A Year in the Life of Pro Photographer Emily Polar
Most adventure photographers have an enviable travel schedule, and San Francisco–based Emily Polar is no exception. Enamored by India, having circled its borders on previous trips, Polar dedicated half of 2014 to the country, which she thinks of as “the grad school of travel.” A road trip from California to British Columbia, another through New Mexico and Colorado, and a few weeks in Sri Lanka and Bali topped off a year that would make anyone jealous. Here, Polar highlights a few of the best moments from a 2014 on the road.
Photo: A group of young boys from a village outside Agra, India make the best of the fading light with a dusty cricket match. I could taste the dirt as it went up my nose and into my mouth. The kids and trees were covered in it but didn’t seem to mind.
Agra is home to the Taj Mahal. Camels and their drivers walk the streets in search of passengers willing to pay for a ride. These streets are the perfect place to watch life go by.
Dust sparkled in the early morning rays as the sun warmed our bare feet on the cool floors of the Taj Mahal mosque.
Rafters go by as we stand on a cliff above the Ganges. Some yell and wave while others watch from shore. We jump with our hands in the air, screaming as we fall into the currents of the holy river.
Nine floors up the Trayambakeshwar Temple in Rishikesh, I was waiting for my time-lapse while watching groups of Hindu families come and go to pray and make offerings. A large group of women rounded the corner in flurry of excitement and smiles. They gathered together and began asking for photos. Of course I took a couple shots and kept my camera handy, shooting as they left and walked down the stairs. One woman curiously trailed behind and smiled at me dearly.
It was hot and dusty as I walked through a small desert village near Jaisalmer, India, when this man appeared. I froze in awe and fumbled for my camera before he stopped long enough for a few snaps of the shutter.
We bouldered our way through the rolling landscape of the never-ending granite rock that stretches across Hampi in southern India. Morning and evenings were reserved for bouldering, and the midday heat was spent reading, slacklining, and hanging out with new friends.
Our chosen mode of transportation on the dirt roads of Hampi. I considered it part of our warm-up: core, arms, and thighs! Dodging the road ruts while on the verge of falling over from laughing was half the fun.
Lying on the warm rocks under the night sky while the fire warmed our toes and our friends played music.
I got a quarter of the way across this bridge when I noticed a man below waving his hands, gesturing for me to come down. The bridge looked old and shaky, but I thought it looked sturdy enough to hold for at least one pass. Once I got down, a local boy crossed the bridge and nobody made a fuss.