was so special even though there had been other more visually pleasing national parks I had been to. There’s something about the enduring solidity of the mountains that reminds us of our own fragility and transient lives.



Film | Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Ektar 100
Camera | Canon A-1
Lab | The Color House

About Emanuel
Emanuel Hahn is a commercial and editorial photographer specializing in portraiture based in Brooklyn, NY. As a third-culture kid that grew up in Korea, Singapore and Cambodia, Emanuel is fascinated by the stories rich in cultural experiences and travel.

Instagram:@hahnbo
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hahnbo

Inca Trail Signpost

Hiking The Inca Trail

Words & Photography by Emily Ganey
Sacred Valley Day:

Thomas and I have both been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit – both together and independently. When we got married last year, we knew we wanted to go somewhere different, where neither of us had gone, for our honeymoon. Machu Picchu had always intrigued me, so it wiggled its way to the top of our list.

We flew into Cusco and our tour guide picked us up at 5:30 in the morning. They drove us to our hotel – Rumi Punku. The hotel staff made us tea and showed us to our rooms. Normally, I’m a “let’s explore as much of the city as possible” kind of girl, but after those flights and that altitude (over 11,000 feet), I just needed to rest. We eventually mustered up the energy to grab lunch at a local organic restaurant a few streets away. They fed us amazing, fresh food that was really delicious! That evening, we relaxed out on the terrace at our hotel.

One thing that struck me from that first day was all of the dogs roaming the streets. So many! Our tour guide said that they were pets, they weren’t just strays, but no one had enough room in their home to keep the dogs inside. The dogs would run in the street and get out of the way when they saw cars. I never saw one dog on a leash. It was so different!The next morning we got a private tour of the Sacred Valley through our tour group, Alpaca Expeditions. Our guide took us to numerous historic sites and explained the symbolism and meaning behind the masonry and the placement of buildings. We saw where the Incas farmed and where they buried those that had passed. They even had all of these secret animals carved into the mountains – frogs and llamas. We saw examples of how they would tell when it was summer solstice and how they would tell time.

Exploring the market was probably my favorite. I love seeing that kind of culture with my own eyes – especially when it was a real market where the locals were shopping – not just a tourist trap. I was so nervous to take photos of the people running the stalls. My heart was pounding through my chest. It is hard to be super stealthy with a gigantic camera!

That evening, we watched women dying wool and weaving runners. They were all wearing beautiful clothes that they had made themselves.

We watched the sun set over the fields that looked like patchwork quilts.

The Inca Trail: 

The tour group picked us up on a bus at 4 am, as promised. It was about a two hour ride to the trailhead. And I was terrified. I could feel my heart pounding whenever we slowed down, thinking we were almost there – and that this painful experience was going to start soon.

When we got to the trailhead, we all took a quintessential photo with the sign and we started walking. The first day was great. The trail was a dirt path. We were walking along a river. We started chatting with the other hikers – talking about work and other hiking vacations.

There were 16 of us on this journey. We ranged from 22 – 35. Most of us were Americans, but there were a few Europeans in the group. There were also porters there to help us carry 4 kg of contents (we had to carry anything beyond that). I was expecting maybe 1 porter to 2 hikers. No. There were 22 porters. They ranged from the age of 18 – 61. Sixty-one. Some of them wore broken rubber sandals. Their feet were cracked. They were so incredibly quick as they walked on the trail – hardly looking at the ground as they bounced along the ground. They carried more than 50 pounds on their back – their packs were as large as they were – easily the size of 4 golf bags. The porters would always beat us to our destination, and by the time we arrived, there was a dining tent set up and a meal was on the table. And I’m not talking about camp food. This was real food. Fish. Vegetables. Rice. Desserts.There was more food than could even fit on the tables. They even baked a birthday cake for one of the hikers (no idea how that is possible, but it happened). But seeing these porters broke my heart. It was so hard to sit in that tent, on stools that they had carried for us up these crazy mountains, and to have them setting up our sleeping tents, washing our dishes, and preparing our food. I know that being a porter is one of the best jobs you can have in that area of the world, but it hurts my heart.

