Tuesday, January 24, 2017


By John Rogers

Before the trip
1 - Search the internet for possible photo opps...
I use Trekearth, 500PX, Flickr and also CIA World Facebook. Don't rely on Lonely Planet type books as they are usually out of date by the time they are published.
Google Earth is great for finding locations and discovering likely viewpoints.
Also google "Where to photograph in xyz? destination.
Read forums for other people's first-hand experiences, especially on how to access difficult areas for photography and what time of year is best to go.

Once I know the names of potential photo locations, I’ll do more research. Which time of day has the best light? How difficult is it to reach certain vantage points? What time does an attraction open, and when will tourist traffic be low? What will the weather be like?

2 - List of camera gear to take... Check off list.
3 - Make a page with all your Travel Dates on it. Time can get lost when travelling over borders and time zones.
4 - make up a check off list with all non photography items to take. Shirts, toothbrush etc.
5 - Have some proof of your gear so when returning it can be proven that it was not purchased overseas.

I use small tupperware containers to keep my memory cards in till I get home.
Always take a backup camera.. spare batteries too.
Tripod. You’ll have greater creative control over your camera’s manual settings when using a tripod. This doesn’t mean you have to lug a tripod around with you absolutely everywhere. I don’t.
But for tack sharp landscapes, low-light photography, self-portraits, flowing water shots, and sunsets/sunrises, a travel tripod makes a huge difference. Take Black Card for landscapes which can be used when the problem limited dynamic range occurs. Or take graduated filters.
Take Zip Lock plastic cooking bags. They are good for covering in rain or when going from hot to cold.
If you purchase any equipment overseas, don't forget TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme).
Purchase 60 days prior to leaving OZ. $300 or more of goods from a ingle store. To calculate your refund = divide by 11%
Don't Obsess Over Equipment
Want to know what photography gear I use? Well, here you go. But if you went out right now and bought all that stuff, not only would it be super expensive, I guarantee it won’t improve your photography skills.
Why? Because the gear you use is not what makes a great photographer. Just like the type of brush a painter uses doesn’t make them a great painter. It’s knowledge, experience, and creativity that makes a great photographer.
Camera companies are much better at marketing than paintbrush companies. That’s why you think you need that $3000 camera. Trust me. You don’t.
Professionals use expensive gear because it allows them to produce a greater range of images. For example, extremely low light star photography. Or fast-action wildlife photography. Or because they want to sell large fine-art prints.
Instead of buying new equipment, spend time learning how to use your current camera’s settings. It’s a far better investment, and cheaper too!
I make a point to make the cameras look crappy and old. Duct tape and patches holding them together and hiding logos. Thieves find it hard to sell old pieces of junk. It also throws custom officers off in many countries as they can get suspicious of lots of good camera gear.
My camera bag is not the usual typical camera bag, so it doesn't yell 'CAMERAS'. Less conspicuous and cheaper too.
Take Bike Rack Wire and Lock for attaching your bag or equipment to furniture.
I use a Blue Belt Money belt. CLICK HERE
Take pics of your luggage before going. Copy down serial numbers, .include your name and camera serial number on Image Data, so if stolen you can track it down on online using  STOLEN CAMERA FINDER.COM.
I take a Long Sheathed Lock and Key for doors and lockers.
I use Travel Insurance Direct and get a Yearly Policy for approx. $400 which covers the world.
Always take your equipment as Carry-On luggage. If it's overweight put some lenses in your coat pockets. They don't weigh people as yet. Also baggage handlers just love camera equipment.
I look at postcard racks and talk to locals. Figure out how Many sunsets you will see at this destination. Also place thought into locations that are ok to shoot in bad weather.. a grey day may be great for monochrome shots.
The best subjects to shoot when it rains
Waterfalls! Not only because there's plenty of water, but the overcast conditions provide soft, even light for a low-contrast image.
Woodlands come alive with colour under overcast conditions, as direct sunshine tends to be too high-contrast/distracting.
The early bird gets the worm. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase. Well it’s also very true for travel photography. Light is the most important ingredient for great photography — and soft, warm, morning light creates amazing images.
Waking up early also means you’ll have to deal with fewer tourists and other photographers. Want an epic postcard shot of a famous landmark like the ruins of Chichen Itza or the Taj Mahal? Just get there early right when it opens and you’ll pretty much have the place to yourself!
Once I know the names of potential photo locations, I’ll do more research. Which time of day has the best light? How difficult is it to reach certain vantage points? What time does an attraction open, and when will tourist traffic be low? What will the weather be like?

