Travel Photo Roulette Round #45: “Surreal”

We have a winner!

It was a great round!  Check it my choice for best surreal photo, and my top 5 here.

A few exhaustive travel days, and the past 3 mornings up before 5 to shoot photos meant I was in a dream state already. Early this morning, 12600 monks descended on Chiang Mai to collect alms for the flood victims in the south. An entire street was blocked off as waves of orange robes came down from one end to the other. This dreamy shot taken with a lensbaby summed up how the morning felt. Surreal. It wasn't until days later that I was able to look back at the enormity of the situation and process it for myself.
It's been a long time coming, but I hereby present you with a new round of Travel Photo Roulette once again.  I actually won the first ever round of Travel Photo Roulette, launched by Jeremy over at Living the Dream almost 2 years ago with a photo of a camel's ugly mug.  More recently, Travis from Flashpacker HQ choose my dreamy photo of monks in the street in Chiang Mai for the last contest "Once In a Lifetime"  
If you don’t know what Travel Photo Roulette is, here’s the idea:


An Overview

The contest migrates from blog to blog based on the idea that the winner of the previous contest hosts the next one.  As host, I get to choose a theme for the next round and bloggers can submit a single entry based on how they interpret the theme.  The time frame for submissions is generally one week.  At the end of the week, the host blogger will chose the winner for that round and said winner will then repeat the process on their own blog.  Readers can always try and sway the host via comments during the contest, but the host is free to give as little or as much weight to people’s opinions as they wish.


Past Photo Roulette Winners and Hosts

The following is a list of the previously played rounds of the game and the hosting blogger for each. This list also doubles as a winner’s table as each topic host won the preceding round! Click the host’s link to go directly to that entry to see some stunning photographs from the chosen term/phrase!

1. Nov 4–10, 2010  – Living the Dream – “Animals”
2. Nov 17–24, 2010 – Skinny Backpacker - “Road Signs”
3. Nov 29–Dec 6, 2010 – Dream a Little Dream - “Street Art”
4. Dec 8–15, 2010 – Flashpacker HQ – “Festival”
5. Dec 17–24, 2010 – Over Yonderlust – “Landmarks”
6. Dec 26–Jan 2, 2011 – Don’t Ever Look Back – “Beaches”
7. Jan 5–12, 2011 – ThePlanetD – “Portraits”
8. Jan 15–22, 2011 – Travel with a Mate – “Motion”
9. Jan 26–Feb 3, 2011 – Johnny Vagabond – “Water”
10. Feb 8–15, 2011 – Ken Kaminesky – “Urban”
11. Feb 21–27, 2011 – Travels of Adam - “Friday Night”
12. Mar 7–13, 2011 – Itchy Feet Chronicles – “The Journey”
13. Mar 19– 25, 2011 – Brendan’s Adventures – “Changing Seasons”
14. Apr 4–10, 2011 - Shutterfeet – “Storytelling”
15. Apr 13–21, 2011 - 10 Times One - “Piousness”
16. Apr 26–May 4, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Learning”
17. May 21–27, 2011 – Travel Junkies – “Architecture”
18. Jun 1–7, 2011 – Destination World – “Transportation”
19. Jun 8–15, 2011 – Living the Dream – “Paradise”
20. Jun 21-28, 2011 - Vagabond Quest - “Clothes”
21. Jul 4-11, 2011 – The Unframed World – “Symmetry”
22. Jul 16-25, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Home”
23. Jul 31 – Aug 7, 2011 – BackPackerBanter – “Inspiration”
24. Aug 14 – 21, 2011 – WanderingTrader - “Darkness”
25. Aug 28 – Sep 4, 2011 – Finding the Universe – “Tranquillity”
26. Sep 12 – 19, 2011 – Fearful Adventurer – “Food”
27. Sep 23 – 30, 2011 – Adventures of a GoodMan – “City”
28. Oct 06 – 13, 2011 – - “Reflections”
29. Oct 17 – 24, 2011 – Scene With A Hart - ”Framing”
30. Nov 9 – 16, 2011 – Vagabond Quest - “Silhouettes”
31. Nov 26 – Dec 3, 2011 – Hecktic Travels – “Music”
32. Dec 11 – Dec 18, 2011 – Globetrotter Girls – “Love”
33. Dec 25 – Jan 1st, 2012– Man on the lam – “Humor”
34. January 8 – Jan 15 – My Walkabout – “Winter”
35. Jan 15 – Jan 22 – The Art of Slow Travel – “Blue”
36. Feb 6 – Feb 13 – Ten Times One – “Depth of Field”
37. Feb 22 – Feb 29 – Runaway Juno – “My Glorious Digital Nomad Moment”
38. March 7 – March 14 – Nomadbiba – “Sunshine”
39. March 24 – 31 – Travel With Kat – “Local Character”
40. April 10th – 16th - The Travel Bunny – “Street Scene”
41.  April 23rd – April 30th – Adventure Crow – “Spirit of the Country”
42. May 7th – 14th - Food Travel Bliss – “Evening”
43. May 17th – May 24th - Matt Gibson – “Adventure”
44. May 30th – June 6th – Flashpacker HQ – “Once In A Lifetime”
45. July 23rd – July 30th – Skinny Backpacker – "Surreal"


New Theme

I tend to go through different phases in my photography, and the past few years I've been experimenting a little more.  Being in a different place every week can do some strange things to a person, and an already unusual place can sometimes feel like another planet.  This round, the topic is "surreal."  I'd like to see those images you took from places that seemed out of the ordinary, dreamy, and out of this world.   Have fun with this topic, I'm leaving it very open ended for you.  If you want, go abstract, go crazy, and then tell me why.  The only thing I'll add is that I'm not necessarily looking for something highly edited, so don't let that limit you.

