The heat of the midday sun beat down upon me as I walked down the dusty street in Mto wa Mbu. Surrounding me were rough mud and wood houses with banana leaf thatched roofs, with groves of bananas and sugar cane between them. From somewhere to my left I heard excited calls coming towards me, and as I turned, some kids ran to greet me. Their smiles lit up the already bright and sunny day. In front of their house, their mother swept leaves from the bare dirt ground, determined to keep her home clean and tidy.
As I walked on through the town, this was the typical scene that I was now used to in Tanzania. The people I met were always so friendly and happy to meet me. From the porters on Mount Kilimanjaro to the Masai Warriors of Lake Manyara and the kids of Mto wa Mbu, the people of Tanzania touched my heart. This is a photo essay in tribute to the people of Tanzania.
The following photo essay is a wonderful contribution by Dean Wickham.
The People of Tanzania: Portraits from Tanzania
A young Masai girl with a baby on her back at Lake Manyara
Two Masai Warriors competing in a jumping competition in their village at Lake Manyara
A Masai Warrior demonstrates how to create fire using donkey dung in his village at Lake Manyara
A man pushes a bike full of bananas through the streets of Mto wa Mbu
Some porters climbing up the Great Barranco Wall on Mount Kilimanjaro
A Masai woman stands in her doorway before inviting me into her house in a village at Lake Manyara
A porter resting on a rock on Mount Kilimanjaro while traveling in Africa
A young Masai woman in a village at Lake Manyara
A tinga tinga artist painting in Mto wa Mbu – Tanzania, Africa.
A young boy poses for a photo in front of his family in Mto wa Mbu
Two trekking guides take a rest at Uhuru Peak on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (Altitude: 5895m)
A group of Masai women greet me at their village at Lake Manyara
A wood carver in Mto wa Mbu” alt=”A wood carver in Mto wa Mbu
A wood carver at a market in Arusha
Two girls come to greet me in Mto wa Mbu
Women making bead bracelets and necklaces at a market in Arusha
Author Bio: Dean Wickham is an intrepid traveller from Australia who loves adventure and exploring new places and cultures. He hopes to encourage others to get out and see the world through his travel stories and photography, which he shares on his travel blog – The Road to Anywhere. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, Facebook and Twitter.
How To Capture Stunning Travel Portraits
Capturing stunning portraits while traveling is a challenging but fulfilling endeavor for any travel photographer. Portraits have the power to encapsulate the spirit and personality of a destination, as well as the people who inhabit it. To help you master the art of portrait photography during your travels, consider these expert tips:
- Establish a rapport: Before snapping a shot, take the time to get to know your subject on a personal level. Engage with them and ask questions, as building a relationship with your subject is key to capturing authentic and natural portraits.
- Scout the perfect location: The location you choose can significantly impact the final outcome of your portraits. Look for environments with interesting backgrounds, textures, and lighting that complement your subject’s style and character.
- Embrace natural light: When it comes to portrait photography, natural light is your most versatile and flattering source. Opt for soft, diffused light or take advantage of the golden hour at sunrise or sunset for a warm and radiant effect on your subject.
- Compose your shot carefully: Composition is critical to a successful portrait. Play around with angles, framing, and cropping to create a balanced and aesthetically pleasing image.
- Capture the details: The smallest of details can make the most significant impact in a portrait. Observe and capture the unique quirks and features of your subject, such as scars, wrinkles, and accessories that add character and depth to your photos.
- Experiment with posing: Encourage your subject to play with poses and expressions to create a range of dynamic and engaging portraits. Provide direction when needed, but don’t be afraid to embrace spontaneity and movement.
- Post-process with care: While post-processing can enhance the beauty and emotion of your portraits, be mindful not to over-edit and preserve the natural authenticity of your subject.
- Use a fast lens: A fast lens with a wide aperture will allow you to achieve a shallow depth of field, which can make your subject stand out from the background and create a beautiful bokeh effect.
- Consider the background: Pay attention to what’s happening in the background of your portraits, and make sure it doesn’t distract from your subject. Try to position your subject in front of a plain or textured background that complements their appearance.
- Be mindful of cultural differences: When taking portraits of people from different cultures, be respectful of their customs and traditions. Ask permission before taking a photo and avoid photographing individuals in sacred or sensitive areas.
- Incorporate the surroundings: Instead of just focusing on your subject, consider incorporating the surrounding environment into your portrait. This can help give context to the image and make it more interesting.
- Use props: Props can add a lot of interest and personality to your portraits. Look for items that are relevant to the subject or the environment and experiment with incorporating them into the shot.
- Focus on the eyes: The eyes are the windows to the soul, so make sure they are in focus when taking portraits. This can help bring out the personality and emotion of your subject.
- Play with shadows: Using shadows can add a lot of drama and mood to your portraits. Experiment with different times of day and angles to create interesting and dynamic shadows in your photos.
- Be patient: Taking great portraits takes time and patience. Don’t rush the process, and be willing to take multiple shots to get the perfect image. Remember, building a rapport with your subject is essential, so take the time to get to know them and make them feel comfortable in front of the camera.
By following these expert tips, you’ll be able to create breathtaking portrait photos that capture the spirit and essence of your subjects and the places they call home. Remember, building a connection with your subject, paying attention to composition and lighting, and fostering creativity are the keys to achieving stunning portrait photography while on your travels.