Catching the travel bug from an early age, Joffray Duda has spent his life exploring the world’s offerings. It began with his parents bringing him on trips and the feeling of exploration always stayed with him, but it wasn’t until after falling ill that he had an epiphany and decided to prioritise his life’s desires. With a strong call to adventure he decided to leave the world he had known and dedicate himself to his two greatest passions; travel and photography.
He began in Asia where a 3-month trip quickly turned into a year after he witnessed such a wealth of tradition, culture and people. “After Asia, I went on to discover New Zealand. There I bought a van and spent 8 months traveling around both islands of the country. Next month, I’ll be boarding another plane to Asia before going on to Australia for a year-long road trip.” With his jet-set living, landscape photography came naturally every time a new trip came about.
After years of travel under his belt, the most rewarding thing is to still come in contact with a new culture and getting to know others on a personal level. From his classroom in France, he learned much about Europe and the discovery of America, however the Middle East and Asia’s tales were left untold, and in the months that he immersed himself in their lives-his outlook of these places was transformed.
Reflection over the Sông Thu Bông river, Hoi An, Vietnam - Nikon D7100, ISO320, f10, 1/500sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 19mm
Japanese covered bridge (Chùa Cầu in Vietnamese) by night, UNESCO world heritage, Hoi An, Vietnam - Nikon D7100, ISO100, f/5, 8sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 25mm
Sunset in Kep, time for the fishermen to return to the harbour after their daily work, Kep, Cambodia - Nikon D7100, ISO160, f/5.6, 1/1250sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 85mm
Sunrise over Angkor Wat, Cambodia - Nikon D7100, ISO160, f/3,5, 1/25sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 16mm
Top of the rock, Angkor complex, Cambodia - Nikon D7100, ISO100, f/9, 1/200sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 18mm
Sunset over the Mekong near Don Det island, 4000 islands, Laos - Nikon D7100, ISO100, f/6,3, 1/500sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 38mm
Inside the Tham Phu Kham Cave, Vang Vieng, serie « Never stop exploring », Laos - Nikon D7100, ISO100, f/5, 1/10sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 34mm
“Photography has an undeniable power. Through it, we gain the faculty to discover the world around us, whatever the subject matter. Photography allows us to open to other people, to open to the world, and to develop our creativity. The outlook we have on things that may, at a given moment, seem insignificant, such as clouds drifting through the sky, this can take a whole new meaning when we try to capture them through the lens.”
When he looks back at his work, he sometimes feels that what he do is nothing compared to the ‘best photographers’ in his field, but one thing is for sure, photography forces him to push forward and ever onward.
The most important thing in his imagery is the place; its history and its future combined. With the world evolving at a great speed, Joffray’s photography is a reminder to capture a freeze frame of time and remember that a place, man-made or not, can disappear in a heartbeat. His works represent a memory and transmission, whilst his style of photography lies in the colour and composition. His guiding principle is to capture landscapes that are natural.
The blue lava of the Gunung Ijen, Java island, Indonesia - Nikon D7100, ISO160, f/5, 15sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 28mm
Cape Reinga lighthouse, extreme north of New Zealand - Nikon D7100, ISO160, f/3,5, 30sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 16mm
Volcanic colours of the hot champagne pool, Wai O Tapu, New Zealand (The orange colour originates from deposits of arsenic and antimony sulfides) - Nikon D7100, ISO100, f/7,1, 1/400sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 26mm
Sunset over the Tongariro, serie « Never stop exploring », Tongariro Natioanl Park, New Zealand - Nikon D7100, ISO100, f/5,6, 1/20sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 16mm
Red sunset on the Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings), Tongariro National Park, New Zealand - Nikon D7100, ISO100, f/5,6, 1/10sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 34mm
Mirror on the Lake McKenzie, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand - Nikon D7100, ISO320, f/10, 1/500sec, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR at 19mm
His favourite picture is one he captured during a night descend into the heart of Gunung Ijen, the image looks like something out of a science fiction movie.
“I had a cheap gas-mask on and was following the sulphur carriers down. Despite the mask, the air was acid and un-breathable. Your eyes get burned by the fumes, which makes the whole experience rather difficult, especially at night.
“But in the end, the spectacle of the blue lava, dancing in the acid fog, is simply incredible! This phenomenon is unique in the world, and can only be observed on the slopes of the Gunung Ijen. I succeeded in taking a few photos on a tripod; they didn't turn out as good as I might have wanted, but every time I see them, I remember that unique experience, my descent into the entrails of the earth.”
Even when visiting places that are difficult to manoeuvre, the most important factor is for Joffray to be able to take is time – both with taking the photo and soaking in the spirit of the place. Coupled with his Nikon D610 & AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED his simple technique goes a long way to aiding him with stunning visuals.
“The world is a vast and diverse place. I would say that everything, or nearly so, deserves to be captured. I work mostly on instinct, then it is mostly what captures my attention, what calls out or speaks to me”.
French born photographer Joffray Duda has become a seasoned traveller, in his travels around the world his knack for photography came naturally to him. It was his decision to leave his life behind and dedicate his time to the things that truly matter which eventually led him down a path of adventure. His works are both a reminder of his journeys and a note for others to seek out earth’s offerings.