Category Archives: Documentary

Cappadocia travel film photography

Cappadocia

There are things that you’re supposed to do in Cappadocia. Four wheel driving through the valleys, taking a tour of an underground city, and of course, the ubiquitous hot air balloon rides that set off in the first flush of dawn. Our well meaning Hotel manager Amir tried to encourage us to sign up to various tours every morning at breakfast. But what he didn’t realise that simply sitting there on the terrace eating breakfast and looking around was enough to fill me to the brim. We kept extending our stay because we were so enamoured with the place. Sometimes you travel to such a well documented location and feel completely underwhelmed and tourist trapped. And sometimes, like this time, you get under the skin of a place and feel like you are the first to discover it.

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Sarah Burton Photography Berlin

Snapshots of Berlin

When we first arrived in Berlin the trains were on strike so we waited for about 45 minutes at the airport for a train that never came. Finally figuring out an alternative route we headed through farmland and thatched roof houses towards the city. Aluminium giants balancing on tip toes above the Spree greeted us like ceremonial city gates. An unseasonable hot day in May, an early taste of the summer to come. Every second person walking around had a large open bottle of beer in their hand. A man unzipped and pissed on an underground train line. With an underlying restless energy, Berlin doesn’t show off it’s disheveled charms easily. It makes you get under it’s skin and find them yourself.

 

Many words have been written about Berlin, the word itself has an aura about it. It’s one of those places like New York or Paris that is drenched in folklore. One of those cities that has been at the forefront of World history and cultural shifts. The palpable history is so enticing for someone from such a newly minted country. I certainly didn’t live there long enough to have my head wrapped around it all but I can tell you how it made me feel. Continue reading

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Hotel Transylvania

Fat droplets from a morning shower slid down the windows of the cable car as we rose steeply through a pine tree gully. Encased in cloud, we could only catch glimpses of our surroundings. Above the mist the sun was searingly bright, revealing a plateau of fresh green grass and limestone. Valleys of unmelted snow in the distance. I waved to a group of school children ready to board the cable car we had just come out of. As they descended I didn’t realise they would be the last people we would see until nightfall.

 

This is a snippet from my story Hotel Transylvania about hiking atop the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. Check out the whole story on The Adventure Handbook

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End of the Line

At the beginning of this year I was living in Melbourne and set this task for myself: To travel (by train, no cheating) to every single end of the line in Melbourne’s metropolitan train network and take a photo on medium format film. There are prized destinations amongst them, and there are places where the houses just start running out. Continue reading

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Kids in Istanbul

At a certain time of day in the boisterous, overflowing centre of Istanbul – the after dinner before sunset golden time – the skinny, steep streets are packed with kids. Football, skipping ropes, bicycle races, blowing bubbles, intimate made up games. Dancing and running and leaping across the sun washed pavements. Giggling with best friends. Hamming it up for the camera. Burning scraps of newspaper, flames held aloft. Faces upturned towards the mothers in head scarves propped up on all the window sills. Pleading for a few lira to buy an ice-cream.

 

east london vintage

Liss

Most of my friends in London live in and around Hackney in the East and I fell in love with the vibrant multiculturalism, the council estates right next to cafes serving cold brew coffee. Beautiful parks filled with tiny portable bbqs, pubs serving antipodean craft beers with their mushy peas, and an astounding number of fried chicken shacks and delicious curry joints. For better or worse gentrification is seeping into this neighbourhood. But hopefully it’ll stop here. Liss is a costume and production designer for film and television in London, plus she is always creating wild outfits to wear at summer festivals across Europe, so her Hackney bedroom is overflowing with hats, wigs, scarves, sunglasses, fur, leather, paisley and sequins. While staying with her recently I coerced her into playing dress-ups with me on the streets of her neighbourhood. While she was initially hesitant, the shoot coincided with Lissy’s philosophy about clothing: Continue reading

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Shanghai by day

Creamy greyblue skies. A diffusion filter caused by pollution. 24 million people cutting corners on mopeds, singing karaoke in parks, sauntering down tiny lanes and riding escalators to consumer heaven.

And everywhere, all the time, the habitual blaring of car, truck, bus and scooter horns. A perfect cacophony of confusion. Ancient meets futuristic.

My camera lens is met with lingering, unflappable gazes. I am the other. And then there was the old lady on the subway who smiled and said I looked very cool. And the University students who told us that in mandarin New Zealand, wonderfully, sounds like Sing Sea Land.