The second day of the hike was the hardest. We woke at 4:30 am. I attempted to use dry shampoo for the first time in my life with no success. The clouds were thick, engulfing us and clouding our visibility. We went up hill for four hours that morning. Step after step, every breath was harder to breathe. We went downhill for two hours. We stopped for lunch, went up another two hours and then down another two. This second day, the terrain was so different than the first. We were officially on the original Inca trail. The ground was uneven. The stones were different shapes and sizes. They were slippery. The rain was coming down, and it was hard to see over my poncho. My knees were aching, but when I stopped, my legs just shook uncontrollably.

Most of the hike for the next two days blends together. Steep inclines and steeper declines. Ancient ruins. Llamas grazing. The conversation evolved from work and previous hiking trips to taxes and the oxford comma. Lord help us.

The last morning of our trip we woke up at 3:30 am. This was the day we were going to hike to Machu Picchu. I assumed we were starting that early to watch the sun rise over the 7th wonder of the modern world. Nope. We got up that early so we could be the first in line at the checkpoint that was about 5 minutes from our campsite. The checkpoint opens at 5:30. See, the last day is sort of a race. There are 200 other hikers all waiting to get past this final checkpoint and haul booty to the sun gate, where you can see Machu Picchu for the first time. Our tour group was the second in line, so we were lucky enough to snag benches to sit on. Finally, 5:30 rolled around and we were let through the gates. From there, the race was on. We hiked for an hour and a half at dawn through early morning fog. Trusting my feet to find the best rocks for placement for the first time this whole trip. It wasn’t that I needed to be the first to see Machu Picchu, but I wanted to see it before it was clouded over. The last obstacle was this huge staircase that is practically a straight vertical. You climb up it with your hands and your feet. They call these “the gringo killers.” Well, I’m pretty sure I’m a gringo, but at least the stairs didn’t kill me.

Peeking over the sun gate, I finally saw it. There was Machu Picchu. It took me a minute to realize what it was. We had another 45 minute haul down the mountain to really see it. As we got closer, it finally sunk in. These mountains are incredible. How did they get all of this stone here? What a truly beautiful place this was. 

Our tour group: https://www.alpacaexpeditions.com/


Film | Kodak Portra 400
Camera | Hasselblad 5x, 100mm 2.2
Lab | Richard Photo Lab

A bit about us: We are The Ganeys! Thomas and I are based out of St. Petersburg, FL, but we love to travel as often as we can. We keep a map above our bed, and put pins into cities to keep track of our travels! This was our first big international trip together, but we are anxiously awaiting our next trip to South Africa! As wedding photographers, one item on our bucket list is to shoot a wedding or an engagement session in every state.  I know we can do it!

Website: www.theganeys.com
Instagram:@theganeys
Facebook: www.facebook.com/theganeysphoto

Colourful Costa Rica

Words &Photographs by Erica Brenci
 

When my husband and I visited Costa Rica for a Destination Wedding for a couple from Los Angeles, we also got to enjoy 10 days of the Pacific Coast. We stayed in Tamarindo and we choose a very nice and cozy Hotel, Villa Macondo a very typical tropical hotel with rooms and apartments inside a tropical garden with a swimming pool.

What you find in Costa Rica is a full immersion into nature, you will be among monkeys and other tropical animals, tropical trees and plants, wild beaches with a wide ocean view. We visited the beaches of Playa Grande, Playa Langosta, from Tamarindo. When we went to Playa Avellana the landscape was breathtaking: the long beach with surfers at sunset was like a painting! The pacific is famous among surfers and is very populated from the young and old surfers from all over the world.

We suggest to relax in tamarindo for a sunset with a cocktail at Nogui’s, a beach front restaurant a coffee bar, and enjoy a piapa fria (a fresh green coconut) at Playa Conchal. We enjoyed tasting so many tropical fruit juices and plates of rice and ceviche.

“Pura vida” are the two words that best represent the local life. Interpretation could be like “pure life”, “take it easy”, “enjoy life”, “all good”, “purity in life”, “hello”, “goodbye”, “this is life!” and many many more. I think it’s the best way to live – enjoying what you have and what you are!!



