a face in the crowd

The Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to “explore the use of anonymity to express both that which is common to all of us and the uniqueness that stands out even when the most obvious parts of us are hidden. Just as all of us can oscillate between conformity and individualism, allow your photo to do the same.”

Here are some photos of anonymous people in crowds I’ve encountered in my travels.

Lunar New Year, Kyoto, Japan 2011
Rishikesh, India 2011
Rishikesh, India 2011
Oman 2012
Nizwa, Oman 2012
Cascais, Portugal 2013
Bagan, Myanmar 2015
Inle Lake, Myanmar 2015
Yangshuo, China 2015
Tokyo, Japan 2017



36 thoughts on “a face in the crowd

  1. These are wonderful! All the bright colors, but I decided my favorite is the one with the cows following the person with the blue umbrella. Not as bright and colorful, but very very nice.

    1. Oh Jo, You have me scratching my head. The Oman bridal couple? Do you mean the two young men walking up through the gardens? Sadly, I went to one Omani wedding and was not allowed to take pictures of the bride at all, and certainly not the bride and groom together. I was allowed to take one picture of the groom but had to swear I’d never post it on my blog! 🙂

      1. Cathy, I don’t know what I was looking at! I just went back to the post and the photo I thought I saw was all in my head! And I haven’t been drinking. Perhaps I should! 🙂 🙂 But I do like that one of the 2 young men.

      2. I have to say that particular photo had me scratching my head too. At first glance it does appear that a woman is in the photo, with her face missing. After reading Jo’s comment I went back for another look and realise that the shape (woman) is in fact the water rill between the steps. Have a look yourself and see if you can spot it. Quite weird!!

      3. How strange that is, Jude. I do see what you’re talking about. Maybe subconsciously Jo saw that and thought it to be a woman! The men dress all in white in Oman, but the women wear black abayas. When the women get married, they wear very fancy frilly dresses. But of course no photography of women is allowed, normally, unless one gives you permission. Some of my students did allow me to photograph them, but others didn’t. Maybe the woman in the water symbolizes the elusiveness and invisibility of women in that society. Interesting!

  2. Such a colourful set of photos and well chosen for the challenge. So many interesting places you have been to and more to come this year. When and where is your first destination?

    1. Thank you, Pauline. My first destination this year is just a long weekend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city only four hours away but one to which we’ve never gone. Second, I’m planning a trip to the Four Corners area of the southwest U.S., the place where four states come together; Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. I’ll do that in May. Then I’m going to Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY in June and the Camino in September-October, finishing up in Portugal with my husband for our 30th anniversary. 🙂

    1. It’s been a grand adventure, Jude, though I came to traveling late in life! I don’t know that I could pick one favorite. As for places I’ve lived, I’d say Oman and Japan. As for travels, I’d say Turkey, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Jordan. 🙂 What about your favorites?

      1. So what draws you to those particular places? The people? The landscape? Culture?
        I’d still pick Cape Town as I think it has it all. Though South Africa is not an easy country to live in. A close second would be Vancouver Island. I like the remoteness of that place, especially the Pacific Rim. And of course Australia and the spiritualism of the Outback.

      2. I’d love to go to Cape Town one day, as well as to Australia (the spirituality of the Outback sounds enticing). I’ve also wanted to go to Vancouver; I have all those places on my very extensive list! I love more remote places and cultures with a certain laid back atmosphere and well as beautiful landscapes. I love all the places in the Mediterranean, especially Greece, Portugal and Spain (I’ve still never been to Italy), because I love the weather and the light and the beauty of those places. As for Jordan and Oman and Myanmar and Cambodia, I loved the laid back vibe of those cultures. I will always remember going down the Irrawaddy River on a 12-hour slow boatride in Myanmar and riding a motorbike around Bagan. It felt like I had gone back in time 50-100 years. Japan I loved because of the total efficiency of the society, and the various temples. I would love to explore the more remote areas of Japan one day, but I simply didn’t have time for that with my job! I didn’t mention this earlier, but I also will always remember fondly my month in Egypt, not because of any particular beauty, but because it was the first time I’d traveled alone to a culture so chaotic; it was such an assault on the senses that I felt alive in every moment! It was a hardship but I still loved it! It’s crazy what draws us, isn’t it?

      3. After I wrote my reply to you I suddenly realised that I like the big open spaces best. Maybe it is coming from a small island. India had the same effect on me as Egypt obviously had on you.

      4. I like the big open spaces too, Jude. I love cities too, for their culture and their history, but I’m hankering for wide open spaces now, thus my planned trips to the Four Corners area and Camino walk. India is equal to Egypt in its chaos; it’s funny how they are both like that but so different too.

  3. I enjoyed the comments above about travel and what entices people…and the challenge was actually pretty complex, but you nailed it, I think – so many people with their backs turned, but still, the individuality shines through.

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