I’ve always been more of a nature guy.
Mentally drawn to lush, distant valleys and high-altitude passes, I often yearn for the natural aesthetic—for green, for calm, for walking and camping and simple living. Sometimes at night, I look upwards and imagine an unpolluted sky—brightly dotted with the periodic streak of a shooting star. When was the last time I saw the Milky Way?
Living in a city though, despite its artificial light, is fascinating. Vibrant, bustling with its own particular nuances and collective personality. Similar to Mother Earth and her palpable energy, urbanism evokes its own tangible power.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been putting together a photography portfolio, hosted on one of my favorite domain names, Photobunga.com. I built the site to organize and showcase the many images I’ve been so fortunate to capture in my travels. Like this blog, Photobunga is more of a personal endeavor—somewhere to document memories and to reflect. That said, all of the images are for sale, so if you’re interested, let me know!
Paying homage to the urban world, here are eight of my favorite city shots:
Sydney, Australia | May 2010
Taken from the Royal Botanic Gardens, which cover 30 hectares and contain 7500 species of plants from all over the world, this image presents Sydney’s impressive cityscape. It was raining that afternoon, and to conquer the flat light I shot this image in sepia.
Baku, Azerbaijan | November 2008
The capital and largest city in Azerbaijan, Baku is a port city that is experiencing a resurging oil economy, and with that, a lot of construction. I took this image from the top of the Park Inn hotel, on the balcony outside of the Mirvari Club, a sushi restaurant.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | February 2011
Rio de Janeiro is, in a word, breathtaking. With it’s beautiful geography and people, it’s a true photographer’s playground. I took this picture from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite and quartz behemoth that juts up from the city. I believe this cable car was featured in a James Bond movie?
Astana, Kazakhstan | November 2009
The top of Bayterek, a monument and observation tower, offers a 360-degree view of Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital and second largest city. These days, the Soviet-era buildings are now being removed and replaced with new structures–President Nazarbayev has paid particular attention to Astana’s aesthetic, with internationally acclaimed architects and designers being brought in to redesign the city.
Minsk, Belarus | May 2009
With its wide, lick-ably clean streets and monolithic Soviet facades, Minsk represents the grandiose aesthetic of Stalin’s massive post-war rebuilding. Things I remember about Minsk: stiletto heels, supermodels and surprisingly good Indian food. Yummy.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | November 2010
Taken from the Petronas Towers, the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004, this image showcases Kuala Lumpur’s urban core. Limited to 1000 tourists per day, the skybridge is definitely worth waking up early for. I waited in line for 1.5 hours to get tickets!
Luanda, Angola | August 2010
While this is not a particularly impressive photograph, I decided to include it due to Luanda’s unique situation. Not only is it the most expensive city in the world for foreign workers, or expatriates, it’s undergoing massive reconstruction efforts that will significantly alter its cityscape over the next few years. My time in Luanda was chaotic–the traffic was remarkable abysmal–but I enjoyed the novelty of being there.
Seoul, South Korea | May 2011
I love Seoul. I was fortunate enough to experience the city during a festival–the Han River pictured above, which bisects the city East to West, was full of art installations that made for a fun walk. With it’s many neighborhoods, amazing food and nightlife, Seoul is a must-visit if you’re taking a trip to Asia.