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Posts tagged: travel photography

The Unparalleled Joy of Dogs on the Beach (Sponsored)

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Magnolia, Massachusetts © Cavan Images / Offset

“A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing,” the great poet Mary Oliver writes in her 2013 book Dog Songs. Anyone who has ever seen a dog at the beach knows this to be true. Whether they’re chasing a ball or digging holes in the shade, dogs love the beach in some indelible, instinctual way that us humans can never truly grasp.

It’s tragic that so many beautiful beaches are closed to dogs during peak summer months, but this story is not about those beaches. It’s about those that welcome canines large and small. In honor of the season, we culled the Offset collection in search of the most joyous, life-affirming pictures of dogs on the beach.

Photos of The Iconic Route 66 Take Us Back in Time (Sponsored)

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Route 66 Diner on Central Ave, Albuquerque, New Mexico © Julien McRoberts / Offset

Route 66 stretch of highway

Route 66, California © Cavan Images / Offset

Holbrook,Arizona, United States. Route 66.

Fake dinosaurs along Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona © Julien McRoberts / Offset

“I feel like much of our country has become one big strip mall,” confides American photographer Julien McRoberts, who has spent much of her life traveling the world. But there’s one place that maintains the allure of the old American West: Route 66, the 91-year-old highway running through eight states, from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California.

Route 66, the subject of the nations best rhythm and blues songs (Route 66 by Bobby Troupe) and literary classics (The Grapes of Wrath, On The Road), was decommissioned in 1985, 60 years after it opened. In the words of Smithsonian Magazine’s Megan Gambino, the American treasure “is not aging gracefully.” Though some 85% of the road remains drivable, much of the once-flourishing businesses that once lined the iconic highway have packed up and moved along. Places are abandoned; the neon signs have been turned off for the final time.

Still, sentimental souls still cherish the long-forgotten highway. Some motel owners refused to leave their beloved “Mother Road,” and some portions have survived the fall from grace. McRoberts, an Offset photographer, understands the persevering spirit of Route 66 more than most. Over the course of four years, she made the journey across the entire 2,400 miles that once supported the country’s westward migration.

Photographers Travel Off the Beaten Path in Bali (Sponsored)

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Fountains of natural spring water, Tirta Empul Temple, Bali © Joel Collins / Offset

Surfers at sunrise. Bali. Indonesia.

Surfers heading out at sunrise © Aurora Photos / Offset

“The island is a photographer’s paradise,” says Offset Artist Joel Collins, who not only photographs Bali himself but also leads photo tours for other travelers. The weather, the people, the food, it’s all there if you know where to look. The trick, he confesses, is to avoid the places all the other tourists go.

In Defense of the ‘Little Person, Big Landscape’ Instagram Trend (Sponsored)

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Rock spur, Chiesa in Valmalenco, Lombardy, Italy © Dirk Wüstenhagen / Westend61 / Offset

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Sand Dunes, Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Brazil © Ronald Patrick / Offset

Half a year ago, National Geographic photographer Jimmy Chin and writer Grayson Schaffer coined the term “Little person, big landscape!” to describe the kind of picture that appeals to the masses of the Instagram era. We’ve all seen it; a sole figure is dwarfed by a mountain, a forest, a vast expanse of wildflowers or snow. The genre (if we can call it that) is definitely having a moment right now. There’s even a hashtag on Instagram- #tinypeopleinbigplaces– with nearly 80,000 posts. In the wrong hands, it can seem cheap, even trite, but there’s one reason it isn’t going away: when done well, there’s nothing like it.

In defense of “Little person, big landscape!” we’ve pulled together this exhibition of breathtaking images from the Offset collection. Taking us on a journey from Italy to Jordan, Bolivia to Iceland, these pictures take a well-known trope and turn it into something more.

Exploring the Vast Beauty of Western Mongolia

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John Feely’s The Outsider is a record of the artist’s time spent in Western Mongolia. A place chosen for its remoteness, vast size and traditional culture, Feely selected a town, and with little plan or particular agenda, made travel arrangements. Without a language in common, relationships were forged silently, the expansive drama of the Mongolian landscape serving as a backdrop for the minutiae and tenderness of human relationships.

Mystery and Magic In the World’s Swimming Holes (Sponsored)

A women cools down in a river.

Appalachian Trail, Connecticut © Aurora Photos / Offset

A swimmer wades in the water of a sea cave in Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, California.

Sea cave, Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, California © Robert Benson / Aurora Photos / Offset

There’s something special about swimming holes. They’re private, secret, and mysterious in a way that borders on the clandestine. A telling entry from Urban Dictionary defines “swimming hole” as the following: “A natural body of water used by all the cool kids in a given area. Uncool kids aren’t welcome there.”

Whoever penned that humorous description was onto something. Do a quick internet search of swimming holes around the world, and you’ll see the ones that appeal the most to travelers are those that are hidden from preying eyes. The ancient Hawaiians understood it. The Queen’s Bath in Kauai was for many years the sole territory of the royals, who were thought to have been born from a divine and sacred line. The allure of swimming holes lies in part in their exclusivity.

