Travel photographer Tamás Simonyi on capturing places and faces around the world

  • Mission: Documenting lives around the world
  • Photographer: Tamas simonyi
  • Site: Hungary
  • Kit used: Nikon D750, Nikon D80, Nikon 28-300mm f / 3.5-5.6, Nikon 10-24mm f / 3.5-4.5, Nikon 18-200mm f / 3.5-5.6

“I started taking pictures with my East German Praktica film camera when I was a teenager. I already preferred to take pictures of people – mainly my classmates. In college, the school newspaper asked me to submit portraits of fellow students. It was in the 1970s. Hungary, when commercialism was still unknown and we were surprised to find that such cover images dramatically increased sales. I have traveled extensively on student trips across Europe and have documented my travels. Thinking back to these images, I have to admit that they would barely make up the bottom half of any photo contest these days.

I went digital in 2007 when I realized the format could match the quality of traditional analog cameras. The additional possibilities ignited my imagination, and despite still being busy as a businessman, I restarted photography in a big way.

A friend turned me to Nikon cameras 15 years ago and I have invested a lot since then. I realize that the kit is not all that important, but it can certainly expand your possibilities. I wish the quality cameras and lenses were lighter, as I would happily carry twice as many in my bag if I could!

This monk (above) was photographed in Myanmar in front of Yangon’s famous Shwedagon Pagoda. He was sitting there, motionless, ageless. The color of her dress and her expression harmonized perfectly with her surroundings. What really caught my eye were her sunglasses – the black plastic contrasted with her surroundings and the accessories obscured her eyes, adding a sense of mystery.

Tamás tilted the camera by accident and ended up liking the composition more. (Image credit: Tamás Simonyi)

This photo of the desert (above) was taken in Wadi Rum, Jordan, a short drive from Petra. It is the most beautiful desert landscape I have ever seen, with fantastic rock formations. Our guide decided to make tea in the middle of nowhere, just as the sun was setting. I placed my camera an inch above the ground because I didn’t want to risk sand getting into my body. I didn’t realize the frame was tilted slightly, but the picture looks even better that way.

This candid shot allowed Tamás to achieve a natural expression that wouldn’t have happened if he had asked the subject to pose. (Image credit: Tamás Simonyi)

The lady seated next to the statue (above) was photographed in Quito, Ecuador. She was deep in thought and sometimes made faces, not realizing who she was sitting next to. I used the long end of my zoom and took a photo, making her look at me in surprise. I bowed in thanks and she said it was okay before she fell back into her own world. “

See more of Tamás’ incredible work by visit his website.

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