Raoul Manten

I love to travel and capture powerful images. With these photo's I want to tell the stories behind diminishing tribal cultures and wildlife. And more important share the beauty of what the world has to offer! On my blog you can read about the unexpected encounters I had with amazing animals and fascinating people during my journey over the different continents. My basic equipment is a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II digital SLR camera with a 70-200mm zoom objective, which I sometimes replace by a 24-70mm wide angle lens.

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    Hot lava rivers flowing out of the active Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala - VR1W0512 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in May 2007 at the Pacaya National Park in the Escuintla department (25 miles Southwest of Guatemala City and close the Antigua), where this complex volcano has been continuously erupting since it erupted violently in 1965. 

    When I visited this area one year earlier in April 2006, a slight increase in Pacaya’s volcanic activity allowed for the creation of several lava rivers which flow slowly down its slope. 

    The fact that the caldera is easily accessible made it possible to shoot some magnificent images of hot lava bursting into flames and toxic gasses coming out of the rocks. When standing to long at one spot to get a nice picture, my shoes actually started to melt.

    Walking towards the Pacaya Volcano active crater, Guatemala - VR1W1423

    Hot lava flowing down the mountain slope of the Pacaya volcano, Guatemala - VR1W2203

    People walking towards an active lava flow, Guatemala - VR1W0502

    Lava river flowing down the Pacaya volcano, Guatemala - VR1W2229

    Hot lava river on the mountain slope of the Pacaya volcano, Guatemala - VR1W2230

    Salesman at the local Fish Market in Panama City, Panama - VR1W7257 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in December 2006 at the Seafood Market (Mercado del Marisco in Panama City, Panama), where this sales man offers the fresh catch of the day to the local bars and restaurants.

    Latin American woman with a traditional Panama hairstyle standing on a balcony in Panama City, Panama - VR1W7321 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in December 2006 in Panama City in the historical streets of Bella Vista, while she was sending a text message on her mobile phone. The local women dress up with very large and colourful rollers in their hair which is perceived as very fashionable.

    Juvenile Brown Pelican in the Harbour of Panama City, Panama - VR1W7272 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in December 2006 in the harbour near the Seafood Market (Mercado del Marisco in Panama City, Panama), where this juvenile brown pelican was scavenging the rocks for fish left by the Seafood market.

    This bird (Pelecanus occidentalis) distinguis itself from the American White Pelican by its brown body and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface.

    Elderly man playing a game of domino in the streets of Panama City, Panama - VR1W7305 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in December 2006 in Panama’s capital city near La Exposicion, where the local Panama men play dominoes for small money in the streets of the historical centre.

    Little Girl looking out the Window in Granada, Nicaragua - VR1W7039 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in November 2006 in the centre of Granada (Nicaragua), where this little girl was standing in front of a window, eating her lunch and keeping a close eye to her younger brother who was playing outside in the street.

    Portrait of Nicaraguan Kids Smiling at the Camera in Granada, Nicaragua - VR1W7079 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in November 2006 in the centre of Granada (Nicaragua), where these two kids where very happy to be photographed and eager to see their smiling faces afterwards on the display of the camera.

    Critically Endangered Brown Spider Monkey, Nicaragua - VR1W7107 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in November 2006 at the Archipielago Las Isletas (located just outside Granada in the waters of Lake Nicaragua), which is home to these critically endangered brown spider monkeys.

    Like all spider monkeys, this species (Ateles hybridus) has very long, spindly limbs and a lengthy prehensile tail which can almost be called a fifth limb. The tail is made up of highly flexible, hairless tips with skin grooves which improves grip on tree branches and is adapted to its strictly arboreal lifestyle. The brown spider monkey has a whitish belly and patch on the forehead, and – highly unusual among spider monkeys – the eyes are sometimes blue.

    The islets are a group of 365 small islands scattered about the Asese peninsula. The islets are of volcanic origin and were formed over 20,000 years ago when the Mombacho volcano blew most of its cone into the lake, thereby creating the archipelago. Most of the islets are covered with unusual vegetation, and are rich with bird life.

    Yellow School bus with Children: “en dios haremos proezas” in the streets of Granada, Nicaragua - VR1W7045 on Flickr.

    Elderly man dressed in a green suite and a white hat in the streets of Havana, Cuba - VR1W4451 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in May 2008 in Cuba’s capital city Havana near el Capitolio Nacional, where this cuban was fully dress up in historical clothes and waiting in line for the bus to stop at the corner of the street.

    The Valley of Vinales is encircled by mountains and the elevated limestone hills (Mogotes) gives the landscape its characteristic shape, Cuba - VR1W4525 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in May 2008 in Valle de Viñales (close to the mountain range Sierra del Rosario in Cuba’s western province Pinar del Río), where traditional techniques are still in use for agricultural production, especially tobacco. 80% of Cuba’s crops is produces in this region and used to make the famous cigars.

    Elderly wrinkled woman smoking a cuban cigar in the streets of Havana, Cuba - VR1W4430 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in May 2008 in Cuba’s capital city Havana near el Museo de la Revolución, where locals dress up in historical clothes to attract tourists, who will have to pay for taking their picture.

    Sadhu (Baba) with long hair and beautiful body markings in Kathmandu, Nepal - VR1W4981 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken on December 2008, at the old Hindu temple Pashupatinath along the Bagmati river (which runs through Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu), where this vishnu follower Sadhu spends a great deal of time mediating and devoting himself to his chosen deity.
    The long hair, which can reach the ground, is in emulation of Lord Shiva, whose long locks were said to bring him supernatural powers and the wonderfully intricate body markings are painstakingly applied every day.

    Many sadhus practice yoga which is closely linked with meditation. Sadhus believe that spiritual enlightenment is achieved through transformation of the mind and the body. Sadhus live an ascetic life on the fringes of society. They abstain from sex, cut all family ties, have no possessions, no house, wear few clothes and eat little food. Some sadhus believe that they can see meaningful signs and symbols in smoke patterns. In Nepal Sadhus are known as ‘babas’, which means father or uncle in most Indian languages.

    Juvenile Indian Elephant Calf eating grass at Chitwan National Park, Nepal - VR1W6023 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in December 2008 in the Royal Chitwan National Park close to Bharatpur (at the Southern tropical lowlands of Nepal near the border of Nepal), where an Elephant Breeding Center was established in 1985.

    In the months before I visited the center an elephant cow named “Devi Kali” gave birth to two male baby elephants. It was the first time that an elephant has given birth to twins in Nepal. The babies are named “Ram Gaj” and “Laxman Gaj” after two hindu brother gods, but the local people gave them the nickname “Double Trouble”.

    Portrait of Cuban Lady displaying a Beautiful Smile in Havana, Cuba - VR1W4434 on Flickr.

    This photo was taken in May 2008 in Cuba’s capital city Havana (near the Malecón), where this elderly lady displayed a beautiful smile when I asked her to pose for a picture.

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