It’s easy to see why swimming holes are among the most coveted places on earth. Some of them are so bewitching they look like they’re from an entirely different planet. In Havasu Falls, for instance, the water is rich with magnesium and calcium carbonate, which set it aglow with an uncanny turquoise tinge. At Wadi Shab mountain ravine in Oman, the nearby date and banana trees make the hot air as fragrant as the deep green waters are beautiful. Others were carved from igneous rock formations, forged from hot lava.

We combed through Offset’s collection of work by international photographers to find the most exquisite depictions of the world’s swimming holes, from Italy to California, Iceland to Puerto Rico. Some are well-known, and others are a bit more low-key and hidden. At the risk of exposing all their secrets, we present them here, for your enjoyment.

Get Lost in Alleys Around the World (Sponsored)

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Osaka, Japan © Bongsub Kim / Offset

Lamu village on Lamu island in Kenya

Lamu Island, Kenya © Anthony Lanneretonne / Offset

The English word “alley” derives from the Old French verb “aler,” meaning “to go.” By their very definition, then, alleyways are places to be left behind on the way to someplace else; they’re never the destination in and of themselves. But what if they were?

For this group show, we combed through the Offset photography collection in search of alleys so beautiful they begged us to linger for a while longer. These pictures span the globe, taking us from Italy to Japan, Kenya to the Czech Republic. They are photographed under the warm, glittering sun and beneath the eerie shroud of darkness.

Whimsical Paper Cut Outs Lead to Instagram Stardom, World Travel

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Sentosa Island, Singapore

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Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

For children and tourists, sightseeing is a delight; for artistes, its passé. But why? Has the art world become so highfalutin that we can’t enjoy the simple pleasure of visiting someplace historic and beautiful? London photographer Rich McCor and his enchanting paper cut-outs answer with a resounding, “No way!”

The Most Incredible Underwater Photos Taken off An Island in The Philippines (Sponsored)

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© Karl Lundholm / Offset

Beneath the surface

© Karl Lundholm / Offset

It all started with a Google search: “the best surf in The Philippines.” Having just come off the high of shooting waves in Australia, Swedish photographer and Offset artist Karl Lundholm wanted to make one last stop on his way home. One place kept coming up in his search, and the more he learned, the more he yearned to visit the island of Siargao.

Incredible Stories and Photos from Countries on the US Travel Warnings List (Sponsored)

Documentary travel photography from North Korea.

Two children walking along an empty street in Pyongyang © Aaron Joel Santos / Offset

Aaron Joel Santos: There’s something almost upsettingly benign about traveling in North Korea. It feels set up, like a stage in some very elaborate school play. The costumes and actors and lines and directions are all there, laid out for the people you come across. It’s a Ghost World, there through the fog of a window pane. Hidden behind several layers so you can barely make out what it is you’re looking at. It’s mysterious, of course, but it also plays into its own mysteries perfectly.

It’s almost as if, at times, it knows what travelers want out of it, and it obliges. It’s a strange place, and maybe all the more so because we can’t seem to get a grasp on it. It’s a slippery country. At times brutal and frightening and utterly evil, and in other instances, almost hokey and kitsch. But always with a kind of looming terror. Which is why I photographed it the way I did. Lost in that fog. Trying to depict this idea of ghosts haunting a city. A certain myopia and strangeness, something that couldn’t be quite seen or grasped or believed.

The United States government has a list, updated frequently to include all travel warnings to civilians, advising them on precarious situations in locations around the world. Some countries stay on the list for the blink of an eye; others remain for years. While the government cannot of course forbid us from visiting these countries, the list uses no uncertain terms: “We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all.”

As of this writing, there are thirty-seven places on the Travel Warnings List. Reasons for issuing a warning range from civil war to limited protection by the US government. The Mali warning makes mention of recent terrorist attacks and criminal activity, and some of the remote areas of Algeria are also listed for potential terrorism and kidnappings.

The Iran Travel Warning cites religious tensions, unfair arrests, and “various elements in Iran that remain hostile to the United States.” Americans are warned against visiting parts of Tunisia along the border with Libya due to fear of terrorism. According to the list, North Korea poses a “serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement, which imposes unduly harsh sentences, including for actions that in the United States would not be considered crimes.”

Although the government is quick to point out that “tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Colombia each year for tourism, business, university studies, and volunteer work,” it still makes the list because of crime-related violence. Armed robberies are mentioned in association with Venezuela.

Every one of these countries has a history that goes well beyond a number on the list. We wanted to ask some of our favorite Offset photographers who have spent time in these places to tell us their stories, candid tales about personal experiences. Their memories are their own and no one else’s, and they should by no means be understood to represent something general or universal, but they do illuminate sides of these countries that otherwise would remain invisible.

Yes, some of these stories are scary, but others are breathtakingly beautiful. None are what we expected.

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