Camera | Contax 645 + 80mm Lens
Film | Kodak Portra 400
Lab | Carmencita Film Lab

 
Instagram: @lesamisphoto
Pinterest: @ericabrenci
 

About Erica
I’m a Destination wedding Photographer based in Italy and traveling all over the world. I love to shoot weddings  and lifestyle in general, I love to travel, to meet new people and new cultures. I love animals and nature in general but what better represent my soul are sunny locations, a good dog, my lovely husband, my family and staying with people – enjoying good times, good food and good wine. I smile always because heaven helps the happy. And if I can, I try to share this spirit when someone is in need of good vibes and a positive soul.

Argentina | Buenos Aires

Written and Photographed by Cyntia Apps

 

I visited Argentina (Buenos Aires, Colonia de Uruguay, Iguazu Falls & Mendoza) last June 2015. I spent a total of 12 days in the northern part of that country. My husband and I drank 13 bottles of wine in 12 days!!!  Their Malbec was readily available in all restaurants for an average of $12 a bottle. Their food was outstanding. Their “asados” and “parrilladas” were out of this world. I also had lots of empanadas. They have a huge Italian influence, so pasta is very common in all restaurants. 

 

I stayed in the neighborhood of Recoleta. I highly recommend staying in that area, because it is close to most sights, and we were literally 2 blocks from the Recoleta Cemetery. The tombs in this cemetery are one more beautiful than the other, and they each have a immense historic value. Walking in that cemetery, was like opening a history book. 

A tour of Teatro Colon (in the pictures as well) is also a must. I liked it even more than their Tango Shows, and mind you, I loved their Tango Shows.
Something quite unique, I think I was able to document was their constant protests. They country was going through elections; so it was quite interested to had captured images of the unrest of the people during that time in their country’s life. 


I LOVED this city, I LOVED this country, I would definitely go back. 



 Camera | Canon EOS3
Film | Kodak Ektar, Kodak BW400CN, Kodak Porta, Kodak 400TX BW
 
About Cyntia
I am a Family Photographer based out of Silicon Valley, and serve the San Francisco Bay Area. I consider myself a hybrid shooter. All my personal work: my kids, my travels are shot in film.  I love to travel, and have been to every continent except for Australia & Antartica. I am from Panama, married to a Canadian, so love and family keep me going back to these two countries on a regular basis. 

Long weekends | Barcelona

Written and Photographed by Fiona Caroline

Long weekend breaks are the perfect, compact, travel escapes from daily life, especially if you have places like Barcelona just a short flight away. Trying to squeeze in a city this impressive is always going to be a challenge when the clocks ticking, but really, four days in Barcelona lets you get under the surface a little – and leaving with an urge to come back. This city is jam packed with sights, beaches, gorgeous shops and architecture. Full of people exploring the streets, or people watching with a coffee outside one of the characterful little cafes.

And the food! Let’s talk about the food. Apart from the unbelievable paella, sweet pastries and fresh fruit ice lollies I absolutely rated this amazing vegetarian restaurant. I have to give a quick mention to all vegetarians heading to Barcelona (and non vegetarians, this place in insanely good!) to check out Sésamo Restaurante. You will NOT be disappointed!

Without a doubt, Barcelona draws you in and then keeps a tight hold of you.


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A quick interruption to talk equipment (and I don’t mean cameras!)

I was lucky enough to be gifted a beautiful pair of sandals from the incredible gang over at Seven Boot Lane who were keen to know how they fared for the travelling photographer. More then happy to be the photographer to test them out, I donned a pair of their gorgeous sandals for four days of hectic sightseeing, crazy steep climbs to Parc Guell and sunbed hunting on the sandy beaches. And so here is my shout out to them, because, oh boy, there were perfect!

Walking thousands upon thousands of steps, in the heat, while lugging a Pentax 645, rolls and rolls of film, a light meter and a map can definitely tire you out! But at least at the end of the day I wasn’t complaining about my feet – Er, hello comfortable and totally beautiful shoes!

As I’m sure all the ladies who are reading this know a cute pair of shoes are fabulous but a cute AND COMFY pair of shoes is like the unicorn of the shoe world! Well they’ve rocked it over at Seven Boot Lane. And these bad boys are coming with me on every warm weekend I go on now!

