#CuriosityNow

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WEST AFRICA WEEK, DAY 5!

I couldn’t do a week on West Africa without talking about Ghana.

I felt Ghana was the country that had its stuff together more than any other country I’ve visited in the region. It had higher levels of development and better infrastructure than any of its neighbors.

Ghana is also a very unique country with its own quirks. One such thing is naming people based on the day of the week they were born. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and current WWE Champion Kofi Kingston were both born in Ghana. The name “Kofi” means “Born on a Friday”. ⠀
This collection of photos will give a brief insight into Ghana and what I saw when I visited.

#1 Fishermen bringing in their nets in Cape Coast, Ghana
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#2 Within the last 2 weeks I posted some images of fishing boats in Ghana. This is another from that same series, except it is a close up to show you how they used flags on their boats. In this image you can clearly see that all the flags are different and are of many different countries. ⠀
#3 To understand modern Ghana you have to understand the history of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who the founder of post-colonial Ghana. He was the country’s first president and prime minister. He was removed in a coup in 1966 and became the co-president in the country of Guinea. The monument to him is the largest in the country.

#4 Sculptures at the Kwame Nkrumah memorial

#5 One of the quirks of Ghana are the custom coffins which they make. Here you can see several coffins which ave been built. They are a tiger, a ball point pen, a book and a film projector. The coffin is supposed to signify something about the person’s life.

#6 Another Ghana quirk is the naming of business after Bible verses or religious sayings. We saw many businesses which had names like the God Rules Internet cafe. Other such business names include: ”If God says yes who can say no Enterprises”, “By His Grace Boutique”, and “The Strength of God Computers and Computer Repair”.

#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #ghana #westafrica #africa


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#denolbodose from the 🌊 📸 by @everythingeverywhere
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WEST AFRICA WEEK!
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This week I’m going to be focusing on images which I took in West Africa. Many of these photos are ones which I have never posted to Instagram before for reasons which I’ve outlined over the last few weeks.
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To be honest, I could easily do a West Africa month, because I found the region to be such a photo rich environment. It is a place that I hope to return to in the near future.
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It is also a region which doesn’t get a lot of tourists. Visiting West Africa isn’t even a consideration for the vast majority of travelers, even those who want to visit Africa. They’ll go to Kenya, South Africa, or Morocco, but few people think of visiting Togo, Benin, or Sierra Leone.
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The region has a great deal of potential. The beaches along the Gulf of Guinea are fantastic and the waters there are exceptionally warm due to the east-west nature of the coast.
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The image I wanted to start things off with this week was a shot of the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone which I took from the deck of the ship I was on. ⠀⠀⠀
Freetown is unlike any city I have ever visited. It is the capital of Sierra Leone and has a population of over 1 million people. It is the only city of that size I have been to in the world where you can see the stars at night. Freetown gets so few tourists, that there were probably more people taking photos of us, than we were of them!
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The image most people have of Sierra Leone is mostly that of tragedy. Civil war, blood diamonds, HIV, and ebola tend to be the only things which are ever reported in the news. However, I found it a very enjoyable place with a very bright future ahead of it.
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #sierraleone #westafrica #africa #thisissierraleone


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WEST AFRICA WEEK, DAY 4!

The countries of Gambia and Senegal only make sense if viewed though their colonial history. The British held The Gambia River and everything within a set distance of the banks of the river. Other than its coast at the mouth of the river, the entire country is surrounded by Senegal, which was a French colony. ⠀
Given their geography, the two countries are inexorably intertwined. However, they are very distinct from each other. In The Gambia still speaks English, and in Senegal they still speak French. The Gambia, up until recently, had a long ruling strong man who was actually ousted in an election in 2017. He also had one of the most longest and ridiculous titles of any world leader (His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Aziz Awal Jemus Junkung Jammeh Naasiru Deen Babili Mansa)

Senegal, on the other hand, is one of the few African countries to have never experienced a coup or authoritarian rulers. I found Senegal to be one of the more developed countries in the region, which I’m sure in part extends from that political stability.

#1 I loved the street scenes in Dakar. Nothing goes to waste, including space on a bus.

