Dave Newton

Honeypot Views in the World by Dave Newton

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Dave Newton is an international award-winning professional photographer and filmmaker and represents EIZO as a ColorEdge Ambassador. For 2022 we will be following his journey on the road as he travels the world with his family, Jess, Isla, and of course Otis in his recently converted truck!

Honeypot Views in the World

In the last blog, I left you hanging just after I’d visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Fresh from reeling from that experience, there was no time to waste as we were straight back on our plane and off to Uzbekistan to visit Samarkand.

Unless you’ve done some travelling, Uzbekistan may not be on your travel radar - but it should be, not least because it is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in Central Asia. The architecture is out of this world, sporting incredible blue majolica tile work and grand mosques, not to mention the exceptional Registan Square which is simply stunning. The whole place seems to be a riot of different hues of blue and green, and the history is just mind-blowing.

- ‘The majolica tile work of Samarkand, Uzbekistan is startling in its intricacy and incredible in its colour’

From Uzbekistan we made our way to the United Arab Emirates, specifically Abu Dhabi. The UAE is an interesting place - I’ve now been to 5 of the 7 emirates, and they are all uniquely different while sharing many common threads. Abu Dhabi is the bank of the Emirates. While it’s not as brash as Dubai and doesn’t claim to have the biggest, tallest, deepest, or widest whatever it may be, it is still a state of opulence. Ironically, the highlight for me was something we did in the Dubai desert instead - dune bashing in 4x4s. You could have guessed that, right?

There’s something about being in the desert, flying across the dunes in a 4x4 that is so much fun. Equally, the desert, wherever I’d experienced them in the world has also always been a rich source of images for me. Maybe it’s the simple colour palette, or perhaps the harsh light you often find there providing light and shade to play with.

There was no rest from Abu Dhabi as it was on to Jordan to visit Petra at sunrise. Petra should need no introduction, with the area around it having been inhabited since around 7000BC. Like most of the honeypot views in the world, Petra is equally a hard place to capture - even with the reduced travel numbers due to covid, it is still a place with a lot of visitors all the time, so those empty “brochure” style images are just not possible. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing there. The architecture and history are outstanding, and with a little work, you can find angles that allow you to keep the rest of the tourists out of your images.

- ‘Exploring around Petra brings opportunities to capture images without crowds (a challenge) and with a different feel to the millions of images of the area taken each year’

Our final stop was Sicily, with a stay in Taormina, close to Mount Etna, one of the tallest active volcanoes in Europe, sitting as it does on the convergence of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. The evidence of the volcano is everywhere you go in that part of the island, from houses and roads made from volcanic rock to black “sand” piles of volcanic ash lining the side of the road. A 4x4 trip up the lower slopes of Etna gave us a closer view of the volcano from where we could hear the gurgles and burps as she continued to spew ash and lava into the air.

- ‘When you visit Taormina, the shadow of Etna is ever present. The volcanic history both past and present is always there, as is the spectre of another big eruption’

It was, in total, a most incredible 4-week trip and has yielded a significant number of images - about 12,000 in total. Many of the guests on the trip, but also of the sights we saw. It’s a great privilege to travel on a trip like this where your only goal is to capture as many great images as possible. And yet at the same time, it is incredibly challenging because the travel is not how you would do it as a photographer - there’s no waiting for the light and spending time exploring and finding the best angles. It’s a continual dash where you’re working very quickly trying to fulfil the brief as best as possible with the conditions in front of you. And from that perspective, it is an exceptional challenge of great enjoyment.

- ‘It’s not all about the wide view. Sometimes smaller details with a hint of background can tell just as much of a travel story about a location. Mediterranean scenes - Taormina, Sicily’

Tune in again next month as we move to the final two weeks of my trip - the America West of Napa Valley and the National Parks of Yellowstone, Arches, Grand Tetons, and Grand Canyon.

If you have questions, don’t be shy, feel free to reach out to me either through EIZO or through our social media channels:

@globaltraces on Instagram and Facebook, or www.globaltraces.co.uk for a website.

If you want to see more of my work specifically, then @photopositive (Insta and FB) or www.photopositive.co.uk will get you there.

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