My old stomping grounds, a lake during the summertime in the Canadian prairies. As the twilight took over from the day, bodies came into the shore like aliens from the depths. As I recall, they didn't bite.

How to Submit

Entering the contest is super easy.  Just leave a comment below with a link to the image you’d like to submit and a caption or description of the image to help flesh it out.  Once you’ve added your comment, I’ll add the image to the submissions.  Don’t forget to check back in during the week to see the other submissions and join the conversation by leaving comments for others.  I'd love to hear what you think.

The contest runs for 7 days starting July 23rd and ending July 30.  The winner will be announced within a few days of the end of the contest and the selected blogger will then host round #46.  Please do your best to keep your images to a nice, medium size (~100k) and 800px width.


The Rules for Travel Photo Roulette

.1) YOU MUST TALK ABOUT PHOTO ROULETTE (Just kidding!  But it does make it more fun to spread the word)

1) One submission per Blog (so sites that have 2+ authors only get one entry).

2) No photoshopping allowed unless specifically called for!  Cropping and correction for red-eye or camera flaws are ok, however.  Minor edits are totally fine for this round if you think it improves your image.

3) Abstract submissions welcomed as long as it fits within the interpretation of the chosen phrase.  Remember, the hosting blogger chooses the winner, so if they cannot understand the submission, you might not win!

4) Keep phrases general so that all bloggers can participate.  Specific items like “Eiffel Tower” should be avoided but rather made open-ended like “monuments.” For variety, it is ok to say focused things such as “monuments at night” in which most of us have pictures of.

6) Abstract thoughts are appreciated, but keep it within the realm that all readers will understand.  No “Kafka-esque”, but “Overlooking Creation” is able to be interpreted by all.

7) No obscene pictures or phrases allowed.  Suggestive phrases and photography can be accepted, but please keep it within reason.

8) After a sufficient period of time, phrases can be reused, however new photos must be submitted.  Keep the ideas and photos fresh!

9) Pictures from your entire portfolio are fair to submit.  You do not have to take the photo within the week of the contest period to submit it.

10) Most importantly, ALL PHOTOS MUST BE YOUR OWN.


And here are the entries...

1. Adam from Travels From Adam


I found Gibraltar to be a surreal place. You're standing on this giant rock, on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula and across the water you can see Africa. And the fact that this tiny stretch of water is all that's containing the entire Mediterranean Sea --- it's just unbelievable!

2. David from GypsyNester

In The Galápagos, thousands of Marine Iguanas make an evening pilgrimage to Fernandina Island to worship the sun. Veronica, unable to believe her eyes, and mesmerized by the iguanas' lack of fear of human nearness, simply laid down and joined in the surreal ceremony

3. Masha from 2away

Last year we spent one week on a trip through the Gobi desert in Mongolia and saw this monument representing three mountains neighbouring the city of Dalanzadgad. This very simple monument looked completely surreal at dusk!

4. Jade from OurOyster

The pinnacles are a strange geological formation near the small town of Cervantes in Western Australia. There are hundreds of pinnacles rising out the desert sands in this one special area. It makes for a very moon like atmosphere - I expected to see martians or spaceships around each corner.

5. Natasha from World Wandering Kiwi

The pinnacles are a strange geological formation near the small town of Cervantes in Western Australia. There are hundreds of pinnacles rising out the desert sands in this one special area. It makes for a very moon like atmosphere - I expected to see martians or spaceships around each corner.

6. Chrystal from Chrystal Clear

I simply adore the motion of the photo and the bright colours in the night lights. (Traditional Balinese Dancers in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

7. Jeremy from Living the Dream

This photo taken in the Detroit Airport fits the surreal theme because there is no post processing done on this image. In my poor attempt at getting an in focus picture of the moving colors tunnel I ended up with a blurry result. Ironically, this blurry image almost looks like it was painted, and is still one of my favorites to this very day.

8. Tash from jouljet

This memorial gives you such a real sense of what it must have been like for these scared soldiers, working through the jungle. The spacing of each man gives you the sense of how alone they each must have felt, they are all at the ready...and walking around these warriors is a surreal and moving experience.... (from the Korean War Veterans Memorial, in Washington DC)

9. Linda from Journey Jottings

Having flown half way around the world from Australia to France at 85% the speed of sound (about 900 km/h or 560 mph at cruising altitude), with over 500 other travellers in a 6.5m wide Airbus A380 cabin, stepping out into this futuristic environment to board a train that would have me 700km (435miles) away in the south of France within 3 hours... felt decidedly surreal ~ Some travel is an out of this world experience as though slipping into another realm.

