Backpacking

2016 – A Year of Travel In 65 Black and White Photographs

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Posted on / by Alex Berger
Best photos of 2016

In 2016 I catapulted across the 50 country mark with visits to several destinations that have captivated my imagination since I was a kid, but long sat neglected on my bucket list. The trips also included several very welcome surprises which reminded me that the more I travel the larger the world becomes and the more there is to explore and discover.

It has also been a year marked by exciting new achievements and significant growth in my photography, videography and photo editing understanding. Perhaps the most interesting pivot has been experimenting with back button focus, which is fundamentally changed the way I shoot.

I’ve also started to experiment more with filters (if on a limited level) and actively pivoted from shooting predominantly using aperture priority, to a shutter speed priority first approach which also uses 2-3x the speed the camera suggested via Av. For my Tanzania Safari, I also began to experiment more with a full-manual approach where and when I needed the speed, but also wanted to ensure a higher aperture.

This post is part of an annual tradition where I post my 65 favorite black and white photos from 2016 and my 65 favorite color shots.  For previous years, check out 2012, 20132014 and 2015 and of course, don’t miss the color post from 2016. As with last year, the photos from my end of the year trip fall on the following year. This means the 4,000 Tanzania shots from December 2016 will appear in my 2017 post and that in this post, you’ll find all of the shots from my 2015 December trip to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Questions about how I composed or took a specific photo? Feel free to ask in a comment. You’re also encouraged to check out my complete flickr albums here.

Ta Prohm - Angkor - Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Cambodia

Kirkjufellsfoss - Snæfellsnes - Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland

The Bangkok Skyline

Bangkok, Thailand

The Monks of Yangon

Yangon, Myanmar

Kampong Phluk - Cambodia

Kampong Phluk, Cambodia

Svörtuloft Lighthouse - Iceland

Svortuloft Lighthouse, Iceland

Ta Prohm Temple - Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Cambodia

The Fishermen of Inle Lake

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Snæfellsnes Peninsula - Iceland

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

My Tho in Southern Vietnam

My Tho, Vietnam

Exploring Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta, Thailand

The Kayan Women of Myanmar

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Sandstone Spires - Krabi Thailand

Krabi, Thailand

Snæfellsnes Peninsula - Iceland

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Inle Lake - Myanmar

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Fishermen's Festival in Ólafsvík Iceland

Olafsvik, Iceland

Takeo Angkor Temple

Takeo Angkor, Cambodia

Exploring Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta, Thailand

The Rice Fields of Inle Lake

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Snæfellsnes Peninsula - Iceland

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Kampong Phluk - Cambodia

Kampong Phluk, Cambodia

The Koh Lanta to Phi Phi Island Ferry

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

The Rice Fields of Inle Lake

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Icelandic Horses - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

A Storm of Birds

Yangon, Myanmar

Lost in Bangkok - Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Exploring Bagan

Bagan, Myanmar

Látrarbjarg Cliffs - Western Fjords of Iceland

Latrarbjarg Cliffs, Iceland

Rundetårn in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

Inle Lake Street Market

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Kirkjufellsfoss - Snæfellsnes - Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland

Inle Lake - Myanmar

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Copenhagen Beneath the Super Moon

Copenhagen, Denmark

Exploring Bagan

Bagan, Myanmar

Puffins at Iceland's Látrarbjarg Cliffs

Latrarbjarg Cliffs, Iceland

Banteay Kdei - Angkor Wat

Banteay Kdei, Cambodia

Exploring Bagan

Bagan, Myanmar

Fishing Shipwreck in the Westfjords of Iceland

Westfjords, Iceland

Life in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Monks of Yangon

Yangon, Myanmar

Lost in Bangkok - Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Inle Lake Street Market

Inle Lake, Myanmar

The Westfjords of Iceland

Westfjords, Iceland

Morning Chores in Old Bagan - Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Ta Prohm - Angkor - Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Cambodia

Exploring Inle Lake - Myanmar

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Breiðafjörður Bay and Flatey

Breidafjordur Bay and Flatey, Iceland

The Horse Cart - Bagan - Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Busking in the Rain

Copenhagen, Denmark

My Tho in Southern Vietnam

My Tho, Vietnam

Discovering Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar

The Westfjords of Iceland

Westfjords, Iceland

Angkor Wat - Wonder of the World

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Temples in Old Bagan - Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

The Nazi Invasion of Denmark (Reenactment)

Holbaek, Denmark

Kampong Phluk - Cambodia

Kampong Phluk, Cambodia

Monks on Tour - Bagan - Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Nordhavn

Nordhavn, Denmark

The People of Inle Lake - Myanmar

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Riding Like the Wind - Jægersborg Dyrehave

Copenhagen, Denmark

Theingottara Park in Yangon

Yangon, Myanmar

My Tho in Southern Vietnam

My Tho, Vietnam

Terrace of the Elephants - Angkor Thom

Terrace of the Elephants, Cambodia

Bagan - Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Nyhavn on the Perfect Summer Day

Copenhagen, Denmark

All photos were taken on a Canon 6D or Canon M3 using either a Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 40mm f/2.8, Canon 17-40mm f/4, Sigma 70-300mm lens. I do light editing in Adobe Lightroom. You can see the specific settings each image was taken at via the EXIF data on flickr. I’m also always happy to answer questions.

Thanks for a wonderful year!  I cannot wait to see what adventures and explorations 2016 brings! Remember, don’t miss 2016’s color post for an additional 65 shots.

Alex Berger

I am a travel blogger and photographer. I also am involved in academic research into the study abroad and backpacker communities.

4 Comments

  • Brittany
    January 22, 2017

    Excellent photos … you have such great composition on many of these pieces!

    Reply
  • Angelica
    February 7, 2017

    Oh my gosh. I need your camera. And your godlike photography skills. I went to Myanmar a few years ago and did the hot air balloons over Bagan. Got some decent pictures (for me…meaning they weren’t too crooked), but I wish I could have captured some nicer shots than my cheapo digital camera would allow.

    That’s not the worst of my photography sins. When I went to Japan, I forgot my camera. All I had was the one on my smartphone. Many regrets were had. XD

    Reply
  • Ivan Jordon
    February 15, 2017

    The subjects are so amazing,you can see each culture in every picture.Even it is all black and white,it is all perfect!

    Reply

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