#2 Fishing boats on the shore of Goree Island outside of Dakar

#3 The Door of No Return, Goree Island. There are several doors of no return in West Africa. These were the doors through which slaves passed to board ships, never to return. Goree Island was of the first world heritage sites created in 1978.

#4 This statue is called the African Renaissance Monument. It is 49m tall and was built by North Korea. It is the Senegalese Statue of Liberty.

#5 Guard at the presidential palace in Dakar

#6 The Gambia river lined with mangrove trees

#7 A woodcarver in Banjul, Gambia. He was carving masks and statues for tourists in the market

#8 Dancer in Banjul. She was part of a dance show which was extremely fast-paced. I managed to capture her when she was in mid air!

#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #gambia #westafrica #africa #senegal


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WEST AFRICA WEEK, DAY 2!
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The great part about focusing on West Africa this week is that I’ll be able to introduce many people to places they might never have even heard of. ⠀⠀⠀
I’m guessing one such place is the village of Ganvie in the country of Benin.
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In the 16th and 17th Century, the slave trade was at its peak. During this time members of the Tofinu tribe would be hunted by the nearby Fan people and sold to European slave traders. ⠀⠀⠀
To escape this, many of them fled into the shallow waters of Lake Nokoue and took up residence in the low lying islands. Over time they built stilt houses and established a community. After the slave trade ended, the people who had lived there for centuries now, simply remained because it was their home.
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Today Ganvie has a population of almost 20,000 people, almost all of whom still live in stilt houses and travel by small boat. ⠀⠀⠀
It is one of the top/only tourist attractions in Benin and is on the tentative list to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site
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Would you be interested in traveling with me and learning travel photography? I’m going to be announcing my first trip in several years very soon. I’ll be announcing the trip in my email newsletter. To sign up, just go to the link in my bio. You will also get a free 100 page ebook of some of my favorite travel photos!
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #benin #westafrica #africa #travel #travelphotography #instatravel #adventuretime


12

WEST AFRICA WEEK!
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This week I’m going to be focusing on images which I took in West Africa. Many of these photos are ones which I have never posted to Instagram before for reasons which I’ve outlined over the last few weeks.
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To be honest, I could easily do a West Africa month, because I found the region to be such a photo rich environment. It is a place that I hope to return to in the near future.
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It is also a region which doesn’t get a lot of tourists. Visiting West Africa isn’t even a consideration for the vast majority of travelers, even those who want to visit Africa. They’ll go to Kenya, South Africa, or Morocco, but few people think of visiting Togo, Benin, or Sierra Leone.
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The region has a great deal of potential. The beaches along the Gulf of Guinea are fantastic and the waters there are exceptionally warm due to the east-west nature of the coast.
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The image I wanted to start things off with this week was a shot of the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone which I took from the deck of the ship I was on. ⠀⠀⠀
Freetown is unlike any city I have ever visited. It is the capital of Sierra Leone and has a population of over 1 million people. It is the only city of that size I have been to in the world where you can see the stars at night. Freetown gets so few tourists, that there were probably more people taking photos of us, than we were of them!
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The image most people have of Sierra Leone is mostly that of tragedy. Civil war, blood diamonds, HIV, and ebola tend to be the only things which are ever reported in the news. However, I found it a very enjoyable place with a very bright future ahead of it.
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Would you be interested in traveling with me and learning travel photography? I’m going to be announcing my first trip in several years very soon. I’ll be announcing the trip in my email newsletter. To sign up, just go to the link in my bio. You will also get a free 100 page ebook of some of my favorite travel photos!
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #sierraleone #westafrica #africa #thisissierraleone


13

BIRD WEEK, LAST DAY! ⠀⠀⠀
By far the easiest continent for me this week would be Antarctica. There were so many birds to choose from. The vast majority of them were penguins, but there were still a lot of birds. ⠀⠀⠀
The trick was picking out which photo to post. I have a bunch of Antarctica penguin photos I’ve used on Instagram in the past, but the new spirit of not caring about like, I decided to go in a different direction.
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These are gentoo penguins on Half Moon Island in Antarctica (the location says Elephant Island, which is sort of close, but there aren’t a lot of Instagram locations in Antarctica).
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The penguins in this shot aren’t the focus of the shot, but rather are there to show scale and to show the penguins in their environment.
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I took a poll over in my IG stories for what photos to post next week, and the options were West Africa vs The Caribbean. The winner in a 60% to 40% split was West Africa! Expect photos from West Africa starting tomorrow. ⠀⠀⠀
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Would you be interested in traveling with me and learning travel photography? I’m going to be announcing my first trip in several years very soon. I’ll be announcing the trip in my email newsletter. To sign up, just go to the link in my bio. You will also get a free 100 page ebook of some of my favorite travel photos!
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #birds #nature #wildlife #antarctica #penguins #antarctic


