All images by Michael Kunde. Used with permission.
Last winter Michael Kunde was traveling all over South East Asia from Thailand, Laos, to Cambodia. Little did Michael know that his favorite time abroad would be in Myanmar. Late into his tour around Asia, Myanmar was only meant to be a six day stay. However, after just spending a day in the city he fell in love with the people and the culture and pushed back the flight back home by two weeks.
“My trip to Myanmar was one of the most unexpected and delightful surprises I have ever had,” says Michael, a professional advertising and travel photographer hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. Michael says his style of travel photography often tows the line between candid documentary style photography mixed in with his commercial shooting background. The result is a rich mix of very intimate photographs of the locals and gorgeous vistas.
“I love eating where the locals eat and hanging out in the non-touristy areas of the towns and countryside,” Michael expounds. “Trying to see and experience the country through the eyes of a local plays a big part of my photography while traveling.”
Michael says his usual work kit includes a Canon 5D Mk III paired with a variety of lenses. For this particular trip, however, he decided to travel lighter with a Fujifilm X Pro 1 plus a few lenses including the XF 18mm f2 and XF 35mm f1.4 and XF 60mm f2.4.
As for post processing, Michael says he also works as a digital retoucher and loves giving his images an aesthetic based on the mood he was in at the time or the general mood of the scene. “I love playing with tones and color and I’m not afraid to experiment,” he explains. “A really interesting and unique color treatment can really change the emotion the viewer is having while looking at the photograph.”
Next summer Michael says he’s looking forward to traveling back to Kenya. Michael explains he plans to revisit a school for the deaf in Nakuru where he spent three summers volunteering and learning photography. “I have been dreaming of the day that I get to go back and photograph the place and people where I first fell in love with photography.”