Check ’em out over at Seven Boot Lane, total shoe crush.

And now back to the pictures!


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Film | Fujifilm 400h
Camera | Pentax 645
Lab | Carmencita Film Lab

& thanks to the support of the lovely and talented shoe makers at Seven Boot Lane! Their IG is pretty neat too: @sevenbootlane

Ilford Disposable Film Camera Kathleen Frank Feather & Film

New England, USA | Ilford Camera Project

Written & Photographed by Kathleen Frank

I live in the northeast corner of the US, which is filled with small towns, a lot of history, and some beautiful mountain and coastal landscapes. We have a harsh winter, so when spring and summer roll around, everyone rushes outside to make the most of it. The farms and greenhouses come to life, and you’ll catch most people sneaking out of work early to go hiking or kayaking. I was so thrilled to try to capture the charm of New England with this little disposable camera. It was the perfect companion for some spring adventures.

This camera seriously took me right back to being a kid! We used to shoot these disposables all the time and rush to the grocery store to get them developed. It was so freeing to go back to such a simple type of shooting. Just aim and click! So easy!

I was also surprised with just how well the Ilford disposable did in different lighting conditions. It definitely favored a lot of light and loves full sun for a good contrasty image, but handled other situations really well, too. Some of my favorite images were from bright days with good cloud cover. It gave the images beautiful midtones and a bit more of that old black and white film feel, which I absolutely love! The camera even had some great results with sun flare. Having just a hint of flare gave the images a wonderful bit of sparkle, but I have a feeling that this could easily be overdone and wash out the images.

All in all, shooting and traveling with this camera was such a wonderful experiment, and I’m so excited to pick up a few more of these. Will definitely be adding them to my film shooting arsenal!


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About Kathleen:
I am a fine art film and digital photographer in New England. Along with fine art photography, I also love to photograph my travels and adventures, especially on film. You can usually find me running around the woods in New Hampshire with a bunch of film cameras around my neck or camping with my husband and little Jack Russell pup.

Website: www.kathleenfrankphotography.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kathleenfrankphotography
Instagram: @Kathleenfrank

 

Thanks to Ilford Photo & Carmencita Film Lab for supplying the cameras and film scanning/developing services as well as their support for this project.

The Architecture of Rotterdam

Words & Photography by Cat Ekkelboom-White
Although perhaps an unusual weekend break destination, we visited Rotterdam for 3 days at the end of March to celebrate the end of my husband, Menno’s Masters in Architecture Degree. Since his final project had been on a district in Rotterdam, I found it fitting that we should visit the city to see what it had to offer. 
 
For anyone interested in modern architecture, Rotterdam is somewhere you really should visit. During World War Two, the city of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by bombing, and what has resulted is a unique and varied skyline, with modern skyscrapers towering above some of the few pre-war buildings that survived the devastation, in a real juxtaposition of the old and the new. The portfolio of architecture here includes some of the most influential contemporary architects, including Rem Koolhaas (O.M.A.) and MVRDV.
 
And as with many cities in the Netherlands, Rotterdam also boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous museums and galleries to visit. We visited the Netherlands Photography Museum and the Kunsthaal, where we were treated to exhibitions from photographers and artists across many different genres. 
 
As a treat for my newly qualified architect husband, I booked us in to the nhow Hotel situated within in the brand new De Rotterdam building, designed by O.M.A. Situated on the banks of the river Maas, just past the famous Erasmus Bridge, the unusual rectangular blocks of the De Rotterdam building create a unique silhouette on the horizon. The rooms were modern and comfortable, with a focus on sleek but functional design, and great views across the city.