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BIRD WEEK, DAY 5! ⠀⠀⠀
Finding a photo of a bird which I took in Europe was even more difficult than finding a bird photo from Asia. Of the nearly 60,000 images in my portfolio, I can think of only 2 which have birds as the subject.
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One is a photo of a man in St. Mark’s Square in Venice who stood still with his arms out that was covered with pigeons. It wasn’t a very good photo and I’m sure the next time I go to Venice I could get a much better version of the shot if I set my mind to it.
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The only other photo I could think of was this one. This is a photo of a mallard duck which was landing on icy pond in Muskauer Park (Park Mużakowski). The park straddles the border of Germany and Poland and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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It was late March when I was there and there was an early morning thin film of ice on the water. I remember watching several ducks doing takeoffs and landings. I pointed my camera at the ducks and tried to pan and capture them as they were in flight.
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This image was the best of the lot. ⠀⠀⠀
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Would you be interested in traveling with me and learning travel photography? I’m going to be announcing my first trip in several years very soon. I’ll be announcing my next trip in my email newsletter. To sign up, just go to the link in my bio. You will also get a free 100 page ebook of some of my favorite travel photos!
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #birds #nature #wildlife #poland #germany #unesco #worldheritage #worldheritagesite


15

BIRD WEEK, DAY 4! ⠀⠀⠀
I’m pretty committed to Bird Week now. Considering that there are 7 days in a week and 7 continents, I figured I should try to post a bird photo every day from a different continent.
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This is actually quite challenging because I’m not a bird photographer per se. While I do photograph birds as part of my travels, I don’t usually go places with the express intent of photographing birds.
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I had a difficult time trying to think of images of birds which I captured in Asia. I actually had to think about it quite a bit and search my image archive to find something. I finally found an image from 2007 which I took in Kyoto, Japan.
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Back then, I had just started my travels and I wasn’t a very good photographer. In fact, I had to re-edit this photo to make it presentable. Back then I barely edited my images, and what editing I did do was pretty bad. At least with this photo, the composition was OK. ⠀⠀⠀
The photo was taken at the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. The pond was very protected which made the water extremely still and was excellent for reflections. For an open body of water, there is usually some motion in the water which will distort the reflection.
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If nothing else, this exercise in birds was a good chance to go and revisit some of my bad photos from 12 years ago. I really need to go to Japan again to reshoot everything.
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Would you be interested in traveling with me and learning travel photography? I’m going to be announcing my first trip in several years very soon. I’ll be announcing my next trip in my email newsletter. To sign up, just go to the link in my bio. You will also get a free 100 page ebook of some of my favorite travel photos!
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #birds #nature #wildlife #Japan #kyoto


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BIRD WEEK, DAY 3! ⠀⠀⠀
Yesterday I said Bird Week was lame compared to Shark Week. Then I realized that birds are just the ancestors of dinosaurs, so in a way, this is FLYING DINOSAUR WEEK which sounds a whole lot cooler. ⠀⠀⠀
For my 3rd image this week, I’m going to go to a 3rd continent…Africa!
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This image probably doesn’t look like anything special. It’s a photo of a Burchell's Coucal that I took in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
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During our safari, out guide was more excited by seeing this bird than he was by anything we saw on the trip. More than lions, rhinos, elephants, and leopards. He was a 10 year veteran guide in Kruger, yet this bird was the thing which impressed him the most.
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Why?
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Because the Bruchell’s Coucal almost never appears in the open. This species is usually found in the brush and uses the thick over of the brush for protection. You are more likely to hear than see the Bruchell’s Coucal.
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That was why he went nuts. Lions and elephants were an everyday occurrence for him. This, however, was something he rarely saw. ⠀⠀⠀
Had he not been with us to point this out, I would never have know what I was looking at. This is why I always try to use a guide when I’m visiting places. I’ve heard of so many people get bored visiting “yet another cathedral” when they are in Europe. The reason is, they have no idea what they are looking at. Without someone to point out the small details, everything just looks like a big church. ⠀⠀⠀
All things being equal, I got a pretty good photo. Most of the photos I’ve found doing research on this bird weren’t that great.
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Would you be interested in traveling with me and learning travel photography? I’m going to be announcing my first trip in several years very soon. I’ll be announcing my next trip in my email newsletter. To sign up, just go to the link in my bio. You will also get a free 100 page ebook of some of my favorite travel photos!
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #birds #nature #wildlife #africa #southafrica #kruger #krugernationalpark


