John Holcroft is a Sheffield-based artists whose illustrations on topics such as obesity, 21 century addictions, taxes and more are very intriguing. Many of them are stripping people from their ego masks and showing how some of today's modern world really looks like in a minimalistic, yet very vidid, style. He has worked with British finest newspapers and magazines such as, but not limited to, BBC, Financial Times, The Guardian or The Economist.
Chloé Baudens known also as Klava is a traveller and an artist. She is passionate about the Slavic culture and open to what the world has to show. On daily basis she lives in Toulouse, France but most of the time she spends on travelling and sketching. I've asked Chloé few questions about how did she start drawing and what are her traveling plans. In between you can find her artwork - more of it you can view on Etsy (and buy some of her works) or access the portfolio on Flickr.
Philip Bloom is a world renown filmmaker and director. Living in London but traveling and working world-wide. Philip appeared earlier on this blog in a post on Koh Yao Noi. Here doing a promotional video on the FS100 with Zeiss ZF Glass. Presenting the portrait of Festim Lama - aged 24, appearing in middleweight division and originally from Albania. Lots of additional material on how the project has come to life and been shot can be found on Philip's website. A great piece of work.
The first photographic process was presented by Louis Daguerre and was since called a daguerreotype (fr. daguerréotype). As Wikipedia states: "The distinguishing visual characteristics of a daguerreotype are that the image is on a bright (ignoring any areas of tarnish) mirror-like surface of metallic silver and it will appear either positive or negative depending on the lighting conditions and whether a light or dark background is being reflected in the metal. From certain angles the image cannot be seen at all."
Louis was a French artist and photographer living in the years 1787 - 1851. His idea was widespread few years before his death in the early 1840s. He is also the first person to photograph a human being. The shot of Boulevard du Temple in Paris was made in 1838 and is showing a man having it's shoes shined. The exposure of this work was more than 10 minutes. With such a long time other people that were present aren't visible as they were probably moving while the process of shining shoes took a bit longer.
The last day of our stay in China has come. Well, technically last but one as the next day we were flying at around 8 in the morning to Warsaw. The day prior we've booked the trip to the Great Wall of China (ch. 万里长城) together with a traditional Chinese lunch in a nearby restaurant. The thing about the wall is that there are various locations where you can see it available for tourists. Among them there are three places in close proximity to the capital of China - Jinshanling (most remote), Badaling (closest to the city with public transport but often overcrowded) and Mutianyu (somewhere in the middle). Bus tours start from 150-180 CNY / 85 PLN / 20 EUR up (as of Sep 2014) .
Beijing that we've encountered was hectic. People and traffic everywhere. Our plan was also hectic although we were rather not in a hurry. Arriving on Monday and departing on Wednesday morning - that was a challenge for such a vast city with so many things to see that one can get a headache. Our Lucky Family Hostel where we were to stay was in Dongcheng District somewhere among Beijing's hutongs (ch. 胡同).
The last section of Trans-Mongolian train journey was ahead of us with some exciting sights awaiting - the Gobi desert, changing of the chassis in Erlian and going through Chinese countryside with great number of tunnels and surrounding hills. The international express Moscow - Beijing was waiting on the platform during the sunrise. Chinese staff was waiting for the passengers. After checking the tickets we were in our kupe compartment with four berths. We have also received free vouchers for breakfast (around 8-9 local time) and lunch (around 10-11 local time) the next day. Soon after we were off in the Mongolian steppe.
After taking a power nap in our hostel on the sofas - our room was ready (as we came early in the morning we had to wait). Having repacked we wen't strolling around through the city. Mongolia is a large country in terms of square meters but has roughly 3 million citizens with half of them living in the capital city Ulan Bator. Most of the city, especially the area near the main railroad station, is in poor state - rundown buildings, not much driving regulations (it's a dare to cross the road), dodgy looking neighborhood. People are friendly though and, not knowing much in English, they always say "hello" even if they want to say goodbye.
Our stay at Olkhon Island was for sure too short. Three days is not much and a week seems now like a must. Having waited for the bus to Irkutsk we packed our stuff. When the marshrutka came our baggage was put on the roof secured with a net. The bus was going from guesthouse to guesthouse in search for anyone wanting to go to Irkutsk. In the end, it was packed full. The road was the same but the time passed somehow faster. In the capital of Siberia we did some shopping and pulled an all-nighter - some of us in the hostel while others at the 130 kvartal. Somewhere in the middle of all this we ordered a taxi to pick us up the next day in the early morning as we were to catch a train to Ulan-Ude. The record sleep time that night was 12 minutes so needless to say that we were catching-up on the train. The route is said to be one of the most iconic of all Trans-Siberian as it's going right next to Baikal through a set of tunnels. It surely was picturesque and breathtaking but I would also count in some other sights we've seen along the whole trip as equal.