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Carol & Norman Wiles are regular customers of mine and love to travel.  They are members of Wimborne Camera Club and share a joint love of photography and travelling……take it away Carol.

Norman and I have been married for over 40 years and have enjoyed travelling most of that time. We have a joint love of photography and found that travelling was a way to fulfill our need  to explore the world, learn about different countries, and cultures, and at the same time indulge in our photography.

People often ask us ‘Do you compete with each other?’ and I suppose the quick answer is ‘No!’, but that isn’t strictly true! We do, but it is a sub-conscious thing, and I think it is more that we encourage each other and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

I love flowers, and of course, going ‘abroad’ gave me the way to see the world’s flowers rather than just those found in Britain. The colours, perfumes, shapes and variety always fascinate me, and it does not take me long to ‘spot’ a new plant when it has flowers on it. I can easily be diverted from something else when I spot a lovely bloom! The Garden Route in South Africa was my idea of heaven, as was visiting the Orchids in Singapore, and the sight of fields of Mexican poppies in California! (They’re the ones we call Californian poppies!) Oh, and then there was the west coast of Australia in the flower season – stunning wreath flowers, and Kangaroo paws . . . I could go on!

Norman has always engaged with people and finds it easy to take their pictures, even with a language barrier. A beaming smile, a wave of the camera, and in next to no time, he has taken several photos – but no-one seems to mind. It has taken me years to overcome the initial feelings I have when confronted by someone – what will they think of a woman from another part of the world approaching them and ‘poking a camera in their face’? However, now I don’t find it as daunting and will watch from a distance, whilst walking along, and approach someone who I think seems to be open to the idea. I don’t get good pictures if I don’t use that method, whereas Norman does.

I like ‘street photography’, not photo-journalism, but catching something happening up the road – an unusual mode of transport, an animal being inquisitive, children playing, two people having a conversation, a mural, that sort of thing.  And of course, anything that is rusting, decaying, falling to bits, and generally decrepit – we both like those.

I think the thing when travelling is to be open-minded about everything. I never pre-judge a situation, but go with the flow, and my gut instincts, and soon start taking photos of everything and anything. Sometimes there are occasions when I just don’t get inspired, but not often, and I always come home with more pictures than ‘himself’, who has a more measured approach!

We do these days sometimes choose a place to visit with a view to what’s available to ‘shoot’, and go with like-minded people, but sometimes that can be restricting, and we often find ourselves arranging a trip so that we can explore on our own, at our own pace, like when we visited the lavender fields in Provence a few years back, or a Greek island like Samos, where time stands still.

And then there’s the food! Why on earth would you travel and not taste the cuisine of the place? I don’t want to eat fish and chips in Brazil, I want to eat what they eat!

It is fascinating to see mosques, and ancient churches, learn about different religions, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhism, and enjoy seeing people going about their daily work wearing sari’s, or djellaba’s, or whatever.

But, hey, I am getting carried away now . . .    Where are we going next?