Photographing local people in a foreign country is tough for many photographers. What if they don’t understand you? What if they say no? Will they get offended? It took me a couple years to get comfortable shooting portraits of locals, and even now I still get a bit nervous.
But I’ve learned the key is to talk to people first. Say hello. Ask for directions. Buy a souvenir. Compliment them on something. Chat for a few minutes BEFORE asking for a photo. It’s far less invasive this way.
Always ask permission for close-ups too. Spend 15 minutes learning how to say “can I make a photograph” or “can I take your portrait” in the local language before you arrive. People really appreciate the effort, and it’s a great way to make a new friend.
Attempting to take quick snapshots as you rush from one location to another will leave you with the same boring photos everyone else has. Make sure you plan “photography time” into your travel schedule. Good travel photography requires a solid time commitment on your part.
If you’re traveling with friends who aren’t into photography, it can be difficult to find the time necessary to create amazing images. You need to break off on your own for a few hours to make photography your priority. I often prefer to travel alone or with other dedicated photographers for this reason.
Good luck trying to explain to a non-photographer that you’d like to wait around for an extra 30 minutes until the clouds look better. It doesn’t go over well. For organized tours, try waking up early to wander alone for a few hours, getting photos before the tour starts.
Even better, splurge on a rental car for a travel photography road trip. This allows you to control when and where you stop for photos. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a bus while passing an epic photo opportunity, powerless to stop and capture it!
Good photography takes time. Are you willing to spend a few hours waiting for the perfect shot? Because that’s what professionals do. The more patience you have, the better your travel photography will turn out in the long run.

Ok. You’ve visited all the popular photography sites, and captured your own version of a destination’s postcard photos. Now what? It’s time to go exploring, and get off the beaten tourist path. It’s time to get lost on purpose.
If you want to get images no one else has, you need to wander more. The best way to do this is on foot — without knowing exactly where you’re going. Grab a business card from your hotel so you can catch a taxi back if needed, then just pick a direction and start walking.
Bring your camera, and head out into the unknown. Check with locals to make sure you’re not heading somewhere dangerous, but make a point get lost. Wander down alleys, to the top of a mountain, and around the next bend.
In many places, locals tend to avoid tourist spots. So if you want to capture the true nature of a destination and its people, you’ll need to get away from the crowd and go exploring on your own.
Fit in with the scene. Understated is always best. Again, sensitivity for the mores and norms of where you are goes a long way to being accepted. A female photographer may want to wear a scarf to cover her head in some cultures. It's one of the most visible ways to show respect for local sensibilities. I also avoid looking like the stereotypical photographer (black cargo pants or vests with lots of pockets).

Your subjects are giving of themselves. Don’t abuse their gift of sharing their lives. Don’t treat them like models. Send back some prints, cherish the moment, and treat them well. Don’t promise if you don’t intend to deliver. In this age where many people are digitally connected, it has become easier than ever to email a jpeg to an address for your subjects to share.

Staying on the center of town, or having a room with wonderful views can create a lot of great photo opportunities

Consider what to do with your images. If you have some good shots you could make a photobook, enter a Travel Competition, upload them to an image stock site, approach magazines, travel guides or tourism websites.

Use the images to arrange a discount or free stay on your next trip. Simply contact the hotel manager and ask do they need any promotional photos.


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