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Let’s keep going with birds this week. It will be like my lame version of Shark Week.
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This photo is of a male great frigatebird which I photographed in the Galapagos Islands. Frigatebirds exhibit very strong sexual dimorphism. Females are larger and have white throats, whereas the males have the very distinctive red gular sac on their breasts. The enormous sac on the male firgatebirds is probably the most pronounced of any species of bird.
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Photographing these are actually quite easy when you are in the Galapagos Islands, as they will mostly be nesting or on the ground. You can usually get pretty good shots from the trail.
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I had a few comments on my bald eagle photo about the difficulty getting detail in very dark black fur or feathers in animals. This is also true with very bright whites.
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This image shows the detail in the black feathers of the figatebird. It is detail which is easy to see with your eyes, but doesn’t usually come out in the camera. To get make it appear, you have to increase the shadows or exposure on the dark section of the feathers to bring out the detail. The same is true with bright whites, only in reverse. I’ve had to do similar enhancement with polar bear photos. ======================
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Would you be interested in traveling with me and learning travel photography? I’m going to be announcing my first in several years soon. My last trip was to the Galapagos where I took this very frigatebird photo. I’ll be announcing my next trip in my email newsletter. To sign up, just go to the link in my bio. You will also get a free 100 page ebook of some of my favorite travel photos!
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #birds #nature #wildlife #galapagos #galapagosislands #ecuador #unesco #worldheritagesite #travel #adventure #birdsofinstagram


26

One of the most difficult things in photography is photographing birds. Specifically, birds in flight. They are small, fast, and usually far away. The photographers who specialize in bird photography really have my respect. It is not easy to do.
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I can’t say that I specialize in bird photography, but I have tried my hand at it in many places around the world. For the longest time, I had never gotten a good photo of a bald eagle. They were always too far away, and the gear I had with me wasn’t really optimal for capturing birds. However, a few years I everything came together.
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I visited the W.A.C. Bennet Dam in Northern British Columbia. I didn’t realize it, but I had stumbled upon one of the best places to photograph bald eagles in the world. ⠀⠀⠀
The dam attracts a lot of bald eagles. They sit at the bottom of the dam and wait for dazed fish to come through. They all sit in trees on the banks of the river waiting. Given the steep slope of the river banks, the tops of the trees where the eagles are is very close to eye level on the nearby road. That means you can have a much better vantage point than if you were on the ground and the eagles were way above you.
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I only spent about 90 minutes there, but I was able to get many great bald eagle shots. I’ve never heard anyone else talk about this spot as a place to photography bald eagles before.
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The dam is located west of Dawson’s Creek, BC (yes, that is a real place) and north of Prince George, BC.
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This post is part of my continuing Instagram experiment. Many, but not all, wildlife photos I’ve put on Instagram have underperformed. I think I’m going to try posting a few of my favorite animal photos this week and explain some of the photography behind them and how I got the shot. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #birds #nature #wildlife #britishcolumbia #hellobc #baldeagle