10. Dima from Dima's Corner

Morning shot outside my doorstep in Pai (Thailand)

11. Michael from Gear Up and Play

I call this photo "Globe Girl" and it's not photo shopped. It's taken by projecting the globe onto her with a screen in the background.

12. Rebecca from Travels at 88mph

Taken in New Zealand (the whole country is "surreal") at Lake Tekapo on the South Island

13. Heather from Traveler's Playground

Fun, sadly I don't have any fun images, so I went a bit more literal, although I see I am not the only one!

14. Matt from Backpacking Matt

In a country with stunning views around every corner, this is one stands out as one of my favorites. On New Zealand's Routeburn Track, you spend much of your first three hours deep within native bush. As you begin slowly climbing through the forest towards Harris Saddle, this view opens up. It's only visible thanks to a landslide in 1994 that cleared the way for this view of the Humbolts Mountains.

15. Heather from Ginger Nomads

This photo is from Redgate Beach in Margaret River, WA, Australia.It's simply sand and waves, but the combination of the crashing waves and the wavy sand creates a stunning effect. And who doesn't love white sand beaches and aquamarine-coloured waters.

16. Kat from Travel with Kat

Finding the hidden canal through the hole in the wall in Bologna is surreal.

17. Aaron from Aaron's Worldwide Adventures

A view of the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Named the "Seed Cathedral" for the seeds that reside in the ends of each of the rods jutting out of the middle, realistically the pavilion looked a bit like a giant koosh ball!

18. Greg From Adentures of a Goodman

While my wife Carrie and I were experimenting with light painting in my tent at Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, I accidentally shined my red laser pointer directly into my fisheye lens, which was open for 10 seconds. I later learned that this could cause permanent harm to my gear, so I'll never do it again...but for one oblivious night, it made for some truly disorienting, hallucinatory, unreal, fantastic photos. AKA, surreal.

19. Rachel from Andalucia Explorer

This is my surreal entry - Beach at La Herradura on Spain´s Mediterranean Costa Tropical with an incredible aubergine coloured sunset and hill and palm silhoutte of a gorgeous bay.

20. Cassie from Ever in Transit

Here's a photo we took at Mono Lake, CA this past December. These are the tufa towers--white calcium-carbonate towers and shapes formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It was very cold that night, the empty, color-less sky and complete absence of wind, causing a mirror-like reflection, made me feel like we were on another planet.

21. Dani from Globetrotter Girls

I took this photo in Antelope Canyon in Northern Arizona - when we walked through the canyon, it felt truly surreal and otherworldly: the colors, the shapes & the light reflection on the rocks.

22. Nico from 10 Times One

Nighttime in Cartagena can be a surreal experience, especially when the temperature doesn't get down below 80 degrees. It was downright sweltering even at 10pm when this photo was taken on the Old Town ramparts.

23. Suzanne from Boomeresque

I was kind of mesmerized watching this cloud form over Okayama, Japan as the sun was setting.

24. Dina from Vagabond Quest

Eerie... The feeling crept up on us as we entered the yard behind an old church in Barbados, that turned out to be a cemetery. The perfect blue sky contrasted with the abandoned-looking tombstones. Grass grew tall and ragged, while bare, leafless trees shadowed the graves. Shrubs stood blood red, as if saying, I was alive once. It felt uncannily like we'd stepped into the setting of a horror movie. Even the tropical sun of Barbados couldn't stop me from shivering. Surreal.

25. Bianca from NomadBiba

El Peñol is a huge monolith that lies near the town of Guatapé; which is about 86 km away from Medellín (Colombia). It has an elevation of 200 meters and the first time I saw it towering over the surrounding villages and the underlying dam it was a surreal experience. It looks like a sight out of Lord of the Rings!

26. Ali from Ali's Adventures

This is Paradise Bay, Antarctica. Just being in Antarctica was a surreal feeling. It's so remote, so far away, so quiet and untouched, that all I could think when I was there was "am I really here?"

27. Nick from Adventure Crow

Canoeing across Scotland in the winter of 09/10 in the middle of a cold spell. We had to drag our canoes around the canal sections owing to them being completely frozen. But despite the temperature being around -10 it was completely still allowing for the sections such as this on Loch Lochy to be like a mill pond. The mountainous terrain reflecting perfectly as we cut through the Loch!

28. Andrew from CTRL-ALT-TRAVEL

That is my surreal experience. Try 40 thousand people playing in tomatoes and looking to get you dirty. Add an early start (so lack of sleep), losing my friends and a long wait and this was a seriously surreal thing. Oh yeah and wrapping the camera in plastic to protect it.

29. Debbie from World Adventurists

A summer highlight of Manning Provincial Park is driving up to the Cascade Lookout. The viewpoint offers a magnificent and surreal 180-degree panoramic view that will take your breath away. Manning Park is about 40 miles east of Hope, BC along Highway 3