Must visit locations:

  1. The Martkhaal
    This incredible arched building houses private apartments in its walls (and ceiling!) and provides a large atrium for a vibrant indoor market, with stalls selling everything from fresh flowers to exotic spices. And if the selection of produce on offer wasn’t enough to wow you, one glance upwards and you’ll see the digital mural by artist Arno Coenen, which has been described at the “Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam”.
  2. The Cube Houses
    Just across from the Markthaal, you’ll find the the oddly shaped Kubuswoningen (Cube Houses) of Blom. These colourful blocks look like Lego, perched on top of posts like strange trees. Whilst most of the houses are privately owned residential apartments, one is open as a museum for the public, where you can look inside and experience what life might be like living in one of these houses.
  3. The Maas and Erasmus Bridge
    Just as Manhattan has the Brooklyn Bridge, the Erasmus Bridge is iconic of the Rotterdam skyline. Like a giant white harp, it stretches across the banks of the Maas linking the city, with striking high rise buildings on both sides.
  4. Delfshaven
    A pocket of history, Delfshaven gives you a taste of history, with it’s cobbled streets, canals and windmill. A complete contrast to the modern Rotterdam skyline.


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Camera | Canon 1V
Film | Kodak Ektar
Development & Scanning | Canadian Film Lab
 

Check our Cat’s fabulous Q&A about Shooting Film for the First Time over here!
Enrol in her online workshop ‘ An Introduction to Travel Photography’ at a ridiculously cheap price here!

Ireland | Dublin

Written & Photographed by Colleen MacMillan

I traveled to Ireland last summer to attend a workshop taught by Christina Blanarovich & Julie Paisley. My grandfather immigrated from Ireland in his youth and I’ve always had a passion for traveling there. Before and after the workshop I was able to spend time in Dublin on my own. I stayed with two different and wonderful AirBnB hosts while in Dublin and loved walking around the city exploring and finding interesting spots. During my wanderings, I found some great local coffee shops and drank my weight in tea. I also found this wonderful store Jam Art Factory, which features Irish artists. I wanted to buy the whole store! The museums are a must while in Dublin and the national ones are free. Some of my favourite places to eat were; Gallaghers Boxty House, Market Bar and The Stag’s Head.
 
I had my very first, and second, Guinness at the Guinness Brewery. It was cool to see the history of the brand and the view from the Gravity Bar is superb! The day my friends and I visited, there was a live local band performing and we could have listened to them play all day.
 
While in Sligo for the workshop, we stayed at Coopershill House where the owner Simon, his family and staff took the best care of us. Home cooked meals made with local ingredients, beautiful grounds to explore and photograph. I have never ate so well in my life.
 
My favourite spot in Ireland has to be the Hill of Tara. Tara is rich with history and according to tradition, was the seat of the High King of Ireland. It’s a magical place and it’s easy to imagine the Tuatha Dé Danann walking around the lush ground.

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Camera | Canon 1V & Mamiya 645AF
Lab | The FIND Lab
Film | Portra 400, Ektar 100 and Fuji 400
 
About Colleen
I am a digital and film family photographer based in CT. My photography revolves around my love of children, motherhood and families.  I’m passionate about capturing real lasting moments between families.
When not shooting you can find me with family, drinking tea, in the darkroom or watching Doctor Who.
 

Website | www.colleenmacmillan.net
Facebook | www.facebook.com/ColleenMacMillanPhotography
Instagram | @colleenmacmillanphoto
Pinterest | www.pinterest.com/colmacphoto

Exploring Italy on Film

Written & Photographed by Raisa Zwart
 
I booked a Destination Wedding in Italy and me and my boyfriend decided to add a few days before and after the wedding to travel through Italy. We started in Venice, drove to Verona and then to Tuscany, where the wedding was, after the wedding we visited Florence for a few days. 
 
Italy is amazing. It has so much culture, beautiful landscapes, nice people (especially in the countryside) and great food. In Verona, be sure to book a B&B, it’s so personal and nice. In Tuscany I really liked the agriturismo b&bs / hotels. They offer authentic rooms with nice gardens, great views and personal service. I can recommend Taverna di Bibbiano: http://www.agriturismotavernadibibbiano.com

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Camera | Nikon F90x
Lab | Carmencita Film Lab

About Raisa
I am a Fine Art Wedding Photographer from Holland that LOVES to travel.

I document all my travels on film, this trip was photographed with the Nikon F90x, with the Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 & the Nikon 50mm 1.8.

Website: www.zwartfotografie.nl
Facebook: www.facebook.com/zwartfotografie
Instagram: @raisazwart

Pinterest: @zwartfotografie