Last Sunday I woke up to glorious sunshine, made a cup of coffee and, as is my habit I’m afraid, checked my emails. I was delighted to see a post by Nomadbiba saying that I’d won the last round of Travel Photo Roulette (Sunshine) with this image taken just after sunrise in the backwaters of Kerala, Southern India.

It was a lovely surprise and I immediately started thinking about a subject for the next round, which I was really looking forward to hosting.

Local Character

I decided on the theme ‘Local Character’ remembering some of the wonderful people I had met on my travels such as the philosopher and poet, Guido, who everyone in the Italian town of Polignano knows (he can often be seen writing on the walls of the buildings of the towns) or this young boy in The Gambia who joined the crowd watching a singing workshop I helped run in a village school. He looked so cool with his hat perched at a jaunty angle. I think he’ll be quite a ladies’ man when he grows up!

Of course the theme can be interpreted in any way that inspires you!

Contest Overview

The contest rotates through travel and/or photography blogs as such, the winner of the previous round of Travel Photo Roulette hosts the subsequent round on their own blog. The new host then chooses the next theme, a generic keyword or phrase and players submit their interpretations of the theme over course of the week of the contest. At the end of the week, the hosting blogger chooses their favorite photo from the submissions and displays it as the week’s winning entry. They then include direction to the new host for the next round. Readers can attempt to lobby the author toward a certain photo via comments – the author can accept or ignore any lobby as they see fit. The game is repeated with the winner hosting the following week’s game and choosing a phrase for new photo submissions.

Guide Lines

  • One submission per Blog (so sites that have 2+ authors only get one entry).
  • Post processing is permitted, but photo altering (ie. photoshopping) is not.
  • Abstract submissions welcomed as long as it fits within the interpretation of the chosen phrase. Remember, the hosting blogger chooses the winner, so if they cannot understand the submission, you might not win!
  • Please try and keep your images medium-sized and web-optimized (around 600px).
  • If you win, keep these in mind when choosing a new theme:
* Keep phrases general so that all bloggers can participate. Specific items like “Eiffel Tower” should be avoided but rather made open-ended like “monuments.” For variety, it is okay to say focused things such as “monuments at night” which most of us have pictures of. Phrases can be generic ‘signs’, or abstract  ‘religion’.
* Abstract thoughts are appreciated, but keep it within the realm that all readers will understand. No “Kafka-esque”, or “Overlooking Creation”. Use something that is able to be interpreted by all.
  • After 1 year, phrases can be reused, however new photos must be submitted.
  • No obscene pictures or phrases allowed. Suggestive phrases and photography can be accepted, but please keep it within reason.
  • Keep the ideas and photos fresh!
  • Pictures from your entire portfolio are fair to submit. You do not have to take the photo within the week of the contest period to submit it.
  • Most importantly, ALL PHOTOS MUST BE YOUR OWN.
  • One last rule, since this is a competition for bloggers, we need you to be a blogger to be declared a winner. Sorry!

How to submit your entries

To enter in the Photo Roulette competition simply leave a comment below with a link to the image (whether Flickr, Picasa or your own site) and I will upload it to this post. Don’t forget to provide a brief description or caption for the photo so the viewers can get a little background as to what’s happening. Check back here throughout the week to see all the entries as they come in and feel free to comment on them. The contest runs for 7 days from today, with the submission date being March 24th , 2012  – 11:59 PM March 31st, 2012 GMT (Saturday to Saturday). The winner will be announced in the days after the deadline, and they will host round 40.

**Note** Please enter medium-size web-friendly photos (around 600px). Large pictures slow down servers and increase page load times for everybody.

Past Photo Roulette Winners and Hosts

The following is a list of the previously played rounds of the game and the hosting blogger for each. This list also doubles as a winner’s table as each topic host won the preceding round! Click the host’s link to go directly to that entry to see some stunning photographs from the chosen term/phrase!

1. Nov 4–10, 2010  – Living the Dream – “Animals”
2. Nov 17–24, 2010 – Skinny Backpacker – “Road Signs”
3. Nov 29–Dec 6, 2010 – Dream a Little Dream – “Street Art”
4. Dec 8–15, 2010 – Flashpacker HQ – “Festival”
5. Dec 17–24, 2010 – Over Yonderlust – “Landmarks”
6. Dec 26–Jan 2, 2011 – Don’t Ever Look Back – “Beaches”
7. Jan 5–12, 2011 – ThePlanetD – “Portraits”
8. Jan 15–22, 2011 – Travel with a Mate – “Motion”
9. Jan 26–Feb 3, 2011 – Johnny Vagabond – “Water”
10. Feb 8–15, 2011 – Ken Kaminesky – “Urban”
11. Feb 21–27, 2011 – Travels of Adam – “Friday Night”
12. Mar 7–13, 2011 – Itchy Feet Chronicles – “The Journey”
13. Mar 19– 25, 2011 – Brendan’s Adventures – “Changing Seasons”
14. Apr 4–10, 2011 – Shutterfeet – “Storytelling”
15. Apr 13–21, 2011 – 10 Times One – “Piousness”
16. Apr 26–May 4, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Learning”
17. May 21–27, 2011 – Travel Junkies – “Architecture”
18. Jun 1–7, 2011 – Destination World – “Transportation”
19. Jun 8–15, 2011 – Living the Dream – “Paradise”
20. Jun 21-28, 2011 – Vagabond Quest – “Clothes”
21. Jul 4-11, 2011 – The Unframed World – “Symmetry”
22. Jul 16-25, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Home
23. Jul 31 – Aug 7, 2011 – BackPackerBanter – “Inspiration”
24. Aug 14 – 21, 2011 – WanderingTrader – “Darkness”
25. Aug 28 – Sep 4, 2011 – Finding the Universe – “Tranquillity”
26. Sep 12 – 19, 2011 – Fearful Adventurer – “Food”
27. Sep 23 – 30, 2011 – Adventures of a GoodMan – “City”
28. Oct 06 – 13, 2011 – – “Reflections”
29. Oct 17 – 24, 2011 – Scene With A Hart – ”Framing”
30. Nov 9 – 16, 2011 – Vagabond Quest – “Silhouettes”
31. Nov 26 – Dec 3, 2011 – Hecktic Travels – “Music”
32. Dec 11 – Dec 18, 2011 – Globetrotter Girls – “Love”
33. Dec 25 – Jan 1st, 2012– Man on the lam – “Humor”
34. January 8 – Jan 15 – My Walkabout – “Winter”
35. Jan 15 – Jan 22 – The Art of Slow Travel – “Blue”
36. Feb 6 – Feb 13 – Ten Times One – “Depth of Field”
37. Feb 22 – Feb 29 – Runaway Juno – “My Glorious Digital Nomad Moment”
38. March 7 – March 14 – Nomadbiba – “Sunshine”

