Wednesday 8 January 2020

Travels With My Camera 2019 - The Best Pictures

In 2019 I visited Cuba for the first time as well as making return visits to some of my favourite places including India, Myanmar and Israel. As ever, I spent my time exploring the streets of towns and cities with a camera in my hand, attempting to capture a little of their character by photographing the the daily lives of "ordinary" people, although many of them are extraordinary. Whenever I can, I try to spend time talking to people, often with the help of someone who can interpret and who can help ease the way to some, hopefully, authentic pictures. Capturing the stories of the people I meet is as important to me as taking their pictures. It helps to give context to a photograph, hearing the stories as well as seeing them in their faces.

During 2019 I was privileged to meet many new people. Anthony lives in Melbourne. He became homeless through no fault of his own and now sits outside the Hill of Content book shop in Bourke Street each day, reading or doing the crossword. He loves talking to passers by and also has a strong liking for the capuccino sold at the  iconic  Pellegrini's Espresso Bar, a few steps from where he sits. I was able to post his picture to friends in Melbourne who took it to him, together with a pastry from South Melbourne Market. If you see him, stop to talk and buy him a coffee.

In Hong Kong I met a delightful woman in her eighties. Born in Shanghai she had memories of the Japanese occupation of her home city and then the terror that followed with the Communist takeover. She now spends her days pushing a trolley around the streets of her neighbourhood, collecting waste cardboard for sale to recyclers. She said that she does not need to do this for money, but enjoys being outside and talking to people.  Some of the shopkeepers and vendors place a small stool outside their shops so she can rest from time to time.

At the younger end of the age range I took perhaps my favourite picture of the year in Nan Hu, northern Myanmar. When walking through a village I hear someone calling out "hello hello". I turned to look and saw first one child, then two, then several standing in the window of their school room shouting and laughing. I especially like this picture for the expression of hope and joy the children wear. I hope to see them again during my current time in Myanmar.

Central market, Mandalay, Myanmar
School children, Nan Hu, Myanmar
Monks doing the morning round, Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar
Modern communication, Hong Kong
I staged my first, small exhibitions during 2019. My first show was held in the Maison Bertaux Gallery in Soho, combining two of my passions - photography and cake. I was both astonished and grateful that so many people came to my opening and this led to further shows in public libraries in Canning Town, Hornchurch and Romford, bringing my pictures to different types of audience. I also exhibited in the Fry's Gallery in Hornchurch where again I was encouraged by the response and feedback which included a double page spread and interview in the local newspaper. I am especially grateful to Havering's Libraries and Arts services for being so supportive and for giving me the chance to take part in the annual Havering Literary festival in November. The festival features dozens of events including appearances from top authors. My contribution was to run two workshops for Year 6 students involving a tour of my exhibition, discussion with the children about what they had seen and about their own travels as well as a small creative writing exercise afterwards. I must admit I was extremely nervous beforehand as it is several years since I last did anything of this nature but I thoroughly enjoyed it and the children were extremely engaging. The pictures featured in this post are amongst my best received works from various social media and from feedback from the exhibitions.

Woman in purple, Hong Kong
Luisa with cigar, Trinidad-de-Cuba, Cuba
Boy with new fan, Trinidad-de-Cuba, Cuba
Anthony with capuccino, Melbourne, Australia
Woman with red hair, ShukHaTalpiot, Haifa, Israel
In 2020 I have an exhibition planned for the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch during July and am in discussion about shows with another library service and possibly an independent gallery in south London. Thank you if you came to any of my shows during the year, or for following me on various social media. I hope to see you again in 2020.

See more at @adrianyekkes and at flickr

If you are interested in any of these pictures please contact me at

The samosa boy, Daryaganj market, Delhi, India
Waiting for customers, Kolkata, India
Flood water, Patan, India
Please note: All rights reserved. None of these images may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without my prior written permission.

1 comment:

  1. Woman in purple, Hong Kong and Woman with red hair, Shuk HaTalpiot in Haifa are great photos. They look very natural, not putting on glamorous clothes or fancy hairdos for the camera.