Best Travel Pictures of 2016

“Don’t Shoot what it looks like.  Shoot what it feels like.” 

– David Alan Harvey

This, in my mind, is the essence of photography.  It is the reason we all tote pounds of gear, clip and unclip lenses, and spend hours pouring over images.  We are looking for the one and only way to eternalize a moment. There are no time machines. (sorry Dr. Who fans, but let’s face the facts) There is no way to return to a moment in time.  There is, however, a way to return to an emotion.  Pictures are those gateways back into our heart and soul.  Pictures allow you, just for a moment, to lose yourself in emotion.  The perfect picture has the ability to consume you.  The perfect picture ensures that the feelings never fade.

Now, none of my pictures are perfect, but for me, they have served their purpose admirably.  They return me to my sense of adventure. They remind me of the emotion that exist in travel, in exploration. I hope they do the same for you.  I hope you can see past the imperfections, and instead let them transport you.  Let the pictures take you to the harbor of Hong Kong.  The salt in your hair and the smell of the sea. Let the pictures take you to a market in a small corner of the world.  Let them make you feel.  Let them inspire you to go out and capture some time for yourself.

Grand Palace – Bangkok Thailand

They say Thailand is the land of smiles.  This is one of my favorite pictures from my time in Bangkok.  The Grand Palace in Bangkok is a beautiful, magnificent complex of temples.  It is the royal capital and as such is guarded by the King’s Guard and member’s of the Thai Royal Guard. Anywhere else you would expect taunt, emotionless soldiers, looming, frozen in time, but this is Thailand.  It wouldn’t be the land of smiles if it weren’t for moments just like this one. In Thailand, there is always time for a smile.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Who doesn’t love the feeling of the sun on your skin and the sound of waves crashing against the shore? Puerto Rico is an island of passion, color, and sun.  When visiting Puerto Rico you will sweat, like ruin your clothes kinda sweat.  The heat only makes that water a little more blue and a little more perfect.

Khlong Toey Fresh Market Bangkok – Thailand

One thing I learned traveling through Thailand is how resourceful they are.  It was astounding to see the way nothing was wasted.  It was a powerful lesson that less is more, and it’s not always about having the best or newest thing.  There are people all over this world making due with what they have.

Man Mo Temple – Hong Kong

Tucked away in a city full of millions, is Man Mo Temple.  Built in 1847, it is one of the oldest traditional styled temples in Hong Kong.  It was built for the Chinese gods of literature and war.  Interesting concept that war and words find a home together.  I like to think the light piercing through the darkness symbolizes the healing power of a kind word against the hate that fuels war. If you ever find yourself in Hong Kong it is said that Man Mo is the last remaining peaceful place in Hong Kong.  I found that to be ever true.

Changing of the Royal Guard – Grand Palace – Bangkok, Thailand

Remember the Royal Guard I was telling you about.  One of the neat things to witness is the changing of the Royal Guard at the Grand Palace.  You can sense the pride of each soldier as they fulfill their responsibilities with pride on their face.  There are moments to smile and there are moments to have reverence.

Tsujiki Fish Market – Tokyo, Japan

“Character can be built on daily routine”

– Japanese Proverb

Tsujiki Fish market is a place of tradition.  It is a place of routine.  Every morning expert fisherman, sushi chefs, and butchers head to the market to continue the routine of buying, carving, and producing a majority of the world’s seafood.  Tsujiki fish market is a place of honored tradition, yet sadly it is a tradition that is coming to an end.  The market that has stood since 1935 is set to close in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.  It is set to be relocated and you can bet even in its new home, you will find the Japanese people maintaining the tradition and the routine.

Great Wall Guard Post – Mutianyu Section Great Wall

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

– Gustave Flaubert

There is no feeling quite like standing on the Great Wall of China.  The sheer size of the wall is something only appreciated in person.  I had the amazing opportunity to enjoy not only a blue sky day in China but a nearly empty Great Wall.  This has to be one of my favorite photos I have ever taken.  Peace through the window, of a wall designed for war.

Hong Kong Harbour Light Show – Hong Kong

Hong Kong is often described as where the East meets the West.  This picture reminds me of that very statement.  The beautiful lights of a city bursting with culture, technology, fashion, and innovation, perfectly framing a boat built on tradition, character, and heritage.  Hong Kong is the perfect blend of old meets new and is rich in tradition, yet ever changing.

Thai Lotus – Wat Pho Temple Bangkok, Thailand

Thai temples are no stranger to beauty.  They rise above the city, illuminated by the sun in the morning, and bathed in warm tones of orange as it sets.  Inside, however, amongst the buzz of people and the overwhelming heat are little treasures like this lotus.  The Lotus flower in the temple is used by Thai’s to sprinkle themselves with their holy water.  Thailand is full of beauty and this is a reminder of that.

Hornblower Cruise – Niagra Falls

From the peace of a Thai flower to the roar of water falling 180 feet at 35 miles an hour.  This picture is not anything special, however, it reminds me of travel.  Sometimes to have the ultimate adventure you have to push your limits.

“If it scares you, it may be a good thing to try”

– Seth Godin

Yu Garden – Shanghai

In the middle of busy Shanghai, rest Yu Garden.  It was finished in 1577, during the Ming Dynasty and it still remains there offering sanctitude from the noise and stimulation just outside its walls. It is positioned next to the City of God temple and is roughly five acres in size.  Though solitude certainly exist within its walls, so does a bit of confusion.  Wander if you must, but be warned finding your way out of its maze of courtyards and hallways can be quite the task. Even so I always have heard…

“I am not lost. To be lost, you have to know where it is you’re supposed to be, and I don’t even know that”

Well, those are my favorite photos not for quality or image, but for the story they tell! I hope you have enjoyed this post, as much as I enjoyed looking back on a year full of adventure and excitement. If you like what you see be sure to follow my blog, social media, and share with your friends.  I have a lot more photography and stories to share.  We are just getting started!

With that said here are a few honorable mentions I couldn’t leave out…..

” A camera is a save button for the minds eye”

– Rogen Kingston

Man Mo Temple – Hong Kong
Guard Post – Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand
Tung Street Graffiti – Hong Kong
River Kwai Bridge “Bridge of Tears” – Tamarkan, Thailand

Well, there you have it!  I am certainly not a professional photographer, but hope you enjoy some of the images I was able to capture from my travels!

I hope these encouraged you to go out and capture some photos of you own! Before you do be sure to check out some of my travel tips for Bangkok, Thailand and Shanghai’s Pearl Tv Tower!

Don’t forget to share and follow! Talk to y’all soon!

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