“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves”. Henry David Thoreau’s quote featured in Joshua Wong’s Instagram bio perfectly encapsulates the essence of his feed. He takes us on a visual treat of different landscapes and cultures, as we journey with him on his travels through his eyes.
EOS 5D Mark IV | 1/80s | f11 | ISO 200
Every post is filled with the sharp curves of mountains, the designed lines from elaborate architecture, or the occasional portrait of human and/or beast. We caught up with Joshua to find out what he has discovered about himself so far, as he gets lost in the world on his travels.
Joshua hiking in Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
Good day Joshua! Could you tell us a bit about how you got into photography?
I bought my first DSLR camera, a Canon 70D with a basic kit lens, one day before leaving for my foreign exchange program to China. I knew I was going to travel a lot and I was keen to pick up a new hobby to capture those moments. Prior to that, I had only tinkered with my girlfriend’s older DSLR as I experimented with the basics. As things progressed, I gradually enjoyed photography more and more, and begin reading up on newer techniques and styles.
EOS 5D Mark IV | 1/100s | f5.6 | ISO 160
Tell us the reason why travel photography holds your interest.
Photographing my journeys is the perfect way to preserve special moments as there are only so much details the human brain can retain. Looking at photos from five years ago invariably brings back memories that have been forgotten.
EOS 70D | 1/1600s | f8 | ISO 500
Overseas trips also never fail to introduce a new aspect of life for me to experience, and as a hobbyist, I have to balance my photography with my full-time job, so when I do manage to travel, I always make full use of the time.
EOS 1D X Mark II | 1/640s | f5.6 | ISO 200
You take a mixture of scenery, architecture, portraits and wildlife. What is your favourite subject?
My favourites are landscape and wildlife as they are both usually untainted by the human society and best reflects the purest forms of Mother Nature. I also enjoy the challenges that both pose. For instance, wildlife photography requires tons of patience and in some cases, a stronger technical understanding of your camera’s autofocus and tracking capabilities.
EOS 70D | 1/1600s | f4 | ISO 200
Landscape, on the other hand, requires sacrifice. You might have to wake up early to catch the sunrise, brave harsh elements and physical surroundings to capture that perfect shot, or venture into relatively unexplored terrains to grab a unique frame or perspective of that region.
EOS 5D Mark IV | 1/2s | f8 | ISO 100
Tell us a story of a memorable portraiture subject.
The most unique trip I had was to Northern Siberia in the Yamal Peninsula, where my fiance and I spent a week living in the tents of some reindeer herders.
EOS 1D X Mark II | 1/3200s | f2.8 | ISO 200
That family of three gave us a very unique perspective into a way of life that is rapidly becoming extinct. The Nenets rely exclusively on their reindeers for a living, and we experienced first-hand how harsh their way of life can be. Youlia, the youngest daughter of the family, is pictured here.
EOS 1D X Mark II | 1/4000s | f2.8 | ISO 200
What sort of gear do you use for your travel photography?
EOS 5D Mark IV | 1/500s | f2.8 | ISO 2000
I’ll bring along lenses like the Canon EF16-35mm F/2.8L II USM and Canon EF70-200mm F/2.8L USM for framing certain landscapes that require reach, and the Canon EF100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon EF 400mm F/4 DO IS II USM or EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM to snap wildlife subjects.
EOS 1D X Mark II | 1/1000s | f8 | ISO 800
What sort of traits should a travel photographer have?
A travel photographer should be patient and determined. The more time, resources and energy you spend, the higher your chances of encountering opportune moments to snap a few unique shots. It is also important to keep an open mind. Landscape or wildlife photography can be really unpredictable at times but I’ve come to realise that many times, I actually enjoy the journey more than the destination. Some of my favourite pictures were taken en route to the ‘final objective’.
EOS 1D X Mark II | 1/200s | f10 | ISO 400
Do you have a dream destination you are excited to capture?
If I had the budget, I would really love to go to Svalbard. It is a haven for wildlife and landscape photography as there is a high concentration of polar bears and icebergs.
EOS 5D Mark IV | 30s | f4 | ISO 1000
There’s no doubt that travel photography has taken off in a big way with our powerful passport. If you’ve taken some shots, share them by tagging us at #canonsg for a chance to be featured.