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Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma)

Documentary Travel Photography

March 2015

One of the most important, and enjoyable, things I do every year is take my camera abroad to a completely new country, and capture the things I see along the way. Having a camera really is a passport into the lives of people you never would have met otherwise, and these kind of trips give an opportunity to photograph in an environment I’m unfamiliar with. Five years ago it was South America (a trip which really got things started), then India a couple years later. And then it was Bangladesh, which turned out to be a bit of a game changer for me. It was the first time I’d been a part of a trip like that with another photographer, and it really inspired me to do more of these kind of trips with my fellow photography friends. The 8Street was born (new website coming soon!) and trips to Paris and Istanbul followed. But I still craved that longer, more extensive trip, the one where you really get your teeth into the country.

For two or three years now I’ve been told that my next port of call had to be Myanmar (or Burma as it’s still commonly known as). The main reason being that it only opened up its border five years ago, so the country’s identity and culture has remained largely preserved away from the touristic masses. If ever there was a time to see the country, it was now.

So a trip was organised along with three of my very good photography chums (Sachin ‘Mu Mu’ Khona, Matt ‘Bear’ Tyler and Ross ‘Rossco’ Harvey), to discover Burma, and all its wonders. For just over two weeks we explored the temples and pagodas, riversides and monasteries, and general life of this beautiful country. As we spent day after day wondering the streets, what struck us was how friendly and genuine the people were – you’d think they’d be slightly suspicious of foreigners after such a length of time being guarded from them, but it wasn’t the case at all – we were completely welcomed into their lives.

For those wondering, all the following images were shot with the Sigma 35 Art 1.4 paired with the Nikon D750.

NB: at the end is a little bonus section of images of my brothers-in-arms, Sachin, Matt and Ross, without whom the trip wouldn’t have been the same (and having to spend the last few days by myself due to an unforeseen circumstance I can testify to that!). A big part of what I love most about travelling is the people you share that experience with, and for the two and a half weeks we were there, we not only created a body of work we were pleased with, but also shared philosophies, joked about and recharged for the year ahead. Something tells me this won’t be the last journey we do together…

 
‘For just over two weeks we explored the temples and pagodas, riversides and monasteries, and general life of this beautiful country. As we spent day after day wondering the streets, what struck us was how friendly and genuine the people were – you’d think they’d be slightly suspicious of foreigners after such a length of time being guarded from them, but it wasn’t the case at all – we were completely welcomed into their lives.’