The luxury voyage redefined, from remote retreats to spontaneous urban sprees

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August 24, 2014

Lane Coder x Larry Letters

A Fine Art-Inspired Trip to the Californian Outback

“I think there’s an inherent narrative that happens when taking pictures in Big Sur,” says American photographer Lane Coder of his recent collaboration with fellow image-maker, Larry Letters, in the remote Californian outback. “It’s a place stuck in time a little bit, you can still feel the presence of hippies past and present.” The pair, who found an affinity between their work while studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, escaped the confines of the studio for the great outdoors in between commissions for Vogue Japan and The New Yorker. “I find beauty in the details as well as giving the ‘whole’ picture; I think it helps tell a more complete story,” says Coder, who snapped the two aerial shots from the plane during his return journey back to New York. While they managed to fit in an impromptu fashion shoot using the rugged landscape and giant redwoods as a backdrop, the trip was not without a touch of danger, says Letters: “Killer seagulls, a bit of debauchery, a couple of trips to the hospital, fine wine in Wine Country, alien-like jellyfish, and California’s gorgeous, chameleon-esque light.”

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Your Secret Cities: Master Class

Our Travel Photography Competition Culminates with Leading Judges’ Own Private Vistas

To mark the closing of NOWNESS’ latest reader competition, a collaboration with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the five luminary contributors making up our jury reveal their intimate urban insights and hidden gems. After readers were invited to photograph and share a personal visual guide to a ‘secret city’ they know and love, 1100 entries were submitted over 14 days, coming from remote corners such as Iguazu Falls, Argentina, and Easter Island, Chile, as well as the metropolitan hubs of Singapore, Istanbul and Copenhagen. Following a nine day public vote, ten top entries were selected via Twitter and Sina Weibo. “It's interesting to see how differing cultures view their own cities, some focusing on nature and others on man-made structures,” says James W. Mataitis Bailey, author of cult image blog Yimmy's Yayo and one of our expert judges. Here, using personal cameras and apps on their travels, Bailey, I Love You magazine’s Marcus Gaab, photographer Brigitte Lacombe, fashion animator Quentin Jones and filmmaker Zoe Cassavetes share their own treasured spots.

James W. Mataitis Bailey
Tuileries Garden, Paris, France
"I've always romanticized Paris in my mind, for as long as I can remember. On my most recent trip I feel like I finally unlocked it. You have to give yourself over completely, you have to curse at traffic, enjoy the rainy nights and give up sleep. Paris is a unique city, and to find the real beauty in her, you have to breathe her in like no other."

Marcus Gaab
Berlin, Germany
"If you leave the city, which is mainly experienced as bohemian Disneyland - by boat in summer you will find a lot of hidden spots that explain why romanticism is such a German term. It’s great for a swim, too."

Brigitte Lacombe
Huxinting Tea House, Shanghai, China
"This is one of my favorite travel images. Every time I go to Shanghai, I return to this teahouse, the oldest in Shanghai. The group of men could be from the 1920s, or the 1940s, but actually I took this picture in 1993.”

Zoe Cassavetes
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
"The fact that a narrow straight of sea separates Istanbul between Europe and Asia is so exotic and curious, and you can actually distinguish the two feelings. I love the call to prayer and the city's mosques, which are so beautiful and magical. The Hagia Sophia was a Christian church before becoming a mosque and they have uncovered ancient paintings of Jesus and other religious icons - another example of East meeting West with grace and symmetry."

Quentin Jones
Mumbai, India
"Peeling posters in Mumbai, India are intoxicating to me. My most memorable trip started with landing in Mumbai at 4am. We started to explore the city as the sun was rising. The orange light of the early morning was hitting the city's walls and illuminating years of torn Bollywood posters, vibrant hand-painted signs, and make-shift homes. The city is covered in unintentional collages."

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Soo Joo Park: Night Rider

The Korean-American Model Cycles Through Bright New Hair Trends During NY Fashion Week

The bright lights of downtown Manhattan create a kaleidoscopic backdrop for model Soo Joo Park as she rides through Chinatown in filmmaker Marissa Kaiser’s luminous video. Korean-born and California-bred, Park is currently casting for this season’s shows (she's already booked Skaist-Taylor), and will feature in upcoming issues of Vogue Italia and Dazed & Confused. “The idea came from watching my boyfriend skateboard at night under the Manhattan Bridge,” explains Kaiser. “It struck me how easily skateboarders glide through the night lights, just floating in the air.” Shot last week on a warm, late summer evening, Kaiser called on friend and cult-colorist Aura Friedman to recreate this season’s Technicolor hair trends with multicolored wigs mimicking the tonality of changing traffic lights, bright signage, and taxicab headlights. “I wanted to play around with these crazy neon and pastille palettes, but I also wanted to keep it pretty and not punky,” explains Friedman, who has worked with celebrity clients including M.I.A., Lady Gaga and Sky Ferreira, as well as Elle, French Playboy and V Man. “We wanted a feeling of wonder, but also something cinematic,” adds Friedman, “almost recreating the feeling of the old Times Square, just like in Midnight Cowboy.”

For Aura Friedman's color tips and trends check out the NOWNESS Facebook page, here.

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