My friend Dave Levingston recently told me of an art fair he’d visited and how he’d thought of maybe trying to sell some of his work there. One of the problems there is that images of nudes were kind of hidden away in the back, he told me – and the overwhelming body of Dave’s photo work for sale is nudes.

That’s one reason, I told him, why I like to photograph more than nudes. I’ve got a limited time in which to do my photography, so I don’t want to try doing too much, but I have decided to concentrate on two things – nudes and travel images. For one thing, it gives me work to use or display when nudes are inappropriate or just plain unwelcome. I also like some variety in my photography and wouldn’t want to be stuck with doing one thing (even if it is a subject like nudes). The other truth is that I just like to travel and enjoy photographing what I see.

I’d written earlier about how one of my photos of Japan was recently published in the annual contest issue of the Photo Review. It was the first time I submitted photos other than nudes (which never got chosen), so sending in some travel images worked. That photo was a close-up of a huge wooden statue’s foot, but I saw that most of the photos published fell into what I call the ‘social documentary’ category.

I don’t know if this is what the competition judges like these days or if it’s just the majority of what people submit. Well, it’s time now for this year’s competition, and in keeping with my success last time, I’m sending in some more travel images. Most of them I think of as portraits, but perhaps they can be seen as social documentary, as well.

Here are three of them from my trip to Laos last year. At the top is a photo of some kids belonging to the Lanten ethnic minority group. They’re all cute, but the little one with the earrings on the left is especially so. Next down is “The Little Vendor,” an adorable little girl selling some trinkets on the street in the former royal capital, Luang Prabang. I’m a sucker for cute, so I bought a bracelet from her for about a dollar to help in getting a good photo.

The third photo here is one of the best, I believe, from my trip to Laos and Vietnam last year. I’d met these two young Buddhist monks inside a temple in Muang Sing, but I asked them to come with me to this door for better light.

What’s next on tap with my travels? I’ve had my eye on two trips to Tibet this summer. At this point, one of the trips is fully booked and the other one doesn’t have enough people signed up yet. Hopefully, before too long, it will!

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