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This photo was taken from the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana. The castle was originally a fortress for European slavers who traded here. It was originally established to trade in lumber and gold in the 16th Century, but by the 17th Century, it had mostly trafficked in slaves. It is one of many sites in West Africa which has a Door of No Return. The door where slaves would pass through, never to return again.
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The image itself is of fishermen preparing their boats in the local village. The original image is actually extremely colorful as the boats are all painted, and they are each flying a unique flag to identify themselves. However, I found by making it black & white, it brought out much more detail in the image. I have this as a giant 36” print which hangs in my bedroom.
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Each of the boats uses a unique flag so they can be identified from the shore. The flags are usually national flags or the flags of European football (soccer) clubs. The reason it initially captured my attention is because I saw an American flag flying from one of the boats. The flags don’t really have any particular symbolism, they just have to be unique so they can be identified from shore. ⠀⠀⠀
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This Instagram experiment has been really interesting. I’ve gotten more and better comments on my last two photos than I every have. I’ve also had more people reaching out via direct messages. However, the number of likes for each image have among the lowest I’ve had in years. This shows a massive problem with the Instagram algorithm. It doesn’t seem to factor in high quality engagement. It is mostly still about likes, and a like is one of the least meaningful things you can do. I’m assuming this trend will continue with this photo because it is black & white, and the orientation is landscape.
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #haiti #unesco #worldheritage #worldheritagesite


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My last photo, as I predicted, was the worst performing photo I have posted to Instagram in several years in terms of likes. HOWEVER, it also got more comments than any photo I have ever posted. That was very inspiring to see so many people who are in agreement about the state of Instagram. The cultural apocalypse has happened and we are living in a Kardashian wasteland, but there appears to be some survivors. We will need to find each other to try and rebuild civilization. ⠀⠀⠀
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This photo was taken at the Palace of Sans Souci in Haiti. The history of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution is a fascinating one. It was the only truly successful slave revolt in world history.
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The Sans-Souci Palace was built between 1810 and 1813 for King Henri I. Not only was the the first King by that name, he was the first and only king in Haitian history, period.
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The palace was built at great cost to Haiti and in 1842 it was severely damaged in an earthquake. The palace was never rebuilt and was left to become ruins. ⠀⠀⠀
Today, the ruins of the palace are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are part of the landscape for the people who live nearby.
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When I visited in 2015, we were at Sans Souci in the late afternoon when kids were walking home from school. Young school girls in Haiti tend to wear very large ribbons in their hair, and these girls were on the steps of the palace, walking home from school.
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It was one of those photos where I knew immediately that I had something special. It only lasted a moment, but I managed to get the photo in the few seconds they were on the steps.
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This photo went on to win the Gold Medal in the People category in the annual Muster Travel Photography competition.
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere #haiti #unesco #worldheritage #worldheritagesite


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This is one of my favorite photos. I took it in one of the carved stone churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia. The man was a Coptic priest who was walking out of the church to answer his phone. I have this photo printed and it is on the wall just above my computer as I type this. Lalibela is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most culturally significant places in Ethiopia.
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I mention this because I’m pretty sure this will be one of the worst performing photos I’ve ever posted to Instagram. I’ve posted photos of people in the past, they they always bomb. They don’t get engagement. People just want to see mountains, rainbows, waterfalls, and sunsets.
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This is one of the many reasons why I have come to dislike Instagram. I have many people who have called me a landscape photographer based on what they see on my Instagram feed. To be sure, I do landscape photography, but I also do a lot more. I just never post it on Instagram because the audience there doesn’t seem to like it.
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I haven’t posted anything to Instagram for almost a month now. Mainly, I’ve gotten tired of trying to optimize the time I post, how often I post, the type of image I post, and everything else surrounding the platform.
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Instagram used to be fun. Now it seems to have been taken over by the “influencers” which are really nothing more than models who use places as a backdrop for showing off their sundress or their abs. I’m not so much annoyed by the people who post that stuff as I am by the public who seems to be more infatuated by the reality show lifestyle than they are learning about the world we live in.
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From here on out, my plan is to totally tank my Instagram account by publishing some of my favorite photos, and telling the stories behind the image and place it was taken. It is sad that such an approach is probably the road to ruin, but fuck it.
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Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can try to reach those people who are more curious about the world around them than they are about wanna be reality TV stars.
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Who’s with me?
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#CuriosityNow #EverythingEverywhere


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Ora sappiamo cosa portare a scuola durante la lezione😎
#CURIOSITYNOW #CURIOSITÀ #CURIOSITÀORA #CURIOSITY #CHEWING-GUM #GOMMADAMASTICARE #SCHOOL #SCUOLA


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