Hanoi at night by Yousuf Zafar

Hanoi
2014

Hanoi stays up late and wakes up early. Late at night, this square near Hoan Kiem Lake is bustling. I wanted to capture the movement of traffic and people crossing the square, along with the stillness of people waiting for friends on motorbikes. 

Nikon D7000
18mm
1"
f13

Stereotypes by Yousuf Zafar

Makkah, Saudia Arabia
2011

Sitting next to each other at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, we had a brief but pleasant conversation. Brief mostly because I can't speak Pashto. I was struck not only by his piercing, blue eyes, but by the thought that his appearance is so feared and hated in many parts of the world. 

Nikon D40
18mm
 1/250
f3.5

Luang Prabang by Yousuf Zafar


Luang Prabang, Laos
2007

Not unlike in other Southeast Asian (and South Asian) countries, children in Laos can often be seen hawking goods on the streets. W e had ducked under an awning to avoid a sudden afternoon rainstorm, and these two girls saw in us a captive audience.

Nikon D40
18mm
1/160
f7.1

Playing in the rain by Yousuf Zafar

Amazon, Brazil 2006

Amazon, Brazil
2006

For villagers living along the Amazon, the river is a source of food, a means of transportation, a place to wash clothes, and a playground. Our boat had pulled up along the banks near a small village. A hard rain had just started (if you look closely, you can see the white raindrops), and these kids were cooling off in the river. 

Lost in a Yarn Market by Yousuf Zafar

Istanbul December, 2016

Istanbul
December, 2016

I'm all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality


While wandering the markets of Istanbul, I found myself in an area devoted solely to yarn. Shop after shop filled floor to ceiling with yarn. Apparently, the Istanbul Yarn Fair is the largest yarn fair in the world. I knew textile exports were a big deal in Turkey, but Turkish wool yarn is a big deal. 

This shop owner looked up just as I took the photo. His face is lost in the multicolored rolls.

Nikon D7000
1/50
38mm
f4.5 

Pepsi and Shawarma by Yousuf Zafar

Medina, Saudia Arabia
2011

South Asians are the working class in Saudi Arabia--mostly Bangladeshis, but plenty of Pakistanis, Indians, and Sri Lankans. They are paid poorly and live in miserably-crowded conditions often hours away from their place of work, bussed in and out daily. Most of the money they earn gets sent back to their families, so they have little in terms of spending money. I visited this particular shawarma shop daily (sometimes twice a day) for about a week. By the end of it, the workers were used to my camera.

Nikon D40
1/100
19mm
f/3.5

Dhobi Ghat by Yousuf Zafar

Mumbai
2010

Dhobi Ghat is an open-air laundry in Mumbai (a "dhobi" is a washer). It's a huge facility where linens from the city's hospitals and hotels are laundered. This dhobi's hand looks alienesque with the water dripping off it. I don't usually use black and white, but I think the textures worked here, from the wrinkles in the shirt, to the suds, to the veins in his soaked arms.

Nikon D40
ISO 800
1/800
18mm
f/3.5

Chợ Market by Yousuf Zafar

Hanoi, Vietnam
December, 2014

Markets are a great source of photographic inspiration -- lots of color, texture, and movement. I was intent on capturing motorbikes flashing across the street, when I noticed this father and son walking towards me. Despite the father's intense glare, he smiled right afterwards. I like the movement in the background and the almost mirror image of father and child to the left. 

Nikon D7000
1/50
18mm
f/3.5

FLYOVER by Yousuf Zafar

Somewhere over Minnesota
2011

 

I love to watch passengers whip out their phones inflight for a quick pic out the window. It makes me feel like less of a nerd when I do it. If you do it too, just remember to turn off the flash. I was flying back from San Francisco and looked up from my laptop long enough to catch the snow-covered plains somewhere over Minnesota. I like the converging lines, the silver and blue tones in the engine picked up on the ground...I feel cold every time I look at this.

Nikon D40
1/60
18mm
f/3.5 

Stone town by Yousuf Zafar

Zanzibar, Tanzania
October, 2015

Early morning at a fish market in Stone Town. The sellers line up to buy fish from the fishermen who are bringing in their catch. A hectic scene, but there was a serenity to it all. I wanted to catch the silhouette of figures against the gorgeous morning sky, with layers of landscape in the background. 

Nikon D7000
1/500
f/5.6
85mm

EARLY MORNING TRAIN by Yousuf Zafar

Hanoi, Vietnam
December, 2014

Early morning in Hanoi on a nearly-empty, Cold War-era train heading out of Hanoi. Listening to Sylvan Esso. I was struck by the colors and style frozen in time. I took this with my phone since I couldn't get to my camera at that moment. The resolution isn't great, but I think it adds something to the feel.

HONDURAS by Yousuf Zafar

Honduras
2011

We had spent a long day in a traveling clinic in rural Honduras. The clinic was held in an elementary school, and even though school was closed for the day, lots of kids were still hanging around -- some with their parents waiting for treatment, some just gawking at the foreigners. I was struck by the colors, light, and shadows in this image. Unlike most of the other kids that day, this little boy was completely uninterested in my camera.

Nikon D40
1/1600
f/3.5
18mm