Photo of the Week: Freetown Dusk

I had no idea what to expect when I rocked up in Freetown, Sierra Leone the first time. The only two images I had in my head before visiting myself were two scenes from the movie “Blood Diamond”. The first of a beach bar and the second of that same beach bar covered in bodies. Fortunately, the beauty of travel is that you get to create your own images of a certain place, as long as you have the courage to visit it. And at the end of the day, more often than not you’ll create a completely different image than the one built for you based on stories. This photo taken over the west side of downtown Freetown shows the city in a completely different light than most are used to seeing it. For that reason, I love the photo.

Freetown, Sierra Leone, YMCA

How I Got this Shot

Sometimes in photography there’s nothing you can do, you just have to be at the right place at the right time. I arrived in Freetown after a hard day of travel, and since I arrived quite late I was forced to overspend my budget on the only hotel available. Luckily, the hotel had a great view. The technical side is almost irrelevant, sometimes you just have to get a room with a view.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. Our perception of something or someone is often our reality! . . .until of course we invest our time and energy to go there and see it for ourselves or to get to know someone! Then often our perceptions change! Wonderful shot! I love the hues and warm glow of dusk! Dusk makes everything more inviting!!

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  2. It is so wonderful that you have captured, and have been captured by the charm of a place many do not know a lot about.
    I had the same transition. It’s a stunning place.

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    • Bry – Definitely, lots more from Sierra Leone to come too 😀

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  3. Lovely photo, was it sunset at that time. Just wondering there were lots of houses where you were staying with tin roofs.

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    • Shalu – Thanks, yes… most of the housing actually has tin roof. In the poorer neighbourhoods the entire houses are made of tin.

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  4. Hi Brendan, beautiful pic. Do you remember what lens you were using? Thanks!

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    • This was on my old crop-sensor camera, and likely just a 18-55mm lens.

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