Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Alex Stoen
32,899 followers -
World traveler, explorer & photographer
World traveler, explorer & photographer

32,899 followers
About
Alex Stoen's posts

Post has attachment
The Cormorant Fishermen of Guilin (Guangxi, China 2016)

One of the highlights of my trip to China was to meet the famous cormorant fishermen of Guilin. Even if the water is too polluted now for fishing to be sustainable, these fishermen remain icons of some sort in this area, prized by many photographers, yet they remain as graceful as ever, even with old age. Their art will eventually be lost, as new generations take over, turning traditions into simple tourist attractions. I’m so glad and honored to have been able to meet the authentic, original cormorant fishermen of Guilin.
Photo

Post has attachment
The dome of Santa Ana's church (Sella, Spain 2014)

The church of Santa Ana in Sella dates back to the 15th century. This small picturesque town in the mountains close to Spanish Costa Blanca was founded by the Moors over 1000 years ago. The structure of the small streets and some buildings still show the Arab influence. After the Reconquista, the Moorish population that lived in Sella for centuries was expulsed and Sella became inhabited by Mallorcans. The village is pretty isolated in the mountains but well worth the visit (they also cook an amazing paella!).

Photo

Post has attachment
Cutty Sark (Greenwich, United Kingdom 2016)

Cutty Sark was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest. She was commissioned in the same year as the opening of the Suez Canal, in 1869.
The canal allowed steam ships to enjoy a much shorter route to China. It was the beginning of the end for these majestic sailing ships. Cutty Sark eventually turned to the wool trade from Australia, where she held the record time to Britain for ten years. She became a training in 1922 until 1954, when she was transferred to permanent dry dock here at Greenwich, for public display.

The sun was still high in the sky when I composed this shot, but I wanted to highlight this famous ship's silhouette against a white back ground (high key photograph), so I overexposed intentionally, making the sky completely white, while preserving most of the details of the ship itself.
Photo

Post has attachment
The Lost Forest (Vall de Gallinera, Spain 2012)

Long exposure of a lone burnt tree, in what was once a lush forest in the maintains surrounding Alicante. A devastating fire raged through a few years before, and this tree was somehow left standing, perhaps a reminder of what once stood on these slopes. It's so unfortunate and upsetting that many of these fires are intentional to profit from the land reconversion, a crime that usually goes unpunished.

Photo

Post has attachment
The Rocket Ride (Holguin, Cuba 2012)

My wife took me to Cuba a few years ago to meet her parents, who live in Holguin, on the eastern side of the island. The city was founded as San Isidoro de Holguín in 1545, and it is named after its founder Captain García Holguín, a Spanish military officer.

Now it's the fourth largest city in Cuba. Holguin is renown for all its parks. I captured this in the Parque Infantil, where I noticed this strange and innovative contraption: a children's carousel made with disused jet tanks from the cold war. Cuba is full of these paradoxes which are so fascinating to us photographers.
Photo

Post has attachment
The Kara tribe from Dus (Omo Valley, Ethiopia 2014)

The Karas are the smallest tribe of the Omo valley.
They live on the east bank of the Omo river, across the tribe of Nyangatom. Like in most of Omo tribes, scarification is widely used in the Kara tribe. Here, a handsomely painted man with his hair braided close to his skull. The men and women of this tribe also love to decorate their hair with various feathers and flowers. I captured this portrait close to the village of Dus. As the tribe sang under the shady canopy of the forest, I couldn't help but be pulled into their ceremonial dance, leaving me with a truly a profound experience which I'm not likely to ever forget!
Photo

Post has attachment
The Camel Caravan (Arabian Desert, United Arab Emirates 2017)

While exploring the Arabian Desert outside the Al Maha Resort, I came across this camel caravan traveling back to camp. I jumped out of the Land Cruiser and raced to the front of the caravan to compose against the setting sun. This is the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), UAE’s first national park. It's a protected environment for the last of the desert wildernesses, setup to preserve its unique and beautiful desert habitat, and the many threatened flora and fauna species within. If you ever travel to Dubai, I highly recommend checking out this amazing initiative.


Photo

Post has attachment
Procession of colorful Buddhist flags at the Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon, Myanmar 2013)

I captured this scene while I was attending the annual festival of lights at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Right before sunset, a procession with dozens of colorful Buddhist flags circled around the central pagoda. The flag is composed of six vertical bands representing the six colors of the aura which is believed to have emanated from the body of the Buddha when he attained Enlightenment. The festival continued until midnight, on the day of the full moon, when 9999 candles were ceremoniously lit. What an amazing experience!
Photo

Post has attachment
The View from the Observatory (Greenwich, United Kingdom 2017)

Royal Observatory of Greenwich is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian, which gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time. The observatory was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II, but there had been significant buildings on this land since the reign of William I. Greenwich Palace, near the site of the present-day Maritime Museum, was the birthplace of Henry VIII; the Tudors used Greenwich Castle, which stood at the top of the hill, on the same land that the Observatory presently occupies. The Castle was reportedly a favorite place for Henry VIII to house his mistresses, so that he could easily travel from the Palace to see them.
Photo

Post has attachment
The Snake Charmer of Benares (Varanasi, India 2015)

It was a misty morning in Varanasi as I came across this snake charmer on Guleria Ghat. Ignoring my ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), I approached him to compose my shot, while trying not to get too close.

Varanasi is an incredible city. Known as Kashi and Benaras, it's the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. Dating to the 11th century B.C. (that’s over 3000 years!), this is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities. It draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites.

Lonely Planet describes the city as “one of the most blindingly colorful, unrelentingly chaotic and unapologetically indiscreet places on earth”. Not everyone is prepared to visit this incredible city, where the circle of life overpowers all of your senses. My local guide’s words summed it up perfectly: "You don’t visit Varanasi, you live Varanasi". It was truly a life-changing experience for me.
Photo
Wait while more posts are being loaded