Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

Best photographs from my travels

My passion for photography started about 6 years ago, when I was back in South Korea for round two and was planning to travel to Malaysia for the first time that winter. Both of my parents have utilized photography as their creative expression and even a part time job for my mother, who has utilized me as her assistant during her weddings gigs or asked me to pose for her on more than one occasion. For myself, I was content with my Point and Shoot camera and like everyone else posted hundreds of images from each trip on my Social Networking Sites.

 

Today, my Canon 5dmark2 comes with me frequently on my travels, mostly with the 24-105mm f4 lens. I hardly use tripods or filters and bring out the best of my photos in Post Processing (Photoshop or Lightroom (or both)).

I try to capture each place from my own perspective (that doesn’t mean that you’ll see me in a group of other photographers taking the same shot, although who doesn’t want a gorgeous image of the Eiffel Tower, just to say “Been there, Done that!” I typically have a list of objects, that I try to capture as well as frequently just snap something different or strange. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands images that are created from a vacation of 3-4 weeks, but what I’ve done here is select my top favorites from various destinations that I’ve visited. Call it my “Travel Portfolio”, “Best Of'” or just “6 years of achievement.” I hope you enjoy these!

Montana Rodeo by www.allaponomareva.com

This image is one of my favorites out of all the Montana Rodeos that I’ve visited. The dust and dirt are so grimy and messy, compared to the cowboy’s pristine blue shirt and intact hat. You can really feel what the bull is going through as the cool and collected cowboy wrestles him to the ground.

Budhas Birthday in South Korea by www.allaponomareva.com

South Korea – it can look so colorful and picturesque during certain times of the year. This image was taken at a Buddhist Temple, where the lanterns were hung to decorate for Buddha’s Birthday. I was waiting for the bright sunlight to reflect the lanterns on the ground, encompassing the young boy in the celebration. I love how peaceful and still he is, compared to what you saw in the last image.

european sky by www.allaponomareva.com

This image is a simple one, with no object in sight. It was taken on a bus tour around Europe in the Summer of 2015 and since there was no way to stop for a picture, sometimes I had to shoot from the behind the window. Luckily, I was able to hide some reflections and window grime in PS and voila! Doesn’t it remind you of a famous Windows Background with the green fields?

I also love this image due to the pure simplicity of it, there is so much construction, electric poles, windmills, buildings or just people, how often do you encounter this type of sight?

Japan Mount Aso by www.allaponomareva.com

This photograph was taken on a top of Mt. Aso in Japan. This was the first time I’ve seen mountains like these in Japan and with snow. We took a bus up here to check out the volcano, which was very sulfuric and stinky. These three fellas were hanging out as though begging to be photographed with the bright blue benches behind them. *Tip – capturing odd numbers is more pleasing to the eye in photography.

Ukrainian girls by www.allaponomareva.com

Another rule in photography – is to tell a story. Which is why I love this image from Odessa, Ukraine. These girls were walking around downtown dressed in Ukrainian traditional costumes and looked like they were having a great time chatting and laughing. I’m so thankful that they didn’t shy away and even interacted with the camera. This image makes me want to smile and giggle with them!

Notre Dame in Paris, France by www.allaponomareva.com

The image above is of Notre Dame in Paris, France, where my father and I were visiting for 2 days in the summer of 2015 (bus trip around multiple countries didn’t leave much time at each destination). Despite our short stay in this historical city, I love this image of the Notre Dame I took from a low perspective, next to the Seine River. You can see the cobble stones on the ground and in the arch, which make up a lot of the bridges in Paris and therefore doing two things: leading your eye through the image (making it more of a 3D) and telling a story.

Deer in Montana by www.allaponomareva.com

In the summer time, when the university is not in session, my husband and I are lucky enough to go back to Montana for vacation. We live on a mountain, off grid, surrounded by nature and of course – critters! Every summer, I snap some decent shots of deer, but this morning was special. It was foggy, my camera was nearby, my dog hasn’t barked yet to scare them off. I opened the door, walked out on a deck, as one of them turned and looked my way. I took the shot. My dog barked and the magic was gone. Luckily, the shot remained and was perfectly exposed.

Daejeon, South Korea by www.allaponomareva.com

Who knew that the concrete jungle I call home in South Korea – Daejeon, would make the list? One evening when the sky was particularly cloudy, I drove down to the EXPO bridge, which is featured on probably most of our advertising and promotional images of the city. No, it wasn’t dark yet and the bridge wasn’t lit up with it’s multicolored strands that flicker and even display messages if you stand far enough away. But what draws me to this image is the sky – it is majestic and almost looks painted on.

Vienna, Austria by www.allaponomareva.com

Yet another image of a gorgeous sky that highlights unique architecture of Vienna, Austria as that sky goes down. We walked all day around the city, tired, hot and in need of a shower, but when the sun descended behind the horizon, this church and trees were silhouetted by the back light and created a Post card worthy image.  I feel like this image wouldn’t be the same if the clock wasn’t also lit up at this time of the evening.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam sunset by www.allaponomareva.com

The rule of threes doesn’t quite apply in this image, but the rule of balance does. Two girls, enjoying fantastic sunset in Phu Quoc, Vietnam are balanced on the other side of the image by a floating boat. Without the boat, the picture would still work, but the boat also draws the eye towards the horizon, again giving it a 3D type feel. I also love the shape of the palm tree, which is a quintessential sign of tropics and that relaxed, easy-going, island life. Aaahhh!

Thank you for viewing my 10 most favorite images from my travels. I hope they’ll inspire you to travel, pick up photography or to come back to this page for more!

 

17 comments

  1. Great photos! My 2 favorites are the Notre Dame and the Daejon. I like the Phu Quoc one too, I was lucky enough to get a great sunset photo there when I visited.

  2. I love all your photography. My favorite ones are South Korea, Ukraine, and Vietnam. I’m headed to Vietnam and Bali this summer. I can’t wait to get visual hangovers there!

  3. Great photos Alla! My favorites include the Montana bull wrestling guy, your bus tour around Europe photo, and the Ukrainian women! I can’t wait to see more of your work!

  4. As a fellow photographer I like that you give tips in between showing your work. I like that simple scene the best and yes, even before reading I immediately thought about that Windows desktop background.

  5. Awesome shots! I really like your explanation of each image and your emphasis on discussing the story. It’s funny, because that’s what my blog post is about this week! Photography is such a fantastic form of self expression. With so many great images, it was hard to decide on a favorite, but I have to go with the Notre Dame snap…it just does something for me. Fantastic work…keep it up!

  6. You’ve been to so many amazing places. I loved see the photos of them all. I loved the ones of Ukraine and Korea- both Daejeon and Buddha’s birthday. I absolutely love all the lanterns thay are up everywhere in May. I almost think thay it’s as beautiful as the cherry blossoms! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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