Monday, April 27, 2009

Bogota - The Guitar Master - Shakira

"Shakira is not Colombia anymore--she is business"

- The Guitar Master of Bogota

Just one of the conversations I've had wondering around Bogota...snapping pictures of the interesting things and people I encounter along the way. I've started a gallery of Bogota photography where I'll keep droppin' shots as time goes by.

Bogota - Images by Gregg Bleakney

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things that go bump in the night

I ate Piranha head soup last week and it seemed quite normal--In fact, normal enough to get me thinkin' that I've become pretty used to being away from Seattle, WA. Well...maybe not quite yet...there's always something about a good ol' scary looking spider, snake, or whaterver else that gives you a nice chill up the spine. I've been to 3 very wild areas in Colombia during the past 2 months...and there has certainly been no shortage of critter sightings to keep me shaking my shoes out every morning and wonderin' "is that really my Croakie strap tickling the back of my neck again?"

Here are some of my favs and their given names (I included some not so scary things too):

A "holyshitthatthingisHUGE"-apede.

A classic Tarantula

A classic Tarantula that walks on water

A classic big spider that you think is a Tarantula and you don't see until after you walk through its web.

Cool lookin' really fast lizard

A centi-worm-ish thing

A really poisonous snake on the ground that the entire village summons "gringo gringo" to look at before they cut its head off and throw it in the Amazon

A really poisonous snake sleeping in a tree above you that you notice after your canoe gets stuck on a log--you hope will not fall on top of you

A cool bird with big eyes

A cute frogster

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pictures in the Candelaria

In-between trips to far-flung places in Colombia I always come back to Bogota.

Recently, I've been spending time in the Colonial district called the Candelaria. It's a pretty inspiring place to hang--I'm just two blocks away from the Botero Museum, a cobblestone's throw from Magnum Phtogorapher Rene Burri's exhibit, and a hop skip and a jump from new public library which hosts a series of concerts and conversations...the last as with National Geographic explorer Wade Davis paired with a photographic exhibit "Lost Amazon" by Richard Evans Schultes.

I wander around the new digs and shoot as much as possible--trying to make at least one interesting picture per day--here's 7 daily shots from my new basecamp.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

To the Orinoco

Tomorrow, I head out to the Orinoco River Delta along Colombia's remote border post with Venezuela. I'll be staying at FundaciĆ³n Omacha's la Reserva Natural Bojonawi--a protected wildlife refuge. Omacha is well known for its programs that document and protect freshwater pink and grey dolphins throughout the Amazon and Orinoco ecosystem. The Bojonawi reserve is also near Parque Nacional Natural El Tuparro--which has just opened to visitors this past year.

Here's where it is:

View Larger Map

If you want to learn more about Omacha check out this video from the National Geographic Society:

So I'm saying goodbye to the Big's a few pictures of Bogota I took while cycling around:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Stock Archive

You may have noticed via some sneak peaks and other picture gallery posts--I've launched my new stock archive!!!! I still have a lot of work to do on this but the basic framework is now in place.

I call it the Gregg Bleakney Stock Archive--what is it?

For me, it's a place for editors and image buyers to search and tag a database of images I've shot over the past few years. This takes time because each photo needs to be captioned and key worded so that people can find what their looking for. For example, someone may want a photo of a cyclist in Peru in a mountain range...well they can now use a search function in my stock archive to find it. I also use this service behind the scenes to organize and share groups of recently photographed images to editors. In the future, I plan to make some of these photos available to download for personal use and as iPhone backgrounds.

I've split a base group of images into several categories for easy perusing.

1) Popular Images - These are photos that I sell frequently or consistently receive high hit rates.

2) Cycling - Journey, Adventure, Touring - Groups of bicycle touring photos from my tours and on assignment for people like the Adventure Cycling Association in different parts of the world.

3) Cycling - Races, Recreation, Culture - Photography from competitive events like the Paris Brest Paris and group charity rides like Climate Ride.

4) People - My latest personal work focus has been on cultural images...I've become fascinated with taking pictures of interesting people, especially photography in Colombia.

5) Outdoor Lifestyle and Adventure - Non-bicycle related playtime outdoor photography. Friends who I force into modeldome may find themselves in this gallery.

6) Travel - Still fleshing this one out but the space is devoted into non-adventuring travel pictures.

7) Landscapes - When I first started taking pictures, I'll I wanted to do was to make a record of my favorite landscapes...I still like to do landscape photography this and this is a space to showcase the work.

8) Fresh Images - I try to shoot everyday. This is where I load some of my favorite "fresh" imagery.

I also have a space to group sets of images under a common theme...For example, Bicycle Photography for specific tours or assignments or groups of photos from different PLACES I've been.

OK - Back to work on this.