The more the merrier: Please share this article on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and G+ and elsewhere to get more people involved. We love your entries!

Submit your entry by 11:59pm Saturday March 31, 2012 – let me know which of the entries below are your favorites in the comments.

I’m really looking forward to seeing your photos and will post them here as they come in (sorry if there is sometimes a bit of


1. The first submission comes from Denise, The Art of Slow Travel

“This is a local Balinese farmer who, in his spare time, climbs coconut trees with the agility of a monkey to amuse travellers and provide them with refreshments. Donations go towards his love of tobacco chewing, which he says strenghtens teeth. He also found it totally amusing that I’d want to take his picture. ”

2. Veronica,

“I had jumped out of our car to snap some shots of this house and was terrified when I looked up from my camera and this man was standing right next to me! Turns out he was quite nice to us, despite the UNBELIEVABLE amount of spray painted messages (some of them quite vile) on his house – well, actually every inch of his property.”

3. Jeremy, Living the Dream

“I caught this old man smoking Sheesha while we were on our felluca ride outside of Aswan, Egypt. A great glimpse into Egyptian life.”

4. Heather, Travellers Playground

“A gentleman from Madrid  relaxing in the morning sun with his cigar and paper on a park bench.”

5. Travis, FlashPackerHQ

“Here’s a woman I met on the streets of Ginza, the Beverly Hills of Tokyo, Japan. She was walking down the street with this dog in a stroller and I just had to go talk to her. Quite the character.”

6. Bob, Piran Cafe

“Here’s one of a gentleman entertaining people hanging out on the Sacre Couer steps on Montmartre. It was mid-July, it was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the throngs sitting around were in an exceptionally good mood. He was terrific, performing atop a 3ft X 3ft (1meter square) stone pedestal at the base of the steps.”

7. Matt, Passport+Toothbrush (@Matt_and_Caro)

“Taken in Rome, in front of the coliseum, this pictures is of Angelo, one of the many men dressed up as a gladiator, posing with tourists. Even while working, he still kept smoking and though he had a great badass, Italian vibe about him. Clearly, this was just a job!”

8. Tash, Jouljet

“A family riding on a motorbike in the middle of crazy traffic in Galle, Sri Lanka. I love the daughter’s cheeky smile as they zip past us in our tuk tuk! This photo, to me, shows that friendliness of people, amid all that bustle!”

9. acrossthesouth

“A local woman strolling down the street in Riobamba, Ecuador holding a cell phone in one hand and a living rooster in the other. She was coming from the local market and was passing by really quickly, being very concentrated on texting. That’s what I call multitasking!”

10. Suzanne,  The Travel Bunny
“Here’s my contribution. This old woman was having a smoke as she sold souvenirs by the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An, Vietnam. She was only too happy to have her photo taken and actually posed up a bit for the camera!”
11. FourJandals
“Here is a shot from the Egypt Bazaar where we were resting out weary legs. This women was selling paper tissue boxes and the shop keeper came out and offered her a mint tea and a seat to rest as well. Caught her picking her nose!”
12. Matt, My World Discovered

“One morning I was walking in Beijing when I came across these two. The cobbler has obviously been around for a while, filling his role in the local economy. I especially love the Winnie the Pooh slipper he provides for his customers.”

“I took it a few days ago at Montreal’s Saint Patrick’s Parade, one of the oldest running in North America. On that day all the city comes together to celebrate their Irishness and it’s a great chance to people watch!”
“It was taken at the Longshan Temple in Taipei. Every time I see this photo I can hear the chants that were being played at the temple. I was waiting to get a photo or two with no one in the background when this girl and her mother placed incense in the urn. The girl lingered a while to watch the incense burn.”
15. Lucy, On the Luce
“This was taken at the Fete des Vendages harvest festival in Montmartre in Paris. There was a street parade with groups from different confréries – brotherhoods or societies representing different food producers or groups. I spotted this guy proudly towing his plastic cow through the streets, beret and all making him look unmistakeably French!”

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