Istalif village in Afghanistan is high up in the mountains, and surrounded by pleasant lands. It’s also rather famous for its colourful and somewhat rustic pottery. I bought a few pieces of pottery here 10 years ago. The people then were very happy to have their photos taken and to show-off their pottery. The village itself has been through quite a few traumas over the years, and its heritage and livelihood are at risk. Construction and security can certainly help, but it needs visitors, or a way to get its pottery to a wider market. Here, a young lad took me into his store and was very keen to show me the brightly coloured ceramics.
I took part in a charity event in Malaysian Borneo in 2008 to raise money for an orangutan sanctuary. That was a good fun trip, and I especially enjoyed my treks through the jungle, leeches and all! During the trip, I came across this plant in Sabah, and I liked the symmetry well enough to take a photo. The jungle can be quite a dark place, giving one a sense of foreboding, so I think this black-and-white treatment compliments that feeling quite well.